Posts Tagged ‘essentials’

Bouncy, Bouncy …

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Keep your suspension working like new

Keep your suspension working like new

Probably one of the most maintenance intensive areas of a mountain bike is the suspension.

A combination of wanting the lightest weight, maximum performance and receiving the maximum abuse means that bearings, bushes and seals on all suspension units are subject to great stress and wear.

Wear in bushes will quickly evolve into wear which may not be serviceable and leaking seals will ooze suspension fluid leading to loss of efficiency and further wear.

It's not just forks ...

It’s not just forks …

Regular riders should have their suspension inspected and maintained at least once a year, or as recommended by their manufacturer.

Now, oddly enough, this is a great time to get your mountain bike into Halter’s for inspection and maintenance. We have the area’s best and most experienced technicians to work on your pride and joy, and the bike will be ready to shred when the good weather gets here, not sitting around feeling sorry for itself leaking fluid or with seized components just waiting to let you down on your first ride of the season.

So get in here now!

We service and maintain RockShox, Fox and Leftys, as well as Manitou, Marzocchi and other quality brands. Most jobs done on the premises.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Head Case

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when, if you don’t already have a bicycle helmet, you should be thinking of getting one. And even if you already have a helmet it might be time to think of getting a new one.

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

All the gals and guys at Halter’s wear a helmet whenever riding a bike, no matter if on the road, on the trail, or just cruising around the neighborhood.

In fact, most of our customers think that way too, although, in New Jersey it’s not the law that you must wear a helmet when cycling.

However, it is the law in NJ that children must wear an appropriate helmet even if they’re just a passenger on a bicycle.

There is an argument that there is no need to wear a helmet, and indeed it is a personal choice.

It’s true that in more cycle friendly cultures very few people, even children, wear helmets and the accident/injury rate is lower than in most helmet wearing societies.

Unfortunately, this happy situation does not apply in the US, and on balance we strongly recommend every cyclist wears a helmet.

Helmets really do have a limited life in use. Any helmet that has already taken a hit in a crash should immediately be replaced.

Helmets that have been subject to sunshine, UV, sweat and extreme temperatures should be replaced every two or three years. If the adjustment pads are rotten or missing, you can replace them, but their condition is a good indicator of the state of the rest of the helmet.

Helmets are not just a chunk of poly-foam, but at the very least have an interior structure and reinforcements which can degrade over a period of time or can be disrupted and made less effective once it’s taken a hit and done its job.

Tripp's helmet after a trail fall

Tripp’s helmet after a trail fall

Halter’s wrench, Tripp, recently took a fall as his helmet shows here. His GPS showed an instant 21mph to zero and, typically for a mtb incident, the helmet protected Tripp from a strike to the back of his head.

Helmets designed for MTB use tend to give more protection to the back of the head for this reason. They also usually include a peak which provides some eye protection in the woods.

Road helmets tend to give more protection to the temples and don’t have a peak to make looking forward when on the drops easier, but riders who wear glasses may find a peak a benefit.

Regardless, most riders wear whichever helmet is most comfortable and suits their needs whether they’re on the road or the trail, or just around the neighborhood for that matter.

All helmets on sale at a quality independent bike store will usually comply to at least two out of three of the principal international standards whether they cost $40 or $400.

US, European and Australian certifications and requirements are slightly different, but in practice any helmet which meets any one of them promises the best protection available regardless of cost.

More expensive helmets will be sized for a better fit, be lighter, enable better air-flow, be available in more colors, and have many detail enhancements, which may or may not be important to you.

Halter’s sell helmets by Bell, Cannondale, Giro and Lazer.

Be sure you start the season with a safe helmet.

You know it makes sense …


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke | OldCranksCC Forum


Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

New year! New bike? Well, that would be nice, but not absolutely necessary …

Our experienced team of expert bike mechanics

Our experienced team of expert bike mechanics

Now is a good time to get your bike in for a tune-up.

Thinking about it when the nice weather hits will leave you queuing around the block to get your bike in the workshop and a long wait before you get your rail back on the road.

Your bike deserves professional attention

Your bike deserves professional attention

A full tune up includes; a full frame wipe down; truing wheels (as required) and checking tires; adjusting/ greasing/ lubing bearings as required – hubs/drive train; adjusting brakes, gears and lubing cables; checking and, if required, adjustment of gear hanger and frame alignment; adjusting steering/ headset bearings. In fact, just about everything possible to get your bike riding like new.

Replacement parts are not included in the cost. Our guys will call you if there’s a significant cost implication.

A full overhaul service is also available which will dismantle your bike down to its component parts and rebuild. This will almost always involve fitting new cables and handlebar wrap which are not included in the cost.

Halter’s is happy to work on any quality, specialist bicycle retailer bought bike.

Bicycles bought from big box discount retailers and the internet do not respond well to a full service and we reserve the right to decline to service this quality of bicycle.

... or on the road ... ride a happy bicycle

… or on the road … ride a happy bicycle

So, we wish you a happy and safe cycling new year. As usual we will continue to support cycling and cyclists in the central New Jersey area. And remember, the only thing better than a freshly serviced bicycle is a brand new one … we can help there too.

Halter’s will resume our regular winter hours at 11.00am, Thursday 2 January, 2014.

Happy New Year!!!


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke | OldCranksCC Forum


Yes!!! More Lights!!!!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

I know … Lights again … but let’s face it, if you’re going to be riding this time of year you need to be seen, especially in those last few minutes after sunset while you’re dashing for home.

Make sure they see you, right?

Make sure they see you, right?

So we’ve just taken delivery of a ton of Knog Blinder rechargeable LED rear lights.

Minimalists will love the Blinder 1, just one very bright red LED which can be switched between several strobe patterns. Very small, yet very effective.

Cateye Rapid 1 rechargeable rear light - fits most aero seat-posts

Cateye Rapid 1 rechargeable rear light – fits most aero seat-posts

We also stock two versions of the Blinder 4, a 2×2 and a 1×4 pattern. Both utilise four very bright red LEDs and one of them or the other will fit on your seat-post to help make you super conspicuous.

Knogs are a little difficult to fit onto an aero frame/seat-post, but we’ve found the CatEye Rapid 1 has a fixing which securely fits on most aero sections. It also looks like HAL from 2001 from the back …

The Cateye is also rechargeable via a USB cable.

These rechargeable LED lights vary between $30 and $45 which makes them rather more expensive than an AA or AAA battery version, but they’re rated for 600+ recharges, which is a lot of Energizer bunnies compared to the cents it costs to charge these lights up again.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke | OldCranksCC Forum


Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

It’s the Holy Grail of cycling, the object every cyclist seeks. It’s the part of the bike which evokes most fear from newbies. Everyone wants a comfortable bicycle seat.

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine ... not always the best solution for people with back issues

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine … not always the best solution for people with back issues

One of the most predictable statements from people coming in to purchase their first adult bicycle is, “I don’t want one of those skinny seats that professional cyclists sit on.”

Well, Halter’s doesn’t have many professional cyclists as customers, but I think I can say that if we did, they would not want to spend seven or eight hours a day perched on a seat which was torturing them.

A more "aggressive" position means back shocks are directed obliquely ... but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

A more “aggressive” position means back shocks are directed obliquely … but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

So, some basic advice;

If you’re new to cycling and buying a new bike give the seat a chance. A reputable bicycle manufacturer is going to fit the seat that’s going to suit most people who ride a particular bike. They want you to buy it after all.

Save your money ... check your seat adjustment

Save your money … check your seat adjustment

It’s likely that your whole body will feel it’s getting a workout the first few times you ride it. The same goes for your backside. If it continues to be uncomfortable get back to us. At least you’ll be able to tell us in what way it’s bothering you and we can work from there.

Check your current saddle is correctly adjusted. Most people find a level seat or slightly nose down is best. This assumes your bike is the correct size and type for you. If it’s not then comfort is going to become a more remote goal.

It's tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

It’s tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

If you’re looking for a new seat for your old bike and thinking fatter and squishier or adding a gel cover is the way to go, think again.

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price ... for a good reason

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price … for a good reason

To be rather indelicate, do you think growing a new layer of fat on your backside would make your present seat more comfortable? No, I didn’t think so. Big, wide, cushy seats have a purpose, but are not necessarily best for you.

Most seats in a bike shop have varying amounts of gel, a resilient plastic which may help ameliorate shock from the road. Quality of gel is important. Better quality gel may appear and feel thinner but may have better shock-absorption characteristics.

Most seats are available in women's and men's versions

Most seats are available in women’s and men’s versions

If you’re looking for a new seat, bring your bicycle in so you can try out one or two around the parking lot before purchase. Be prepared to describe the issues you’re having with your old saddle. We’re bike shop professionals here … We’ve heard it all.

Better still, bike seat issues can be best addressed by a full professional bike-fit which will address your whole position and stance on the bike before settling on a new seat. This service is free with the purchase of a new road bike from Halter’s.

Our experienced bike-fitters will further induct you into the mysteries of ischial tuberosities and other arcane stuff, all of which will enhance your comfort and, thus, your performance.

It’s hard to believe, but anyone would find a concrete bicycle seat comfortable if its the right shape in the right place.

Halter’s stocks a full range of quality seats by Giant, Terry, SMP, Brooks, fizik and other good brands from around $40 and up. One will be right for you.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Bike-Shaped Objects : BSOs – Toys or Bicycles?

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The other day I was idly surfing the online catalog of a well-known BigBoxMart* store and decided to look at what was on offer in the way of bicycles. I was rather taken aback to find even adult bicycles in the TOY section of the store, although on reflection I suppose I had no reason to be surprised at all.

So - you're going to buy a car. Where do you go? The toy-store obviously ...

So – you’re going to buy a car. Where do you go? The toy-store obviously …

One of the most frequent questions we get asked in the bike store is, “Why does this child’s bike you’re offering cost $210, when I can get one in BigBoxMart for $60?”

Remember, BigBoxMart sells “bicycles” in its toy department! And I’m not just talking children’s bikes … I’m talking adult cycles too.

Halter’s is a bicycle shop. We sell bicycles. We do not sell toys!

BigBoxMart ... it kind of looks like a bike ... what are your expectations? PS: That's our red arrow ...

BigBoxMart … it kind of looks like a bike … what are your expectations? PS: That’s our red arrow …

A bike shop quality child’s bicycle is designed and built from the same components full size bicycles are constructed from with no compromise for quality or safety.

A bike shop does not regard a bicycle as a toy. It’s a transportation device designed and built up to meet a specification which can be ridden safely and without failure on the nation’s roads and by-ways.

The bicycle will be built of quality components which will remain serviceable for many years. And even then replacement parts will continue to be available.

A toy is built down to a price point. After all, it only has to look like a bike … sort of …

So here’s another top ten question, “The wheel on my child’s PinkFairy/BlueSuperHero bike is bent. Can you fix it?”

Okay, now it’s turn for one of our questions. “Why don’t you go back to BigBoxMart and ask them to fix it?”

I guess we know the answer to that one, right?

“Well, this wheel has no serviceable parts on it. I mean, it only looks like a wheel. It’s a toy wheel after all.  A replacement wheel will be around $40 plus labor.”

“But the bike only cost $50!!!”

“It’s not a bike. It’s a toy. Our replacement wheel is a quality bicycle component which will not bend or fail.”

We love our customers to come back and see us, but not if it’s because they’re going to complain about some shoddy part we sold them which was bound to fail.

But let’s assume you’ve brought in your adult bicycle purchased from a toy store, erm … I meant BigBoxMart. It needs tuning and a couple of replacement parts. Okay, I’ve dealt with the cost of them, but it also requires adjustment to enable it to ride efficiently and safely.

Here’s a bike shop trade secret; it takes much longer to service and adjust a cheap, nasty, BigBoxMart toy bike than the most expensive and sophisticated bike store bought bicycle. The bike store bought bicycle will be built by skilled and experienced mechanics, have bike industry quality parts which are well-designed, durable and quickly and accurately adjustable which will stay in tune and last.

The toy bike will be assembled by some kid after school, from non-standard parts, frequently leave the BigBoxMart with stripped threads, bent and broken components before you’ve even ridden it, plus major assembly issues like having the fork on back-to-front, which makes for a dangerously unstable bike and similar safety issues. There is little scope for accurate adjustment and even then the work may only last half-way though your next ride. And you still want us to fix this?

If you’re in the market for a bicycle, for yourself or a family member get on down to your local bike shop and get some advice about purchasing a safe, quality bike which is unlikely to have issues, but if it does, the bike shop will address for you. Shop around for sure, but if you want a safe, quality bicycle, then buy from a local bike shop.

Feel free to buy a toy bike from the toy shop, but don’t be surprised when your local bike shop quotes an economic price for a safe, quality repair or service.

In reality, if you’re a conscientious parent who maintains your child’s bicycle a cheap toy will cost you as much in the long run as a quality child’s bicycle, except it’s going to spend a lot of time in the workshop.

Support your local bike shop!!!

Toy? Or real bicycles from Giant and Cannondale

Toy? Or real bicycles from Giant and Cannondale

*BigBoxMart is a figment of English Al’s imagination and bears no similarity to any large, discount warehouse type shops you might be thinking of … no really …


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


 
footer Cannondale Seven Cycles Niner Bikes Haro Quintana Roo Electra Thule Racks Giant Bicycles Easton Bike Salsa Bicycle Chris King Precision Components Fox Racing Shox Mavic Wipperman Connex Chains Michelin Bike Tires Oury Grips Continental Bicycle Tires JORBA SRAM Shimano Descente IMBA FSA Pearl Izumi Hutchinson Giordana Light Motion Zipp Oakley
 

Copyright © 2010-2013 Halter's Cycles

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Jason King Studios | Web Design Princeton