Posts Tagged ‘safety’

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

Layer Up

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Riding in winter, whether commuting or communing with nature, can be a pleasurable and generally warm experience.

Riding for pleasure ...

Riding for pleasure …

The clothing you wear will make a fundamental contribution to your ride comfort.

The principle for keeping warm is layering your clothes. That is, wearing thin, but thermally efficient apparel, suited to its position.

... or commuting, needn't be an unpleasant experience even in the cold

… or commuting, needn’t be an unpleasant experience even in the cold

Clothing should also control perspiration and wick it away from areas which are susceptible to wind-chill, especially your chest which is in a permanent 15-20mph gale while you’re riding your bike.

A good base-layer helps maintain warmth and comfort

A good base-layer helps maintain warmth and comfort


Keeping your torso warm begins with a base-layer tee- or shirt, which not only provides a thermal component, but also a means of wicking perspiration, because you will sweat even on a very cold day, away from areas which are liable to cooling from wind-chill and away from contact with your body. A good cycling base-layer will also incorporate some form of wind blocker in the front of the piece.

Good base-layers are available with short or long sleeves and various neck treatments. The best will feature a wind-blocking layer on the front of the chest and arms, and panels which will wick perspiration away from areas which will be subject to severe wind-chill.

Base-layers designed for jogging and other outdoor activities may not feature a wind-proof layer, so check if you’re thinking of incorporating this type of garment into your layering scheme.

A winter jacket and base-layer might be all you need

A winter jacket and base-layer might be all you need

A good winter outer jacket will resist the elements and provide yet another thermal barrier to keep you comfortable.

This garment has to balance rain-, wind- and cold-resistance, and the ability to wick away any perspiration which builds up and remain comfortable to wear on a bike. This means that they are constructed from sophisticated and highly technical fabrics which can make their purchase quite an investment.

Bib tights and knickers ... it's up to you

Bib tights and knickers … it’s up to you

In addition, most jackets incorporate reflective strips and piping and are also available in hi-viz versions so you can be seen as well remain comfortable in low light conditions.


When it comes to keeping your legs warm the shop favorites are bib tights and knickers.

Bib tights stay in place better and also avoid chilly gaps developing when you’re riding, keeping your midriff and lower back warm. Some prefer the knicker style with long socks. Both are available with varying degrees of insulation and wind-proofing.

You may prefer to wear long tights without the bib. These are available with or without a seat pad, useful if you intend to wear the tights over a regular pair of bike shorts.

No matter which gear you choose you will find that if you wear too much at the start you will quickly overheat with its subsequent perspiration/wind-chill problems and nowhere to stow excess clothing when your on the road or trail.

A wind-proof hat should keep you toasty

A wind-proof hat should keep you toasty

Staying warm and comfortable on a bike in cold and wet weather is a balance which is helped to a large degree by the right choice of apparel.


Keeping your head and ears warm will help keep the rest of you warm. Most cycle helmets are designed to enable the maximum air flow, great in the summer, but freezing in the winter.

Use a close fitting cap or hat which covers the ears and, if possible, a wind blocking, rain resisting layer on the front. Some caps feature a peak which can help prevent rain dropping onto your face.

Halter’s sells quality winter cycle clothing and accessories by, Cannondale, Castelli, Gore, Pear Izumi and other quality manufacturers.

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

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

Learning to ride a bike?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

It’s just like riding a bike … you never forget. Well that’s not always true …

It's not just children who want to learn to ride a bike ...

It’s not just children who want to learn to ride a bike …

Whether you just want your child to learn to ride in a structured setting or you’re an adult who never learned to ride a bike or just need a confidence boost, this could be for you:

 ... adults need a boost too

… adults need a boost too

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is dedicated to making our community and the surrounding area safer for bicyclists and walkers of all ages. Its trustees and members work to influence government officials to install more sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crossings.

The WWBPA funds Share the Road signs and bicycle racks, holds an annual community bike ride, and develops educational programs.

The WWBPA was established in January 2006 and is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. All memberships and contributions are tax-deductible.

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

Knog Rear LED Lights

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Knog Blinder4 LED rear light

Knog Blinder4 LED rear light

Summer is a coming, but we’re still big exponents of using a rear light even on the sunniest day, let alone during the encroaching evening.

Being seen from the rear is crucial on a bicycle. Of course, it’s good to be seen from the front as well, but you do have the advantage of seeing what’s coming at you.

Even on the brightest day a bright red light flashing towards the rear will enhance your security. Imagine a sunny day as your country lane dives under the trees and an SUV driver, complete with dark, dark shades just seeing a pool of dark under the branches as they close in behind you at 50mph … that red strobe in the darkness can only help.

Lighting technology is developing by leaps and bounds and none more-so than in the field of rear lights. A good front light is still going to cost you more than $100, but an effective, rechargeable rear light is going to cost you less than $50.

Remember that these lights can be recharged at least 600 times. Imagine the cost of 600 sets of DuraCells …

Knog Blinder4V

Knog Blinder4V

Most of us at the bike shop have taken to the Knog range of Blinder lights.

All are rechargeable via a USB slot on your computer or USB phone charger and give several hours on flash.

They are available in a number of configurations, the Blinder4, the Blinder4V and the minimalist Blinder1.

All three fit, with what amounts to a sophisticated elastic band, onto the seat post of your bike. They can also fit elsewhere on the bike or on a helmet in most cases.

The Blinder4 is best if you don’t have a lot of seat-post showing and the Blinder4V if you have more room.

Knog Blinder1 - a good thing in a small package

Knog Blinder1 – a good thing in a small package

The Blinder1 is smaller and is just right if you are looking for an effective light-weight rear light.

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