DYI Bicycle Maintenance Tips for the Wheels

Bike month

In many ways, bike technology has progressed as has the capability for the average person to DYI repairs to their bikes. Almost all the specialty tools and gear are obtainable at the tool department or the bike accessory rack of the local department store. There may be a couple of optional specialty tools to purchase, and to do so you will need to go to a sporting goods store or a bike shop. Bicycle maintenance sounds daunting but has never gotten easier. Especially with the parts of the bike that takes the most abuse – the wheels.

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Nothing will end an anticipated day of riding quicker than a flat tire or a bent rim. In both cases, the repairs can be made done in the field.

So the first things to include in your tool bundle when on the road are the spoke wrench, a bungee cord and PatchNRide.

A bent rim is common when riding. Bumps and potholes will throw a wheel out of ‘true,’ causing it to rub on the brakes and making it difficult to pedal.

If it seems to be a minor alignment issue, with a little practice, you can fix it yourself.

spokes

•    First you need to have a spoke wrench. This is a small ring shaped tool with a notch in it that fits on the top of the spoke. Make sure you obtain the best wrench available and avoid attaining one that is cheap.
•    Turning a spoke wrench counterclockwise will loosen the spoke and clockwise tighten them.
•    Use the bungee cords to suspend the bent rim end of the bike in the air so it can’t move. Utilize a nearby tree branch, railing, swing set, etc. for support.
•    Rotate the wheel up to the point where one touches the brake.
•    The spoke closest to the brake should be loosened a turn at a time.
•    The two opposing spokes get tightened a turn.
•    Afterwards double check if the rim spins freely and make any adjustments if  is it does not.
•    Never leave spokes too loose and over tightening can snap them.

If the bend is severe don’t even bother trying to fix it, take it to a professional. Truing a rim incorrectly can damage it worse. But most of the time you will find that with a little practice minor truing is within your range of abilities.

For a flat tire, nothing can be easier than always carting PatchNRide. There’s no need to change a tire anymore as PatchNRide does just that. It fixes a flat in less than a minute, thus achieving a permanent solution for you.

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PatchNRide is the ultimate solution for any flat tire. In just 30 seconds, with completing its trouble-free process, you can continue on with your ride.

PatchNRide
It is as simple as that.

Dealing with Uphill Climbs

One thing that seems to put individuals off riding their bikes and  placing them away in their garage instead, is when dealing with uphill climbs.
Uphill biking
Let’s face it, even the most flat terrains can have a hill or two thrown in, while some regions are nothing but inclines. For someone who may not have been cycling for long, an ascent and descent can be a little daunting. The only way you’re going to improve your performance is to ride your bike more.

Address this with vigor and never avoid those inconvenient bumps and bulges on the roads again. You can take over the road no matter the incline that lies in front of you. You might be tempted to get off the bike when you meet a hill and walk instead, but doing so, will never have you make it to the top while cycling.

The main thing to remember is there are gears in a bicycle for a reason. The gears you use will depend upon the length of the climb and its steepness. The same scenario applies when descending.

 

gears
Only you can make it easier or harder to pedal according to the terrain you are on. Fight the trend to keep shifting gears as the gradient increases. Keep to a gear that enables your rhythm to remain intact and what is most comfortable for you. It takes practice to familiarize yourself with the ‘right’ gear to pedal up that hill without losing your balance or by going too slow.

uphill
Ideally, you want to be sitting down when you’re climbing a hill, especially if it is a long ascent. Standing up is inefficient and will tire you out faster. If you do need to stand up to stretch, rock from side to side and try to keep the bike going in a straight line.

To master any hill with less exertion, the best possibility is to keep the weight down. The less you weigh, the simpler it is to ascend up the highest of gradients. Weight also applies to the type of bike equipment being used. A feather-light bike frame and wheels make it much easier to climb up hills.

With training, practicing with your gears, having the right bike and keeping fit, you’ll be mounting elevations with enthusiasm in no time. Just sustain your focus and never avoid them again.

Uphill climbing

How to Buy a Bike

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Bicycling these days has made a comeback. It’s environmentally friendly and great for exercise.  However, if seeking new bike, it can be very difficult to pick the right one that is a fit. With so many varieties and types available to purchase as well as essential accessories, it’s clear that just buying the bike can be as exhausting as riding it. The bicycle has come a long way since its basic form as a way to get around.

 

Decide Your Needs

Bike Buying
Begin to contemplate on what use you need in a bike and how often are you going to use it. If one needs a bicycle to get to and from the office, they wouldn’t use a mountain bike. BMXs might not be the best choice for usage if the bicycle is being used for recreational purposes. Bicycles can be personalized in order to suit the customer’s needs, and many of the custom features come with the bike. Bicycles are no longer one size fits all and they can be customized to suit specific needs.

Research

homework
A smart move before purchasing the bike is to do your homework by researching. There are thousands of specialist bicycling magazines available that inform one all about different types of bikes, including their features. There are many websites with detailed information and even special clubs and Internet forums that allow one to share their experience. Biking can sometimes be a social activity and eventually the best way to learn about biking is going to a local cycling club. The members are more than willing to share their opinions of all the bikes and manufacturers in the marketplace.

Be Realistic with Budget

buy a bike
Once you have your heart set on the type of bike that meets your needs, the next step to take into account is your budget. Bicycles can widely vary in prices from a hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. However, some bike companies offer a discount to seniors, military or those in law enforcement so keep your eyes peeled for those specials. Make sure that money is put aside for essential items such as helmets, knee pads and other things such as PatchNRide. Nevertheless, these add-on features can escalate the cost.

Test Run and Compare

test run
There’s only one more thing to do before purchasing a bike: a test ride. When on the test ride, listen carefully for any strange noises emitting from the bike. An example of this would be squeaky brakes or a grinding sound. Pay close attention to how the bike handles as well as the response time of the brakes. If something seems wrong, choose another style.

Compare the bike you want at a number of stores and then head to their on-line websites. By doing so might keep you below your budget. Frequently these retailers have sales on-line that are not found in their stores. Some retailers offer free shipping.

After every step here, you are ready to purchase and begin your cycle regime.

Books to Read on Cycling

Anyone who has even the least bit of knowledge of cycling has heard of the Tour de France and other grand cycling races. These are literally thousands of books available on the subject of cycling. Now that the main competition season has wound down, the time is ripe for catching up on some reading.

Open Book
Whether you’re a hard core cycling fanatic or only a casual viewer, these top books on cycling may inspire you to dust off that old bike sitting in the garage and take it out for a spin.

The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel  

The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel

If in need to strengthen the fitness level or for those interested in basic training should pick up Cyclist’s Training Bible. Known as an endurance sports-elite coach, Joe Friel is very acquainted with the fitness of the pros. He has trained many triathletes and cyclists. The best seller serves as an enormous reference guide for those who have an interest in cycling, novices and for those in need of a refresher. Now in its fourth edition, Joe Friel has added more specifics of how to train and diets to follow.

The Paleo Diet for Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel  
The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel
The ‘Paleo Diet’ is based on the concept of eating as our Stone-Age ancestors did. In other words, if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither can you. Those training for serious endurance sports such as Triathlons took notice and began following it. Based on this philosophy, Dr. Loren Cordain co-wrote this book with famed coach of USA Teams Joe Friel. They modified the original diet and retrofitted it to the 21st century Cordain and Friel adapted the paleo diet to the needs of athletes and lifestyle that finally made sense. Many of the changes made are in the area of carbs. The book is a perfect fit for anyone who partakes in triathlon, cycling or lifts’ weights.

Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France by Max Leonard

Lanterne Rouge by Max Leonard
Many cycling fans look forward to the exposé stories behind those involved in the Tour de France. Books tend to base their stories in the behind-the-scenes’ action focusing on either the ‘The Rookie,’ ‘The Doctor,’ ‘The Sprinter’ and ‘The Superstar.’ The book, Lanterne Rouge¨: The Last Man in the Tour de France details on the interesting anecdotes of the Tour’s hidden and secret race. Lanterne Rouge represents the red lantern usually found on the rear car of a train.   The Tour has never officially recognized the cyclist who completes the stages of the Tour ‘dead last.’ The book is compelling in its following these unsung heroes with their amusing and poignant stories while the big battles are going on at the front of the peloton.

Weekend Recap and Results to the 2014 UCI Road World Championships

The 81st UCI Road World Championships race concluded this weekend with September 28th finalizing who the winner of the rainbow jersey would be.

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Held in Ponferrada, Spain the circuits most of the races took place in the rain with periods of the sun peeking through.  134 cyclists from 39 nations remained in the race right through to the last finish line of the UCI 2014.

Ponferrada map

September 26th

Junior Women’s Road Race  

The junior women battled it out for the world title in four laps that totaled 45 miles.  The circuit features two climbs at Confederacion and Mirador before a fast descent to the finish in Ponferrada.
Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark secured her second straight gold in the World Championships Junior Women’s category at a time of 2 hours 2 minutes 59 seconds.

Amalie Dideriksen

Junior Women’s Road Race Results

1.    Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
2.    Sofia Bertizzolo (Italy)
3.    Agnieszka Skalniak (Poland)
4.    Nikola Noskova (Czech Republic)
5.    Lisa Klein (Germany)

Under-23 Men’s Road Race

The under-23 men followed the same course as the ladies did earlier in the day but the circuit was increased to 10 laps totaling 113 miles.
Sven Erik Bystrom of Norway did his country proud by winning the gold. His time was 4 hours 32 minutes 39 seconds.  This was his country’s first gold medal in the UCI since 1997.

Sven Erik Bystrom
Under-23 Men’s Road Race Results

1.    Sven Erik Bystrom (Norway)
2.    Caleb Ewan (Australia)
3.    Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway)
4.    Tiesj Benoot (Belgium)
5.    Sondre Holst Enger (Norway)

September 27th

Men’s Junior Road Race

Continuing with the same circuit as the other road races, the men’s junior consisted of seven laps. The total ascent was 1,004 ft for each lap with a maximum 10.7% gradient.
Jonas Bokeloh (Germany) emerged victorious in the 70 mile circuit. His gold in the junior men’s road race at the world championships in Ponferrada clocked in at 3 hours 7 minutes. He was the first German to win in this category since 1996.

Jonas Bokeloh

Men’s Junior Road Race Results

1.    Jonas Bokeloh (Germany)
2.    Alexandr Kulikovskiy (Russian Federation)
3.    Peter Lenderink (Netherlands)
4.    Edoardo Affini (Italy)
5.    Magnus Klaris (Denmark)

Women’s Elite Road Race  

The course and the length for the women’s elite remained the same as the men’s junior.

The race was tight for the women and ended in a photo finish with a time of 3 hours 29 minutes 21 seconds.  It was determined that Pauline Ferrand-Prevot would be the holder of the gold and Germany’s Lisa Brennauer receives the silver.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
 Women’s Elite Road Race Results

1.    Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France)
2.    Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
3.    Emma Johansson (Sweden)
4.    Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
5.    Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)

September 28th

Men Elite World Title

The final race of the year at the UCI was a total of 158 miles consisting of 14 laps. The first 2 ½ miles were flat and progressed at Alto de Montearenas. The remaining distance in each lap was downhill for 2.8 miles and on to the finish in Ponferrada.

Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland claimed the rainbow jersey with a time of 6 hours 29′ minutes 07 seconds. His late attack on the pack proved to be an advantage as he beat out the favorite big-names everyone was watching for and predicting on taking this title. 2nd place winner, Simon Gerrans of Australia was one second behind.

Michal Kwiatkowski

Men Elite World Title Results

1.    Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
2.    Simon Gerrans (Australia)
3.    Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain)
4.    Matti Breschel (Denmark)
5.    Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium)

 

 Medal Tally for the 2014 UCI Road World Championships

Nation Gold Silver Bronze
Germany 3 2 0
Australia 2 2 2
Denmark 1 1 0
Norway 1 0 1
Poland 1 0 1
France 1 0 0
UK 1 0 0
USA 0 1 1
Ireland 0 1 0
Italy 0 1 0
Russia 0 1 0
Ukraine 0 1 0
Netherlands 0 0 1
Spain 0 0 1
Sweden 0 0 1

See you next year as the 2015 UCI Road World Champ will be held in Richmond, Virginia.

UCI Road World Championship Results – September 24th

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The Men’s time trial of the 2014 UCI Road World Championships was the only event of the day in which 64 cyclists from 38 nations took part. Tomorrow brings a period of rest that all are looking forward to.

The Wednesday’s cycling event in Ponferrada, Spain had a field that faced an approximate 29.27 miles (47.1 km) course. The time trial started in the center of Ponferrada with a flat section of 19 miles until reaching Posada del Bierzo before rising from 1,800 ft to an altitude of 2,300 ft. there was another climb at the 25 mile mark which marked the highest point of the route 2,326 ft and ran for 2 miles before a fast downhill run to the finish back in Ponferrada.

Bierzo
It took 56 minutes 25 seconds for Sir Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain to reach that finish line for the gold medal. For him it was a bittersweet moment. He not only won for the elite men’s time trial but what would be his ending time trial world championships race.

Bradless Williams
It was bike spokes to spokes most of the course with Germany’s Tony Martin, whom many considered a favorite. However, Tony Martin fell 26 seconds behind across the finish and obtained the silver, followed by Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands with 14 seconds and holder of the bronze.

Tony Martin
Wiggins has stated that his main targets for 2014 were the Paris-Roubaix one day Classic, the Tour of California and the road world championships, as well as riding the Tour de France in support of defending champion Chris Froome. Bradley Wiggins has now has won six world track titles, four Olympic gold medals, was the third place winner in the 2011 Giro and a winner of the Tour de France 2012.

Top Five in Men’s Elite Men’s Team Time Trial

1.    Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
2.    Tony Martin (Germany)
3.    Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands)
4.    Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)
5.    Rohan Dennis (Australia)

UCI Road World Championship Results – September 23rd

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Day three of the 2014 International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain featured the Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial and the Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial.

 

Ponferrada
The junior men handled the world title that was slightly shorter than seen with under-23 circuit men’s individual time trial from the previous day’s race. The course was 18.3 miles (29.5 km) in length punctuated with a quick but sharp climb close to the finish.

The taker of the gold in the Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial was Germany’s Lennard Kamna in a time of 36 minutes 13 seconds. He quickly excelled by over 44 seconds in advance of Adrien Costa of the USA who took silver and close to one minute ahead of bronze medalist Michael Storer of Australia.

Lennard Kamna
Lennard Kamna is having a very promising year of wins as he just recently was the recipient of the yellow jersey in the 38th Grand Prix Rüebliland held in Switzerland and took 1st place for Individual Time Trial in both the National Championships Germany and European Championship.

Tuesday served as the longest women’s time trial at 18 miles (29kn) after twenty years. The course was also lengthened by 4 ½ miles over last year’s contest held in Florence. This extra mileage gave an advantage to the winner the Elite Individual Time Trial race for women.

 

Lisa Brennauer

Lisa Brennauer of Germany would have placed herself out of the winner’s circle and the gold, had the course been the same distanced as in the past. She sped from 5th place after the 13-mile mark and went into overdrive, winning the race in 38 minutes 48 seconds. She cleared of Anna Solovey of the Ukraine by 18 seconds and was 21 seconds ahead of Evelyn Stevens of the USA.
On the podium, it was Germany all the way on September 23rd after Monday’s Australians taking center stage.

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Top Five in Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial

1.    Lennard Kamna (Germany)
2.    Adrien Costa (USA)
3.    Michael Storer (Australia)
4.    Filippo Ganna (Italy)
5.    Zeke Mostov (USA)

Top Five in Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial

1.    Lisa Brennauer (Germany)
2.    Anna Solovey (Ukraine)
3.    Evelyn Stevens (USA)
4.    Mieke Kroeger (Germany)
5.    Ann-Sofie Duyck (Belgium)