Bicycle Mechanics

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Tech Tuesday: How to Adjust a Threadless Headset

Tech Tuesday

Make sure to visit the sponsors of this posts.. Problem Solvers!

One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

Today’s Tech Tuesday is based around adjusting your threadless headset. Threadless headsets are what 99% of new bikes come with these days, thanks to Cane Creek, and works with the bearings are pulled together by a nut placed inside of your fork steerer, then the stem is tightened down to hold everything in place.

Steps to Adjust your Threadless Headset

Step 1: Make sure that it is your headset that is loose. Often a loose headset is misdiagnosed by a loose quick release, brake caliper or front hub. We check the headset by grabbing the front brake only, rocking the bike front to back, if you feel movement you then turn the handlebars to the side and again rock the bike front to back.

Step 2: Once you are sure that it is your headset that is loose, or perhaps you have installed a new stem, loosen your stem steerer bolts so the stem can be moved side to side. You do not need to take the bolts out. Now tighten the top (stem) cap, you do not need to wrench down on it, but it should be snug. Rock the bike front to back to make sure the movement is gone.

Step 3: Tighten your stem down, making sure it is lined up with your wheel properly.

Step 4: Loosen the top cap a hair so not to cause the bearings to bind

Step 5: Move your handlebars side to side to make sure the headset is not too tight. If you feel binding repeat steps 2-4 but don’t tighten the top (stem) cap as much.

Step 6: Check over all the bolts and go enjoy and properly steering bike.

Kids Fix Bikes
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Introductions and Questions: Tech Tuesday

Kids Fix Bikes
With the wild success of Motivational Monday, and a ton of “tech” questions rolling in to our email what is a better way than to have a tech clinic day each week?!?!

Starting next week we will be starting to have a tech article every Tuesday. This could be steps to changing a flat, how to tighten a stem, what tubeless means, etc etc. For this to work, I need to hear from you. What tech questions do you want answered?

Thanks to Livestrong.com for the use of their photo

Preventative Maintenance : Lube Your Chain

Prolink Lube

Proper technique in lubing your chain will help prolong the life of your drive train also a clean bike is a happy bike!!

1. Pick a lube.  There are dozens and dozens of decent lubes out there depending where you ride.  I could write a whole post about the different lubes and when/where to use them.  For now consult a good riding buddy or a local mechanic.  Here in Charlotte I like to use ProLink for everyday riding, in the winter rainy months or when I head up to Asheville in the winter I swap over to a more wax based lube.

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Wrapping Your Handlebars

After playing most the weekend with video editing and voice overs, I decided to continue learning and pull YouTube video’s from TriSports for your viewing pleasure. (The guy isn’t bad looking either.)

Here is a great video on wrapping road handlebars:

A couple notes from my personal experience :

  • Go slow
  • Make sure to overlap half way as you go around the bar
  • Have all your supplies ready to rock prior to starting
  • Clean your hands, it is very frustrating to get done a perfect wrapping job to have grease marks every where.

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