Ridley Orion Chain

Tech Tuesday: Keeping Your Bike Out of the Shop

This is the time of year that all you want to do is ride your bike, not take it in for maintenance. One of my favorite things I would tell good clients was to ride the bike to the shop for a quick check over. Make it part of a monthly or quarterly event. As long as there isn’t anything rattling or falling off you’ll be able to ride there, tell them exactly what might be acting different since you JUST rode it, example “the rear is shifting slow going to easier gears” or “my crank clicks going up hill.” It also makes it so the shop understands you don’t want to leave your bike there. *Normally calling a head and making sure your favorite mechanic is okay with this would be recommended, along with bringing their favorite 6 pack.*

Fastest wearing items on a bike:

  • Chain
  • Cassette
  • Tires
  • Bar tape/grips
  • Chainrings
  • Seals on suspension (fork and shock)

Using Strava for Bike Maintenace

Strava Bike Details

While I am a data geek, and spend too much time on Strava I have found that it is also an easy way for you to keep track of your equipment. Depending on your riding style you are normally able to start gauging how quickly you wear your equipment. It is also a good reminder of getting check overs. I’m able to look back since the first of the year and figure out what bikes have the most milage, do a mental check of which bikes have gotten love and which haven’t. Even if it is as simple as checking chain lube, tire wear and chain stretch. It will help save you money and headache as the season rolls on.

 

2012 RockShox SID 29er

Tech Tuesday: Why Would a Hydraulic Brake Lock Up?

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!

Question of the week from Facebook: Why would my rear hydraulic brake be locked up after sitting for a month?

In my many years of riding I’ve never had a hydraulic brake lock up on a personal bike, but have seen it happen on a few customers bikes that they drag in with the wheel stuck and not rolling!

The above can happen for many reasons, all of them are prevented with proper cleaning and servicing your brakes just like you would your car!

  • A blown seal can cause your fluid to not stay in the chamber it belongs in, and pushing the pistons to the “on position”
  • Dirt or surface rust can make your pistons also get stuck. This happens the least, but cleaning your bike every once in a while can prevent this
  • Dramatic change in temperature. If you have any air in your hose lines it can expand in heat, this can cause your pistons to also get stuck to the “on position.” This can be prevented with proper bleeding of the brakes.

Tech Tuesday

Problem Solvers Frostbike

Problem Solver Tech Tuesday: Tools of #Frostbike

 

Problem Solver Frostbike

Over the past weekend at Frostbike in Minneapolis I spied some very useful tools for shops and mechanics world wide should know of.

Park Tool INF-1 Shop Inflator

Dual presta & shrader valve inflator that connects to your shop compressor.

Park Tool Shop Inflator

Park Tool BX-2 Blue Box Tool Case

Do you travel with your tools? Do you want a reason to buy more tools. Here it is. It won’t be cheap, but hell it is big, blue and holds tools.

Park Tool BX-2 Blue Box Tool Case

Park Tool VC-1 Valve Core Tool

If you work with deep section wheels you’ll understand this. No more screwing up your valve extenders and it also does valve cores. Every tubular gluing, deep dish riding, mechanic should have this.

Park Tool VC-1 Valve Core Tool

Thanks Problem Solvers for sponsoring this and for being awesome at Frostbike.

Problem Solvers Frostbike

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Tech Tuesday: Difference in Square Taper Bottom Brackets

Tech Tuesday

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

Here at Bike Shop Girl I want women (and guys) to feel empowered and to have a good grasp of what they are talking about when it comes to tech, mechanics and goofy bicycling slang. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

Do you know the difference in ISO and JIS bottom brackets?

Surly Pugsley Fat Bike

Tech Tuesday: What the Heck is a Fat Bike

Here at Bike Shop Girl I want women (and guys) to feel empowered and to have a good grasp of what they are talking about when it comes to tech, mechanics and goofy bicycling slang. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

Tech Tuesday

One of the latest bikes to enter my fold as a demo bike for my outside sales position with QBP is a Surly Pugsley. As I bring the bike to more and more events or am seen on the side of the trails with this fine steed I’m often asked “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT??” If you can’t tell from the photos, the tires are freaking huge. 3.8 inches to be exact.  Compare that to a normal mountain bike tire which is on average is 2.1.

Fat tire photo

Why Do You Need Tires So Big?

Think of a truck that goes through mud, rocks or dirt. Or think about any 4×4 vehicle. They have larger tires with more volume, right? The low pressure, high volume tires give you a great flotation across all types of loose terrain. You get better traction, can forget about worrying about that “perfect line” and pave new trails through the woods. Think of it as the true all terrain bicycle.

What the Downfalls?

The biggest downfall is the weight. While I know of some folks that have decked out their rides to be around 25-26 lbs for a fully geared bike. That is still pretty heavy if you need to hike a bike.

The selection is a bit limited. I personally know of only four manufactures that make bikes to fit this size of tires. Salsa, Surly, FatBack and 9:Zero:7. The only tires I know of are made by Surly or just released 45NRTH.

Finally, you won’t find this at most local shops. If you end up purchasing one I recommend to order a few extra tubes and maybe a tire or full spare wheel as most local bike shops won’t keep this type of stuff in stock.

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

I work for Quality Bicycle Products, and have a deep association with Salsa, Surly and 45NRTH. That doesn’t mean I don’t give my complete and true thoughts on the product. If anything I’m going to be harder on the product because of these facts. This is my disclaimer. Love, Bike Shop Girl
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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.

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Tech Tuesday: Check Your Suspension

While riding around in circles tonight at a local 3.5 mile mountain trail I realized something was off more than normal. My pedals were hitting things that I normal don’t and my turning felt slow. As I slowed to a stop I watched my fork spring back to life after I unweighted the front end. This meant only one thing, my air suspension fork didn’t have enough air in it or the air was equal between the top and the bottom chambers.

I finished out my lap and thankfully had thrown a shock pump in my car a few weeks prior, always forgetting to check my fork’s pressure before the ride!

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!

With technology progressing it is easy to forget the bicycles we are riding today are very advanced and need some thought in maintaining them at the level they belong. It is often that people come in to the bike shop with 10% of the air they need in their suspension, wondering why their bike feels like they are riding a flat tire. Or even better is when they ride their bike for 2-3 years and never take the time to get it serviced, when the estimate of replacing that rear shock comes in they are sticker shocked. What they don’t know is that your suspension (especially air shocks) needs serviced based on hours of ride time. Your bushings between your shock and fork wear out, your fork needs new oil and so on. Technology brings more things to pay attention at and keep up with maintenance.

Our friends over at London Cyclist recently posted a great how to for checking sag in on a mountain bike fork.

Suspension on a mountain bike reduces rider fatigue and improves the bike wheels contact on rough terrain. When adjusting, your aim is to balance between a soft and a hard setup. Too soft will result in your bike wheels not travelling far enough in a dip and too hard will cause your bike to bounce off rough terrain.

The sag determines the amount that the mountain bike suspension compresses.

Andreas did a great job, so instead of rewriting what he has already covered please check him out. In the mean while I have a friend coming over where I will be putting together a video of the exact how to for a full suspension bike!