This is an easy ride through to The Corner Store Café on Sylvan Road, for a cup of coffee and then back again.
Everyone is welcome to join us on this ride, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
As additional regular rides are introduced, we will announce these on Facebook and on here on our web site, so keep an eye out for them.
Beginner Maintenance Courses
We are resuming our beginners maintenance courses, on the first Sunday of each month, from 9am to 11am.
This course will be covering the following topics:
Dates: May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug 4, Sept 8
Cycle Confidence Courses
Please give Rob a call at The Shed, as these courses are individualised as per your needs and requirements
Please give any requests or suggestions on focus areas please email email@example.com
Please go to our booking form page to reserve your place for one of our courses.
Look at our features in The Satellite newspaper:
Please send us any emails with questions which we will happily answer and update our FAQ section firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people forget which way to turn to loosen and tighten things. Almost all bicycle parts are tightened by turning to the right and loosened by turning to the left. One way to remember this is to recite, “Righty, tighty; lefty, loosy.” Don’t ask me who made this up—but it works. Exceptions: The left pedal on all bikes is reverse thread meaning you must turn it clockwise to remove it. Another oddball part is the right bottom bracket cup (chain ring side) on most modern bikes built in China/Taiwan/Japan/USA. This cup is also reverse thread so you must turn it clockwise to loosen.
The best place to store a bike is inside. Shelter will protect it from thieves and the weather. Left outside, a good bike can rust and corrode to dangerous condition in less than a year. This is especially true if you live near the ocean where salt in the air is super corrosive. If your apartment is small, simply install a bike hook and hang your bike from a wheel. These hooks are cheap and they’ll screw into any wood wall or stud in a plaster/sheetrock wall. Be creative: maybe you can hang your bike in a stairwell or a closet; above your bed (cool!) or in the kitchen? You can find a spot if you look a bit.
Bicycle tires lose air slowly. It’s just their nature. Because they don’t hold a lot of volume of air and because a significant amount of that air can seep out over a relatively short period of time (a week for a road bike tire and about two weeks for a MTB knobby), there’s a risk if you just ride without checking the tire pressure. If you bike on soft tires and you hit a pothole, rock or other obstacle, it’s possible to damage or ruin the tire, tube and worst of all, the rim. A too-soft tire also means that you’re working a lot harder and on a mountain bike, it can make for a wobbly, hard-to-handle ride. So, be smart and check your tire pressure regularly: every week during the season for mountain bikes and before every ride for roadsters.
Most people put too little pressure in road tires and too much pressure in off-road rubber. Road tires usually take from 95 to 125 pounds per square inch (psi). If you weigh less than 150 pounds, go toward the lower end and vice versa. For mountain tires intended for off-road use, a good range is from 35 to 45 pounds. Use the same rule for weight. With off-road rubber, you’ll find that less air means a softer ride and improved control because the tire has a larger footprint on the trail.
Carry your bike on a trunk- or bumper-mount car rack? Beware the exhaust pipe! It’s easy with these racks to mistakenly place the bicycle in such a way that the tire is near the exhaust. Then, as you drive, the hot exhaust can actually melt your tire, which will ruin it beyond repair. Always take the time to mount the bicycle so that the tires are well clear of the exhaust pipe.
Prevent getting dirt in the important drivetrain components on your bicycle by always laying it down on its left side.
On any bike with derailleur gears (bikes with multiple sprockets on the front and/or back); there are two gears that you should ride in rarely if at all. These are called crossover gears because when the bike is in these gears, the chain crosses over from the extreme left or right on the front to the extreme right or left on the rear. In these positions, the chain is most likely to wear the cogs in back and chain rings in front and it’s most likely to make noise and miss-shift. So, pay attention and try not to shift into the large chain ring/large cog and the small chain ring/small cog combinations.
A good way to end those embarrassing black marks you may find on your legs after every ride is to teach yourself to put your left leg down at stops. This way, the leg that’s down is on the wrong side to touch the chain and other drivetrain parts.
Squeaking sounds when you’re pedalling indicate unnecessary wear and tear on your drivetrain and the noise almost always comes from a dry chain. If you look at the chain and see bright, shiny links, you’ve waited too long to add lube. Always try to keep a thin film of lube on the chain and you’ll prevent rust, squeaks, poor shifting and premature drivetrain wear. Lubing the chain like this is one of the easiest bicycle repairs you can perform!
If the seat is adjusted correctly and it still bothers you, it could be many things. Have you tried a good pair of cycling shorts? These include padding and they’re worn without underwear so that there are no seams and only comfortable padding inside between you and the seat. Another possibility is that you haven’t conditioned your butt to riding. It usually takes a few weeks of regular riding to get used to sitting on a bike seat. If these steps fail, it’s probably a bad seat. Visit a shop and try other seat designs until you find one that feels great. Gel seats are very popular but there are plenty of designs to try.
Don’t make the mistake of riding without a simple bicycle repair kit. You need a pump that attaches to your bicycle and a small seat bag you can strap beneath the seat. In this bag, put a spare tube (same size as what’s on your bike), tire levers (use them to remove the tire), patch kit (in case you get two flats), and a mini bike tool and perhaps some cash, just in case. Even if you don’t know how to use the stuff, the kit can come in handy because a cyclist might come along and help you out (other cyclists love to lend a helping hand).
Sooner or later your chain will fall off the front sprockets while you’re riding. On most bikes, to get it back on, all you have to do is shift it on by moving the left shift lever as if you were shifting onto a bigger chain ring. Pedal lightly and finesse the chain back into place. This will spare your hands a serious dose of chain grease. If the chain drops when you’re climbing, head downhill for a bit, shift the chain back on and turn back.
Here’s the fool proof way to park your bike against a pole: Rest the side of the seat against the pole. Then backpedal the pole side pedal until it comes up (to about 12 o’clock) and touches the pole. Voila! The concave in the side of the seat keeps the bike from rolling forward and the pedal keeps the bike from rolling backward. So, short of an earthquake, the bike won’t slide, fall over, and get all dinged and dented.
Noises driving you batty when riding? A common source of clicks and creaks is the pedal cleat. Try spraying oil or rubbing some paraffin on plastic cleats to silence the annoying noise. If they’re metal cleats, apply a little grease (but remember to remove your shoes before walking into your carpeted living room). A loose crank arm can also creak. Tighten its bolt and the noise should end.
The number-one killer of bicyclists is riding against traffic (riding on the right side of the road). This is a killer because drivers entering roads rarely check to their right when pulling out. They assume it’s clear because they know cars don’t come from that direction. So cyclists riding there have no chance. Why do cyclists make this deadly mistake? Sadly, it’s because parents teach them to. Why? Because they’ve got their safety rules confused. They’re applying the adage to always walk facing traffic (a good rule) to bicycling—a lethal mistake.
Wear your helmet every time you ride, but please wear it right, too. The helmet should sit square on your head with the brow low and just above your eyes. Adjust the straps so they hold the helmet in place. If you can’t seem to adjust the helmet correctly, reread the owner’s manual, or ask friends, or visit a shop and ask for expert help. A helmet worn wrong will not protect you in a crash. Keep in mind, too, that helmets wear with age. You should get a new one at least every five years. And any helmet that’s been crashed should be replaced (they’re designed for only one impact).
Riding some roads and most trails, you’ll encounter obstacles that can easily knock your hands off the handlebars if you’re not holding the bars correctly. Remember to always have at least one thumb beneath the bars. That way, when you hit one of these nasty bumps, your hand may slip. But, it won’t slip off the bars. And that can be the difference between hanging on and planting your face in the dirt (ouch!).
When riding unfamiliar roads always remember that vehicles often kick dirt and debris into the road around corners. Keep an eye peeled for this and corner with care if you’re not sure what’s ahead.
When riding past parked cars, always carefully watch the side-view mirrors and driver’s-side seat. If you see a driver in there, expect that door to open, and leave yourself an out! Running into a door that someone opened in your path is called getting “doored,” and it can be deadly. Don’t let it happen to you!
When it hasn’t rained for a while and it suddenly drizzles, oil on the road rises to the surface, turning a formerly grippy road into a skating rink. Slowdown in these conditions. Also, even on dry days, there are often oil deposits on some roads at intersections where cars stop and idle. These are usually toward the middle of the lane. Watch for deposits like this and avoid them at all costs!
Whenever possible, bring the bike inside with you. If that’s not possible, consider doing your shopping or whatever some other time, because the risk of bike theft is great almost everywhere. If you absolutely have to leave the bike while you go inside for a few seconds, do this: Unscrew the adjustment barrel on the front brake until the brake is locking the front wheel tightly. Now, if some jerk tries to rip off your bike, he at least won’t be able to ride it (because it won’t roll at all). With any luck, he’ll think it’s a bad bike and he’ll leave it alone.
What you need
To fix a puncture, you’ll need tyre leavers, a pump (make sure it’s set up for the valves on your tyres), a repair kit (sandpaper, glue, chalk and patches) and / or a spare inner tube. Unless you have quick-release wheels, you’ll need a spanner
What to do
It’s far easier to fix a flat with the wheel off the bike, so start by disconnecting the brakes and removing the wheel from the bike.
1. Remove the valve cap (and, for Presta valves, the locknut at the base).
If air remains in the tyre, deflate it by pressing the pin at the top (for Presta valves, first unscrew the nut on the pin)
2. Use tyre levers to remove one side of the tyre from the wheel rim.
3. Slip the valve through the hole in the rim and remove the inner tube from the tyre.
4. To locate the puncture, pump air into the tube and listen for air hissing out. If the puncture is really small, you might need to submerge the tube in a tub of water and look for bubbles to find the hole. Once you’ve found the puncture, mark it with chalk, then examine the tyre to find the cause of the puncture. Remove any sharp objects like shards of glass or nails.
5. Use sandpaper or a metal rasp on the area immediately surrounding the puncture. This cleans dirt away and helps the patch to adhere.
6. Choose a suitable sized patch (smaller is usually better). Apply an even coating of glue to an area slightly larger than the patch. Allow the glue to dry until it’s tacky to the touch (about five minutes).
7. Remove foil from the back of the patch and press the patch firmly over the puncture, maintaining pressure for around a minute. Use the rounded edge of a tyre lever or your fingernail to press down the edges of the patch. The patch should fuse completely with the tube, leaving no loose edges.
8. To refit the tube in the tyre, it helps to replace one side of tyre onto the wheel rim. Inflate the tube just a little – so that it holds some shape. Position the valve through the hole in the rim, ensuring it’s straight and not on a slant. Fit the tube evenly back into the tyre. Don’t squash the tube – if it seems too big, deflate it slightly and work it around.
9. Work the tyre back onto the wheel rim. First check that the rim tape still covers the spoke nipples (bolts) in the rim. Next, hold the wheel in front of you with one side of the tyre sitting on the wheel rim and the tube fitted inside. The valve should be straight. Use your thumbs to work the tyre onto the rim, starting at the valve. Avoid pinching the tube between the tyre and the rim. If necessary, deflate the tube a little towards the end and, if it’s still too tight, use tyre levers to ease the last section onto the rim – carefully.
10. If necessary, check the tube isn’t pinched between the tyre and the rim: work around both sides of the tyre, pulling it back to look (a pinched tube will explode loudly when it’s pumped up).
11. Pump up the tyre (replacing the locknut on Presta valves). On Presta valves, tighten the nut after pumping. Replace the valve cap.
12. Replace the wheel and reconnect the brakes.
1. The best way to wash your bike is to get it up off the ground and into a stand. If no stand is available, hanging the bike from the saddle works.
Mix up a hot bucket of water and some car wash. There are specific bike wash products if you want to use these. Don’t use dishwashing detergent as many are loaded with sodium. Grab the sponge and start working over the big areas on your bike.
Then do the same with wheels, spokes and tyres. Here, take a bottle brush to get at hubs and the spaces between spokes on the rim.
If there are a few grease spots on the frame or components, put some degreaser on a rag and wipe off. Now can be a good time to degrease the chain as well, followed by another wash off around the area with soapy water. Never use a power washer on a bike.
Finish off with a rinse of clean water.
2. Once your bike is dry, consider giving it some protection from the elements. Car wax or specific bike polishes work great. Apply a layer to the frame and fork and allow it to dry. Buff it off with a clean cloth.
Avoid applying polishes to contact areas (i.e. saddles, grips, tape, tyres, etc.) and braking surfaces.
What you need
What to do
1. Like everything on your bike, you should look at your drivetrain once in a while. If it’s starting to look like a tar pit, it may be time to give it a scrub. Chains and cogs pick up contaminants from the road and build up. These nasties get down into the internals of your chain and when mixed with lubricants, create a grinding paste which rips through the rollers and pins.
Be wary of chemicals being used. Degreasers are fabulous for removing old lube from chains but they also strip moisture from your skin as well! Wear a pair of nitrile or latex gloves to combat this.
2. Grab your rag and your degreaser. Degreasers come in many forms. Citrus based degreasers are good at home and are environmentally friendly. Use them at full strength. Kerosene works well but please be careful with it in regard to your health and mother earth’s. If you like, products such as WD40 or Inox work as effective degreasers and are easy to handle.
Pour or spray an appropriate amount of degreaser onto a rag. Wrap the rag around the chain just in front of the derailleur on the bottom section. Rotate the pedals backwards and watch the mess come off. If the rag loads up, find a clean spot, apply more degreaser and repeat. If you have a heavy build up, an old toothbrush soaked in degreaser will assist nicely.
3. Many different types of lubrication are available on the market. Choose something which is formulated for bicycles. Lubricants suitable for other applications are marginally suitable. ‘Wet’ lubricants such as Tri Flow and Pedros Syn Lube are a traditional lubes which holds up well in wet conditions and can tend to hold onto chains longer.
‘Dry’ lubricants such as Rock ‘n’ Roll and Pedros Ice Wax are a lube designed to ‘clean’ your chain as you ride and reduce build up. They can be tricky to apply and the procedure listed must be followed. They are great for dry conditions.