Category Archives: Series

“How To” Series

There’s myriad topics I have happily helped people learn to do themselves in my decade managing bike stores. This series is designed to address some of the toughest and most common. I hope this somewhat limited and unidirectional medium can allow me to help you too!

(If there is no link to the topic; check back soon – it’s coming!)

How to:

Cyclocross Tips Series

I get a lot of traffic looking for info on Cyclocross. Fitting, tires, and other set up tips are among just some of the topics that bring people here.

So, with that in mind; I have compiled all of my ‘cross posts in one place and will be adding more as time progresses. So – here you go: one stop shopping!

If you have questions or suggestions for a topic; leave it in the comments and I’ll address it as best I can. Thanks for your loyal reading!

Bike Mistakes Series

Here for your easy browsing; an index of the posts I have created (and the planned posts for future publishing) on what has turned out to already be a popular topic. I hope you find all this helpful in making your bike more comfortable, run more smoothly, and last longer.

Have any suggestions? The comments section of this post is the place to leave them; so comment away!  But most importantly – enjoy.

Bike Mistakes – Part 1: Handlebar

This is the first in a series on common mistakes on your bike…

I’ve been thinking about a series of posts about common mistakes that most everyone (even some shops) makes on bicycles. I’m going to give this a stab here and see how it goes. I’ll be focusing on mechanical mistakes as well as those that may effect comfort, handling, or safety. I don’t know how many parts there will be – this will just sort of evolve. If you have a suggestion or something you’d like to see covered: leave a comment and let me know.

IN THE BEGINNING…

So, let’s start at the front of the bike – and with an important contact point: the handlebar.

This is the control center of your bicycle. Almost every control command; braking, shifting, and steering, must go through the bars in one way or another. Sure, there are other ways to control the bike by shifting weight and changing position on the bike – but when you really think about it; most of these maneuvers require some sort of interaction with the bars too. So, how do you set up your handlebars for maximum effectiveness? I’ll start with road drop-style bars and the move to flat and riser mountain-style bars.

bike-handler01First, some guidelines: Always use caution and NEVER do this while riding the bike. Preferably you will have the bike set in an indoor trainer for these steps for easy adjustment and self-evaluation. Always use a torque wrench set to manufacturer’s recommendations when tightening bolts – especially on carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum. This is implied any time I say to tighten the bolts. Any longer, nearly 99% of bolts on bicycles are metric. Use a metric wrench. If you are not certain about anything, consult with an experienced, professional mechanic.

And this article is by no means a substitute for a bike fitting or visit to the mechanic. This is meant to be a guide to help you identify some of the mistakes that may be present on your bike and give you a starting point to solve them. Consult with a professional for a solution to your unique problem. I mean, come on – you really expect me to solve your problem through a blog? 🙂

Tires 101 Series

…EVEN STUFF YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW…

 This series kind of came together after the fact as I realized how much complementary material I had written about bike tires. I think this is especially helpful when you have been disappointed with the tires you’ve been riding or just know you need something different.

As a whole; the individual posts will address much of what I cover when I talk in person with a client about their options for tires. Of course; that exchange is much more conversational and often less exhaustive because we can assess needs and narrow down the options in a hurry.  Here we don’t have that luxury. But; check it out – skim the sections that don’t apply to your situation – and enjoy the rest.

  • Choosing the Right Road Tire – Simplifying the myriad options into categories and addressing their unique qualities and characteristics to hope to bring some clarity to the chaos!
  • The Truth about Tire Pressure – Because it’s not as simple as just pumping your tires up to the maximum pressure on the sidewall. (And why more is rarely better…)
  • Fascinating Tire Test Results – Some surprises and some confirmations. Putting some data behind the speculation.
  • Worn Tires and Flatting – Sudden chronic flatting can be caused by excessive tire wear. A quick photo guide to the most common types (all seen on one summer Saturday in the shop…)
  • Tubeless Cyclocross Tire Tips – A “guest post” with some great helps on setting up wheels to run tubeless for cyclocross season.

    Got any lingering questions? Something you’d like to see covered in detail? Leave your idea in the comments and it may become the next in the series!

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