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25

As a number of other posts have pointed out, your best option is to get yourself a proper repair stand. They are not that expensive, and you will find that you and your friends all get good use out of it. But, if you are determined to do it on the cheap, here are a couple of techniques that worked for me before getting a workstand: Turning the bike upside ...


24

The question of big box bike quality to one side, the question should be not whether it's "appropriate" to ride this bike, but whether you like it. Are you physically comfortable riding the bike? If so, great! If not, there are several questions here about bike fit that may help you get comfortable on the bike. A bike that doesn't fit you will never be a ...


22

Vegetable oils tend to "polymerize", that is become sticky and solid. Castor oil, for instance, is an excellent lubricant that was favored for racing autos and motorcycles for a long time. The reason it never became popular for regular cars was that it also built up a lot of sticky, cruddy goo. Racing engines are regularly torn down and rebuilt; no ...


20

I can tell you from experience that your best option is to buy a repair stand. I worked in a shop for a number of years and thought there was no way I could use a consumer grade stand when I left. I purchased park tool PRS-4W at cost before I left the shop and built my own stand from it. The consumer price is now $200 for that so that is obviously not ...


18

What brands do they stock? As well as relationships with customers shops have to have relationships with suppliers. You will find that dealerships are not dished out so easily and only the best bike shops can have the best brands. This is for bikes and for components. A brand to look for is Specialized, does the shop have Specialized components? Customers ...


17

According to lifehacker end of January or February: http://lifehacker.com/5440376/the-best-times-to-buy-anything-all-year-round why? Bicycles and outdoor gear "If you want the newest stuff, the time to look is in February and March, when the season's models come out. The stores start replacing fall and winter stuff with spring and summer models, and ...


16

Yeah, buy a used bike somewhere, either at a shop that has a bunch, or off or Craig's List or another "want ad" source. And, of course, there are yard sales. If you shop carefully you can probably pick up a serviceable bike for $50-100. But first study bikes a little to learn to recognize quality. Look at the cheap bikes at Walmart and some moderately ...


15

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute did a impact test of two sets of helmets. One of them cheap (US$20.00) the other expensive (US$200.00). The results are clear: there's no difference. Buy from a reputable brand. Just check: If it has the U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION (CPSC) label If it is confortable in your head (you'll use it more) BTW, ...


15

You can measure the stretch of a chain with a chain gauge (or just a ruler) Alternately - the chain links are 1 inch long, so measure 12 of them with a ruler, if they are more than 1/8inch longer than this then they are worn. You need to do this before it wears the rear cogs - it will cause the teeth to wear into sharp pointed spikes = need a new ...


13

A lot of bicycle repair shops I've been in have metal double hooks hanging on a rope or a light chain from the ceiling such as these: One hook goes under your saddle and the other on your handlebars on either side of the steering support. If you attach them a bit farther apart on the ceiling than the distance between your saddle and handlebars it makes ...


12

Summary: Did you crash it? Replace immediately. Did you drop it hard enough to crack the foam? Replace. Is it from the 1970's? Replace. Is the outside just foam or cloth instead of plastic? Replace. Does it lack a CPSC, ASTM or Snell sticker inside? Replace. Can you not adjust it to fit correctly? Replace!! (source: Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute)


12

Testing of helmets shows that there is little difference in impact protection. A better quality helmet, defined in this case as one that fits your head, is well ventilated, and looks good. A well ventilated helmet prevents you from overheating while riding, especially at high speeds. A helmet that fits stays put on your head during a crash. And one that is ...


11

Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing helmets after the crash, even if there are no visible cracks, just to be sure. If you see a crack, the helmet cannot do its purpose anymore. You might want to replace the helmet if it is getting old (a few years or so) even if there has been no crash. Remember, most of us are making money with our brain, so we need ...


11

The most common use for "mountain" bikes is city riding. Usually the Walmart variety are a bit overdone with shocks and the like (what the kids like to see), but probably better suited for city riding than actual off-road riding. As stated, if the tires are exceptionally "knobby" you may want to replace them with smoother ones (though not "slicks"). Tire ...


11

Probably what you want is a "hybrid" or "commuter" bike. Flat handlebars (like a mountain bike), smooth road tires (but a bit fatter than on a racing bike), usually the right stuff for mounting a rack and fenders. Go down to your Local Bike Shop and look at what they have. Make sure it's a store that basically just does bicycles, not a department store that ...


11

Recycled Cycles (in the University District area) sells used bicycles, I would also checkout seattle.craigslist.org I recommend going into a bike shop that just sells bicycles (Gregg's near Green Lake is great - but many others all around Seattle) and tell them what sort of riding you are planning (commuting, shopping and using the bicycle as ...


10

That's an impressive amount of mileage on a single chain. Especially on a narrow 11-speed one. I'm guessing that you keep everything very well maintained and don't ride in much wet weather? The two main problems you'll get from a worn cassette are: Skipping chain (either between cogs or jumping on a single cog) Premature chain wear (as the chain ...


9

Even if the frame is repairable, you should consider the forces that it experienced which led to its bending in the first place. Steel--and these Firenze frames were steel, Chromo-oly, I think--will accept a fair bit of abuse and isn't as prone to catastrophic failure as aluminum. I have had steel frames break, though--and it always happens at some point ...


9

When I drop my wife off at the train station, we use a folding bike and a trailer. She rides the folding bike there, and her suitcase rides in the trailer behind my bike. However, while inexpensive used folding bikes can be found, getting a trailer may be too expensive. You'll either need to carry someone on your bike, or find a way to bring along another ...


9

There are only a few measurements you need to be aware of when purchasing a new fork, particularly if you're avoiding suspension. If you don't need suspension, don't get it - it will only add cost and complexity, and a cheap suspension fork will be much worse than a rigid fork. The basic measurements you need to be aware of are: Headset type. Not truly ...


9

The three-foot extension noodle is absolutely obnoxious and a genuine safety hazard (for starters, how is another cyclist supposed to safely pass her?). The original point of these noodles, as I've seen them, is to cut one as wide as the widest part of your bike so cars could better gauge how much distance they needed to pass you. Perspective distortion and ...


9

While I'm not a road biker, I can speak from experience with mountain bike tires. The first spot to wear is the center of the tread. Why? It's the part that is ridden on the most. Increasing the width of your tire with increase the contact patch (the part of the tire touching the ground); therefore, your wear is going to be the same because that contact ...


8

Depends on your standards for 'never being passed by another cyclist under any circumstances whatsoever'. This metric only matters to the competitive part of your ego and if your ego insists on being larger than the whole universe and is not fed by success in other areas of life then it matters quite a bit. If you are able to push your body ruthlessly hard ...


8

I know that you can buy lots of things online and that prices are competitive online, however, you do need to know exactly what you are buying, and, given that you have posted this question here, you might not be there yet... Please visit your local bike shop, explain to the sales staff what you are looking for, what distance you are having to put in, ...


8

I lack experience with entry-level (walmart, etc.) bikes, so take my answer with this in consideration. I was shopping this month for a good commuter bike to replace my old road bike (more about it below). I don't own a car, so I'll use it 15 miles per day, almost every workday between april and october, as well as for carrying all groceries and various ...


7

I'm no racer so I'm probably speaking from a very different point of view than you were interested in. I have used Sram 9-speed chains for years on my touring/commuting bicycles. I have used the 971, 981, and 991 and haven't been able to see any difference in performance or longevity, either. With my wet-weather commuting here in the Seattle area where it's ...


7

When the chain has "stretched" it will no longer sit properly on the teeth found on the sprockets and chainrings, symptoms of this point being reached include the chain jumping off the chainring when sufficient pressure is applied to the pedal. This usually happens when you're trying to pull away after stopping (eg at a junction). Not only is this a pain, ...


7

If you hadn't mentioned "tiny frame" and back pain, I'd agree with mgb about minor changes to your existing bike instead of getting a new one. It sounds like you need a bike that fits you and you have a bike that's too small. There might be a few things that could be adjusted to make a too-small bike work better, but it's likely you're better off getting a ...


7

Wipe the bar with isopropyl alcohol. It evaporates completely and will leave dry rubber against a clean bar. If they slip and slide after more than about 24 hours left alone, the you may need to replace the grips (assuming they're not new). The high alcohol content is what makes hairspray effective, and using isopropyl alcohol cuts out the sticky residue ...


6

Between the ability to turn the bike upside down and having a trainer that I can hook it to, I never found the need to buy a repair stand (and my current bike was assembled completely from components, so I had to do everything to it that one gets to do to a bike!). I see that a repair stand would save a bit of time, so I would get one if I was doing repair ...



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