Maintenance – How to Prevent and Fix a Puncture

We have all had that sinking feeling. Flat tyres are something you accept with bike riding, but there are several ways to prevent and reduce the chance of a puncture on a bicycle tyre. Whether you are running tubeless tyres or an inner tube there is still a risk of a puncture, and several ways to repair a flat.

This blog post considers 7 Tips for preventing, fixing, and repairing a bicycle puncture on all kinds of wheel setups.

Prevent Punctures – Tyre Choice The single most influential factor in preventing a bicycle puncture is your choice of tyre.

Not all bicycle tyres are made equal. Most confusingly, even those with the same name are often not of an equal quality level. Some tyres feature inbuilt puncture protection belts made of Kevlar or a similar fibre—these help to avoid penetration of the tyre and puncturing of the inner tube. When looking at tyre reviews and choices, look out for those tyres with inbuilt puncture protection.

It is worth noting that when you buy a new bike,…

Personal Care – Treating and Recovering from Road Rash

For road cyclists, road rash is unfortunately something you are likely to suffer at least a few times during your riding career. Icy lanes, bad drivers, greasy roundabouts, and tyre blow-outs; they are just a few of the potential hazards that could leave you with the painful red abrasion to your hips, elbows, and knees.

I have had my fair share of road rash. The worst was the 2014 season—plagued by crashes. During that season, I learnt a few tips to help the healing process of tarmac abrasions.

1. Get it Clean. Straight Away Tarmac is not a hygienic or sterile surface and getting bits of grit in your road rash and cuts will prolong the healing process, and potentially lead to infection. It hurts like hell but wash your cut out thoroughly in the shower after the accident, and use antiseptic wipes to really get it clean, before you do anything else.

2. Apply Antiseptic Salve Road rash unfortunately takes a long time to heal and can often leave a scar. The best remedy is to try and keep…

Review – Hiplok Z-Lok / Z-Lok Combo Lightweight Bike Lock

Bikepacking, cycle touring, and ultra-distance cycle racing are all rapidly growing pursuits; whilst café stops, bike errand runs, and quick pop-to-the-shop bike trips are thankfully also ever-increasing…

All these pursuits and activities require the need for you to leave your bike unattended outside a shop or café on a frequent basis. To keep your ride safe, you need a lightweight lock that is easy to transport but will deter opportunist theft as you head inside. The Hiplok Z-Lok and Z-Lok Combo are two simple but remarkably effective bicycle locks that can fulfil this demand with colour and style.

Hiplok is a UK-based brand, who became known for their pioneering wearable chain lock. That Gold Standard lock, and the other lighter weight chain locks within their range, are well-made pieces of security equipment—but all of them are hefty in weight and bulk. The Z-Lok and Z-Lok Combo are a minimalist solution to a bicycle lock, and a great diversification within the brand's line-up.…

Recipe – Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oat Bars

Flapjacks are a staple of the cyclist diet. The fact that my High Energy Flapjack Recipe is one of the most viewed blog posts every month confirms that. How can you create variations of the oat based favourite though—to add greater variety and interest?

This recipe is for a different kind of oat bar—held together with banana, eggs, and coconut oil—rather than the traditional flapjack honey/syrup and butter.

I am not going to claim that it is healthier or better, but it is a great alternative. The less crumbly nature of the bars also means they are ideal for jersey pockets.

Ingredients2 medium bananas1 large egg1 cup rolled oats½ cup wholemeal flour¼ cup coconut oil¼ cup dark brown sugar1 tbsp peanut butter1 tsp vanilla essence½ tsp baking powder¼ tsp salt1 cup of your flavouring of choice: choc chips, chopped dates, raisins, etc.

MethodPreheat the oven to 180 CelsiusGrease a 6-inch square baking tin with butter or coconut oilMash the bananas in a large mixing bowl and add in the dark…

Good Reads – 'The Grand Tour Cookbook' by Hannah Grant

"They are what they eat" says Hannah Grant—at the time Head Chef for Team Tinkoff-Saxo – one of the most successful professional cycling teams on the UCI World Tour circuit.

It is a motto that I subscribe to very strongly. Food is an integral part of cycling. Food is your fuel, and your conditioning agent, as well as your recovery. Energy bars and gels can do so much, when you are on the bike; but it is what you eat the rest of the time that really makes a difference.

Cycling teams realised the importance of nutrition some time back, and that is why a number of the top teams now have Michelin level chefs working for them; their role is to ensure that the nutritional intake of the riders is absolutely optimal for their performance.

Hannah Grant is one of those top chefs, and just as the mechanics at Team Tinkoff-Saxo played an integral role in preparing the bikes for the riders each morning and evening, Hannah has a fundamental role in ensuring that the riders are correctly…