Showing posts from January, 2023

Maintenance Tips – Tubeless Bike Tyre Mounting and Sealing

Tubeless tyres offer a huge number of advantages over their tubed counterparts – including greater grip, puncture resistance, and a lower rolling resistance. To find out more about the benefits of tubeless, have a read of my post ' Going Tubeless on Road Tyres '. However, tubeless tyres can be a right pain... most notably to fit, but also when they do not seal out on the road or trails. After fitting more tubeless tyres than I care to count, and having plenty of dramas of my own, I thought I would share some Top Tips for Tubeless: for mounting, repairing and maintaining the tubeless system. 1. Mounting – Use two wraps of tubeless rim tape Most tubeless conversion kits recommend one compete wrap of the sealing tape (such as Stan's Yellow Tape). I recommend doing two wraps. You will use twice as much tape, and add a tiny amount of weight; but the added friction on the tyre bead and the better coverage of the rim bed makes it far easier to inflate the tyre. It also

Workshop Focus – When To Replace Your Bike Chain

Your bicycle chain is the link between the power you put down through the crank arms and the cogs on your rear wheel—that when turned, propel your bike forwards. That means your chain gets a tough time; it transmits all that power as it bends and stretches around your drivetrain. A bicycle chain is composed of inner plates and outer plates, held apart by pins, and with a bushing/roller on the pins that allows the chain to roll around cogs. All these metal surfaces touch each other as the chain works, which means friction. Bicycle chain lube goes a long way to helping reduce the friction on a bicycle chain (read my previous blog post on ' How to Choose Your Bike Chain Lubricant '. But, over time that friction will wear away at the inner-plates, pins and bushings of your chain, causing it to streeeetch… Chain stretch is a bit of a miscommunication of what is actually happening with your chain as it wears. Your chain does not stretch as such, but the distance between two bushings/

Review – Bellroy All-Conditions Phone Pocket & Card Wallet

Way back in 2015, I did my first review of a Bellroy Phone Pocket; since that day one of these svelte leather wallets has been in my trouser or jersey pocket wherever I travel or ride. My last Bellroy All-Conditions Phone Pocket has travelled across continents, been on hundreds of local adventures (and countless trips to the shops) — last year it had its eighth birthday, marking a quite extraordinary level of everyday durability. Given the unquestionably high quality of the Bellroy Phone Pocket, I was excited to hear of its re-release into the Bellroy range, following a few years hiatus. Whilst my original All-Conditions Phone Pocket is far from finished, I decided this updated and improved Version 2.0 would smarten things up in my everyday carry, and I was intrigued to see the new design developments… The new All-Conditions range includes two sizes of the legendary Phone Pocket, as well as the All-Conditions Card Pocket. The three new designs feature a sleek and elevated style, with p

Book Review – The Road Book Cycling Almanack 2022

In 2018, a team of dedicated cycling enthusiasts took over the colossal task of delivering an annual publication, seven days after the final race of any given season: a book 900+ pages in length, that takes you on a deep dive into the year's cycling calendar and reflects on the highs and lows of the year's bike racing. The Road Book is beautifully put together, with care and attention to detail. It includes in-depth race reports, exclusive essays, team profiles, imagery, trivia and infographics to document the events of the past season. With exclusive first-person accounts from cycling's biggest stars: including Tour de France stage winner Magnus Cort and female star Lorena Wiebes; as well as contributions from the best cycling writers and journalists—the book is a bible of cycling knowledge and passion. The 2022 edition, the fifth in the series, is packed with race reports, quirky statistics and infographics from the entire calendar of the men and women's World Tour ra

Review – Muc-Off Disco Alloy Bar End Plugs

Bar end plugs are likely something you haven't considered at length before; a set of two plastic plugs usually comes in a pack of new bar tape, and generally they do the job... until they fall out and bounce into the verge. The Muc-Off Disco Alloy Bar End Plugs add plastic-free bling to your bike — in a bar end plug that should last a lifetime. £20 (RRP) is a lot of cash for a pair of bar end plugs, considering most bar tape is around that price; view the Muc-Off Disco plugs as an investment though — matching the colour scheme of your bike and ensuring you don't leave plastic plugs strewn all over the trails. Unlike a simple push-in bar end plug, these alloy bar end plugs use a rubber washer that is squeezed by an integrated bolt (tighten using a 4mm hex key) to expand into the internal diameter of your handlebar — holding the plug securely in place. With different sized rubber washers for different diameter handlebars tubes, these will fit any road, MTB or gravel bike. T

Kit Care – How To Clean and Cure Smelly Cycling Shoes

It is that time of year when your cycling shoes begin to pong. Over the summer months, a build-up of sweat, dirt and body oils creates the ideal environment for bacteria to breed in; then, with the constant damp of winter, your cycling shoes may never fully dry out—letting the bacteria multiply and emit unpleasant odours. Smelly cycling shoes are not uncommon, even in almost new footwear. I have taken new pairs of shoes on month-long touring trips and been on the verge of throwing them away at the finish because the stench is too bad. Bacteria build-up in shoes not only causes smells; if you leave your cycling shoes dirty, bacteria will lead to the decomposition of the materials and stitching, especially in synthetic and natural leathers. Removing bacteria will therefore reduce the chance of the fabrics rotting and extend the life of your footwear. The good news is that I have found a solution to cure smelly cycling shoes; as well as a means to keep them fresh forever more… Nikwax S