Lots of people ride bikes with either Shimano's Di2 shifting system or STEPS eBike system. Straight out the box both of these are designed to work perfectly (and they do) but with both systems you occasionally need to update the firmware or simply want to change how the drivetrain works to suit your riding style. For either of these, Shimano's E-Tube project is your best friend. What is E-Tube? Put simply, E-Tube is an app that lets you customise your ride settings to (almost) however you want them, update firmware and identify and fix any errors that may occur within the system. It's a one-stop shop to accessing the parts of your Shimano groupset that may previously have seemed untouchable. And if you're not using it, you're not getting the most out of your bike. There are two apps, the E-Tube Project and E-Tube Ride and the differences between them are as follows...
1. Hammer Ah, the tool that needs no explanation. Nobody ever picked up a hammer and didn't know what to do with it. You hit stuff with it, it's brutally effective at what it does and we love it for that reason. But dont get us wrong, the hammer is a deeply nuanced, multi-dimensional tool with plenty of applications. Can't get something to work properly? Hit it. Need something to budge that won't move for love nor money? Smack it. Frustrated with life and the way things are going? Hit something. What other workshop tool can offer that range? Not one. That's why the hammer has a well-deserved place on this list and at the top, where it should be. 2. Allen/Key keys The most important thing about hex keys is to have lots of them. As many sets as you possibly can. This is because you'll spend at minimum 50% of your time in the workshop dropping them and subsequently trying to figure out where the stupid things went. If you have five sets, you can leave the waiting
The bottom bracket is one of the most fundamental - if often overlooked - parts of a bike. For anyone who doesnt know, a bottom bracket is the bit that enables the cranks to turn aand features two sets of bearings (on on either side) with a hole through the middle for the axle. This hasn't always been the case. For years a bottom bracket was a sealed unit with two attachments on either side for the crank arms/chainrings. The great thing about those - called square taper bottom brackets - was that they were sealed units and would last for a really long time without any maintenance. And we dont have to tell you why not needing maintenace is great. But as time went on and bikes changed, so did the bottom bracket. Another of the most common types on bikes from a few decades ago was called 'threaded'. Simply, this was two units containing the bearings that threaded into the bottom bracket from either side - and could do so since the bottom bracket shell on the bike
If there was a benchmark for downhill and aggressive trail riding, it would probably look a lot like the Maxxis Minion. Designed 20 years ago by Maxxis team rider Colin Bailey, the Minion is largely unchanged from that original design and the results have been rolling in ever since. The DHF was the first version of the Minion, but it was later joined by the DHR to make the ultimate pair of gravity-defying tyres. To celebrate the anniversary, Maxxis is releasing a Minion DHF with special 'heavy metal' inspired graphics. Just like the normal DHF bit with some added attitude to make your bike a little more rock n roll.
Tubeless is one of those great ideas that’s actually made life a little easier. Sure, tubeless can be a bit of a pain as the tyres can occasionally be hard to seat on the rim, but doing away with inner tubes greatly lowers the chances of getting a puncture, and good sealant will have that puncture mended and ready to go far quicker than changing a tube anyway. The milKit system is fantastic because it lets you install sealant and check sealant level without having to remove the tyre from the rim, meaning once you’ve got that tyre seated the only time it should need to come off is if you puncture badly enough that you need a new one. It also removes that moment where either you’ve seated the tyre and have to remove a small section to pour in your sealant, or you put your sealant in before seating the tyre and really hope that you’re not about to repaint your walls in ‘gunk chic’. You laugh, but we’ve
Keeping your bike working properly from home isn't that hard, but it doesn require a little bit of work. Whether that's maintenance or prevention, spending some time looking after certain details will mean that you bike stays on the road performing as it should for as long as possible. We've gathered a few more of Park Tool's fantastic videos here that touch on a couple of different ways to see whether your bike needs some care and attention, all without leaving the garage.
The Madison saddle range has been around for a long time and proven to be very popular, but we figured it was time to mix things up a bit and work on some new ideas. There are heaps of new developments coming over the next few months, but the first of these is the new Freewheel range. These are saddles designed for riding in a more upright position rather than for anyone who's out on a road bike looking to ride fast with their head down. There are six new models in the Freewheel range, based around four different designs - U100, U200, U300 and U400. They're designed to fit a broad spectrum of rider shapes and they're all unisex rather than gender-specific. They come in four different lengths with U100 being narrowest up to U400 widest. Length-wise the U100 and 200 are standard fit length saddles with a simliar shape to the traditional gents saddle, whereas the U300 and 400 are short-fit length which are similar to traditional ladies saddles. All the Freewheel
The parts and components that come on your bike might not be the best for the way you ride. Here's our guide to making sure your bike works for you.
If you set aside the things that keep you safe – like a proper helmet and tyres that actually grip the road in all weather conditions – it’s probably fair to say that bib shorts are the most important part of kit when it comes to cycling. They’re the most fundamental piece of clothing when comes to keeping you comfortable on the bike, and the fit, chamois and construction can make a 5hr ride a breeze rather than a trial. Pearl iZUMi’s shorts have a big reputation in the cycling world and for good reason. Don’t forget that for years Pearl had a huge presence in the professional peloton, with US Postal, Garmin Sharp (in various iterations of the team name) and BMC all wearing their clothing. Working with guys who regularly spend 5+ hours on a bike tends to give you a good insight into what shorts need, and Pearl iZUMi has well and truly put that into practice when making the PRO shorts.