Keeping on top of component wear is one of the most important things when it comes to keeping your bike on the road (or off-road) for as long as possible. The drivetrain is a key area to focus one, because the main components there in the chain, cassette and chainrings all have an effect one one another and when one begins to wear it will speed up wear on the other parts (as well as the jockey wheels on your rear derailleur). In the below video Truman from Park Tool show you how to check the wear on your cassette without having to change the chain and ride around. Cassettes can be tricky to judge by eye because by the time the teeth are looking worn, you should have changed it a long time before!
So you're planning a big ride? Great. There's nothing better than enjoying a day out in the saddle (unless the weather's awful but, you know, that's character building, right?). One thing that can spoil a ride very quickly is a bike that's not working properly. Clicking gears, squealing brakes, punctures or worse are at best a real motiviation-killer and a worst a day ender. It only takes a few minutes to check whether you're bike is ready for a ride, so here are a few things to think about that'll make sure you have a ride you'll remember for all the right reasons, not a day to forget. Gear indexing There's nothing more annoying on a long bike ride than gears that are clicking or jumping. Most of the time your gears will be perfectly fine, but if you've travelled with you bike before the ride there's a chance that your rear mech may have been knocked which can cause things to be slightly off. Stick the bike in a workstand (or get a mate to hold it) and just cycle through
Disc brake rub easily makes the top five all time most annoying things that can happen to your bike. In fact, anything that makes a noise is bad, but something that makes a noise and slows you down is a double dose of disappointment. But fear not, because Pearl iZUMi athletes and ambassadors Syd and Macky are here to help with this excellent video. If you dont know who Syd and Macky are, here's a bit of backstory (not like Marvel-style origin story, there's no radioactive spiders here or whatever but it's nice to have some context anyway, right?): "Hi PEARLiZUMi crew! My name is Syd Schulz and I’ve been a PEARLiZUMi athlete since 2018. Unfortunately, in 2020 I suffered a major injury that kept me off the bike for the entire year. This plus COVID made for some pretty rough times. One of the ways I coped was by learning to wrench on my own bike. Previously, I could barely change a flat tire, but I had a good teacher (my husband, Macky), and working
New bike day is always a good thing. There's very little more exciting than a new bike; the anticipation before it arrives, unboxing it for the very first time, standing there and basically just admiring it for longer than a rational person should, all that stuff is great. But there comes a time in almost every cyclist's life that they become build-curious, that is, they start to think about buying all the bits and building their own bike from scratch. But where to start? The classic mistake is buying the first frame you like that's on sale, but in reality if you're going to commit to building a bike yourself you really want to take your time and get it right. So here are a few things to think about when it comes to starting your first custom bike build...
If ever there were a time to tinker with your bike as a way to put off doing other things, winter would be it. Sure, it's not technically winter until next week, but you know what they always say about procrastinating - there's no time like the present. One thing you might have been thinking about but not had the time to try is tubeless. Running your wheels and tyres tubeless seems like a big deal - and can be a bit of bother to setup initially - but once you've got it sorted it really isn't any more hassle and if it saves you a few punctures then it's more than worth it. If you've not setup a wheel tubeless before then the first video below from the fantastic folks at Park Tool is a great place to start as Calvin and Truman talk you through everything you need to know to get going. The second video is troubleshooting - in other words things that you might encoutner while running tubeless and how to work around or correct them. Both are well worth a watch and,
There are few things more annoying than a bike that creaks. You go out for a ride and soon you're pretty much obsessed by that creak, all you can think about is how to make it stop and - let's be honest - it's a real ride ruiner. Well the helpful folks from Park Tool feel your pain and have made these videos to help you figure out why your bike is making noise and, just as importantly, how to make it stop. Check this out:
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
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
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