Le Col
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Common problems encountered by bike shop mechanics… and how to fix them (cont.) - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

4. Drivetrain wear

General component wear is  a common issue and if it is high performance such as Dura Ace or Super Record, they will wear more quickly. We tend to advise downgrading the high wear components and retaining the controls and the deraileurs, alternatively keep your very best kit for better conditions.

Another solution is to replace chain and maybe cassette more often and thereby extending the life of chainrings, as long as the wear isn't excessive. 

We are asked on a weekly basis how long a component will last.  The life of a drive train component will vary dependent on gear selection, riding style, mileage and maintenance.

Cross-chaining is a big factor, many people riding around in big rings and wearing out chainrings, stretching the chain and even the rear derailleur, this can be more common with stronger riders using compact cranksets – most people just ride around in the big ring, riding it as a 1x. In addition - jockey wheels wear on a regular basis.

5. Seized/snapped components

Seized seatposts are something we discover regurlarly. It might not seem a big issue if it’s in the right place, however, the solution is to make sure that components are regularly greased with the correct agent for the component.  

The first thing we do, before assesing a bike is to check the seat post height before installing a workshop seat post and saddle; this prevents expensive seat posts being scratched during any maintenance work and test rides.

Cable snapping is common. Often when the entries to cable routing ports aren’t sealed properly or cables aren’t greased, excess wear can occur.  Cyclists perservere with cables that aren’t working properly and frayed at a bend in the routing, eventually they snap and are more difficult to remove.

6. Power meters

This is often a case of a lack of understanding in how they work and care in maintaining them; not keeping firmware updated on the power meters or not updating the software on their head units or installing batteries the wrong way round and not replacing rubber seals.

Often faults in this area can be resolved by reading the instructions on these expensive hi-tech pieces of kit.  We are constantly keeping ourselves updated and informed as should the user.

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Common problems encountered by bike shop mechanics… and how to fix them - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

1. Lack of general maintenance

bicycle rust

Stay on top of keeping your bike clean and in good condition.

Keeping on top of the maintenance of your bike is the best single piece of advice any mechanic can give.  This means regularly cleaning and lubricating it to save component wear in

When a bike is sold, the buyer often doesn't know what needs to be done to keep the bike in good condition, from cleaning to storage. However, you need to learn the craft first.  If you are going to do it yourself - read any instructions or follow 'youtube' videos.  There is a wealth of information out there.  Otherwise, It can mean that even cartridge style brake pads can be fitted backwards. You should have a go, if you are confident enough but if you are unsure and it is safety related, have it checked by John or Perry.

2. Creaking bottom brackets

bottom bracket 

One of the most common problems we have come across overr the last 12 years isdreaded bottom bracket creak. 

Given the amount of specifications of bottom brackets, and their complexity, it is unsurprising

Specific tools such as a bottom bracket press to instal and a different tool is necessary to remove.  Occasionally when we complete a pre-delivery assembly, we find that the factory has not installed the component correctly.

Given the varying standards and complexity of bottom brackets, the best piece of advice is to constantly maintain the bottom bracket with every service. If you own the tools and have the time, then ensure bearings are cleaned and greased, especially after extended periods of poor weather where dirt and water ingress can be a bottom bracket’s worst enemy.  Often there’s not a huge amount you can do for them even if you do have the tools – it’s wear and tear.

Make sure bottom bracket servicing is near the top of the to do list for addressing any creaks or grinding as soon as they arise – don’t delay.

3. Disc brake maintenance

hydraulic brake

Cable rim brakes were one of the simple jobs a home mechanic could try with relative ease, hydraulic disc brakes are another story.

There’s a lack of knowledge around how disc brakes are operated and serviced, we find that mountain bikers understand it better because they’ve been using them for about 20 years.  Even to the extent of getting them to operate properly when new and the initial bedding in process.

The most common issue is from rotor and contamination on the disc followed by cross contamination onto the pad - care are needs to be taken when lubing other areas of the bike.

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What is there to love about bike commuting?

cycling commuter

  1. It’s quicker than driving.
  2. Quiet time to yourself at the beginning and end of my day.
  3. No traffic jams. Well, there are bike jams on occasion, but they are minimal.
  4. It saves  money, by not paying for fuel and wear and tear on the car 

Bike Commuting Basics -  If for some reason you choose to commute another way to work, you will miss that time on your bike. It can be a meditation of sorts. It gets your circulation moving. The crisp autumnal air wakes you up. By the time you arrive at work you are refreshed and ready for the day. 

Benefits of Bike Commuting for the Community:

  1. Reduced air pollution
  2. Reduced energy consumption
  3. Reduced noise pollutionReduced road wear
  4. Reduced demand for parking 
  5. Cycling and walking reduce levels of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

The downsides of bike commuting?

  1. You may completely forget where you left your car, unless you are lucky enough to be able to park outside your home.
  2. People who drive cars and try to hit you..... 

Bike Commuting Basics - London commuting should be a no brainer. It’s a win-win situation, except for the one thing bike commuters should be aware of – accidents. It is on you, the commuter, to be as safe as possible. Follow the traffic rules like other road users. Don’t wear dark clothing at night. Have the proper lights on the front and rear of your bike and, wear a helmet!
Getting involved in an accident may be inevitable, but you, can do a lot through awareness and preparation to keep bike commuting fun and safe for yourself.

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Tips for tubeless Tyres

1. Rim Tape

tubeless rim tape

Air must be prevented from escaping through the spoke holes in the rim, for a tubeless set-up to work

Manufacturers such as Mavic will have a tubeless ready rim, rendering the use of tape redundant.

If your new wheels are not tubeless ready, tape will need to be applied,each brand has it's own specific tape.  However if you are pushed a strong adhesive tape such as Gorilla tape will suffice.

2. Tubeless Valve

tubeless vlaves

Tubeless valves will have to be installed to inflate your tyres.

These are inserted into the valve hole in the rim from the tyre side and then tightened with a threaded collar on the hub side to create an airtight seal.

You may need to poke the valve through the rim tape when installing it.

3. Sealant

TUBELESS sealant

Some wheels will come supplied with sealant, some tyre brands recommend specific sealants to be used with their tyres. 

The basic ingredient is laytex, this allows any small holes or pinch punctures to be sealed

It is a messy job, but pour ~100ml of sealant into the tyre before fitting the last section of bead onto the rim.

4. Inflation

This is the difficult part.....use the right equipment and the difficult job is made all the easier.   

Pumping furiously with a track pump occasionally works on low volume tyres - but really this is a hit or miss affair.  Buy yourself a proper track pump for the job.  Do not be tempted to use co2 cartridges as this can affect the sealant.


















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