Check your valve type
Check Your Drive Train
Your chain wears out first. If not replaced when worn, it puts extra wear on the chain rings and rear cogs. Normally, you can replace your your chain twice before replacing cogs and chain rings. However, if you let the chain go, you will need to replace other parts sooner. Worse, worn cogs and chain rings will damage a new chain.
A good method for checking chain wear is by measuring it with a ruler. Park Tool© has some great advice on this (Chain Check): "Pick a rivet and line it up at the zero mark. Count 23 more rivets and your last rivet should be at the 12” mark of your ruler. If it is off by more than 1/16” your chain is stretched to the point of replacement." Note that chains do not wear on the outside, they wear out on the pins inside. In other words, you cannot tell if a chain is worn out just by looking at it.
And, according to Park Tool©, you can make a quick check by looking for slack when the chain is wrapped around the big chain ring: "If [the chain] lifts off the chainring to the point where you can see a lot of daylight [1/4"] between your chain and chainrings, you’ll either need to replace your chain, or you are fast approaching the point of replacement. It’s nearly as accurate as using the proper tool, but it’s a good starting point if you haven’t replaced your chain in a while."
Look at the teeth on your drive chain. Often, they will be visibly worn into sharp points at the tooth, especially on small cogs. A worn cog will allow a new chain to be slack when wrapped around the cog. Any slack by a new chain around a cog indicates wear. It's probably time to change them all out. As well, it's best to replace all the cogs and chain rings at the same time, regardless of individual wear.
Visit our store to buy chain tools by Park Tool©.
Oil Your Chain
Always use a good quality bicycle-specific chain lubricant. Dumonde Tech chain lube is a liquid plastic and through polymerization forms long-lasting plating on all chain surfaces. The benefits of Dumonde are:
Lite and Original Bicycle Chain Lube (BCL) differ only in their concentration. Original BCL is more concentrated for exceptional durability under the most challenging conditions - like mountain biking or motorized gas or electric bikes.
In our shop, we use Dumonde BCL on cables, pivots points and seals. It is safe on plastic, rubber, and all sealing materials. The product is designed to not harm your components. It is eco-friendly and environmentally sensitive, is engineered to perform with minimal “carbon footprint” by not washing off in water, is used sparingly, lasts longer between applications, resulting in longer drive chain life. It even works in the extreme cold conditions.
To prepare for maximum performance from BCL, use a high quality solvent, to thoroughly clean, and then dry the chain, before the first application. You will only need to clean the chain once, prior to the first application. Over several rides, 2-3 applications are required for the bonding process to occur through polymerization. Apply BCL sparingly (apply one drop at a time to each link, until every link has been lubed), then wipe off excess lubricant with a clean cloth to the point where the chain’s outer surface appears dry. One ounce of Dumonde Tech BCL will give you many applications. Re-apply BCL after several rides, listening to your chain sound, not appearance or time, as the best indicator of when the chain needs a reapplication of Original. Use mild soap and water to clean between applications.
Oil only belongs inside the pin of the chain. The outside should be wiped clean. As well, the front chain rings and rear cogs should be free of oil and dirt. Dirty and oily drive trains attract sand and dirt that eats away at the drive surface. Keep it all clean.
Stans No Tubes
Hands Down - No Questions
The Single Least Expensive Way To Improve Your Road Bike Performance
What to carry with you on your ride
What To Carry To Fix A Flat
Flat tires are a part of cycling. Every cyclist, from professionals to the complete beginner gets them, but don't fret - a flat tire doesn't have to be the end of your ride. With practice you can change a flat in about 5 minutes and get back on the road.
When you head out for bike ride, you should always carry the gear needed to fix a flat, every time. Even if you don't know how to change a flat yet, bring these items anyway. Someone else might be able to help you.
If you want to avoid most flats, Desert-Proofing your tires is a good investment. It provides three layers of protection, Slime tire sealant, a heavy duty tube, and a lightweight plastic liner. The Slime will seal any small punctures, the heavy duty tube works with the Slime to make a good barrier and better sealing and the liner guards against sharp objects. Our desert-proof option includes the Slime, tube, liner and installation.
Find the right tube or tire for your bike:
Get the complete conversion for your road bike - in stock today - Only $885.00 - Ready to ride
General Bicycle Maintenance
Regular bicycle maintenance is critical to the health of your bike. Water and sun are the most significant contributors to bike failure. Below is a list of common tasks that a typical bicycle owner can do to keep their bike running smoothly all year long.
29 inch mountain bike tires are 700c or ISO 622
When changing a tire, squeeze the bead together to get extra slack to pull the tire over the lip of the rim. Make sure the bead drops into the well all the way around.
Imperial, Metric & American Tire Sizing
Sometimes you can’t find any ISO size on a tire, only the old familiar markings. Although they’re familiar they can be very confusing. Tires of same size come with lots of different markings: e.g. 28×1¼×15/8 or 28×1¾×1¼ or 700×32C are all 32–622. Even worse, the same or very similar markings can sometimes be found on completely different sizes of tire: e.g. 26×1½ is a whole inch bigger than 26×1.5. Refer to the column headed Imperial, Metric or American in order to work out what actual (ISO) size you have. The first two headings need no explanation. The American column is for tire sizes originating in the USA and where US markings may confuse. Note that American and Japanese branded road tires tend to be smaller than described and often lack any ISO markings.
Two tires with the same ISO markings are completely interchangeable, even if one seems to be metric and the other is also marked in inches: e.g. 650B and 26×1½ are both 38-584. Road tires (700c) and mountain bike tires ("29er") are both 622. The newer 27.5 mountain bike tires are designated as 650B or an ISO of 584. Look for the ISO numbers and you will always know exactly what you need. Even some rims are now marked according to ISO with their bead diameter and internal section (width where the tire fits): e.g. 622–17 for the size are usually fitted to touring and hybrid bikes. But, some manufacturers give the overall width instead. Subtract 6mm from overall width to estimate the rim section, or simply measure the distance between the flanges. If the rim is not marked with its bead diameter you can read this from the tire – it’s the one dimension they have in common.
Odd size tires
Watch out for tires that have unusual markings. Many tires, especially older ones, have the outside diameter listed. This is not the same as the bead diameter. You need the bead diameter to get the right size tire or tube. Look for the ISO metric size to get the right combination.
A Presta valve adapter may be used to fill Presta tubes from a Schrader valve pump.
The most important first step for your mountain bike:
Set the SAG and rebound on you air shock/fork.
SAG is the amount of travel on your fork or shock from your static body weight and the bike. Shocks are designed to operate best in the middle third of their travel. Essentially, your goal is to have the bike in the middle third 80% of the time. Secondarily, SAG should be set so you don’t bottom out on hard hits or big G-outs. Some shocks/forks do have the option to insert small tokens or bumpers to cushion the last 10% of travel, allowing you to have a softer SAG setting, but still prevent bottoming out. As a guideline, cross-country and fast flowing trail terrain, target around 25% SAG, to ride a little higher in the strike and maintain a firm feel (bikes with about 100mm of travel). For all-mountain and steeper more challenging terrain, target around 30% SAG, to keep the ride in the middle third (bikes with about 140mm of travel). For downhill and fast technical terrain, target around 33% SAG, to ensure you take advantage of the full travel available (bikes over 150mm of travel). Your riding preference will also determine your personalized SAG setting. Some like less SAG for a firmer ride, while others prefer a plush ride. Experiment to get to your preference. After every change you make, be sure to cycle the shock or fork at least 30 times to ensure equalization of air pressure.
To set your rear shock, adjust the initial air pressure according to your weight and the manufacturers recommendations. Open the compression adjuster all the way (soft). Using a helper, carefully get on the bike, sit in a neutral position, reset the O-ring and observe how far down you compress the shock. Dismount easy and verify you are between 25% and 33%. Add or let air out depending on your goal. Check your setting after every ride to verify that you still are in range. Look at the O-ring or dirt line to see if you are using your range as expected and not bottoming out.
To set the forks, use the same procedure as the shock, but you will need to pedal around some. Open the compression adjuster all the way (soft). Get on easy, ride smoothly and don’t come to an abrupt stop. Most forks have a chart for a starting weight to air pressure setting or you can look it up on their website. Either way, you SAG goal is the same. As with the shock, check your dirt line after each ride.
Next, set the rebound. This controls how fast the shock returns to normal (bounces back). Adjust your rebound slower by turning it in all the way. Unscrew the rebound adjuster and count each click. The more you weigh (higher air pressure), the slower the rebound will be. Start at the manufacturers recommendation for rebound, based on the air pressure you set. Screw the rebound adjuster all the way in and back it out between 30% and 50% of the total clicks. Your goal is for the shock to not kick you when you go over a big bump and off a jump. Too much rebound will cause the shock to stay too low in the stroke and result in a harsh ride. For the fork, your goal is a plush feel and the fork to not push you out of the corners. AS with the shock, start at the manufacturers recommendation or 30% to 50% out from fully screwed in.
Having your SAG and rebound set properly will allow you to get the full benefit of your bike. It will balance the front and rear action and vastly improve your control. Adjust in small increments so you can find your sweet spot. Now go out and ride.
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