bike shop

Latest Shop Kit Lands and gets about its business

With the upcoming Queensland Road Series kicking off in June, we decided a reincarnation of the famous Black / White Shop Kit was required for our Elite Mongrel Squad.  A homage to the past as we step forward into the future of The Pedaler / COBRA9 Racing.  It's also a shout out to the quality community around us.  The hardly souls who grace the misty steeps of Cootha every Tuesday getting those sweet sweet gains.  Based on the famous Molteni Team Jersey, we're pretty stoked on the outcome.  The Pedaler and the 4064.  

Available to BUY now

Cheers Adrian for the design and Attaquer for the threads.

Riders Nick, Jordan, Mitch and Nathan

Photo Cyclebro

Cobra9 Intebuild X Attaquer Race Kit available for a limited time only

We are pretty stoked to announce a limited run of the popular C9 x Attaquer Race Kit for 2017. There have been a lot of folk keen to get their hands on a set, so we felt it appropriate to offer it up to our mates and followers.  This will be the only time it is released for sale.  

 

C9 X ATQ 2017 Race Kit BUY NOW

Pre order closes in 2 weeks.  Jump on to our online store and get around it.  Afterpay available as per all our online products.

 

 

  

Afterpay comes to The Pedaler

We are stoked to give our customers the chance of purchasing gear from us via the funky Australian Start Up Afterpay.  Rather then one lump sum payment, Afterpay allows our customers the chance to buy via 4 monthly instalments while still getting the kit today.  Get onto our online shop and check it out.   Free shipping via the online store for all orders above $250.  Get your Pas Normal, Attaquer and Machines for Freedom kit, plus other cool gear in tasty instalments.  

 

If you have any queries regarding Afterpay, send an email or drop a line.  

Why Dave Edwards is riding to Atherton....in 10 days.

Dave Edwards is known to many in South East Queensland for his immense strength on the bike, and his affable personality off it.  He comes across as a casual guy without too many cares who just loves to be outdoors riding, chatting and getting on with life.  His recent travels to Rio for the Paralympics would be one of Daves career highlights, and underline the immense talent of this Atherton native.

Unfortunately, Dave also knows the lowest of lows, losing his mother to suicide in 2014.  This has been the catalyst for taking on the epic journey from Brisbane, back to his home town of Atherton for a cathartic journey raising awareness and funds around mental health and suicide prevention.  Given the lack of attention this area of health has seen in the past, it is wonderful to see so much action in this space recently.  The recent documentary from Black Sheep 'The Man Ride' is another excellent example of quality endeavours coming out of the cycling community.  As a good friend of The Pedaler, we brought Dave in to elaborate on his journey north.

 

The Pedaler: Hi mate, thanks for the brews.

Dave Edwards:  All good.

TP: So you've got a big ride coming up mate.  How far are you going?

DE: On google maps it says 1700 kilometres, but that's straight up the highway, but with my route, it will be closer to 2000 kilometres. I'd be happy if it's 2000 kilometres. 

TP:  Gee, 2000 kilometres.  In how long?

DE: In 10 days.

TP:  Is that set in stone?  Does it have to be 10 days or can you fluctuate?

DE: Nah, it has to be 10 days.  I've set myself a deadline.

TP:  Do you have preselected locations you have set out to stay along the way?

DE:  Yeah, it's quite structured.  It all started at the start of this year where I said I wanted to do this ride   A lot of people have done it before, but I wanted to set this in motion and then to make it easier, set some places along the way.  So obviously Brisbane, Noosa, Maryborough, Miriam Vale, which is a random little town.

TP:  Old Miriam Vale - great crab sandwiches mate.

DE: Yeah (laughs), But still that's going via Gladstone, Bundaberg, up to Rocky (Rockhampton).  Then, Mackay, Airlee Beach, Townsville, Cardwell, Cairns and then Atherton.

 

TP: Jeebus.  I get the impression you've got friends in quite a few of these ports though?

DE: Yeah well, I grew up in Atherton Tablelands so you have to make your way down to Brisbane somehow.  That's also why it is so meaningful, because I know the roads.  I've driven down these roads before and in a lot of these towns there is family and friends all along the route.  

TP: So it's kind of like old route back to Brisbane in reverse.  A trip down memory lane almost.

DE:  Yeah, heading home.

TP:  So how are you going to go about it?  Are you going by yourself or will you get some help along the way?  

DE:  It started out just being by myself, but then I scouted someone to be a support driver as well just for the safety aspect.  But largely the idea around the raising of funds and increasing awareness for Beyond Blue (Dave's chosen charity) was how I can make a difference along the way.  So hopefully I can get in touch with communities and cycling clubs along the way and get a few group rides so the locals can give me a hand.  I'm hoping people will turn out and help me (laughs).  Because it is going to be pretty lonely at times.

TP:  Help break some of the wind for you (laughs).  So it will be yourself, some of the locals from the towns you will ride through and just the support of a single vehicle.  I've heard you have commandeered the Cobra9 Intebuild Racing Team van for this purpose?

DE:  Which we have stolen (laughs).

TP:  You're making it sound less safe all the time.  More people have suffered from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in that vehicle then I care to remember Dave (laughs).  Where will you be sleeping mate?

DE: That's the cool thing, because that is what we haven't planned.  There are some places were we and the support driver will stay in like a motel or van park.  We are just mutual friends, but still we have to celebrate and survive getting up to Cairns.  But there are some places like Mackay and Airlee Beach were we have friends or family but apart from that, we will be looking at backpackers or something like that.

TP:  So the idea of leaving an element of spontaneity is appealing?

DE: The whole point of it is - Gees, I just want to ride somewhere and take what comes along the way, but it is important to have an overall plan.  A bit of spontaneity is important though.

TP:  Do you have a fundraising goal?

DE:  On the website I'm using- Go Fund Me, they ask the same question.  I was a little in two minds because because what is the psychology behind it?  Will I raise more money if I set a high goal or a low goal or no goal.  So in the end, there is no goal.  It's just to raise money and awareness for Beyond Blue essentially.

 

TP:  Beyond Blue as the charity chosen isn't a random choice, can you tell us a little of the back story behind that?

DE:  Yeah, so the whole reason I chose Beyond Blue was because my mum passed away just over two years ago from suicide.  So it is all related to depression and mental health.  And it means a lot to me yeah.  I wanted to do the ride, so it was nice to do it for a good cause.

TP:  This is obviously and area close to home and there has been a lot more community awareness around this subject of recent.  This seems to be quite a personal thing for you.

DE:  Yeah, yeah.  Definitely.  And I know with The Pedaler, there has been a lot of sadness related to the passing of JJ this year and I think it just adds to the importance of the whole thing.

TP:  Do you think when you're out there, that you'll feel a weight on your shoulders or do you think it will push you along?

DE: A bit of both I guess.  It will be very nostalgic, knowing the roads and stuff, but when Mum passed away, I was overseas at the time and when I came back I rode from Cairns to Townsville in one hit, and that gave me a taste of what I was planning for on this trip.  When I was riding I just had so much time to think about everything.  I will give me a bit of time to reflect on all of this I think.

TP: Obviously your mum was a big supporter of your cycling?

DE: Yeah, my biggest sponsor.

TP:  So it will be nice to knock this one out for her as well won't it?

DE:  Yeah yeah, for sure.

TP:  On another tangent, do you think you'll get some tangible training benefit from this as well?  I have to ask?  (laughs)

DE:  When I did the ride down to Townsville, I called my coach and told him about it and he said "Well, congratulations.  That has absolutely no training benefit for you at all".  (laughs). 

TP:  So nothing at all!

 

DE: Nah, well doing 2000 kilometres in 10 days will get me pretty skinny (laughs).   That's just a bonus though.

TP:  You've just come back from the Paralympics with a well deserved Bronze Medal, is there anything else after this you working towards?

DE: During this ride, I think I'll have a lot of time to think about what I want to do afterwards.  Cycling is important for my mental health in any case.  I'll have plenty of time to consider my intentions for next year over the 10 days.

TP:  You've ridden in many teams over the years both here and overseas.  Have you seen much evidence of the effects of mental health across the riders you have encountered in those years?  In team mates or supporters?

DE:  That's a tricky one because one of the major issues with mental health issues is that they are often well hidden.  People who suffer with it, know how to hide it quite well, and that's a shame.

TP:  We have seen some cool initiatives recently related to mental health including the Men of Steel ride where a whole bunch of guys rode 1000 kms to raise awareness. 

DE: Yeah The Man Ride from Black Sheep.  Can I say that?  (laughs)

TP:  Absolutely.  A great initiative.  Fantastic.

DE:  Yeah I went and saw the mini documentary and it was very cool.  They had 16 people on that ride which is important.  Because mental health issues, they shouldn't be handled alone. That's why I'm hoping that in the towns I come through, people come out and get involved.

TP:  Is there a particular part of this ride that you think will be the hardest part?  In terms of the sufferance or the desolate nature of the roads.

DE:  Yeah definitely.  The stretch all the way up to Rocky is pretty good.  The first day up to Noosa will be good with a bit of a group, and just leaving Brissie.  I know those roads pretty well.  I also know the roads in the second half from Townsville up to Cairns so that's fresh in my memory.   The hardest part will be the stretch from Rocky to Mackay and I'm going to try and do that in one hit.

TP: Ohh that's painful.

DE: That stretch of road is just horrible even when you're driving it.  I'll be dreading it till it's done, and I'll be relieved when it's over.  

 

TP:  And how similar will this experience be to those one of infamous 2011 QAS training camps with Mr Prete here?

DE:  (laughs) It will be very reminiscent.  When you ride and ride, it puts you in a different head space to where you have been before.  You just get in the zone a bit and away you go.  I'm looking forward to it I think.  I won't have suffered on the bike this much in a while.

TP:  Once this is over, will you get off the bike for a bit or keep going?

DE:  Nah this will be a kick start for me I think and keep the momentum going for me.  I don't know what's going to happen next with racing, but cycling will always remain in my life for my own mental health.   

TP:  Sounds good mate.  We hope it goes well for you and we'll see you at the end.

DE:  Yeah sweet.

TP:  This is where we find out the Dictaphone hasn't recorded anything (laughs).

All the ride details and way more of the story can be found on the official site.

Ride to the Reef (Go Fund Me)

 

 

 

 

12 months on. The Pedaler story thus far.

It has been 12 months since we kicked off this new venture and it is amazing how much has changed in that time.  The journey continues but I felt it may be interesting to provide some insight into where we have come from.

My background has always been specialised sports podiatry.  This has been my bread and butter for the last 16 years.  Over the last 9 years, cycling orientated podiatry has also become a focus. I love riding.  I love bikes and I enjoy the culture around the industry.   

 

My first foray into the cycling industry was through Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics.  I started this company in Hobart in 2009 with my close friend Chris Angel who had reintroduced me to cycling in 2007.  We started making specialised carbon insoles for cycling shoes and grew from there.  We played to our strengths.  We also enjoyed plenty of nights on the wines thinking big about our fledgling company.

 

In that same year, we sponsored our first race team - Cobra9 Racing.  This was a bunch of early adaptors and hubs, including myself, who raced down the grades and got belted at events routinely.  The first kit was fairly basic but the core and ethos was born.

As the racing team grew, so did our associations within the industry.  Our earliest supporter Dion from 4Shaw has hooked us up with socks since 2011.  I can still remember his email discussing a collaboration (rare in that time) with our socks.  I ignored the email as I didn't have a clue who he was.  A year later, 4Shaw was huge and meekly I finally replied to his email and we organised our first hook up.

 

With Cobra9 growing, the racing team became an important focus for marketing purposes. The team has grown from 5 riders to around 35 currently.  The team's involvement has shifted from Elite B, to Masters A and now to the Elite A level.  The team now competes regularly at NRS events and occasionally at UCI races.  The same underlying ethos remains. Race hard and enjoy the experience because the journey is the destination.  Every moment we race, travel and train is there to be enjoyed.  It won't last forever and the time to embrace it is now. As we commence preparations for season 2017, Cobra9 Intebuild Racing has become one of the longest standing active cycling teams in Queensland.

The team's emergence and increased prominence has grown some of our most important connections within the industry.  Long time supporters Megabake emerged out of this evolution and Wurkstand grew alongside the team's journeys.  Industry heavyweights, Attaquer jumped into our corner in 2013 which has been enormous for our brand and business.  I can't speak highly enough of the crew behind this particular company in terms of their professionalism and work ethic.  In an industry full of hollow promises and whingers, these guys keep delivering.

 

The Pedaler was conceived to capitalise on these strong brand associations.   However it would be another 12 months before the shop opened.   In the foot hills of the iconic Park Rd 'Eiffel Tower' where the cycling scene kicked off in Brisbane, The Pedaler was born.  The business model was supported by a sports focused Podiatry business in parallel with a strong core of quality cycling brands.  

 

We set out to only carry brands that we believe in.  POC safety gear fits this concept neatly as do the shoe offerings from Suplest, Fizik and Lake. The fabled Italian brand Colnago was our primary bike brand followed shortly after by Johnson Bikes from Ben Johnson in Noosa. Another example of a quality human in the cycling industry.

Our onsite lab has allowed us to build all types of orthotic solutions for our clients.  It also helps us ensure the best fit for our clients and their cycling shoes.  We have grown from one shoe brand to four and hope to create a proper 'wall of shoe' for our customers. It naturally plays to our strengths as qualified podiatrists.

None of this would be possible without our crew.

Our staff started with a very small core group. Podiatrist and now born again trackie, David Gruhl has been with us from the start.  He has been a stellar example of continuous endeavour and purpose.  His manual therapy skills have been incredibly important to our practice and his relationships with trainers and industry professionals continues to grow. 

 

Phil Cavdarski has manned the front desk regularly since opening and always presents with purpose.  He also brings humour and coffee.

 

The most recent arrival to our team in March of this year was Josh Prete. He is a huge addition for us as we have transitioned into comprehensive bike servicing and more complex builds. His customer relations are impeccable and he has grown into an integral part of The Pedaler providing assistance in developing brands and generating new market directions.  

 

We also need to laud the assistance of some other 'staff'.  Hadleigh has cleaned up our books enormously and allowed us more time to focus on the business and less time spent trying to untangle my BAS musings which look a lot like a scene from 'A Beautiful Mind'. Dugald runs the racing team with an efficiency that could only come from working at Australia Post for decades.  Adam my brother is a constant with the race team and co owner at Cobra9 Cycling Orthotics.  Daniel of Cycling Enquirer fame has also helped us look better then we really are on a regular basis driving much of our social media. 

 

Abbie and myself continue to learn important lessons daily. The first 6 months were pretty intense.   Up front costs associated with starting the business from scratch were epic and the ongoing expenses were uncomfortable.  As our community and the business has grown, the pressure has eased and the head space this allows has fuelled more creativity.  We like enjoying our days at work and subscribe to concept that our staff are our most valuable asset. We toast mars bars, take suicidal photos on Douglas St, create album covers and enjoy the experience.  In this way, the ethos of The Pedaler is similar to the race team's.  Enjoy the journey now.  Our other motto is just as important.  Don't spend every moment of every day worrying about the next.  If you have a quiet period, relax and use it.  

 

In our first year we have also had our fair share of set backs.  We lost our mate and most loyal fan JJ to depression.  He was an enormous help for us over the first few months of our journey. He was also our biggest supporter and it was a huge shock to lose him in such painful circumstances.  We hope to create an event in the coming months as a fitting memorial to our mate and one that typifies what this colourful character meant to the Brisbane cycling scene.

We also lost another of our best friends Steve Small from Wurkstand.  He was the victim of a hit and run on his way home from work in Noosa.  It is impossible to put into words how much he helped us create The Pedaler and also, how much he meant to our race team.  His untimely death is still painful to digest.  Fittingly at our 1st Birthday, we will unveil our Tribute kit to Steve.  All profits from this venture will go to his family to help reconcile a tiny portion of their loss.

There are more ideas and business ventures we are hoping to launch in the coming months. We remain loyal to our foundation brands and will grow from this base.  We also remain focused on providing comprehensive best practice Podiatry care and a top shelf customer experience. Each interaction is a relationship, not a transaction.   

Thank you all for your support.  Come along on Saturday to our Sausage Festival and enjoy the snags (maybe even a few vegan versions by popular demand).  Tunes, drinks, banter and epic snaps.  It's The Pedaler way.

Nathan

 

 

Buying a Bike - The Pedaler Process

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

The cycling industry is awash with incredible deals on great quality bikes. There is also a huge second hand market flooded with proper weapons.  It truly is a buyers market with access to deals and bikes across a range of platforms.

 

You can walk in to any concept store and buy a top of the line bike often for heavily discounted prices. They come out of a factory, already half assembled, with the same bar, stem, tyres, saddles, cranks. While you get a whole lot of bike for your buck, the client has very little control over the types of the components included or the sizes of these elements. You save money by buying a bike built for a generalised geometry driven by industry standards. 

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

 

At 'The Pedaler', we understand the appeal of this and we appreciate it provides certain fiscal and quality related benefits.  The quality of bikes available through this network has never been better and there are some super shops selling some beautiful rigs.

Nick Woods

Nick Woods

However, we believe an alternative process should be available to the client.  When buying a bike through 'The Pedaler', you are in control of the entire process. Everything from the choice of tubes through to the frame colour is a decision to be made by the client. We also work closely with the best bike fitters in Queensland to ensure that all the parts of the bike are perfectly suited to you and your riding style.

Harry Dennis

Harry Dennis

We are aware that we are not always able to compete based purely on price point for some components given the discounting afforded the larger chains and their strong relationships with certain companies.  With that in mind, we are openly transparent regarding the build cost break down and strive to get you the exact bike you want.  This may mean sourcing rare components or items to help make your bike unique.  We strive to get you the bike you want at a fair and reasonable price.  Every build we complete is unique and every client gets the same care and attention along the way.  

Once your bike is ready, we encourage you to take it for a test ride alongside our Pedaler / Cobra9 Elite Squad. Take the opportunity to get a few tips and enjoy a brew with some of Queensland's best and most promising road cyclists.

Every build we complete is unique and every client gets the same care and attention along the way.
Nathan White

Nathan White

 

The trio of bike brands we carry, Ridley, Colnago and Johnson, are all companies we have 100% faith in. They are very different, and yet similar at the same time. All brands create aesthetically beautiful bikes and back that up with a high level of performance. Ridley allows us the freedom to choose custom paint and designs, and incorporate the full group set into the builds to make the price point remarkably competitive.

Colnago is one of the oldest and most well known brands on the market with a place in the industry untouched by other contemporary players. 

Johnson is one of the newest and most exciting brands to emerge in the boutique space and comes locally from the Sunshine state.

All brands create aesthetically beautiful bikes and back that up with a high level of performance.

I am excited about building dream machines for our clients.  Every dream machine starts as an idea.  A concept that needs finessing.  Have a chat to us at 'The Pedaler' and experience the comprehensive and personalised approach that we are well known for.

Cyclebro

Cyclebro

Words - Josh P.

 

 

Wheels aren't Wheels and the thirst for G2I - Johnson Bikes Part 2.

Cont. from Part 1.

NW: So then Featherlight Wheels came along?

BJ: Yeah yeah.  It was just an offside to the Johnson bikes.  The wheel market had become quite flooded, and I guess last year, it was a case of continue to do it and do it well or don't do it all.

NW: Because there was an earlier incarnation of Featherlight Wheels which has since been usurped?

BJ:  Yeah for sure.  We were just using basic moulds and that kind of thing.  Now as part of the learning process with Johnson Bikes, and applying the ideas and technology that has come through from building and manufacturing carbon fibre bikes we have brought the same quality into the wheelsets.  I was contacted by a small exclusive factory over there, and have been working with them for the past 12 months. What we are doing with our wheels now, I am very proud of.

Now as part of the learning process with Johnson Bikes, and applying the ideas and technology that has come through from building and manufacturing carbon fibre bikes we have brought the same quality into the wheelsets

NW: I know the components are incredibly high quality. The Sapim CX Ray spokes are top shelf. The T11 White Industry hubs, everyone knows they are incredible.  They roll beautifully and are very stiff.  I've been riding these wheels now for the last 6 to 8 weeks and they are amazing wheels.  There is no two ways about it.  They just roll fast.  You've described the 280 degree resin you use in the rims to me previously but to your average punter who hasn't got the same level of wheel knowledge as yourself, what does this mean and how is this different to other carbon wheels?

 

BJ: We have a 280 degree patented resin which we use throughout the entirety of the rim.   A lot of wheel manufactures will build there wheels in parts or sections and you will see cuts or joins in the surface where they glue it all together.  So they are using different glues and resins which can make the ride quality a little dull and can create weaknesses within the rim as well.

We've done all ours in EPS moulding which is one piece monocoque moulding and we use the same high quality resin through the entirety of the whole rim.  So it is all one piece rather then gluing a few pieces together.  There is no differentiation between the braking surface and the deeper section of the rim because we are using that higher quality fibre throughout the entirety of the rim.

We've done all ours in EPS moulding which is one piece monocoque moulding and we use the same high quality resin through the entirety of the whole rim.

NW:  The torsional stiffness of the wheels are incredible especially when you get out of the saddle.  Is that down to the design of the rim shape or from the use of the patented carbon fibre?

BJ: Yeah it's a few things.  The rim shape incorporated features like which tyres you are using on your bike blending that into the aerodynamics.  That and the carbon fibre that we are using, which is all being manufactured 'in house' adds to the stiffness of the whole rim.  Absolutely.

NW: You have a couple of new frames now, so starting with just the Esquire initially then what came along next?

BJ: The Cavalier came along next.  I wanted something a little stiffer in the rear end.  Something to sprint on. I was working with Benny Kersten (Australian Track Sprinter and Road racer) a lot during that time.  The Esquire is a great bike but someone like Ben who can put out 1800 Watts...

NW:  Just like The Pedaler's Josh (Prete)?

BJ: Yeah, (laughs) just like Josh. Yeah, I got a lot of feedback from Ben. He wanted a stiffer bike for the sprinters.  We use the same angles and geometry as the Esquire but we have stiffened that whole rear end by creating almost like a triple triangle.  We also use more carbon fibre in the rear end which makes it a racier stiffer bike.  The down tube is semi aero and the bike generally feels a bit stiffer so it's a racier version of the Esquire but it lacks the vertical compliance of the Esquire.

We also use more carbon fibre in the rear end which makes it a racier stiffer bike.

NW:  Then along came the Riddler?

BJ: The Riddler came along again while Benny K was here we had our first version of the Riddler which we tried to set up as a road bike as we saw the whole aero movement coming.  Obvously all the angles were incorrect and we couldnt set it up as a road bike.  So from that, came the Riddler road bike.

 

NW: Which looks pretty incredible doesn't it.  I mean, damm it is a good looking bike.

BJ:  Yeah, you compare the two, the road bike and the time trial bike, it just feels like a downsized version of that.  We use all the same traditional angles so it handles very traditionally, but yeah, very quick in a straight line.

NW: So, now you have this stable of bikes and a couple of wheelsets, and also a disc version of the Esquire which has just come out to rave reviews, what comes next? Consolidation?

BJ: Yeah it's good now, we've got retailers like you (The Pedaler) selling them and it is getting a lot more exposure.  The more people riding them mean they are being noticed a lot more.  I have been growing the whole business organically up till now and hopefully with more people riding them the word gets outs that they're great bikes.  Things like the article in Bicycling Australia was awesome because it's one thing me telling you they're fantastic. I'm always going to tell you they are fantastic, but to get the credibility of an independent review like that saying they're great bikes as well was fantastic.

NW:  I guess the big question everyone wants to know is, when do you think you are going to come back and win Grafton to Inverell mate? (2nd in 2013 to Jack Anderson)

BJ: (laughs)  When is it May? (Laughs).

NW: Yeah mate.  12 months away. (Laughs)

BJ: We'll see.  I know these guys at The Pedaler are always hounding me to do it.  I'd like to race again so never say never. The comeback could be on.

NW:  I know that loss to Jack Anderson still burns pretty deep mate (laughs).

BJ: Yeah it burns deep (laughs). I can never sleep at night before Grafton to Inverell rolls around.  It still haunts me.

 

NW:  And locally, I guess you see an expansion of the iconic Noosa Bike Shop as well?

BJ: Absolutely.  There is a great culture in Noosa for cycling.  There is a big government and council push to make Noosa a real sports hub of Queensland.  I think the Noosa bike Shop has the potential to be a big part of that.  So moving forward we want to create a nice culture here for cycling and I think the Noosa Bike Shop can play a big part in that.

NW:  Cheers mate

BJ: No worries.  Sorry I'm a bit shit at interviews.  

NW: You go OK mate.

 

 

 

Battle on the Border is getting close. Be sure to give your race rig the 'once over'.

With the annual stage race Battle on the Border less then 2 weeks away, now is the time to ensure your machine is ready to roll.  There is nothing worse than training for an event only to be let down by your equipment.  Here is a list of the crucial points worth checking.

  1. Tyre Wear - Check your tyres thoroughly for any cuts, or signs of degradation. Degradation usually shows itself by the tread of the tyre starting to crack. 
  2. Chain Wear - A stretched chain means gear slip, you don't want this. If you are running Campagnolo, and have a vernier at your disposal, it is quite easy to check your chain for wear. Count out 6 links and measure the length of the chain, if it is over 132.6mm your chain is worn. A new campag chain will measure 132.2mm.  If you do not have a specific chain checker for Shimano and Sram chains, a simple way to check wear is to shift the chain into the big ring on the front and the lowest gear on the back (ie 25 or 28t). When the chain is in this position, attempt to lift the chain off the front chain ring. There should be no give in the chain in this position.  If there is it would suggest that your chain is worn out. (Again, if you run Campy, then be sure to have it fixed and race ready before you head to remote race locations as the likelihood of finding spare parts is poor).
  3. Cassette and chain ring wear - If you have a worn chain, you may also have worn out your cassette and chain rings. The teeth on your cassette and chain rings should look slightly squared off on the top, if you notice that they are starting to look like sharks teeth then they are worn out. On the cassette an easy way to do this is look at the middle gears, and compare this to the 11 or 12 tooth cog, typically most people will be riding in the middle of their cassette for the majority of their rides, so these are the cogs that will show wear first.
  4. Cable wear - Deterioration of cables is the unseen destroyer on race day. If you are running a mechanical groupset, a fraying cable can creep up on you and suddenly snap when it is under load. It would be a good idea to completely remove your cables and check for any kinks, or frayed sections. If you have internal cables make sure you pull a sleeve through from the exit point to the entry point near the lever before removing the cables, otherwise you may spend more time than necessary trying to reroute your cables. Also be sure that your cables are not crossed inside the frame. It is amazing how easily this can happen.  It is not always obvious when cabling a bike, but the shifting will turn very bad, very quickly if you accidentally do this. When pulling cables through a frame, make sure to check that they don't pull on each other before tensioning them to the derailleur. 
  5. Brake pad wear - This is an easy one, as most brake pads have wear indicators. Make sure you have enough meat on your brake pads, and of course if you are swapping to carbon wheels chuck in your carbon specific brake pads. 
  6. Bartape - This is purely aesthetic, but getting to the start line with crisp new bar tape always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Words by: Joshua Prete
                  Wurkshop Manager