wurkshop

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

How often do I need to service my bike?

 

How often should you be servicing your bike?

 

A common question asked at bike shops is 'how often should I be servicing my bike?'. Unfortunately, there is no blanket rule, and a lot of variables influence our answer.  

 

For arguments sake lets say you are a cyclist who rides 4-5 times a week, races a crit on the weekend and has a few big goals throughout the year. Apart from a major incident, the components on your bike will wear out a pretty steady rate. This makes it difficult to know when your bike needs a service until its blatantly obvious, (e.g a cable splitting inside the lever).  

 

For the most part, the work that should be done to keep your bike in a great condition is stuff that can be done at home, so I have come up with a bit of a schedule of what you should be doing to keep your bike rolling as it did when you bought it.

 

Daily:

·         Pump up your tyres and check for cuts

·         If you have done a sweaty ergo session, hose your bike down, and get the sweat off your bars and levers. We sweat a lot in Qld, and the amount of salt that gathers under some peoples bar tape is incredible. The last thing you want is for your alloy bars to snap under you. It happens.

 

Weekly:

·         Wash your bike. Degrease the drive-train and apply some fresh lube to the chain, jockey wheels and pivot points on the derailleurs and brakes.

·         Look for any wear and tear while doing this, particularly fraying cables and gritty bottom bracket and headset bearings.

 

Monthly:

·         Check the state of your chain. Bring your bike into The Pedaler and let us measure the chain to check the wear.

·         If you have Di2, we can check for new firmware updates and make sure you have the latest software and do an error check.

 

Quarterly:

·         Degrease and re-grease the Headset and Bottom Bracket. Its good to know how much life you have left in your bearings. Spin the bearings with your finger and feel for roughness.

 

Half Year:

·         Replace Cables, chain, tyres, handlebar tape and cleats. For both safety and aesthetics.   

 

The most important aspects of this process are the first two. By keeping your bike clean and tidy you will be fixing problems before they arise. Your drive-train will last longer and you won’t be getting any corrosion on your bars and levers.

 

Obviously this can all be quite time consuming, and that’s where we step in.  We are happy to do the little jobs, and keep your bike running smoothly and looking awesome. A good quality bike deserves to be maintained, not ridden into the ground then resurrected.