Thursday, March 14, 2013

Internal Spoke Nipples are From the Devil

One of my favorite tech writers, James Huang from CyclingNews/BikeRadar recently posted an article that resonated with the deepest chambers of my mechanic heart and soul:

Enough with the internal spoke nipples already

While James' article spoke from the angle of carbon tubular wheelsets and the arduous job that must be undertaken once you discover that your wheel is out of true on the evening before an event (as will occur more than once   per the laws of probability which you agree to when you purchase internal spoke nipple wheels... Wait, what? You weren't handed that signature page? Well, the agreement doesn't need your signature to be valid - it is a deal with the Devil, after all...) my beef with internal spoke nipples transcends to clincher wheels too; carbon and aluminum. Here's my reasoning why:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to Prevent your Bike from Being Stolen

I have run a few stories about preventing bike theft here - and Gail Newland recently wrote an article that I think shares from a different perspective which was worth sharing. I hope you enjoy the guest posts I bring from time-to-time
How to Prevent your Bike from Being StolenIn the UK a bike is stolen on average every minute, with less than 6% being returned. Research studies show that cyclists are more likely to have their bicycle stolen than car owners or motorcyclists. Bicycle theft has also doubled since the 1990’s. A good combination of equipment, common sense and a bit of luck will ultimately help keep your ride exactly where you left it.
Bicycle Lock
An unlocked bicycle is the most common reason a bike gets stolen; it acts as an invitation for a thief to steal and only takes a few seconds to do so. Never leave your bicycle unlocked, under no circumstances!
A poor quality lock can easily be broken. It pays to invest in a high quality lock, usually around £30-£50. It’s a smart idea to lock your bicycle to something immovable or for maximum protection use two locks.
It’s a good idea to lock your bike in a public area where there are lots of people around. Most train stations and public buildings have designated areas for bikes with bicycle racks. Plan ahead and check out the facilities in the places you are planning to leave your bicycle.
When at home it’s still important to lock your bicycle, in the garage is the safest place for your bike. If you don’t have a garage, you could invest in a ground anchor, allowing you to attach it securely to the wall or a concrete floor. Keep your bike out of view, as it could act as in incentive to break into your property.
Another idea is to lock it next to better bikes, so it appears less valuable to those surrounding it, so is less likely to be targeted.
Bicycle Insurance
If you own an expensive bike, then bicycle insurance is definitely worthwhile. You can do this through your home contents insurance; however don’t forget to cover it for thefts away from home. If it’s a highly expensive bike then you may need more specific insurance cover against both theft and accidental damage.
Less than 6% of stolen bikes are returned due to police being unable to identify the owner. It’s fairly simple to register your bicycle, just take a photograph of it, along with any details about its make and model etc. If possible, mark your frame twice with your postcode, in two different places, one place must be hidden. This will be stored in your account, so will make it easier to recover your bike if it’s lost or stolen.
Your Bikes image
A good idea is to make your bike less attractive to the eye, which may not be a solution for some who value their bikes appearance over its function. Some ways to uglify your bike is bad paintjob, use of duct tape, made it appear muddy and removal of brands names etc. all helping to act as a deterrent.

This post was written on behalf of by Gail Newland, a freelance writer.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finding the Latest Cycling or Tri Gear Available

As a bike fitter it is part of my job to know the best solutions for a wide swath of varied and diverse problems. Trust me; it is not easy to keep up with all the product offerings available from the various brands out there in the wide world of cycling. And when it comes to the incredibly gear-centered sport of triathlon – an area where a great number of my clients come from – it is even more difficult. The products change so fast – many from year to year – that even the manufacturer websites are not always the most accurate and up to date.

So where does one turn?

Often one of the best sources around is to choose a web retailer. They are motivated to have the cutting edge products listed with specifications and pricing available. I have a short list of sources I trust who have proven to be accurate and reliable – sometimes even beating the manufacturer to getting the latest info out on the web. When I am needing to search a widevariety of triathlon gear for a client; my source is frequently Their thorough website often allows me to garner the information I need to also address questions and issues for my clients in their swim, run, and transitions.


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

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