Each year, June sees the beginning of the UK-wide, annual initiative known as 'Bike Week'. Bike Week provides a fantastic opportunity to promote the advantages of cycling to both mental and physical health within the UK, showing how cycling can easily become a part of everyday life. Since its conception way back in 1923, Bike Week has been an imperative aspect of cycling education for the population, highlighting the social, health and environmental benefits of a bicycle and how you can incorporate cycling into your daily routine. Often the 'everyday' cyclist is overlooked in favour of accommodating those who see cycling as a serious hobby, where three grand bikes, questionable clothing and the latest lightweight tech dominate the conversation - Bike Week attempts to counter this, providing activities and social rides for all demographics of cyclists with activities suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience; from family friendly rides to training; from cycle maintenance to bike breakfasts, even naked bike rides - Bike Week provides fun opportunities for people to get back into the saddle for the summer.
So, how can you take part in this years bike week? Easy - simply ride your bike. It doesn't have to be far, even doing a two mile cruise to the shops when you'd normally take your car contributes towards a healthier, less polluted environment. There are a variety of events listed on bikeweek.org across the country aimed at beginners and accomplished cyclists alike. Furthermore, Rutland Cycling will be running events throughout the week, including our popular evening rides, maintenance classes and Breeze rides for women.
4-Step Bike Health Check
A health check on a bike need not be difficult and with a quick check over you can be out riding in no time. Although technology on bikes, especially with electrical or detailed components (like electronic shifting and rear mechs) can be complicated, the level of knowledge required to make your bike safe is much less, with anyone being able to do it with the correct guidance and information. Essentially, a health check breaks down like this :
- Tyres - Are they pumped up to the correct pressue? If not add more air until the PSI level matches the recommended shown on the tyre wall. In the event of a puncture, standard inner tubes are fairly straight-forward to change - you just need tyre levers and a bit of elbow grease! If your bike is tubeless or has another standard of tyre/wheel set-up then it may be worth bringing it into our workshop for a tyre change unless you're confident you know what your doing. Mistakes can be costly when you're dealing with these types of tyres.
- Drivetrain - Is the chain rusted and worn? If so you'll need to replace it to avoid it snapping whilst your out on a ride. Furthermore, it's good practice to make sure your brakes aren't rubbing, your gears are correctly aligned and your cranks and bottom bracket are secure. Mechanical failures are normally avoidable with the correct level of pre-ride cautiousness and correct bicycle maintenance.
- Safety 'M' Check - Are all the bolts and quick releases done up tight? If not then use an allen key or torque key to tighten the bolts to ensure that your bike stays in one piece whilst you're riding. Be careful not to overtighten as this can also be damaging to the bike by causing over compression in the frame near the bolts. An M-check should also be used to check that the wheel is not buckled, spokes are not loose, the saddles, grips and contact points are all fitted securely and the brake levers are set to the correct resistance and handlebar position. Make sure that your handlebar is tight and straight, a bike becomes particularly hard to handle if your handlebar comes loose!
- Cleaning - It sounds simple, and it is. Just by cleaning your bike and removing the dirt and debris from your components you can drastically improve their durability, reducing the chance of mechanical failure due to rust or dirt causing moving parts of the bike to become jammed or broken. You should aim to clean your bike a once every couple of rides in the summer and after every ride in the mud and wet or off-road.
We understand that for some people, learning these skills takes time and can be a little intimidating when you only have YouTube and online instructions as a guide. Often it can help to see someone else perform a repair, giving a step-by-step guide as to what they are doing and why. It is for this reason that we run regular maintenance classes at our stores. In one of our maintenance classes you can expect to learn how to keep your bike in top-top shape and fix simple mechanicals while out and about. Our maintenance classes are friendly, interactive sessions run by our expert workshop team. These events have limited space (15 per class) so pre-booking is essential. A class such as this is an excellent idea for the regular rider or commuter that would like to be able to do their own basic repairs to improve their self-sufficiency, save money and time and increase rider confidence to travel further afield, safe in the knowledge that if something goes wrong they'll be able to fix it!
Our YouTube channel offers lots of guides and tips for effective bicycle maintenance
- Workshop Tip #1 - Inflate your tyres correctly
- Workshop Tip #2 - Avoiding Pinch Flats
- Workshop Tip #3 - Avoiding Punctures(Watch those puddles!)
- Workshop Tip #4 - Getting home after getting a puncture
- Workshop Tip #5 - Cleaning your bike
- Workshop Tip #6 - Using the correct lube
- Workshop Tip #7 - To hose or not to hose?
- Workshop Tip #8 - Fitting Pedals
- Workshop Tip #9 - Changing your wheels
- Workshop Tip #10 - Bike Maintenance
Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store
For more information on Bicycle Maintenance and to get your hands on the essential products above, visit your nearest store.
THE RUTLAND DIFFERENCE
FREE DELIVERY OVER £10
30-DAY TEST RIDE