TFM will happily exchange or offer store credit for goods returned within 7 days of purchase. The goods must be accompanied by the original purchase reciept and where applicable be still in the orginal packaging.
Refunds will only be offered on goods that are faulty or do not match description made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising.
Each Saturday morning (weather pending), why not join the TFM crew for an early morning jaunt down to Mordiallic and back. If you're comfortable riding in a pack, averaging around 30Kph, and don't mind a social coffee at the end, then come along. The ride departs at 6:30am sharp with coffe stop at Il Fornaio in Ackland Street, St Kilda (near Fitzroy Street corner).
For updates on all our TFM rides during the week please follow us on Facebook.
Believe it or not, most stolen bicycles get that way because they weren't locked. So, your first defense against theft is purchasing a quality lock and using it whenever you leave your ride unattended (even when it's inside your garage). Thieves usually ignore protected two wheelers because so many freebies are readily available.
But, don't just slap on the lock any old which way. Thieves are scoundrels but they're not always stupid. They'll get your machine or part of it, if you're lazy about securing it. For example, most bicycles are equipped with quick-release wheels, which make it easy for crooks to take off with a very expensive chunk of your machine if you forget to lock the wheel (or the rest of the bike, if you only secure one wheel!). Likewise, if you wrap a cable around a parking meter, the felon can just lift the bike over the post's top, toss your pride and joy in his truck and take it home where he can break off the lock at his leisure.
Avoid the misery of bike theft by following our seven safety rules:?
1. Tell us how and where you'll use your lock and we'll recommend the best models and demonstrate their use.
2. Ask us where the high-risk areas in town are so you won't make the mistake of parking there.
3. At home, store your bicycles inside. If kept in a garage, keep the door closed and store your two wheelers out of sight and locked; you never know who might cruise your neighborhood looking for valuables.
4. When stopped, if you can't take your bike inside, always lock it.
5. Always lock your bike to an unbreakable and immovable object being certain to secure the frame and both wheels.
6. Take with you any easily-removed accessories and components such as pumps, computers, lights, seat bags, quick-release seat and seat post, etc.
7. To reduce the risk of becoming a target, never tempt thieves by leaving your bike locked for long periods such as overnight, or securing it in a predictable fashion, such as putting it in the same bike rack every day.
Don't forget to take some photos of your bike and record the serial number in a safe place. This will assist police identify your bike if it has been stolen.
If you can tell us how and where you'll ride at night, we can recommend the perfect light or system. For example, for occasional evening rides or commuting on good roads lit by streetlights, most people do fine with a clip-on front headlight combined with a rear flasher. This simple and inexpensive solution ($20 to $60) provides adequate road illumination while also making you visible to motorists. If you dislike disposing of the dead AA alkaline batteries these lights usually require, you can substitute rechargeable ones that you won't have to toss when they fade.
On the other end of the lighting spectrum are rechargeable systems that provide brightness and battery life so impressive, you could easily tackle a three-hour singletrack at midnight with no moonlight. Of course, these systems can cost considerably more ($50 to $300) than simpler models, but they're the best choices if you ride regularly for an hour or more on and/or off road in low-light conditions (the worse the road and trail conditions and the faster your pace, the more you'll appreciate additional brightness). Most are easily mounted and removed, come with several power settings so you can manage battery life by selecting the most appropriate wattage for the lighting conditions, and are rugged enough to withstand heavy use (some set-ups even come with guarantees). Visit us today to discuss your needs and look at some of our excellent lighting solutions.
Bells, horns and other noisemakers can be mounted to any bicycle, but whether or not you should put one on yours, depends on how and where you ride and how you like to warn others while riding. Some cyclists prefer to simply use their voices to caution walkers and motorists when necessary. The thinking here is that the human voice is adjustable from a whisper to a shout so you can adjust it to get the desired effect, speaking softly to joggers so you don't startle them, or torturing your tonsils screaming "stop!" to alert an asleep-at-the-wheel driver.
Bells have their advocates, though. They're inexpensive, easily mounted, don't weigh much, are simple to use and they make a friendly chime that walkers instantly recognize as a bicyclist about to pass. Which is also why dingers work well for trail use. Bell people usually ring to say hello to other bikers, too, which is a nice tradition. And, because even the loudest ding, may go unheard inside a car, if you need to make a louder warning, you can always shout.
Although there are some battery-powered and pneumatic designs intended for enthusiasts, most bicycle horns are the squeeze type usually of interest to young children (who shouldn't be riding in traffic situations) who want something mostly for fun.
Feel free to come in and make a racket trying out our selection of noisemakers to find one right for you.
Actually, some do come with chainguards, just not all models. You'll find full-coverage pants protectors on some cruisers and smaller chainguards intended to keep trousers out of the front sprockets on some hybrids. They're on these bikes because the designers recognize that you're likely to ride in everyday clothing, which is loose fitting and can get caught in the drivetrain. And they expect that you're not overly concerned with a little additional weight.
These same builders assume, however, that you'll pedal your mountain and road bikes in cycling garb that's unlikely to catch in the drivetrain, which is one good reason chainguards are rare on these machines. But, there are other explanations. The primary one is that if you ride rigorously as is often the case off road, and on (if you push the pace), guards can get bent and interfere with the shifting system by blocking the action of the front derailleur, which relies on precise lateral movements to move the chain. Guards can also loosen and rattle, and they add weight, all things that can drive you crazy on any ride that lasts more than a few blocks.
Our suggestion is to come in and look at a few. We've got great bike models for every type of cycling and we can explain the differences and even arrange a test ride if you want, so you can feel the ride.
In making a selection, it helps if you can tell us how you'll use the bike, where you'd like to ride and approximately how much you want to spend. If you're not sure, consider where you live and what the roads, paths and trails are like. Talk to friends who ride to find out what types they prefer, where they ride and what they recommend. (If you plan to ride with these friends, you'll want to get the same type of bike that they ride.)
Also, think about other purchases you make: are you a get-the-best, cost-is-no-object shopper or do you think of yourself as frugal? Do you like the latest high-tech gadgets or prefer simpler, more traditional designs. If you can answer some these questions, you stand an excellent chance of making the perfect purchase.
Keep in mind that cycling is a sport that grows on you. Many devotees start with one bike and end up with a bunch, each ideal for its intended purpose. For example, an enthusiast will have an off-road bike for hitting dirt trails and a road bike for cruising on blacktop. If she's married, she might also have a tandem so her husband can join the fun. Or perhaps a hybrid equipped with a basket for running errands around town.
Obviously, we're not suggesting that you start off by purchasing a garage-load of two wheelers. But, it takes some pressure off the decision process when you realize that no one bike is going to do it all. It's best to start with the bike type that seems best for how you'll ride now. And then, as your riding interests expand, there are plenty of other models you can consider.
We find the name as confusing as you do, and so do the bike manufacturers, which is why so many of them mark their hybrids with anything besides that term. Still, it's an important bike type and the term is used enough that you should understand it.
A little history will help. In the seventies, the groovy bike was the ten-speed with its skinny tires, drop handlebars and narrow seat. A decade later, the to-die-for machine was the mountain bike, with its fat tires, indestructible components, super-low gearing and ultra-comfortable wide, flat handlebars. Both these bike types sold like crazy in their heyday and continue to sell well today. Why? Because they're each perfectly suited for their intended purpose: on- and off-road riding.
But what if you enjoy riding both dirt roads and pavement? What if you want a responsive bike that's more rugged than a lightweight road model? What if you're looking for the comfort and convenience of flat bars but want to ride at a good clip and for long distances? What if you want low gears and carrying capacity? If that's you, a hybrid is likely your best bike choice.
Hybrids combine the best of the two most popular bike types. What's interesting is that after millions of ten-speeds were sold in the seventies and mountain bikes in the eighties, a great many were ridden a few times and then permanently parked because it wasn't the right bike for that person. Lots of people bought mountain bikes looking for something more comfortable than the ten-speed they had. But, they were disappointed when they felt how much more effort was required to pedal the bike down the road. Likewise, hoards of people were miserable sitting all hunched over trying to reach the drop bars on a racing bike.
On a hybrid, you get the comfort of the flat handlebars with the zippiness of lightweight wheels. But, the bike is durable enough that you can take it off road (though hybrids are best for smooth groomed paths and dirt roads, not rugged trails and technical singletrack) and carry plenty of gear for commuting or touring. Many hybrids include innovations such as shock seat posts that absorb jolts and provide additional comfort. And they come equipped with low gearing for easy hill climbing and tough tires that resist punctures.
We've got an excellent selection of hybrids and you're welcome to come in and check a few. We won't hold it against you if you call them by name, either.
YES! Dualies, as they're sometimes called, are lots of fun and they can make your off-road rides more comfortable and provide additional control making you a better mountain biker. But, they're not absolutely essential and plenty of people ride even the most demanding trails on bikes with only front suspension.
Still, there are enough benefits for most off-road cyclists that we recommend considering dual suspension if you enjoy trail riding often. We mentioned increased control and comfort. Having front and rear shocks also allows you to safely tackle technical terrain that you might have avoided before, so the feature can extend your riding. Maybe better, because these bikes reduce the beating you take, you're less tired during and after long rides and you're a lot less likely to suffer back and neck pain, a common problem for some off-roaders.
Many cyclists also appreciate the high-tech nature of dual suspension. The rigs are intricate and neat to admire and show off. And the front and rear suspension systems are adjustable so you can study the manual and tweak things to dial the ride just the way you like it.
Obviously, we think dual suspension mountain bikes are pretty cool. If we've convinced you, come on in and we'll show you some of our favorites.
We'll leave this question for the scientists to debate. What you need to decide is which one is best for you.
Each material has specific characteristics and outstanding bikes are built out of all of them. So what really matters is finding a bicycle that fits, rides and handles the way you like and one that suits your needs and budget. What the frame material is should almost be an afterthought.
Still, the buzz about steel, aluminum, carbon and titanium may leave you wondering if it isn't worth it to go after one or the other. To help, we list the features of the different frame materials below. You'll see that they're strikingly similar in some ways and that they're all ideal for use in bicycles. This means that you won't go wrong regardless of what material you pick. (If you narrow your new-bike choices down to two different models and can't decide, test ride both and pick the one that feels best!)
Steel: Classic look, lively ride, durable and easily repaired, fairly lightweight, affordable, can rust if abused.
Aluminum: Modern look, lively ride, durable, corrosion resistant, lightweight, affordable.
Carbon: High-tech look, lively ride, durable, corrosion free, lightweight, usually a little more expensive than steel and aluminum.
Titanium: Various looks (depending on finish), lively ride, durable, corrosion free, lightweight, usually the most expensive material.
You should get the bike size that allows an optimum fit for your body and your preferred type of riding. That means different things for different people. The best approach is to come in to our shop. We'll have you stand over and sit on a few bicycles so we can have a look and make recommendations. We'll determine what bike size is right by checking for these things:
• that you can comfortably (and safely) get on and off the bike
• that the seat can be placed in a comfortable and efficient position for pedaling
• that the handlebars can be placed at the right height for your torso length, flexibility and riding style
Keep in mind that most quality bikes come in a variety of frame sizes but there are often sizing differences from bike brand to brand, the same way shoe and clothing fit varies. Our goal is to find the frame that fits your lower and upper body to a T. Once we've determined the correct size for you, we can fine tune the fit as needed by adjusting the seat and handlebars.
If you ride with the seat too high or low, you risk knee injuries, lower back pain, saddle sores and reduced pedaling efficiency. So, you can see why we feel that seat height is one of the most important bike adjustments. We're experts at fitting bicycles and we can find the best seat height for you. If you wish to make the adjustment on your own, however, here's one easy method (all you need is a helper):
Put on cycling clothes (including shoes) and start adjusting by leveling the seat and centering its rails in the seat post clamp. Now, to find the right height, place the bike in a doorway or on a stationary trainer so you can hold yourself up. Have your buddy stand behind you where he can watch your legs and hips (if you can't find a helper, park a video camera behind you and watch yourself on TV). Get on the bike, place your heels on the tops of the pedals and spin backwards. The seat height is perfect when your legs are completely extended as the pedals reach the bottom of the pedal stroke with your heels on the pedals. If your hips rock sideways, the seat is too high. If there's any bend in the knees, the seat is too low.
With the seat at this height, you'll have a slight bend in your knees when you're riding with the balls of your feet over the pedals (where they belong), which should be the most comfortable, efficient and injury-free saddle position.
Now that you've taken the trouble to find the best seat height, it's a great idea to mark the setting by wrapping a bit of tape around the post. That way, if you box the bike for shipping or change the seat for a friend to use the bike, you can quickly return it to the right spot for you. If you have any questions or need help adjusting your seat height, give us a call and we'll be happy to help.
Once you've adjusted seat height, it's time to find the correct fore-and-aft position of the saddle. This determines where you sit in relationship to the crankset (where the pedals are attached), which helps decide how comfortable and efficient you'll be when riding. This is fine tuning of your position and it requires careful eyeballing and some expertise, so you may want to let us do it for you.
If you want to try to check the fore-and-aft setting at home, round up a helper and a plumb line (a length of string with a nut tied on the end will work fine). Place your bike on a stationary trainer making sure that the bike is level. Then put on cycling clothes, hop on and spin in a low gear for a few minutes to loosen up and get comfortable.
Have your helper stand on the bike's right side. Stop pedaling when you you're warm and you feel like you're sitting on your seat's sweet spot, where you spend most of your time. Bring your right crankarm around and have your helper stop the crank when the pedal is at three o'clock. He also should make sure that both the crankarm and pedal are level with the ground. Note that for this measurement to be accurate, your shoes must be correctly positioned on the pedals (the balls of your feet should be over the pedal axles).
Holding this position, have your helper place the end of the plumb line on the front of your leg, at a point just below the bony protrusion that's beneath the kneecap. The plumb line's weight should hang over your shoe. Check again to ensure that the crankarm and pedal are level. Now, by looking at the relationship of the plumb line (gauge by the line, not the weight) to the center of the pedal (for reference, use the pedal axle), you can figure what, if any, adjustment is needed.
For most riders and types of cycling, the plumb line should bisect or be slightly behind the pedal axle. If it's ahead, loosen the seat clamp and slide the saddle back (but don't knock it off level). Then check with the plumb line again to make sure the position is correct.
If this procedure sounds tricky, it's because it is. Our experts will be happy to make this adjustment for you if you need help.
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The bars should be adjusted so that you're comfortable. But, before you do anything, keep in mind that it's not always easy to raise or lower bicycle handlebars, especially if you want a significant change. Depending on the bike, special tools and parts may be required. So, your first step should be to come by or call us to explain what you'd like to do. We can then tell you what's involved to make the adjustment and help you with it.
As for what height is correct, don't assume that the higher the bars are, the more comfortable you'll be, because that's usually not the case. In fact, if the handlebars are too high, most of your body weight gets shifted to the seat, which usually causes saddle soreness. Worse, high bars can spur lower-back pain because jolts from bumps come up through the rear wheel and pound your posterior and back.
Ideally, the correct handlebar height results in a comfortable riding position that balances pressure on the body's contact points so no one part suffers. Your hands, arms, shoulders, back and neck should feel relaxed and natural when you're riding. What's right for you also depends on the bike and how you ride.
To evaluate handlebar height, lean your bike against a wall and place a long ruler on the seat (if the seat's not level, make sure the ruler is) so that the end of the ruler extends over the bars. You can then see how high the handlebars are in relationship to the seat height, which is a good way to judge bar position.? ?Most cyclists prefer a bar position that is about the same height or slightly higher than the saddle. But, folks who ride more, maintain a faster pace, and are more flexible, generally like having their handlebars below the height of the seat. ??Off-road, hybrid and comfort bikes are often equipped with upright handlebars, sometimes called "riser bars" or "risers" because they offer some built-in height. They're usually wider than flat and dropped handlebars, too. These design differences mean that it's unlikely you'll need to raise these types of handlebars. ??If you'd like us to advise you, don't hesitate to bring your bike in and we'll take a look.
If you're just coasting around the neighborhood, any old pair of cutoffs might work just fine. But, once you hit the trail or road for an hour-long spin or more, cycling shorts can make a significant difference in comfort.
It's the construction of these pedaling pants that works the magic. Your everyday trousers and shorts - even ones designed for exercise, are held together by seams that usually come together in the crotch area forming a bump right where it can hurt you most when you're sitting on a bicycle seat. Also, the fabrics used are for all-round fashion and comfort. They can't provide the moisture transfer and relief from friction that's so important when you're spinning the pedals.
Inside cycling shorts you'll find a generous pad that, combined with the seam-free crotch construction, helps cushion shock and prevent friction that can cause chafing and discomfort. It's important to note that regular underwear is not worn beneath cycling shorts because the seams in the underwear cause the exact problem the shorts are designed to avoid. There is however, special seam-free cycling underwear available and it will add to the comfort of cycling shorts.
And don't worry about having to wear skin-tight shorts. We have loose-fitting cycling shorts that resemble the most stylish outdoor clothing. In these, you'll be super comfy while riding, and when you stop to shop or relax, you'll look and feel great.
Come in and try on some cycling shorts today. You'll really appreciate the difference.
All the helmets we carry, from the most affordable, to models with all the latest features, meet or exceed the highest and most-current safety standards as required by the Australian Standards (Regulations as published in AS/NZS 2063:2008—Bicycle helmets.) Each helmet is tested by the manufacturer to meet these stringent safety specifications so that it will provide optimum protection in an accident.
An important part of the safety equation is getting a helmet that fits perfectly. We're experts in this and we can help with selecting the correct size, model and also with adjusting the straps so the helmet sits on your head right when you're riding.
It helps in selecting a helmet to consider how you'll use it. For example, if you ride a bike with flat handlebars, you'll probably appreciate a helmet that includes a visor, which is a nice thing to have come sundown when old Sol can be in just the right place to blind you with glare. You'll find the visor is a perfect shield. Contrarily, if you're a roadie who has the lightest bike and likes to jam, you'll probably prefer the most aero, ventilated and sleek lid you can find...and a visor may not interest you (visors offer sun protection for your nose and face, on and off the road).
One fact many people don't realize about helmets is that while they seemingly last forever, they won't provide proper protection forever. Manufacturers who study these things, recommend replacing helmets at least every five years to ensure safety when you need it. This is because over time, the materials inside the helmet that absorb shock in a crash, break down slightly and stop doing their job as well. Also, consider that a helmet takes a beating in its life. Things such as leaving it in a warm car, accidentally dropping it and shipping it, gradually wear out a helmet's ability to protect.
We want you to be as safe as possible so we'll be delighted to show you the latest helmets. If you haven't checked out helmets in a while, we think you'll be amazed at how light, adjustable, good looking, affordable and comfortable our new models are.
What to wear to be warm and dry on rainy days varies depending on the nature of your rides. For example, professional racers, who sometimes have to compete all day in the rain, get by with the skimpiest of outfits, often a thin waterproof jacket over a long-sleeve top with no leg protection other than shorts. But, they can get by with this gear because they're generating so much body heat from pushing themselves so hard.
Chances are, you'll need a more practical approach. A big key to remaining comfortable when Mother Nature's doing her best to make you miserable, is dressing in layers. Start with a wicking fabric close to the skin. This moves the sweat away so you don't get wet from the inside, which is as bad as what the rain does to you. And, you can vary the thickness of this first layer according to the temperature or put on a couple of thin layers. Next put on a warm cycling jersey, one with long sleeves if it's chilly. If it's cold, put a thermal layer over the jersey. Then, on top, wear a rain jacket designed for cycling.
There are other types of jackets designed for the wet stuff, but ones made for cycling will provide coverage for your lower back (important because you bend over to reach the handlebars) and include ventilation to let heat escape and help prevent overheating and excess sweating. Also, cycling-specific jackets (and jerseys) almost always feature rear pockets, which are perfect for stashing layers removed if you get lucky and the sun comes out.
What you wear on your legs is a matter of personal preference. Some riders swear by water-resistant rain pants over their cycling shorts (or tights when it's cold). But other cyclists dislike pedaling in these rain pants because they catch the wind and bunch a bit. So instead, they just put up with getting wet. It's worth experimenting to find what's right for you. Most important is keeping your knees warm to maintain blood circulation and prevent injury.
Besides leggings and tops, consider booties (shoe covers) to keep your toes warm and protect your cycling shoes. And, we recommend adding fenders to your bike. These are easily installed and removed and they work wonders in the wet by stopping the spray that otherwise shoots off the wheels drenching your feet, face and back. Similarly, fenders keep a lot of the water off your bicycle and components too, which means less maintenance and bike cleaning.
If you're interested in actually enjoying your next rainy-day ride, come on in and check out our stock of water-resistant clothing and accessories.
Lots of cyclists wear their everyday glasses for cycling and do just fine. But, it's unlikely those glasses were designed for the rigors of biking and can handle important tasks such as eliminating ultra-violet rays and glare, not fogging up, and fully protecting the eyes from airborne debris. Also, prescription glasses can be expensive and they're at considerable risk when you're exercising. You might lose or drop them, or fall and damage them. These are all reasons we recommend considering cycling eyewear.
Today, several manufacturers offer cycling eyewear models that accommodate prescription glasses. Usually there's an insert that holds your prescription lenses and snaps into the frames. Otherwise, the cycling eyewear is identical to and offers all the high-tech features of the same non-prescription model. So, you'll have great vision and eye protection while keeping your everyday glasses safe at home.
We can show you the different prescription-compatible eyewear we carry. You'll need to visit your eye doctor to have prescription lenses made to fit the glasses and then you're set to go
Yes, but whether or not they're right for you depends a lot on where and how you ride. Semi-slicks are among the lightest off-road rubber so they will reduce your bike's weight and immediately improve handling, climbing and acceleration (especially if you buy new lightweight tubes to go with your new tires).
Best of all, you'll feel like it's easier to pedal and you'll probably see an increase in your average speed. This is one of the big reasons racers appreciate these tires. But, it means you need more handling skills in corners and on soft, loose surfaces where the tires don't bite as well as knobbier rubber. Added speed helps on technical terrain because it means you carry more momentum into challenging sections, which is a good thing if you have the skills to clean the obstacles you find there.
These tires aren't for every offroader, though. Because they're so light, there's an increased chance of pinch flats. Also, with such little tread, the tires wear out faster. When you're climbing on slippery surfaces, you've got to be more careful to keep sufficient weight over the rear wheel to prevent tire slippage. And, as we mentioned, the semi-slicks can feel a little squirrelly cornering on loose surfaces.
Our recommendation? Ideally, you'd try a pair before buying them. One way to do this, is to find a friend who's using them and ask if you can test ride his bike. Or, if the bike's the wrong frame size, you might try swapping out the wheels for a quick spin. That would quickly tell you if semi-slicks are right for you.
If clipless pedals are adjusted correctly and you know how to use them, you'll love them. The reason you hear they're dangerous is because a lot of people start using clipless pedals before they've had enough practice with them. And often, the pedals aren't adjusted correctly for the user. These mistakes increase the chances of not being able to get your feet out and falling over at stops, which is definitely dangerous.
When we sell pedals, if you tell us that it's your first time on clipless, we'll explain how to set-up these pedals correctly (bring your shoes in and we can help with this) and the best ways to practice clicking in and out before you head out on a ride with them. That's very important because it takes a few attempts for your muscles to learn the entry and exit motions.
Ironically, the first clipless pedals were designed for increased safety. Before clipless, cyclists used only toe clips and straps to keep their feet in place on the pedals. These are still available and they work. But, you might find that straps can cause numb toes if you tighten them for optimum pedaling efficiency. And, strapped clips can be a little tricky to enter and exit. Also, when you're riding on the bottoms of the pedals, the clips hang down and can scrape or snag on things, which can be dangerous riding off road.
Clipless pedals are modeled after ski bindings that release and free your feet in an emergency. There are two parts to a clipless pedal system, the pedal and the cleat. The cleat is attached to the shoe sole and when you step on the pedal, jaws in the pedal grab the cleat and hold your foot in place. To enter the pedal, you simply step down until you feel and hear the click. To exit, you swing your heel laterally and the pedal releases, allowing you to quickly step off the bike. It does take some practice to get used to, but once you've got it down, you can get in and out instantly, so you are indeed safer.
An additional benefit of clipless systems is being fully connected to the pedal. This provides optimum pedaling efficiency and makes it easier to perform maneuvers such as lifting the wheels to clear potholes. Because no strap is encircling your foot, you won't suffer pain or numbness. Most clipless pedals also provide a great feature called float, which is a slight bit of lateral foot movement designed to protect the knees from the strain of being forced to remain in a fixed position. What's more, the pedals can be adjusted to modify the effort required to get your feet out, which is a crucial step in setting up the clipless system.
Before purchasing clipless pedals, it helps to think about how you'll use them. Different models are designed for specific purposes and some work better than others under certain conditions. For example, some excel in muddy conditions while others are only so-so. We'll be happy to show you different models, discuss your needs and help set up a system for you.
Seat comfort determines whether or not you enjoy cycling, so it's crucial to get a seat you like. Fortunately, you couldn't ask for a better time to be shopping. Because recently, there have been impressive advances in seat design and we carry an excellent selection of these great new saddles. We've got models for men and women, for every type of cycling and budget.
We can recommend a seat based upon how you ride. But, your anatomy has a lot to do with which saddle feels best, so trying a new model is often helpful. In some cases, you might need to try several seats to find one that fits comfortably. Before you start swapping saddles however, be certain that the adjustment is correct. The seat's top should be level and the height and fore-and-aft positioning must be right because if these settings are wrong, even a super seat will feel bad. We can advise you on these important adjustments.
It also helps a lot to wear cycling shorts, which are padded and seamless in the crotch area. (Seams create bumps that can irritate and cause numbness.) These special shorts also fit comfortably and wick moisture away from the skin so there's less friction and zero chafing while pedaling.
Once you're riding in your cycling shorts on a seat that's correctly adjusted, you can assess how comfortable it is. Ideally, the saddle will support you and feel natural. If anything is digging in or hurting you or if you start to get numb or develop pain, that one is probably designed wrong for your body and you should try another. We have an excellent selection and we'll find one that works great. And, once you've found a sweet seat that you really like, you won't need to go through the selection process again for other bikes you might already own or want to get.
A TFM we will ensure we will help you find the most comfortable saddle with our 30 day comfort guarantee. Return the saddle with it's original packaging and we will exchange it for another.
Disc brakes have trickled down from motorcycle and automobiles to bicycles because mountain bikers who were riding in demanding technical conditions found that regular rim brakes weren't working as well as they wanted. With rim brakes, you squeeze your levers and pads rub on the rims to slow and stop you. This works great in dry conditions. But, as the trails get sloppy with water and mud, the pads slip on the rims, weakening braking.
Also, the dirt in the mud wears the pads quickly, in some instances completely, which creates a dangerous no-brakes condition. Sand and muck aren't good for the rims either and over time, the rims can and will wear out forcing an expensive wheel repair. Another brake compromiser is rim damage. If you warp or bend your rim on a ride by hitting a hole or rock, it'll hamper and might even ruin your braking.
So, mountain-bike designers started looking for solutions to these problems and settled on disc brakes, which are common on motorized vehicles. On these brakes, discs are attached to the wheel hubs and calipers are attached to the frame. When you operate the levers, pads inside the calipers squeeze against the discs and stop the bike. Because the discs and pads are designed specifically for braking, they can stop as well, or better than rim brakes and do so in all conditions. What's more, all rim damage associated with braking becomes a non issue. And, rims can be designed differently (and improved) because they no longer are part of the brake system. When you've got discs, should you damage a rim while riding, it has no effect on the brakes.
While it's possible to add disc brake systems to most bicycles, depending on what you need, it can cost quite a bit to upgrade. So, it's best to bring your bike in so we can show you what's needed for your situation and make recommendations. It may make more sense to buy a new bike that comes stock with disc brakes. You'll spend more, but you'll also get all new equipment designed from the factory for disc braking so everything on the machine, from the frame and components to the wheels, will be just right. And, you can even consider selling your used bike to cover the difference.
If your knees hurt only after riding, and not when you're walking and doing everyday things, there's an excellent chance that your problem is caused by riding too much or too hard, before proper conditioning, or it's related to how your bicycle is adjusted. These things are the most common causes of knee pain in cyclists.
We can look at you and your bike to check the fit. Likely knee irritants include improper cleat and foot positioning (if you use clipless pedal systems or toe clips and straps) and seat-height and fore-and-aft adjustment errors.
Even if the bike fits perfectly, it's easy to get carried away while riding, push yourself too hard and then wake up with sore knees the next day. It's best to take it easy and build your base fitness for the first month of the cycling season by spinning easy gears (maintain a pedal rate of approximately seventy to ninety revolutions per minute). Also, avoid the hills, or at least take it easy when climbing. This type of riding will allow your delicate body joints to gradually adapt to the work load of cycling. Plus, the miles will strengthen the quadriceps muscles in the thighs that support the knees.
We're not doctors, though. If you've developed pain in your knee that won't go away, you should seek professional help before riding more. If, the knee pain is occasional, it should improve if you change your riding habits as we recommend. You may still suffer soreness after an especially hard or long ride, though. To ease the pain and help the knee recover, ice it (cover the entire knee) for a minimum of twenty minutes, three times a day.
Please let us know if you're experiencing knee pain and we'll be glad to have a look at your bike and equipment and make recommendations.
All the scientific evidence we've seen indicates that the answer to this important question is no. Cycling is one of the best activities for fun, good health and fitness and there's no reason to worry about sitting on a bike seat.
But, if you're uncomfortable in any way when sitting on yours, and you're pretty sure that your saddle is adjusted correctly (improper adjustment is one of the most common causes of discomfort), we recommend considering a new seat.
Why? Because, there have been impressive advances in seat technology in the last couple of years and we have many new models specifically designed to eliminate pressure on sensitive body parts, which is probably what's annoying you. These cool seats employ shapes, shock absorption and padding specifically selected to prevent pain and increase comfort and many happy customers swear by them.
If you're new to cycling and it hurts to sit on your seat at first, it's not likely to cause any serious damage. Keep your rides short and see if the discomfort subsides after a few days. If the pain continues or worsens, call or come visit us right away for suggestions. One of the new breed of saddles, or some fit adjustments, can make all the difference and make riding enjoyable again.
Some of the things that can cause this painful problem include: a seat that doesn't fit your anatomy correctly; riding in shorts that have seams in the crotch pressing on nerves and slowing or stopping the circulation; too high a seat; an angled seat that doesn't support you correctly; and riding in one position for too long without standing or moving around.
That's a lot of stuff to check. What we recommend is trying one solution at a time, starting with the easiest, which is to move around on the seat occasionally to change the pressure points while pedaling. And, to stand at regular intervals to take all pressure off the crotch. Many cyclists get in the bad habit of sitting in one spot on the seat. That's fine, if it doesn't cause problems. When numbness sets in, though, that's plenty of incentive to get moving and standing every fifteen minutes or so on rides.
Seat position is important and easily adjusted. The seat top should be level or angled for comfort no more than three degrees up or down. And the seat should be set high enough (but not too high), so that when the balls of your feet are over the pedal axles and your feet are at the bottom of the pedal stroke, your knees are slightly bent. If, at the bottom of the stroke, your knees are locked or nearly straight, it means the seat is too high, which could be what's causing the numbness. When a seat is too high, you can't support as much body weight on your feet, which means a concentration of pressure on the seat, causing numbness.
Cycling clothing increases comfort, too. Riding shorts are made without seams in the crotch area. Plus a generous amount of padding is built into the seat and moisture-moving fabric is used to pull sweat away from the body. These features practically eliminate friction and chafing while the seam-free construction ensures that you're not sitting on a bump that cuts off circulation and causes numbness.
If all these things check out and you still suffer numbness, the likely culprit is the specific shape or composition of your seat. Fortunately, there are plenty of new models available designed for comfort. All you've got to do is find one that's right for you, which is usually a matter of trying a few. We have an excellent selection and are happy to advise you.
Hopefully, this advice will end the numbness. Let us know if we can help in any way. Cycling shouldn't hurt!
Numbness in the hands and fingers while riding can occur because two important nerves, the ulnar and median, run right through your palms, the very same spots that support your weight on a bike. If you're not careful, you can easily put too much pressure on these nerves and put your hands to sleep, a painful condition that can last even after you've stopped riding.
The first and simplest solution to try is checking your riding habits. Do you usually maintain the same grip on rides, rarely moving your hands on the handlebars? Would you describe how you hold the bars as resting your hands on them or squeezing them? Are you cycling in quality cycling gloves that fit well? Besides the numbness in your hands, are you suffering elsewhere on rides such as in your lower back, neck or shoulders?
By answering these questions, you should be able to figure out what's causing the numbness and relieve it. Gripping the handlebars in one spot throughout a ride, and holding on too tightly to the handlebars, are two common causes. Train yourself to move your hands every ten minutes or so by setting the countdown timer alarm on your stopwatch to sound. Every time it beeps, move your hands to another grip position. It's also a good idea to shake them out (one at a time so you can steer with your other hand) next to you to keep good circulation. If you're riding flat handlebars with only one hand position, try installing bar ends to provide more options. You might find that a different grip or handlebar tape provides more cushioning and comfort, too.
Good gloves are also important. They must fit comfortably because tight gloves can restrict circulation causing numbness. Padding type and thickness is important but you'll have to try on some gloves to feel the difference and discover which models you like best. We can point out our most popular ones. Some of our gloves are designed specifically to protect the nerves that are affected when you're biking.
Pain in other parts of your body is a sign that it might be an incorrect riding position that's causing your hand distress. Two things to look for are a seat that's set too high and/or handlebars that are too low. These maladjustments force you to put too much body weight squarely on the hands, causing the numbness. We're experts on bike fit and we can help with advice on your equipment and riding techniques so you can enjoy pain-free rides.
The first step is getting a good bicycle floor pump. These usually include gauges and are made to inflate tires faster and easier than the pump you carry on your bike for emergencies. Once you have a floor pump (we carry a good selection), use it to check your tires regularly and ensure they're properly inflated. This is important because the number-one cause of tire problems is riding with too little air pressure. This happens because bicycle tubes naturally seep air, so even if your bicycle is just parked in the garage, the tires soften over time.
Soft tires make it harder to ride. Worse, they increase the risk of flat tires two ways (this holds true for road and off-road rubber): They're more likely to pick up debris, which may work into the tires and pop the tubes. Second, when you hit holes, ruts, rocks, etc., soft tires can deform to the point that the rim pinches the tube (between the rim and obstacle) and cuts it in two places, which is what's known as a pinch flat or snakebite puncture (because the holes in the tube resemble a snakebite). Besides damaging the tube, this impact can bend the rim, leading to an expensive repair. Under-inflated tires also lack the sidewall rigidity needed for safe cornering. And, too-soft tires wear quicker, too. So, save yourself a lot of hassle and get a good floor pump and top off your tires regularly. We recommend pumping before every road ride and once a week on your off-road bike.
It's also important to keep an eye on your tires for wear and tear. With enough kilometres, the tread will wear out or the sidewalls might crack or tear, and when worn like this, tires are much more susceptible to sharp objects. On some road tires, it's hard to tell when the tread is wearing out because it's very smooth even when brand new. One way wear is apparent on your rear tire is that it will tend to square off, it's time for new rubber. Also, whenever you can see wear spots on the tread where the threads in the tire casing show through, you know the tire's worn out. Tracking kilometers is another way to gauge condition. Road tires generally last about 2,500 kms when used on the rear and about twice that on the front, though this varies according to the weight of the rider, bike and equipment, and the roads you ride. If you're unsure, feel free to drop by and we'll be happy to inspect your tires.
Besides watching for wear and tear, regularly check your tread for cuts and debris. Sometimes a small piece of gravel or glass will get stuck in the tire leaving a small gash and hiding beneath the surface. If you spot these and carefully pick them out, it'll help ensure they don't keep working their way through your tire causing a flat.
Flats aren't always caused by outside objects. Sometimes the culprit is something sharp inside the rim, such as the edge of a nipple hole or a jagged rim seam. Fortunately, there's an easy trick for telling what's causing flats. When you get one, remove and inflate the punctured tube, and find and mark the hole. If the hole is on the "belly" of the tube (the same surface the valve is on), something inside the rim popped the tube. If the hole is on the outer surface, it was caused by something that penetrated the tire and tube.
Of course, it's very important to find and remove anything that caused a flat. Run your glove or a rag around the inside of the tire in both directions and it will snag on anything sharp, which you can then remove. For punctures on the tube's belly, make sure that the rim strip is fully covering the nipple holes and that it can't move out of position. If you find anything sharp on the rim, sand it smooth with a file or sandpaper.
If you follow all these steps and still suffer more than your share of flats, there are several additional options available, such as flat-resistant tires and tubes, and sealant, which is injected into the tubes to fix flats automatically. Just ask and we'll discuss your tire trouble and recommend a solution to make flat tires things of the past.
Chain suck is something that happens mostly on mountain bikes that are ridden a lot, especially in muddy conditions. When it occurs, usually the pedals suddenly jam with an accompanying grinding sensation. What's happened is that the chainring (one of the sprockets on the crankset), has grabbed the chain (the bottom portion) and pulled it up, jamming it into the underside of the right chainstay. In bad cases, the chain can get forced between the chainring and the chainstay becoming seriously stuck. And, even when it's just a hiccup in your pedaling, the chain strikes the stay and may damage the paint.
The most common cause of chain suck is a worn chainring. As the teeth wear, they develop a hook shape that makes them more likely to snag and suck the chain. You can actually see the difference by looking closely at the teeth to compare them with the teeth on the large chainring (which wears at a slower rate because it has more teeth). Worn teeth will look like a shark's dorsal fin, whereas the good teeth have a symmetrical shape with an even pitch on both sides.
So, the best cure is usually to replace the chainring. The exception is when you experience chain suck on a new chainring, which can happen. In this case, the problem is usually caused by mud or grime build-up on the chainrings. If there's a build-up on the rings, it can jam and suck the chain, the same way worn and hooked teeth can. The solution for this is to clean the rings. Sometimes, this is as easy as stopping at a creek crossing and rinsing the rings to clear the mud. In bad cases, you might have to remove the crankset at home to thoroughly scrub the rings. Remember to lubricate the chain and chainrings after cleaning, because a dry drivetrain can bind and suck, too.
Another thing that can cause chain suck is shifting while you're pedaling too powerfully. What happens here is that the chain is trying to move sideways to complete the shift but you're applying excessive forward pressure. This combination of forces can cause the chain to jam, get pulled up by the chainring and get sucked into the chainstay. To prevent this aggravation, shift only when you can ease the pedaling pressure. This means that if you're on a steep section, you should have shifted before the steep part when there was an opportunity to take some pressure off the pedals and complete a smooth shift. Besides preventing chain suck, this technique helps your drivetrain components last longer and guarantees that all your shifts are trouble free.
If these suggestions don't end your chain-suck problems, bring your bike in and let us have a look. We'll find out what's going wrong and offer a cure for this annoying glitch.
The best way to pick up mechanic skills is by reading a good repair book. We offer these in our store and you'll find them instructive and easy to follow. It can be scary to get started so we recommend learning the basics first, which include such things as airing tires, lubing the chain and fixing a flat.
If you get into repairing your bike gradually like this, you'll develop your confidence one step at a time and build your tool kit purchasing only those things you need right now. As your requirements change and you want to tackle more challenging procedures, you'll have an idea where to start from you previous experiences, and things should go smoothly.
Keep in mind that you only need to be an expert on your bike(s), so there's no pressure to be an all-knowing mechanic. Most bicycle parts are quite user friendly and are easy to diagnose and repair with inexpensive tools, some of which you may already have, such as pliers, screwdrivers and adjustable wrenches. Another cool thing is that a lot of bicycle parts come in pairs, so as you work on one component, you can refer to the other to see if you're forgetting anything.
To give you a head start, here are five important bike-repair rules:??
1. Almost every part on a bicycle is regular thread, meaning you turn to the right to tighten and to the left to loosen (remember "righty, tighty; lefty, loosy," if it helps). The one part that's not regular thread is the left pedal. Turn it counter-clockwise to tighten, clockwise to loosen.??
2. Because lightweight materials are used, bicycle component threading can be delicate so it takes a while to learn how tight is right. It's best to tighten things until they're snug, test to see if the part is tight, retighten if it needs it, and so on. If you're too heavy handed with your wrenches, you'll strip parts quickly.??
3. Never force anything. If it doesn't fit, determine why before you ruin the part or damage your bike.?
4. Allow time to complete a procedure. A rushed job is usually a botched job.??
5. Work where you can safely leave things if you get interrupted, so important parts don't get lost. And, use good lighting and work on a smooth, clean floor so you can easily find small parts you drop.
We recommend getting new brake pads before the old ones wear out. Because, if you just keep riding, you can end up without brakes or with very limited stopping power, which can easily cause a crash. Our advice follows. But, please keep in mind that it is not for disc brakes, which are found on some mountain bikes. Disc designs vary widely so, if you have these, learn about pad wear, adjustment and replacement by studying your owner's manual. Or, come in and ask us for advice at the first hint of brake trouble.
How do you know when your rim-type pads are worn? On most bicycle brakes, all you've got to do is look at the face of the pads (the part that rubs on the rim) every couple of weeks (check every few rides, if you train on wet trails and roads). When new, most pads have several grooves in them. These help channel water away from the rim on wet rides. But, they're also wear indicators that tell you what condition the brake pads are in. When these grooves disappear, it's time to replace the brake pads.
Surprisingly, it's possible to wear out a set by mountain biking for several hours on muddy singletrack. The dirt in the mud can grind away pads that fast. So, if you ride like this, it's important to keep an eye on the pads and replace them as necessary. In fact, many cyclists like to keep replacements on hand so they can deal with worn parts right away and not have to make a trip to the store.
In most cases, it's relatively easy to install new brake pads. But, designs vary a lot depending on the make and model of the brake. And installation varies from simply slipping out old cartridge pads and sliding in now ones (literally, a fifteen-minute job), to replacing the entire brake shoes and completely realigning them (you'll probably want to leave this one to us).
We stock a complete selection of replacement brake pads and are happy to make recommendations. If you want to change them yourself, we can explain what's required in tools and know-how so you can do the job right. And, we're happy to install the pads for you, if you prefer.
Touching up paint isn't too difficult but it can be tricky finding a paint that matches your color. This is because not all bicycle manufacturers provide touch-up paint. We suggest visiting an auto-parts store and checking their selection of automobile touch-up paint. Often, you'll find a good match there. Another touch-up alternative is nail polish, which comes in many hues and is easily applied.
When you've found a color match, check the chipped spot for corrosion. Any rust will need to be gently sanded off (don't scuff up the surrounding area). Then, carefully apply the paint by putting on a thin layer, letting it dry and repeating until you've filled the chip.
Don't expect the chip to disappear. You'll still be able to see the edges. But, from a few feet away, the paintjob should look fine. And, the important thing is that you've made your paintjob intact again, which prevents further paint wear and any possible corrosion from developing (not much of a concern on aluminum, carbon and titanium frames).
Another alternative is for us to strip your bike and send the frame to our expert paint repairer, the chip will be painted and colour matched perfectly.
Shifting may seem complicated, but it's actually pretty simple. The bike's gears make it easy to adjust effort so you can keep pedaling comfortably regardless of what the terrain throws at you.
Bikes aren't shifted like cars, though. You don't start in first gear, shift into second, and so on. You shift by how your legs and lungs feel. And, just as the car engine is most efficient when run at a steady speed, your body (the bike's engine) is happiest when you're pedaling at a comfortable pace. For most people that pace begins at about one complete pedal revolution per second or slightly faster (sixty to seventy rpm, which may sound fast, but is easy to maintain over many kms). Experienced riders with a conditioned cardio-vascular system can increase the pace of their spin to even higher levels, again related to proper shifting and choice of gearing.
Understand that, for the most part, there's no right or wrong gear to be in. Use the one that feels right for your legs and lungs at the time. And, unless you live where all the rides are pancake flat, shift a lot to keep your rpm's steady and pace yourself. If your legs ache, but you're not breathing at a rate consistent with your speed, or if your legs feel great but you're nearly out of breath, you need to shift to a different gear.
How do you actually shift? You probably already know that you must pedal in order to shift on a derailleur-equipped bike. But it's also important to ease the pressure off the pedals during the gear change. This makes the shift smoother and prevents possible drivetrain glitches. In order to do this on a hill, anticipate the steep section and shift into an easier gear before you get there.
Of course, shifting is done by moving the shift levers. You decide to shift when your legs are working too hard or spinning too fast because conditions have changed. All you need to know is whether you want to make it easier or harder to pedal and by how much.
Next, you choose which lever to shift (never shift them simultaneously). The right lever makes small differences in pedaling effort and is usually clicked once or several times. Shifting this lever moves the chain across the cluster of cogs on the rear wheel. On a newer bike, there are eight, nine, ten or eleven of these and they only vary size-wise a couple of teeth. The larger the cog, the easier it is to pedal and vice versa.
Contrarily, the left lever, makes larger differences in effort. Use it to make it considerably harder or easier to pedal. Operating this lever moves the chain between the two or three chainrings on the front of your drivetrain. Here, the larger the ring, the harder it is to pedal and vice versa.
So, a short ride might go something like this: You roll out of your garage and start pedaling and find the going too difficult. You click the right lever once but it's still way too hard, so you shift the left lever, which makes it much easier and lets you spin your legs at a good pace. You cruise toward the lake feeling fine but then your legs get heavy. A headwind! You shift the right lever twice and find a good rhythm again. Toward the back side of the lake, there's a short steep climb. You shift the right lever each time the hill steepens until you're in your easiest gear. Cresting the hill, it's all downhill home with a tailwind. Woo-hoo! You pick up speed quickly. You could coast but you want to keep pedaling to add a little speed and get the workout. You shift the right lever but need a larger change so you shift the left and head for home at supersonic speed.
Shifting becomes natural with a little practice and most cyclists don't even think about it. They just pedal along and shift whenever it feels right, selecting a gear by instinct. They shift constantly, too -- maybe 100-plus times on a rolling 25km ride. If you can do that on your rides, you'll get the hang of shifting quick. If you'd like us to explain shifting in person come on in and we'll be glad to help.
A cyclist's pedaling pace is called cadence, which refers to how many revolutions one leg makes in a minute. There's no right or wrong cadence, though. Just pedal at a speed that's comfortable for you. Most people find that sixty to seventy rpm is about right. And as they ride more, their leg muscles often gain flexibility, which can result in a faster cadence. In fact, experienced cyclists often maintain cadences of ninety to one-hundred rpm or more.
Note that you can't maintain as high a cadence going up hills. It's normal to slow your pedal rate as the climb steepens. That's okay. Your goal is to keep a steady cadence over the rest of the ride.
You can estimate your average cadence by timing and counting while riding, but don't get distracted and crash. A safer way to measure and monitor cadence is to install a cyclo-computer that offers a cadence counter. We can show you one of these and install it on your bike. You'll find that it's a great tool for learning to maintain a steady cadence.
Both are effective, but you should do what's comfortable for you. Seated climbing is easiest for most people because the seat supports your weight. When standing, your legs support your weight meaning greater energy expenditure.
Standing is a good skill to have when the terrain gets vertical however, because it allows you to gently rock the bike and use your body weight to pedal. Also, when standing, you're giving the muscles you use when seated a rest. And, riding off road, standing changes how much weight is over the front of the bike, which can help keep the front tire on the ground when you're working up a steep climb. So, standing can come in very handy.
Our recommendation is to practice, and get good at both types of climbing so you have two reliable methods for scaling hills that you can use when needed
Carefully. Very carefully. Why? Because if you just slam into a log, you're going to make like Superman and get launched. Ouch.
The trick to getting over obstacles in your path is being able to lift the wheels off the ground. This takes practice and the best place to get it is on a soft surface like grass, which won't hurt you too much if you fall. Don't do any riding though, until you've put your helmet on. (You might even consider knee and elbow pads.)
For practice, start by learning to lift the front wheel. Ride at a crawl, rise up out of the seat, keep your knees and elbows bent, move your body toward the rear of the bike and gently lift up on the handlebars. This should lift the front wheel off the ground. If not, try again. Remember to remain as relaxed as possible. You should be lifting the front wheel more with the rearward shift of body weight than by pulling on the bars. Keep working on this skill until it's easy for you to lift the front wheel and you feel in total control doing it.
Now, all you've got to master is lifting the rear wheel. This is similar to lifting the front, but you move your body weight forward, straighten your legs a little more and pull with your feet. It should feel like you're rocking up to balance on the front wheel. Obviously, you absolutely do not want to pull too hard and flip onto your face. So, remain relaxed and practice repeatedly until it feels natural to hop the rear tire off the ground.
When these two moves are perfected, put them together to get over small logs (bigger logs too), curbs and other obstacles you encounter. Rolling toward the obstacle, slow to a safe speed and lift the front wheel to clear it. The instant the front wheel is past the hazard, shift your body forward and lift the rear wheel so it, too, can clear the obstacle. Done properly, this is one smooth move.
Practice a lot and you'll be riding over downed trees in no time. Just be careful; very careful!
1. First, make sure you wear a good helmet for safety in case you fall. Wear quality gloves, too, to protect your hands.
2. Slow well before you get to the tricky section because hitting it with too much speed can be disastrous.
3. The big risk is flipping forward over the handlebars. Avoid this by getting your weight way back, scooting your butt off the seat and back over the rear wheel (your stomach should be over the seat), supporting your weight with your legs. Lowering your seat also helps.
4. Go down at a safe speed but don't brake too hard because you may skid and lose control.
5. Use your front brake carefully, It's an important control on downhills but hit it too hard or at the wrong time and you'll go flying.
6. Going too slow can be a bad thing. Often a little (don't overdo it!) extra speed increases stability a lot.
7. Hold onto the bars firmly but keep your body relaxed. A sure, steady grip assists steering control and a relaxed body makes it easier to make small moves to keep your balance.
8. Don't follow ride partners too closely or you won't be able to see the hazards clearly.
9. If you're using clipless pedals, adjust them so you can get your feet out in a hurry if you start to topple.
10. Practice helps a lot. If a hill scares you, work up to it by trying the easier parts of the slope and walking the extreme stretches. As you practice on trickier hills, you'll build skills and improve.
It may last forever, but that doesn't mean it'll provide protection in a crash forever. In fact, helmet manufacturers recommend replacing helmets every five years. And, it's not so that they can sell a bunch of new ones. It's because the materials in a helmet break down over that time causing the helmet to lose some of it's impact-absorbing ability, which means in a crash, you're at risk. So, the helmet may look dandy, but you shouldn't wear it when cycling.
Something else to consider is that helmets are continually improving. Today's designs are drastically superior to those we were wearing just a few years ago. Desirable features such as better cooling vents, baseball-cap-like comfort, feathery weight, along with advances in protection against concussion and abrasions, make it worthwhile to upgrade regularly.
We stock the latest helmets and can demonstrate the new features. We can also take a look at your old lid to see if it's still ride-ready or in line for retirement.
There are certainly risks to riding alongside cars. But they're manageable if you're careful and bike intelligently. In fact, many city cyclists choose to join the flow of traffic by commuting to work on their bikes rather than driving. They have a healthy respect for cars, but they know how to behave and remain safe.
Here are seven helpful tips:??
1. Always ride with traffic, never against it. It's a common mistake of new cyclists to think they should travel facing traffic. But, it's pedestrians who are advised to do this, not cyclists. If you try it on your bike, you stand a strong chance of an accident because motorists expect you to behave like another car. Consequently, they don't look for you and may not see you until it's too late. For example, if the driver is entering the roadway from a driveway and turning right, he'll check to the left to see if it's safe because that's where cars should be coming from. He'll only look right long enough to confirm it's clear of pedestrians, and you're moving much faster. So, you're in dire risk if you're riding on that side of the road.??
2. Always wear a helmet for protection in the event of an accident. It's also a good sign to other road users that you're a safe cyclist. And wear bright-colored clothing to stand out better in traffic.??
3. Follow all road rules because, by law, they pertain to you, too, not just drivers. Stop at stop signs and signals, don't go the wrong direction down one-way streets, let drivers know your intentions with hand signals, and ride with respect for other road users. ??
4. Remain alert at all times and always leave yourself an out by avoiding dangerous situations. Examples include watching for drivers about to exit their parked cars when you're pedaling past (getting doored is no fun); waiting behind the last car at a signal instead of passing on the right (to avoid getting hit by a right turner not using his signal); and establishing eye contact before proceeding through a four-way stop. Think safety at all times and you'll avoid trouble.??
5. Make sure your bike is in tip-top mechanical shape and that you have the correct safety equipment such as a good lighting system if you ride after dark.??
6. If you travel heavily trafficked roads regularly and feel at risk, look for an alternative route. Often, it's possible to find a much more mellow route and all it means is riding an extra km or so. Usually, it's worth the slight detour for a more enjoyable and safer ride.??
7. Avoid altercations with other road users. If a driver loses it and starts acting crazily, don't confront him/her. Depending on the situation, you might be able to walk into a nearby store or reverse directions to escape. You won't get anywhere trying to reason with these people and things can turn dangerous fast. So it's always best to let it go. If someone endangers you however, you should immediately file a police report supplying as much pertinent information as possible such as license number, physical description of driver, etc.
The most important rules are to always wear a helmet, keep your bike in perfect mechanical condition, stick to trails you have the skills to ride, and to always ride within your limits. If you can do these things, there's an excellent chance your off-road rides will be safe and fun.
Here are some other tips that help a lot:??
1. Make sure your tires aren't over inflated. The recommended pressures are written on the sides of the tires. Most off-road rubber should be pumped to 35 to 40 psi. If you're riding with 60, as many newbies start out, you'll get bounced all over the trail and lose control. At softer pressures, tires have much more give providing more contact with the ground and significantly more control and comfort.??
2. On steep downhills, shift your weight rearward by sliding well back on the seat, even off the seat and over the rear wheel, if necessary. This will prevent going over the handlebars.??
3. Go easy on the brakes. Slam on the grippers too hard and you can lock the wheels and start skidding, a dangerous no-control situation. Also, if you hit the front brake too hard, you can launch yourself over the handlebars. Spectacular, yes; but darn painful, too. So avoid it.??
4. Don't follow ride partners too closely because you won't be able to see the hazards until it's too late.??
5. To learn technical skills such as bunny hopping (jumping over things), riding over slippery roots, cruising through mud and sand, etc. practice in a controlled environment with a friend, or even better, friends, spotting. They can offer tips, see what you're doing right and wrong and generally help keep you safe, and you can do the same for them.
What skills are required depends a lot on what type of group ride it is. For example, if it's a friendly breakfast ride, you won't need the survival tactics required to sit in on a grueling racers' training ride.
If you've only ridden alone, it's best to learn group riding in a small group first. The principles are similar regardless of the group size. But, riding with a couple of friends lets you practice basic skills without the confusion that can occur in a cycling mob.
Perhaps the most important technique is being able to ride in a straight line. If you're wobbly, riders will be afraid to ride next to or behind you because it looks to them like you're not in complete control of your bike. Usually, people wobble because they're too tense and feel nervous. If you can relax, especially in your shoulders and upper body, the bike will go straight on its own. Another important skill is maintaining a safe position. Try to keep a safe distance behind the guy in front and never allow your front wheel to overlap his rear wheel because, if he has to swerve to avoid a hole or stick, he'll hit your front wheel knocking you off your bike.
Communication is vital on group rides. Everyone is responsible for keeping each other informed about threats to the group. The front rider alerts followers by voice and by pointing if he spots any obstacle that could cause a problem such as a pedestrian in the road or a pot hole or sewer grate. After he points and/or shouts out the hazard, the next person in line repeats it and so on. This ensures that the people behind, who might have missed the front guy's warning because they're back aways, get the message. Meanwhile, the people in back let riders ahead know when cars are about to pass.
There are accepted signals to use: The cyclists' cry for a car passing, is, "Car, back!" This tells other riders to tighten up and move left to let the vehicle by. Cyclists will also shout, "Car, up!" when a car is pulling out from a curb or slowing or turning in front. Most important is pointing out and shouting out dangerous things you see such as "Dog!" or "rock!" because, if one rider goes down, there's a strong chance many others will, too.
One of the best ways to learn the dynamics of a group ride is to join our Rider Training Clinic held on the 1st Sunday of every month. Book your interest to join the clinic on our website under Bookings/Events. Our experienced trainers will teach everything from using clipless pedals, bunch signals, riding in a bunch, basic maintenance and much more. Then join our Saturday shop ride and let the ride leaders know that you're new and learning. They'll explain the route and any hazards they know about. And, they'll explain how the ride operates. You should then sit at the back of the group for a while and observe what goes on. You can learn this way and get a handle on the etiquette of riding.
It's great fun riding in a group and all it takes is a little practice. Have fun. We can suggest some local rides you'll like.
Today's heart-rate monitors are pretty amazing. They come in two pieces, a belt that's worn around your chest (the transmitter) and a watch (the receiver) that's worn around your wrist (or placed on the handlebar).
To use a heart-rate monitor, you simply wet the surfaces of the transmitters on the belt and wrap the belt around your chest. Attach the watch to your wrist or bars and you're wired for heart rate. In use, the chest transmitter picks up your heart beat and sends a signal to the receiver on your wrist, which displays your current pulse. So, you now know exactly how hard your heart is working at all times.
The great thing about heart-rate monitors is that they help gauge one's fitness so you can plan your training based on good data about your current fitness level. They also allow you to accurately gauge your effort so you can make sure you're working hard enough and so that you can ensure you're resting, if you're in recovery mode after too long or hard a ride.
A myriad of features are available in modern heart-rate monitors, such as memory functions and downloadability. Which model you use should be based on how much you wish to spend and what features you think you'll use.
If you'd like a more features-laden model, nice options to have include average heart rate, so you can tell your heart-rate level during a workout; programmable alarms that sound if you're going too easy and/or too hard; and memory, which lets you play back a ride and see your pulse's peaks and valleys. There are also HRMs that are part of a full-function cyclo-computer, which means that besides pulse, you get a readout of all your favorite ride data, too, such as kmh, average and top speed, distance, cadence, power etc.
If you're interested in this important training tool, come in and we can demonstrate the latest models.
First, it's great that you recognize that how you ride off road has consequences. Bravo. Having a conscience like this is the first step in riding responsibly. And, you're obviously far-sighted enough to realize how important responsible trail use is in cyclists gaining and keeping trail access.??The secret to trail preservation is practicing what's known as soft cycling. This is as much a mindset as a riding technique. It's being considerate of the trail and other users. It's constantly monitoring how you're riding. It's being in tune with your surroundings. If you can learn to ride like this, you'll minimize the effect your rides have on the trails -- and hikers and equestrians. Here are some rules followed by soft cyclists:?
Follow the trails and stay off obvious illegal detours that lead down steep sections or across shortcuts because these increase erosion, which damages the trail.
If the trail is muddy or blocked, don't ride around the problem. You'll only widen the trail in the process (a big negative in the eyes of land managers, who hold the key to our trail access). Instead, dismount and walk. This slight inconvenience will preserve the trail for all.
Practice restraint. We know it's fun to blitz trails at warp speed. But, it often leads to losing control, skidding, even crashing. And these actions erode trails. Plus, what if a hiker or equestrian is around the bend? Disaster! Not to mention the ripple effect of the negativity this creates with the startled (perhaps injured) person who's sure to tell every friend about the inconsiderate cretin who nearly flattened him.
In the wet seasons, when the trails are most vulnerable, consider riding the road. You'll enjoy the change in routine and the trails will have a chance to dry out. Plus, the extra wear and tear that mud, grit and water exert on your bike can be expensive.
When riding, if you spot some debris, especially bike refuse (reflector, tube, energy-bar wrapper, etc.), pick it up and take it home. Better that, than leaving it there to trash the trail, annoy other users and prejudice them against off-road riders and riding.
Likewise, if you come upon something blocking the trail, a downed limb or small slide, that can be easily moved, by all means, stop and do your share to keep the trail shipshape.
Finally, consider stopping occasionally and enjoying a scenic overlook or shade tree to remind yourself why it's so important to respect trails and ride softly.
The TFM lifetime parts warranty, coupled with Trek’s lifetime frame warranty will give you piece of mind that your bike is covered for life.
TFM and Trek provide each original retail purchaser of a Trek bicycle a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, as stated below:
TREK FRAME WARRANTY
Trek Warranty must be read subject to these Terms & Conditions.
Lifetime warranty for Trek Frames to the original owner (except forks, the Session, Scratch, Slash, and Ticket model frames, and the swing arms on all full suspension bicycles)
5 year warranty on swing arms on all full suspension bicycles (except the Session, Scratch, and Slash model frames)
3 year warranty on Session (aluminium), Scratch, Slash and Ticket model frames and swing arms
2 year warranty on Session (carbon) model frames and swing arms RIDE+ motor, controller, & battery pack (or 600 charges, whichever comes first). All original Bontrager forks, parts and components (except consumables such as tyres and tubes)
1 year warranty on paint and transfers
This warranty applies to 2011 and newer model bicycles and covers only Trek and Bontrager branded products.
Any other original part or component shall be covered by the stated warranty of the original manufacturer.
Any products not specifically included above are hereby omitted.
The Trek Warranty does not cover:
Normal wear and tear
Improper follow-up maintenance
Installation of components, parts, or accessories not originally intended for or compatible with the bicycle as sold
Damage or failure due to accident, misuse, abuse, or neglect
Labour charges for part replacement or changeover
This warranty is void in its entirety by any modification of the frame, fork, or components.
This warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective item, and said repair or replacement is the sole remedy of the warranty.
This warranty extends from the date of purchase, is offered only to the original owner, and is not transferable.
This warranty applies only to Trek bicycles purchased through an authorised dealer or distributor.
Trek Bicycle Corporation and TFM Group Aus Pty Ltd are not responsible for incidental or consequential damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion of incidental or consequential damages, so the above exclusion may not apply to you.
Any claim against this warranty must be made through a The Freedom Machine store.
Proof of purchase is required.
A bicycle must be registered with Trek Bicycle Corporation before a warranty claim may be processed.
Claims made outside the country of purchase may be subject to fees and additional restrictions.
Warranty duration and detail may differ by frame type and/or by country.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and those rights may vary from place to place.
This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.
The English version of the warranty shall prevail.
For 2010 and older model bicycles, please consult your owner’s manual or contact Trek or an authorised dealer for the applicable warranty.
TFM PARTS WARRANTY
TFM parts warranty must be read subject to these Terms & Conditions
Lifetime warranty for all of the original manufacturer’s components as per the original Trek specifications at time of purchase to the original owner (excluding the bicycle frame, forks, stem and wheels)
This warranty is void in its entirety by any modification of the frame, fork, or components
This warranty is expressly limited to the repair or replacement of a defective item, and said repair or replacement is the sole remedy of the warranty.
This warranty extends from the date of purchase for only Trek bike models 2012 and newer model bikes, is offered only to the original owner and is not transferable.
The original owner and bike must be a registered TFM Care+ member.
TFM Group Aus is not responsible for incidental or consequential damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion of incidental or consequential damages, so the above exclusion may not apply to you.
Any claim against this warranty must be made in person through a TFM store.
Proof of purchase and photo ID is required.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and those rights may vary from place to place. This warranty does not affect your statutory rights.
The TFM Parts Warranty does not cover:
Normal wear and tear
Improper follow-up maintenance
Installation of components, parts, or accessories not originally intended for or compatible with the bicycle when sold.
Any accessories fitted to the bicycle which are not original manufacturers components that made up the bicycle at time of purchase
Damage or failure due to accident, misuse, abuse, or neglect
Frame, forks, wheels and stems
Paint, decals and badges
Rear linkage and swing arms on dual suspension bikes
Damage caused by broken rear derailleur hangers
Damage caused by improper maintenance of front or rear derailleur
Damage caused by chain failure or chain slippage from chainrings
TFM pre-loved or demo bicycles
Labour charges for part replacement or changeover
TFM management’s decision is final
TFM reserves the right to alter any of these terms and conditions without notice
We guarantee that if you find a better price for an identical product, we will beat it. Period.
We will beat any valid written quote.
TFM Lifetime Price Promise (TFMLPP) must be read subject to these Terms & Conditions.
To be eligible for the TFMLPP, you must provide to the relevant TFM store on the date of your purchase, evidence of any genuine competitor’s price for identical product (ie, same brand, colour, model and quality) in a form of a written quote, catalogue, or website printout. The competitor must have the identical product in stock.
The identical product must be a lower price than TFM’s price after discounts, include any delivery charges or taxes, and available for sale by a local retail competitor actively engaged in TFM’s local retail market (competitor). You will be required to supply TFM with evidence of the competitor’s price and TFM reserves the right to verify the evidence of the identical product sold at the lower price.
If your claim qualifies for the TFMLPP, TFM will lower the price by either reducing the advertised price, or by the inclusion of bonus product to a value which betters the lower price.
The TFMLPP is only available to you on the date of purchase
The TFMLPP is subject to you complying with TFM’s usual terms and conditions of trade.
TFM will not engage in TFMLPP over the phone
TFM will not provide a written quote of the lower price on TFM official stationery or TFM email
No layby for a TFMLPP product
TFM management decision is final
TFM reserves the right to alter any of these terms and conditions without notice
The TFMLPP may be terminated at any time without notice
The TFMLPP does not apply where:
the competitor has an online store only, and does not have a physical retail store in Australia;
the lower price is conditional, or a price determined after the allowance of any amount for, or is part of a promotion involving, financing, installation, delivery, bundling, rebates, cash back offer, free or bonus offer, trade discount, stock clearance or any limited quantity promotion;
the lower price is offered for a bulk purchase;
the lower price is offered under any promotion with a third party (including, but not limited to, promotions with newspapers, exhibitions or other special events);
the lower price is not available to the general public;
the identical product is advertised in classifieds, commercial resellers or distributors who sell direct to the public, parallel importers, grey importers, direct importers, fire or liquidation sales, rack, clearance and warehouse outlets;
the lower price has been discounted by the competitor by use of coupons, loyalty rewards, redemption of frequent flyer miles or similar and other offers or incentives to reduce the total cost;
the lower price has been discounted by the competitor on the basis that the product is a display stock only, end of line, seconds, refurbished/repaired lines, ex demo, limited quantity, clearance, trade or factory seconds, second hand or similar;
the lower price is the result of an error by the competitor; and/or
TFM is unable to verify, using reasonable means, that the lower price or the product is available for purchase.