Chain Maintenance

Proper bicycle chain maintenance will allow you to keep your bike in tip-top condition for riding. Learning how to take care of your chain can save you time and energy.

A bicycle chain is known for failing at the worst time. This problem of a jumpy or jerky chain can be removed entirely, though, if you simply do some chain maintenance on it regularly. This means that you check your chain at least two times per month or after you ride it about 10 hours if you ride quite a bit. You also want to be sure to do a chain check if you have been riding in bad weather.

You should replace your chain if it is rusted, tight, worn out, or you have ridden more than 1000 miles on it. A new chain with 24 links should measure 12 inches and if it is too long even by 1/16 of an inch, then you want to replace it so that it does not damage the chain ring or sprocket. If you are replacing the chain rings or sprocket, then you need to go ahead and replace the chain so that you do not damage the new chain rings and sprocket.

The metal parts of the chain do not really stretch, but the chain does get longer because of the sleeves and pins wear and tear. Lubricating the chain regularly will help the chain to last longer. If you want to lubricate correctly, then you will want to put just a lubricant drop into each chain pin. This may take you a little time, but it will be well worth it when you increase the life of your chain.

Leave the lubricant on the chain for about 15 minutes and then wipe the excess off with a clean cloth. This will help to keep the chain from catching dirt and grime while riding. It will also keep your chain in tip-top condition.

If you need to clean your bicycle chain, then you can use a degreaser or dish soap. This is a great way to remove lubricant, grime, and grease to help your chain to work better. After you clean it, remember to lubricate it again. You should put the cleaner on the center of the cleaning cloth or sponge and then place it around the chain. By backpedaling, you should clean the chain sufficiently. Make sure that you rinse the rag each turn until you do not get any more dirt on it.

Leave the chain on the bicycle when you are cleaning it to keep it from becoming weaker. While you are getting the chain clean, then you can inspect it for any links that may be too tight. A tight chain can cause the chain to jump and jerk. If you find a link that is tight, then you can loosen it by flexing it between two points that are located at about give links away from the tight link. If you cannot loosen it, then you will have to replace the chain. Keeping your bike chain lubricated and clean will help it to last much longer and work much better.

If your chain seems to be making some noise and cleaning does not stop the noise, then you will have to replace it. If pedaling becomes difficult, then it will be time for a chain change as well. By paying attention to detail and maintenance, then you will have a bike chain that you can use for a long time.

Mountain Bike Basics

At this article you will read what mountain biking is as well as how to get the information on various kinds of mountain bikes. The most commonly used Mountain Bikes are: Downhill Bikes:Most prominently used for competition in which one goes down the hill. So with that speed, bikes need to be with tough frames and with heavy-duty brakes such as disc or hydraulic brakes. XC Bikes: This is another kind of bike which is highly used for competition in which one can go both down and climb hills. So its frame should be light but reasonably tough. Brakes used in this particular bike are v-brakes and light disc brakes. Hybrid Bikes: This category of bikes is a good option for those who want to ride on both mountains and road. These bikes either run on front suspension or on full suspension (which is a combination of both front and back suspensions). Various kinds of brakes employed in these bikes are:- Rim Brakes: They are both light and powerful but their power decreases in muddy terrain where they become slippery. Disc Brakes: They are light and powerful and are not affected by weather. Hydraulic Brakes: They are very powerful and donít need much maintenance, but are expensive than other brakes. Frame Materials: The bikes can be made of aluminum, steel or titanium. These are very important elements of the bike as their composition determines the weight, strength, responsiveness and life of the bike. Size: Like conventional bikes, mountain bikes come in small, medium and large sizes. But different manufactures use different reference point of measurement therefore sizing is not always consistent. Latest Trends: All Mountain Bikes: The ìAll Mountain Bikesî are characterized by 5-6 inch (125-150 mm) rims to take on very rough conditions. 29er Bike: This uses 700cc-sized rims and is suited for tires of 2 inches (50mm) width or more, so that it is able to roll over the obstacles. Singlespeed: This is a blend of simplicity with innovation in suspension design. Some of the other trends includeStable Platform Value Suspension Technology. Here the compressor shim stack has been replaced with a pair of overlapping cups. It also employs VPP suspension designs to balance different forces thereby eliminating unwanted compression without limiting bump absorption.

Bicycle Frames

The bicycle is over 200 years old. It’s evolution proceeded quickly when it was first invented, and the changes continue to this day.

The bicycle can trace its history back to Germany in the year 1817, when inventor Karl Drais developed a push bike – one without pedals.

Like any other invention there were actually quite a few contributors to the changing design over the years. Other inventors who contributed to the evolution of the bicycle are Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan, Frenchmen Ernest Michaux and Pierre Lallement, and Englishman James Starley – whose bicycle design, with the extremely large front wheel and the extremely tiny rear wheel was called the “penny farthing.” The “safety bicycle”, with both wheels the same height in a “diamond frame” that is still in use today, came into use in 1885, and in 1888 rides became much more comfortable with the invention of the “pneumatic” tire by Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop.

Over One Hundred Years Later, Improvement Continues

Just over a hundred years later, the basic design of the bicycle has not changed, but improvements are nevertheless being made all the time. The “new age” materials now in use – aluminum, titanium and carbon fire – have enabled bicycles to be made just as sturdy as can be desired, but with the light weight which most people these days desire.

The diamond bicycle frame consists of a series of tubes: the main triangle which consists of the head tube, top tube, down tube and seat tube. The rear triangle consists of the seat tube, paired chain stays and seat stays.

What are bicycle frames made of? The metal they’re made of is important, because a lot of factors have to be taken into account: the density of the metal will determine how heavy the bike is, the stiffness will affect the ride comfort and the control efficiency. There is always the danger of crashes so yield strength is important – how much force will permanently “deform” the metal? Also a consideration for crash-worthiness is the elongation capability of the metal. And then there’s the fatigue limit and the endurance limit.

A great many bike frames are made from steel. It’s got all the best qualities needed for a frame, but its major drawback is that it is very heavy.

Aluminum is very popular for use in bike frames, because of its very low weight. But the problem with aluminum is that it is very easy to bend it – and thus break it.

Titanium is rapidly becoming a popular material for bike frames. It’s strong, and its light…and its very expensive. Only high-end bicycles are made with titanium.

Carbon fiber is a non-metallic material for making bicycle frames. It is light weight, resists corrosion, and can be formed into practically any shape desired. However, carbon fiber does have low impact resistance, so it’s not so good for the mountain biker. And of course it’s expensive also

Bicycle manufacturers are always experimenting with new materials, of course. Currently, the use of thermoplastics is being tested, as is that of magnesium.

There’s great days ahead for the evolution of bicycling, so keep your helmet on and go full speed ahead!

Bicycle Maintenance

When it comes to the subject of mountain bike maintenance, there are quite a few things that you need to take into consideration. Although the specific mountain bike maintenance that you will have to conduct will vary, depending on the particular type of bike that you have, there are a few basics which you will have to remember regardless.

There are a few things that you should always remember to do in order to keep your mountain bike running smoothly, for instance maintaining your bike chain. Because your bike chain is constantly exposed to dirt and stress, it is one of the parts of your bike that gets the most wear. You want to give it a checkup at the start of every season so that you can ensure it is clean and working smoothly. The tools you will need are a pair of needle nose pliers, shallow pan, small stiff brush and chalk. You will also need kerosene, motor oil, rags, and replacement master link bicycle chain.

All you need to do is remove the chain from the bicycle, and to open the master link you need to pull out the retaining clip with your needle nose pliers, and then remove the side plate. You want to pull the link out of the chain in order to release the ends, and align a chain rivet extractor with its screw pin over a rivet, then tighten the screw of the extractor just enough to be able to push the rivet through the center of the chain, but make sure to leave it hanging from the far side, and the chain will separate as the rivet is loosened.

As well for mountain bike maintenance you want to make sure that you know how to fix a flat tire. It is really a simple task, and all you need is a patch kit or spare tire, tire levers, a bicycle pump, and some effort. First you want to remove the old tire, and then take a look to see what actually caused the flat, because you may be able to save that tire. Then you just use the same screws that you took off with the first tire and use them to connect the new tire.

By making yourself informed and knowledgeable on general mountain bike maintenance, you will not only be ensuring your own safety and making mountain biking more convenient on yourself overall, but as well will be saving yourself a great deal of money.

You definitely do not want to go mountain biking far in the wilderness and not know how to fix your bike if something happens to it, and so making sure that you know at least the basics before heading out is truly crucial.