Monday, August 13, 2012

Random Shot of the Bike

This was a random shot taken a week ago of my bike at the station.

MTB Maintainence

Got my skins in the mail couple of days ago. The compression shorts by skins are really good.

The weather today here has been pretty bad, its too misty and cold for me to cycle back from work today. So a friend from work decided to give me a lift back home. I am happy I decided no to cycle home as I firstly didn't have enough layers and secondly the road was hardly visible.

I am yet to buy the tools and de-greaser and lube to carry out a maintenance. Although my bike really needs a good clean.

Recently I found this video on youtube that gave me an idea of how I could clean my bike.

*Note : NEVER EVER USE A HIGH PRESSURE SPRAY ON YOUR BIKE! (it will spoil the bearings)

Things you will need :

  1. Rags (3) / Paper - Towels
  2. Brushes 
  3. De-Greaser 
  4. Chain Lube 
  5. Multipurpose - Spray cleaner 

Start by spraying the multi purpose cleaner on one of the rags and start wiping down your bike. (This is the quickest and easiest way, although dried mud is sometimes hard to clean out).
Use the Brushes to clean hard to reach areas.

Next step is to clean the chain. Set the rear tyre above ground. So that when you move the pedal the rear wheel moves. Spray the de-greaser onto a clean rag. Turn the pedals while holding the chain with the de-greaser cloth. After a few oscillations, use another clean cloth to lube up the chain. Using the same method as de-greasing.

I have yet to try this method out, but I will this week as my bike really needs a good clean.

Well thats all for now.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Bike and I

First of all I would like to apologise for not having any posts recently, I have been busy with work and I'm in the midst of preparing for the re-opening of University for the new semester. Looking forward to going back to Uni after a long break. Although I have been working pretty hard to get the bike up and running throughout the holidays. I will try to update the blog at least once a week at a minimum.

Had a random in the train today come up to me today and said I had a nice ride. The feeling is so good.

I am currently awaiting for the shipment of 3 items from ChainReactionCycles. A hoodie, pair of skins compressions and another headlight for my bike. I am pretty keen to cycle in the night over the next few days. Night cycling seems more peaceful, however recently the weather in Melbourne hasn't been very good. Its been either raining or just really cold. I don't have enough layers or thermals to be cycling long distances in the rain.

Definitely need to get a pair of water resistant pants or pants covers. I'm always getting my work pants dirty these past few shifts when I ride to the train station. My stamina is currently slowly improving however my legs get tired really quick. I still wonder if I could put in the effort to cycle a few laps around the lake near my apartment to get my stamina up.

Really sorry that I haven't updated any pictures yet, I kind of broke my phone this time round and need to get it fixed soon. My camera is still down to.

I would like to get some advice, on how should I maintain my bike? What should I do regularly?
What kind of lube to use on the chains and How could I solve the front derailleur shifting problem?
How do I clean the bike? What do I use (just soap and water?)? Are there specific products to use to clean bikes or are there any DIY Methods to this?

Hope to get some advise from you guys soon.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gloves and Leg warmers

First thing to take not is to never cycle during winter without proper cycling base layers. Never use cotton base layers as they trap the sweat and when you speed up or the wind blows you are going to freeze. The possibility of hypothermia may set in.

I had to cycle home from work yesterday, didn't make the same mistake the as the same time. However, I did take a wrong left turn and ended up climbing 2-3 hills eventually. This was basically because I've never really cycled through those routes before.

Bought a set of BBB gloves and leg warmers at YarraValleyCycles yesterday. Eventually though of getting compression instead but they didn't have any on stock. I chose the leg warmers instead of a full length compression/thermal pants because eventually during summer when I want to cycle I would have to get another pair of shorts. So this was I could just remove the warmers and use the pants for summer.

Tried the gloves and warmers yesterday and they are really very comfortable. I still do get a little strain and pain from cycling on the joint of my thumb and palm. My hands for some reason feel very week in the morning. Is there something I am doing wrong that could be causing this ? I am really not sure.

I used my Singapore Armed Forces military issued gore-tex jacket to ride last night which I never knew was wind and water proof. Helped keep me dry all the way even though it started raining towards the end of my forty-five minute journey.

The front derailleur still does not shift very smoothly, and the bike even though with regular wiping down is really dirty. Probably would need to carry out maintenance soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Temporary lights

Bought an led light to be seen on yhe road. Cost me $20 from my local bike shop in Lilydale- Yarra Valley Cycles. Its been an interesting day rode my bike to the bank and shops. Now I'm on my way to catch up with a friend. I really have to start cycling longer distances to work up my stamina.

I've been considering cycling for a charity event in October. Its a charity ride of 200KM which goes for 2 days,, my responsibilities include raising funds and Training for the event. I am not very confident to ride that far but i am keen. Another thing stopping me is the ability to raise $2500 minimum. Not sure what is going to happen if I cant raise the minimum. At present there are about 50 spots left for cyclist. I am still thinking about it. 3 months of intense Training will be really good for me though.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Front Derailleur Problem

As predicted by many forum members, my front derailleur is starting to give me problem.

The shifting on the first day was smooth but today, sometimes it couldn't shift to 1 it could only do 2 and sometimes 3. What should I do to rectify this problem?

Is this due to compatibility issues with the shifter or could something else be causing a problem ?

This week I will have to purchase a new headlight for the bike, as the old one just broke again even with all the tape that held it up for the past two days. Also need to get base layers and maybe a new jacket to cycle in.

Will be looking around and posting links to several stores about the new products I am going to purchase next week. The post's will be on cycling apparel for winter in Melbourne. I've been doing research on what will be needed and based on the experience in the last post I've learnt my lesson never to cycle with cotton base layers.

The cotton base layer holds the sweat and when the wind blow or when cycling downhill the chills are horrible.

The hunt for parts is now over and now I begin the hunt for apparel and accessories.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The First Ride

On the way back from YarraValleyCycles today after picking my bike up. I decided to go to the supermarket with my friend who decided to tag along. We ended up at the supermarket and I realized I needed my front lights on my bike to work at night because I had to ride to work. 

Decided to ride up home check the battery size and come back down. By the time I got back my friend had finished his shopping. I was out of breath by the time I reached the top of the hill which leads to my student accomodation. Time to cut down on the smokes. 

The first ride was really smooth. Enjoyed going downhill the most though. 

Eventually I decided I was going to ride to work the train station, didn't really know the route even though I checked it out on a map. My iPhone's LCD smashed on my birthday last sunday just after an overnight shift. So that wasn't a very reliable option. Nevertheless it felt great cycling from the station to work which only lasted ten minutes. However, I dropped my bike. Parked it wrongly and the front light broke. Managed to fix it after my shift with a bunch of sticky tape it's holding pretty well but kind of looks a little dodgy. In a week or two I may decided to get a new one. 

The ride home was the most tiring. The road down had a total of 8-9 vertical hills. This was the only road I knew how to ride back even though there are about 3 more alternative routes. Definitely have to check those out. I may have got off and walked uphill about 3 times. My boots may have played a part as they are very heavy. I did have lighter shoes but needed to know how it felt to learn for myself. Lesson learnt no more boots while cycling long distance. 

The trip home by driving is about 10 minutes however it took me 45 minutes to reach home. 

It would be great if I could get some tips of how I could build my stamina to cycling uphill. I do have a spare cassette which I could use which has a better gear ratio. 

Looking forward to my morning commute to work in a few hours. If anything interesting does happen. It's sure to be on this blog within a few hours.