Jobs for Spring Posted on 23 Feb 12:58 , 0 comments

We tend to gauge the turning of the seasons by what our customers are buying. This week there has been something of a run on brake cables and levers, so we are guessing that people are pulling their bikes out of hibernation and finding that the brakes are sticky.

Brake cables aren't expensive and with modern stainless steel inner cables and outers with a low friction lining, this kind  of problem could be a thing of the past. The Velo Orange kits in 7 different colours are a low cost and effective solution and the braided metallic kits give a very classy look.

Indifferent gear shifting is usually cause by sticky cables, especially the exposed part that runs under the bottom bracket. The Velo Orange kits are available to match the brake cables. You can also find the various bits of hardware you need, like cable stops and cable clips in the Velo Duo Store. While you are at it clean your rims and check the brake pads.

Just because modern hubs are "sealed" it doesn't mean that moisture can't get in, especially if you have been out in wet winter conditions and put your bike away wet. Stripping and regreasing the hub bearings and the freehub is well worth the short time it takes. Old style cup and cone bearings can be stripped, cleaned and regreased to be as good as new, provided they are not pitted and worn out. Modern cartridge bearings can be regreased or replaced as necessary.

Please check your chain! A worn chain can quickly write off your chain rings and cassette sprockets. A yearly change is worth the investment. Otherwise check the length between 12 links with a steel rule: it should be 12'' if its has stretched by more than 1/8" replace it immediately. If within limits, clean and oil it. Leave it overnight for the oil to soak in and wipe the excess off in the morning to protect your clothes. If there is any sign of "hooked" teeth on your chain rings or rear sprockets. They will need to be replaced along with the chain. The number of people who bring their bikes in for "adjustment" with "simple" skipping and slipping of the transmission, that results in a bill of over £100 for replacement of the whole drive train, doesn't really surprise us any more. Regular checking of the chain can avoid this expense.

Check your tyres and tubes. If the tyres have gone down over the winter, probably time for  new tubes. Get a decent pump too. The full size Zefal HPX are the best you can get. The mini pumps are strictly for emergencies.

Check your bottom bracket for excess "slop". If you need to replace it the Velo Orange Grand Cru bottom brackets are top quality and well priced.

Handlebar tape and grips are worth a spring refresh too and can also make a big difference to the feel and look of the bike.

Get your bike prepared and you can look forward to trouble free cycling this spring