May is Bike Month at Performance Bicycle

May is National Bike Month and we’re marking the occasion by helping people across the country get out on their bikes and by making cycling more accessible through support of People for Bikes.

national_bike_month_is_here

From May 4-10, cyclists can bring their bikes, no matter where they were originally bought, into any of Performance Bicycle’s 100+ nationwide locations to receive a free safety inspection to get ready for national Bike to Work Week, May 11-15. A Performance Bicycle specialist or Spin Doctor mechanic will take about 5 minutes to inspect the main components of each bike to ensure the gears, brakes, tires and wheels are in working order.

“Each year, we look forward to National Bike Month and kicking it off with free safety inspections to help new and experienced cyclists get out and ride,” said Performance Bicycle CEO David Pruitt.

Performance Bicycle has partnered with PeopleForBikes, a charitable foundation with a goal of making every ride better by collaborating with riders, businesses, community leaders and elected officials to improve cycling infrastructure.  Cyclists can make an in-store or online donation of $2 to support PeopleForBikes’ mission of by creating more trails, bike parks and protected bike lanes. Performance will match up to $10,000 of all donations collected. “We are very excited to be partnering with PeopleForBikes.  Our combined advocacy efforts for improved cycling infrastructure across the country are essential in making cycling more accessible and enjoyable for everyone,” said Pruitt. “It’s really quite simple – cyclists need more and safer places to ride.”

People4Bikes_Banner_600x155

All Performance Bicycle stores will lead teams in the PeopleForBikes National Bike Challenge, a nationwide event running May through September that unites thousands bicyclists across the country.  All cyclists, no matter what level of experience, are invited to join their local store’s team where they can log their miles and find support and encouragement from other cyclists in their area.  Riders join their local store team by creating an account on the National Bike Challenge website and searching “Performance Bicycle (City Name).”

NatBikeChallenge_Banner_600x282

All 100+ retail locations will be hosting free cycling clinics on Thursdays and Saturdays that will provide tips and tricks on maintenance and repair, getting back into cycling and riding with others. The full schedule is below:

  • May 2 – Getting Back On The Bike
  • May 7Basic Bike Maintenance And Commuting Tips
  • May 9 – Basic Bike Maintenance
  • May 16 – How To Ride With Other People
  • May 23 – Riding With Kids (a clinic for parents and children)
  • May 28 – Brake, Gear And Derailleur
  • May 30 – Trailside And Roadside Repair

We’ll also be sharing photos, tips of the day and more throughout the month of May on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. And we’re hosting a photo contest where cyclists are encouraged to use the hashtag #mybikemonth when posting their cycling photos for a chance to win 1 of 2 bikes!

15_FB_#MyBike_Giveaway_810x500_Entry

Ask Performance Answers – 10/4/13

Last week on the Performance Bike Facebook page we asked folks to post questions about bikes or cycling that they wanted an answer to, in a segment we called #AskPerformance. Today we’re going to answer some of your questions below, but if you’ve got other vexing cycling queries, please post them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to find you an answer!

Ron S.: Is it too much to have more than 5 bikes? ;-) #AskPerformance

Ah, the age-old question – the most quoted saying is that the “correct number of bikes to own is ‘n+1′, where ‘n’ is the number of bikes currently owned”. Of course there is an important corollary to this rule, which is ‘s-1′, “where ‘s’ is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your significant other”.

Michael S.: #AskPerformance Has the industry established a lifespan projection for carbon fiber frames and components?

There is no standardized lifespan for carbon fiber, as it will depend on how the frame or component is used. That said, there’s no reason carbon fiber can’t last for a very long time – the key is to take care of it properly, only tighten bolts to their recommended torque settings, and inspect it for wear or damage from time to time. We’ve got a great article of tips on our Learning Center: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bikes-and-frames/taking-good-care-of-your-carbon-bike-frame

scattante_cfr_black_rearDarrell M.: When you shift gears, and the chain moves more than one gear, what is the typical cause and solution?

One main culprit could be a rear derailleur hanger that has come out of alignment – if that is bent (say from setting the bike down on its drive side), then no amount of derailleur adjustment will result in perfect shifting. Another issue could be incorrect routing of the cable to the derailleur bolt – if you’ve changed your cable lately take a look at the instructions for your derailleur to make sure you’ve got that right. If you’ve ruled out a bent hanger and poor cable routing, then you should next take a look at your rear derailleur itself – we’ve got a video in our Learning Center that covers adjusting your rear derailleur: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bike-parts-and-components/how-to-adjust-a-rear-derailleur

Daisy L.: How many miles before a chain needs to be replaced??

A good rule of thumb is somewhere around 1,500 to 2,000 miles for a road bike, and somewhere around 5-6 months for a mountain bike (assuming that you are riding a fair amount). But these are just general guidelines – to really understand when you should replace your chain you’ll need to measure chain stretch. Chains may be metal, but over time they can actually stretch out quite a bit – we’ve got a handy video that gives you the details of what to look for: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bike-parts-and-components/how-to-measure-bike-chain-wear

Lidia L.: What is the best way to clean your cogs ? And with what would u clean them with ? Thx ‘s

Cleaning your whole bike is one of the most important things that you can do to prolong the life of your bike and keep it running in tip-top condition (just ask any pro team mechanic). Luckily it’s not that difficult if you follow the how-to on our Learning Center, which covers everything from cleaning your rear cassette to lubing your shifters and brake levers: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bikes-and-frames/basic-maintenance-how-to-clean-your-bike For the rear cassette, the basic technique is to spray some degreaser onto a cog brush, then wipe down each of the cogs to get the gunk off.

Howard H.: How often should I rotate my tires?

Rotating your tires front to rear is a great idea to increase the longevity of the pair, but keep in mind that most steering control, both off-road and on, comes from the front tire, while more tire wear happens with the drive forces on the rear.  So putting a road tire worn flat or a MTB tire with worn lugs on the front will lessen traction when cornering hard. To prolong the life of your tires, save some money and keep high performance traction, ride your tires until the rear is worn out, move the front tire to the rear, and put a grippy new tire on the front. Need some tips on changing tires? We can help with that: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/tires-tubes-and-wheels/how-to-change-a-road-bike-tire

_131008_dressing_for_coldEnrique L.: Just started riding my bike again like a month ago. but now that the cold weather is upon us what is the best gear for weather of around 40° which is probably the average temp he in the bay area.

The key to riding in changeable fall and winter riding conditions is dressing in layers. You want to keep your core and extremities warm when you get started, but then have the ability to remove and change layers s you get warmed up or if the temperature changes. We call this the 15 minute rule… if after 15 minutes of riding, if you’re still cold, you need more layers or warmer clothing. If you’re uncomfortably hot after 15 minutes, remove layers or wear cooler clothing. We recommend: a medium weight short sleeve base layer, bib shorts, long sleeve jersey, leg warmers, a windproof vest or jacket, windproof full-finger gloves, an ear band or beanie, and toe warmers. You can find all of our cold-weather recommendations here: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/cycling-clothing/dressing-for-the-season-essential-cycling-layering-tips

Maureen K.: A few yrs ago, I switched from riding a hybrid bike to a road bike. On the hybrid, had no problem standing up,out of saddle to get up hills. I’ve had bike fit done on road bike – it fits me sooo much better now, but I am still not comfortable standing to climb up a hill – it’s too scary for some reason! What else should I be doing to get more comfortable standing to pedal up a hill?? Thanks for any suggestions

It is quite a change going from a flat-bar road bike to a drop-bar racing bike – losing the control and leverage you got from keeping your hands in the same position on the handlebars can be disconcerting. But when you stand up to climb on a drop bar road bike, you’ll need to move your hands to your brake hoods to have the most amount of control. Once you practice riding in this position and then smoothly getting up from your saddle, you’ll become more comfortable when you really need it. If you’re looking for other tips on climbing, our Real Advice column has you covered:  http://blog.performancebike.com/2013/07/11/real-advice-an-intro-to-climbing/

Reuben C: Is there a recommended pressure for a tire(as in replacing my 120psi) with the weight of the rider and load in mind. Or are there other factors such as wheel height/length? Sorry im new to riding and it feels like i am running low on psi after bumps or a day of riding (30 miles)

Road tire pressure is definitely critical to a safe and comfortable ride – almost every tire will have a range of recommended tire pressures noted directly on its sidewall. You have flexibility within this range of pressures, so if you feel like the tire is ‘bottoming out’, or compressing so much that it hits the rim, definitely put more air in if it is within the recommendations of the manufacturer. If you are still having issues, you may need to move up to a slightly wider tire (assuming that it fits within your bike’s frame), as this will help give your ride more stability. Or you could install puncture resistant tubes to reduce the chance of pinch flats and slightly increase the load capacity of the bike. If you need help finding the tire inflation range, check out this video: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/tires-tubes-and-wheels/the-right-tire-pressure-for-a-road-bike

Donald H: Help! I tried replacing the cleats on my shoes yesterday. One bolt came out fine, but the other one ended up with the head rounded out to the point the hex wrench has nothing to grip. Any suggestions?

If you are not handy with tools, your best bet is to take the shoe to your local Performance Bicycle to have a mechanic take a look at it. If you want to try yourself (with the caveat that you might damage the sole of your shoe if you aren’t careful) use a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel to cut a slot in the top of the cleat bolt and used a slotted-head screwdriver to remove the bolt. Be careful not to cut so deep that the bolt head breaks off. It also helps if the shaft of the screwdriver is hex-shaped, so that you can use a wrench to apply more torque to the screwdriver when removing the cleat bolt. And remember to grease your cleat bolts before installing them next time :)

Boone_Road-878Eric Q: #AskPerformance How does one determine how tight/loose to adjust one’s threadless-steerer headset?

Threadless headsets are pretty easy to get set up once you get the hang of it – the key is to tighten the top cap so that you don’t feel any movement fore and aft at the junction of the headset and the head tube, but not so tight that it hinders your turning ability. Then you tighten down the stem pinch bolts to their recommended pressure to lock the stem in place. We’ve got a very clear video that walks you through each step: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bike-parts-and-components/how-to-adjust-a-bicycle-headset

Greg C: I have my first race coming up next week. Should I shave my legs? Does it make a difference? Will I look like a FRED if I don’t shave?

Another dilemma – shaving your legs is an age-old tradition in the cycling community. Cyclists can give you a litany of rationalizations as to why they shave (such as shaved legs make cleaning up road rash easier and quicker and promote faster healing), but when it comes down to it, shaving your legs is mainly a way to identify yourself as part of the cycling club. Think of it as an initiation into the world of bike racing – you definitely don’t have to shave, but if you don’t, you’d better be fast! We’ve got tips for taking care of your skin here: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/riding-tips/general-cycling-tips/basic-guide-skincare-for-cyclists

Chris D: The big question. … I am 6’2 and ride cross country, all mountain and a small amount of DH. 26, 27.5 or a 29er??? It seems so hard to choose a new size with my wide range of riding styles. What is the advantage of a 27.5 vrs a 29er? Also any 2014 recommendations? I hope #askperformance can help! Sincerely a #teamperformance member.

Wow, it sounds like you’re looking for that one bike that can do it all! As a taller guy, you can definitely handle a 29er, which will give you an improved angle of attack to roll over obstacles, and more momentum to smooth out any trail. But the new 27.5″ standard might also be a great option for you – these bikes have a bit more agility than a 29er, but still have a greater ability to roll over obstacles than a classic 26″ bike. We’re pretty excited about the 27.5″ format and think that it might be a great fit for what you want to ride – we’ll have great options soon from GT (the 130mm travel Sensor and 150mm travel Force) as well as Devinci (their all-new 140mm travel Troy). Check out our Learning Center for more info about 29ers: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/buyers-guides/bikes-and-frames/basic-guide-to-29er-mountain-bikes and 27.5″ mountain bikes: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/buyers-guides/bikes-and-frames/basic-guide-to-275-mountain-bikes

_131003_Boone_Rky_Knob_MTB-340Dawn G.: How do I stop squeaky disc brakes? I’ve cleaned and adjusted them and they still squeak.

There are 2 main things that might be going on if you’ve got everything adjusted right – when you first install new disc brake pads, it’s essential that you go through the ‘break-in’ period for the pads. This will help improve performance and lessen annoying noise – just follow our tips here: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bike-parts-and-components/breaking-in-your-bike-disc-brakes Of course it could just be the case that the pads have become contaminated with oil or dirt – disc brakes pads a difficult to fully clean once this happens, so often the only alternative is simply to replace the pads all together: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/how-to-guides/bike-parts-and-components/how-to-replace-disc-brake-pads

Greg E: I am very interested in getting into cyclocross racing. What is the best way to get started racing for a mature beginner ? I already have a fuji cyclocross bike.

We’re huge fans of cross racing here in the home office – you could even say that we’re obsessed! But really what’s not to love? It’s an all-out effort for 30 minutes to an hour through grass, mud, or sand, with some barriers thrown in just for kicks. Of course this means that some different skills are needed than a regular road ride – you’re already on the right track with a dedicated cyclocross bike, but your next step is to practice cross-specific skills like quick dismounts and remounts, proper technique to carry and run with your bike, and short, hard sprinting efforts to stay in the mix at a race. We’ve got some tips you can follow on our Learning Center, but your best option to learn more is to find a local cyclocross club or training group – cross racers are a friendly bunch, and they’re usually happy to show a beginner the ropes and get him or her just as addicted to cross racing as they are: http://learn.performancebike.com/bikes/advice/riding-tips/road-cycling/cyclocross-basics

If you’ve got a cycling question that you need an answer to right away, feel free to get in touch with our Spin Doctor product technical support team – they are our team of in-house technical experts with decades of combined industry experience, ready to get you the info you need.

Call: 800-553-TECH (8324)
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: How to wrap road bike handlebars

Spin Doctor

Today’s Spin Doctor tech tip focuses on one of those basic components of your road bike, your handlebar tape – something that you touch every time that you go for a ride. If you don’t remember when the last time was that you replaced your handlebar tape, it’s probably time to go ahead and give your bars a fresh, new wrap. Nothing freshens up your ride like some clean tape, such as our Forté Grip-Tec Handlebar Tape seen here:

Mark, one of the Spin Doctors here at our home office, gives you the breakdown on how to do this basic bike maintenance task yourself. Soon enough, you’ll be wrapping handlebars like a pro – as an extra tip, most folks start to wrap their handlebars towards the inside of their bars (from behind this will mean clockwise on the left side and counter-clockwise on the right):

If you need more help with your bicycle repair needs, head to your local Performance Bicycle store and set up a visit with your local Spin Doctor.  Don’t live near one of our stores and need some technical advice? Get in touch with our Spin Doctor Tech Support team by email or phone – they are always ready to help with your technical questions.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Changing a bicycle tire & tube

Spin Doctor

For this week’s Spin Doctor Tech Tip, we’re going back to basics. If there is one skill that every cyclist should master, it’s changing a bike tire and tube. At some point you are going to get a flat or your tire will wear out, so being able to change these parts out yourself will save you both time and money. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to master the techniques you need, and the only tools necessary are a set of tire levers and a pump (we’re big fans of our easy-to-use Spin Doctor Team HP Floor Pump).

Since it’s easier to demonstrate tire & tube changing when you can see the process in action, we put together a series of videos that walk you through the steps from start to finish. Even if you’re a tire & tube-changing veteran, it doesn’t hurt to watch a refresher course from our in-house Spin Doctor pros:

Changing a Bicycle Tire’s Tube

.

Changing a Road Bike Tire

.

Changing a Mountain Bike Tire

.

Once you’ve become a master of the tire lever, you can test your new found prowess against the clock – but you’ve got some work to do if you want to beat this guy’s time:

.

If you’re looking for more bicycle repair tips, head to your local Performance Bicycle store this Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. for our Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic. Our Spin Doctors will provide routine cleaning and maintenance techniques, expert tips & tricks, plus an overview of tools and gear every cyclist should have.

Don’t live near one of our stores and need some technical advice? Get in touch with our Spin Doctor Tech Support team by email or phone – they are always ready to help with your technical questions.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: How to Adjust Front & Rear Derailleurs

Spin Doctor

Derailleurs… almost every bike has them, yet adjusting and installing these essential components still instills fear in many home bike mechanics. If you want to improve your derailleur-adjusting skills, head to your local Performance Bicycle store this Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. for our Derailleur Madness Clinic. Our Spin Doctors will provide expert advice on how to adjust, fix and maintain your derailleurs, plus an overview of the tools and products needed.

Spin Doctor P-Handle Hex Wrench Set

Don’t live near one of our shops? Pick up a set of hex wrenches (like our Spin Doctor P-Handle Hex Wrench Set) and a phillips-head screwdriver and queue up our handy How-To videos below. Each video offers a solid grounding in the principals and techniques you’ll need to get your derailleurs shifting smooth once again.

How to adjust a bicycle front derailleur:

.

How to adjust a bicycle rear derailleur:

.

Still need some help? Bring your bike by your local Performance Bicycle and let one of our Spin Doctor mechanics take a look, or get in touch with our Spin Doctor Tech Support team by email or phone – they are always ready to help with your technical questions.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Maintenance on the Fly

Spin Doctor

In a perfect world bikes would never get flat tires or need periodic repair. But the world is not perfect, and besides it’d get boring if there were no routes, roads or trails that challenged both rider and bike! Instead, dealing with the occasional mid-ride repair is part of the sport. But don’t fret, with a little know-how and the right tools you’ll be ready for just about any problem that comes your way. Here are some tips and tricks to assure you never (well, rarely, anyway) finish a ride by walking your bike back to the garage or local bike shop.

BEFORE YOU RIDE

It’s impossible to prevent all riding mishaps, but a little preparation goes a long way! Before each ride, complete a quick check of your bike and gear: squeeze the brakes and rock the bike back and forth to make sure the brake calipers are tight and that there is no play in the headset; check bolts for tightness (stem and seatpost in particular); look for any frayed brake or shifter cables; check pedals to make sure they are tightly fastened to the crankset (the right pedal tightens clockwise; the left pedal tightens counter-clockwise); lube your chain, then wipe away excess lubricant; check tires for wear, cuts, blisters or lodged glass; pump tires to the manufacturer-recommended pressure (you can find this info on the tire’s sidewall); if you use clipless pedals, check that your cleat bolts are securely fastened. If you notice anything wrong during your check, either fix it yourself or take your bike to your local Performance Bicycle store before your ride!

WHAT TO BRING ON EVERY RIDE

1. Seat Bag or Hydration Pack: To hold the gear below.

2. Tire Levers: Although if possible, install the tire using just your hands (since levers can pinch the tube).

3. Spare Tube: Patching tubes can be tricky.

4. Patch Kit: Your back-up plan.

5. Pump or C02 Inflation System: C02 systems are light and compact, but if you’re planning a long ride, take additional C02 cartridges or a back-up pump as well.

6. Multi-tool: These come in multiple shapes and sizes and configurations – know the bolt sizes on your bike and cleats and find a tool that has those (a tool with 4, 5 and 6mm Allen wrenches, plus flat and Philips head screwdrivers is a good start).

7. Spoke Wrench: These come on many multi-tools.

8. Chain Tool (also on many multi-tools): Broken mountain bike chains are not unusual, and even road chains occasionally snap. With a chain tool you can make a temporary fix to get you home. Don’t forget a replacement chain pin (Shimano) or a chain link connector (i.e. SRAM Power Link).

9. Tire Boot: A large cut in a tire’s sidewall can end your ride. Park Tool’s Tire Boot will adhere to the inside of the tire between the tire and tube to provide a temporary fix to a cut sidewall.

10. Cash: Call this the ultimate multi-tool – you can buy food and drinks, make a phone call if cell service doesn’t work, and even use a folded bill as substitute tire boot!

11. Other Essentials: Cell phone, ID card and any special medical alerts you may have.

FLATS HAPPEN

Whether you ride on the road or trail, you’re bound to get a flat tire once in a while. Make sure you’re comfortable changing a tube by yourself, so you don’t get stranded. Watch our handy How-To video below for a few tips (just remember that if you’re working on a bike with hydraulic disc brakes, never compress the brake levers with the disc removed, as this will push the caliper pistons inward and make it difficult to reinsert the disc).

And now a few IN-A-PINCH PRACTICES:

1. Got a flat and forgot your spare tube? Here are 2 emergency techniques to get you home:

Cut the tube at the puncture then tie it tightly back together. Stretch it into place, re-install the tire and inflate.

No tube, no pump? No worries! Pack your flat tire with as much grass and leaves as you can and pedal gingerly back to your car (this does work, for a little while)!

2. You ignored our suggestion to carry a tire boot and flatted when your tire sidewall got cut. What to do? Place a folded Power Bar wrapper or dollar bill, or a piece of plastic soda bottle between the tube and the cut, then carefully inflate the tire.

3. While shredding the righteous single track at Moab, you taco your front wheel and the tire is now rubbing on the fork. You’re not stuck yet! Remove the wheel from the bike and locate the apex of the bend. With the inflated tire still on the rim, strike the tire at the bend on a hard surface (that shouldn’t be hard to find in Moab). With care you can knock the wheel back into reasonable alignment (at least so it is not rubbing on the fork blades). If you have disc brakes, you are good to go. If you have rim brakes, disconnect them and carefully head back.

4. If you’ve broken a spoke, carefully remove it or, if necessary, wrap it around the nearest intact spoke on the same side of the wheel. Then true the wheel so it doesn’t drag on the frame or brake pads.

5. And finally here are a double speed and a single speed solution:

First, your rear derailleur gets destroyed on a rock. It has come apart and is unusable. Using a chain tool, you can rig your bike up as a single speed. Select a cog in the back that lines up with a ring on the crank. Usually the smaller rings in the front are better. Now cut the chain, drape it around the two rings you have selected, pull it tight and cut it again so the ends just reach. Reconnect it and pedal your new single speed the hipster way home.

Second, you are riding in the mountains and the rear gear cable snaps. The rear derailleur shifts to the highest gear so you and your bike grind to a halt. Are you stuck? Nope, screw in the “H” limit screw on the derailleur while turning the cranks. This will shift the rear derailleur to an easier gear. Continue tightening the screw until you have the easiest gear you can reach. Now pedal your semi-hipster, double-speed way back to the car.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: What to bring the day of a charity ride

Spin Doctor

We know that many folks out there have decided to ride in their first group charity ride this year. Whether the goal is to raise money, challenge yourself, or just have a good time on the bike, it takes some planning and preparation to make for a successful and stress-free day on the road. But all of your hard-earned training and planning can be for naught if you forget a few simple essentials the day of your ride. For advice on what to bring along with you the day of your big ride, we’ve turned to one of the resident Spin Doctors here at our headquarters (and veteran of many charity rides), Gene, to provide his insight into what you should bring to your next charity ride to make your day go as smoothly as possible.

Your bike – Check the condition of the tires, brakes, and drivetrain beforehand.  Lube the chain and cables.  Inflate the tires to the pressure marked on the tire’s sidewall.  Look for cracks and cuts in the tires and replace the tires if necessary.  Clean your bike.  Some think that a clean bike is faster than a dirty bike.  Whether or not this is true, while cleaning your bike, you may find a problem with the bike that was previously overlooked.

A helmet – Your helmet should fit snug without being uncomfortable.  The helmet straps should buckle below your chin without putting pressure on your chin.  Most charity rides require helmets be worn by all riders.

Water bottle / hydration – Almost as important as a helmet.  Dehydration could drastically effect your enjoyment of the ride.  You should drink about 28 ounces (a large capacity water bottle) of fluids every 30-45 minutes or whenever you are thirsty.  Electrolyte drink mixes will help replenish the minerals lost during cycling activity as well as aid in recovering after the ride.

The front wheel – Bikes transported on roof racks sometimes require that the front wheel be removed.  Nothing will ruin your day faster than realizing that you’ve left the wheel behind or misplaced the front wheel skewer.

Repair tools – Bring tools for flat tire repair and easy adjustments.  These tools include a frame pump and/or CO2, tire levers, spare tube, tube patch kit and bicycle multitool.

Floor pump – Makes pre-ride bike prep easier and may lead to new friendships when you help someone else inflate their tires!

Riding gear – Cycling jersey, cycling shorts, cycling socks, cycling shoes, cycling helmet, cycling gloves, sunglasses or eye protection and sun block.  None of these items are mandatory, except the helmet, but all of these items will make you more comfortable during and after the ride.

ID and an insurance card – Good to have at rider check-in and in emergency situations, especially if you have special medical needs.

Cell phone – Can contact ride control or a friend for assistance.

Money – Can be used as an extra donation to the charity being sponsored, for a bite to eat on the route, a tip for the mechanic (if you feel their service was exceptional), to purchase a replacement bike part, a dollar bill to “patch” a cut tire, and for post-ride activities.

First Aid kit – Nice to have at the car. Good for blisters, road rash, etc.

Knowledge of group riding – There are several sites with good articles about riding in a group, if you want to read up before trying your hand out on the road, available here, here, here and here. But the essentials of riding in a group are straightforward: be predictable, communicate with the group, stay alert, and be considerate of others.

An attainable goal – Ride a route that is suitable for you.  Typically, you can safely complete a charity ride route if you’ve been able to recently ride 2/3 of the route’s distance comfortably.  Don’t forget to take into account weather conditions and route elevation changes.

Foul weather gear – Be aware of the weather forecast.  If rain is forecast, bring rain gear.  If the temperature at the beginning of the ride is going to be much colder than later in the ride, layer your clothing so outer layers can be removed during the ride.

Nutrition – “Keeping the gas tank filled”.  Nutrition bars and gel packs are easy to use while cycling and provide additional fuel for your ride.  Experiment with new drink mixes and nutrition products well before the charity ride, not on the day of the event.

And finally, a friend or family member – Sharing the experience is much more enjoyable.  Conversation and support during the ride helps the miles go quicker!

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Hydration 101

Spin DoctorProper hydration is key to your optimal cycling performance, as all bodily functions depend on good hydration. Sweating out as little as 2% of your body weight reduces your body’s ability to pump blood and cool itself!

Dehydration is a serious problem for us as cyclists, especially when temperatures & humidity rise. On those hot days that critical 2% can be lost in less than an hour! For safety and optimal performance, we need a balance of fluid, energy and electrolytes before, during and even after exercise.

Staying hydrated is a big and coordinated effort of your stomach, intestines and circulatory system.

Stomach: The stomach’s job is to prepare food and fluids for the intestines where absorption into the blood takes place. It adjusts the saltiness of food to match that of the intestines and blood, to speed absorption. Sport drinks are isotonic, which means that they are formulated at just the right saltiness so they move more quickly to the intestines.

Bottom line: Isotonic drinks move faster through the stomach than water alone.

Intestines: Fluids, food, electrolytes and energy molecules have to pass through the intestinal wall to reach the blood stream. The key constituents of sport drinks are designed at the molecular level to move more easily and quickly through the intestinal wall.

Bottom line: Sport drinks accelerate the passage of energy, select nutrients and water.

Circulatory System: The blood stream transports oxygen, fluid and fuel to the muscles then moves metabolic wastes and heat away. To work it needs fluid and salts, and isotonic sport drinks supply them and more.

Bottom line: By providing fluid, energy molecules and some salts isotonic sport drinks support the circulatory system and exercise performance.

Skin: The skin protects us, on cold and hot days. During hard exercise and exercise in the heat, your body loses necessary moisture and blood salt levels rise.

Bottom line: Sport drinks replace water and help to balance critical salt levels in the blood.

Kidneys: The kidneys function to maintain blood volume and saltiness, but during exercise, blood flow is diverted to muscles, heart and skin and so the kidneys are basically off line. After exercise the kidneys work to normalize blood fluid volume and saltiness.

Bottom line: Drinking sport drinks right after exercise can speed recovery from exercise.

Bottom Line Overall: To stay hydrated during the hottest days and hardest workouts, you need a sports drink made up of water, energy (from carbohydrates), and electrolytes (salts).

All of the sport drinks we carry feature a blend of these important nutrients, but, as always, if you have questions about any cycling nutrition & hydration products (or anything else we carry), give our in-house Spin Doctor Technical Support team a call at 800 553-8324 (TECH), or send your email question to spindoctor@performanceinc.com.  They’re ready to answer your questions and offer advice 5 days a week.

Spin Doctor Tech Tip: Shimano and Campagnolo Chains

Spin Doctor

So you’ve decided to upgrade to the latest and greatest drivetrains from Shimano or Campagnolo, but now you’ve got to figure out how to deal with the new chain that you need for your new components.  Read on below for some important information, from our Spin Doctor Product Services team, that you need to know before you ever install a Campy 11-speed or new Shimano 10-speed chain.

Campagnolo 11-speed Chain

Installing or shortening the Campy 11-speed chain requires special procedures and tools:

• New chains can only be shortened on the end opposite the special link. The special link is marked by a plastic tag and a batch number.

• The 11-speed chains are connected with a special piloted connecting pin (Ultra-Link CN RE 500). The pin must be driven from the inside out.

• For secure operation the end of the connecting pin Ultra-Link CN RE 500 must be flattened or peened once its pilot is snapped off.

CT-11 in action

• The Campy UT-CN300 chain tool can shorten, connect and peen the connecting pin, or the Park Master Chain Tool (CT-4.2 or CT-4) can be used for connecting and shortening but the Park CT-11 tool must be used for peening. The CT-11’s sole function is peening the Campy 11-speed chain. It should not be used for anything else.

• The Campy 11-speed chain can only be broken and reattached 2 times and the special connecting pin can only be attached to the special link.

Shimano Asymmetric 10 Speed Chains (Dura-Ace HG CN-7901, Ultegra HG CN-6701, 105 HG CN-5701)

Like the Campy 11-speed chain, the Shimano Asymmetrical chains requires some special steps:

• The chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have rectangular cut-outs. The outside outer chain plates will have model designations.

Dura-Ace 7901 chain inside plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an out plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates – connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

Item #50-6585

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed except if the chain is to be discarded.

Shimano Dyna-Sys 10 Speed Chains (M980 XTR chain, HG94 XT chain, HG74 SLX chain)

Dyna-Sys chains have 4 different types of outer plates that facilitate shifting up & down on the cassette or between chainrings.

• The Dyna-Sys chains have distinct inner and outer sides. The inner side outer chain plates have no lettering while the outside has outer chain plates that are alternating stamped with HG-X and Shimano.

HG74 SLX chain – inside chain plates

• The connecting pins should be installed on the leading edge of an outside plate. Viewed from the drive side, the leading edge of the top run of chain from cassette to crank will be the right of an outer plate’s 2 holes.

Outer chain plates – connecting pin should go in rightmost holes

• When readjusting the length of an installed chain, the connecting pin should be installed from the same side as the chain cutter.

• Only Shimano connecting pins with 2 or 3 grooves should be used.

• Once installed the connecting pin should never be removed again except if the chain is to be discarded.

If you still have questions about Campy or Shimano chains, just head down to your local Performance store or contact Spin Doctor Product Services by phone, email or chat; they’ll be happy to help!

Call: 800-553-TECH
Email: spindoctor@performanceinc.com
Chat: Live Help at PerformanceBike.com

Spin Doctor Mechanic Profile – Andrew Miller

Spin DoctorFor today’s employee profile, meet Andrew Miller, the Spin Doctor mechanic for our Akron, Ohio store.  Andrew is not only a top-notch Spin Doctor-certified mechanic, he is also gives back to the local cycling community through his work with the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association and the Cleveland Bike Alliance.  Read on below to learn more about Andrew, or just swing by our Akron, Ohio store and say hello.

How long have you worked at Performance ?

Since 2009.

How did you get started in cycling ?

I rode bikes as a kid, but I really started riding again after a visit to D.C. with my sister, during which we rented bikes.  I immediately fell back in love with the sport and I haven’t stopped cycling since.

How long have you been cycling ?

It’s been 4 years since I started up again.

What’s type of riding do you like?

Anything with 2 wheels: mountain bike, cyclocross or road!

Do you have any racing experience?

I have raced for 3 seasons: 3 seasons off-road, 2 on the road, and 1 cyclocross.

What are your favorite places to ride?

Medina Reagan Park or Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

What’s your favorite aspect of working in a bicycle store?

Meeting new friends to ride with, and of course seeing all the new gear!

Dream place to ride?

Paris Roubaix or Tour of Flanders.

Photo by Graham Watson via Cycling Weekly

Any cycling goals? Something you’re working toward?

This year I’m trying to get back into shape after 4 months off due to an injury.

Any hobbies outside of cycling?

I’m into music and video games.

How long have you been a mechanic?

1 1/2 years at Performance.

Have you ever wrenched for a pro team/ pro cyclist?

Not yet, but I have had the chance to ride with pro’s Jeff Lenosky and Emily Batty.

Specialties?

I’m best at sprinting and climbing.

Certifications?

I became a certified Spin Doctor in November, 2010.

Club Affiliation?

I’m the current president of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association and a stakeholder in the Cleveland Bike Alliance.

You can find the Akron, Ohio store at:

790 Arlington Ridge, Suite 307
Arlington Ridge Marketplace
Akron, OH 44312
330-644-8133

Store Hours:
11:00AM- 7:00PM Monday- Friday
10:00AM- 7:00PM Saturday
12:00PM- 5:00PM Sunday

View on Google Maps

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 198 other followers

%d bloggers like this: