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Police Registry

All adult bikes purchased from us are added to a national police database

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Is Your Bike Safe?

A Safe Bike

Keeping your bike in tip-top condition improves not only its safety but also its performance.See our checklist below to ensure that your bicycle is safe and in proper working order: If you are at all worried pop the bike in to us to check out.


Brakes:Squeeze each brake lever in turn to ensure they apply enough pressure to lock the wheel and stop your bike. To ensure a smooth and controlled stop your brakes should start activating as soon as you pull the lever. Pulling halfway toward the handle bars before getting traction is a signal to tighten the brake cable.

Brake pads shouldn’t be worn right down, especially if you are setting out on a hilly journey. This applies on both V-brake and disc brake systems.

Brake pads should only connect with the rims of the wheel when activated. Rubber locks to rubber, so pads touching the tyre cause damage and lead to unexpectedly sharp stops and potential accidents.

Check for frayed or stretched cables, which will be less effective and may slip.

 Bikes with hydraulic disc brakes should be maintained at the correct pressure. Insure no oil ever comes in contact with ether the rotor or the brake pads and make sure that a visible amount of braking material is left on the pads. Check manufacturer’s instructions for more information.


Chain:

For maximum performance and longevity of life chains should be rust free, well cleaned and re-lubricated as often as possible using a chain bath and a good quality lube. Insure that you toughly degrees and remove any old oil. When mixed with dust, mud and grit it will act as a grinding paste dramatically speeding up any wear on your gears and increasing the chances of snapping your chain.It’s worth visiting a qualified cycle mechanic to get your chain length measured for wear and stretch at least once a year. Even the most expensive of chains will stretch but if caught early enough and replaced, it will increase the life of the rest of your gear system and save you a lot of money in the long run.


Derailleur gears:

Tuning gears can be tricky if your not familiar with how they work, be aware that if any of the small screws are sticking out more than others then this is usually intentional. Screwing them in can result in a loss of useable gears. If you don’t know what you’re doing then leave it to a trained mechanic.Much like your chain, your gears should be rust free, well cleaned and re-lubricated as often as possible and not clogged up with grime or mud. All gears should be fully operational and should not cause rough shifting or chain slippage. Slipped gears often cause the bike to veer sharply, which is particularly dangerous in traffic. For example when a rider is standing on the pedals when climbing a hill or setting off from traffic lights, a slipped gear may cause the rider to fly over the handle bars resulting in serious injury (I have personally chipped the bone in my knee cap and given myself concussion due to this and that was consider getting off lightly!).If your gears are beginning to slip then this is usually down to either excess wear of the chain and/or cogs, poorly adjusted gears or a bent derailleur or derailleur hanger. Gears can be very venerable to side on impacts so try not to lay your bike down on its drive side (gear side) and be careful when leaning it against other objects. Remember, if you suspect this is happening the worst thing you can do is ignore it.


Frame and forks:Repair any damage and cure any rust where possible. It’s also occasionally worth inspecting for cracks. Although you’re old bike may have some sentimental value, that will soon be forgotten if it snaps when riding down a hill. Remember nothing lasts forever!


Lights and Reflectors:It’ not just important to be seen when cycling in the dark it’s also the law. Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (amended in 1994 and 2005) require pedal cycles to have lights and reflectors fitted, clean and working properly, when being ridden on a public road between sunset and sunrise.

Also thanks to the enactment of Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 2559: on 23rd October 2005, it finally became legal to use flashing LED lights on a bicycle as your main source of lighting. This opened the flood gates for manufacturers to produce brighter, higher quality lights with better running times and requiring less power. Having said that, there is still a lot of junk on the market so its always best to try before you buy. As a shop we would strongly recommend Cateye branded lights, they have been used by our staff for many years and not only do they make a good, wide selection of light sets (relevant to all safety standards through out the world), but they also all have the option of being on constantly or flashing and even have reflectors built in.


Nuts and Bolts:If it wasn’t for nuts and bolt then your bike would just be a big pile of bits on the floor! These days most bikes will use Allen key bolts as they tend to be smaller and lighter than conventional Hex bolts, this also allows easy and quick adjustment. It is recommended for you to periodically work your way around the bike and check that everything is correctly secured. Most precision parts will have a recommended torque setting to avoid any damage. If you don’t own a torque wrench then using a bit of common sense will go a long way, just don’t force or over tighten things and if you are at all unsure then feel free to give our workshop a call for advice. Remember to apply a small mount of grease when re-fitting any nuts or bolts and also be aware that some parts of the bike (like the drive side pedal) use a reverse thread which tightens and loosens in the opposite direction to normal.


Saddle Height

Adjusting your seat to the correct position is crucial if you want to avoid causing damage to your knees and hips. Your saddle should be high enough so that your leg almost (but not quite) extends fully at the bottom of each pedal stroke. Riding with the saddle this high allows you to spin the pedal more comfortably and efficiently. A correctly positioned saddle feels a long way off the ground especially when you stop. Don’t worry, you’ll soon learn to balance with your strongest foot perched on one pedal, and the other on tiptoes on the ground.

Check for the correct leg extension by positioning your right hand pedal at the lowest possible point in its rotation, your heel should then be able to touch this pedal with your leg straight (but not locked out) that way, when you position your feet in the classically correct position, with the balls of the feet over the pedal spindle, your knee will be slightly bent.

 

To adjust your saddle height, loosen the seat clamp (where the seatpost enters the frame) and move the seatpost up or down as necessary. Ensure you do not raise the seatpost above the minimum insertion mark etched on the seatpost otherwise you can stress and damage the bike and yourself. When you are happy with the height, re-tighten the seat clamp.


Tyres

Before setting out on a long ride check for cracked, gouged or worn rubber which may increase the risk of punctures and eventually lead to tyre failure. Also check tread and tyre edge for stones, glass, thorns and other debris which may work their way in and cause a puncture.

Ensure tyres are properly inflated as recommended on the side of the tyre. This will be referred to as PSI (pound per square inch). Road bikes will usualy run around 100-120psi, Hybrids around 60psi and Mountain bikes can be anywhere between 35-60psi depending on the tyre and terrain they’re being used on. An under-inflated tyre will slow you down, making cycling much harder work than necessary and increase the risk of snakebite (pinch-type) punctures.


Wheels

Wheels should spin freely. Check that they do not rub against the frame or brake blocks and that they run straight and true. A small amount of side to side wobble is usually an indication of either a loose spoke or a damaged rim. If the wobble is much bigger, preventing the wheel from rotating altogether then avoid riding the bike as its possible for the wheel to suddenly collapse, get it looked at by an experienced cycle mechanic/wheel builder as soon as you can.

Safely and correctly truing wheels requires a lot practice and can be a bit of a fine art. Although it is possible to true and repair them your self at home, it is also extremely easy to make the problem much worse and potentially dangerous. If the rim itself is bent, worn, twisted or resembles a pringle, it is more than likely beyond repair. It’s often more cost effective to replace the whole wheel rather than trying to have it trued or re-built.

 

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