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Bike Repair: Here’s When You Should Change Tyres

Bike repair of Tyres and brake pads are components that together take a beating from the rough terrain, weather, debris, etc. They deliver their best when they are in optimum condition, providing the rider with better braking and control. Replacing tyres can prove to be a tricky job as it varies based on rider and the terrain one rides on. While at first glance your tyres may look ready to hit the road, a closer inspection may reveal the need for a replacement. The type of tyre, terrain, rider’s weight, handling and conditions where you park your bike, determine the health of your bicycle tyres.Bike repair

You might have observed that the back tyre is more prone to getting worn out as compared to the front tyre. It is a good routine to check your tyres regularly before and after every ride. Refrain from waiting for your tyres to weather away completely as it increases the chances of a mishap.

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While examining your bicycle tyres or any other kind of Bike repair, remember to look for:

Signs of wear and tear:

Cracks:

Small chunks missing on the thread surface

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Flat surface:

Avoid parking your bicycle under direct sunlight or rain. Prolonged exposure to such elements can drastically reduce the strength and resistance of tyres by breaking down the rubber and shortening your tyres lifespan.Also, exposure to sunlight leads to UV degradation.

It is advisable to keep your bicycle indoors in a dry place. You can keep your bicycle mounted or upside-down when storing it or not in use for a long period. Rainwater, extreme cold or heat is enough to cause your tyres to harden or make them crack.

It is advised that you not throw away your old tyres as they can be used in case of an emergency.
The same applies to your brake pads when they harden and tend to crack. You might not always be aware of the debris that fly off your wheels or get stuck in the rim embedding itself in the pads. Not only does it harm your rims, but worsens with every brake.

It is a good practice to remove your wheels and wipe those brake pads at regular intervals, irrespective of the weather conditions you’re riding in. So examining your bike before and after every ride can always be handy. Follow the simple guidelines above and Bike repair tyres and brake pads will be as happy as you are after a good ride.

So examining your bike before and after every ride can always be handy. Follow the simple guidelines above and Bike repair tyres and brake pads will be as happy as you are after a good ride.

Disc Brakes vs Rims Brakes (V brakes)

But before we get into the debate of Disc brakes vs Rims brakes, let’s see how they actually work! Rim brakes, power brakes or V brakes are calliper brakes that work by pinching the bicycle rim between two blocks of brake pads.

Rims

These blocks create friction and help you slow the bike down.

Disc brakes:

Disc brakes have always been on motorbikes but with the advancement of technology, they have been modified and fitted onto bicycles. However, they were primarily hydraulic and aimed at the high-end mounting bikes in the market.

Today, these brakes have several models of the cable-actuated disc brake that have evolved over the years. As a result, you will find bikes with disc brakes as standards or as an optional upgrade. These disc brakes come with callipers that act upon a metal ‘rotor’ bolted onto the wheel hub, instead of the rim.

Let’s have a look at some of the important criteria of disc brakes vs rim brakes.

Weight:

Rim brakes require only levers, cables and lightweight Calipers. However, Hydraulic disc brakes, on the other hand, require cables, rotor discs, brake pads, hoses, reservoirs and fluid as well as levers and callipers.

With more parts, disc brakes are far more complicated and heavy as compared to rim brakes.

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Maintenance:

Disc brakes come with extra components. As a result, they can be tricker to work with and maintain. Especially, the process of bleeding can be nerve-wracking.

Power:

Well, there’s no argument here. Hydraulic disc brakes provide more power while stopping. Also, they work significantly well in wet weather where rim brakes find it difficult to grip.

Disc brakes are a win here!

Cost:

With the number of components with the disc brake set up, it is bound to be pricier than rim brakes. So be prepared to spend a little more on the maintenance in the long runs compared to rim brakes.

Modulation:

If you’re into downhill or road biking, you will want to have accuracy at braking. You also want to have more control over the braking power and feel in control. Disc brakes let you do that.

Needless to say, rim brakes can’t match the accuracy offered as compared to hydraulic disc brakes.

This fine degree of braking in disc brakes is what we call, modulation!

Availability of parts:

The biggest advantage of rim brakes is that you will find compatible parts in one form or another anywhere around the world. Whereas, disc brakes still rely on non-standard proprietary brake pads and callipers.

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What’s our take on disc brakes vs rim brakes?

We’ve been riding rim brakes that are badly installed and poorly maintained since we were kids.

But what we realised is that if we install them properly and give care and attention to them regularly, they work really well.

Heck, given due care & attention, V-brakes can deliver a similar level of raw braking power to a cable disc brake.

If you are a beginner, don’t get carried away with a bicycle that offers you disc brakes and suspension at a very low price. It’s just a marketing gimmick that doesn’t work in your favour in the long run.

Instead, get a bicycle with the rim brakes. They work just fine! Besides, it will save money and keep things simple between your legs!

If you have a big budget, go disc!

It will offer you more optimal braking performance no matter what the weather!

Now, it’s your turn…

Which brakes do you use? Disc brakes or Rim brakes?

Or do you have any question to ask regarding disc brakes vs rim brakes?

Things To Keep in Mind before Cycling In Monsoon

Cycling in monsoon can be quite scary at times due to the number of potholes and poor visibility. However, taking the right precautions can make riding under terrible conditions safe and enjoyable. But, before you hit the roads, ensure to dress up for the occasion; failing to do so can suck the fun out of your ride.

monsoon Before cycling in monsoon, start by servicing your bike. This step is essential as it keeps the romantic relation intact between you and your bike. Follow this and you will be ready to take on the rain on the wet tarmac. Keeping in mind the following monsoon cycling tips before every bike ride will not only make for a safer ride but also a happier one.

Check the weather:

Let’s be clear about one thing, there is no such thing as bad weather. Check the weather predictions before your ride. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you are cycling in monsoon. It will also allow you to be prepared in advance for anything that may come your way during the ride.

Take a buddy along:

Invading the roads in the rains by yourself at any time of the day is not a good idea. The sun is probably on a vacation and it’s always going to be cloudy. In such conditions, you need someone to have your back and help you in a crisis. With the rain pouring down, it is unlikely that a taxi or an auto will give you a ride back home. However, if you have a cycling buddy along, life will be much easier.

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Stick to the roads you are familiar with:

Gambling is an addiction, but not when it comes to exploring new terrains on your precious bike. With low visibility and roads full of potholes, no one can guarantee a safe road in India at any time of the year. In our country, people break roads, repair them and repeat the process, sometimes leaving them unattended. Not to mention water logging, an issue that seems to haunt us every year without fail. So do not be surprised if you find your front tyre stuck in one of the open manholes. Hence, stick to the roads you are familiar with.

Keep your eyes wide open:

While cycling in monsoon, the visibility is likely to run low. Hence, consider wearing transparent lenses instead of the usually tinted ones. Keep your eyes and ears open and stay alert, especially at junctions or while taking a turn. Cyclists on Indian roads are not given importance and during the rains, nobody bothers to look any further. Buses, cabs, and rickshaws top the list of vehicles to look out for while cycling as they all fight for a first place that has no prize. Besides, go easy on the corners and look out for gravel, crushed pieces of glass and other things.

Brake before you break:

Everyone must be familiar with this conundrum. During monsoons, cyclist lose close to 30% braking power due to the wet rims and brake pads. In case you have to slow down or halt, brake a little earlier than you normally do.

Keep safe distance from other riders and cars:

When your brakes are not working at optimum efficiency and the number of potholes keeps increasing, ensure you keep a safe distance from other riders and cars. This will help you stay alert and avoid potholes or vehicles that halt suddenly.

Reduce tire pressure:

When the roads are wet, keeping the tire stuck to the ground can be a very difficult task. With less friction between the tarmac and the tire, consider reducing pressure by at least 10 – 15 psi. This drop will help increase the lost traction and make cornering better.

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Learn to Whistle:

With the noisy traffic, windows rolled up or on the highway with heavy winds, screaming your lungs out when your already grasping for air cannot be a good idea at the cars. Learn the art of whistling or keep a whistle that can be easily accessed at any given time. This could also be used for your regular rides.

Carry your phone:

This might sound silly, but technology is your best friend in times of emergencies. When deciding to invade the roads alone, a mobile phone can come in handy. So put it in a nice transparent plastic bag and you are good to go.

Money and ID proof:

Always carry money, no matter where you are going. You might run out of water or face other issues. While the bicycle ride makes you happy, money can act as a catalyst. Besides, carrying an ID is a must. In the case of an emergency in an unknown place, having an ID can be very helpful to inform your loved ones.

Carry spare tubes and not puncture kits:

During monsoons, pinch flats and punctures are right around the corner waiting to make your life difficult. Carrying a puncture kit and trying to fix it in the rain can be frustrating. So why to waste time when you can simply carry extra tubes and change it.

Use gestures as much as possible:

When riding in heavy traffic or even in twos, fours or a larger group, hand gestures can be a lifesaver. Spend as much time as possible with your buddies, get innovative and come up with your own gestures. Make it exciting and leave people wondering what any of those gestures meant. As long as your buddy understands the sign, you will surely have a safe and fun ride.

Attend our Bicycle Assessment Workshop:

Every now and then, it is a good practice to check your bicycle for signs of damage. A worn out bicycle chain, overused brake pads, headset & wheel play,  worn out cables, seized bolts could cost you a lot of money if not checked and replaced/serviced at the right time.

With this workshop, you will be able to assess your bike that will help you save money in the long run.

Do-It-Yourself: Must Do Bike Checks Before Every Ride

Ride We often head out cycling without doing a bike check-up that ensures we are ready to take on the road and the hurdles on the way. Below are a few tips that will keep you safe and ensure that you avoid a roadside malfunction so you can enjoy your ride-

Ride

Tires:-

Before you go out for a ride, it’s always a good idea to check the tire sidewalls for any sign of wear and tear. Also, ensure to keep the tyre pressure at optimum (as mentioned on the tyre) to reduce the chances of getting a puncture or a pinch flat.

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Quick release:

Imported bicycles usually come along with a quick release system that lets you open the tyres with ease. As they hold your wheel on the bike, getting into a habit of checking whether the levers are tightly locked can boost your confidence a lot.

Brakes:

Finding out in the middle of your ride that your brakes are not working can be fatal. Hence, checking them before you go cycling is a good precaution. Make sure you elevate the front wheel and spin it. Apply the front brake and ensure that the calipers and brake pads squeeze on each side of the wheel evenly.

Repeat the same process with the rear wheel.

Chain:

Always keep your eyes on the chain. See to it you always clean it and lube it. Every chain only last between 1500 to 10,000miles. This is due to several factors such as riding style, gear choice, weather condition and more.

Tail Light batteries:

If you ride early mornings or late at night, a taillight is a must. Next time you go out to ride, ensure it is fully charged. It is also a good idea to carry spare batteries in your saddle bag.

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Helmet:

No matter what bicycle you ride, wearing a helmet that fits properly is a must. Keep an eye out for cracks and check the straps buckle beneath the chin. A good helmet will only serve its purpose in times of an accident.

And if you’ve already damaged the helmet in an accident, it’s time to replace it.

Bolts:

It is always a good idea to check the bolts of your stem and the handlebar of your bikes occasionally. This will help you avoid major accidents. Also, if the bolts need to be tightened, do not over-tighten them. Especially if you have a carbon stem, handlebar and seatpost, as they are likely to crack. If you are afraid to tighten the bolts, you can always take it to a nearby mechanic.

Toolkit:

Even if your bike seems to be at its best after ever check, carrying a toolkit is a must. Do read our recommended list of bike essentials to get a better understanding of what you should be carrying in your saddle bag.

If there are any other check-ups that you think we have missed out, do comment and let us know!