LOOK AFTER YOU BIKE CHAIN

If you only look after and maintain one thing on your bike – it has to be your chain…

There is an absolute stack of products and info on the market dedicated to bike care – its important stuff and certainly one of those product lines we like to advise people about – not just let them grab it off the shelf and take to the check out – the right products for the right kind of cyclist means plenty of on going use for your pride and joy.

What’s the one area of bike care that all kinds of cyclists get wrong?

THE CHAIN !!!

We try and always think of care products in 2 categories – for the chain, or for the rest of the bike – the chain is that important !!!

No matter what bike you have, the chain is the primary area of the bike you need to be able to look after at home with the right products and advice. Regardless of how much expert servicing we do for you in the workshop to the rest of your bike, you need to be able to do at least some chain care at home. The chain simply needs more attention than just at service time.

Let’s start with why the chain is so important…stretch…if a chain is well cared for then it doesn’t stretch as quickly. A chain is made up of pins, rollers and plates (links), and as a chain wears these small parts don’t all fit together as snugly – like a door hinge that starts to wear out and get sloppy.  This then means the chain stretches a very small amount per link as you push down hard on the pedals. So over 100 or so links this becomes a noticeable amount of stretch and slop which leads to the chain not sliding as nicely across cogs when changing gears. Gear change becomes less crisp, slower to react and noisier.

This stretch also leads to the front and rear cogs of the bike wearing…as each link stretches doesn’t sit down onto each tooth of the cogs correctly, this slight misalignment causes the teeth to wear with every rotation. Enough wear can lead to dangerous slippage when the chain and cog cannot grab as you put power down, especially bursts of power or up hills. It doesn’t always have to be the die hard customers doing lots of miles – this issue can just as regularly come from recreational cyclists, because these customers are maybe thinking it isn’t as important to care for the chain on their weekend machine.

So why does the chain stretch and wear???

There is really only 2 reasons – 1. metal on metal friction from use over time is unavoidable but limited by using the right lubrication. 2. grit & dirt is the major issue most people have with chain wear. Grit kills chains quicker than simple mechanical wear – heaps quicker, grit and dirt act like sand paper on a chain as it constantly rotates around causing that wear and slop we have spoken about…so keeping the chain clean is actually more important than keeping it well lubed.

Here are some great tips to get into a regular routine for chain care in between visits to the workshop.

  1. Wipe your chain regularly – with a simple dry rag, if a chain is wiped every 2 rides, this stops the grit off every road or trail from attaching to the chain. The grit sticks to the oil on the chain and it mashes it up. So if you wipe it every 2 rides you keep on top of this process. Simply hold a rag firmly over the bottom half of the chain as you turn the pedals backwards – keep your hands and the rag away from the cogs however… you will get a noticeable streak of black tar off the chain. Repeat every 2 rides. Keep a rag next to your bike storage , make it easy and accessible.
  2. People think they will wipe off all the oil needed for the chain by wiping for 20 seconds – you won’t. A chain is like a sponge, each link and roller holds a nice drop of oil or lube – even if it feels reasonably dry to touch. Wiping for 20 seconds only wipes off the oil that has leached to the surface of the chain (where is isn’t really doing its thing). The oil inside each link will continue to do its job but you are getting rid of the oil and grit on the surface. More oil will leach out on the next couple of rides, so repeat the process.
  3. Wiping the chain every 2 rides will mean that you might get 6 rides (3 cycles) before the chain does have a dry and crunchy feel – now its time to put more oil.
  4. Never oil a dirty chain – take the extra few minutes to give the chain a really decent wipe before putting more oil on the chain – oiling a chain that is already gritty and dirty doesn’t allow the oil to get into the rollers where is needs to be… the oil sits on the surface and only makes that mashed up gritty chain killer worse- THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE WITH ALL CYCLISTS – get out of thinking that you have done your bike some good by just throwing a bit of oil on it for good measure…don’t have time to wipe the chain? you don’t have time to oil it then!!!
  5. Wiping the chain can only keep on top of it for so long. If the chain starts to get more of a gunky film that is hard to remove on it, its time to clean the chain, either with a good brush and some degreaser, or a specific chain cleaner – all of which we can talk to you about in store… any degreasing of the chain should be an in depth process however…do not just spray a bit of degreaser on the chain and cogs and wipe off before re-oiling… make sure you rinse off any cleaning products with water very well. We have seen the results of not getting old oil and degreaser off the chain properly…the result is something like glue.
  6.  Do not use WD40 or CRC…neither have any proper use on a chain…are you trying to oil or degrease your chain? People think the good old “service in a can” does both… they kinda do but they flick off the chain quickly and then there is nothing left – leading to rust…the one thing people are trying to stop by using them.
  7.  Chain before other cleaning. If you are going to give the chain a good clean and degrease do this before any other cleaning, as there will be some degreaser that splatters on the rest of the bike. Rinse the chain, wash the rest of the bike how you like, dry the chain with a rag, and then oil it.
  8. Oils ain’t oils… sorry for stealing the slogan, but whilst there is a crazy number product for oiling and lubing chains there is essentially only a couple of categories:  1. Oil based or “wet” lubes are for riders in wet muddy conditions or road riders who want the bike to feel really smooth, these lubes are often about the consistency of olive oil and are really good at keeping things quiet and lasting a long time between applications. Wet lubes can get very gunky and build up on the chain if not cared for. The 2 rides and wipe process is really important with these oils and we are always talking to customers about keeping on top of the process. 2. Dry based lubes work really well on MTB’s and bikes that are going to get dirty in dry dust. Even our recreational customers should probably aim at using dry lubes because they tend to need less care and you can be a little slacker with wiping the chain. They often have a wax or Teflon sediment in them that leaves a smooth dry film on the chain that dirt finds harder to stick to. They never last as long however and are thinner, which means they need applying more regularly. That’s when the suggested wipe before you re-oil is really important. Many MTB riders will apply, ride twice, wipe and re-apply to keep it all smooth, because they can feel dry and rough quickly, but it’s all in the name of stopping a dirty chain. 3. Ceramic lubes tend to be a oil or waxed based lube, just a better version of them with some ceramic compounds that run really smooth – if you own a high performance bike, they are worth a look.

Remember that you can always make the journey in store to talk about your chain – and the quicker you can get into thinking of your chain as something you need to take control of all the time and in between visits to our workshop the better.

 

 

Product Spot Light – Giant Trance 29er – Trail Bike

In a world of MTB bikes that keep getting crazier – there is a bike that still suits the silent majority.

The silent majority – I don’t mean those voters that the Labour Party forgot about a month or so ago, and I don’t mean the people in the rust belt of the good ol’ US of A…

I mean the very large number of MTB riders out there who simply get on their bike at any chance they get and take on their local trails and like to hook into the corners, maybe get a bit of air off a few drops and are pretty excited if they beat their mates on the flow sections of track. These same people are happy to get a ride in after work and if they get ankle high off the ground, so be it, but that won’t stop them from riding as many trails as they can next weekend when they decide to go with their mates to some of the more technical trails in say, central Victoria.

This silent majority often tells me in store they want to get better at all aspects of MTB riding and attack trails with better skills, but any improvements in their ability is often measured and conservative.

In a world of increasingly more aggressive trail bikes, that have marketing and action shots attached to them that scream “I am going hard, and my bike needs to follow me” its easy to assume that is how every body rides now… but what about the silent majority – TRADITIONAL TRAIL RIDERS…

Well if you think this is a fairly close description of yourself, or your not sure where you really fit in the big world of trail bikes, then the Giant Trance 29er range of bikes should be close to the top of your purchase list.

Giant have 4 models of Trance 29er available here in Australia at present, all spec’d with suspension numbers that read something like this:

130mm front suspension / 115mm rear suspension / 66.5 degree head angle / 435mm chain stays / 35mm BB drop…

So what’s in those numbers?

Well the biggest thing to note is 115mm rear suspension with 130mm front – it almost looks like a mismatch – 115mm more in the zone of XC bikes for podium hunters and 130mm more in the typical zone for a 29er trail bike. But these numbers are the basis for the perfect bike for normal trail riders. Have you heard the terminology lately: “lower, slacker, longer” ?

Lower bottom bracket heights, slacker head angles and longer travel? All categories of bike are going this way, and for good reason as most trail networks are getting more aggressive with lots of variation from big climbs to very step, techy descents and more flowing jumps to clear. The new Trance 29er bikes certainly have moved in this direction also, but they haven’t gone too far. They have the right mix of slack angles, a fun playful feel and brilliant hassle free pedaling ability that requires very little mucking around to get right.

This bike is far more capable of being aggressive than the numbers suggest, which is great testament to the R & D Giant have done. Originally I was thinking when I first saw the new Trance 29er in a sneak peek viewing July 2018, that it would be a bike with 130mm suspension front and rear – that’s what most trail bikes should have for the silent majority. So why 115mm? Well I can say from experience, it feels a lot more like 130mm traditional trails bikes, but the 115mm was simply the happy medium to balance pedaling efficiency, aggressive ability and fun. I was stoked to see a bike design that doesn’t follow marketing hype and design, resulting in a bike that is perfect for the intended purpose.

This bike is for you – our normal trail riders out there who want a bike they can do all of their normal riding with plus some “what if”…what if I go to some tracks that are more aggressive than I normally do, what if I follow my mates on their big momma trail bike, what if I want to attack a few more drops and jumps beyond my normal.

We keep the range of Trance 29er in store for you to see and also demo. This bike platform is already our most popular trail bike for 2019 – and I look forward to being able to discuss and sell this product to more lucky customers for the next few years at least.

Keep an eye out on our store social media for an up coming video edit I recently made aboard my Trance 29er at Canberra’s Mt. Stromlo.

Thanks for your time,

Billy

Sign Up To Our Newsletter !!!

If you are already receiving our newsletter via email – thank you for signing up !!!

We appreciate you giving us 5 minutes of your time to read through what’s happening at Wagga Cycle Centre

Been on the mailing list since the start?….you are already in the draw to win one of 3 in store gift vouchers valued at $150 each…

If you are viewing our newsletter via our website, then now is the chance to sign up via the links throughout the site… and be part of the draw !!!

Gift Vouchers can be used on anything store wide from bikes and accessories to workshop…

We will be continuing to use our newsletter for lots of things relevant to products and happenings in the store…don’t worry, we wont be bombarding you…we want you to open our emails…not get sick of them and flick past them !!!

Please checkout our social media links for lots of quick bites of info and pictures that people love to see as they scroll through their phones. But for a little more in depth topics we want our newsletter to provide you with something good to read from a local business .

Keep an eye out after June 21 as we compile a list of all those signed up to the mailing list and draw out some vouchers…we will notify winners via direct email and social media on Saturday, June 22

Regards,

Andrew

SMP Saddles – A Bike Riders Best Friend

Problems with the seat you ride on? There are seats out there that will help you ride better…

There would hardly be a customer we have dealt with that hasn’t has a problem with a seat at some stage through their cycling adventures. There is literally thousands of saddle options available from narrow to ultra wide, from firm to super soft to try and your rump from screaming at you.

Here at Wagga Cycle Centre we keep a large variety of saddles in store to help weekend riders through to die hard roadies. We advise customers which seats will suit them and their riding style, along with discussing any specific issues they are having with their current seat.

Our in store bicycle fitting program for serious cyclists also takes the seat into account when making adjustments to riding positions and pedaling techniques.

The number of issues that people have with seats varies greatly and is specific than “it’s too hard” or “my bum gets sore!!!”. There can be issues such as sore sit bones, numb genital area, sore glutes and thigh rub affecting all sorts of riders out there. Your rump is a series of muscles that needs to get used to a seat, no different to doing weights at the gym, you build up and condition to the stress. But a seat is dealing with some pretty important and sensitive areas of the body.

This is where Selle SMP saddles come into play.

Developed in Italy, SMP have actually been around for 70 years, but their current range of saddles that we highly recommend have been one of the best developments with seats in the last 10-15 years. SMP-4-Bike is the most iconic saddle shape on the market, and it can draw lots of looks and lots of questions. Whether you are a serious road rider, triathlete or a recreational rider, the idea behind the interesting shape of SMP seats is the same. Shape is the key to SMP, not just how soft or wide it is. Here is a quick break down of what is happening:

  1. The curved shape of the seat:  as a person leans forward to reach their handlebars, the hips tilt forward and as a result human “sit” bones actually poke slightly backwards. This means they will push into the curve of the seat and have something to support them (think of a runner with their heals on the starting blocks). With traditional flat seats more muscles are being tensed up to hold you in position instead of leaning into the seat. Certainly the vast majority of people say they feel like their rump is more relaxed when sitting on the SMP, this curve is the main reason for this.
  2. large flow channel: after the sit bones have something to nicely  push and stabilise against, the flow channel takes the pressure away from the sensitive areas of the genitals and the pudendal artery / nerve area. This is a great way of avoiding the numbness that many people associate with their seat and bike riding. This issue has been a major talking point with men’s health and the affect on men’s testicles. SMP seats are certainly a great way of avoiding some of the underlying problems with men spending a lot of time in the saddle and the affects on reproductive potency and testicular health.
  3. front curve / nose: the front curve and nose of the seat help to stabilise the user as they lean forward, and SMP have done a great job of making this section of the seat soft to avoid pressure whilst still doing the job well.

Many specific issues people have had with seats can be eliminated with the SMP philosophy… forget men’s and women’s specific seats… eliminate the actual issues that affect you. SMP stands out in a market full of seat brands promoting generic remedies…

Now that you have a bit of a grasp of why SMP saddles have their iconic shape, the great thing is that this philosophy has been applied to a massive range of saddles – many of which we keep in stock.

SMP have too many models to list and hold in store, but we make sure to keep the most relevant models and the models that have provided the best feedback from real riders out there:

Performance models $300-$400: Leather covered with firmer padding for riders doing many miles – check out SMP Lite 209, Drakon and Avant.

Sport models $100-$190: Vinyl covered with medium padding levels – aimed at riders on their road bikes and more serious recreational riders – check out SMP extra, Well and Well Plus

Recreational models: called TRK seats with wider and softer vinyl covers – aimed at hybrid riders, mountain bikers, comfort bikes and E-bikes – $99-$150

SMP saddles can be purchased  and taken home by a customer, but as a bike shop committed to not just selling product, but to also making sure it works correctly, we always offer to fit the saddle for customers. There is quite a technique and measurements to take into account to get the most out of SMP saddles, and admittedly, the advice available from SMP website regarding fitting often needs a bit more of the personal touch to get right for users.

Here at Wagga Cycle Centre we provide all SMP seat fitting at no extra cost. We also provide demo models of some of our most popular models so that riders can get a feel for the right saddle over a number of rides.

 

 

HUMM FINANCE

Humm | No Intrest Ever… Taking over from Certegy Ezi Pay…
For many years Certegy’s No Interest Ever scheme has been a great way for customers to get the bike they want.
Customers walk out with the bike and accessories they need on the same day as the paper work is done!!!
Our big window sign for Certegy has greeted customers of Wagga Cycle Centre for a long time.
Well except for the name and signage, nothing else is changing.
Humm Finance have amalgamated a number of instore finance providers and its business as usual.
Many customers ask us what’s the catch or what’s the fine print in using No Interest Ever to pay off a bike purchase.
The great thing is that Humm Finance means you pay back an exact amount over a nominated time frame, there is no hidden catches, no going over the time frame with interest kicking in.
It’s the price of the bike plus any other accessories you need, a deposit is normally paid and the time frame is worked out based on how much you are spending – typically between $700 and $6000.
Time frames  are 6, 12, 18, 24 months and repayments are always fortnightly.
Yes there is an establishment and account keeping fee, but this is worked out at the time of purchase, so once again it is an exact fortnightly amount you pay back until the end of the contract.
This gives customers the ability to really get the bike and gear they want with most repayments being worked out at well under $100 per fortnight !!!
HAVE YOUR SMART PHONE WITH YOU? Of course you do, so the contract can be approved on the spot via SMS or Email and you are ready to head out the door and onto your bike…
So whilst you might see a few changes to our instore displays and fliers, it’s business as usual.
Make the way in store or contact us via email and we can talk you through a quote calculation and the terms and conditions…and you can get ready to ride your new toy !!!

IN DOOR TRAINERS for Recreational Riders

Keep the love for your bike going all year round…
Well winter is just about here for the Riverina and southern NSW.
And for many of our customers that means indoor trainer time!!!
Most riders know what an indoor trainer is but what a lot of people don’t realize is they are not just meant for serious road riders. Nearly any road, and many recreational bikes can fit a simple rear wheel trainer or a serious high power direct drive unit. So keep yourself going this winter with the advise and the right unit below…
Who uses indoor trainers besides serious riders? 
The answer is everyone – from one day a week riders to that person you always see commuting to work and MTB riders who can’t get to the tracks during the week. We sell as many trainers to people who consider themselves weekend riders as we do to those on their rig everyday.
The most forgotten reason to buy an indoor trainer is that you are getting used to your own bike…so you will be getting used to how to sit and control the bike, get familiar with how you like to push hard on the pedals, and for many recreational customers it’s a good opportunity to get used to that seat they don’t get familiar enough with before their next weekend ride comes around.
This all in turn means you have stayed away from an exercise bike that will never feel as good as a bike and trainer for the same cost. Even our basic $250 rear wheel trainers are going to take advantage of the mechanics in a real bike instead of basic parts in that unit you saw in the latest catalogue from a chain store (or on a late night infomercial).
Units from reputable brands are only getting smoother and quieter so they are enjoyable to ride with the headphones banging or Netflix streaming…
Here at Wagga Cycle Centre we don’t expect people to just walk up to the cash register with the box to purchase…it has always been about showing people through the range of units and giving sound advise based on how much you will use it, how hard you will go and will there be multiple bikes going in it.  Naturally we will show you how it works but more importantly show you how to get your bike in and out of the device with some tips from long time users.
We stock rear wheel units at $250,$350 $500 and $800. Smart trainers and direct drive trainers are also pretty achievable for recreational riders with units from $749.
If you are a regular MTB rider, direct drive trainers also provide another forgotten benefit. Knobby tyres and rear wheel trainers don’t mix because of the aggressive treads running over the roller. Making a purchase of a direct drive trainer removes the rear wheel and also provides an incredibly stable and smooth riding experience – that any rider will benefit from.
Anyone who has visited our store might have seen our direct drive trainers in use for bicycle fitting sessions that myself or the other staff perform for new purchases and bike tweaking – feel free to ask us for a demo if you think direct drive is for you…
Please check out the great units we stock from Elite and Tacx brands
We will have a more in-depth analysis of Smart Trainers in an upcoming newsletter so watch out for that in the coming weeks.
So if you had previously thought that an indoor trainer is only for your serious riding mates then think again. We have the range to suit your bike and staff familiar with all the units that the market offers.
Most importantly we keep in stock what we recommend… so make the journey in store and we can set you up on the spot!!!
Thanks again for your time, and as always if there is something you read here that you want to know more about please contact us via the link
cheers
Andrew

TUBELESS TIRES FOR BEGINNERS

How first time users can get friendly and stay friendly with Tubeless…

Tubeless tires are everywhere, there is not a day that goes by here at Wagga Cycle Centre that we don’t either set up a new tubeless system, top up the liquid sealant, sell a bike with tubeless tires or repair a damaged tubeless tire. We have been dealing with tubeless systems since before they got popular back in 2005…

As tubeless tires find their way onto more bikes and cheaper bikes, we are being asked more questions about how it works and what are the benefits – especially from first time users, recreational riders and people doing home conversions (to save money). Many people with high performance MTB and road bikes already know the advantages, but if you want help to convert an existing bike or are looking at a new entry level bike with tubeless, keep reading…

So why tubeless ???

It is smoother riding, feels faster, accelerates better, provides better grip and is generally more puncture proof than conventional tubes and tires. It will also be lighter than if a tube and tire are upgraded to similar durability. If tubeless tires do puncture from thorns, or glass or sharp rocks it tends to be less catastrophic, with the tougher materials “puckering” up and allowing the installed sealants to clot a hole and keep you riding with only a little air loss.

Sounds great – what are the negatives ???

The negatives are:   1. many brands are marketing tires that are very light, at the expense of durability (aimed at high performance riding) 2. cheap tubeless tires that inexperienced users might find appealing, along with budget tubeless conversions for “do it yourself” home use with existing tires. 3. cheaper new bikes are promoting tubeless inclusions for the price – with low quality product to keep the price sharp.

In all these situations the tires simply do not have the right design or strength in the material to be puncture proof to keep you rolling nicely, plus normal tire conversions will have sealing, inflation and durability issues if converted. Don’t do it… these kinds of products are all trying to cash in on the craze…

So what is right ???

Here at Wagga Cycle Centre, we have tried every brand of tubeless tire at every price point and the brand we keep coming back to is MAXXIS TIRES… Nearly every single model of Maxxis tubeless tire is going to provide users with a reliable set up…There are other brands providing quality tires we can recommend but for the purpose of helping beginners (and experienced riders for that matter) Maxxis have MTB, Hybrid, Road and Gravel tires that are the correct materials and design to make tubeless work for very user and intended purpose.

Great, so is tubeless what I need ???

Make the journey in store so we can talk you through the tires and explain the benefits and if it’s right for you – we keep a massive variety of tubeless tires in store, and can show you bikes as low in price as $999 with Maxxis Tubeless Tires !!!

Is there anything else I need to know ???

1. Installing the parts to set up tubeless is certainly an area where people at home go wrong – let us do it correctly in the workshop for you. 2. There are times we will not recommend tubeless, such as children’s bikes and sometimes with heavier riders – the best idea is to talk it through in store or via email

ASK US ABOUT OUR DISCOUNTED RATES FOR PURCHASE AND EXPERT INSTALLATION !!!

Thanks for your time,

 

Andrew T.

Wagga Store Tyres