tools in the arsenal of a true cyclist
After buying a bicycle, one way or another, the time comes to take care of it, and each owner, as free time and money as possible, chooses who and how will monitor the technical condition of his bicycle. You have a choice: specialized workshops or buying your own bike repair tool at home. The first option is more expensive, especially if you travel a lot, but the quality of the work performed is always at a professional level. The second option, apart from the budget for the purchase of the necessary equipment, is a little cheaper. Also, if you have your own bike tools, you are not tied to the workshop’s operating mode and the need to drag a half-dead bike across the half of the city, or even the region. In this article, we’ll share 13 essential tools in every cyclist’s arsenal.
Bicycle repair tool. scroll:
- Hex key set. A must-have for any cyclist, as most of the components on the bike are secured with Allen key bolts. It is advisable to have the maximum choice, because who knows what upgrade you are planning. In bicycles, there are bolts with hexagon heads in the following sizes: 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 mm. The smallest keys regulate brake levers or calipers (hydraulics or mechanics), sizes 2, 2.5, 3. are used in grip locks, bicycle lights and computer mounts. Hexagon 4mm. most often, these keys fix the steering wheel and stem bolts, as well as additional accessories in the form of fenders or a trunk. 5mm Allen key is used to adjust the brakes and shifters of the transmission, in particular to fix the shift cable and brakes, brake pads (V-br), brake caliper (disc brakes), derailleur housing to frame. Hexagons in sizes 6, 8 and 10 mm are used to attach more loaded components, such as pedals, cranks, etc.
- Multitool. a compact and simple set of the most essential wrenches, screwdrivers, and sometimes a full-fledged workshop that can fit in a or saddle bag. The most essential elements for each multitool are: 4, 5, 6mm hexagons, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers. This is enough to make not only the adjustment of the brakes or transmission, but also to make minor repairs in the field. In nature, there are versions with an integrated chain squeeze, sorting paddles and even pliers. But such a set is needed only on a long hike and only for those who can perform complex operations with a bicycle.
- Forcing the chain. will help you easily change a worn chain or disconnect it to remove the switches. Also, chain breaks do not sometimes occur, and in order to repair it, you will need this tool to remove the broken link. There are standard squeezes (more often suitable for home or workshops) and compact, which you can take with you on a trip.
- Floor pump. irreplaceable assistant. After all, even a high-quality chamber or tire has micropores through which air is released over time. What can we say when you need to replace a tire or a puncture happened. In this case, the floor bicycle pump will help to inflate the necessary pressure in a matter of seconds. There are models with a pressure gauge (scale for measuring pressure) and ordinary ones, where you touch the amount of inflated air.
- Compact pump. one more detail that you need to carry with you at all times. After all, no one is immune from punctures, and no one wants to drag a bicycle for several kilometers (if you are lucky enough to drive off nearby). Compact bicycle pumps allow you to repair the cameras and return to service in a matter of minutes, but you will have to sweat over pumping the wheel.
- Boarding paddles. as well as a pump with patches should always be with you. They will help save your fingers, nails, and the camera from damage when the wheel is disassembled. Soft plastic does not damage the camera (unlike screwdrivers) and the wheel rim, while it has hooks for convenient two-handed operation. It is recommended to have a pair of shoulder blades.
- Circuit meter. this tool will allow you to monitor the condition of the chain and change it in time, which will have a positive effect on the condition and increase the resource of the front and rear chainrings of the bicycle.
- Whip. an uncomplicated key, most often looks like a metal tire (handle) and a piece of chain. With its help, you can unscrew the lockring of the cassette, because unscrewing it to the side it turns freely.
- Cassette remover. Like the previous bike tool, it will help you remove the cassette from the rear wheel for replacement or other operations. Also, this wrench is suitable for fastening brake rotors of the Center Lock standard.
- Spoke key. Curved wheels won’t make anyone happy, but with a spoke tension tool, you can even align the eights without much experience. Spoke wrenches come in different sizes and this point is the envy of your bike. There are also universal options in which almost all sizes are presented, but they are more suitable for those who have more than one bike.
- Wire and shirt cutters. those who travel a lot often have to change the bag necessary elements to control the transmission and brakes. cables and shirts. The cables stretch, the shirts wear out, and you can only bite them gently with a special tool. Cutters for cables and shirts allow you to make an even cut without ruffling the cable or bending the hole in the shirt.
- Phillips and flat screwdriver. this type of tool can be found in any home, the main thing is that the size fits. In a bicycle, a cross and flat screwdriver is used to adjust the switches, namely, their extreme positions. A variety of small accessories (computers, flashers, reflectors) are also fixed.
- Wrenches 8, 9, 10, 12, 15mm. These are the most common bolt sizes used to attach roof racks, fenders, reflectors, footrests, pedals and many more useful accessories. These key sizes are often found on budget bikes.
As you can see, the list of tools and keys for repairing a bicycle at home is not so long. It is not necessary to buy expensive professional equipment, an amateur kit of average quality is enough. This list is suitable for mountain, road, hybrid and city bikes. Take a look at the section with bicycle tools, here you will find many useful things;) And what tools do you use to repair your bicycles? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев and we will add them to the list of essential!
What tools are needed to maintain the bike?
To maintain a bicycle, like any other mechanism, certain types of tools are needed. Keys, squeezes, edging, pullers, bicycle first aid kit. Some of them you can carry with you, most of them take up too much space, and they are not needed in the field. As a rule, they only take with them a set of tools called “multitool”.
If you use a bicycle for active riding, do cycling tourism, you should definitely have most of the tools you need for repair and adjustment.
Most often, in a modern bicycle, fastenings are used with bolts having hex slots. Adjusting bolts. for a flat or Phillips screwdriver. We recommend that you always have a set of such keys and screwdrivers with you. It is better if it is a multitool, which is mentioned above. When buying a bike, budget for the purchase and these keys, they will definitely come in handy.
Wire rope cutters. They are used in a workshop when it is necessary to replace or normalize the bicycle cables. They cut the cable cleanly, without flattening it, as side cutters and pliers do. Many models allow you to press in the cable ends so that the cable does not unwind. You can do without wire cutters. tinning the end of the cable with a powerful soldering iron. Alternatively, cut the cable using an angle grinder.
Cassette remover. Used to remove the cassette from the wheel. From time to time you have to remove the wheel. For example, when you need to reach the spokes behind the cassette to adjust the rear wheel, to change the cassette. To hold it, you need a key for 24. It is better to use spanner keys. If your bike has a ratchet, then a ratchet puller is needed.
“Whip”. Removing the cassette is quite problematic due to the rotation of the cassette in the direction of unscrewing. You can make such a simple design yourself, the main thing is to adhere to the correct dimensions of the device. Alternatively, a car oil filter puller can be used. Some craftsmen use a towel to remove the cassette, but this is already a perversion.
It is recommended to have a set of different wrenches, both open-end and ring-shaped. It is advisable that they are not very thick, since it will not work to get into some gaps with ordinary wrenches. It is also desirable to have a pair of large adjustable wrenches. Sometimes a situation arises when the connection sticks tightly and it is very difficult to disconnect such a node. This is where keys with a large lever will help us.
Some disc brakes may require Torx wrenches to adjust. Quite often, a disc brake rotor is attached to such bolts.
Boarding. Seasoned cyclists will remember how they removed tires with the help of available tools, wrenches and screwdrivers. At the same time, they risked severely damaging the camera. Many cameras were damaged precisely when the tires were removed in this way. Until they came up with special safe side blades. No more injuries to your fingers, tube and tire damage. Plastic beads will help you to remove any tire easily and quickly. It is desirable to have 3 sideboards, you can take it with you.
Spoke wrench. Used to set and adjust the spoke tension on the wheel. With its help, the spokes are placed on the rim, the “eights” and “eggs” of the wheel are straightened. After a while, even the most careful cyclists are faced with the problem of the “eight” on the wheels of their bike. It is highly desirable to have such a key with you on a trip, it does not take up much space, but it will help to straighten the wheel after damage (for example, a fall). Attention! The key for the spokes of a domestic bicycle does not fit the spokes of Western manufacturers (as well as manufacturers from China). It “licks” the splines and spoils the spoke nipple.
Cycling first aid kit. This is the name of a kit for repairing bicycle cameras. The most commonly used set of them all. It is highly recommended to carry with you. no one is safe from breaking the camera. The kit usually includes: vulcanized “raw” rubber patches, sandpaper and glue. Sometimes the beads.
Forcing the chain. With its help, the links of the chain are disconnected and connected. A completely unnecessary thing if you have a detachable chain. If you have a chain without a special “lock”, then squeezing is absolutely necessary. The chain is the most frequently serviced unit, so a squeeze is a must for long journeys. If you do not travel far, then it should be at your home.
Bicycle hub wrenches. Required for assembly, disassembly and adjustment of wheel hub cones. This is the case when keys of small thickness are needed. it is simply not possible to fit into the bushing with other keys. Two are needed. Keys come with two sizes on each side (although there are one, like ordinary open-end keys), dimensions 13x1514x16. Recommended to have in the workshop, not often required.
Connecting rod puller. The example of the most commonly used version of the puller is given. for the square axis of the connecting rod. No tools are required to install the connecting rod on the axle, it is installed simply and effortlessly. But to remove it is quite difficult. That’s what a connecting rod puller is for. Before installing the connecting rods, do not forget to lubricate the square axis of the carriage, then it will be much easier to remove the connecting rod.
Carriage maintenance tool. In order to unscrew the nuts that secure the carriage in the frame, you need a special wrench. If the carriage is disassembled, with this it is possible to lubricate the bearings of the carriage, but if the carriage is a single cartridge, using this key we can replace the old carriage with a new one. Sometimes you may need such keys for the carriage as shown. These keys are used in a workshop and they are unlikely to be useful to you on a hike. But it is advisable to have them for servicing the carriage.
Bicycle repair rack. A very, very convenient thing I hung the bike on the handle, secured it and that’s it. it’s all in your hands, at a comfortable height, with an approach from all sides, with rotating wheels. This rack is used to repair bicycles in advanced bicycle workshops.
Wheel alignment stand. As the name suggests, it allows you to align the wheel. The main reason for the curvature of the wheel is appearing over time in all G8 cyclists. For bicycles with V-brakes, the problem is significant, because the rim rubs against the brakes and does not allow you to ride normally. You can, of course, align the rim without removing the wheels from the bike, but if you want to align the wheel perfectly and work comfortably, then this stand is for you.
Strain gauge. Allows you to measure the tension of the wheel spokes. A thing that can hardly be overestimated by craftsmen who assemble wheels on their own. And for those who themselves monitor the condition of the spokes, this useful tool will come in handy.
Chain wear gauge. The chain has a limited resource and more often than other parts fail. To ensure that the chain does not damage other parts of the transmission, it is necessary to control its tension. This is why this tool was invented.
Magnetic cup. A very handy little thing that does not allow bolts, washers to scatter throughout the apartment or workshop. All small details will be in only one place. in the cup.
When buying tools, pay attention to their quality. Cheap keys can not only rip off the splines, spoil parts, but also get injured. Remember that a cheap tool cannot be good by definition. A good branded tool overits name but is of great quality. There are also less well-known brands that produce medium quality tools at an affordable price. Choose the option that suits you best and don’t break!
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Bicycle repair tools
A bicycle is a rather complex mechanism that requires proper care, maintenance and timely repair. Every self-respecting bike enthusiast simply must be able to perform at least basic repair work with a bicycle. Of course, the easiest way is to turn to specialists. bicycle mechanics, but the ability to independently maintain, adjust and repair your bike will not only save your wallet, but most likely will give you pleasure. In addition, basic knowledge in the field of bicycle repair will definitely come in handy on the way, when there is no one to turn to, but you need to go further.
This article focuses on the tools that will be needed to repair a bicycle with your own hands. To disassemble the components of modern bicycles (especially sports and mountain bikes), one screwdriver and a family wrench are not enough. The bike enthusiast’s arsenal should contain not only standard keys from the home toolbox, but also a variety of special keys and pullers. Which ones we will tell below.
Bicycle Repair Keys
There are some pretty standard bike tools. the keys every cyclist needs:
- Allen key set. perhaps the most commonly used tool on a bicycle. this is a set of internal hex keys. It is necessary, for example, for removing many attachments, adjusting the brakes and bicycle speeds. Since hexagons are used very often, you shouldn’t skimp on buying this tool. Cheap hexagons wear out very quickly. It is desirable that the set is compact and multifunctional so that you can take it with you. It will also not be bad if the set includes screwdrivers (flat and cross).
Bicycle hexagon set
- Spoke wrench. a wrench used to tighten the spokes of a bicycle. Such a key can be useful even on the road, and at home it simply cannot be replaced. With the help of a spoke wrench, you can change the tension of the spokes, thereby correcting the figure eight of the bicycle wheel rim.
Spoke key. bicycle spokes tightening wrench
- Adjustable wrench. since open-end wrenches are rarely used when repairing a bicycle, it is better to get an adjustable wrench. Also, such a key is useful for working with special pullers.
- Pedal wrench. In most cases, you can use a 15 open-end wrench to disconnect the pedal from the crank arm. But it would be better to have a special pedal key. The plane of such a key is much smaller, and the gaps between the pedal and the connecting rod are very narrow.
Bicycle pedal wrench
- Taper Wrenches. Required for servicing ball bearing bicycle hubs. If you are going to clean and lubricate such bushings, then you cannot do without cone wrenches. If the sleeves are with industrial bearings, then special keys are not needed. Needless to say, before buying such keys, you need to make sure that the bushings of your bike are ball bearing.
Bicycle Cone Wrenches
- Torx wrench set. sometimes Torx standards are used instead of Allen bolts. That is why it will not be superfluous to have such a kit in service.
Bicycle Torx Key Set
- Family key. or just a family. Everyone remembers this key, but few people use it now. And all because for the repair of modern bicycles, it is almost useless. But on the other hand, if you are going to repair Minsk, Aist, Kama or some other Soviet bicycle, then it will do quite well.
To remove or disassemble some units and parts, ordinary keys are not enough, and special pullers are needed. Many novice cyclists do not know which keys (pullers) are needed to remove, for example, a ratchet or disassemble the bicycle bottom bracket. Let’s try to clarify this point and talk about the most popular pullers.
- Crank Puller. A wrench for removing cranks on a bike. Now there are a lot of carriages (link) with different connecting rod mounting standards. On inexpensive bicycles, the “square” standard is always used. To remove such connecting rods, it is advisable to have a special puller. With the same puller, you can then tighten the nut or bolt of the connecting rod.
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Square connecting rod puller
On bicycles of the middle and high price category, different spline standards for attaching the connecting rod to the bottom bracket apply. The most popular of these is Hollowtech. To remove the connecting rod of this standard, no pullers are needed, a wrench is enough to remove the carriage cups.
- Carriage puller. a key for removing and disassembling the bicycle carriage. In order to disassemble the carriage, it is necessary to remove the cups, and this requires a special puller. The carriage puller is a slotted head. The standards, as well as the connecting rods, may be different, and therefore the pullers will be with different splines.
Hollowtech carriage stripper Octalink carriage stripper
- Ratchet remover. a wrench for removing the bike’s ratchet. Unscrewing the hand ratchet from the rim is simply not feasible due to the built-in freewheel mechanism. To remove the ratchet, you need a special puller, it looks like a slotted head.
Bicycle Ratchet Puller
- Cassette remover. in order to remove the cassette you need two tools. a puller and a whip. The whip tool is optional but desirable.
Bicycle cassette remover
Whip for removing cassette
We’ve covered DIY bike repair wrenches and pullers, but that’s not all. There are also tools, some are simply necessary, and you can do without some, but they are very convenient.
- Forcing the chain is a special tool with which it is easy and simple to disconnect and connect the chain without a lock. But even if the chain with a lock, it will definitely come in handy for repairing the chain or shortening it.
Bicycle chain pull
- Tire changers are a handy tool for beading tires. Usually, the tire cannot be removed without a tool and many use whatever comes handy (screwdrivers or wrenches), but this increases the risk of damaging the camera. Especially irreplaceable mounting blades will be on the way.
Bicycle Mounting Blades
- The repair kit is a first aid kit for a bicycle camera. The set includes a certain number of patches and special glue. Although cameras are not expensive, you can still save a lot by gluing punctured cameras. And if you go on a long bike trip, then it is not a fact that the spare camera will not be punctured.
Bicycle camera repair kit
- Nippers. preferably bicycle nippers for biting the shirt of the cables and the cables themselves. If you cut the shirt and the cable with special pliers, then their edges will not fluff.
Wire and shirt cutters
- Hydraulic bleeding kit. this set is indispensable for bleeding hydraulic brake systems. But not entirely irreplaceable, some craftsmen make it themselves.
Bicycle hydraulic brake bleeding kit
- Repair stand. a special stand for convenient maintenance, adjustment and repair of the bike. It is especially convenient to set up the bike derailleurs using this stand.
Stand. bike repair rack
- Stand for straightening eights. this stand increases the speed and quality of straightening the eights on a bicycle wheel.
A stand for aligning eights on a bicycle wheel
- A strain gauge is a useful tool to measure spoke tension. If you drive the eights on your own and assemble bicycle wheels, then a strain gauge will be a must.
Bicycle spoke strain gauge
- Gauge is a tool for measuring chain wear. In order to ensure the durability of the bicycle sprocket, it is necessary to control the wear of the chain for its timely replacement.
Bicycle chain wear gauge
As you can see, in order to maintain your bike yourself, you need not so many tools. If you are a beginner in cycling and have not yet had time to acquire the tools necessary for repairing a bicycle with your own hands, then we advise you to bribe it as needed, and only if you are sure of the correct choice.
If you have something to add, you can write about it in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев block below. Your opinion is very important!
How to choose bicycle tires
Using unsuitable bike tires can significantly impair the performance of your bike. But a good choice of rubber can make the bike just “take off”.
The wheels of regular bicycles for adults come in diameters of 26, 27.5, 28 and 29 inches. Folding urban and some extreme models can be equipped with 20 or 24 inch wheels. The diameter is always written on the tire. For example, 26×2.1 means 26 “in diameter and 2.1” thick. Note: 28 and 29 inch tires require the same 28-inch rim, but 26 and 27.5 require 26- and 27.5-inch rims, respectively. On road bikes, the wheel diameter is indicated as 700 or 700s. These are the same 28 inches, only in millimeters.
The thicker the tire, the better it softens bumps and adheres better to the surface, but also the greater its weight and the harder the bike rides on good asphalt due to the increased area of adhesion to the surface. That is, for speed, they choose a tire that is narrower, and for cross-country ability or comfort, a wider one.
The width of the tire also depends on the bike frame. Road bikes are fitted with tires up to 32mm thick and mountain bikes up to 2.3 inches. The same tire model can be produced in different thicknesses. If your bike is not a pure asphalt bike, then do not take the rubber “close to” the frame. Leave a gap for dirt on mountain and cyclocross or fenders on city bikes.
Slick, or completely smooth rubber, is only used for driving on smooth asphalt. Typical Representatives: Schwalbe Kojak, Rubena Cobra and Michelin Wild Run.
The beginner MTB toolbox
Semi-slick are quite versatile tires that allow you to ride on uncomplicated terrain. Soft types of rubber, from which semi-slick are made, quickly grind on the asphalt. Typical Representatives: Continental Speed King 2 Race and Schwalbe Sammy Slick.
The use of road rubber is asphalt. It is tougher and therefore wears out longer. Usually has some puncture protection. Typicals: Continental Town Ride, Schwalbe Land Cruiser and the most popular Schwalbe Marathon series.
Rubber with a developed tread (in common use. “evil rubber”) behaves well in mud, sand, snow, but on the asphalt they go very badly and, moreover, make a lot of noise. Typical representatives: Continental Mud King and Michelin Country AT. A compromise option is the alignment of the tread teeth, forming a semblance of a central track. Such rubber is good both in mud and on asphalt. Typical Representatives: Schwalbe Smart Sam and Schwalbe Black Jack.
Balloon bike tires are tires that can function at low pressure, which makes them surprisingly comfortable. They are used for city driving or for tourism, since the tread of such tires does not have developed lugs. Typical Representative: Schwalbe Big Apple.
Tubeless tires have anti-puncture properties. Typically used in cycling because they require special rims or special seating bands and sealant. They are expensive, and in the event of a puncture, it is extremely difficult to glue and change them. Studded tires are used for driving on ice. Ordinary rolled snow and snow-covered urban asphalt do not require special tires, therefore studs are used only in races or in regions where ice is very frequent. A set of studded tires costs like a budget bike. A typical representative is Schwalbe Ice Spiker. Solid tires are very poorly distributed in our market. They are difficult to place, but they do not break through.
Often, the same tire model is available in two versions. regular, with steel cord (a mesh of steel wire or Kevlar threads that makes up the tire carcass), or folding (folding) with Kevlar cord. Folding is more expensive and easier.
TPI (Threads Per Inch) is the density of the cords in the tire. Less dense cords (from 30 to 60 TPI) make tires softer and lighter, denser (90. 150 TPI) are used in more wear-resistant, hard tires.
Compound is a term for the composition of rubber. Engineers can mix two or three different rubber grades into a single tire (dual and triple compound, respectively) to combine optimal cornering grip with good roll-off on the center track. Each manufacturer has its own formula and compound technology.
Weight is an extremely important characteristic of a tire, because the wheels are constantly spun by the cyclist, and the easier it is to do this, the less effort is spent on it. But the lighter the tires, the more expensive they are and, as a rule, the easier it is to break through. The higher the anti-puncture properties, the more difficult it is to puncture the tire. Tires of the highest grades are not punctured even with pushpins. Simple tires in the conditions of Ukrainian littered roadsides can be punctured quite often. However, you have to pay for anti-puncture with weight. Good anti-puncture tires weigh 2 kg per set. Truly, such tires are needed only in some areas where thorns grow, and long-distance cyclists.
Reflective elements are often used on modern rubber to increase the range of visibility at night. Most often this is a side strip, but there is also an inscription itself. the name of the rubber. These tires are marked with the letters R, RT or Reflex.
Fatbike and cruiser bikes can have thicker tires. Wider tires are inflated with less pressure than narrow ones, which means that the wider the tire, the more comfortable and passable it is, but it rolls harder and worse on smooth asphalt.
How to find out how many speeds a bike has
Nowadays, almost every bicycle is equipped with a gear shifting system. Usually there are 6 to 33 gears. For road or mountain bikes, 18-27 gears are a reasonable norm. Often even city or road bikes also have gear shifters, for this type of bike 6-7 speeds are enough.
To determine the number of gears, you need to multiply the number of front and rear sprockets. For example, on the cranks of a bicycle there are 3 stars and on the cassette of the rear wheel you see 7 stars, such a bicycle has 21 gears. gears, up to 33, are needed in rare cases and require more careful handling and also significantly complicates and increases the cost of bike transmission.
Having considered the concept of optimal cadence, let’s move on to studying gear shifting techniques.
How to properly shift gears on a bike
The bicycle appeared as a fast means of transportation, but was designed for hardy riders and was far from comfortable. On the first “balance bikes” the rider sat on the frame and kicked off the road with his feet, even such familiar things as pedals and a saddle did not appear immediately. Modern models, among other amenities, have a transmission that allows, if necessary, to change the effort on the pedals. Next, we will look at the design and explain the switching principle of the most common type of transmission. chain transmission. It is popular due to the relative simplicity of the device and ease of maintenance.
Most beginners, when choosing their first bike, focus on the number of speeds, believing that the more gears, the faster the bike goes. But the speed of the bike is more dependent on the pedal effort than the number of gears. A regular road bike with a single gear is just as fast as a high-speed road bike. So why do you need a lot of gears on a bike? We are going to answer this question and also find out important related points.
Why bike speeds are needed
In cars, gear shifting is necessary to reduce engine load and save fuel when driving conditions change.
Gear shifting in a bicycle transmission serves the same purpose: to reduce pedaling effort and reduce cyclist fatigue. If you ride slowly several times a week along a standard route, then the load on your muscles is more or less uniform and there is no particular need to change gears. However, if you are driving on tough, rough terrain at high speed or enjoying long rides, it is extremely important to keep an eye on choosing the right gear. To determine the desired transmission, you need to know about such a concept as cadence.
Cadence is the number of revolutions of the pedals performed by the cyclist in one minute. For example, they say: “cadence 90”. This implies driving at a pace of 90 pedals per minute. There are also such concepts as high, low and optimal cadence:
Low cadence. you do a low RPM but still pedal effort. It is unsafe to ride at this pace for a long time due to the enormous stress on the heart and joints.!
High cadence. you pedal very quickly. The load on the legs is small, but there is little sense from such a ride. it is not very pleasant to move at a snail’s speed.
The optimal cadence is the pedaling tempo that is convenient for you personally, allows you to drive far and for a long time without getting tired. You ride for pleasure, but at the same time your muscles and joints are not overloaded and train endurance. For an amateur, the optimal cadence is 60-70 at the beginning of the season, and after a couple of months of continuous riding, you can pedal with a cadence of about 90-100. Athletes who do regular training are able to maintain an optimal cadence greater than 100.
Changing gears makes it easier for you to maintain a constant cadence all the way, whether you are driving uphill, with a headwind, or racing on smooth asphalt. The cyclist must constantly monitor the maintenance of the cadence. To do this, it is convenient to use a cycling computer with the ability to calculate cadence.
How to properly switch gears on a bike
We have already understood why it is important to maintain a constant cadence. But moving, for example, on the ground is much harder than on asphalt and so that the cadence on the ground does not decrease, the gear should be lowered on the ground. You need to know that shifting to one gear on the driving sprocket changes the effort on the pedals 2-3 times faster than if you shifted to one gear on the driven stars. Changing the chainrings drastically changes the load on the drivetrain and your muscles, so they are changed much less frequently than the rear sprockets.
The guide sprockets set the basic pedaling pace and must be shifted when driving conditions change rapidly. The small guide sprocket is designed for uphill driving and engages well before starting the climb. The largest sprocket is designed for high speed performance on quality surfaces or for descents. Usually there is a third star in the front in the middle, for standard driving conditions. Rear sprockets are needed to fine tune pedaling effort.
If you see a patch of sticky ground or a rise in front of you, you need to move to the smaller guide star in advance. You can do this just before the climb, and if the climb is small, you can lower the gear in advance and, by increasing the cadence, accelerate to pass the climb by inertia.
On descent, you can switch to a large guide sprocket for better acceleration.
Gear shifters are quite delicate mechanisms; if used incorrectly, they wear out quickly. You need to know some simple rules to keep your bike’s drivetrain working properly:
A strong diagonal skew of the chain is harmful and contributes to the rapid wear of the chain, and also requires expensive repairs with the replacement of sprockets. How to correctly combine combinations of asterisks is shown in the figure below. The larger the chainring, the smaller the chainring at the rear should be used with it. The two smallest chainrings should be used with the largest chainring. The two largest sprockets are designed to be paired with a small sprocket in front.
While shifting gears, you continue to pedal, but you should not apply too much pressure on the pedals. If you are shifting the front drive sprocket, then generally reduce pedal effort to avoid jerking. Do not click gears. this will damage the switches. A simple rule of thumb: you can shift up to one gear in one turn of the pedals. Some equipment allows you to change several gears at once, but for a beginner, it is difficult to switch correctly in this way.
The professional shifts gears silently. Hear one light click when switching. great, you did everything right. If the gear changes with multiple crunching, sharp crackling, then one of two things: you are shifting incorrectly, or you have a worn out misaligned transmission.
The more gears your bike has, the more carefully you should monitor the cleanliness and condition of the sprockets and chain. The limitation on physical dimensions forces designers on bicycles with a large number of gears to use thinner sprockets, chains and some other parts. All gaps in multistage transmissions are smaller, and parts are more compact, therefore, the sensitivity of such a design to contamination is higher, and wear is faster.
In the end, I would like to say that if you are going to buy a speed bike, then you just need to learn how to use the gear derailleurs correctly. Indeed, when skating, you apply physical effort, and the correct technique not only gives you pleasure from the process, but also safely strengthens your body, increases your endurance. Gain experience and gear shifting will take place on a subconscious level, and you will stop wasting energy.
This article provides basic knowledge of manual transmissions. Material generally not applicable to planetary hub systems and other automatic bicycle transmissions.
What keys should be in a cyclist’s kit
If you take maintenance of the bike in general at home, then this will require a slightly larger range of specific tools. In addition to the universal key, it is advisable for a cycling lover to purchase the following sets:
- Bicycle carriage keys. In modern bicycles, the carriage is often made maintenance-free, and in order to disassemble it, you have to resort to the help of a rather complex tool.
- Hex key set. elements are fastened with hexagons in a modern bike than with the usual nuts. It can be a head post or a seat post. Yes, however, even the cables are clamped with hex bolts, so without them it is simply impossible to carry out full service.
- Steering Keys. Some steering gears require a specific tool. Sometimes you can do without it. But you have to sweat during the disassembly / assembly process.
- Pedal keys. Here, too, has its own element, and with the help of a special tool, you can greatly facilitate your work.
- Spoke wrench. It does not really differ in appearance, but it can be very helpful on the road.
Let’s take a look at each of these tools separately to determine if you personally need them and what they are.
Perhaps, it can be called the smallest and lightest of all bicycle keys. It is a ring, on the sides of which there are grooves of different sizes for all types of spoke clamps. This makes the bicycle spoke wrench very versatile and you won’t miss a shot when buying one. It is also advisable to carry it with you, since a broken spoke on the way can greatly affect the strength of the remaining spokes and should be replaced immediately so as not to unbalance the rim tension.
A little about the universal tool
People have been trying for a long time to make a tool that could help out in various areas of life and at the same time did not take up much space. Some such inventions become truly useful things, while others are frankly inconvenient, and they are forgotten about.
An example of an absolutely successful all-in-one tool is the hiking multitool. It combines a large number of various elements, ranging from a knife to specific screwdrivers and even pliers. And at the same time it takes up very little space. It would also be useful for every cyclist to have such a thing, but we are not talking about a multitool now. So what is the family key?
Steering and Pedal Keys
Often, when repairing or replacing these parts, hex keys are also used. However, in some cases, bicycles have specific attachments for these parts. Therefore, before purchasing, you should see which keys are required in your case.
A special bicycle key for the steering wheel can be two-pronged and is designed to remove the steering mechanism. The steering wheel itself is often attached either with ordinary bolts and nuts, or hexagon.
The pedals can be fastened with a regular nut, which cannot be reached with an open-end wrench. In this case, the bicycle pedal wrench is a flip head, the handle for which must be purchased separately.
It can be made both in the form of separate keys, simply folded into a case, and in the form of a penknife with the ability to use the required size by sliding it out of the handle. Some cheap options can be made as key rings worn on a ring.
When choosing a set of such keys, remember that they belong to the same tool, which, like the family bicycle key, should always be carried with you, especially on long trips. The area of application of hexagons is growing every year. With their help, the cables are adjusted, the connecting rods and steering rods are tightened, and on some bicycle models even the wheel axles are fixed. It turns out that a hexagonal set of keys for a bicycle is one of the most necessary and demanded tools.
If the bike crank is made in a maintenance-free or non-separable form, you can still get to it. A bike carriage wrench looks like a gear and allows you to spin it all the way to replace broken parts or renew lubricant. If such a key is not at hand, you can use a regular two-arm key. In an extreme case, an adjustable or gas one may come up, but it is worth remembering that this tool is not intended for such work and it can damage the frame if you move it carelessly.
If the manufacturer provides a collapsible carriage, then in this case, you can do with the usual family key, it has the ability to disassemble it.