Our service techs have some tips for you...
Don't Get Caught Flat
If you haven't had a flat, you will someday - so be prepared
The only sure way to avoid a flat is to not ride your bike. This isn't any fun so go ahead and enjoy riding. But ride with confidence by being prepared with knowledge and the right gear. If you haven't fixed a flat, practice at home. If possible, get a lesson from someone with experience. It's not overly technical, but does require some technique. Really, you can do it.
Chainwheel offers a great "how-to" flat repair video HERE
We also have a great overview of the gear you need HERE
What to carry - A Don't leave home without it list:
1) Seat bag - You'll need something to carry your gear in. Make sure you have one big enough to carry everything and leave it on your bike. Mountain bike tubes are larger so you will need a larger bag for your MTB.
2) Tube (or two)- Be sure you have the right size and inspect every few months. Yes, they can go bad in your seat bag. Carry two if you can, you might have more than one flat and you might save the day by
giving your extra to a rider in need.
3) Inflator (CO2 or pump)- If you haven't used one, practice. Using CO2 inflators and pumps require some technique and the place to practice is at home, not on the road or trail.
4) Tire levers - Carry two, they're light and sometimes you need two to get tight tires off the rim.
5) Patch kit - You never know when you'll have more flats than you have replacement tubes.
6) Money - Carry a dollar bill and two quarters. A dollar bill can be used as a "boot" for larger holes in your tire and can buy you a snack if you are out of gas. Fifty cents can fund a distress call and can extend your snack buying power in a pinch.
7) Multi-Tool - You know, it's the Swiss Army knife of cyclists - all of the simple tools needed for simple adjustments in one cool tool.
Two Wheeled Hot-Rod
Want to "hot-rod" your current bike? Get your bike serviced and consider these undercover upgrades.
1) Ride-On Cables - Make mid-range components out perform high-end components with silky smooth action thanks to Gore-Tex coatings
2) Folding tires - The best way to shave weight is with "rotational" weight (or weight that you have to spin - like wheels, cranks or pedals) Folding tires look like cheap tires, but are lighter, grip better and have a livelier ride
3) Ceramic bearings - Expensive? Sure, but so is building high performance motors for racing cars. When every watt counts, minimize the friction in your wheels and drivetrain with Formula One technology for your bike
Oh, my aching wheels
Wheels are often the most overlooked dynamic mechanical component on your bicycle. Whether you're grinding up a hill or coasting along, your wheels are working to support weight, absorb bumps or vibrations and are constantly producing a gyroscopic effect effect that helps keep you upright. Wheels are a marvel of engineering and deserve attention. Some of the most expensive and debilitating problems arise from wheel issues that can be avoided by frequent inspection and service. Today's "wonder" wheels are the most dramatic upgrade to a bicycle's performance and are the single biggest effect on ride quality. However, they need love too. All wheels need occasional hub service and need to have their spoke tension checked along with routine tune-ups.