Mountain Bikes

A mountain bike is a bicycle specifically designed to withstand the toughness and roughness of a cross country ride. Compared to road bikes and BMX bikes, these mountain bikes usually have broader frames and tires to accommodate the rough road and terrain. These bikes usually have either front or rear suspension, depending on the preference of the rider. In some cases, both ends have suspensions. These are for the comfort of the rider while he is jostled as he traverses the rough road.

The broader and more knobby tires of the mountain bike are called knobbies because of the bumps and protrusions on them. These bumps or knobs are very efficient in “gripping” the rough terrain and maintaining their hold on the rough road. The smoother tires of road bikes cannot go up a rough road since these will just skid on it.

The different types of mountain bikes are usually categorized depending on their suspension. A full rigid mountain bike is one that has no suspension at all. Instead of the usual front suspension, it a fixed fork very similar to those of road bikes. A hard tail mountain bike is one that does have front suspension and does not have any rear ones. Some bikers prefer these kinds of set up since sometimes rear suspension can make the rider exert more effort because of the flex it gives.

A soft tail mountain bike is the kind with rear suspension but these are activated by the movement of the frame itself and not by the pivots. The rear suspension of these kinds of bikes is not as pronounced as those in the full suspension category. full suspension mountain bike has suspension in both ends, the front and the rear. This is a pretty comfortable bike to ride in rough road because the bike literally cushions you, at least most of the time.

The advantage of using a mountain bike is that you are physically fit and can go anytime to visit the great outdoors. It gives a great cardiovascular work out for the heart and burns a lot of calories also. One thing you must remember when you are out biking is to always wear a helmet. The helmet has saved lot s of lives already and it just might save your own. Helmets can withstand a pretty severe crash. Even if biking only in the streets near your home, always wear a helmet.

Maintaining Your Bicycle Chain

Proper bicycle chain maintenance will allow you to keep your bike in tip-top condition for riding. Learning how to take care of your chain can save you time and energy.

A bicycle chain is known for failing at the worst time. This problem of a jumpy or jerky chain can be removed entirely, though, if you simply do some chain maintenance on it regularly. This means that you check your chain at least two times per month or after you ride it about 10 hours if you ride quite a bit. You also want to be sure to do a chain check if you have been riding in bad weather.

You should replace your chain if it is rusted, tight, worn out, or you have ridden more than 1000 miles on it. A new chain with 24 links should measure 12 inches and if it is too long even by 1/16 of an inch, then you want to replace it so that it does not damage the chain ring or sprocket. If you are replacing the chain rings or sprocket, then you need to go ahead and replace the chain so that you do not damage the new chain rings and sprocket.

The metal parts of the chain do not really stretch, but the chain does get longer because of the sleeves and pins wear and tear. Lubricating the chain regularly will help the chain to last longer. If you want to lubricate correctly, then you will want to put just a lubricant drop into each chain pin. This may take you a little time, but it will be well worth it when you increase the life of your chain.

Leave the lubricant on the chain for about 15 minutes and then wipe the excess off with a clean cloth. This will help to keep the chain from catching dirt and grime while riding. It will also keep your chain in tip-top condition.

If you need to clean your bicycle chain, then you can use a degreaser or dish soap. This is a great way to remove lubricant, grime, and grease to help your chain to work better. After you clean it, remember to lubricate it again. You should put the cleaner on the center of the cleaning cloth or sponge and then place it around the chain. By backpedaling, you should clean the chain sufficiently. Make sure that you rinse the rag each turn until you do not get any more dirt on it.

Leave the chain on the bicycle when you are cleaning it to keep it from becoming weaker. While you are getting the chain clean, then you can inspect it for any links that may be too tight. A tight chain can cause the chain to jump and jerk. If you find a link that is tight, then you can loosen it by flexing it between two points that are located at about give links away from the tight link. If you cannot loosen it, then you will have to replace the chain. Keeping your bike chain lubricated and clean will help it to last much longer and work much better.

If your chain seems to be making some noise and cleaning does not stop the noise, then you will have to replace it. If pedaling becomes difficult, then it will be time for a chain change as well. By paying attention to detail and maintenance, then you will have a bike chain that you can use for a long time.

Bike Repair 101

There are at least 2 great reasons to do your own bike repairs. Commonly known as DIY (do it yourself) bike repair, one of the main reasons is to simply save money as opposed to paying a bike repair shop potentially hundreds of dollars when you can do it yourself. The other advantage to doing your own bike repairs is you get to learn more about how your bike works from a mechanical perspective.

For example, changing a bike tire is quite simple but if you’ve never done it, it may appear to be a technically challenging task. However, it’s as simple as peeling part of the tire off the rim (though not entirely) until you can grab the inner tube. Pull the inner tube out while leaving the tire completely on the rim. You can take the tire off if you prefer but it’s not necessary. now, unravel the new inner tube and carefully place it back inside the tire. Sometimes, it might be easier to inflate the new flattened inner tube slightly just to give it some form but again, it’s not necessary. Once the new inner tube is in place, simply inflate the tube and you now have a new inflated tire! It’s easier than it might seem.

While many repairs can be easy enough for you to tackle, there may be times where you simply need the expert help of a bike repair professional. For example, if your rim is out of alignment or you need calibration of your gears, etc. then it’s most likely best to bring your bike in to the pros but most bike repairs can be done by yourself and you’ll find you not only save money but it’s fun to “get your hands dirty” while learning more about your bike in the process. Have fun and give it a go!

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