Tech Talk

Your Comments: Special Tire Levers for Tough Tires & More Tips

In 2017’s last Tech TalkTips for Taming Tough Tires, we were talking about the secret to installing even the toughest clincher road tires. The trick is being sure to get and keep the tire beads (the edges of the tire), down into the “rim well,” (the center and deepest part of the rim). When the beads are down there, there’s enough slack created in the tire for you to be able to pop it on without too much difficulty. 

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Preventing Bike Thefts from Your Garage

If you live where you can leave the garage door open and front door unlocked 24/7, there's no need to read this Tech Talk. Feel free to just hit the Next button below to turn the virtual page. Unfortunately, in some places, you have to keep everything locked – and even when the doors are secured, valuables aren't necessarily safe. Just as unfortunate is that bicycles are among the most commonly stolen items. Because they're valuable, desirable and easy to sell.

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Tips for Taming Tough Tires

Since this is the last Tech Talk before Christmas, I want to give you a gift that’ll keep on giving. My present to you is the seemingly little-known secret that makes it much easier to put on and take off bicycle tires. I used the words “seemingly” and “secret,” because here at RBR, emails from roadies frustrated over “tight” or “impossible to remove/install” or “stubborn” tires almost never let up. But wouldn’t it be better not to have to ask, and instead to have the know-how and skill to laugh at those annoying too-tight tires and simply pop them on/off with ease? Yes? I thought as much.

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Straightening Bent Disc Brake Rotors

Back in RBR Newsletter Issue No. 784, I shared a nifty trick for How to Fix Disc Brake Rubbing. That article explained how to center the brake over the rotor to stop a minor, common and annoying rub because it causes the brake to drag, wasting your energy. What that piece didn’t cover is how to straighten a bent disc brake rotor, which is another common cause of brake rub. We’re going over that in this article.

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How to Fix Disc Brake Rubbing

I’ve been working on quite a few disc brake-equipped road bikes in our Praxis workshop lately. One of the problems that keeps coming up is a rubbing or dragging brake. The type of rubbing I’m seeing can be missed when riding because it’s slight. But if you lift the wheel that’s rubbing off the ground and give it a spin, you’ll realize straight away that the rotor (the metal disc attached to the wheel) is slightly rubbing, because the wheel will stop spinning much more quickly than the other wheel (unless it’s rubbing, too).

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More Modern Wheel Tools, Part 1

Back in January, I reviewed Wheel Fanatyk's Tensiometer, a consistently accurate, easy-to-use and beautifully crafted digital spoke tension gauge. Just click the link to read all about it. At the time of that review, I was building wheels part-time for Praxis Works Bicycle Components. Today, I'm a full-time engineer at Praxis and in charge of our wheel department. As the company wheelmeister, I’m learning lots about modern wheel production and trying more new tools that improve wheel building and wheel quality. I'm sharing some of this knowledge today, and I'll finish up in our first issue after the Thanksgiving break.

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More Modern Wheel Tools, Part 2

Back in January, I reviewed Wheel Fanatyk's Tensiometer, a consistently accurate, easy-to-use and beautifully crafted digital spoke tension gauge. Just click the link to read all about it. At the time of that review, I was building wheels part-time for Praxis Works Bicycle Components. Today, I'm a full-time engineer at Praxis and in charge of our wheel department. As the company wheelmeister, I’m learning lots about modern wheel production and trying more new tools that improve wheel building and wheel quality. I started this 2-part column before Thanksgiving, and I'm finishing it up today.

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Bicycle Storage with Bike Hooks

My friend John bought a new house recently and asked for bike storage advice. The new place has a two-car garage with a wall he can devote to bike-hanging. So it’s a relatively easy project. I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I’d share the basic plans. First, understand that there are as many ways to store bikes as there are home and garage floor plans. The important thing is to find a way to keep your nice road bikes inside and out of the weather or else they’ll age fast. I also recommend locking them even when they’re hanging in your garage or storage area. Bike theft is on the rise.

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DIY Rear Derailleur Adjustment

A couple of Tech Talks ago, we covered super cleaning a double crankset by removing the chainrings. It’s an excellent bike maintenance project because it doesn’t require special tools and it results in a like-new looking crank. It’s also something even beginning mechanics can tackle to hone their basic skills. This week’s topic, do-it-yourself rear derailleur adjustment, is another skill that even newbs can master. And once you’ve got it down, you’ll be able to keep your bikes shifting perfectly, plus fix your riding pals’ machines, too – making you a hero out on the road!

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Tips for Moving from Mid-Compact to Compact

RBR reader Andrew K. wrote us recently about a topic that rings true for many of us as we get older but still want to be able to do the "big rides" we've done for years. Andrew wrote: "As I age, I feel the need to go from a mid-compact to compact gearing to participate in some gran fondos. Would you consider discussing changing chain rings and implications for needing to adjust the derailleur, chain, etc? I specifically use a Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed groupset."

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Super Clean Your Chainrings

It’s important to clean your drivetrain regularly because chain lube picks up dirt and debris from riding. If you keep logging the miles and ignore it, the build-up of grime wears the chain and sprockets more quickly. It’s relatively easy to clean the chain, rear derailleur pulleys and even the cassette cogs on the rear wheel. The component that can be hard to clean is the crankset. But the way it can be done on most double road cranksets is unbolting and removing the chainrings to clean them and the crankarms. Here’s how to go about it.

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