Thomas's Cycle Revolution have been selling and servicing bicycles since 1981. We now have four stores in the region, including the Specialized Concept Store in Chelmsford, Cycle Revolution (for our more comprehensive service offerings) in Ipswich and Colchester and our high end store, Cycle Evolution also in Colchester.

As a family store we are proud of our reputation, and are proud to be the area's first choice when it comes to quality cycling products. We have the experience, brands and the enthusiasm to offer all of our customers excellent service and value.

In addition to stocking all the best bike brands, including Giant, Liv, Specialized, Trek, Cube, Focus, Cervelo, Whyte and HaiBike, we also offer a full workshop, Body Geometry Bike Fit, custom build, and a regular calendar of free rides in the area.

Our workshop technicians are Cytech qualified and equipped to service any make and model of cycle, using only quality replacement components. We are able to fully customise your new cycle to suit your requirements, build custom wheels and bikes to order and tune all hydraulic brakes and suspension systems in house.

Cycle Revolution is very much at the heart of the cycling community in East Anglia. We support many of the areas cycling clubs, charities, racing events and sponsor Velo Club Revolution which is well worth joining for new and experienced riders.

Visit us in store, buy online or use our free Click & Collect service – we look forward to seeing you.

 

1 Peartree Business CentreColchester Essex CO3 0JN

Common Bike Maintenance Mistakes

   Words by Paul Thomas

   on 15/08/2017 10:17:40

We have all seen these before, and us dedicated mechanics see them far too often. Below is a helpful guide, put together by Cycle Revolution, to help you avoid these easy to make mistakes and to save our mechanic complete frustration!

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See our service options HERE

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CBM

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1. Winding in derailleur limit screws:

Those screws in your derailleurs aren’t loose, but are actually there to set the limits for which the derailleur can move. If a bike mechanic has built your bike, especially one from our established shops, then you don’t need to touch those screws again.

If your shifting has suddenly gone out of whack, it’s likely to do with cable tension, possibly dirty cables or a bent derailleur hanger. Never reach for the flat head unless you know what you are doing!

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limit

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2. Using the wrong lube:

This one comes up in nearly every maintenance article. WD-40 is great for some things , but it’s not up to the task of lubing a bicycle chain. Its an anti-rust substance, which will actually dry out your chain not lube it.

When it comes to lubricating the chain, any lube left on the outside of the links is just collecting grit. Overtime, this will lead to a ‘grinding paste' forming over your drive-train, meaning your gears will be wearing out A LOT faster and making quite a black mess in the process.

After you lube your chain using, preferably, a pour on lube that is suitable for the weather conditions (like Finish-Lines Wet Lube), leave it on your chain to settle in and then wipe off the excess with a rag. Lubing on top of dirty lube is a surefire way to make your bike angry at you, so de-grease first!

It’s good practice to wipe down your chain with a clean rag after almost every ride, to help stop the build up. Not everyone has time for this, but if you see a residue building, get it gone.

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Lube

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3. Poorly inflated tyres:

Riding with under inflated tyres is another easy mistake to make. Here, a good track pump is what you need.

For minimum and maximum pressures, consult the sidewall of your tyre (in PSI) and find a happy medium, this is down to personal preference. You need to make sure that they are always above the minimum pressure however, or you are a lot more likely to get punctures.

With any tyre that requires a high pressure, make sure you pump them up regularly. Road bikes should be checked every ride as 100PSI is a lot for a rubber inner-tube to keep in. The ‘feel test’ is never suitable, because your tyres might feel hard enough, but they are probably at half pressure.

Another common mistake is in the use of Presta valves (the non-car type ones). These can be quite delicate and it's important to not put too much twisting force on them. Before fitting the pump head, ensure the nut is unwound to the top of its threaded shaft, then slightly depress the valve until you hear air escape.

Connect the pump as square to the valve as possible and once pumped, remove the pump head in an equally straight line. This is where using a hand pump, especially on a road bike tube, can be a complete nightmare. We highly recommend CO2 canisters and adapters instead. When you then re-tighten the little nut, making it finger tight is all that's needed — anything more and you may damage its seal.

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Pump

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4. Not properly closing quick releases:

Put simply, quick releases have an open and a closed position. Before riding the bike, you need the quick release in the closed position. After tightening the opposing nut, the quick release lever should be locked into position. This needs to be done away from the frame (please not against it!) and needs to start to get tight in firmness around half way through its travel. This should leaves a slight imprint in the palm of your hand once the QR is fully closed. Double check it’s tightness by lightly trying to open it, and if it doesn’t budge your good to go!

There is also no need to over tighten QR’s as this can change your bearing compression and even damage your bearings. The QR’s will never come un-done once they have been closed in the proper manner. No need for brute force!

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QR

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5. Lubing brakes to fix a squeal:

If your brakes are squealing, don’t think that grease or oil is the answer, its not. Lube and brakes don’t mix.

If you’re using rim brakes (caliper or V-brakes), then it's likely to do with how the brake pads are set up. You may need to set up your brake pads with toe-in to avoid the dreaded squeal. If your pads are old and have dried out, this may also be a cause, so seek newer pads.

For disc users, some brakes just squeal, although sometimes this is the sign of a perfectly biting brake! You can also have wet discs, which can cause a noise, however this should stop within a few solid braking efforts.

Most of the time though, noise is a sign that the pads have been contaminated. Cleaning the rotors and replacing the pads is the only way to fix this and should provide some respite to nearby pedestrians.

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brake

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6. Over tightening the headset:

Modern 1 1/8 threadless headset systems work by preloading the bearings with the cap on top, and then torqueing the stem in place with its pinch bolts.

Commonly, it’s thought the top preload bolt needs to be really tight, often resulting in damaging the headset. Remember, you only need this top bolt tight enough to remove any headset bearing play (usually between 4-6NM). If it’s causing resistance in your steering it’s likely too tight. You should then tighten the two pinch bolts equally, up to about 6-10NM. It should say on the stem itself the exact figures, and be-ware of carbon steerers. You don’t want to be overtightening them!

The exception to this is with older quill stems (distinguishable by a single bolt on top, with no pinch bolts at the stem’s side).

This design uses a bolt attached to a sliding wedge that when tightened locks the stem within the steerer tube. For this type of stem, torque is your friend. And once you think you’ve got it tight enough, put the front wheel between your knees and see if you can twist the bars.

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headset

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In the words of our service manager: ‘If you look after your bike, your bike will look after you’ and these simple tips can help you do just that. These could save you an absolute pain in the long run, and also help our mechanics keep their heads. If you are worried about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us for some advice; we are more than happy to help!

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