Wednesday, June 22

Schwalbe Tires, the only tires I will ever buy!

So a couple of weeks ago I received the set of Schwalbe Marathons I ordered through Amazon, after a bit of struggle I was able to finally install them and rode them for about 70 kms.

And then this happened!

I was pretty crossed and was literally stomping and cursing at the intersection after I heard a loud pop and saw the air that gives shape to my tires escape and I was forced to walk home. What helped me get through this rough patch is when I vented my frustration through reddit, there were a lot of theories as to what happened. Someone did say that the way it was shipped (bundled tightly into a small package) might have caused the issue and that I should contact Schwalbe for a possible manufacturers warranty claim.

So went to their website, took photos and explained what happened, I was contacted by Mark Read who was very understanding and in the end was kind enough to approve a replacement. Well today after several weeks I got the replacement tire, this day couldn't have been any better! I emailed Mark again to thank him and mentioned that my 3 kids will sure be hearing about this when it's time for them to purchase bike tires, they will hear about the reliability and awesomeness of Schwalbe. It's rare to find a company nowadays that not only produces quality products but also stands by them.

June is Bike Month!

If you haven't logged your rides yet on TravelWise it is not too late, you can still log your rides for a chance to win awesome prices and help the environment!

White lightning clean ride

For the past two years that I've been cycling I've always used Finish line dry and wet lube, after several users on Reddit suggest that I try white lightning I finally decided to get one when my dry lube ran out this morning.

Drove over to King St Cycles in downtown Waterloo, still a lot of construction going on but I was surprised at how busy they were. Applied this on my mountain bike and I'm amazed that when you rub your fingers to the chain that it is dry but when I tested the I don't get any mechanical noise so that means I guess that it is working, I'll have to see how much this holds up during a wet ride.

Sunday, June 5

Schwalbe Marathon HS420

Like many I've installed and replaced many tires, the first time was hard but after that it gets easier. So when the Schwalbe Marathon HS420 that I ordered from Amazon arrived I figured I could get both tires installed in an hour or so, boy I was wrong.

Tried to install the front one first that took most of my evening but I managed to get it installed and had a short ride, with rain looming in the horizon I decided to just install the rear one the next morning.

So this morning I got the back wheel off and attempted the task of getting the marathons on. Massaged the tire till I have a quarter ways to go and the headache started, no matter how hard I tried to massage the darn thing it wouldn't go I kept worrying about pinch flats and how I have to start over again.

Tried using soap and lotion to try and loosen things up but still no dice. Went back to YouTube and found out I wasn't the only one having a hard time installing this particular set of tires. Saw someone else using zip ties, didn't have any of those around but I did remember I have a couple of bungee cords and thought that might work and to my amazement it did work! After wasting several hours of my morning that's all it needed, definitely gonna remember this trick. I think it actually worked better than the zip ties as I don't have to cut them off after I was done.

Monday, April 18

NBD: 2014 Marin Bobcat Trail 29er

So I wasn't really planning on getting a new bike that day but this just seemed like a good deal to pass, and I loved the bike when I rode it. It felt very aggressive and I really loved the style, the components on the bike were pretty nice as well. Hydraulic brakes, mostly Shimano components, better than the ones on the commuter bike I was hoping to purchase at Mec.

This was a 2014 model had a bit of scratches here and there but that didn't take away from the awesome riding experience that it provided. I named him Bob and I'm hoping we could have a lot of adventures together and who knows maybe even visit the Hydrocut :)

2014 Marin Bobcat Trail 29er

It also came with free fox gloves and some bike safety kit which were basically rubbish.

I wasn't the only one who got to bring home something from Guelph, my wife found an antique looking coffee table made by Heirloom of Canada Ltd. Which I found out later was the same company that made the double deck bed for my kids (Crate Designs).

Thursday, April 14

RAD Cycle Bike Adjustable Repair Stand

A good repair stand is definitely a worthwhile investment if you have a lot of bikes or if you work on bikes. When I first got started into cycling I got a bike stand about the same price as this one but it sucked, it relied on huge rubber bands to keep the bike secured and eventually those broke rending the stand useless.

So this is basically an early Christmas present according to my wife, really love that it had a magnetic tray so no more missing screws. There is also an adjustable holder for the handlebar so your wheel doesn't sway when you're working on it. I'm totally happy with this stand and could definitely recommend it to others on a budget like me looking of a reliable and stable bike stand.

Here are some of the other features of this bike repair stand:

  • Maximum capacity of 66lbs/30kg
  • Telescoping stand adjusts from 41" to 75"
  • Clamps hold tight but won't damage your bike's finish
  • Adjustable handlebar rod stabilizes the front wheel
  • Super easy setup and assembly

Tuesday, April 5

Removing rust from bicycle components

Recently brought home a free bike I found posted online, however after some of the snow melted from it I found out that the chain stay on the non drive side had burst due to water freezing inside. I immediately asked the bike gurus at /r/bikewrench on what to do and to my dismay it turns out the frame can no longer be salvaged and must be discarded as it is unsafe to ride. I wouldn't really want to be riding that thing when the chain stay finally gives up and break!

That was a major bummer, however all is not lost as I was able to salvage some pretty good parts from it.

The Giant Cypress that wasn't meant to be.

That's a pretty big hole!

The front and rear derailleur looks pretty good but a bit rusty, the brake and shift levers were the same ones that I just recently purchased from Recycle Cycles to replace my old mountain bike shifters.

So on my way home from work I bought a can of Rust Check, seeing as there seems to be a lot of online post that says it works and also got some steel wool at Canadian Tire.

Sprayed a decent amount of Rust Check on the corroded parts and left them there for a couple of hours, the finally used the fine wool to scrub off the rust. All I can say is that I'm pretty much satisfied with the results, I probably would need to clean the derailleur on the mtb once my new work stand gets here.