Today is a scheduled rest day in Nottingham. We’ve got beautiful weather here and it’s a great little town to enjoy. Since we don’t have any ride stories from today, I thought I’d share a short article that I came across in Outside Magazine. Here is a link to the web version of the article. The original can be found in this year’s “Summer 2008 Buyer’s Guide.” It’s written by Levi Leipheimer, America’s top cyclist.
An Ounce of Prevention: 5 Tips to ensure your bike never slows you down
1. Never Let Your Tread Wear Out: Replace your tires frequently. With fresher rubber, you’ll have fewer flats and also a better-handling bike.
2. Regularly Inspect Your Tires: Sometimes you’ll come back from a ride with small bits of glass or debris embedded in the outer casing. If you habitually clean this stuff off, it won’t have a chance to work through the tire.
3. Same Goes for Your Chain: Keep it clean and lubed and your bike will shift, and look, better. And if you replace your chain before it gets too worn out, you’ll save the expense of having to fix or replace pricier items like cassettes and chainrings, which suffer increased wear and tear from old chains.
4. Buy a Torque Wrench: Modern bike components are made of expensive materials like carbon and titanium and highly engineered to save weight. But that also means they can be damaged by overtightening. Manufacturers test their products and provide torque recommendations. Make sure you follow them.
5. Find a Good Local Bike Shop and Mechanic, and Be Loyal: The more familiar they become with your bike and your riding style, the more able they’ll be to keep everything working to your liking.
The final tip is one that I can’t emphasize enough. It’s one of those things that until you experience it, you don’t know how disadvantaged you are. We’ve mentioned Cadence Cycling on this blog several times. One of my most valuable relationships that has come from 10 Degrees Latitude has been through Cadence. I have learned more about cycling/multisport from the coaches and staff here than I ever could have imagined. Cadence has been a great supporter of ours but they’ve given us no money. Our promotion of them comes out of respect. I wish every serious athlete could have a top tier bike shop in their area. Any bike retailer can sell you a bike. Most of them can even put together a 30 minute bike fit for you. But in order to make the step from recreational athlete to competitor you absolutely must plug yourself in to a first rate knowledge base. Cadence Cycling squared me away, and put me on a course to ensure a successful event this summer. Here were just a few of my problem areas that I never knew I had:
- Bad bike fit
- Poor nutrition regimen (racing and training)
- Bought products based on price/brand. Paid little attention to catering to my race needs.
Last but not least — pictures from our rest day in Nottingham. We visited the Nottingham Castle, and the local bike shop Freewheel where the head mechanic rebuilt Neal’s bottom bracket and tightened Adam’s rear cassette. Thanks guys!