Pin It
Favourite

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pump it up at Halifax Bike Week

The Mountain Equipment Co-op's Brendan Sutcliffe chats about common bike problems.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 3:20 AM

click to enlarge Gearhead Brendan Sutcliffe is off-the-chain. - DYLAN CHEW
  • DYLAN CHEW
  • Gearhead Brendan Sutcliffe is off-the-chain.

Taking consistent care of your bicycle can save you from disasters down the road.

For Bike Week, Mountain Equipment Co-op is setting up a slew of “mobile bicycle maintenance stations,” doing safety checks and offering advice on basic bike fixes.

In the meantime, Brendan Sutcliffe—bike mechanic at MEC—gives a few tips for keeping your ride in top shape.

First of all, “a clean bike is a happy bike,” he says. So, clean the damn thing. There are special products for this, but diluted dish soap and water will do the job in a pinch. Cleaning the frame, wheels, chains and sprockets keeps things going smoothly. It can also help the cyclist spot any potential problems.

“Sometimes when you’re down there really close to it and you’re cleaning it, you’re paying a little more attention,” says Sutcliffe.

Keeping air pressure in the tires is one of the most basic, but most important things a cyclist can do. It may seem obvious, but Sutcliffe says it’s something people tend to neglect. When tires don’t have good air pressure, the bike takes a lot more energy to pedal. On top of that, hitting a bump in the road can cause damage to the rims or a puncture in the tire.

The MEC offers free safety checks at the shop outside of Bike Week, and Sutcliffe’s done his fair share. He’s noticed “nobody’s brakes work very well.”

Thanks to Halifax’s “salty environment,” the cables that operate the brakes get corroded more easily. They also tend to stretch over time.

“Gears and brakes—they need to be tuned on a regular basis. It’s just a given.”

Sometimes nuts and bolts get loose, causing the handle bars to turn independent of the wheel. To check for trouble, pinch the wheel between your knees and pry on the bars. They shouldn’t move.

“If they actually slip and turn, that’s a good one to catch,” says Sutcliffe.

The Bike Week festivities roll on from June 2 to 11.

Tags: , , ,

Survey Asks

What use would you like to see for the old Spring Garden Road library?

  • Acadian cultural centre
  • Municipal archive and museum
  • Bulldoze it and make a park
  • Let it rot
  • None of the above

View Results

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.

Coast Top Ten

Reality Bites

More »

Shoptalk

More »

In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 12
August 17, 2017

Cover Gallery »


Real Time Web Analytics

© 2017 Coast Publishing Ltd.