Here I demonstrate how to remove your rear derrailleur for packing your bike into a box for air travel, how to protect your frame from getting bent in transit. Very importantly, you should watch very carefully how to put your derrailleur back on – a mistake my customers often make is not inserting the derrailleur at the correct angle, which leads to cross threading and damaging the tip of your frame – watch this very short clip to save your bike:
Don’t ride at your normal high pressure because you are more likely to skid and aquaplane.
Remember to let some air out of your tyres when riding in the rain – this flattens the tyre a bit, provides more rubber in contact with the road, therefore giving more grip.
If your chain gets too worn:
- it is dangerous
- you wear out your cassette
- and then you have to replace both chain and cassette, increasing cost
So how do you know if your chain is worn?
There is a very inexpensive tool called a chain checker you can purchase. In this short video clip I demonstrate how easy it is to check your chain for wear and tear.
Would you use the same sweaty towel for 6 months without washing it?
Many customers bring their bikes into us for servicing, and removing the bar tape is sometimes down-right putrid (salt, sweat, and awful smell), and an occupational health and safety issue to us from a hygiene perspective.
The photo above illustrates the extreme corrosion from sweat on bar tape that hasn’t been replaced. The corrosion led to a snapping of the handlebars.
If you don’t change your bar tape regularly, remember that when you eat on your ride, you are using the same hands that have been on your unhygienic handlebars.
1. change your bar tape every 3 months if you ride regularly, every 6 months at the absolute latest.
2. in between bar tape changes, wash your bartape with soap and water.
This is a must-see for any cyclist and triathlete – only 1minute! – very handy for when your gears go out in the middle of a ride, in a race, new cables have stretched, or after your bike has been on the plane. Presented to you by Stew (Computa) Campbell, of Happy Wheels Bicycle Service Centre, Kingsford Sydney.
In this videoclip, I demonstrate:
- WHAT NOT TO DO when lubing your bike (this is based on what I see when customers bring their bikes in)
- How to lubricate your bike, and which parts to lube
- What is the difference between the different lubes (dry, wet, organic, spray, etc), and when do you use which one?
Here Stew demonstrates how to change brake pads for a road bike – Shimano or SRAM. Changing Campagnola brake pads are a little more complicated and needs its own clip.
Anyone that needs to change their worn brake pads, OR need to change brake pads regularly between a set of carbon race wheels versus alloy training wheels, should watch this clip to save a trip to your local shop!
Here, I demonstrate the RIGHT way to remova and install a back wheel.
This is a must-see for anyone that races, or simply wants to change their back wheel quickly after getting a puncture in the middle of a ride.
If you are riding tubulars (singles) in a triathlon or time trial and get a dreaded puncture, watch this short clip for some tips on how to change it quickly and efficiently.
NOTE for triathletes and time triallists, when I glue on tubulars, I leave a very small gap in the glue so that the tyre can be ripped off in a matter of seconds. Without such a gap, you literally need a screwdriver to wrench the tyre off, losing potentially minutes. I talk a little bit about this too in the clip. (For road and track cyclists, no such gap would be left because you are cornering at high speeds).
Have you got the tightest tyre from hell and you are concerned about pinching the tube?
In this video clip Stew demonstrates the removal and installation with a very tight tyre, and how to put on that last bit of stretched tyre.
Of course, tips and tricks apply as equally to looser tyres.
A reminder that it’s better to service your bike AT LEAST 2 weeks before an event,
not just before the event. Here’s why:
If your bike needs gear and brake cables replaced, they will stretch and you don’t want your gears playing up in the middle of a triathlon race or cycling event. If your bike is serviced at least 2 weeks prior, riding a few times prior to your event gives a chance for the cables to stretch, and to make fine-tuning adjustments before the event. If you intend on making other adjustments to your bike (new bars, saddle, wheels, gear clusters, height adjustments), or you’ve had new cleats installed onto your shoes it is important to test that your bike has the correct positioning and setup. Once again, if you give yourself a couple of weeks before your event then the fine tuning adjustments can be made stress-free.
So if you have races coming up please book your bike in for a service before we get booked up.
If your bike is serviced at Happy Wheels with new cables, it doesn’t cost anything to have fine tuning adjustments after the cables have stretched.
You should watch this if you travel by air with your bike on a regular basis, or, you just simply want to know how to do this properly. Too often when I’m servicing bikes I see pedals that are put on WAY too tight. Watch this short video clip for some handy tips:
Is your headset making rattling noises or does it feel loose? Do you travel with your bike in the air and want to get some tips on re-assembling your headset? Then watch this short 3minute clip for some tips on how to adjust your headset:
Over time, components will move around, dirt gets into things, water gets into components, leading to wear and tear. If you like your bike to feel at its best and you want your components to last longer:
- A tune-up service is recommended every 3 to 6 months, depending on bike usage
- A premium service is recommended at least once every 6 to 12 months, depending on bike usage
- A full strip and re-build is recommended at least once 12 to 18 months, depending on bike usage
A very worn out chain causes cassette cog teeth to be worn down – when you get a new chain, it will not mesh with the cassette, and the cassette will require replacement. This can be avoided if you change your chain for every 3,000 to 5,000 kms of riding (lower kms if you are bigger or heavier). This saves you money in the long run – regularly changing your chains will mean that your cassette is a lot less likely to require replacement when the chain is changed.
Your chain and cassette will also be in better condition if you clean your bike regularly between services. Invest some money in a good:
- Chain cleaner + paint brushes to clean your chain
- Chain lubricant
If your cables have been replaced, the cables will stretch after a couple of rides and your gears will go out a little as you ride. For those that like to “DIY” and want to adjust your gears yourself, watch my 1-minute video-clip, which you can find at
Alternatively, if you prefer Happy Wheels to do it, drop your bike in for a small adjustment post service – no charge.