Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good idea to take bike to shop before big road trip

I've had my bike since February 2009, and I've had lots of use out of her.  I've never had a problem with it at all. I have ridden 3400 kms (2112 miles) on her!

I thought I'd better take it to the shop before Tour De Jasper.  I am glad I did, as I needed a new chain and back cassette.

I never treated my previous bike very well...I am surprised I got 18 years out of it!   By the end of it's life it was in rough shape, gears all chewed up. I feel that I am still learning about bicycles even though I've biked for many years.  It's just now I take it more seriously.  I still brought it to bike shop once a year...but nothing like I do on this bike, like cleaning the chain often.  I clean the chain on this bike often with the cleaner and cleaning mechanism.  I used it a bit in Winter, but not on the really bad days.  I suppose the gravel on road in Spring can be hard on cassette and chain.  I need a Winter beater bike! ;)

How often do you change your chains?  I am thinking once a year- 1200 miles or so (2000 or so Kms) would be good.  I should have trusted the chain wear gauge I bought recently, it said chain was stretched and worn.  I have never used one before so I wasn't sure if I was using it correctly.

I am glad that I brought it in to shop before the trip and it was worth the cost (they gave me a deal) as it's better to deal with any problems beforehand so it doesn't break on the actual bike tour.  :)

I also got a new kickstand, so now my bike stands up straight once again.  I wish there was a kickstand under the bike on both sides..so the heavy grocery loads wouldn't bend the stand over time.  I had to slightly adjust the height of the new kickstand as it had a tendancy to want to fall over

Here is my bike, straight as can be, ready for it's upcoming big adventure!


  1. Yup, always good to get the equipment checked by a pro before the big trip...

  2. New chain about every 9 months for me... about every 2300 km. The first time I replaced it, it had stretched by a surprising 7 centimetres, so much so that the derailleur got caught in the spokes and destroyed both the derailleur and the derailleur hanger... Haha I learned my lesson!

    Only replaced the cassette once, but that was with 10000 km on the bike and the chain was slipping if I pedalled too hard.

    I finished my PG visit btw! It was great, I rode all over the place... up to UNBC, Ospika, College Heights, Heritage River Trail, and other places. The roads sure have changed since I left in 2001, I don't remember there being any bike lanes, (er white paint parking lanes sometimes?) or paved paths anywhere back then. There are a few tricky parts, like crossing Hwy 97 between 5th and 15th avenues I noticed could be challenging. I made a bunch of vids with my sports helmet-cam...:

    Misc Paved trails:

    More misc PG cycling:

  3. The ride feels way better. You have to listen really careful to it when it's running to be able to tell it's not as smooth anymore. The difference is slight, but it's there. Changing gears was not quite as responsive.

    Regarding cassette and chain changing, I've read that some mechanics like to replace the chain and cassette at the same time, where others use 2-3 chains per cassette, before changing cassette. I think that it might be worth changing the cassette at the same time keeps the ride going nice and smooth!

    If you find your chain skipping, that's a bad sign, the chain rings need replacing too, and that's more expensive. You never want to let the gears get as worn out that they skip, you want to replace it before then. My other bike was fixed regularly, but the chain and gears weren't as responsive as this bike is, which means I think that I was biking with worn chain rings, etc.. They were eventually replaced after many years of use

    With a trip like this, it has to be in good shape. And I've got a good idea now how often that I should replace the chain/cassette.

    I was in sticker shock last night, but I will go into the bike shop today and thank them for the fix and how smooth she is running now.

  4. Oh, forgot to say the biking lanes here(aka parking lanes) are mostly useless with the cars parked in them. Also, if you are on a busy road you have to butt your way back into traffic at the lights as you don't want to be in the turning lane. I'll check your vids out Alexwarrier. :)



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