Proper bike maintenance can keep your bike in shape and save you from expensive repairs. Here are 5 essential bicycle maintenance tips and knowledge for every cyclist. Practice these and your bike will live a long and healthy life.
1. Don’t skip the lube
Cleaning and lubricating your bike is important for good performance. Lubrication prevents moving parts from getting worn out by friction, and "freezing up". It also helps keep rust and corrosion at bay. The more frequent you clean and lube, the less time it takes to do it subsequently.
2. Get pumping!
Tire pressure can make or break your ride experience. Low pressure means more work needed to keep the same speed than with proper high pressure. It can also give you a flat tire, especially when hitting a kerb hard. Check the recommended pressure from the side of your tires with a pressure gauge every 2 weeks. The rear tire should have more pressure as it is taking more weight than the front.
3. Screw it but don’t overdo it
Ensure all the screws, bolts and nuts in your bike are tightened. If your bike makes a noise, there is a good chance that something is loose. It is important to note that some of the newer bikes have the maximum torque limit written on them and you can buy tools that apply only a specified amount of torque.
4. Make sure your brakes are adjusted correctly
Over time, your brake pads will get worn down. If the brake lever touches the handlebar and still almost nothing happens, adjust the brake pads closer to the rim to achieve that nice firm braking modulation.
Keeping the pads and the braking surface clean from dirt and oil will also prevent them from wearing out themselves substantially faster.
5. Learn to fix a flat tube
Let’s be realistic - all of us are bound to get a flat tire at some point. Thus, you can save yourself unnecessary panics and trouble of finding a transport midway! Practice at home before it happens on the road or trail.
With the wisdom to help your bike stay in the right condition, you can hit the roads with a peace of mind. If all else fails, let your local bike shop do it for you.
How does one go about choosing a new bike? With so many options in the market and the ability to customize, it can certainly be a tough decision. Rather than simply going with what looks “cool”, there are several important points you should consider when buying a bike to ensure you get the right one that fits your needs:
WHERE WILL YOU RIDE?
The first step is to figure out what kind of riding you want to do. Think about the purpose, distance and type of terrain it will be used for.
If you intend to stay on pavement and ride mainly for exercise, a road bike or fitness bike is a good choice. A comfort or cruiser bike is better for short, casual rides. For commuting, a city bike works. If are riding entirely off-road, a sturdy mountain bike would best fit the job.
There are also a few other types which are not named here but deciding the purpose of your bike first will help narrow down the field considerably.
MAKE SURE IT FITS YOU
Choosing the bike size depends on the type of bike, your height, your riding style, and your preference. A correct fitting bike will be more comfortable, more efficient and more fun to ride.
Your ideal frame size is based on the type of bike you choose, your height and your inseam (the measurement from your crotch to the ground).
Handlebars matter, too. You want to be able to reach them, after all, so make sure the reach between your seat and the handlebars is comfortable. The shape and position of your handlebars also depend on the bike you get.
GEARS, SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
Basically, the most important things to think about are your fitness level and the terrain. If you are riding uphill and you find climbing challenging, then opt for more gears. However, if you are a strong cyclist or you will only ride flat terrain, you can get away with fewer gears, which will keep your bike light.
The bike’s suspension is meant neutralize the impact when you are riding in a rough, rugged area. For mountain bikes, you probably want one with full or at least front suspension. Full suspension helps you maintain control and increases traction. Front suspension absorbs impact and makes for a smooth ride (ideal for hybrids too). If you are getting a road bike, your bike may not include any suspension at all.
Lastly, there are the brakes. There are many different types of brakes, and they all have pros and cons.
If you are looking to step up on your cycling game or just to take up cycling as a form of exercise, we have a few tips for you on how you should eat before every riding session to increase your energy and performance level.
(image from: Unsplash)
Road cycling has witnessed its upwards trend in Singapore, especially during the Covid-19 season. As international travel are being halted by the pandemic, many are looking at another way of spending their leisure time with their friends and family. Hence, the popularity of both indoor and outdoor cycling has increased tremendously since 2020.
What and how much should i eat before cycling?
Eating the the right amount of food and the careful selection of foods are very important to maintain a consistent source of energy during your ride. The main source of fuel from our body during exercise is Carbohydrate. It is stored in the muscles and liver as Glycogen. Human bodies are only capable of storing a small amount of carbohydrates. Hence, it is important to top it up regularly.
An average elite Tour De France cyclist requires approximately 8-11g of carbohydrate per kilogram of their bodyweight. Hence, a cyclist who weighs 60kg requires about 480g to 660g carbohydrates to maintain their training levels.
However, for recreational riders who trains at a moderate to high level of intensity, they need about 5-8g carbohydrates per kilogram bodyweight.
What kind of carbs should i eat before my workout?
It is important to consider a carb's Glycaemic Index (GI) in your diet. What is GI?
A food's GI measures how quickly carbohydrates are being digested and broken down into glucose. With lower GI foods, it gives a slower release of energy and hence, should be the main choice of carbohydrate before any training sessions.
High GI foods on the other hand, are quickly broken down to glucose and provides fast source of energy. With high level of High GI foods, you might find yourself feeling lethargic after your meal.
Good examples of carbohydrates with low GI are: Brown Rice, Steel-cut Oats, Whole-grain bread, Vegetables, Chickpeas and Sweet Potato.
How long after eating should i wait before starting my workout?
Everyone has different level of comfort when it comes to eating before their workout. Hence, it is important to try and know what works best for you. In general, for larger meals, eat 2-4 hours before your workout and between 30 mins to 2 hours for smaller snacks.
(image from: Unsplash)
Is protein important for endurance athletes?
Since the main energy sources comes from carbohydrates, do i need to consider the amount of protein intake in my diet?
The answer is yes. It is important for cyclists' training diets to include a suitable amount of protein to support their muscles growth and repair. With adequate consumption of protein, it prevents muscles from entering into a catabolic state (breaking down both fat and muscle). Over time, this can support cyclists' muscle strength and optimal body composition.
how many grams of protein should a cyclist consume per day?
For adults who trains about 1 to 3 hours a day, it is recommended to consume a daily protein intake of about 1.6g to 1.8g per kilogram of bodyweight. Hence, a 60kg casual cyclist will need approximately 96g to 108g or protein intake per day.
However, a road cyclist trains with high training volumes. Hence, they might choose to consume up to 2.4g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.
Some good choices of protein are chicken breast, fish, eggs and dairy products. However, if you are a vegetarian, you can consider incorporating high-quality protein such as nuts, seeds and beans into your diet.
Should i consume protein directly after my exercise?
You might have heard that one must consume protein within the "magical" time window of 29 minutes and 59 seconds. If you want, you can. However, it will not jeopardise your workout progress if you do not do so. Nonetheless, it is good to consume some form of balanced post-workout meal (protein and carbs) after a long cycling session. Post Workout Recovery usually takes longer than 30 minutes and it is important to consume protein regularly throughout the day instead of just after your workout.
If you are looking for a convenient and fuss-free way of taking your road cycling indoors, you can rent our bike trainers starting from only $49.90/month with FREE usage of ZWIFT account! Find out more here.
Indoor cycling is not an entire replacement of your outdoor cycle adventure. However, it is a great home workout that provides many benefits.
1. It is Time Efficient
If you do not have the luxury of time, cycling over 25 hours a week to clock in your training, indoor cycling can be considered a greater alternative or a supplement workout for your routine. With indoor cycling, you skipped the step of fretting over what outfit are you going to wear for this cycling session. Instead, you get to jump right on to your trainer and spend quality time actually pedalling on the "road".
Indoor cycling is also a great workout for those who have kids, and simply do not have the time to ride many hours on the road. You can set up your bike trainer even at your kids playroom!
(image from: road.cc)
2. It's targeted to your goals
Controlled and targeted training are benefits of indoor cycling. With bike trainer and cycling programme such as ZWIFT (we offer free membership with every rental :P), it allows you to ride based on your calibrated training zones and resistance. You might even find the ride easier as you get to ride through the snowy mountains in various parts of the world!
(image from: DetroitBikes)
3. Get Smart
With the latest Smart Trainer (https://www.spinout.com.sg/schedule.html), it is integrated with power meters that you can take your training to the next level. When combined with cycling apps like ZWIFT, it provides highly accurate and realistic training environment for cyclist of all levels.
(image from: BikeRadar)
4. It's fun and really convenient!
While many cyclist much prefer to take their cycling outdoors, many would be disappointed by bad weather conditions.
If you're one of those "never-missing-a-training-session" kinda person, you would definitely benefit from having a trainer setup ready at home.
Raining? Never an excuse to stop your planned training session. Simply gather your cycling mates and take your workout to ZWIFT!
(image from: Obra Limpa)
Not sure if purchasing a bike trainer would be a safe choice? At SpinOut, we do monthly rental of different trainers suitable for different level of cyclist. What's more? We even offer COMPLIMENTARY Zwift account so that you can get started right away!
If you are ready to embark on your indoor cycling adventure, you can also purchase the rented trainer at a fraction of the cost! Contact us to find out more!
Get your hands on our IN-BIKE Bike Stop Watch when you refer your friend(s) to rent our Starter and CycleOps Pro Trainer!
how to refer?
* You must be an existing customer to be eligible for this campaign.
1. Refer your friend to rent our CycleOps Pro Trainer OR Starter Trainer
2. Once they have rented, fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/ReferralSpinOut).
3. If you are eligible for the free Bike trainer, we will contact you within 7 working days upon the submission of the form.
Can I receive more than one bike stop watch if I refer more than one friend?
No. Each person is only eligible for ONE free bike stop watch no matter how many friends you refer.
How can I collect the free bike stop watch?
We will post it out via SingPost's Normal Mail to you.
Looking for a unique Christmas gift for yourself or your loved ones? Why not get them this Exclusive Christmas Bundle Rental and let them experience a ride of their life!
This bundle is specially curated to be beginners friendly. We included a High Quality Road Bike alongside our Starter Trainer, free ZWIFT account and of course, free installations and delivery right to your doorstep!
Why not start gifting a present that is both fun and interesting for all ages!
Rent yours HERE
* Kindly note that users are NOT ALLOWED to use the road bike for any outdoor cycling
This event is currently cancelled. Do check back in to our Instagram / website for upcoming sales/events
Hop on an exciting Zwift ride with Sarah (Singapore's National Cyclist) while enjoying the festive decorations!
This virtual ride is totally FREE!
Date: 19 Dec 2020 (Sat)
Time: 10am - 11am
Sign up here:
(Select "Special Event")
A min. of 5 signups is required for us to commence this virtual event