Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • WHEELY GOOD ADVICE/EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SPOKE BUTTING AND MORE!

    WHEELIE GOOD ADVICE and EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SPOKE BUTTING AND MORE!

    Struggling with broken spokes?

    We receive a lot of requests from our community looking for advice about wheels and how best to prevent broken spokes. Ade our community project Manager spoke to self confessed “Wheel geek’ Oliie Gray who is the service and dispatch Manager of Sussex based Hunt bike wheels and below you will find a comprehensive guide with all those spoke and wheel questions. Ollie and the guys are more than happy to answer any more questions you may have and you’ll find their details at the bottom of the post.

     

    Why do my spokes keep breaking? and is it solely down to weight ?

    Spokes in bicycle wheels absorb almost all of the vibrations passing through wheels, and act as dampeners during the course of riding your bike. As such, and given their physical properties (each spoke is obviously quite thin and long) and the number of them, a wheel failure coming as a result of excessive force will most often manifest itself in a spoke snapping or breaking. The variables at play include a whole lot more than weight, and I’ll go over just the most important of these:

    Spoke count & gauge:

    The number of spokes is incredibly important to how tough/stiff the wheel is (or conversely, how compliant the wheel is). The greater number of spokes in a wheel, the more widely the acting pressures on them are spread (and thus each spoke has less ‘work’ to do). The guage of a spoke is less significant, but does play a role. The gauge of the spoke refers to its thickness. A thicker spoke will be tougher, but also less compliant and of course slightly heavier.

     

    wheel 2Spoke butting: Butting a spoke will mean it possesses varying levels of thickness (with the thinnest part being the main part in the middle). Butting adds extra protection around the parts of the spokes which are submitted to the most forces during the course of a ride (found both where the spoke meets the hub, and the rim). All Hunt wheels are triple butted, meaning that the spoke is strong only where it needs to be, and as light as possible where it wants to be.

     

     

    Tyre pressure & choice:

    Here at Hunt we cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a tyre and running a pressure that is well suited both to you as a rider, as well as the riding conditions and surfaces of their intended use. Recent studies have shown that lower tyre pressures are actually faster than super high ones. This goes against commonplace beliefs and assumptions about cycling (particularly road cycling), as most often our perception of speed is governed by how much of the road we ‘feel’. There is a lot of interesting science behind it, which is covered in the following podcast: (https://cyclingtips.com/2016/08/cyclingtips-podcast-episode-9-rethinking-road-bike-tire-sizes-and-pressures/). It is that very absorption of the road surface, most commonly associated with higher tyre pressures, that is slowing you down. Simply put, your body is absorbing more of the road than it needs to be. Lower pressures mean much more of the absorption happens in the tyre, which not only places your body under less strain, but also your wheels.

    Stability of the build: This refers to the quality of rims & spokes. Good quality/true rims (true at the point of manufacture), will allow for more even distribution of spoke tension. This reduces the maximum spoke tension at any point on the wheelset and thus reduces the risk of that spoke snapping.

     

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    Weight & riding style:

    This seems like such an obvious thing to say, but the way you behave when you ride is absolutely crucial to ensuring or maximising the longevity of your wheels. If your system weight (that is, the rider + the bike + any additional luggage) is 86kg, and you’re riding a wheelset with an 85kg upper limit, it does not mean they will instantly explode upon first riding them. It simply means that you should perhaps refrain from bunny-hopping off kerbs and hitting the gravel tracks with a menacing grin on your face. I am the primary tester of Hunt Bike Wheels, and by this I mean I ride in such an irresponsible way that I’ve a bit of a name for myself as being a dab hand at breaking things. On a serious level, though, it’s genuinely important for us to know where the limits are of our wheels out in the real world. We’re all keen riders across a number of disciplines here at Hunt, and so we make the wheels we want to be out riding on!

    We actually spoke to Cycling Weekly about rider weight limits on wheels, and this is probably worth a quick read before proceeding to the next section: http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/worry-wheelsets-weight-limit-287016

    What wheel would you recommend for a rider up to 90kg ?

    For riders south of 85/90kg, you can get away with a much lighter build of wheel, involving lower spoke counts and consequently lighter weight. As such, these wheels tend to have more of a focus on performance, owing to the nature (for the vast majority) of the kind of riders who would ride them.

    Rim-brake: Either of our carbon wheelsets; the 38 or 50Carbon Wide Aero. Or for aluminium options, the Race Aero and Race Aero Wide.

    Disc-brake: Our 30 or 50Carbon Aero Disc wheels. Or for aluminium, the Aero Light Disc.

    What wheel would you recommend for a rider up to 130kg ?

    For heavier riders, this is where the focus on performance needs to shift towards durability. Certain features of wheels included to maximise durability and longevity will necessitate a compromise on all-out performance, but it’s better to have a wheel built to match your needs, than a faster wheel that might not make the distance.

    Rim-brake:

    Our all-new Race Aero SuperDura wheelset has been designed to meet the needs of heavier riders who wish to minimise that compromise on performance. With cycling growing in popularity for riders of all shapes and sizes, we felt there was a gap in the market for a wheelset designed to be incredibly stiff and hard-wearing, but with a nod towards speed. Big guys are getting faster! They were actually designed following feedback from ex-Leicester pro rugby player, Will Johnson, who is a member of our Open Development team. He’s done his best to try, but he still hasn’t managed to break them or even knock them out of true! They are rated to a max weight of 130kg, which is exceptionally high by the industry’s standards – particularly for a wheelset designed with racing in mind. Another option is the 4Season Aero V2 wheels. These are rated to 115kg, owing to the lower spoke count (these are 24f/28r compared to the 28f/32r of the RA SuperDura), but feature our award-winning 4Season hubs, with great sealing on the bearings for year-round dependability.

    Disc-brake:

    Our 4Season Gravel Disc wheelset is one of the toughest I can think of. I couldn’t honestly tell you of a single example in the past of one of those wheels failing. They’re rated to 115kg, as are our new 30Carbon Gravel Disc. These feature the same super-wide, hookless carbon rims as the 30Carbon Aero Disc, however feature a 28f/28r spoke count (as opposed to 24f/24r) and also utilise our 4Season hubs. They’re a really impressive wheelset, and I’ll be riding on them for the 2017/2018 London X League season. There is no test on a wheelset’s limits than a season of cyclocross!

    What wheel would you recommend for a rider over 130kg ? 

    Whilst none of our wheels are aimed at riders over 130kg, this is a territory where, honestly, most would struggle to find an off-the-peg offering suited to their needs. Similar to exceptionally tall riders (6”5’ and over), it is here where it might be pertinent to consider custom hand-built wheels that will feature the necessary spoke counts/tensions to accommodate the weight (and consequent forces passing through the wheels).

    However, if you take some care with how you ride, and run as wide a tyre as you can fit in your frame (ideally 30mm+) and keep a close eye on your wheels for the early signs of wear you will still be able to get a good working life out of a pair of wheels such as the Race Aero Super-dura. Although we can’t guarantee the warranty on a wheelset that has been used over its system weight limit we will always try to be as fair and helpful to our customers as possible and we keep a good stock of spares to allow you to replace any damaged components.

    Are there any tips you could offer to stop my spokes breaking ?

    My big one is to run lower tyre pressures! We are big advocates of tubeless tyre technology here at Hunt, and one of the great benefits associated with this is that you can run much lower pressures without fearing a pinch flat (whereby the rim ‘pinches’ the inner tube against the ground). In some races during last year’s London X League I was running 15psi! Having said that just pay attention to ensure your tyres aren’t ‘bottoming out’ on bumps or drops so the rim hits the tyre. As well as causing snakebite punctures or tyre damage it can also put a ding or crack in your rims, so if you feel this starting to happen just increase the pressure by 5 or 10 psi and try again.

    Another big tip is to just be precautious with your wheels. A lot of time people will have spokes break and it’s down to the fact they haven’t been keeping an eye on the distribution of spoke tension in their wheels, which can change over time. A (very, very basic) way to check this at home is just to ping each spoke with your finger… if they feel different to one another, or make a distinctly different ‘pinging’ sound, then it’s worth having them checked over by a qualified professional.

    I’ve also included a couple of links to some material that make for good reading/watching for anybody who’d like to learn more about this sort of stuff, including the modern revelation of wider tyres (and consequent increases in air volume relative to pressure), wider rims and all the associated benefits:

    Hunt Bike Wheels is a brand under The Rider Firm, a company comprised of cyclists across different platforms and disciplines. It was founded by Tom & Pete Marchment (brothers) a few years ago, and we basically just seek to create the products we as riders would want to use. We look for unexplored gaps in the market (hence the Race Aero SuperDura, as well as our brand-new SuperDura Dynamo Disc wheelset) that we don’t think other companies are paying enough attention. We embrace modern wheel technologies such as tubeless-ready rims, lower tyre pressures, wider rims, etc. So we’re slightly ahead of the curve in some senses! We are a team of 12 now, but we’re always growing, and the guys would be glad to answer any questions your readers might have.

    We love to talk bikes and riding.

    Please speak to us or come and visit us at our Partridge Green HQ, bring your bike we have the Sussex lanes and South Downs on our doorstep.

    Email: Team@TheRiderFirm.CC

    +44 (0)1403 711813

    TheRiderFirm, 8 Huffwood, Partridge Green, Sussex, RH13 8AU, UK

    https://www.theriderfirm.cc

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: Theresa Peacock

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    NAME:  Theresa Peacock

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES? 'm aiming to organise rides all over the Nottingham area, the first one will either be from oxton to gunthorpe (cake stop) and back it from spoke and co ( great cakes and sausage rolls) out for 15-20 miles and back ( cakes at the end )

    FLAB social rides Newark/Nottingham

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR? I love what FLAB stands for getting people out cycling. All shapes, sizes and abilities. I'm not the fastest cyclist and you don't have to be to be out on a bike.Plus I love the clothing......

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    My fave cake Rocky road, yum yum

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    My dream cycling buddy has to be Mark Cavendish.... Very nice

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE?

    When riding on the road, be strong and ride confidently- you have as much right to be on the roads as the cars.

    Clip pedals - love em or hate em - my first experience - not good - fell off, oops and yes it hurt. It's taken me a while to get back in them. Gradually I'm getting there. Flat areas / great, Hills - not so confident. Practicing in trainers, but I plan on swapping over permanently by the end of the year.

    Gears - I've always struggled to get my head around gears, to the other halves despair. I now understand them better, more able to get up those hills although hills and I aren't the best of friends but I plan on taming them............ If I can do it anyone can!!

    I love a banana sarnie before a ride or porridge and a banana before a sportive ..... yep I like banana ?

     

     

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: Andrew Richley

    Andrew Richley

    NAME:  Andrew Richley

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES? Grantham and the surrounding area. FLAB social rides Newark/Nottingham

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR?

    A lot of larger people are put off road cycling because it can be a bit impenetrable. Talk of cadences, tyre pressures, cranks, hubs and other technical jargon can leave people behind. Coupled with trying to buy kit if you're a 'normal' person.
    I remember buying my first pair of XXXL cycling shorts online. Turned out a XXXL cyclist has a 40" waist.
    Then I found FLAB. Not only did they do comfy kit that fitted. They make me friends! Whether it's commuting back from the office, out on a ride or taking part in a sportive, if I'm cycling in FLAB kit I never fail to fall into cheerful conversation with people out on the road.
    I want to share that love of cycling and being sociable with people in and around my hometown.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    Coffee and Walnut.I'm compiling a book rating the Coffee and Walnut cakes of the British Isles.

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    in my dreams? Peter Sagan. He just seems ludicrously laidback and fun to be around. And if I could keep up with him I'd obviously be one hell of a cyclist!
    In reality, my dream cycling buddy is anyone who's happy to natter on the flat and wait for me at the top of next hill!

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE?

    If you've done any amount of cycling you'll have been given loads of advice, from how to tackle hills to fuelling properly and everything in between. Personally, just make sure you're enjoying it! That doesn't mean it shouldn't hurt sometimes - especially when there's a hill involved - but it's supposed to be fun!

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: Andrew Saxby

    Andrew Saxby

    NAME:  Andrew Saxby

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES? Newark and surrounding area FLAB social rides Newark/Notingham

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR? I applied because I love cycling and wanted to help others get into cycling in general and also socially. I only started cycling in the last 3 years myself so can relate to the newer riders and any worries they may have.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP? Got to be coffee and walnut cake!

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY? Mark Cavendish, the man is a machine and is a genuine nice guy.

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE? Don't give up!

     

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: ALAN ATKINS

    Alan Atkins

    NAME: Alan Atkins

    WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED ?

    I am the international FLambassador for the USA and live in Texas

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR?

    I applied to be a FLambassador because I love the message from FLAB! I think cycling is the best for of exercise there is. I feel strongly that I can be an example for thise who are scared to get out there. I love the fact that FLAB can laugh at itself, as I do about how I look. Life is too short. Maybe I can inspire someone to get outside. Maybe we can make people see how amazing they can feel with a place of inclusion. Body shame is not just a thing for females. FLAB is doing wonderful things to change that. I can't think of a better way to spread the word, than to be a FLambassador.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    I am a Texan, so I like my tea in a tall glass with a ton of ice. My favorite snack on a coffee stop is a double espresso and a chocolate croissant!

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    Robin Williams-Can you imagine spending a few hours in the saddle next to Mrs. Doubtfire? He was a truly gifted man and a huge cycling fan. He met tragedy far too soon.

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE?

    I have two:

    First-Do not use headphones/speakers on the bike. The loud music keeps you from hearing traffic around you. This puts you in unnecessary danger.

    The second-If you are just starting out, get a bike that fits. You will not get out and ride on a bike that isn't comfortable. A bike that is too large, or too stretched out will never be comfortable. The pros slam their stems. Fat Lads don't have too. Get a bike that fits and go ride it.It doesn't matter if you ride 2 miles, 20 miles, or 4 hours. You rode that much and that is a good day! Now go have some pie!

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: STEVE WADEY

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     NAME:   Steve Wadey

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES?  

    Derby and Derbyshire FLAB social rides Derbyshire

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR?

    I started cycling 14 years ago when my son was born. Even as I've ridden more, got fitter and lost 2 stone in weight, I know how hard it can be to pluck up the courage to find and join a group to ride with, knowing that you are likely to be the Fat Lad/Lass At the Back that they have to wait for going up hills. Going down hills. Going along the flat bits. I've also seen lots more people cycling locally since the boom in the sport, and wanted to find a way to get some of them together, to help them find a group that meets their needs, regardless of gender, size or fitness, but just never seen the opportunity. Until I saw the chance to apply to be a FLambassador.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    What do you mean just one? It would have to be either chocolate brownie, Victoria sponge or carrot cake. One (or two) of those three gives you an excellent baseline to compare one café against another. And I've done a lot of comparing over the years...

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    Sir Dave Brailsford. He used to live locally and every time I saw a British Cycling team car go past I would put in a big effort. I'd like to ride with him and get him to explain how he missed the chance to snap up the middle aged overweight talent that was right under his nose all those years.

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE?

    Enjoy it. Don't worry about how fast you can ride, how far you can ride, how much your bike did or didn't cost. Get out in the fresh air and ride. You will feel better for it, mentally and physically.

     

     

  • MEET THE FLAMBASSADORS 2017: BILL AND LOUISE SHAW

     

     

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    Bill and Louise Shaw

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES?

    Our rides will be around the Fylde coast and Preston area also taking in the Trough of Bowland. FLAB social rides Preston

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR?

    To inspire others to cycle and show it's a sport that can be enjoyed by all shapes and sizes. Ooohhh and of course the Flabulous cycling clothing just gives the finishing touch, and a brand to be proud of.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    Louise loves any cake to be honest, I'm rather partial to a nice carrot cake!

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    Louise says " Tom Hardy" Clearly for all the wrong reasons, Me it would have to be Sir Bradley Wiggins.

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE?

    Louise says " have a bike fit " and I'd say do a basic bike maintenance course, you'd be surprised how many simple quick tips and fixes you can pick up!

  • Meet the FLambassadors 2017: Emma Dickson

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    NAME:Emma Dickson

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES? Loughborough area FLAB social rides Loughborough

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR? I applied to be a FLambassador because I wanted to encourage more people to take up cycling and I love the Fat Lasses gear it makes me smile

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP? I love chocolate brownies.

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY? I would love to cycle with Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. He is well fit. I can imagine folks just looking at me calling him "Dave".

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE? Cycling advice should be taken with a pinch of salt. Just keep trying and enjoy! I find if I am in a bad mood or had a bad day it helps to clear my head and put a smile on my face.

  • Meet the FLambassadors 2017: Garry Ingham

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    NAME:  Garry Ingham

    WHERE WILL YOU BE ORGANISING SOCIAL RIDES? Portsmouth ,Hampshire

    FLAB social rides Hampshire

    WHY DID YOU APPLY TO BE A FLAMBASSADOR?

    I applied because I have seen first hand how cycling can help body and mind.  I want to encourage people get out and about on their bike no matter what size or fitness level.

    FAVOURITE CAKE AT THE TEA STOP?

    Red velvet cake is a must. Or if it's cold a bacon butty with brown sauce.

    WHO IS YOUR DREAM CYCLING BUDDY?

    Famous would be Jenson button. He's just started triathlon and follow him on strava. Non famous person would be Nigel my current cycling buddy. We've had some great times and some bad times and he's always been there to help, on and off the bike

    BEST TIP OR PIECE OF CYCLING ADVICE? Get a seat designed for your bum. Nothing worse then going for a long ride and it's rock hard seat is giving you a numb bum. Tip 2. This is by far my favourite. Get a top tub bag and fill it with harribo sweets. You have sugar on demand and who doesn't love harribo.

     

     

  • Review - Ultra-Distance Cycling: An Expert Guide to Endurance Cycling

    The beauty of this book is that you learn a great deal more about every day cycling than the title suggests. It's not only about Ultra Distance Cycling but covers many of the things that you need when nipping out for your Sunday jaunt. Nutrition, Hydration, power vs HR training, bike fit, etc, so many chapters full of useful tit-bits to help the novice cyclist as much as the Ultra Distance nut-case!

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    A really great read that inspires you to find the time (one of the chapters) regardless of your schedule and leaves no stone unturned in understanding everything about man/woman and bike. Simon and Dominic have done a great job.

    "To break a cycling record at the age of 47 meant Dominic Irvine had to challenge the accepted wisdom of the day in order to achieve what many thought impossible. As his coach, Simon Jobson left no stone unturned in his quest to hep Dominic and his tandem riding partner Charlie Mitchell reach the level of performance needed to set a new cycling record. Helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary results is a core philosophy of my team’s approach to cycling."

    Buy the book here!

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