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Ask A Mechanic: Do wider tires let me carry more load?

Posted October 11th, 2010

DSC_2298.JPGEver wondered what difference a slightly wider tire makes when you are touring?

Does it let you carry a heavier load? Does it help to make the ride smoother?

That’s exactly what one reader asked us, so we got Marten Gerritsen, who runs his own bike building workshop M-gineering in Holland, to answer the question.

Read more: tire width and the difference it makes when bike touring.

It’s the latest article in our Ask A Mechanic series.

Posted in Ask A Mechanic

Ask A Mechanic: How to check and reduce rim wear?

Posted March 8th, 2010

rimwearThe rims of your bike’s wheels are one of the more likely things you’ll have to replace – possibly during a tour.

To save difficulties during your bike trip, make sure your rims are in good shape before you set out.

In this week’s Ask-A-Mechanic, Paul Gibson of British framebuilders Ellis Briggs dishes out information on how to tell if your rims might need replacing soon and how to make them last longer.

Read more about checking for rim wear and making your rims last longer – the latest in the Ask A Mechanic series.

Posted in Ask A Mechanic

Ask A Mechanic: Protecting Your Bike Frame From Chips And Scratches

Posted February 24th, 2010

helicopter tapeWe’ve all been there. You park your bike up against a wall, turn around and…. boom! It falls to the ground.

That’s how we managed to put most the scratches on our bicycles at least. But if we’d listened to the advice of Chris in this week’s Ask A Mechanic feature, we might have kept the paint job on our bikes in better shape. The secret? Helicopter tape.

Never heard of it? Read on to find out more about protecting your bicycle frame from chips and scratches. And don’t forget to get in touch to submit a question of your own to Ask A Mechanic.

Posted in Ask A Mechanic

Ask A Mechanic: How To Fix A Cracked Bike Frame

Posted February 10th, 2010

Discovering a crack in your bike frame in the middle of a tour is always worrying.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen that often but when it does, what can you do, to stop the crack widening? And will you have to abandon your trip?

Framebuilder Marten Gerritsen, who runs M-gineering in Holland, shares some tips on how to stop a cracked frame from getting worse and where to get it repaired, if there are no bicycle specialists in the area.

Read more in: What should I do if my frame breaks during a trip?

This is the latest question in our new Ask A Mechanic series. Have a question of your own? Share it with us and we’ll get the experts to answer it in a future post.

Posted in Ask A Mechanic

Ask A Bicycle Mechanic

Posted January 26th, 2010

dsc_4541.jpgWe have a new feature here on the site: the chance to ask a bike mechanic all those questions you’ve been saving up.

Ready to answer are framebuilders and bike shop owners, all with some touring experience. So send us your questions and we’ll submit them to the experts.  This week, we tackle the question of chain wear.

How do you tell if your chain is worn and are some chains stronger than others? Read on to find out.

Posted in Ask A Mechanic