A hardtail mountain bike is considered as the workhorse when it comes to mountain and cross country riding. It is an excellent adventure bike for long rides and bike packing.
Are you tired of the same old trail? Riding a hardtail bike can give you the adventure and challenge you need.
If you are looking for a durable and efficient machine you can ride anywhere and everywhere; there’s no reason to look further than a hardtail bike.
Choosing a Mountain Bike: Why Hardtail?
A hardtail is an all-terrain and extremely versatile mountain bike. It has no rear shock and is designed with a front suspension. With all of its characteristics, there are a lot of reasons why a hardtail mountain bike would be the best choice for entry level bikers and experienced cyclists alike.
For Entry Level and Beginners
If you are looking for a first bike to use as you delve into cycling, a hardtail bike can be an excellent choice. It is among the most versatile bike, something you can efficiently use in different kinds of terrain.
If you are still a beginner in biking, a hardtail bike will also be easy to go around with since it’s easier to look after and requires less maintenance than other huge bikes.
In this mountain bike, there’s no pedal bob which means you won’t waste power and effort through the movement of the rear shock. Whether you are riding in plain pavements or off-road, a decent hardtail can be a nice starting mountain bike.
For Experienced Cyclists and Riders
When it comes to mountain biking, a hardtail will bring you back to the heart of the sport. Without the rear suspension that helps save you whenever you make a mistake throughout the ride, trail riding becomes more adventurous and challenging. It will now be all about your body position and your riding technique.
Using a hardtail can help improve your cycling ability and technique. It will allow you to be more focused on adjusting your body and choosing your lines more carefully.
The narrow tires of hardtail bikes also make it especially best to use for winter training.
Types of Hardtail
There are a lot of bike types, and each type consists of even larger sub-category which makes choosing the best quite a tedious manner. For hardtail bikes, there are also different types available. Each of them are designed fora distinct use or discipline.
Here are the different types of hardtail bikes you can choose from.
With the increasing growth of cross and hybrid mountain bikes these days as well as the increased availability of top-notch suspension components at a much cheaper price, there are far lesser hardtails with rigid forks you can find.
However, they still exist and might even be an excellent choice depending on the purpose you have in mind. This type of hardtail is much lighter compared to its front suspension counterpart which makes it an excellent choice for light off-road surfaces like canal paths.
This type of mountain bikes is specially designed to have a higher volume and significantly wider tires that are originally intended to be used in the snow and sand. With its larger and wider tires, fat bikes have more grip on loose surfaces and can be a great alternative to that front suspension if you know how to do it. Its softer tires are also excellent for protection from trail vibrations.
Trail hardtail bikes are considered the all-around hardtail bike. It has shorter stems, a gear range, wider bars, 100 to 150 mm front travel, and more relaxed angles.
Trail hardtails are specially designed to provide enough suspension when riding downhill without being too saggy that it can compromise its climbing ability. This type of hardtail bike is the most common for beginners and would be a great choice if you are still trying to get around in cycling. You can take it anywhere in style.
XC or cross country hardtail bikes are designed to combine fast riding and endurance. Cross country riding involves rolling single tracks, different kinds of terrains, and long-distance routes, and XC hardtail bikes are equipped to be used in such cases.
An XC hardtail bike has narrow tires and bars, high-gear range, a steep head tube angle, and a 75 to 100 mm front suspension. All these features make up for the need to have a stretched riding position in an XC bike for a comfortable ride even for long periods.
Simply put, XC hardtail bikes are a machine made to be highly capable of going downhill but something that can also make a fast ride uphill.
Related Topic: 10 Facts About Arch Support and Cushioning for Hiking
Electric hardtail bikes have become quite popular in the recent years. You can now find a lot of options if you want an electric hardtail for off-road riding. It might have some extra weight, but its pedal-assisted motor can compensate well with that by still giving the boost you need in efficiently climbing hills.
Electric hardtail bikes can give you an additional power to ride faster and further, allowing you to explore even previously inaccessible trails.
This type of hardtail is a race discipline mountain bike. It focuses more on the decent riding in off-road trails with its increased level at 140 to 170 mm front travel combined with a long wheelbase, shorter stems, and a long top tube. These features make the Enduro an aggressive riding machine that offers brilliant rider control even at high speeds.
This type of hardtail works similarly with downhill and gravity bikes.
5 Reasons to Further Choose a Hardtail
Hardtail bikes can be used by everyone, from novice cyclist to pro and more adventurous bikers. There are simply a lot of reasons why a hardtail mountain bike is an excellent choice.
It Can Make You a Smoother Rider
Going over the same trails can be boring for most experienced riders. However, riding a hardtail can give you the adventure you need by bouncing over rocks and roots, creating a new-found flow for a smoother or a teeth-rattling ride. It can simply make old trails more interesting.
Without the rear shock and pivots, the hardtail bike is much lighter which makes it easier to use from bunny hopping to climbing various terrains.
It’s Much Efficient to Use on Climbs
Without the suspension bob, all power output goes to the wheel which makes it more efficient to use on climbs. Your effort won’t get wasted.
With lesser parts and components compared to full-suspension bikes, hardtails are not only much lighter, but they are also cheaper.
Riding a hardtail bike can give you a new look to the old trails you usually go for. It’s great for beginner cyclists as well as for pro and more experienced bikers alike.
Moreover, it’s perfect for cross country, off-road, and other various terrains. Plus, a hardtail mountain bike is more affordable than its other counterparts – a better drivetrain for your money.
I find hiking as a great way to de-stress and stay in shape. It is also an avenue to meet new friends and build long-lasting relationships.
However, one should be able to commune with nature and enjoy these benefits without sacrificing the health of the feet.
So, having proper arch support and cushioning in your shoes protect your feet while hiking.
If you want to learn more about proper arch support and cushioning for hiking, then here are ten facts to get you more acquainted about it.
What Is a Foot’s Arch and Why Does It Need to Be Supported
A foot’s arch is the convex part in the middle of the foot between the ball and the heel. Similar to a meticulously designed bridge, the arch provides stability to the foot. Its measurements differ from person to person.
In fact, your feet do not have the same sizes of arches. A foot’s arch could move and transform as one grows older. It is quite possible that your feet’s arches have changed from the time you were still a small child up to now.
You need to have the arches of your feet supported because they bear so much pressure when you walk, run, or jump. In fact, you may not notice it, but your feet’s arches take a lot of damage every day.
This is true, especially when hiking. Without sufficient arch support, the feet are at risk of getting injured.
How to Know if You Need Arch Support and Cushioning
Some people complain about pain in their feet without knowing what actually causes it. I’ve found out that one of the leading causes of foot ache is improper or insufficient arch support and cushioning on the footwear.
The possibility of the feet’s arches collapsing could happen anytime because of lack of arch support. When that happens, chronic foot pain begins. Arch collapse is also called flat feet, and it brings a lot of issues to the sufferer.
To determine whether you have flat feet and that you need more arch support, simply wet your feet then step on a piece of paper. Step off it at once and observe the shape of your feet left on the paper. If the outline looked fuller than you expect, then it’s likely that you have collapsed arches. That is because almost your whole feet touched the ground.
What Happens When You Leave Your Arch Without Support
Leaving your feet’s arches unsupported brings a lot of health risks. For one, you could soon develop a continuing discomfort every time you take a walk. It may also soon develop into a stinging pain on the ankles and heels whenever you put pressure on them.
Arch collapse also makes your feet tire quickly or make their inner sides swell. Back and leg pain could soon follow if the problem is not fixed. That is why I purchased new foot insoles as soon as I noticed a trace of discomfort while hiking.
Why You Should Immediately Know if You Need New Shoe Insoles
Early discovery is key to prevent having an arch collapse or flat feet. The earlier you realize that your foot arches are getting worn down, then the earlier you get to correct them. For instance, if for only a few minutes of hiking, your feet felt tired and beaten already, then you are likely not getting enough arch support and cushioning from your shoes.
You should try to fix it at once to avoid further trouble once you notice this issue.
What Is a Fallen Foot Arch and How Does It Happen
Fallen foot arch or fallen arch is just another term for arch collapse or flat feet. These terms refer to the same thing and are interchangeable.
Some people have this condition but do not develop any foot ache, so they do not have a problem with it. However, there are those who are in lingering pain that the symptoms already have a harmful effect on their lives.
I initially experienced a little throbbing pain in the inner sides of my left foot. As I continued to hike, I then began to feel it on my right foot. That is when I knew something was wrong.
Fallen arch happens when the tendons on the foot arch do not work properly anymore. This is caused by sustained strain acquired from prolonged walking, running, or jumping without the adequate arch support and cushioning.
Indeed, these aspects of wearing footwear could easily be overlooked.
What Is Pronation and How Does It Affect Foot Arch
Pronation refers to the natural movement of your feet as you walk or run. It describes the way your feet roll inward with each stride or gait to evenly distribute the force between the ground and your feet.
There are three kinds of pronation: normal pronation, overpronation, and underpronation (or supination). The last two create the issues.
In overpronation, the inner side of the foot takes more of the stress. People whose soles wear out under the ball and inside the heel of the foot first are overpronators. It’s the opposite for underpronators, as the outer side of the shoes wears out first than the rest of the sole.
Neutral pronators deteriorate their soles more evenly.
Overpronation is more related to flat feet. Overpronators drive their foot arches downward and inward more severely. I am an overpronator, and with my type of gait, I have the risk of developing a number of foot conditions, including tarsal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis, without proper arch support.
Can Arch Support Help Reduce Foot-Related Injuries?
Scientific studies are reporting that arch support does not reduce the risk of foot-related injuries per se.
However, these researchers also say that sufficient arch support and cushioning do help the feet during the recovery process after a long hike, and also in relieving pain caused by collapsed arches.
Therefore, while arch support is not necessarily a direct treatment to flat feet, it is still important when it comes to helping your feet recover or heal faster after taking a beating.
Benefits of Arch Support and Cushioning When Hiking
There are lots of benefits to having proper arch support and cushioning when hiking. These are the following:
- Gives balance and stability – Arch support provides balance and stability as you tread through uneven terrain. Your shoes need sufficient cushioning when walking on large, sharp rocks or small pebbles.
- Helps disperse pressure – Arch support breaks ups the pressure of your weight evenly on both your feet and helps correct your posture while walking. Good cushioning allows you to walk longer without feeling any discomfort.
- Eases foot pain – Enough arch support and cushioning on your footwear help relieve pain on your feet. Sore feet make it hard for you to complete all of your daily tasks.
- Provides foot care and protection – Having proper cushioning and arch support are part of caring for your feet. The feet are some of the most overlooked parts of the body when it comes to healthcare. Not many people realize its importance until they lose its complete wellness.
How to Choose the Right Arch Support and Cushioning for Hiking
Having the right insoles helped a lot to improve my hiking experience. It made me feel more comfortable despite walking long distances, which in turn made the whole trip more enjoyable.
When choosing insoles, I tend to pick ones that provide a balance between support and cushioning. An insole that is too soft does not correct my feet’s pronation, thus leaving it aching after a long hike as well. So, the right balance between the two would be wonderful.
People with high foot arches use high-volume arch supports. These insoles are ideal for large footwear such as hiking boots. Medium-volume arch supports are appropriate for athletic shoes and can be used for any arch shape. Meanwhile, if your feet have low arch profiles, then low-volume arch supports are ideal.
How to Properly Take Care of Your Feet’s Arches
Taking care of the foot’s arch is essentially taking care of the entire foot. Every day, check your feet for bumps, bruises, wounds, or swelling. Check your toenails for any infection. Wash them daily with soap and warm water.
I moisturize my feet daily by putting on lotion. However, I don’t apply anything in between my toes as they are sensitive parts that are prone to infection when moist.
Also, I only wear the right fitting shoes. Whenever possible, I avoid wearing flip-flops or flat shoes because they do not give enough arch support and cushioning.
Experts say that you burn more calories during hiking, but the question is, how does this happen? What is so special about a long walk in the woods that it aids in calorie burning?
I’ve always been a big fan of the great outdoors. My dad always took me with him to trails since I was small. Little did I know, my childhood habit gave me lots of benefits that continue to help me now in adulthood.
As an answer to the questions mentioned above, here are ten reasons why hiking makes you burn more calories.
1. Easy to Start Doing and Becomes a Continuing Habit
Hiking is a combination of exercise and recreation. You could definitely make it a hobby. However, unlike other hobbies, the beautiful thing about this activity is that it is easy to get into.
You don’t need to collect anything or buy a lot of gear to enjoy doing it — you only need nature and a good pair of shoes, and you are good to go.
Okay, maybe not just those things, but you get the point. Since it is quite easy to start, you avoid procrastinating, and once you do get into the habit of hiking, you’d end up wanting to do it over and again.
2. Provides More Satisfaction Than Other Forms of Exercise
For me, hiking is one of the most satisfying forms of exercise. Whether I do it alone or with a group, hitting the trails has always been more fun and exciting than traditional indoor workouts. Plus, I get to bring my camera to take videos and pictures to document my experience.
You get to commune with nature when hiking, and you get to see things that you do not usually see in an urban setting. Studies say that hiking activates the body’s pleasure hormones, such as the endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.
Since hiking is enjoyable, you tend to do it longer. Thus, you burn more calories during hiking. Some people even hike and camp for days or weeks at a time. When you love the experience, you forget about time and tend to continue even if you are already tired.
3. Combines Both Cardio Workout and Strength Training
Cardio workouts allow the body to burn more calories depending on the intensity. The more you weigh, the more calories you are going to burn during cardio. It is an effective way to lose weight.
Meanwhile, strength training lets the body burn more calories daily. Lifting weights build the muscles, and a well-built muscle system intensifies the body’s metabolism even while at rest. This increase in resting metabolism makes you burn more calories accumulatively throughout the day.
I get both the benefits of cardio and weights training in hiking, and I hit almost every part of my body when walking, running, and jumping. Whether I walk through a forest or run along a wide trail uphill, my heart gets all the cardio it needs. Carrying my heavy backpack while climbing up a hill gives my muscles all the weight training they need. The result: more calories burned per hiking trip plus an increase in metabolism.
Related Topic: Best Hiking Sandals
4. Slower Pace Allows Body to Burn More Fat, Thus Burn More Calories
Of the three macronutrients, fats have the highest calorie count for the same amount of protein or carbohydrates.
Burning more calories than consuming them is the secret to losing weight. You don’t have to run to make hiking enjoyable.
Walking at a slow pace, with the ability to still converse with your hiking partner, burns lots of calories as well. Actually, a slow pace makes the body stay in its fat-burning zone longer.
Strolling while enjoying the scenery around me tend to make my stamina last longer between rests. Burning more fat equals burning calories as well.
5. Climbing Assaults Boost the Body’s Calorie Burning Capacity
A satisfying hike is never complete without going up on small hills or inclines – or as what hikers refer to as assaults. According to experts, this seemingly simple joy of walking uphill helps increase the body’s calorie burning capacity.
The same is true when you hop on and off dead tree trunks or lunge into a squat to peek under large rocks or bushes. These temporary boosts in energy make you burn more calories even as you continue to walk for the next few minutes. It all adds up and so as a whole, you burn more calories during hiking than doing traditional exercises.
6. Engages Your Entire Body and Pushes It to Exert More Effort
One benefit of hiking as a form of exercise is that it engages the whole body. Unlike using a treadmill or a stationary bike, hiking is unpredictable and provides a consistent exercise. This maximizes the body’s capacity to burn calories.
I notice that every time I hike, almost all the important body parts that I want to be worked out in the gym gets sore. My core, quads, hamstrings, and calves all become sore, which indicates a good workout. The lower back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps also hurt from lifting myself off rocks and climbing trees. Everything I do in a hike challenges the body in ways that could never be replicated inside a gym.
7. Increases Metabolism to Help Burn More Calories Even While Sleeping
All the physical exertion you do when hiking contributes to the increase in your overall metabolism. According to the journal titled Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise released by the American Council for Sports Medicine, high-intensity workouts improve the body’s calorie burning capacities even after the exercise is over.
I read in a Livestrong article that a 45-minute high-intensity hiking session burns an extra 190 calories afterward. Metabolism surges and the boosted calorie burning capabilities of the body continue for the next 14.2 hours and goes on for the first three-and-a-half hours of sleep.
8. Backpack Load Contributes to Improve Calorie Burning
The weight of your backpack causes you to burn more calories during hiking. Carrying a light pack for a one-day trip burns about 50 to 100 more calories than a hike without a load. Bringing supplies for longer trek burns even more, which is somewhere around 200 more calories every hour.
While I hike around two to three times each week, I do not always bring any load with me. Once or twice, I only bring a light day pack. I try to carry heavier loads once every two weeks just to vary the challenge.
9. Terrain Variety Makes Hiking More Challenging
The kind of terrain you trek also contributes a lot as to how much calories you can burn during the activity.
However, since the terrain is variable, there is no specific formula or computation on how much more calories you can burn on specific types of topography.
You cannot simply say that walking on a flat, pebbly land burns more calories than hiking on flat, grassy plains. The only thing certain is that treading uphill burns more calories than walking on flat areas.
Aside from changing backpack loads, I also try to vary the types of terrain I hike every week. For me, the variation not only adds to the fun but also makes it more unpredictable.
Unpredictability helps the muscles burn more calories than going through an exact routine every time. Moreover, as a disclaimer, consult with your healthcare provider first to make sure you are physically ready for hiking.
10. Exercising in the Cold Encourages More Calorie Burning
According to studies, the body uses more energy trying to stay warm during cold weather. Thus it burns more calories when you go out and hike. Of course, no one in their right mind would intentionally go on trails during the winter time with only light clothes on. Always make it a habit to be dressed appropriately for a hike.
Plus, the added clothing worn during hikes helps in burning calories than working out in light attire while indoors.
The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight healthily, then hiking could be the ideal exercise for you. Working out in nature not only provides an excellent whole-body workout, but it is also a fun social activity with your friends and loved ones. I hope you now better understand why you burn more calories during hiking.
Getting the proper bike size should be among your top considerations when buying a ride. It is almost like a relationship. You can test out other road bikes in the shop–well, almost like a date. However, in the end, you have to choose the one that is most compatible, the one that isn’t a pain to be with every day. And yeah, the one that is worth the bucks.
It isn’t about just the looks, too. Sure, a red-and-gold shiny beast of a bike can give you that extra psychological and mental power. Add the pressure of living up to the high expectations of envious onlookers, and you’ll have the will to pedal faster (while they’re still looking, of course).
However, whether you want a bike simply for transportation or for racing as a hobby, the love for cycling begins with personally enjoying your bike.
How to Get the Right Bike Size
There are two basic ways you can get an appropriately sized bike: first, you can do it by yourself; and secondly, you can be properly fitted at a store by a professional technician.
Whichever way you opt to do, be conscious and careful of the measurements that are being taken.
1. Doing the Measurements by Yourself
If you are constricted by time or have to order abroad, it’s also possible to simply make the measurements yourself and determine your bike size from there.
Here are the basic measurements you should be taking accurately:
- Arm length – measure from the center of your fist to the tip of your collarbone
- Torso length – measure from the V-shaped angle below your neck (the sternum) to your crotch
- Leg inseam – measure from your crotch to your foot
The inseam is usually the most used. For road bikes, it’s also a general rule of thumb to give 1-2 inches of allowance to achieve a comfortable clearance for the top tube. Mountain or commuter bikes get 2-4 inches of clearance.
To ensure that you’ll get the right top tube length for you, you can apply the following formula (use inches):
(torso length + arm length) / 2 = x
x – 6 = top tube length
Simply add your torso length and arm length. Divide the sum by two. Subtract six from the answer. This is ideally how far your seat should be from the handlebars.
There are helpful standardized charts out there too.
Please note that your “right size” will not only be based on your body measurements. This may change according to your skill, perceived comfort, injury, and body weight. If you feel like your body changed since the last time you bought a bike, it may be best to take new measurements or get a professional fitting.
The measurements stated above are exclusively for road bikes. Mountain bikes will need different measurements.
2. Getting Fitted at a Store
As much as possible, it’s always better to get fitted at a store and by an expert. Testing out a bike in person will let you have the overall feel of how it would be to take this bike on the road. It is also advised that you test out the bikes wearing your cycling attire and even your shoes and cleats. Wearing other clothing like jeans could feel uncomfortable.
Aside from the bike frame, other parts like the height of the seat post and stem will also matter. So, while you’re at the store, you can look for other parts and customize your bike to get as much comfort as you can.
Here are some measurements that you should take into account:
- Handlebar width
- Stem length and height
- Grip/ grip tape diameter
- Crank length
- Brake lever position
- Saddle length
- Shoe and cleat adjustments
Remember that it’s all right to take time to try out the bikes in the store. You will actually do the salespeople more favor by not returning five days later and bugging them all over again. But it’s also your right to take advantage of the return policy (ask if there’s one!) if you think you need some modifications.
Why Is It Important to Get the Proper Bike Size?
Some male bikers won’t admit it, but they feel that frame size is related to one’s masculinity. The bigger the bike, the more power its rider seems to have. It’s almost the same psychology that lets you feel more awed with a man riding a bear than a man riding a pony. But hey, we’re talking about road bikes here! A big or pretty bike is only like arm candy. If you want to go far and fast, you’ll want to think beyond just having an ego boost.
If you are a newbie trying out cycling, you’ll likely to be more dedicated if you find your ride comfortable. The happier you are on your bike, the more you’d like to spend on and with it. If you are an amateur or an athlete, your experience will tell you exactly the same.
You have to remember that your “short rides” is probably going to last at least three hours. A few hours of stiff hunching will only bring you injury, and worse, an aversion to going cycling next time.
Entangled with comfort is efficiency. The two are almost inseparable. But getting the right bike size is more than just about the frame. In fact, the most basic thing to look at when you’re getting the right bike size is also getting the correct saddle height.
The general rule is that when your leg is fully extended at the bottom of the pedal, you ought to have a slight bend in the knee.
If the saddle is too high, you’ll be unstable as you’ll need to rock from side to side on your seat to reach the pedals. If your saddle is too low, you won’t be able to maximize your leg power.
In addition, you’ll also want to consider your reach to the handlebar. Nowadays, many road bikes are sized from the seat post to the stem (top tube length) rather than the seat tube length. You know you’re getting the right frame size when you’re not too stretched or too hunched out. In short, you must be comfortable while reaching the handlebar.
Some city cyclists opt for smaller frames because it gives them more control. This enables them to navigate more easily and more flexibly between traffic.
Control, like the perception of comfort, is subjective.
The lighter the bike, the faster” seems to be a popular notion. However, it seems to be nothing but a myth according to some. And that’s good to know especially if one is stupidly considering to get a smaller frame if it means a lighter bike.
A drop of two to three pounds may cost you hundreds of bucks, but on the road, it means almost nothing but a few seconds. When dealing with weight, think instead of its effect on your comfort rather than on speed. Does a heavier bike feel more bulky or stable? Does a lighter bike feel fast or flimsy?
The bicycle is the fastest human-powered form of transportation. Mechanically, 99 percent of the energy exerted by the rider is transferred to the wheels. And as low-carbon impact concerns rise in popularity along with healthy lifestyles, bicycles are growing more and more in demand. Not only are they used by athletes, but by average people for its original intended purpose: transportation.
The more time you spend on your bike, the more it will feel like a friend. But when you’re out riding, the bike needs to feel almost like an extension of your body. And that would only be achievable when you commit to getting the right road bikes size for you.
The bicycle chain is one of the essential components of your bike. However, most people take the chain for granted.
If you want to save some money from buying a new bicycle, it is imperative for you to know how to repair, or at least fix, it. You must also know how to take good care of the bike chain, or else, be ready for the replacement cost.
If your bike needs another chain, these are the steps for proper chain attachment.
8 Steps for Replacing Worn Out or Damaged Chain
- Remove the Damaged Chain. You need to use a chain tool to push one pin out of the chain strands. However, if you find a chain link or two that can be squeezed, you can press them together to cut the chain quickly.
- Clean the Bike Cassette. It is a brilliant move to check as well the integrity of the bike cassette, including the chainrings. A worn out cassette is easy to spot as it looks like a shark’s tooth than a steering ring. Always remember, there’s no point of fitting a brand new chain into a damage cog.
- Thread the Brand New Chain. This step will require you to shift down your bike to the smallest chainring and sprocket. Then, thread the new chain over the front derailleur case. Pull the chain and coil it to the rear cassette before completely belting the top rider wheel on the derailleur.
- Measure the Appropriate Length. You need to measure and cut the chain appropriately to ensure a snappy ride. To do this, you must place the new chain around the smallest chainring and sprocket. You have to pull both ends of the bike chain to set it below the chainstay. Always remember to connect an internal link to an external joint.
- Cut the Chain. This step requires a chain tool. Experts recommend that the chain’s open tip must face backward. After measuring the perfect size of the chain, drop the excess link in between the jaws of the chain tool to have a clean cut.
- Add the Pin. Included in the package of your new bicycle chain is a joining pin. Use the pointed end of the joining pin to slot the tip of the chain. Make sure to do this with the bike facing the drive side. Just push the joining pin to hold the chain together on both ends.
- Push to Fix the Pin. Place the linked pins to the chain tool. You need to screw the handle down to push the pin back to its home. As the chain turns its surface even, it will become easy for you to manipulate the handle. Make sure to perform this step with utmost care; otherwise, the chain of your bike will not have a fine flush.
- Finishing Touches. Before you get out for another ride, make sure to check the link that you’ve joined. Make sure that it can move freely. If you find some problems on the pin, you need to reattach the chain tool and give some push to ensure that there are no protruding angles.
These are the steps that you must follow to have a safe chain replacement. Before asking for the bike chain prize, make sure that you have read these guides.
5 Guides for Safely Removing Damaged Bike Chain
- Start Securing Your Bike. In removing the damaged chain, make sure that your bike is in a fixed position. A bicycle rack with hooks is recommended or a firm stand, but if you prefer to turn your bike upside down, it is just fine. You can use either of the two but never rely only on the kickstand if you want a safe fix.
- Look for the Master Link. If you want to replace a worn out chain the fast way, make sure to locate first the master link. The chain’s master link is a unique joint with a slot or pin adjustment knob that enables you to manipulate the swing of the chain.
- Proper Chain Positioning. The appropriate positioning of the chain is the key to easy removal of the master link. Just try to imagine how difficult it is to remove the master link if it lies along the teeth of the bike chain or gear.
- Clean the Chain. To ensure that the newly attached chain will roll longer, you must thoroughly clean the derailleur. You can use a rag with degreaser to clean the rear and front derailleurs. If you do not have a degreaser, you can use isopropyl alcohol or paint thinner as alternatives.
- Time to Remove the Old Chain. You can do this by squeezing both ends of the master link inward until the pin detaches from its slots.
If you are asking “how to change a bike chain without a chain tool?” Do not worry because you can do this by just using your bare hands.
Remember to follow these guides so that it will be easier for you to fit the new chain. Also, these steps will make the next chain attachment faster and safer.
4 Tips on How to Determine if the Chain Needs a Replacement
Not everyone knows the appropriate time to replace a bike’s chain. Some bikers do not even know the signs of a poor chain. Just consider the following ways of assessing the chain’s status.
- Spot the Difference. The easiest way of knowing if your bike already has a worn out chain is to look at it thoroughly. Look for any deformities or cracks. When you see a lot of uneven pins, it’s time to consider replacing the chain.
- Power of Ruler. From a base pin, measure 12 complete chain links. To do this, you need to put pressure on the chain to get an accurate result. If the distance between the 12-inch mark and the link pin does not reach 1/16 inches, the chain is fine. However, if the length exceeds 1/16 inches, you must change the chain as soon as possible.
- Techy Way. If you can afford an expensive chain wear indicator tool, you must acquire one for accurate assessment. As its name suggests, this tool will conveniently provide you with information regarding the status of the chain of your bike. The indicator will let you know if it is time to buy a new set of bike chain.
- Eye Measurement. This is another easy method of assessing the chain of your bike. You can make a safe assumption after placing the chain on the outer chainring and then lifting the chain from the middle. If you see that the link is raised more than half of a link, then the chain needs immediate replacement.
3 Tips for Providing Best Care to Your Bike Chain
- Regular Cleaning and Lube. This is the best method to prolong the optimum performance of the bike chain. You must regularly clean the chain using a chain cleaner and also don’t forget to lubricate each roller and link.
- Filter Degreaser. Make sure that no traces of degreaser will spread into the bottom bracket of your bicycle. Spots of degreaser deposit will cause stripping of the grease that will result in additional problems.
- Maintain After Every Wet Ride. Another tip to extend the life of the chain is to clean it after passing through wet roads. Always remember that traces of water will cause rust and corrosion to your bike.
These are the steps to make sure that you’ll do the perfect chain replacement. So, if you want to have the best ride of your life, start from a proper bicycle chain attachment.
Properly adjusted bike gears will always make your ride better. Unfortunately, not all bikers know the proper way of configuring their bicycle gears.
Now, if you want to know the proper procedures in adjusting gears, continue reading.
9 Steps for Proper Adjustment and Shifting of Gears
- Start by Raising the Bike. Lifting your bike to a fixed point is vital in cleaning bicycle gears and chains, more so when you’re making the adjustment. The proper way of raising your bike is by using a bike stand. However, if you don’t have one, you can turn the bike upside down. Just make sure that the bike rests on the handlebars.
- Find the Derailleurs. You also need to locate the derailleurs of your bike. The derailleur is the mechanism that enables your bicycle to shift gears and maintains the position of the bike chain as well. Check the one attached to the back cassette and the smaller derailleur lying near the pedal for the appropriate adjustment.
- Test Each Gear for Any Shifting Error. Lightly pedal the bicycle using your hand and engage the different gears. Check the bike gears starting from the back derailleur. Shift to the top gear and then down to the next. You can easily spot problems with the gears when you notice a chain or link slipping out of the derailleurs.
- Check the Cable Adjusters. To find the cable adjusters, trace the cables going to the derailleurs. Cable adjuster resembles tiny nuts or drums enclosing the cable. Usually, there are two adjustments attached to a bike, one resting on the handlebars and the other is at the derailleur’s tip. Cable adjusters allow you to make fine tunings to the gears.
- Shift to the Problematic Gear. This step will diagnose what gear has defects. Pedal the bike using one hand and then shift to the other gears. Some of the common gear glitches include stuck chain, gear skips, and trouble staying in a particular gear. If you observe one of these, stop shifting the bike and start fixing.
- Loosen the Cable Adjuster. You cannot make any adjustments on the gears if the bicycle’s chain does not move to lower gears. To fix this, loosen the cable adjuster by rotating it counterclockwise. Just make sure to turn the adjuster slowly so that it will properly fall into the correct gear.
- Tighten the Cable Adjuster for Shifting Glitch. If you encounter a problem in shifting your bike to another gear, the solution lies with the cable adjuster. You can tighten the cable adjuster by turning it clockwise. After doing this, the chain will engage naturally to the lower and upper gears.
- Dry Run All the Gears by Shifting Up and Down. You can check the integrity of your work by shifting the chain up and down. Just make sure to shift to every gear and that all the derailleurs follow the swings.
- Take a Short Ride to Spot Problems. After shifting all the gears by hand, you must finish the job by taking a short ride. This is very important because there are reported cases of bicycle anomalies when subjected to weight. Just have a short trip, note any problem or oddity, and then make the necessary adjustment on the gears.
Just follow these steps to make sure that the gears of your bike are fit. Always remember that properly adjusted gears will take you to the peak and even beyond.
Shifting Tips: When and How to Use a Particular Gear
If you are a bike enthusiast, you must know the proper shifting of gears. Knowing when to use a specific gear is a plus and is sure to take your career farther from what you expected.
Read the following and do the correct gear shifting next time.
- Low Gear. The low gear is used for riding upwards. You must change to this gear as you traverse the steep spots to have a steady and comfortable climb.
- Middle Gear. When you are riding on a flat surface, you need to shift to the middle gear. The middle gear will produce little resistance on the pedal but expect a continued run.
- High Gear. This gear is best when accelerating, descending, or when you want to ride fast on a flat surface. By using the high gear, you will travel far in every step of the pedal.
How to Adjust the Rear Derailleur for Better Ride
- Gear on Top. Place the gear lever of the rear derailleur to the top portion of gear. Then, rotate the pedals until it reaches the smallest portion of the cassette. If there is a cable adjuster, adjust by turning the adjuster clockwise.
- Remove the bolt. After ensuring that the gear lever is fixed on top, the next step is removing the cable-securing screw. Make sure to move the cable far from the derailleur.
- Push the Derailleur Manually. Using your hand, turn the pedal to push the derailleur towards the end wheel. If you properly adjust the derailleur’s screw, the chain will automatically fit the largest cog.
- Overlap the Clog. If the derailleur falls short from the cog and fails to get into the spokes, you need to rotate the adjusting screw clockwise to make it overlap.
- Final Touch. Use the lever to check all the gears. You need to do the final checking several times. If you find that the derailleur is slow when shifting to the lower gears, unscrew the cable adjuster.
4 Common Bicycle Gears and Their Respective Gains
- Standard Double. Racers usually stick to the standard double type of gear because it offers the biggest gear resulting to high-speed pedaling.
- Triple. The benefit of having a three-chainring set-up is the option to add a smaller gear. The third ring measures 30t or even lower, which can provide the best gear for climbing steep terrains or hills. The triple is preferred by riders who are always riding on very high lands.
- Compact. This gear looks like a double standard gear, but only a smaller version. The reduced ring usually runs in a 34t-36t interior with a 48t or 50t exterior. This gear allows the biker to run down fast in rough and high terrains.
- Hub Gears. This gear has a robust and sturdy built. Some of the hub gears available in the market today has 14 gears, but you can also choose between four, seven, eight, nine and 12 gears.
3 Facts on Gears and Bike Upgrades That You Must Know
- The Number of Bike Gears. The number of the bicycle gears is determined by just getting the product of sprockets and the number of front chainrings. Thus, if you have 10- speed rear cassette with a triple chainring, you will have a 30- speed bike set up.
- Reasons for Having Lots of Gears on a Bike. If you want to know the reason why your bicycle has lots of gears, the answer is for continued pedaling even on rough terrains. A high gear or big gear is shifted when going down at high speeds, while the low gear is used to climb high grounds.
- Single-Speed Bike. In a flat land setting, people would likely use a single-speed bike because it requires low maintenance. Also, racers would prefer the single-speed bike to lighten the weight and eliminate any complications from faulty gear shifting.
These are the guides that will surely take you to the best ride you have ever had. So, before you pedal, make sure that you have set the bike gears right and understood what you’ve read.