Bicycle Parts Tips

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What are the benefits of shock absorbing seatposts?

Shock Absorbing Seatposts

Ouch, that smarts! If your seat is uncomfortable while riding, look into seatposts. Shock absorbing seatposts are one bicycle part that has been growing in popularity as more and more bikers look for greater comfort on the road or trail.

Seatposts are affordable and offer options to suit personal needs:

• One looks like a seatpost and contains a spring that slides up & down in line with your bottom bracket

• A more complicated design absorbs bumps by moving the saddle horizontally instead of up and down

*With the first, the height of your seatpost changes; with the latter the distance to the handlebars changes. It's all a matter of personal choice.

Can I just walk out the door with my pre-assembled bike?

Pre-Assembled Bicycle

If you're buying a pre-assembled bicycle, it's a good idea to ask whether you can have a free check-up for the bike (doing this allows you to check on all bike parts, making sure they are in good working order and adjusted correctly). After all, you don't know how long it's been sitting in the store or how many times it's been test driven.

*Most bike parts are fairly universal and most service people can give it an effective go over.

Do women need different saddles?

Women and Saddle Comfort

Men and women are different! Everyone knows this but did you know that you can buy special bike parts to work better with your anatomy? There are some sports in which the differences in the way men and women are built really make a difference—one of those sports is cycling. The good news is that there are so many bicycle parts to choose from that can make riding more comfortable for specific body types.

*Women are built for bearing children so their pelvis bones are set wider apart than men's. With a narrow saddle, these bones are outside the sitting surface. Women should swap any saddle that isn't wide enough for one that is wide enough to support the width of those bones.

Is a Camelbak a good accessory to buy?

Bicycle Accessory Gifts

If there's a cycling enthusiast in your life, there's no better gift than a new bicycle accessory. There are so many cool gadgets and gizmos for bikes and riders that promote comfort, provide a practical use, and just make riding more fun. Some neat choices include:

• Heart monitors
• Glasses
• A bright new jersey
• Tool kits
• Water bottles
• Reflectors
• Seat covers

*If you're unsure what type of bike accessory to get for someone, you might want to think about getting them a gift certificate. There are even gift certificates available on some online retail sites.

What bicycle parts need regular checks?

Check Bicycle Parts Regularly

There's nothing worse than finding yourself on the road or trail with a break down or accident. To avoid such a situation, here are a few bicycle parts that should be checked every couple of weeks for damage and wear and tear:

• Look for loose nuts, bolts and spokes
• Clean and lubricate the chain
• Inspect your headset and wheels for wobbles

*Sometimes it really pays to keep a few spare bike parts on hand for quick home repairs.

What should I do if my bike makes noises?

Bicycle Parts Noises

What was that?! Sometimes a bike can be a very noisy machine. And, when it is, it's letting you know its bike parts need some attention. Stop and listen to your bicycle. Here are some common noises and solutions:

• If your seat clicks when you shift your weight, tighten the top of the seat post that holds the seat
• Water in the bearings of the bottom bracket will get loud over time, so have them repacked occasionally
• Noisy wheels? Look for loose spokes to tighten or check your tires for stuck debris

Regardless of whether you're riding with a rigid or suspension fork, if its noisy, take it to the shop for a check up.

Are Shimano bike parts good?

Shimano Bike Parts

When it comes to bike parts and brand loyalty, you'll find many different opinions. Do your research by checking online sources, reading reviews, talking to experts in cycle shops, and asking other cyclists for recommendations.

*A highly recommended brand is Shimano. Shimano bike parts have contributed to the world of bicycling. Engineered for performance, Shimano bike parts will reduce stress and make more efficient use of energy.

What is the difference between a compact crankshaft and a normal one, and what does a compact one get you?

Compact Crankshafts

A bicycle's crankshaft drives the chain of your bike as you pedal. Most bicycles come equipped with either a double or triple crankshaft. A triple crankshaft gives you a greater lower range of gears, allowing you to pedal uphill.

Compact crankshafts are not new, but are just coming into popularity. They also give you a better lower range, but take away a bit at the higher range, unlike the double or triple crankshaft. The upside is that it is lighter weight than even a standard double. The downside is that you don't get as great a lower end as a triple would give you and you do lose that bit at the high end.

So, if you need better low end gears on your racer, but don't need all that a triple would provide, a lighter, compact crankshaft could be your answer.

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Kristle Jones