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A helmet, when fitted correctly, can reduce the risk of head/brain injury by up to 85 percent. A helmet not worn correctly does not provide enough protection. By law, you must wear an approved bicycle helmet while on a bicycle or scooter in NSW- not only on the road, cycling paths and skate parks, but all public places.

Approved helmets are marked with an Australian Standard Approved notification.
The Australian Road Rules clearly demand that a bicycle helmet must meet the Australian / New Zealand Standards. The AS/NZ 2063 Standard does not recognise any other standard helmet from any other country. Accordingly, only helmets that meet and carry the AS/NZ Standards approval are permitted for use on Australian roads - including road races conducted under the auspices of Cycling Australia and its affiliates.

Helmets only work once - The helmet should be replaced if:

  • It's been dropped onto a hard surface or involved in an accident.
  • You see any cracks in the foam.
  • The straps look worn or frayed.

Cleaning your bike is an excellent way to get to know how the gear on your bike works .. or why it doesn't! By cleaning each individual spoke you will discover if any
have come loose, by wiping down your frame you may find cracks or dis that need attention, and digging out the mud or glued in grease from between your rear cogs will
definitely improve the shifting of your chain.

To clean use Citrus degreaser in a small dish : BBB scrubbing brush : large spray bottle full of clean water : 2 x clean dry rags : old butter knife or flat screwdriver : BBB chain cleaner full of degreaser.
Stand bike over towel in a wheel stand or workstand, clean chain with chain cleaner and wipe with rag ... repeat if needed. Scrub complete bike with degreaser, working 
it well into the derailleurs and cogs, avoiding hub seals. Spray down bike with water spray bottle to remove all degreaser and residue .... avoiding spraying water into hub
seals from side. Use the knife or screwdriver to pick out crud from cogs and jockey wheels. Dry immediately with clean rag .... use dirtier rag for greasy parts and a cleaner one on the frame. Voila! Remember to re-lube chain once dry.

Creaking Cranks

At some point you may have experienced a noise or 'creak' while pedalling under load. Generally this noise will be most audible when the crank is in the forward or 2 o'clock position when you're pedalling out of the saddle. Once isolated it should be serviced. The most common cause of the creaking noise is due to water finding its way between the aluminium crank shaft and the tappered cromoly axle and a gradual build up of corrosion occurs. On assembly the axle should receive a light smear of grease and this is washed away over time by water when the bike is washed or used in wet weather. To remedy the problem the cranks must be removed, axle and crank shaft cleaned and lightly greased then reassembled. If a noise is still audible inspect the following areas.

* Pedal threads are greased and tight

* Bottom Bracket unit threads are greased and tight

* Chain-ring bolts are tight

                                  Here are few misconceptions in the world of bike maintenance                                                          e

  • MY CHAIN IS BROKEN, SO I NEED A NEW ONE : If your chain breaks it could be for a few reasons. Case 1:It may have had a faulty connecting link, 
    so have agood look at the break before you throw that chain away. One damaged link can be removed and the chain re-joined. Case 2: If the chain has a twist due to getting jammed, this also can be removed and the chain re-joined or if you have a couple of sets of multi-grips you can usually untwist the link. Case 3: It's broken because of pure old age and/or wear. If you know this is the case then just fitting a new chain won't get you where you want to go. Chains and rear cogs wear together and in most scenarios you will need to fit a new set of rear cogs along with that new chain.

  • SO MY CHAIN IS STRETCHED......CAN'T I JUST REMOVE A COUPLE OF LINKS?: I hear this all the time. A bike chain is joined by a few dozen 
     rivets that hold the outer plates of the chain together. These plates are where the problem is. The metal that surrounds each rivet gradually stretches over time, thus 
    resulting in an overall increase in length of your chain. Removing a couple of links will do bugger all. Time for a new chain and cogs!

  • WHY CAN'T I USE WD40 SPRAY TO LUBRICATE MY CHAIN?: WD40 or similar spray products are NOT a lubricant. They are used to free up 
    corroded joints, like rusty nuts, and they act more like a degreaser than a lubricant. Spray rusty chains to get them moving but you will have to wash it down
     and lubricate it afterwards with a good oil or dry lube.

  • TYRE & TUBE SIZES : You don't have to be so precise when it comes to tube sizes. Just use this rule of can generally fit a tube that is one or
    two width
    sizes smaller intoa larger tyre ut you'll have difficulty squeezing a larger tube into a smaller tyre. Width is the x1.5, x1.75, x1.95, x2.0, x2.5. Use common sense...don't 

  • expect a x1.25 tube o last in a x2.5 tyre. Many tube manfturers now mark tube boxes with 26" x 1.5/1.75/1.95/2.0 or 700 x 22/25/28 to save the bike shops from
     having to stock every size individually.

  • MY LEFT CRANK KEEPS FALLING OFF......I NEED A NEW NUT: Cranks are commonly a tapered fit, where the square hollow on the crank fits the square taper of the Bottom Bracket axle. When a crank starts to fall off every time you ride the square hollow is stretching and distorting to the point that it no longer matches the shape of the axle it mounts to. No amount of tightening or lock-tite or new nuts will hold this baby on. Its time to send that piece of alloy to the can recycler and get yourself a new one. Precautionary advice would be to nip up your cranks once a month. Newer spline style axles and cranks don't suffer this problem so much.

Stainless Steel and Spokes

Over the past couple of years we have had to deal with hundreds of broken wheels. Unfortunately all these cheaper wheels were factory built with very poor quality spokes and most started to fail after 1-2 years. There were a few theories flying around to explain why the stainless steel spokes were rusting and breaking in the middle of the spoke shaft. One theory was not enough nickel in the mix. I wonder if its a case of an over-use of poor grade recycled steel in conjunction with the nickel theory. Either way, what it all comes down to is if you buy good quality products from the start you will save yourself a lot of grief in the future.
I have found these brief explanations on Stainless Steel that might help us understand its properties.

1. What makes stainless steel stainless?

Answer: Stainless steel must contain at least 10.5 % chromium. It is this element that reacts with the oxygen in the air to form a complex chrome-oxide surface layer that isinvisible but strong enough to prevent further oxygen from "staining" (rusting) the surface. Higher levels of chromium and the addition of other alloying elements such as nickel and molybdenum enhance this surface layer and improve the corrosion resistance of the stainless material. 

2. What is the difference between 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel? 

Answer: The first number is the amount of chromium that is contained in the stainless, i.e., 18 is 18% chromium. The second number is the amount of nickel, i.e., 8 stands
for 8% nickel. So 18/8 means that this stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 18/10 is 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The higher the numbers the more 
corrosion resistant the material. 18/0 is a misleading designation. Both 18/8 and 18/10 contain nickel and are part of the grade family "300 series" stainless. 18/0 means that there is 18% chromium but zero nickel. When there is no nickel the stainless grade family is the "400 series". 400 series are not as corrosion resistant as the 300 series and are magnetic, where the 300 series are non-magnetic.

3. Can stainless steel rust? Why? (I thought stainless did not rust!)

Answer: Stainless does not "rust" as you think of regular steel rusting with a red oxide on the surface that flakes off. If you see red rust it is probably due to some iron 
particles that have contaminated the surface of the stainless steel and it is these iron particles that are rusting. Look at the source of the rusting and see if you can remove
it from the surface. If the iron is embedded in the surface, you can try a solution of 10% nitric and 2% hydrofluoric acid at room temperature or slightly heated. Wash area
well with lots and lots of water after use. Commercially available "pickling paste" can also be used. 

Hydraulic Brake Fluid Properties

This topic has always been a hot one, D.O.T. 3 brake fluid versus D.O.T. 4, versus D.O.T. 5. Which is best? Isn't D.O.T. 5 the hot set-up? Why are there different 
kinds to begin with, and what are the pros and cons of each? Let's explore all that, and hopefully in the process eliminate the hype and misinformation that often 
surrounds this subject.

Air? From Where?
Let's begin at the beginning. A brake system is not a sealed system. A physics principle known as Boyle's Law in a round-about way establishes that a fluid cannot 
leavea container unless air can follow it. If the vent in your gas tank plugs up, for example, fuel will eventually stop flowing. Similarly, a brake system is, like a fuel tank,
vented to atmosphere, usually at its highest point, the reservoir. (Ever notice that little notch?) Thus a brake system has continuous access to air. 

Rear Suspension

Rear suspension design is forever morphing itself into the latest and greatest. Here are a handful of original designs that started the ball rolling. Please remember that every year bike companies change there designs so some examples given here may not be represented year to year.

FOUR BAR LINKAGE...Interrupted seat tube Linkage bikes can use short travel shocks and still achieve long rear wheel travel. Depending on design differences it is possible to tune the rate between rear wheel and shock travel in different stages of the travel cycle. Some designs have multiple mounts for linkage and shock on the main frame and for the shock on the linkage bar. This makes the design very tuneable. Used on both XC and DH bikes. See: Intense, Specialized, Craftworks, KHS........

CANTILEVER BEAM or Monoshock A single main pivot rotates the rear triangle, compressing the shock mounted in the main frame. Its is the simplest way of suspending the
rear wheel. The placement of the main pivot can alter the performance of the suspension. High pivots extend the the suspension under pedaling force, low pivots can make the 
suspension compress under power. A pivot placed in line with the middle chain ring will perform the best. See: Cannondale, KHS, Scott, Yeti

FOUR BAR LINKAGE II or Rocker Advantages to this design is lower centre of gravity and strong mounting position near BB for shock. See: KHS,Trek, Kona, Giant

MACPHERSON STRUTA very early design where the shock is a structural part of the frame. If constructed well the suspension can be free from pedallling input, thus making
it very 'active'. Generally a short travel design. See: AMP, Norco

UNIFIED REAR TRIANGLE or URT The rear triangle and BB are one unit, connected to the main frame by one pivot point. The placement of the pivot in relation to the BB is 
crucial to the performance of the bike. The further forward the pivot the 'less active' the suspension is while standing, the higher the pivot, the less active it will be while pedalling.
..locking out (fully compressing) the suspension.