Tech Talk

Tips for Using CO2 Pumps

Not long ago, when we were discussing frame pumps and CO2 cartridges, RBR Editor John Marsh shared this ride story with me. Perhaps something similar has happened to you: “I was with a buddy recently who seemed to have never used his CO2 system before (or I guess it had been so long he had totally forgotten how). When it came time to inflate his fixed flat, he actually still had an old, used CO2 canister attached to the chuck – and didn’t really know how to use the chuck, either. This is a very experienced rider, BTW."

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Tubeless Tires Q & A

Here’s a question and answer with a roadie from St. Louis named Robert. It concerns tubeless tires versus tubed ones, one of the more complicated choices cyclists have today. Since you might be trying to decide for yourself, our conversation could be helpful. Also, we have written a lot about tubeless tires since they first appeared on the scene. You can read numerous articles by using the term "tubeless" (no quotation marks necessary) in the Search field at the upper right of any page on the site.

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Park Tool Torque Wrenches, Sockets & Drivers

Last week, I shared a warning about the dangers of incorrect torque wrench use from Park Tools' John Krawczyk and Calvin Jones. If you work on your bike and use torque wrenches, you don’t want to miss it, so click here to read that first. This week I’m looking at a full range of Park’s Torque tools. To determine which you need requires knowing what bicycle maintenance and repairs you perform. With that knowledge, choose the torque wrench(es) that provides the range of torque settings and also choose the specific torque sockets and drivers you need. 

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Proper Torque Wrench Use

With the mainstreaming of carbon frames and components – and at so many price points – you probably already know that the best way to safely tighten modern carbon parts is by owning and using a torque wrench. Torque wrenches allow you to tighten metal parts properly, too. But did you know that even some experienced mechanics use torque wrenches wrong? And that incorrect use can damage or break parts the same as not using a torque wrench?

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Mike’s (Noisy) Bike

Almost with the dawn of the Internet, in 1998, I started a cycling website. I don’t get to work on it anywhere near as much as I should or would like to. Yet, it has still swelled to more than 200 pages of what I like to think is helpful and fun bike stuff. One of the most popular pages on my site is my Keep It Quiet resource, literally thousands upon thousands of words on finding and silencing the clicks, creaks, clunks and things that go bump on your rides from your bicycle – and drive you bonkers.

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Cartridge Bottom Bracket Checking And Maintenance

This week’s Tech Talk is based on my response to another excellent reader question. It came from an RBR reader named Jay who asked about modern bottom brackets, which employ sealed cartridge bearings. They’re a bit of a mystery to many roadies since there are no obvious adjustments to make. This week I’ll try to unravel the mystery so you know what you’re dealing with and how to care for them.

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Tips & Tricks for Taping Handlebars

I’ve taped thousands of handlebars since 1970 when I first went to work in bike shops. Even with so much practice with so many different materials, I am almost never 100% happy after taping. There’s always a wrap or two that’s not perfectly overlapped, or a hidden wrinkle, or a tiny spot where the bar’s exposed if you look real close. So, today I’m sharing a bunch of taping tips and tricks that can make the job easier and nicer – including a brand new finishing touch I think you’ll like. As always, please share your taping secrets in the Comments below.

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Converting Your Bike to a Hybrid Disc/Rim Brake Setup, Part 2

As you’ll recall, last week I let reader Bruce Ross grab hold of the Tech Talk handlebars to start the story of upgrading his beloved Colnago C59 to disc braking. This week, in the conclusion, he covers every detail involved, including getting the replacement fork refinished to match, and the complete costs. After reading the tale, if you have any questions or comments, Bruce is happy to answer. I’ll let Bruce take it from here. —Jim Langley 

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Converting Your Bike to a Hybrid Disc/Rim Brake Setup, Part 1

Today I’d like to introduce my friend and fellow bicycle nut, Bruce Ross. He has a Colnago he loves so much he wanted to upgrade it with disc braking – even if only on the front. He wrote up the whole project, from his decision to upgrade to everything involved in adding the brake, and ride impressions. I love a good upgrade and am sharing Bruce’s story with you in the next two Tech Talks. I’ll let Bruce take it from here. —Jim Langley 

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Choosing a Pump Head for Easy Inflation

This week, let’s go over something great to know when choosing bicycle pumps, both ones to take along on your bike for flats on the road, and home pumps (also known as “floor pumps” – because they stand up on the ground, making pumping fast and easy). This subject came up on a ride last week, when Tom – who, rain or shine, never misses one of our Wednesday night hill climbs workouts – showed us his new Lezyne pump as we were kicking back in the shade post-ride. Tom demonstrated how the pump uses a hose that hides in the hollow center of the pump when not in use.

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Crash-Avoidance Maintenance

We’ve been sharing crash stories in order to reduce the chances of going down. Mostly, we’ve covered biffs caused by rider errors, road conditions, drivers and other cyclists. Yet, another whole crash category is those caused by bike maintenance issues. Let’s look at some common ones, what fails and what checks and maintenance to do to help avoid hitting the deck.

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