Improve your ride (part 1)

Getting a set of good quality new tyres is one of the easiest improvements you can do on your bike
Getting a set of good quality new tyres is one of
the easiest improvements you can do on your bike

Your bike’s tyres are what keeps you connected with the road. This part of the bike has the greatest effect on your interaction with the outside environment and upgrading your tyres is the easiest and most reliable way to improve your bike rides.

Tubeless, puncture resistant, 700c, to name just a few – there are many different types you can chose from. This can be very confusing for an any cyclist, so let us try brake it down a bit.

Tyre sizes

Getting a set of good quality new tyres is one of the easiest improvements you can do on your bike
How does tyre sizing work?

The most common tyre size for a road bike is the 700c. This is a traditional and not very precise way of measuring the tyre size and shows the overall diameter of a wheel in millimeters. When the side wall of your tyre shows 700x25c, this means that it’s 700mm tall and 25mm wide. And a 700x23c tyre will be slightly thinner and a 700×28 slightly wider than the 25c. The overall diameter of the wheel changes depending on the width of the tyre, so calling them 700c is not very precise. This is why there is the ISO sizing, which gives you the inner diameter of the tyre, which always stays the same for most road tyres – 622mm.

ISOMetricWheel
Diameter
(mm)
Circum-
ference
(m)
18–622700×18C6582.07
23-622700x23C6682.1
25–622700×25C6722.11
28–622700×28C6782.13
30-622700×30C6822.14
32–622700×32C6862.16
37–622700×37C6962.19
40-622700×40C7022.2
42-622700×42C7062.21
47–622700×47C7162.25
Common road tyre sizes

So a 700x25c tyre in Metric measurement is the same as 25-622 in ISO. While the internal diameter of the tyre stays the same, with increased width, the overall tyre diameter will increase too. A 28c tyre will be a whole 10mm taller than a 23c and this may not seem a lot, but may cause clearance problems, especially with older racing frames. The taller tyre will also mean bigger circumference and volume, which will affect the handling and comfort.

Many cyclist choose a different tyre width, than the one their bike came with. Wider tyre will improve the ride comfort and reduce the rolling resistance. If you move up from 25c to 28c, the diameter will increase by 3mm or 12% and the volume will increase by nearly a quarter or 25%. The difference will not only be in the volume, but also in the overall height of the wheel. The extra volume and overall diameter will improve the rolling resistance, mostly because the roads we ride on are not at all perfectly smooth and the additional volume will make the wheel roll easier over the bumps.

Increasing the tyre size is not always possible as the frames, especially the older ones, do not have the necessary clearance. Additionally different manufacturers have different ideas on how to measure the tyre’s width and a 28c tyre from one manufacturer will be a few millimeters wider than the same size tyre from a different manufacturer. So do your research before you splash out on the next set of rubber.

Punctures

Many new tyres now come with a build in puncture protection. This usually is an integrated insert in the tyre to make it stronger and less likely to be penetrated by a sharp object. The insert is usually a very tough fabric in the middle or in the side walls of the tyre.

The thicker and heavier the insert, the higher the lever of protection. This of course has a drawback – heavier tyre is slower on the road. So matching the tyre protection for the right application is important. Are you a commuter and don’t mind going a bit slower, but do not want to be delayed because of a puncture? Or are you are a racer and speed is all you’re looking for? Or maybe you’d like to cover the middle ground – some puncture protection and some speed? The choice is yours.

But even the best puncture protected tyre will not save you from pinch flats. If the tyre’s pressure has dropped under the recommended value and you hit a pothole, than you will most likely get a puncture. So pump up your tyres regularly and make sure you follow the recommended tyre pressures.

No one likes flats. So why not go tubeless?

Tubeless wheels are becoming more and more popular these days. This trend started with mountain bikers and is slowly moving to the roadies too. The main advantage of tubeless is that the liquid inside the tyre will quickly seal small holes. Additional advantages are that wheels can be ridden at lower pressures to increase grip and comfort and the lack of inner tube reduces the rolling resistance.

So, no more flats, right? Not quite. The sealant will work on small holes, but won’t be able to effectively seal the big ones. Also, there is the “burping” when due to hard cornering the tyre un-seats and lets some air out. This will not happen if you had an inner tube. Some sealants also need to be replaced regularly as they harden with age. Also, tubular tyres are made from a much harder compound, which generally means that they can be as heavy or heavier than tubbed ones.

How much?

How often do you change your tyres? How often and how far do you ride? Is it worth spending £20 or even £30 more on a tyre to get the peace of mind that you are not going to get stranded in the middle of nowhere? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself before reaching for your wallet or tapping on the “Buy It Now” button on your screen. A good quality tyre can improve the feel, the performance and the reliability of your bike. You may gain an extra gear and feel confident enough not to ride with a pump and a patch kit on hand.

And if you feel that you need help with choosing, than drop by at our workshop and we will be more than happy helping you with your choice.

Help provide free bike servicing to NHS and key workers fighting COVID-19

National Health Service

In these difficult times we are helping the country with all we have.

Many key workers are relying on bicycles to get to and from work.  The last thought on their mind after an 18-hour shift saving lives from COVID-19, is fixing a puncture or adjusting the gears on their bikes.

We’re giving you the power to help ensure medical staff get to and from the local hospitals safely. 

  • £20 will ensure a puncture free bike.
  • £60 will ensure that the bike is safe to ride and brakes and gears are fully functioning
  • £100 will allow for a full overhaul of the bike

100% of your donations go towards the cost of fixing bikes for the hospital and key workers

We are in this together

In wake of the increasing strain that the Covid-19 crisis is putting on all of us, we wanted to let you know that we are still open and more than happy to fix your bike. The government has defined bicycle shops as a key services and for a good reason. Cycling is still one of the best ways to get around and keep fit while keeping the social distancing and stopping the spread of the infection.

In order to continue working we are adopting the following steps in the workshop:

  • If you cannot come to the workshop we can collect the bike for you or do simple repairs at your home or workplace (within 8 miles from OX33 1XW)
  • If you chose to come to the workshop, knock on the door and wait outside
  • Call ahead or use the contact form
  • Phone and wait in your car if you arrive by car
  • 2m distance at all times

A puncture repair or a Di2 gear service we will make sure that your bike is back on the road as quickly as possible.

Keep calm and ride on – COVID-19

We are in unprecedented times and I never thought we would find ourselves in such a situation with so many uncertainties.

However, we at Fulcycle are still open and carrying on with our daily tasks.

We are closely monitoring the government advice on the situation and taking all the necessary measures to stop the spread of the infection. So please don’t get offended if we don’t shake hands when you come in the workshop or that we wear gloves when working or fitting you on your bike.

In our expectation bike servicing is going to remain unaffected by any restrictions and in order to avoid direct contact we can always arrange for a drop-off and collection outside the workshop or any other location convenient to you.

Currently bike fitting is unaffected by restrictions and we will advise you if any changes come into affect.

Riding a bicycle is still one of the best ways to exercise and at the moment – one of the safest. There are calls for keeping cycling exempt from any future ban:

“The cycling industry will join forces to call on government to exempt cycling from any ban, due to its strategic role in the nation’s resilience – not only as transport but a form of exercise, the Bicycle Association has said.

Italy and Spain banned leisure cycling in the last week. The industry wants the UK to avoid cycling bans, and it wants bike shops exempted from shop opening restrictions as it believes cycling has a strategic role to play in mitigating some of the impact on peoples’ lives of restrictions on transport and access to the outdoors.

This follows 30 prominent health and transport experts’ calls to protect cycling and walking plus keeping parks open, and warns of the risks of confining otherwise healthy people to their homes.

Getting outside for fresh air and green spaces could be crucial in maintaining physical and mental health in the population during these times, they say”

Whether you’re heading into self-isolation or social distancing, being cut off from the world and your cycling is nobody’s idea of fun. Here are ten things you can do if you’re stuck at home.

https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/self-isolating-10-bike-things-you-can-do

Fulcycle sponsoring young Belgium Rider – Alex Bosley (UK)

Alex and Bryan

Alex is a young talented rider selected to ride for WAC, a professional Belgium team, is an all-rounder and is looking to win the GC for the team.

Alex started cycling at 14, transitioning from athletics, so would be best described as having a broad base and lots of headroom.  He was too late to the party to make the cut for the highest level GB squads (i.e. Junior Academy), but certainly competes strongly with the academy riders.

Bike fitting in progress

In his second year as an Under 16, he finished the year ranked 13th nationally, after some poor planning and a nasty crash end of season prevented him reaching his goal of a top 10 ranking finish.  Last year, as a first year junior, he had a mountain to climb in terms of improving his fitness and endurance, and learning how to race the longer races at this level.  Alex did improve rapidly, his main aim was to race in Europe, and he spent three weeks over there in the summer.  He did a couple of races for BC Central Region, in one of which he got 11th place.  He was also in the Johann Museeuw Classic, with the team, and he had a strong peloton finish after they got a rider in the break (peloton finished 22 seconds after break after 120 km at average 45 kph).

After a few adjustments the fit already looks much better.

This season Alex is focussed on a few main races, mainly the high status stage races.  He may do the Johann Meseeuw UCI 1.1 again for BC Central Region, and possibly the Tour of Ireland.  With his Belgian Team he has a number of races, end of season there is the Phillippe Gilbert UCI race in October, there’s the Stef van Zuid-Limberg, possibly a Czech tour, and others to be decided.  These are basically his ‘A’ races, and he’ll fill his calendar with possibly some UK National races, and UCI races and Interclubs in Belgium whenever possible.

We met Alex for a first time a week ago and were taken by his cycling talent and youthful attitude. He is a charming young man who is fully committed to his cycling goals and we are more than happy taking him ‘under our wing’ so to speak and provide the bike fitting and servicing for him and his bikes.

We wish to Alex the best of luck in his future races and are more than happy to support his cycling career.

Campagnolo Technical Training

Campagnolo
Campagnolo Technical Training with Velotech

We are proud to announce that our Principal Mechanic Kiro has completed the Campagnolo Technical Training provided by Greame Freestone King from Velotech in Stoke-on-Trent.

Graeme is currently the UK’s mechanical consultant and warranty manager for Campagnolo SRL, a role that he has enjoyed since 2008. His relationship with Campagnolo goes back to 1987.

Ever thought why Campagnolo components usually require specialised tools? Well, we may know the answer.

The training covered the 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 speed mechanical gear systems, the electronic shifting with EPS, hydraulic disc brakes and the G3 Campagnolo wheels.

Campagnolo may be an expensive choice to go for when choosing components for your bike, but in our opinion the quality of parts and systems is well worth the investment. We were particularly impressed with the ability to rebuild the mechanical shifters and replace the individual components instead of replacing the whole unit. This will overall lower the price of ownership of Campagnolo components and justify the initial investment.

We are now happy to receive Campagnolo equipped bicycles in our workshop.

2020 Winter Special

Winter is here!
2020 Winter Service

Give your bike a bit of TLC this winter – we are offering a special price for the winter servicing this year.

A regular service will keep our pride and joy operating smoothly will increase it’s lifespan.

Winter time is not kind to our bicycles – all grime, salt and dirt from the road is damaging the delicate parts and destroying our treasured machines.

The Winter Special service includes:

  • Full bike check and safety assessment
  • Bike wash/clean
  • Gear and brake adjustment
  • Bolt and fixings check
  • Wheel true
  • Test ride

Regular price of the above is £60 and for a limited time we offer it for £29.95. Offer valid for service booked for January and February 2020.

Contact us via this form to arrange a service.

Winter Service Special flyer

Who we are

It is with great excitement that we are introducing you to Fulcycle.

Fulcycle, run by Kiro, Thomas and Bryan, will become Oxford’s premier bike repair and fitting centre.

Our aim is to provide you with a level of personalised service that you have never experienced before in Oxford. We will make you a better rider either by fitting you correctly on the bike, or making the bike zing as it rolls along the pavement after one of our premium repairs.

Kiro
Principal
Mechanic
Thomas
Principal
Bike Fitter
Bryan
Consultant
Bike Fitter

Kiro is the foreman. Our most experienced mechanic who has worked on road, MTB, commuter, e-bikes and even bamboo bikes! With the mightiest of hands and his natural bike wisdom, Kiro guides us poor mortals through every cog and crank, ensuring that all the nuts and bolts are in the right place.

Thomas is the finisher. An eagle eye for low seat posts and bad fitting saddles, Thomas loves (yes, that does say loves) spending hours laser tracking a wobbly knee to achieve that perfect knee over pedal axle position. Good for you the customer but bad for us, as he waxes lyrical about the latest cleat theory. His most cherished possession?… the workshop sizing stem – infinite possbilities?!

Bryan is the artist. Having seen over 3000 bums on saddles up close on his bike fitting turbo trainer, he silently and stealthily corrects any pain or niggle with just the slight twist of the stem, or raise of the seatpost. He wanders around the workshop with coffee in one hand, and 4 mm allen key in the other, much like a paintbrush of a master.

If you are interested in learning more please check out our services, book a service or contact us – we are a very friendly bunch and love a cup of coffee over a bike.

We have a workshop

After weeks and months of searching we have finally found the right space for our workshop and studio. Wheatley is a small and beautiful village located about 5 miles east of Oxford. There is a regular bus service from Oxford and Thame and it is easily reached by car or by bicycle.

Wheatley Business Centre
The entrance to Wheatley Business Centre

Wheatley Business Centre, where our workshop is located, is shared by a selection of small businesses and we are very proud to mention one of them – our friends at Velovixen who are the leaders in women specific cycling clothing and equipment

The centre has ample free parking for our clients and a very friendly and professional atmosphere. It is located right next to the A40 leading to Oxford, near J8 on M40.

Fulcycle Ltd.
Fulcycle Ltd. entrance

Please come and see us in our workshop. And you may have already guessed – we will be more than happy to talk bikes!