Improve your ride (part 3)

Road bike fitting

Bicycle riders come in many different shapes and sizes, yet the manufacturers make us believe that the four or five frame sizes they produce are supposed to fit all. Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large – often this is all we are left to chose from when buying a bike. Yet, there are many other factors which will affect the bonding between bike and rider.

Stem length, bar width, seat height and position, seat shape, crank length – all of these can be adjusted to make you more comfortable and help you deliver more power through the pedals.

An incorrect bike fit reduces the comfort and power delivery. This will also reduce the endurance and over time can result in injuries.

The bike fits we offer can be adjusted for speed, comfrot or endurance. A road bike fit usually takes about two hours. We do not use computerised systems as they don’t always produce the desired result, since every rider is different and every fit is individual. The bike fit is based on our experience with thousands of cyclists and consists of active itneraction between you and the bike fitter.

We also have an extensive saddle library and are confident that we can find the right one to make you comfortable. We also offer shoe fitting (Lake shoes only) and custom foot beds to suit any type of road cycling shoe.

We find that often the changes to the bike geometry may be too big and it will take some time for your body to adjust. This is why we will ask you to come back after a certain time so we can check and micro-adjust your position for the optimal result.

If you would like to book a bike fitting session with us, feel free to use our booking form here.

Looking forward to seeing you in our workshop.

Alex in France

Alex Bosley, our sponsored rider, has just successfully completed the Tour de L’Orne in Brittany.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend. Alex had two strong peloton finishes in the road race stages, and the racing was really brutal.  Loads were dropped, and the standard was extremely high.  

Alex’s is doing rather well compared to his UK Cat 1 team mate with two years extra experience. He finished only a few seconds behind in the TT race, while riding on his road bike.


The French riders in the team got dropped on the first stage.  Alex was well in the running all the way to the end.
During stage 3 he tried to bridge to the break, he got around 10 seconds, but then there was a counter attack, and 12 riders swept past him, and past the break, to become the new break, and Alex was swallowed up in the peloton again.  He still came in 35th out of maybe 100 odd finishers (155 had started on the day).


So it looks like CC Plancoet will be his team for next year.  They are a feeder team for the Cotes d’Armor DN1 team, who are themselves a feeder team for Israel Startup Nation Academy. The coach things he’s got a fantastic physiological base, and loads of potential.  We can see we just need to work with his efficiency, his time trialing, and his tactics (the attack he made was ill advised and at the wrong time).  

Good luck in for the rest of the season Alex! Allez, allez!

New opening hours

Our opening hours are changing – we are now open on Mondays and staying open longer on weekdays. With the winter nearly over and the spring almost upon us, there are even more reasons to come and visit our workshop. Be it a bike service or a bike fit – we are more than happy to help you.

Book an appointment

Contact us

We Are Growing

Fulcycle workshop and bike fitting studio

It’s been 1 year since we opened our doors and the reception you guys have given us has been tremendous. We are very thankful to everybody, especially for referring our services to friends.
 
The reason we are contacting you is because we have good news and bad news.
 
The good news is that after a year trading we have completed enough services and bike fits to hit the VAT threshold.
 
The bad news is that we are going to have to increase our prices by 20% at the end of October 2020.
 
Price increases never come as good news, so for all our current customers AND YOUR FRIENDS we are offering you a bike fit and / or bike service at our current prices if you book an appointment before the end of October and have the service completed by 31st December 2020.

If you would like to take up this offer, simply book a bike fit or service appointment on our website. And of course, if a friend has been umming and ahhing about a bike fit or service this might be the best time to tell them about our offer.

Again, thank you ever so much for being a customer of ours at the start of our journey,

Kiro, Thomas & Bryan

Custom Footbeds for comfort and performance

Custom footbeds will improve comfort and performance

When looking at improving the comfort on the bike, shoe fit is often overlooked. The way your feet connect with the shoes and pedals is very important not only for comfort, but for the power delivery too.

Finding the right fitting shoe can be a long and expensive process and thankfully there is a much easier and quicker solution – custom footbeds.

A well fitted footbed will support your arch and distribute the pressure on the foot more evenly. It will also stabilise the foot inside the shoe and it will stop it moving and sliding around. Having a better contact with the shoe also means that you don’t need to fasten it too tight. This will improve the blood circulation in the feet and reduce the discomfort.

Most cycling shoes come with standard insoles which do not take into account the foot specific anatomy. Not only do individual feet have different arches and lasts, but the left foot can have a different shape to the right too. This is why we recommend custom moulded footbeds, which will feet the soles of your feet perfectly.

In our bike fitting studio we can install customised insoles to fit your feet and shoes. This process takes up to an hour and can be done as part of a bike fit session or as a separate booking. Either way you will need to spend some on the turbo trainer – so do bring your bicycle and cycling gear with you.

To book a custom footbed fitting session, use our bike fitting booking form here.

Improve your ride (part 2)

How much servicing does a bike need?

Regular servicing of your bike is essential and necessary to keep it in good working order. Many riders only consider the initial investment when it comes to owning a bike, while completely ignoring the essential regular maintenance. If the brakes start squeaking and the gears not shifting – don not rush to buy a new bike. Regular bike servicing will keep it running smoothly and save you money in the long run.

Gears

Gears may need regular service

Most bikes we see in the workshop have some kind of gearing problem. The gears may not be selecting correctly, making a horrible noise or the chain might be dropping. Any of the above symptoms and your gears will benefit with a service.

Why whould the gears go “bad”? Well, multiple reasons – could be a crash or unintended push or shove of the bike into a tight shed. Or it could be even the way the bike is transported at the bak of the car.

Rear derailleur hanger can be bent

If your bike is equipped with electronic shifting, it may be less prone to gear problems. Yet we find that these type of gears also need regular servicing. The firmware needs regular upgrades, the limit screws may need adjusting and last but not least – the derailleur hanger may need straightening. So there are some improvements which can be had here too.

Getting the gears to work correctly will give you the correct gear ratio when you need it and save you from stalling or spinning out.

Brakes

Rim brake servicing

Rim brakes work due to friction between the brake pads and the wheel rims. The brake pads are made from softer material and require regular replacement. Rims on the other hand wear out a lot less. In order for the rim brake to operate effectively, the rim has to be true. Even the smallest buckle will make the rim rub intermittently on the brake pad.

Disc brakes work in a similar way, but use a rotor attached to the hub instead. The advantage of this system is that the brake is away from the road, thus reducing wear and tear. A good quality hydraulic brakes will feel sharper and more powerful than rim brakes. Yet, they are heavier and may fade when overheated. Servicing is also a bit more expensive.

Hydraulic disc brakes use hoses and hydraulic fluid to operate the brake. The fluid used in the brakes will not compress, so the transfer of braking power from the brake lever to the brake pads is without power loss. Often water and air will seep into the hydraulic system, thus causing the brake to feel “spongy”. A brake bleed will usually fix this. The brake pads and rotors also need regular replacement as they wear down with use.

Brake squeal (or squeak) is a common problem for both types of brakes and it’s caused by contamination of the braking surfaces. The contamination may be from the road, oil from the chain, or even from accidentally touch with bare hand. A good clean of the brakes will often resolve this.

You should never compromise on your safety – keep your brakes in top condition.

Transmission

Bike transmission includes all bike parts used to transfer the power from your legs to the wheel and requires as regular servicing as any other part of the bike. Many bike owners think that spraying the chain and cassette in lubricant is the only think they need to do, but this will often create more problems than solve.

Transmission servicing is essential too

Bicycle chain is one component that is replaced as often as the brake pads and tyres. It is a consumable and it is important to keep it clean and well lubricated. Even the smallest wear on the chain will stop it engaging fully with the cassette and chainrings. Keep your chain clean and well lubed in order to avoid quick wear.

A worn chain will start wearing down the cassette and chainrings. This will make the chain slip when you apply power to the pedals. This can be rather dangerous if it happens when climing on a busy road.

A common mistake with chain maintenance is not cleaning the chain and just adding more and more lubricant. This is a sure way to attract more dirt and grit on the chain, which will continue wearing it down. The dirt will also absorb the lubricant, instead of letting it seep to the parts where it’s needed. So if you would like to keep your chain in good condition – clean it first and then oil it regularly. A clean and well working transmission will make you go a bit faster and you will feel less tired at the end of a ride.

Bearings

Different size sealed bearings

Hubs, headsets and bottom brackets – all have bearings inside and they need regular maintenance. This type of work requires a bit of skill and some specialised tools. If your wheels are not spinning freely, your headset feels a bit crunchy or the bottom bracket is making unusual noises, than it is definitely time to look at the bearings.

Most modern bikes use sealed bearings which come in many shapes and sizes. This is why when servicing a hub or headset we need to remove the bearings and measure them before ordering the correct replacements. Bearings can be so stuck inside the frame that they often require special tools for removal. Installing the new bearings has to be done with precision in order to make sure that they are aligned well against each other and the other components in the frame.

Servicing your bike at Fulcycle

Regular servicing is essential and will save you a lot of money and time in the future. We provide three levels of service – Bronze, Silver and Gold, depending on the level of work needed. The service interval will depend on how often you ride the bike and how hard you ride. In general we recommend to service the bike with us at least once a year or more often, if you are a regular rider. A small service before a race will also give you a piece of mind during the competition.

Alex’s summer of racing

Alex Bosley, the young and talented rider sponsored by Fulcycle is now in Europe taking part in numerous races and sportives.

Before heading off, Alex popped into our workshop to say hello and collect his bike after the last service. He was looking forward to the trip and ready to give it the best he’s got.

The first race of the season for Alex was hill climb trial Le Revard. It has around 1,350 of vertical ascent over 22.4km.  This hill climb is actually the final and toughest stage of the Tour de Savoie and amateurs are allowed to ride it just before the professionals do it.  After the race, Alex was a bit disappointed as he finished roughly mid field, though the majority of athletes who beat him were either pro triathletes, or elite racers. He did beat one of the pro tour riders who came up after the amateurs.

The day after finishing his hill climb trail, Alex took part in France’s toughest sportive – Cyclosportive De La Madeleine. It’s 120 km, with 3,300 meters of ascent, including the notorious HC cols of Croix de Fer, and La Madeleine.

This race was a different story. By half way, Alex was only a few minutes behind the winner. By the end, we were delighted to learn that he placed second overall and first Junior. Fantastic result after the grueling hill climb the day before and the 30C heatwave during the sportive!

Alex will be staying for an extra couple of weeks in France. He’s joining the local junior team and getting a new French race license and will be competing in a French national race on the 22nd and 23rd August. He also has a German National Climbing race championship in September, and the Philippe Gilbert UCI 2.1 race in October.

Good luck Alex with all the races and hope your bike is running smoothly and trouble free all the way to the finish line! We will be watching and cheering for you from our workshop.

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