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CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS

"Knowledge is the key to improving your cycling performance."

- CPT mission statement -

Bicycle Tires Washington DC

Local resource for bicycle tires in Washington. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to road bike tires, racing bike tires, city bike tires, mountain bike tires, recumbent tires, bicycle tubes, bicycle pumps, bicycle tools, as well as advice and content on bicycle accessories.

Better Bikes
(202) 293-2080
PO Box 57179
Washington, DC
 
Thompson's Boat Center
(202) 333-9543
2900 Virginia Ave Nw
Washington, DC
 
Revolution Cycles
(202) 965-3601
3411 M St Nw
Washington, DC
 
A & A Discount Bicycles
(202) 337-0254
1034 33rd St Nw
Washington, DC
 
Alta Bicycle Share
(202) 554-2347
1812 Half St Sw
Washington, DC
 
Bike the Sites
(202) 842-2453
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC
 
Bicycle Pro Shop
(202) 337-0311
3403 M St Nw
Washington, DC
 
Metro Bicycle Lockers
(202) 962-1116
600 5th St Nw
Washington, DC
 
Modell's Sporting Goods
(202) 399-6583
1518 Benning Road
Washington, DC
Hours
9:30AM - 8:30PM MONDAY - THURSDAY
9:00AM - 9:00PM FRIDAY - SATURDAY
11:00AM - 7:00PM SUNDAY

A & A Discount Bicycles
(202) 337-0254
1034 33rd Street Northwest
Washington, DC
 

Brakes, Rims, & Wheels

 



Brakes

Brake Pads

After you have been riding in the rain or suboptimal road conditions, you will notice a sound of metal on metal when you brake. Generally this is from grit picked up by the pads. Over time, this additional abrasion can accelerate wearing down of the rim metal itself.

To clean pads, pick out the larger pieces of foreign material with an awl, penknife or the tip of a small screwdriver. While you are at it, check the grooves on the pad. If it has been a few years, consider replacing pads if they have hardened with age.

A smooth rim will also improve braking performance. But you don't want to go overboard and remove the metal itself. A Scotch-Brite pad works well for this purpose. It's a gentle abrasive that won't remove material from the rim but will take off rubber deposits to ensure optimum braking.

Hubs

Sealed Hub Maintenance

To check for maintenance status remove the wheels from the bike. Turn the axles slowly with your fingers - you will feel a slight but smooth hydraulic resistance. If an axle either turns roughly or spins freely with no resistance, you need to do some maintenance. Roughness can indicate damaged bearings, too little resistance means the lubrication is gone, usually because it's been washed out by lots of rainy rides or improper bike-cleaning techniques (using high-pressure sprayers or getting solvent into the bearings).

Rear hubs are a bit more complicated to handle, front hubs are more user friendly. It does help to have the right tools. To regrease a hub, pull off the dust caps or pry them out by carefully wedging an X-Acto blade between each cap and hub. You'll see the plastic seals covering the bearings. Lift these by slipping the blade beneath, being very careful not to bend the seals.

Once you see the bearings, you can add grease if they're just dry, or take the extra step of cleaning them with solvent, drying them, and repacking them if they're gritty. The seals will pop back into place with gentle hand pressure.

Wheels and Rims

It is true that the more weight further from the hub, the harder it is to accelerate a wheel. Total wheel weight is related to the number (and weight) of the spokes, but even more important is the rim itself. So if you have fewer spokes, but need a stronger (read heavier) rim, the over all performance improvement is a negative.

Think about it, if you are considering low-spoke-count wheels, they almost never list the weight of the rims . In...

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