The personal musings of The Cycle Mechanic

10 years of great service

On the 20th January 2008 The Cycle Mechanic opened for business. This started off as a part time job whilst working as an IT Consultant. Roll on 10 years and this is a full time job working from a fully fitted workshop in the Lune Valley meeting great clients who have rather nice bikes! What's not to like?

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Do you do the Dutch reach?

In 2015, there were 474 reported car 'dooring' incidents, according to the Department for Transport. How many of these could have been avoided if the Dutch Reach was a common practice in the UK?

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Compressionless brake housing makes a difference

I recently serviced a TT bike that used a full length of brake cable housing from the lever to the rear brake. The housing was standard spiral wound brake housing which resulted in a very spongy feel and less than ideal braking. That problem was resolved by the use of compressionless brake housing.

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Shimano launch synchronised shift on Di2

The latest firmware update for Di2 enables synchronised shift for Ultegra 6870 components. Synchronised shift lets the Di2 brain select the next available gear with one click of the lever. You're basically selecting a harder gear or an easier gear which may result in the Di2 brain making the selection by changing to the other front chain ring and a sprocket of the cassette. It's rather bizarre to watch it in action but it appears to work flawlessly.

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Slick cables can lead to a bad gear change

​10 and 11 speed gear changing needs good quality cables to get a precise, smooth gear change. Many cable manufacturers offer PTFE coated cables for this purpose. PTFE is a coating similar to that on a non-stick pan so you can see why it is helpful in getting that precise gear change we're after. However, things can go wrong if you don't change this type of cable regularly.

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Grow your own bike!

The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is a social enterprise that addresses climate change, poverty, rural-urban migration and youth unemployment by creating jobs for young people, especially women, through the building of high quality bamboo bicycles. What a great initiative!

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Olympics TV coverage

What with fixing bikes and keeping up with the TdF, life hasn't left much time for anything else. Now we've got hours of live cycling due next month courtesy of the Rio Olympics. Personally I thought this years TdF was one of the most exciting for years. Can Rio 2016 beat that? Let's hope so. Check out the cycling TV schedule at the BBC website. Olympic cycling live BBC TV...

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Latest cycling news

Denmark set new men’s team pursuit world record in qualifying as GB struggle at Track World Championships 2020
26 February 2020 5:03 pm

How to cycle faster and increase your average speed
26 February 2020 5:00 pm

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 weather forecast: Peloton can expect to be battered by gusts and downpours
26 February 2020 3:35 pm

Deceuninck - Quick-Step name immensely strong team for Opening Weekend
26 February 2020 12:55 pm

Dylan Groenewegen blasts past Bennett and Gaviria on stage four of UAE Tour 2020
26 February 2020 12:45 pm

Wout van Aert will make Classics comeback this weekend
26 February 2020 12:24 pm

Australian team unveil striking new track bikes to take on Team GB at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
26 February 2020 11:24 am

SUV driver didn't stop for quarter of a mile with cyclist on his roof after crash
26 February 2020 10:13 am

Nathan Haas signs for Cofidis
30 August 2019 11:27 am

De la Parte suffers multiple fractures after Vuelta a Espana crash
30 August 2019 10:35 am

Quintana insists that Valverde is Movistar’s Vuelta a Espana leader
30 August 2019 9:13 am

George Bennett: Vuelta a Espana crash was 'real nasty'
30 August 2019 1:47 am

Vuelta a Espana: Gilbert steadily building for world championships
29 August 2019 8:05 pm

Teuns says Vuelta a Espana lead part of his 'overall progression' as racer
29 August 2019 7:20 pm

Major crashes wreak havoc on EF Education First at Vuelta a Espana
29 August 2019 6:05 pm

'No excuses' for de la Cruz after missing stage win and lead at Vuelta a Espana
29 August 2019 5:50 pm

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