The personal musings of The Cycle Mechanic

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

Tom Pidcock raffles off world champion’s jersey to raise money for Charlie Craig foundation
22 January 2018 12:41 pm

‘A huge step forward for women’s cycling’: Equal Tour Down Under prize money for men and women
22 January 2018 12:30 pm

Holdsworth team returns after a gap of 40 years: Russell Downing to ride
22 January 2018 11:36 am

‘Well-oiled machine’ or ‘a disappointment even by low standards’: how the teams rated at the Tour Down Under
22 January 2018 11:03 am

British Team KGF sweep to team pursuit win in UCI World Cup
22 January 2018 10:49 am

Fernando Gaviria takes first victory of season at Vuelta a San Juan
22 January 2018 10:08 am

Vincenzo Nibali abandons Vuelta a San Juan
21 January 2018 7:40 pm

Lance Armstrong to be a guest at Tour of Flanders despite UCI letter
21 January 2018 6:33 pm

Nizzolo looking to rediscover sprint success at Vuelta a San Juan
21 January 2018 5:25 pm

Israel-Cycling Academy celebrate historic Giro d'Italia wildcard invitation
21 January 2018 4:34 pm

Tour Down Under: Impey secures overall success as Greipel takes stage win 18 - Podcast
21 January 2018 2:28 pm

Sunday trading: Big discounts on Fulcrum wheels, Specialized shoes and light sets
21 January 2018 11:55 am

Chris Lawless left with tinge of disappointment after WorldTour debut with Team Sky
21 January 2018 11:51 am

Richie Porte goes down swinging at Tour Down Under
21 January 2018 11:17 am

Tour Down Under: Stage 6 highlights – Video
21 January 2018 10:37 am

Tour Down Under: Greipel extends stage win record to 18
21 January 2018 9:10 am

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