Tag Archives: Tyres

Lighter tyres #cycling

I’ve always gone for the reasonably priced 26″ Schwalbe tyres. Marathon Green Guard were my normal all round choice for almost puncture free riding, but they are heavy, not Marathon Plus weight, but not light either. (see link below for comparison). The standard Marathon Kevlar (old) tyres were lighter but weren’t robust enough for my needs.

Years pass, and a more expensive tyre catches my eye, the Marathon Supreme and coming in around 440g it’s a good weight saving:

I’ve never had a folding tyre before, they look very wonky to begin with, but look good once fitted:

Because I had an old Marathon Plus on the rear, it’s reduced the weight by around 750g! I just hope they don’t yield punctures, the reviews are very positive, but only time will tell whether they are worth double the money!

The best comparison is http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews/compare/schwalbe-marathon-2015-vs-schwalbe-marathon-plus-2015-vs-schwalbe-marathon-supreme-2016

That site shows the weight saving and fractional rolling benefits too, but also less puncture resistance.

Clippy pedals #cycling

In all my years of cycling I’ve whimped out at the thought of clipless pedals (a.k.a. clip-in pedals). The price of them and shoes seemed to be putting me off too.

But it turns out there are cheap ones available and £60 will buy you shoes, SPD (Shimano) cleats and pedals. Before Christmas I purchased the shoes and cleats with a view of fitting to my single sided touring pedals that I’ve had in stock since I bought a bike several years back, that didn’t happen. Then I acquired some double sided SPD pedals from my brother, so I then had a couple of options that didn’t happen.

Yesterday:

  • I cleaned bluebell before swapping winter tyres for normal ones (she was pretty dirty and it’s a good idea to clean a bike before swapping tyres because you can then store the clean tyres).
  • I degreased my chain and tightened up the eccentric bottom bracket.
  • I fitted new brake blocks.
  • Re-indexed my gears…. Only kidding, I ride Rohloff 🙂

Then, I got carried away and in a fit of madness I fitted the pedals and put on my new shoes, cleats as loose as possible… Test ride around the garden… I don’t know what I was scared about!

   
These Shimano SH56 cleats allow easy sideways slide, twist or angled disengagement (I said it, it must be correct). The SH51 cleats are not for me and scare me, they are not for a learner like me. Since the cleats are cheap I may one day switch to them, but I can’t see why I would.

Other brands may be better or worse, I just went for what’s cheap and popular.

Here’s my attempt at a video showing my hand pulling and pushing the shoe in the right directions and then angling my foot (fishing???) to detach the shoe from the pedal:

  
First and probably last video! The birds in my back garden were mocking / heckling me.

Don’t fear cleats, just get easy release ones and setup the pedals for easy release.

I rode to work and back without falling off too, so can you!

I love new brakes.

New 55mm SKS mudguards for Bluebell, ready for the winter tyres #cycling

The SKS mudguards I had on Bluebell (my Thorn Raven Sport Tour) didn’t give enough clearance for my Schwalbe Marathon Winter tyres. Last winter I tried to ride without mudguards, but it’s just nasty and I’m too lazy to clean my frame every ride, so the frame was beyond my normal dirty threshold.

This year I decide to get bigger mudguards.
Simple? No, fitting mudguards is a pain!
First I had to drill a hole through the rear one so I could bolt through it into the mount point.
Then swap tyres to make sure I had it adjusted correctly, turns out my inner tube was on its last legs, so it fizzled flat, tyre off, spare tube fitted and I was back in business

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Wow, this photo really shows the filth behind the v-brake and some rust on the cable retainer, it looks better in real life 🙂

The front was even more tricky, the fancy rubber thing on the front of the guard had to come off, it just rubbed the 1.75″ studded tyre, there’s very little clearance!

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Then I had to mount it further around than the bracket it is pre fitted with, fortunately I didn’t have to remove the original, which is the normal thing to do, instead I just used the sliding bridge (bracket) that would have been used on the read mudguard.

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Which seems to be a far easier solution to drilling out rivets, drilling new holes then bolting the original bracket back on.

Final things to do are:
1) Hacksaw off the extra metal from the mudguard stays, I keep thinking I’ll leave them, but then I also keep catching my legs on them (not while riding)
2) Give them a real test when the weather gets wintery enough for ice tyres

I’ll post an update if everything goes wrong, otherwise assume they work perfectly and I’m happily enjoying the foul weather.

Winter tyres fitted #cycling

Thankfully I cleaned them up before packing them away last winter, the winter tyres are out and ready for it. I’ve had to take the SKS mudguards off because the Thorn Raven Sport Tour doesn’t give them the right clearance.
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They are 26″ x 1.75″ Schwalbe Marathon Winter tyres. Well worth the money if you want to cycle when it is icy.