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Components Maintenance News Safety

Hargroves Cycles supports the ‘Fix Your Bike’ voucher scheme

The Fix Your Bike voucher scheme has been set up by the Department for Transport and Energy Saving Trust to help more people rekindle their love of cycling.

The scheme is open to anyone who has an unused bicycle in need of repair, getting them back in the saddle and on the road, by providing a £50 voucher covering or towards the cost of a bike service and repair*.

Hargroves Cycles are proud to give our full backing of the scheme by offering a bike service and full safety check designed specifically to get your bike back on the road costing £50.  Additional parts and labour beyond this value will be chargeable.

 

To participate in the scheme, all you need to do is follow an easy three-step process:

  • Apply for your free £50 voucher using the online platform, where you will need to provide some basic details about yourself and your bike. You can do that >>> here
  • Get in touch with your local Hargroves store and book a appointment
  • Bring your bike into the store along with your unique voucher code and two forms of ID** and we’ll do the rest

 

What is included in the service:

  • A clean down of the frame and forks
  • Brake check, making any necessary tweaks
  • Realign the gears
  • Measure and apply oil chain
  • Tyre and wheel inspection
  • Full safety check
  • Provide full diagnostics reports, suggesting any parts that may need replacing 
*Up to 2 vouchers redeemable per household. One voucher per bike.

**Accepted forms of ID include: valid driving licence photo card with address OR passport; national identity card (non-UK); residence permit; AND one of the following documents in hard copy or electronic form, (provided that the document is less than 3 months old): utility bill, council tax bill, mortgage statement, council/housing association rent card, benefit book.

Vouchers must be valid at the point of redemption. The bike owner must be 18 or over. Repairs must be necessary to make the bike roadworthy and fit for purpose.

Categories
Maintenance News Parts And Accessories Safety

Fixing a puncture on the road

Let us get back to basics. Changing a tyre and/or fixing a puncture is something that every cyclist, no matter how experienced, will have to face at some point. You may have the best tyres, do your utmost to avoid potholes and meticulously prune your tyres for undesirable objects, however, the day will come where you have to come to terms with the fact that you have a puncture. Maybe you’ve cycled over a carelessly disposed glass bottle or caught the end of a spiked vine, whatever the case you’ll start to feel as if the bike has suddenly become almost… sluggish, as if it’s somehow consumed a good few pints. You survey your surroundings, eyeing your tyres suspiciously, trying to determine whether it is, in fact, a puncture or you just didn’t pump your tyres up pre-ride. Then the moment comes when you finally concede to the reality that your slowly losing air. At this point (post swearing), it’s best to find a safe spot to pull over and set about fixing the thorn in your side (or tyre).

Now, if you’re the type of cyclist that prepares an ’emergency kit’ prior to heading out, you will have a full puncture repair kit which consists of – tyre levers, a piece of chalk/crayon, a spare inner tube, puncture patches, glue, sandpaper and a pump/co2 canister. But for argument’s sake, let’s say you have no spare tube, so you’re resigned to fixing the puncture and continuing on the same tube. While tyre levers are not a necessity for removing a tyre, it certainly helps and keeps your fingers from getting sore, we’re going to assume that you have a pair.

Getting your bike set

Puncture in the rear? Make sure you change gears until you’re in the small ring at the back (this is better for your bike when you remove the wheel). Then flip the bike upside down, this isn’t essential but helps considering you’re riding solo. Make sure it’s rested on the saddle and handlebars.

Removing the wheel

If you have rim brakes you may have to undo your brake to remove the tyre. Sidepull brakes have a little lever on the calliper that opens the brake further. With V-brakes, the J-shaped metal ‘noodle’ unhooks from the yoke. With cantilever brakes, the cable unhooks from one brake arm. If you’ve got disc brakes, you don’t have to do anything. Remove the wheel by undoing the quick release and pulling the wheel smoothly out, if it’s a rear-wheel, pull the derailleur back out of the way and lift the wheel up and out.

Tyre off and innertube out

Insert the first tyre lever under the edge of the tyre (the bead) and work it off the rim. Either hold this lever or slot the end behind a spoke. Insert the second tyre lever about 10cm away on the same side. Lever up the bead, then run the second lever around the rim, lifting off the tyre completely on one side only. This may take a few tries to get it right. Remove the valve cap and locking ring, if any, then remove the tube.

Finding the puncture, fixing the puncture

If you’re…erm…lucky! You’ll be able to see the offending hole that caused the puncture, however, it might not be so easy. The best bet is to pump up the tube and move the tube around listening carefully for a soft hissing sound. When you think you’ve found it place a finger over the hole and feel for the releasing air, mark the hole with a cross using the chalk/crayon and grab the sandpaper. Rough up the area and spread the glue over an area that’s larger than the patch with your finger, and then leave it to dry for at least five minutes. Don’t do anything else until it’s totally dry – otherwise, you won’t fix your puncture. Peel off the foil backing, apply the patch, making sure it’s centred over the hole. Press down firmly for a minute, and then remove the backing, being careful not to lift the edges of the patch. Inflate the tube and make sure there’s no air escaping, if there’s a hole under one edge of the patch, remove it and start again. You’ll need to roughen the tube more thoroughly, and let the glue dry for longer.

Check the tyre, check the tyre, check the tyre

CHECK THE TYRE. I for one have experienced the sheer frustration of fixing my puncture, putting everything back together only to ride 500m down the road and get another puncture because I hadn’t removed the original culprit. Run your fingers carefully inside the tyre to see if the sharp object is still there. If so, remove it – a knife helps. If you don’t find anything, feel around the rest of the tyre just in case. Hopefully, it’s already fallen out.

Putting it all back together

Place the inner tube back in the wheel with it half-inflated. This will help the process of putting the tyre back on the wheel and not catching the inner tube between the tyre and rim – something which will save you time and the frustration of another blown tube. Work your way around the tyre, holding one hand at a point and working the tyre into the rim. If your tyre is being stubborn turn the tyre levers over and leverage the tyre back over the rim, being careful not to pinch the inner tube against the rim. After some exasperating noises and lots of elbow grease, you’ll have it back in place ready to pump up and put your wheel back on.

This is the best way to fix a puncture on a commute. A brand new inner tube will have your bike good to go again in no time (no need to take into a shop for a service). However, there may be times where you get a puncture and you don’t have a new inner tube on you.

Disaster averted, following these easy steps you’ll be a master of changing a tyre or fixing an inner tube in no time. Saves those embarrassing phone calls to the other half or best friend, begging for a lift ‘Yeah, you know the roundabout near the layby? The one near that place we had a roast in once? Erm, you know the one, it had the dead badger on the road?’ Nah, neither do we.

To view our range of puncture repair kits: https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/puncture-repair

Categories
Bikes Commuting Hybrid Bikes News Road Bikes Safety Training

Exercise Bikes under £1000

The new regulations imposed by Boris Johnson mean that we are no longer able to enjoy the great outdoors as freely as we’d like. We are limited to leave our homes for reasons deemed a ‘necessity’. This includes shopping for food and medicines, work, helping a vulnerable person and once a day for exercise. As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, cycling is mentioned as a permitted exercise and while the details are slightly hazy, cycling is what you should do. The distance or time isn’t specified, however, common sense should dictate your rides. Stay safe, on your own, on routes you know and with all the necessary tools and with the knowledge of how to use them.

Image result for locked inside coronavirus cyclist

France and Spain had similar restrictions in place, unfortunately, cyclists flouted them, riding in groups and long distances. The government came down hard and banned all cycling due to a few unruly riders, with roaming police, strict fines and potential prison sentences to deter anyone from breaking the rules. Let’s not get ourselves into the same position by respecting the regulations and behave responsibly.

Image result for locked inside coronavirus cyclist
Scenes in Italy with police stopping cyclists

In the meantime, do the most to enjoy riding a bike. The sun is out and no one is in a hurry. Head out into the fresh air and take some deep breaths and enjoy the feeling of your legs spinning, the lack of cars and slightly eerie quietness in the streets. If you’re currently bikeless and feeling the urge to get one, there are some great bikes out there for under £1000 and options to finance them over a selected period of time, to alleviate any financial strain. Hargroves have picked a few of our favourite bikes for under £1000 and listed them below:

2020 Specialized Sirrus X 3.0 Hybrid Bike

Available in pink and black the Sirrus X is your ticket to riding more and to places you never imagined possible. It’s a comfortable, capable “let’s do stuff” kind of bike that will inspire you to ride more than you ever have before. With bigger confidence-inspiring tires, a slightly more upright riding position, a super intuitive one-by drivetrain and plenty of mounts for racks and fenders it’s more than just a solid partner on the pavement. Specialized also equipped every Sirrus X with next-level comfort from their scientifically tested and ergonomically engineered shared platform body geometry saddle, handgrips and pedals. Here’s to your new life on two wheels. At £699 and finance options as low £19.40 a month it’s a deal that’s hard to pass.

2020 Cannondale Althea 3 Women’s Hybrid Bike

With its low-standover, mountain-bike-inspired frame, its 700c knobby tires and 50mm suspension fork, the Althea can take you from pavement to dirt, to gravel and back…with a smile on your face. It’s comfortable, popular and looks good. The women’s frame design matches the ruggedness of a mountain bike with the speed of 700c wheels. Super low standover means easy mounting and dismounting. The women’s specific geometry of the Althea delivers the speed and agility of a city bike, with the stability and heads-up comfort of a mountain bike. Currently, with 15% off at £509.99 and finance options available at £14.15 a month, it’s time to snap up the Althea and get the most enjoyment out of your ride.

2020 Ridgeback Avenida 6

The Avenida 6 was built around comfort, with its classic step-through frame design and upright riding position coupled with the swept-back bar and suspension seat post the Avenida 6 puts you in the perfect position to ride all day and step off feeling just as fresh as when you stepped on. Fully equipped with full-length mudguards and rear pannier rack as standard it is more than capable of tackling the morning commute or the daily ride and equipped with 6 speed Shimano gearing means it can handle any route you choose. Available at £449.99 and finance options starting at £12.49 a month.

2020 Cannondale Topstone Sora Mens Gravel Bike

A personal favourite of mine, the Cannondale Topstone, is a capable, versatile gravel road bike. Built for chasing horizons, exploring routes less travelled or accelerating your commute. Its lightweight aluminium frame uses Cannondale’s SmartForm tubing to save weight and engineer comfort, increasingly important on long and off-road rides. Wide tyre clearance allows 700 x 37c tyres to come as standard, which really blurs the lines between on and off-road with their fast-rolling tread yet high volume providing plenty of comforts. Disc brakes, internal cable routing and multiple mounting points for luggage and you’ve got a seriously capable bike on your hands. At £949.99 you get some real value for money and the finance starts as low as £26.36.

2020 Cube Aim Race Hardtail Mountain Bike

If you’re looking for something a bit more fun, look no further than the Cube Aim Race Hardtail. It’s cheap, cheerful and with plenty of play, it’ll keep a smile on your face the entire time you’re on it. Whether you plan to zip around the block, delve into the local park or even a quick single track lap round the local woods this well-equipped, easy-to-handle and reliable trail companion won’t let you down. At £499.99 and starting at £14.95 a month finance you’re not going to find more bang for your buck.

Regardless of what you choose, what’s important is keeping safe, riding responsibly and being careful, but get your exercise in 🙂

To see more great value bikes please visit https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/bikes/hybrid-bikes/instock?maxprice=700

Stay safe out there everyone

Hargroves

Categories
Buying Guide Safety

MIPS Helmets : Everything You Need To Know!

While modern technology means bikes are becoming lighter and faster, the technology around protecting riders is following suit and is constantly finding new ways to keep cyclists as safe as possible, should the worst happen.

An obvious way to protect the head against injury from a bike accident, is a helmet, and if you’re in the market for a new one, chances are, you’ve probably come across the term ‘MIPS’ once or twice. In this post, we’ll be exploring exactly what ‘MIPS’ means and does, and how this exciting technology is helping to limit the injury to the brain in bike crashes…

The Multi- Directional Impact Protection System or ‘MIPS’ for short, is the technology that was developed by scientists from The Karolinska Institute and The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The system, which is based on the brain protection your brain already has (a layer of cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and the skull), is designed to protect the brain during crashes, from any angled impacts to the head.

In a bike crash, the head can experience two kinds of forces – linear and rotational. Most helmets are designed to tackle linear forces, but MIPS technology focuses more on rotational forces, which is when the head hits the ground at an angle. When this happens, the head rotates quickly and then comes to a sudden stop, which causes the brain to experience a high level of strain, and this can result in various types of brain injury. The cerebrospinal fluid in the head is the body’s primary defence method, and as we mentioned earlier, this is what the MIPS technology is based on. MIPS’ Slip Plane technology means that an extra layer is present within the helmet, which allows the helmet shell to rotate independently around the head during an angled impact, therefore redirecting some of the force the brain may otherwise experience – pretty cool ay?

MIPS helmets are becoming more lightweight and cost effective, so it’s no wonder big named brands like Giro, Bell and Fox are all starting to roll out helmets with the exciting technology inside!

Here are just a few of our favourites!

Giro Montaro MIPS Helmet

mips giro montaro

 

Regardless of whether you’re on technical descents or long climbs, the Giro Montaro MIPS helmets are there for wherever your ride takes you. Not only does this lid have impressive cooling power, it’s also fitted with hydrophilic, antimicrobial pads that can absorb up to ten times their weight in sweat – pretty cool stuff! With the added benefit of full goggle integration, the Montaro really does offer it all…

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/giro-montaro-mips-helmet-2016.html”]Shop Giro Montaro MIPS Here[/button]

 

Bell Super 2 MIPS Helmet

bell super 2 mips

 

Need a helmet that is going to keep up with your heart-pounding trail rides? Look no further than the Bell Super 2 MIPS. With uncompromising comfort and ventilation, you’ll be charging up the climbs. You’ll love all of the technology is loaded with – a breakaway mount, and an upgraded TAG fit system that makes dialling in fit easier than ever, just to name a few!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/bell-super-2-mips-helmet-2016.html”]Shop Bell Super 2 Here[/button]

 

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca MIPS Helmet

fox rampage pro

 

If you’re looking for the pinnacle of performance from a mountain bike helmet, the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca MIPS helmet is an obvious choice. Using their 40-year history of design and engineering excellence, Fox has added bike-specific functionality for even better performance. With it’s lightweight yet luxury interior appeal, this lid continues to show up on the podium season after season!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/fox-rampage-pro-carbon-seca-mips-helmet.html”]Shop Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca Here[/button]

 

Of course, these are just a few of our favourite MIPS helmets, but make sure to check out our other lids here!