Quick Road Bike Build Guide – Part 1 – Handlebars & Headset

The first in our six part mini series of a road bike build, a quick video tutorial by new CyclingShorts.cc team member Richard Soh. Lets start with… Handlebars & Headset.

Richard Soh

Richard Soh

Founder of SOHBike

I have been commuting from NJ to NYC by bicycle for 7 years. The bus made me nauseous. Driving into the city involved too much traffic as well as expensive gas, tolls, and parking. Eventually I decided to ride my bicycle to work. I now look forward to my daily commute, I find it to be meditative. Over time I have tried out dozens of different bicycles and components. 3 years ago, I built my first experimental dream bike from scratch. It has carbon everything except for an aluminum frame and a Di2 Ultegra groupset. With pedals and battery, it weighs 17.75 lbs and it cost a fraction of comparably equipped bicycle.

I am now offering my custom built bicycles to the public. I use only the best components based on my personal experience. I believe if more people rode their bicycles the population would be physically and mentally healthier, and the world would be cleaner and greener. To promote bicycling I actively volunteer in bike-a-thons, teach kids and adults to ride bicycles, and work to influence public policy to help make bicycling safer.

100% Character

This is a paid advertorial for Universal Channel

Not all inspiring characters are fictional

 

Universal Channel is shining a light on people from around the UK and Ireland who inspire others through their determination and extraordinary character.

 

These rare individuals have the spark to dream big, matched with a steely resolve to pursue that dream with unwavering commitment. They are authentic, talented and 100% character.

This is Amir Miah’s Story – Bike Entrepreneur

 

 

Amir grew up in a rough London estate which made him see things differently. Knowing that more young people went into prison than those who’ve continued education, he felt the need to take action.

At a young age, Amir used to buy and sell stolen bicycles for pocket money, his parents couldn’t afford to buy him gym clothes for school so he found his own way of doing things, he soon realised that there wasn’t a positive outlook ahead for himself or his friends, he had to find his own out of the situation. Amir came to realise a bike was not just a piece of metal, it was something of value, something much more. 

With this new outlook Amir realised he could do much more for those in his community, he created Your Bike, a project that gives young people training and employment opportunities. 

Being from a school where you are more likely to be in a prison cell rather than studying A-Levels in a classroom, he decided to set up his own company. Not to make money, but to do the right thing for his local area.

Amir believes that the people he works with have many hidden talents that need to be found, honed and channelled. He uses his bike maintenance courses as a way to unlock the potential in young people that could have otherwise been used for something destructive to them, their family and community. He works with Ex-offenders, those in serious organised crime, gang violence, or those who are not in employment, education or training, they get the chance to swap the streets for bike grease.

Amir has had his own bike stolen from outside the shop. “I think that’s probably karma. I was just opposite getting a coffee – the kids there are quick!”

More than the money, Amir’s drive stems from his ability to change someone’s life for the better. He believes that by throwing a stepladder back to where he came from can help others step up as well.

Amir is truly inspiring and is a guiding light in what can end up being a hopeless outlook for kids who have been left behind by society, giving them confidence, skills and emotional support at a time of life that it’s most needed. Bringing them into the cycling community provides them with an extended family.

We get bikes from the MET Police. We up-cycle them and then we sell them on to provide training. We get our trainees to learn the retail side of things as well, to learn customer services skills and the value of bikes.

Amir

Your Bike

Lorraine Galvin’s Story – Survivor to Life Saver

 

 

Lorraine was inspired to become a Lifeboat Crew Member after she capsized with 4 others at sea in an area with no rescue service when she was just 17 years old, but luckily they were rescued by a fisherman who just happened to be going home with his catch.

She and four other rowing crew spent almost 3 hours in the water losing hope of being rescued. She used this experience to fuel her drive to save others and undertook rigorous training to become a lifeboat volunteer.

In 2002 the inshore rescue was taken over by the RNLI and Lorraine is now one of 16 volunteers with Wexford RNLI who are on call 24/7. Check out Lorraine’s full story here: www.universalchannel.co.uk

Follow Universal Channel’s social pages here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UniversalChannel

Twitter: @UniversalChUK

Find out how you can help Lifeboats in your community by visiting the RNLI website: https://rnli.org/ 

#ad #CharacterUncovered

Cycling Santa’s Christmas Shopping Guide 2015

Cycling Shorts unleashes Santa’s Little Helpers.
Yes the panic is setting in, so much to get organised and so little time, so we’ve all got together to give you a list of gift ideas that won’t disappoint the fussiest cyclist or cycling fan in your life.

We’ve split our choices into four perfect price packages, click on the images to be taken to the retailers website.

Wishing you a Merry Festivemas from all at CyclingShorts.cc!

 

Secret Santa – under £30

 

Santa’s Little Helper – under £100

  

 

Something Beneath The Tree – under £500

 

Santa Baby – money is no object!

Review – Purple Harry Bike Wash & Polish Mitt

Purple Harry Bike Polishing MittFollowing my high scoring reviews of the Bike Floss (90%) and the Bike Polish & Frame Protector (100%) from UK Company Purple Harry, I now turn to their Wash & Polish Mitt.

It is made from good quality microfibre material and shaped into a three fingered ‘lobster claw’ glove, which according to their website “has been ergonomically designed with the bike’s shape and contours in mind – allowing access to difficult areas whilst avoiding catching on the drive train and snagging in components”.

For this review I will be comparing this mitt with my usual cleaning materials; standard square shaped microfibre cloths bought from my local Pound store!

The Mitt costs at least SIX times more than the cloths I have been using for many years for cleaning and polishing duties, but is it worth the extra expense?

I hit a problem with the Mitt straight away; I couldn’t get it onto my hand.

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My hands are not excessively large, but I struggled for a while before having to resort to using scissors to cut the black narrow cuff stitched into the Mitt to allow my hand in. Due to the Lobster claw shape your second and third fingers are forced apart, which felt uncomfortable to start with, but overtime became less troublesome.

Also while working on the bike, because you have two pairs of fingers held together, it restricts how well you can get into those small little gaps and crevices that need to be reached while cleaning or polishing. My natural instinct is to use just the finger-tip of my index finger to get to those more intricate areas, something you can’t do very successfully with this Mitt as the combined width of two fingers stops you reaching as far as you would like.

Also with my normal square cloth I can easily reach every corner on the frame by using it in a flossing action by just pulling one corner into the tight spot, for example cleaning between the rear wheel and chain stays, the gap is far too narrow to get my finger in between.

image3 Another disadvantage of using the Mitt is that the actual area of material that you can use for cleaning/polishing is very limited; meaning that it quickly becomes too dirty or clogged. You have the whole Mitt but in reality can only effectively use the finger tips for finer work and the length of your fingers for working on the more accessible areas.

To use the other side you will need to take the Mitt off and put it on your other hand. This means that it might become too dirty to finish the job, you will have to wash it after every use or you will need to buy a couple more!

My way of working is that I currently have several image4microfibre cloths in use, each one is given a different task depending on how dirty it is; brand new ones are used for dusting and polishing only, but once they become clogged or a little dirty they then move onto drying or light cleaning duties and the previous one used for this purpose is ‘downgraded’ to more dirty tasks and so on until the very last one is used exclusively for chain cleaning work – and once this is oil soaked it is binned and another trip to the Pound shop is made to buy a fresh one to start the process again.

These cloths can be washed too, but as they cost as little as 99p for three it is not worth the effort. As they are square shaped you can use every inch of the cloth, both sides included, and by wrapping your index finger in the cloth with the remainder held in the palm of your hand you can reach those smaller awkward places with a clean patch of fabric every time unlike the Mitt.

From the picture above; in the bottom left is a new cloth, and each one in a clockwise direction becomes progressively dirtier.

image5So, as you can gather from my comments, I would not recommend that you pay £5.99 for this Mitt, instead buy six standard cloths and use a rotation system similar to mine, you will get much more value for money and they’ll do a better job too!

Left, is a comparison of cleaning area between the Mitt and cloths for the same price. Unfortunately I am awarding my lowest score so far, all the effort that has gone into cutting out the shape, stitching it together and attention to detail like adding the cuff and Purple Harry label has not only cost a lot to do, it has also severely restricted its usefulness, which is reflected in my score below:

 

Sorry to the Guys at Purple Harry, I can only give the Mitt a paltry score of 17%.

jerseyPurpleHarryMittReviewRating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review – Purple Harry Bike Polish & Frame Protector

image1-3With the constant rain that has become the norm here in the UK lately, it has become more important than ever to regularly clean your bike. This will not only reduce corrosion, but also limit the wear from those little bits of grit and muck that stick to the frame and components when cycling on wet roads.

The UK produced Purple Harry Bike Polish will not only leave your bike sparkling, it also leaves a protective layer of waxes and silicones, adding an extra barrier to your paintwork which will make it easier to clean in the future too!

image2-2Simply pour a small amount onto a clean soft cloth of your choice, apply to the bike in a circular motion and then wait for at least 5 minutes for the polish to dry, then buff off to reveal a gleaming silky smooth surface. Of course, as with any polish, avoid getting any on the braking surfaces and it’s not recommended for use on the saddle or brake levers!

In the past I have only used the same polish as I use on my car (Turtle Wax), and have been pleased with the results, but I was very impressed with the Purple Harry Polish.

The crown on my carbon forks had minute scratches that always caught my eye in the past, but now they are gone, to be replaced by a nice deep black mirror like shine!

I also got a good finish when applying the polish to the painted Aluminium frame, carbon forks, Aluminium chainset and even plastic mudguards, so it can be used on most bike surfaces (take extra care if polishing wheel rims not to make the braking surface super slippery!).

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My bike has never looked so good, after using the Bike Floss sticks to clean the cassette and chain and now protecting every suitable surface with the Bike Polish, it is almost in ‘as new’ condition. This is impressive; when you consider that it is a 2008 bike that I bought secondhand, which gets used nearly every day, for either a weekend ride or my commute to work.

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It is difficult to say how often you should apply the polish, I guess it depends on the weather conditions and how often the bike gets washed, and obviously you wouldn’t use it every time you clean the bike. Perhaps 3 to 4 times a year seems to me to be a sensible figure. The bottle should therefore last for years (Unless, because of the fantastic results, you go on to use it on your car, caravan, or boat too!).

jerseyPurpleHarryPolishReviewRatingI really can’t find any negatives; it just works better than anything else I have tried before.

So, a first from me, a score of 100% for Purple Harry Bike Polish!

 

 

The D-Fix… Why not?

 

 

I stumbled across this video last week, it appears to be a recently new idea and I have to say it looks a really promising design. It did get me wondering why it hadn’t been done before. It can be a pain fiddling around with the chain, not every wheel change is a quick and grease free process. It would certainly suit the leisure cyclist with little or no bike maintenance skills.

I’m sure the the frame and wheel builders amongst you will have an opinion – I’d love to hear all your thoughts.

 

 

 

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