Tag archive for ‘Mechanical Mondays’

  • Mechanical Mondays: Off-Season Storage and Maintenance

    If your bike looked like this at the end of the season, this article is for you!

    This week, we’re all about making sure that your bike is being taken care of for the next couple of months, even if you’re not out riding it. Even though cyclocross season has been over for a few months, there…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: The Daily Maintenance and Inspection Routine

    Check and lube your cables after every ride © Dave Drumm

    You’ve dusted off the cyclocross bike after a long few months in storage. You’ve inspected it once, replaced what needed to be replaced, and now … you’re finally riding it again! Well, make sure it stays in that almost-new condition…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Personal Pressure Gauge

    Planet Bike's portable gauge offering makes for a nice stocking stuffer © Dave Drumm

    If you’re like us, and we’re betting you are, you’re currently going through your gear and figuring out what little things you need for the season. This Monday, we’re re-running an article Dave Drumm wrote for us about the importance…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: Hoods Up for Better Control

    Hoods up - a good 'cross position © Dave Drumm

    If you’re anything like us here at Cyclocross Magazine, you’re starting to dust off the cyclocross bike and get it into tip-top shape for fall. ’Cross bikes share many things with road bikes, but there are stark differences both in…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Setting Up Those Brakes

    The reverse toe-in often works better than the front.

    It’s the off-season, so it’s time to be making changes to your cyclocross bike after what you experienced last season. For some, that could mean swapping brakes. Daimeon Shanks, pro mechanic and co-owner of The Service Course repair shop in…

  • Mechanical Mondays: It’s the Pits

    Working in the pits for a friend can be just as rewarding as racing in a cyclocross race … right? OK, odds are good you got roped into being in the pit, or bribed with promises of post-race beer, or…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Tagging Your Gear (So You Get it Back!)

    If you’re chomping at the bit to get ready for cyclocross, or you’re in the middle of a mountain or road season, this week’s tip is simple but incredibly effective. Between the weather and course variability, heading to a cyclocross…

  • Mechanical Monday: Tips for the Pits

    Pitting: doing it right can be just as tough as racing. © Cyclocross Magazine

    Pitting can be tricky business: there’s always the chance that your racer will have a grievous mechanical issue, there are hand-offs, you may have a bike hurtling at you at ridiculous speeds, you’ll get muddy, wet or cold, or all…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Mechanical Disc Brake Adjustments

    Setting up disc brakes correctly is going to be a big new part of cyclocross. Jason Gardner

    There is no denying that disc brakes are gaining in popularity among cyclocross bikes. One look at the ’cross bike photos from the recent Eurobike and Interbike trade shows is enough to show that disc-brake-equipped ’cross bikes are the wave of the future. Their benefits are well known; tire clearance is now only a matter of the frame. They are more powerful with more control and they are not so nearly affected by water and mud. Apart from all these benefits though, the tighter tolerances associated with disc brakes lend themselves more easily to poor adjustment, and improper adjustment on disc brakes can ruin your race more easily than a poorly adjusted cantilever. Too loose and you lose your braking altogether; too tight and your brake drags the whole time. The down side is these poor conditions happen a lot easier to disc brakes than to cantilevers.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Pre-Season Equipment Improvements; A Case Study

    The newly improved shifting on this built up Ridley X-Fire. Jeremy Chinn

    The season starts in less than a week — is your bike ready? Mechanical Mondays writer and mechanic Jeremy Chinn walks us through improving the shifting on one specific bike, but you can also look at his advice in a much broader spectrum of bike maintenance, upkeep and constant improvement.

  • Mechanical Mondays: When To Repair Your Cleats

    Will your cleats survive the season? Kenton Berg

    OK people, it’s August, races are coming up quick, and ’cross prep is happening around the country. Now that you’ve dialed in the bike parts, shaved some weight off of your frame (bike or otherwise), gotten the tubies set to roll, what’s left? Well, its time to work on the shoes, two of the key contact points with your bike, and remove the opportunity for dirt, sticks, mud, rocks or other debris to get caught up between the shoe sole and your cleat. Face it, you just can’t go as fast or crush your competitors without being clipped in fully.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubulars

    Gluing is a tricky, time-consuming process. Jason Gardner

    Gluing tubulars is tricky business. And writing about it is just as difficult, if not more so. After all, everyone has his or her own gluing style, and everyone will tell you that his or her style is the best one. One of our brave mechanics, Jason Gardner of Jinji Cycles, decided to share his expertise with us.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubies, How Clean Is Clean Enough?

    How much glue should you leave on the rim when cleaning? Kenton Berg

    Gluing tubulars can be stressful enough, and there are so many different “best ways” of getting the job done. This week, we wanted to look at one question that we hear a lot when talking about gluing up tubulars: when gluing new tires on a wheel that’s been used and glued before, what kind of prep should you be doing? And more specifically, how clean do you want your rims to be before gluing on new tires?

  • Mechanical Mondays: Upgrade Your Bike For Under $100

    bike shop

    It’s that time of year again: time to pull your cyclocross bike out of storage, take a good, long look at it and think, “Well, now what does it need?” Because we’re bike racers. And our bikes always need something, preferably something shiny and new. However, if you’re on a strict bike budget, there are some sneaky ways to upgrade or update your bike for the season, there’s an easy solution: accessories. (And yes, we realize that this piece reads like a fashion magazine article on making that Little Black Dress look brand-new by simply adding new jewelry or shoes.) Still, if you’ve been racing on — or just bought — a stock bike, we have some suggestions for how to dress it up so it stands out in the field (hopefully because you snagged the hole shot.)

  • Mechanical Mondays: Avoiding The Dreaded DNF

    A bent derailleur is easy to miss but can hurt your race results. © Jason Gardner

    The sad reality is that most catastrophic failures in cross racing result from very simple factors. I have compiled a small list of race ending mechanical problems that could have been avoided with a small dose of precaution and a dash of extra care. These are not all or even the most common mechanical issues in cross racing but these all have two things in common: 1. They can absolutely end your race, giving you a regrettable DNF. 2. They can easily be prevented.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Repairing Tubular Tires

    The Challenge Fango one of the newer tubulars on the market.

    When you invest in a set of tubular tires, you pray they never flat. Because let’s face it, repairing tubulars is a whole lot of trouble. However, while it’s tempting to just chuck flatted tubulars, there are a few options worth exploring first. The most obvious one is fixing the tire yourself, and it can be done if you’re a little handy with a needle and a patch kit.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubular Cyclocross Tires


    We’ve been reviewing new tires like the Limus from Challenge, and talking about some great wheelsets you might want to consider for the season. A few we’ve looked at so far include the Williams Cyclocross Tubular, the Zipp 303 Cyclocross…

  • Mechanical Mondays: The Conical Brush

    Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that when it comes to bike maintenance, sometimes the simplest tools can be the most effective. For example, Dave Drumm walks us through the many uses for a five dollar conical brush. (We also love…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: Pit Tools!

    Daimeon Shanks, pro mechanic and co-owner of The Service Course repair shop in Boulder, Colorado, has compiled his list of must-haves for the cyclocross pits. Missed the last article on brake setup? Go back and check it out. Now that…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: Weather-Proofing Cables and Housing

    Daimeon Shanks – pro mechanic and co-owner of The Service Course repair shop in Boulder, Colorado, is here to school you on keeping you shifting and braking performance friction-free. There are several option available, and Daimeon gives his impressions of…

  • Gut Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: Gluing ’Cross Tubulars

    Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays makes its heroic return, this time under the guidance of Daimeon Shanks and Nick Legan – pro mechanics and co-owners of The Service Course repair shop in Boulder, Colorado. By now, many of you have tried other…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: Off-Season Bike Prep and Storage

    Before you forget that still-muddy skinsuit you left in a corner of the basement after your last race and put your bike away for this “offseason,” Dave Drumm has some tips that will help preserve your rig and have it…

  • Gut Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: The Power Wash, Quick & Dirty

    Sometimes it takes faithful pit help to keep a racer in contention. This week’s Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays feature describes how to do a down and dirty wash with a pressure hose to get a muddy bike back and ready for…

  • Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays: A Very Low-Tech, End of Season Tech Tip

    Jeremy Powers Wins Cyclocross Stampede, UCI3 Cyclocross Festival Day 1. ©Mitch ClintonJeremy Powers Wins Cyclocross Stampede, UCI3 Cyclocross Festival Day 1. ©Mitch Clinton

    As Cyclocross Magazine contributor Dave Drumm is quick to point out, both the holidays and the end of cyclocross season are good times to reflect on the past year and to thank those who helped to make it possible. This…

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