1. Warm up in easy gears for at least 10 minutes before doing any type of hard cycling.
  2. In cold weather it is essential to keep the chest warm and just importantly to keep the knees warm. Knees can easily be damaged in cold weather so wear leg warmers to protect them. A simple piece of newspaper between the jersey and the singlet will keep the chest warm and can be removed easily when needed.
  3. Check tyre pressures every couple of days as you will be surprised how quickly bicycle tyres lose 10 or 20 lbs. pressure.
  4. Always carry with you when cycling at least one spare tube, a puncture kit, some money and a pump. It is also a good idea to carry something to use as a sleeve in the tyre in case the tyre is badly damaged or cut. For example an old bit of tyre carcass.
  5. In case you didn't heed the above advice, things that I have proven that you can use to sleeve a damaged tyre are, a couple of patches, a large green leaf, a sock or a $5 note. I expect $100 notes also work but I haven't used one before. (Please somebody send me one so I can trial it?)
  6. When approaching parked cars on your bike always look through the rear window of the parked car to ensure no one is about to open a car door on you.
  7. Before passing in front of a car at a T intersection always try and get eye to eye contact with the motorist to ensure you have been seen by them.
  8. Use Muc Off Bike Cleaner and a car wash sponge to clean your bicycle, but ensure you don't get any water in the bearings.
  9. To remove the lactic acid from your legs, warm down for 10 minutes in an easy gear before ending your ride.
  10. Once off the bike it is a good idea to do some gentle stretching exercises.

Happy Cycling!
Howard Duhs

Are you forever getting punctures on your road bike? If this is you then read on.
You see, very often road bike punctures are caused by the rim tape inside the rim not protecting the tube properly. If you use module type rims (they're the rims with the two layers of alloy with space between the two walls), then never ever use rubber rim tapes on these rims. What you will find is that with the high pressures you use on the road bike the tube will sink into the cavity of the module rim through the rubber rim tape.

Even on a new road bike, don't presume the manufacture has fitted the correct rim tapes, because very often they haven't.

Rubber rim tapes are definitely out, plastic rim tapes are better but can often split after a while and very fine cloth rim tapes often are not strong enough either. For me, the only brand to use is Velox. It is a thick woven cloth rim tape that eliminates the tube puncturing inside the rim. Problem solved.

Happy Cycling!
Howard Duhs

Correct tyre pressure for road and mountain bike cycling is essential. If you have the incorrect tyre pressure in your bike you have to expect problems.

For a road bike with 700c high-pressure wheels, the correct pressure will be around 100 to 120 psi. For a mountain bike being ridden in the bush the tyre pressure will be anywhere from 35 to 60 psi.

On a road bike, read the sidewall of your tyre. There you will find the manufacturer's tyre pressure recommendation. It will say something like "max pressure 110psi." My recommendation is to run your bike at this max pressure.

If everything is in good condition, that is tyres, tubes and rim tapes, then running the maximum pressure will not cause blowouts but it will improve your rolling resistance and greatly decrease your chance of getting a pinch flat.

On your mountain bike things are not so clear cut. The ideal pressure will depend on a lot of variables, for example, tyre brand, type of tube used, terrain that you will be riding over and your weight. So as you can see, it is hard to make hard and fast rules.
The most important point here is to experiment a bit to find out what tyre pressure works best for you and stick to that. If you run too low a pressure you will be forever getting pinch flats and if they are too high your tyres will slide around too much. You will be very surprised at the difference 2 or 3 pounds will make.

All this information is irrelevant if you don't own an accurate tyre pressure gauge. There is no other way you will know whether you have 95 psi in your road bike tyres or 110, or if 40 or 45 works best in your Mtb. And remember, check your tyre pressures at least every second day, as you will find that over 24 to 48 hours your tyres will deflate 5 to 20 psi.

Happy Cycling!
Howard Duhs