There is a rule of thumb, that when standing on your feet with the bicycle between
your legs, the free space between you and the frame should be 7-10 cm.
I have used MTB with 21 st'' frame for many years, now I think
it is a bit small for me. Nowadays I use a hybrid MTB with 24'' frame and it feels quite nice.
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How to switch gears
Basic idea - the chain has to be set straight to avoid "diagonal" position
which would create additional friction and, therefore, would reduce the life time
of the chain and chain wheels.
If you have three gear wheels in the 'system' (front gear wheels, left shifter)
and seven in the 'cassette' (back gear wheels, right shifter), then theoretically your
bicycle has 3 x 7 = 21 speeds. However, it is not suggested to use them all.
Shown in the image, when in 3rd gear, the chain is on the larges wheel in the system
You can use the three smallest cassette gear wheels with it
so possible variants are: 3-7, 3-6, 3-5.
With the 2-nd (middle) system gear wheel you can use the middle cassette gear wheels:
2-5, 2-4, 2-3
1-st (smallest) gear wheel can work with largest cassette gear wheels:
1-3, 1-2, 1-1.
Consecutive gear switching from the lowest 1-1 to highest 3-7 has to be done
approximately like this: 1-1 → 1-2 → 1-3 → 2-3 → 2-4 → 2-5 →
3-5 → 3-6 → 3-7
So there are about 9 available speeds.
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1. Take the pump. Reassemble it: unscrew the nut, remove the rubber and the bearing
. Then reassemble the pump. Install the plastic bearing with the narrow end down. Install the
rubber with the wide end down. Throw up the nut and fix it.
2. Take the tube. Unscrew the nipple by turning it a few times. Put on the pump. Pump the tube.
3. Take off the pump. Screw the valve.
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On some websites that sell bicycles, equipment, for example shifters,
is characterized as "basic level" or "city journey" or something else. I have tried to
match these names with the existing Shimano equipment. Starting with the cheapest and ending
with the most expensive.
Shimano equipment (price decreases)
Basic level - cheapest and most unsophisticated Shimano equipment.
It is used for start-up bicycles. These componens are work well enough only
for calm journeys in the park and some easy routes.
Altus (does not exist anymore, combined with Acera)
"Cruise" level is for intermediate level cyclists (I use this type). These components have acceptable
quality for casual usage of bicycles, and have a relativly low price. It is used with a wide variety of new basic
and intermediate level bicycles.
Professional equipment that is used for top-level cross-country racing.
Highest reliability, precision and lowest
weight. Made for professional cyclists. All state-of-the-art technologies are used
in XTR. The price is extremely high.
I recommend to check the website you can even find electriciy-driven gear-shifters there.
You will need some wrenches, an adjustable spanner and a special cassette removal tool.
After you have tightened the wheel you need to check if it is too tight.
Rotate the wheel and wait after it stops. If it makes a small but noticeable move
to the opposite direction then it is okay.
If it does not make this move, slightly loosen the nuts.
Best video I have ever seen, typical Russian style
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How to Protect Your Bicycle From Beeng Stolen
When I lived in Lappeenranta and after I moved to Tampere I always read some Facebook messages about stolen
bicycles. It is impossible to guaranty that your bicycle will not be stolen from you when you need
to leave it somewhere near the university or near a shop. This being sad I am quite certain that many of
the stolen bicycles
were not protected properly and therefore became an easy target for thieves. Shown below are some
examples from the neighbourhood. If it is
your bicycle that I accidentally took photograph of, and you do not want it to be here just send me
a message and I will remove the image.
The first and the most important rule that you have to keep in mind:
The more expensive your bicycle is, the stronger protection it requires
It sounds simple but people do not always take proper precautions. If you are using a
10 years old used bicycle, you can probably rely on a simple lock like the one shown in the
left picture. If your bicycle is old and does not have any expensive details it is most likely
not easy to sell.
It is probable that thieves will not look at it, but you never can know for sure so always make
certain to lock up your bicycle properly.
When you have relatively new bicycle it is necessary to have a chain lock like shown here.
You must and lock it through the frame to a solid object.
I would recommend
to use two locks a chain, as lock depicted above, and a long cable lock like this one
(try to avoid buying a cheap lock).
This is how I use them together:
You have to keep a heavy chain lock somewhere in your bag, due to the weight and size.
This might result in you forgetting about it's whereabouts and this is why you should
always keep a cable lock on the frame (try not to forget keys).
I also recommend to put the chain or cable inside the wheel, especially if you have a fast removal system.
If you only have a cable lock use it like shown in the left picture.
For cheap bicycles a cable lock is probably enough protection, but to me, this
cyclist underestimates his bike. You can see a
bicycle secured only with a cable
lock (he or she does not leave it overnight which is good):
Sometimes the heavy lock is too short to protect your wheel, this is one more reason to have two locks.
And this is how I don't recomend to secure your bicycle:
If you lock your bicycle trough only one wheel this is what might occur.
There are also U-type locks. You can use them instead of a chain lock.
I would reccomend to use the U-type only in tandem with a cable lock.
Here is a good example of using this type of lock:
The owner of this nice (I guess one of the best non e-bikes in the neighbourhood)
bicycle is aware of thieves and doing everything right.
Bicycles have to be protected from easy thefts. For example it is
quite easy for someone who has a car to lift up the bicycle with the lock still on and leave.
It is also possible that someone can come along with metal clippers and cut through the
cable lock. But if this bicycle is also secured with a chain lock then it will be much
harder to steal, as it requires more effort and equipment to remove the lock.
The thief will see that he needs to
use many of his skills and various equipment (clippers and car)
to steal your bicycle so, he will probably choose someone else's bicycle.
If you leave your new
for the whole night, your bicycle will most likely not be there in the morning because the temptation
of such and exquisite brand is unavoidable for thieves.
Important details about the keys - try to choose a lock which comes with thick rigid keys.
Thin keys are easily destroyed inside
the lock, especially when it is cold.
These keys are strong and will not break easily.
This one here is not very reliable
and might break.
Try to not forget to oil the lock from time to time.