Blog Archives

Bicycle Sizing Notes

A quick note on bicycle sizing: Bicycle sizing sight-unseen is a black art. A bit of voodoo if you will.

The best way to be sure about bicycle fit is to ride it and find it comfortable – an uncomfortable bike will become nothing but a dust collector. There is some math, however, that can guide you to the right size.

Measuring Yourself:

The first thing you have to do is measure your proper medical inseam, otherwise known as your Pubic Bone Height (PBH). Your PBH is the height of your actual pubic bone, measured in centimeters, while standing barefoot on the flat ground. This is not your pants inseam – you must measure this accurately. For a complete guide to finding your PBH, please see the Rivendell Bicycle Works website.

Once you have this number, you can easily determine which bikes are too big, which are too small, and which fall into your approximate comfort range.

Measuring The Bike – city bikes, road bikes, comfort bikes, etc:

Enter your measured PBH in cm:

Standover Height – This is the height of the top tube (cross bar) of the bike above the ground. I post this number for most of our used bikes, and [...]

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A chain tool – don’t leave home without it!

Most cyclists are not strangers to the occasional mechanical problem. Luckily many are just a nuisance that can be dealt with at home (or at your local shop) later. But there are a few that will prevent you from getting home on your bike. One such incident is a broken chain.

An essential tool for every cyclist is the chain “breaker” tool. It is a simple screw which pushes the rivets out of (and back into) a chain. There’s not much to it, but without one it is nearly impossible to repair a chain out in the field.

We once encountered a group of three riders in the middle of the Dundas Valley trail system who were off to the side working on one of the bikes. One rider had broken a chain, and they were trying to use a rock to bash the pin back in. Needless to say, this caveman approach was not working. It was mid summer, so the days were long, but it was nearing dusk. Luckily, between us, we had two or three chain tools in our group, and we were able to put the chain back together for them.

The distance that you can travel at a [...]

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How to choose a used bike!

Well, it looks like our early spring has stuck, so there are lots of riders out searching for bikes. It has already been difficult to  keep up with the demand, but we are trying!

I will be posting on the blog whenever I put a freshly tuned bike on the floor, so if you are on the hunt, it might be helpful to subscribe to the twitter or RSS feed for quick updates.

All that being said, I understand that there is no way for Bikehounds to single-handedly fulfill the used bike needs of our city, so I have put together a quick guide for anyone who is resorting to garage sale/thrift store hunting. By following a few (very) easy rules, you’ll be sure to pick up a bike that is worth what you paid, and worth putting a bit of effort (and/or cash) into.

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Replace Missing AW Hub Oil Cap

Sturmey Archer AW Hub with rim tape covering the oil port

Rim tape covering the oil port

Is your Sturmey Archer AW hub missing it’s oil cap? S-A changed their oil cap design several times during the life of the AW hub, so it is sometimes difficult to find the correct replacement cap. Old caps also tend to be a bit leaky, causing many people to spend time ensuring they park their bike with the cap facing up.

I was searching for ideas to replace a missing cap, when an idea struck me like lightning – if only there was a way to put a wide rubber band over the hub, then the cap would be unnecessary.

Sturmey Archer AW Hub with rim tape removed from the oil port

Rim tape uncovering the port

Of course, once the wheel is built, this is impossible – but one can achieve the same effect by cutting a strip out of an old inner tube, wrapping it taut around the hub body and gluing it together with a tube [...]

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