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5 Common Roadside Triathlon Bike Mechanicals & How To Fix Them!

5 Common Roadside Triathlon Bike Mechanicals & How To Fix Them!

(logo whooshing)
(logo bleeping) – If you are anything like
me then you have ridden countless of miles out on the
road with nothing other than a pump, spare tubes and
a repair kit with you, and probably never had any
mechanical issues of note. Does that sound familiar? Well perhaps not entirely, ’cause, again, if you’re anything like me, then you will have done
a lot of your training out on the roads on a TT
bike just like this one. And there can be some specific problems that can crop up out there on the roads. So today I am going to run
through a few of those, plus highlight some other
common roadside mistakes so that in the hope you
will avoid making them too. So tip number one, I’m going to
talk about a slipped seat post. Now of all these points they
are frustrating in general, but this one can really feel
like it’s going to ruin a ride. Now, I believe me, having spent many years cycling in Scotland I’ve had
my fair share of this issue. You’re riding along quite happily and all of a sudden there’s
an unexpected pothole or an extended rough section of road, and before you know it
your seat post has slipped. And even it was only a few millimeters it can really start to bug you. But in the worst case
scenario you can almost feel like your knees are up
around your ears, almost. So how can you avoid this? Well, firstly you need to
start with the most simple, and that is checking
that your seat post bolts or clamp system is nice and tight. Now in this bike here
we’ve got one bolt here and then I’ve got another one on the other side of the frame. On other frames they can
be behind the seat post, and sometimes you even
see them with a mechanism from underneath as well. Just be sure to make that is done up to the recommended torque for your frame. If there’s more than one
bolt do both bolts up evenly on the same side, you don’t want to one
more tight than the other. Now another thing that you can also do is grease the inside of your
frame and your seat post with something like this
which is a grease paste, a carbon grease paste, should I say. Just a very thin layer of it
on the inside of the frame can just make sure that the carbon bonds a little better to each other. And a final thing that you can do for making sure that you’re aware that your seat post is slipping,
’cause sometimes your not, is stick some electrical
tape on here like I’ve done, just so that you can see
if it starts to slip, that tape will bunch up. So issue number two is
electronic gear failure. Now many of us these
days are very fortunate to have electronic shifting on our bikes, and me, as you can see, included. And I would suggest
that if I had to go back to mechanical gears, on
my TT bike, at least, I would really struggle. I think this stuff is game-changing. But that is, of course, if it works and there is nothing
worse than being stuck out in the middle of your long
bike ride at the weekend with no gears because your
batteries have run out. It is extremely frustrating. I have been there, believe me. Now what tends to happen
with electronic systems is the front derailleur will
start working straightaway, so that would leave you
in the small changeling, like am here. And then hopefully you’ll
have enough battery life left for the rear derailleur to keep working and that’ll get you home. But if that fails too, then you’re left in whichever
gear you have been in when the gears stop working
and, for me, in this instance, you would see I’m stuck
in fairly difficult gear which wouldn’t be great
if I was on a hilly ride. Now the thing is that these gears the batteries tend to
last for a very long time and that’s why it can be
very easy for us to forget to charge them up because
we just don’t think we need to charge up our gears. So the best thing to do is
charge them up overnight before any long ride that you’ve got, and then you know that everything
is going to be working fine. But if you want to double
check you can do that too. And I’m most bikes what you do is double press the shifters on the base bar and hold those down simultaneously. And then on this bike,
what would happen is, my junction box, which is
here hidden in my storage box, would have a little flashing light. If the battery is perfectly fine then that would be solid green. If it’s half full, 50%, then
I have a flashing green. If it’s starting to run out, at 25% full, I would get a flashing red. And if I have almost no battery left, then I would have a full
solid red line there. So issue number three is a
loose handlebar or cockpit. Now as I talked about before
the slipped seat post, this is something that can
be exposed really easily on rough or potholed roads as well. But unlike the slipped seat post this can actually be a
very dangerous problem and can cause accidents. So it’s something that we
should be very mindful of when we’re maintaining our bikes. So what should we be looking out for? Well, first of all, depending
on the design of your bike and your cockpit of course,
is see how your stem and your handlebars
are connected together. Well on this bike here I’ve
just got a standard stem with a four bolt face plate here, so I’d make sure that
all four of those bolts are nicely evened up
and tightened properly, recommended torque of course, like we talked about in the seat post. So make sure that’s done up properly. And then, of course, you’ve got your aerobar extensions as well. Because you could be riding
along in the TT position, hit pothole and these could come loose and that is very dangerous. So you need to make sure
that these bolts here are nice and tight as well so that that isn’t going to be a problem. Now, of course, I’m in
the road all these things can be easily solved if you’ve
got an Allen key with you, so carry them with you at all times and make sure that
things can be snugged up. Now punctures are inevitable, whether you’re on a road bike
or in a TT bag like this one, their part and parcel
of going out in a ride. But you can mitigate against them by doing general maintenance checks, looking at the wear and tear
in tires and replacing them as often as you might need to. But the simplest thing to do
is actually just to be prepared for when they might
happen out in the road, and that is to carry your spares with you. Now, ideally one but probably
two tubes is a good idea, in case of double puncture. Some tire levers, a mini pump. And you can even carry
with your CO2 adapter for a nice and quick inflation as well. But the best thing to do is practice before you get on the ride and have to rely on needing to use them, and know how to use at
all before it happens. Right, so my fifth and
final roadside mechanical involves tubes and, specifically, the valve length on our choose. Because we can go out on our bike and think that we’re
prepared to fix a punctured should we get one, but I
think often as triathletes we forget that we’re
riding along, oftentimes, on our nice deep rim carbon wheels, and that means that we
need to have right tubes to go with the rims. Now, believe me, I have
been here too I’m afraid, and you’ve gotten a puncture using your deep rim carbon wheels, delved into your spare pouch and realized that the valves that you’ve
got are not long enough. So you see what I’ve got here
is a roughly 50 mill depth rim and this valve would
possibly be long enough, but I’m not sure if the valve
would poke through enough. So what I’ve got to counter
that is some valve extenders because we can then add these
onto the end of our valves and that means that regardless
of the depth of the rim, whether they’re this deep
or even deeper, perhaps, you’re going to be able to
fix your puncture and get home and not have to stick your thumb out. Now this is just a selection
of some of the issues that we can face as triathletes
when we’re out on the road but hopefully I flagged up
some of the mechanical issues that you might now be able to prepare for and avoid making the same mistakes. But, of course, if you’ve
come up with some other issues out in the road, I don’t
know, like rubbing brakes or maybe even a broken chain, please let me know what down
there in the comments below, I’d like to hear about those. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video, so please hit that thumb up like button and find the globe,
wherever it is on screen, so you get all the other
content that we have on GTN. And talking about other videos, I have just done a video about this bike, explaining everything in
detail, which you can find here.

6 comments on “5 Common Roadside Triathlon Bike Mechanicals & How To Fix Them!

  1. top tip in winter if your hands get to cold. Stop at a garage and get some of those plastic gloves they have at the pumps, put those on under your gloves and your hands will be toasty warm

  2. Seen plenty of guys on mega tt bikes pushing home in a race. I was hoping you were going to mention tub’s as I’ve never used them. And I guessed the above were and couldn’t fix with inner tubes. Can you? Not to mention glue melting with heavy braking, on carbon rim brakes!

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