Best Way To Wash Cycling Kit Correctly? | GCN Tech Clinic

Best Way To Wash Cycling Kit Correctly? | GCN Tech Clinic


– Welcome back to another episode of the GCN Tech Clinic, where I try and answer and solve your
tech related problems. So if you’ve got one,
make sure you leave it for me down there in the
comments section below, or alternatively on all
forms of social media, using the #AskGCNTech. Now with no further ado, let’s crack on. The first one this week, it comes in from Daniel
Gunnarsson, who says, “I want to have a little
custom work done on my helmet. “I have a matte black Specialized Prevail. “What sort of paint is it safe “for me to have my airbrush guy use? “Thanks.” Right Daniel, just going
to put on my health and safety hat here. Basically I wouldn’t advise doing it. The reason being, most helmets, so when it’s actually the
helmet’s being painted, it’s generally the plastic shell, which is then put onto
the actual EPS foam. Now those plastic shells
are either screen printed or digi-printed at the factory, and use really safe inks to do so. The reason I wouldn’t advise doing it is because if you get any overspray, quite often that spray paint
actually contains solvents, and that go onto the
EPS foam and attack it, eat away at it. I have seen someone once upon a time add some superglue or something like that onto an EPS foam, and
basically just melted it away, and I don’t know exactly
what solvents contained all within different types of paint. I do know though that people out there do in fact customize helmets, but I just simply
wouldn’t advise doing it, for that very reason of
rendering a helmet useless. So, really, err on the
safe side of caution, and don’t stick anything on your helmet, don’t paint it, don’t
do anything like that, because if you do so, a helmet manufacturer will just, well, void your warranty, I’m afraid. Now next up we’ve got
a question from Dennis. Now Dennis asks, “For my indoor trainer, “I need a specific Tacx skewer. “Can I use that same Tacx
skewer out on the road, “so I don’t have to keep swapping them?” Yes Dennis, you can. Now those skewers that are
used inside of a turbo trainer are generally a little bit bigger, a little bit heavier, and can
withstand that clamping force from a turbo trainer, or a home trainer. Now the reason a lot of
people might swap them over is because it doesn’t match
up with the front one, or maybe because it’s slightly bigger, and maybe heavier too, but it does the job absolutely fine whilst out on the road, and if anything, it is going to give you an even better amount of clamping force, because they do tend to just lock up just that little bit firmer. Now we’ve got a question from Robin, and Robin says, “What cleaning products “do pro teams use to keep
their riders’ kits clean, “and to prevent a funky
smell from settling in?” Right Robin, great question. They use the same washing
powder or products, just like you or I do. So something which works
at very low temperature, and removes stud and stains, although I guess they do put them onto a hotter wash when
they’ve really been riding through the wet weather. But generally, they’re going to use just an off the shelf product. There are sport specific
products out there too, but one thing they don’t generally do is use any fabric
softener, or conditioner, anything like that, because that tends to clog up the pores of
the fabric, if you like, so it doesn’t let you breathe, or wick away the sweat
quite as effectively. Something else to really consider is to actually wash your
kit after every single ride. That way bacteria’s not going to harvest, and if possible, even wash it by hand. That way that none of
the delicate fabrics, or synthetic pads inside of the shorts are going to get damaged
inside of a washing machine, when it gets spun round and round. A little fact here as well, when I looked inside of the Team, well, what was Team
Sky’s vehicle last year at the Giro d’Italia, each rider had their own washing machine, so that no bacteria was spread from one rider to another, via the inserts of their shorts. Next up is Matt Fletcher. Now Matt says, “Hi Jon, I got caught “in a monsoon during a ride last week, “and once back, after wringing out my kit “and tipping the water out of my shoes, “I got distracted and forgot to wipe down, “and liberally spray my
drivetrain with WD-40. “As a result, my chain ended
up with lots of rust spots “and a bit stiff in some of the links. “Any tips on how to
regenerate a neglected chain?” Right Matt, I would get myself a pad, something like Scotch
Brite, or a scouring pad, something like that. Hold it around the chain,
and just run it through. Generally that’s going to be enough, just to actually dislodge
any of those bits of rust. Now you say about the stiff
links in there as well. Just try and actually bend
that bit of chain around. Apply some chain lube on
there, probably quite a bit, and then remove it, and then apply, or you
probably won’t have to, but possibly apply a little bit more if you’ve removed too much. That should do the job. Something else you could also try would be a wire brush too, just to give that chain a
bit of a brush-down really, and try and remove those rust spots. But, the first time you go out, after probably two or three kilometers, all those rust spots will
have just disappeared anyway. Next up we’ve got Juan Pablo. Now Juan Pablo says, “I have a question. “How to clean the brake
surface of aluminum rims? “It becomes black and
ugly with the braking.” Right Juan, trick here is
to use lots of elbow grease. But not just that. You’re also going to need
to use a decent cleaner too, so you can get disc brake cleaner. That might do the job, even
on a rim brake surface. But really, you want
some hot, soapy water. The hotter, generally the better it tends to wear away that brake residue from the rims a little bit easier. But yeah, really you want
to make sure you scrub nice and hard on there too. I do know people who’ve used the aforementioned Scotch
Brite, or scouring pads, things like that, to try and wear away that ingrained brake dust. The problem with that
is that it can wear away any anodizing on the rims too, and also damage the sidewalls of a tire, so really, it does require a little bit of extra effort, but
it’s certainly worth it in the long run, just to
use a standard sponge. But, something else you could try too is a old toothbrush, of all things, because that can really get in any nooks and crannies effectively. Next up is Syncmaster667. Hey Jon, keep up the great work. I’m on the edge of buying myself a set of Prime Black Edition
85 rim brake wheels, but I’m worried about the lifespan of the braking track. What is the usual lifespan
for carbon wheels? Right, as long as you use
the correct brake pads, you’re going to get good life out of them. I’ve had a pair of carbon wheels, probably now going on 15 years or more, and the brake track on
them is absolutely fine. The only thing I’ve had to do is change the odd spoke or
two when they’ve broken, and also the bearings inside. Something though just
to really consider here is that by using carbon
wheels in really bad weather, really wet weather, you are going to risk
wearing out the brake track, just like you would on an
aluminum rim there too. But generally, they are going
to last a pretty long time. Ian Fuchs is next, and Ian says, “I recently noticed that my rear wheel “on my road bike seems to be much closer “to the non-drive side of the chain stay “than the drive side. “Nothing else seems out of alignment. “The tire appears to be
centered in the caliper, “and there’s plenty of
space at the seat stays. “What is going on, and how
to I get it straightened out? “Thanks.” This sounds odd. This sounds like the wheel
is not dished correctly. So, the dish of the wheel is essentially, if you have the overlock
nuts of the rear axle, for instance, in your case, where it actually butts
up against the frame when you tighten it. They need to be an equal
distance from the rim, so from the sidewalls of the rims. So it takes a special measuring tool, called a dishing stick, or a dishing tool, to actually measure that effectively, and basically if you tighten
up the spokes on one side, so every alternate spoke in most cases, that will bring the rim
further over to that side. Sounds like that to me, but it’s odd that it’s still centered at the, underneath the brake caliper, and also at the seat stays. So, possibly it’s not that, really. So, one thing it could be, and the easiest thing to check is make sure that wheel is
in the dropout correctly. So have a good look. Never put your wheels in a
bike upside down for a start, because that way the gravity doesn’t tend to find the wheel, doesn’t tend to help the
wheel into that dropout as effectively, as
opposed to if you’ve got the bike up the correct way, the weight of the bike is a lot more than the weight of the
wheel, let’s face it, and then it can find its way on. If in doubt, with the wheel, or the axle inside of that rear dropout, just give it a good push
down really, on the saddle, so the wheel does find its natural place, and then tighten it up. The number of peoples’ bikes I look at, when I pull the back brake, something I always do, and
I see they’re lopsided, I always undo the skewer, just let that wheel drop into place, and re-tighten the skewer,
and everything’s fine. So have a check of that first. If not, go into your local bike shop, and get them to check the
dishing of that rear wheel. Now we’ve got one from Zeno Kaufmann, who says, “From a mountainbiker, “why do road bicycles still
have two gears in the front?” Right, so by this he’s meaning a standard double chainset. Two reasons, gear options and tradition. Now firstly, road cyclists
are hugely traditionist, and it takes a long time for us to actually embrace new
technology, let’s say, whereas mountain bikers,
the sport isn’t as old, and they seem more willing, really, to adopt new things. Now I’ve said about gear options, I’m going to go back to that. So the reason being, road cyclists, obviously we ride on the road a lot more, and we like to be more in control, I guess, of our cadence,
because we’re not having things like tree roots, and
stones, and stuff like that that can really throw
us out the way with it. There’s a more consistent
approach I guess, with our feel when it
comes to riding a bike, and therefore we get
probably slightly more fussy, I guess, with our cadence,
and our gear selection. We want it to be absolutely just right. So that’s probably the
main reason behind that. And really, you do tend
to be able to get that with a two-by chainset, because you just don’t
have those big jumps that you would have with
a wide range cassette. So if you’ve got a one-by setup, obviously you just have 10, or 11, or 12 speed at the rear, but you’re always going
to have a bigger jump somewhere in that combination. And the next one comes
in from chaostwinduction, who says, “Why is there
still a clicking sound “every time I do one
pedal stroke when I cycle, “despite changing my bottom bracket, “and re-greasing my crank and pedals?” Right, it could well be that one of your chainring bolts
needs tightening up, or maybe one of the cranks too. Also, did you grease
the spline of the crank, when you refitted it? That maybe could be giving
you a slight creaking sound. Something else to consider
here is your seat clamp, and also your rear skewer on there too, because sometimes you think it’s coming from your pedal for instance, but it may be coming from somewhere else. A way of identifying this
is to pedal single legged, so just with one leg while riding along. May look a little bit odd
but just bear with me, because that can often identify which side it’s coming from, and also make sure you
ride out of the saddle too, to see if it’s coming from
that seat post or not. And a final question this week comes in from Paul, who says they
have a torque wrench with a 1/4 inch drive for
small jobs on the bike, up to 24 Newton meters,
but Paul’s question is, can he buy an off the
shelf 30 Newton meter to 200 Newton meter 1/2 inch drive, for instance, as the larger, bike specific torque
wrenches are very expensive. I know 200 Newton meters
will never be required. Yeah, you can Paul. I’ve done exactly that. So I’ve got a, I think it’s
a 20 to 150 Newton meter, I think it’s 1/2 inch drive actually, just like you say, torque wrench, and I got that for that exact reason. I don’t tend to use it very often. The only thing really we
use it for on many bikes are threaded bottom bracket fitment, or maybe your pedals, if you’re using that with a little crows foot
adapter or something like that, but most torque settings on a bike are a lot less than sort of 30, what you’re saying on there. But yeah, it could well
be a good purchase. I use mine for other things, so working on my own car,
and others’ cars as well. It’s nice and handy that. Now, this is one for you
all actually out there. Mr. Grumpy 53, a regular commenter, I’m sure you’ll get involved
in the comments section below. Whenever I finish using a torque wrench, I always unwind it, so it
doesn’t have any tension, on the spring, or the
ratchet inside of it. Is that a thing to do or not? I do it, just for peace of mind, because I think it’s
not going to wear away, or change the calibration
or anything like that on the torque wrench. Well let me know what you do, but yeah Paul, your question mate, absolutely fine to do that. Right, I hope that I’ve been able to help answer and solve
your question this week in the Tech Clinic. Let me know though if
you’ve got a question, down there in the comments section below. I’m dying to get involved with them. Also, remember to
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