FAQ's‎ > ‎

Bicycle & Equipment FAQ

Should I use clipless or clip pedals?
Clip pedals belong in a bygone era although novice riders will be more comfortable using such pedals.
It seems that almost everyone who swaps to clipless pedals will experience some mishaps/crashes as they familiarise themselves with the clicking out technique.
Cyclists choose clipless pedals as it is deemed a more efficient means of pedalling and it ensures your feet are always in the optimum position on the pedals for power transfer.
Clipless pedal systems vary between brands and you may wish to observe other riders and quiz them on their experiences before making a purchase yourself.

What type of clipless pedals/shoes are there?

The two most popular types of clipless systems are SPD and SPD-SL.
The SPD system is predominantly made for mountain bike shoes, which have a thicker sole and has the cleat recessed into the sole - making it easy to walk around in when off the bike.

The SPD-SL system is for road bike shoes and uses a much larger cleat and very minimal sole.
The advantage is weight and a larger cleat base for supporting the foot, though the down-side is that walking in SPD-SL shoes is not so easy.

Either can be used on a road bike as long as the appropriate pedal system is purchased to match the shoes being used.

Do I need lights on my bike?
Most definitely, if riding early morning or late evening when visibility is low or non-existent.
In addition to front and rear lights you may consider some additional lights for your helmet that help provide a better outline of your profile so motorists are more likely to recognise you as a cyclist.

Where do you buy accessories for your bike?
The obvious solution is your local bike store (as the store may not exist otherwise) or perhaps a fellow cyclist may be prepared to sell/exchange the item you require.
If you wish to purchase something over the internet (possibly a cheaper alternative for standard items such as tyres and tubes), there are several online retailers.
Our Suggested Links page has links for both Australian and Overseas retailers.

What sort of helmet should I wear?
First and foremost, and Australian design approved helmet must be worn.
Overseas retailers do often sell Australian approved helmets but please ensure you check this is purchasing from overseas.
Should you enter any recreational event or any form of racing within Australia they will stipulate that an Australian approved helmet (with appropriate sticker affixed) be worn - or you will not be allowed to participate.
Further to this, the two most important things to choosing a helmet are fit and comfort.
There is no point buying the nicest looking or most popular helmet if it does not fit you correctly and is not comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
It is suggested you try on several options within your budget and narrow down the list to a couple, then from those that fit and are comfortable to wear, choose based on looks/styling.

How often should I clean my bike?
As with many things related to the bike it is a matter of personal preference.
A bike that is cleaned thoroughly and regularly (i.e. after every ride) will look better and attract positive comments pre- and post-ride.
The owners of bikes that receive less attention may have their shortcomings pointed out to them pre or post ride as well.
A well-maintained bike will perform better and its components will last longer.
Also, by cleaning the bike regularly, you should notice any cracks or damage to the frame (or components), which may otherwise be overlooked, creating a potential risk when out riding.

What happens if I do not maintain my bike?
If a bike is not maintained, the components will wear more quickly and issues will arise, often when out riding.
Particularly when riding in a group, this not only affects yourself but those riding with you so it is expected that all riders will keep their bikes maintained to a reasonable standard, in order to minimise any avoidable issues.

How much air should I put in my tyres?
Your tyres will indicate what the maximum tyre pressure is but the desirable range is 90-120 psi.
This is somewhat relevant to the width of tyre you are using along with your weight.
A wider tyre will require less pressure than a narrower tyre and a heavier rider will need a higher pressure than a lighter rider.

How do I repair a puncture?
Here is a video clip (from Youtube) showing to to repair a puncture.
(Video) How to repair a puncture

If you still have questions ask a club member for further advice.

How do I replace a tube?
Here is a video clip (from Youtube) showing how t change a tyre/tube
(Video) How to remove and re-install a bicycle tyre and tube

If you still have questions ask a club member for further advice.

What tools/spares should I carry?
A pump or CO2 cartridge, a spare tube or two and a tyre lever are the minimum tools required.
A multi-purpose cycle tool which can be used to make various adjustments is the next item to be considered.
Additionally it is recommended that you always carry you mobile phone and some cash in cash of emergency.
Ideally the phone and money should be carried in a water-proof plastic bag or similar. It is also advisable to carry some ID with you in case of emergency.