It’s not always easy to find the energy to service your bike properly after a spin. However, cleaning it after each ride is ideal and takes less time than if you leave it for long periods of time. In addition, you will avoid the premature deterioration of your components.

We usually take more care of our bikes when riding in muddy conditions. However, it is equally important to wash it during dry weather. Mud and dust are abrasives and can speed up wear on parts.

At a minimum we should be paying special attention to the the drivetrain (chain, tray and cassette). Keep it simple!

Rinse with water. Avoid the temptation to use a pressure washer as it will push dirt into bearings, bushings, etc. If you use a hose, avoid putting the spray directly on the bearings (cranks, hub and suspension). If you use a bucket, using warm water will help remove dirt.

Clean, if necessary and time permitting, the frame and components with a spongy rag and soapy water (dish soap does the trick). Use a degreaser on the chain so that everything comes off. Spin the cranks to cover the whole chain. Take a stiff nylon bristle brush to remove stubborn dirt.

Dry your chain with a rag or let it air dry.

Lubricate to prevent rust. Use a wet lubricant if riding in wet conditions.

Remove the excess lube with a clean rag.

Add to your routine lubricating of your pedal springs to prevent wear and ensure that your foot always disengages well. You can find an aerosol lubricant in the shop.

To speed up the cleaning of the transmission, there are products that degrease and lubricate at once. You just have to apply it and let it work it’s magic.

If you ride a lot, it’s best to do an early and mid season shop tune up to prevent any issues that could arise. If you ride less frequently and unless you have a specific problem, you shouldn’t need to bring your bike to the shop for a tune-up. A tune-up before storing your bike for the winter is recommended. It will help to keep your bike in good condition when next spring rolls around.

 

By Valérie Goyette

When it’s time to change your bike, it’s not always easy to find your way through all the new formats and standards that have appeared in recent years. But fear not: your bicycle is not suddenly obsolete, less quick or less good simply because of the size of your wheels. Terrain and technology have changed a lot in the past few years and it’s not surprising that bicycles are following suit.

Some people will tell you that the place where you ride should be considered. Unless you always ride on the same kind of terrain, each tire has its strengths and weaknesses. There are a few basic principles, of course, but first and foremost it’s a matter of personal preference and the feeling you want.

Diameter of 27.5 inches (2.1 to 2.6 inches in width)

This lively, reactive bicycle will meet the needs of those who ride aggressively both uphill and down. It generates momentum well and responds rapidly. As a result, it can give you those few hundredths of a second that can help in critical situations. It is easier to manoeuvre in the curves, but is much more affected by rocks and roots.

Diameter of 29 inches (2.1 to 2.6 inches in width)

Riders used to 27.5-inch-diameter wheels could feel they’re on a too-big bike, but of course, the geometry is adapted as a result. Because the wheels hit obstacles more gently and the bike loses less speed, it’s easier to manoeuvre. It provides better traction because the ground contact surface is larger. On flat ground and if speed is an issue, it provides an advantage.

The “Fatty” or 25.5-plus inches (2.8 to 3.0 inches in width)

Its major characteristic is that the tires are wider, but not as wide as those of a fatbike (3.5 to 5.5 inches in width). With its greater volume of air, it allows the user to ride with lower tire pressure (16 to 22 psi), which makes it very comfortable and provides even more traction than the 29-inch. It also inspires confidence because it rolls over obstacles better. Beginners would undoubtedly prefer it. Some tests have even shown that in spite of its larger ground contact surface, it’s faster than a traditional 27.5-inch and even than a 29-inch in some conditions.

 

As seen in Tremblant Express journal, April 2018.

When you play outdoors in winter, it’s important to wear clothes that breathe and protect you from the wind. If you’re a seasoned outdoors enthusiast, you undoubtedly know about layering up…dressing in layers that can be peeled off like an onion as you warm up.

Unless your priority is performance, it’s best to put comfort and warmth at the top of your list. Please note that the products mentioned below are available in most specialized stores in Mont-Tremblant, including Cybercylce, Bicycle Quillicot, and L’âme du Sport La Source du Sport. If you have questions, staff in the stores will be able to advise you.

Boots

I have always believed that it was preferable to opt for less-warm, but lighter, boots. At – 30 °C, however, the experience is much more pleasant with a good pair of well-insulated boots, even if you lose a bit in terms of performance. Remember, the pedals are made of metal, which conducts cold.

Boots with a clip exist and they’re practical, but less so than in summer. On a fatbike you have to keep your speed slow, because strong pedal strokes definitely reduce traction.

Hands

Obviously, mittens are warmer, but can make braking more difficult. Gloves with three fingers, which look like lobster claws, can allow you to have a good grip on your handlebars and to brake with one finger, as well as reducing heat loss. When it’s warmer, traditional gloves will keep you warm, but don’t forget that your arms are much less active than in cross-country skiing and that the brakes also conduct the cold.

In some rental operations, you’ll even find installed hand-protectors, inspired by snowmobiling. And because the colder it is, the better conditions are in general, hand warmers (HotShots) can be very useful.

Drinking

The small envelopes for the tubes from flexible personal water reservoirs don’t stop the tubes from freezing. Filling your container with very warm water and blowing into the tube to clear it after you take a swallow may help. There are insulated containers, as well.

Your eyes

Ski goggles can fog up when you release heat. The ideal is to wear glasses that protect your eyes from the wind and allow air to circulate between the frame and your face.

Advice from the grooming guru, Philippe Poirier – Cybercycle

Start your trek with a maximum of 10 PSI in your tires. If the surface you’re travelling is soft, let some air out. You’ll have more control and do less damage to the trails.

Fall is the perfect season to enjoy outdoor activities like mountain biking!

  1. No more need for insect repellent, bugs are all gone by now!
  2. Gone are the days of heat waves! During the fall, the temperatures are much cooler, so it’s an ideal time to move outside. Long climbs will sure seem less difficult. Don’t worry about the wind! On the trails the trees will protect you.
  3. The scenic beauty is breathtaking! The mix of colors from the leaves and the amazing points of view around Mont-Tremblant will offer you the best subjects for your pictures.
  4. Because the holidays are over, there is now less traffic on the trails. You will have the trail network all for yourself (or maybe not after this article comes out!).
  5. The mountain biking trails are often less soft and muddy. As the nights get colder, the soil becomes hard. It’s easier to ride on and perfect for learning!
  6. The pleasure of riding in the dark. As the sun sets earlier, the after work outings usually end in the dark, creating new and exciting challenges. Plan ahead by bringing along a headlight suitable for mountain biking.

Come along and join Vélo Mont-Tremblant on the trails this fall!

The fatbike is here to stay. The increase in users and the growth in the number of trail networks in Québec tell the tale: the demand is there. No need to be a mountain biking fan to enjoy it. It’s enough to like playing outdoors, to want some variety in your outdoor activities depending on conditions and the number of people, or to want to keep your thighs in shape for the coming summer.

If you’re among those who like to bike on snow, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you buy a fatbike.

On average, how many times a winter do I fatbike?

Despite the increase in demand, it can get expensive, particularly when you already have a mountain bike, a road bike, cross-country skis, downhill skis, etc. An entry-level fatbike costs about $1,000 in a specialty shop. You’ll find some that costs less, but don’t forget that the good makes have thought differently about the geometry and the components, to ensure that you have a good experience.

Do you live close to a trail network?

The fatbike is a big bicycle. The tires, which are a minimum of 3.5” wide, take up a lot of room and don’t fit onto a regular car bike rack. Some makes have thought of accessories (basket and cover) so that your big bike can be transported by car and be protected from road salt, but those have to be considered when you’re drawing up a budget.

Do you have a place to clean and store your fatbike?

As with any bike, it needs cleaning, regular maintenance, and a warm place to sleep. The more you bike on the road, in the salt and slush, the more loving care your bike will need.

In the meantime, renting is always a good option. In Mont-Tremblant, there’s “bike-in/bike-out” and the bike is washed, stored…and some shops will even credit your rental against your purchase if you decide to buy one. What more could you ask?

Having said that, let’s add that if you have any concerns, visit a shop. They’ll enlighten you!

 

As seen in Tremblant Express journal, December 2017.