Category Archives: Bikes & Cycling

Everything to do with bikes and cycling.

The Anatomy of a Bike: Identifying the Parts

A bicycle is the sum of all its parts — headset, crank, cluster, and many others. But what are these parts, where do you find them? Tamia dissects a bike to identify the most commonly referenced anatomical features. Don’t worry, though, the demo isn’t gross.

Bicycle Maintenance Article on

by Tamia Nelson | May 24, 2018
Originally published in different form on June 19, 2017

Do you know what’s meant by a bike’s headset? Or the rear dropout? Or the chainstay? You might not if you’re new to cycling. Or if you’ve been riding bikes for awhile but never gave thought to more than the pedals, saddle, and tire pressures. Yet if your bike develops a strange knock, or the steering seems wonky for no reason, or the brakes aren’t functioning properly, than you’ll have an easier time diagnosing the problem if you know how to identify the bike’s constituent parts. This is doubly true if you are thinking of learning to service and repair your bike.

Even simple bicycles are built of many parts. The frame is obvious, … Continue reading »

How to Haul Groceries in a Bike Trailer

Bicycle trailers designed to carry kids works for hauling groceries home, too. Want to know how? Tamia has a few suggestions for you.

by Tamia Nelson | May 4, 2018

Bicycle Hauling Article on

For many cyclists, panniers are the preferred method of hauling the load, but for accommodating awkward or heavy loads, it’s hard to beat a bike trailer. Even well designed shopping panniers have their limits before they burst their seams, sag dangerously into the spokes, or overwhelm fasteners or racks and cause a structural failure. They’re also not well adapted to containing awkwardly shaped items like French bread or cases of wine. And there’s no doubt but that loaded panniers alter a bike’s handling. That’s when a bike trailer comes into its own.

The good news is that with a variety of bike trailers to choose from the chances are good of finding a design that fits your budget. Even Big Box retailers sell economical models that are entirely serviceable, even if they don’t sport trophy logos. You might even find a preowned bike trailer … Continue reading »

Put a Sock in It… Your Toolbox, That Is

This ain’t no sock puppet, nor an expensive piece of high tech equipment, but you can’t beat it for getting the job done.
Bicycle Maintenance Article on

by Tamia Nelson | May 4, 2018

If you’re looking for the best rag ever for cleaning a bike, look no further than your worn out socks. I have a box full of old cotton crew socks with a terry cloth footbed, and they’re perfect for the job. Just turn the sock inside out, slip it over your hand, dip it into sudsy warm water, and give your bike a rub-down. What could be simpler? Better still, I’ve a lifetime supply, and these rags are free!

Read more: Care and Feeding of Bikes | Choosing a Bike and Making It Yours | Practical Cycling

Socking It To You - (c) Tamia Nelson - Verloren Hoop -

Questions? Comments? Then click here to send Tamia an e‑mail.Continue reading »

The Fine Art of Installing Bicycle Pedals

Some simple jobs aren’t really so simple, and are more involved than they at first seem to be. For example, installing and removing bike pedals isn’t difficult, but you need to know how or you’ll do damage. Tamia shows you the way to do it.

by Tamia Nelson | April 7, 2018
Originally published in different form on April 4, 2005

Bicycle Maintenance Article on

Pedals are important. Very important. They join your feet to your bike, and since your legs are the pistons that drive the wheels, this is no small matter. Yet despite their vital role, pedals appear to be simple devices. Don’t be fooled. There’s a lot about pedals that doesn’t meet the eye, beginning with the way they’re fastened to the crank arms.

Why would you want to know this? These are the reasons why…

  • Pedals loosen, and a loose pedal can destroy a costly aluminum crank in just a few hours, leaving you stranded in the process.
  • Pedals need regular maintenance, and you have to remove them to maintain them. And…
  • …many new
Continue reading »