RIDING YOUR BIKE: WHAT IS EACH PIECE?

If you’re still deciding whether to ride your own bike or not, here’s a list of reasons why you should decide for yes :

You will have fun and learn in the process, besides putting love, care and dedication in a product whose result will give you great pride;

You can customize your bike spoke the way you want, focusing on performance, efficiency or simply creating something totally crazy;

And especially, if you pan right on the internet, it will save you a lot!

Important : In this post, you will not learn how to ride a bike from scratch at home. You will learn what are the parts of a bike spoke .

 

FRAME

Riding your bike: frame

Frame mtb KUOTA KOR aro 27.5 “Carbon , available in store

This is undoubtedly the most important part of the bike. It is from it that all the rest of the structure will be assembled. A frame that is too small or too large will cause problems and discomfort in your riding posture. Here are some indications of the relationship between your height in meters and the frame size in inches:

Approximately 1,60m : 17 “frame;

Approximately 1,70m : 19 “frame;

Greater than 1.80m : frames larger than 20 “;

Another important point is the angle between this structure and the front wheel: the smaller, the better for narrow curves – and the harder the control as well. The larger, less response in the curves, and more comfortable for long distances.

The picture can be made of various materials. Some of them are steel – which is heavy, aluminum or carbon fiber. The lighter and stronger, the more expensive the piece gets.

 

TABLE

Essentially, this part connects two of the most important parts of the bike: the fork and the handlebar. The table is extremely important because its setting also influences your riding posture.

 

HANDLEBAR

The handlebar is the part the rider uses to control the direction of the bike. For a good distribution of the user’s weight between it and the saddle, it depends on the correct adjustment of the table. In it, some other pieces are fixed:

 

Gauntlets : soft parts that surround the handlebars and accommodate the cyclist’s hands;

Brake levers : the two levers responsible for activating the braking of the bike;

Shift lever : part that activates the shift between the gears of the bicycle;

 

BOX OF DIRECTION

Mounting your bike: steering box

Also known as a Headset or A-Headset , it is responsible for the correct attachment between the frame and the fork, without harming the rotation required for steering control. They are the two rings that enclose the tang of the fork. This, in turn, fixes to the table of direction by means of the spider , a small piece that stays inside the top of the barrel and exerts pressure in its walls.

 

FORK / SUSPENSION

Riding your bike: suspension

Rock Shox Reba RL 29er A7 Suspension 2017 Tapered Handlebar Latch Available in Store

Affectionately dubbed suspension, the blog has already spoken a lot about it. The suspensions may be of elastomer, spring or air . Its main function is to keep the wheel on the ground on rough terrain, thus saving effort to the rider and maintaining the integrity of the bike.

The only situation worth using a rigid fork, rather than a suspension, is if you are sure that you will use the bike only on smooth asphalt, and not to cross obstacles – of whatever kind, including a half- thread. There are also rear suspensions, which are mainly meant for Downhill.

 

WHEELS

Riding your bike: wheels

Wheel Shimano XTR M9000-TL Aro 29-10 / 11V D / T-15 / 9mm – CARBON , available in store

The bike’s wheels are composed of a few parts, and their set is very important to the final result of your pedal, influencing the mode in which you can venture. The wheels can be wide and sturdy – in this case ideal for overcoming obstacles, or thinner and more delicate, for smooth terrain and higher speeds. They are part of the wheel:

Cubes : the part that is located on the axis of the wheels and is attached to the fork, in which the spokes are fixed;

Rays : rigid rods that connect the hub to the rim;

Aro : the perimeter of the wheels, between the spokes and the tires;

Air tube : Rubber part that lies between the rim and the tires, unless you use a tubeless system ;

Tires : Rubber component responsible for establishing traction with the ground, allowing the cyclist to guide the bike;

 

GROUPS OF EXCHANGE AND BRAKE

Mounting your bike: gearboxes and brake

MTB SRAM EAGLE Transmission Kit / Kit 1X12v , available in store

These are the systems responsible for braking and shifting of the bike, and are made up of the following parts:

Brake : they are part of the braking system and are connected to the brake levers through cables;

Crowns : these are the cogwheels present in the cranks and the turnstiles / cassettes;

Ratchet / Cassette : the set of crowns on the rear wheel axle;

Chain : is the set of metal links that connects the crowns of the crank to the ratchet;

Front Gear : system that makes the exchange of gears between the crowns of the crank;

Rear Shift : system that drives the chain between the cassette / ratchet crowns;

 

PEDIVELLA

They are the pair of parts installed in the axis of the central movement, which is attached to the frame of the bike. One of them houses the front crowns. They are also connected to the pedals, where the rider’s feet go to support the torque movement.

 

SADDLE

Seat on which goes the cyclist, who is connected to the bike through the canoe and depends on the clamp of this system to allow height adjustments.

Rule of thumb to find out the best part for you: research and test . And that goes for all the different components and combinations you can test. Take test drives on bikes, borrow from friends or give them your way. The important thing is to make sure that that is the ideal piece for you and your goals.

Now that you know all these names, it is worth mentioning that this subject of the purchase of the first bike is very extensive and would not be totally exhausted nor if this series had ten, instead of three posts.

New Terminology for the Bicycle

After the Eurobike Fair bicycle hub manufacturers have offered an advance of the trends for the year 2016, which apparently will be an exceptionally innovative year for this industry. The actors of this exciting market are clear that we will have to learn a new terminology for the bicycle. Any amateur or professional in the sector who does not want to be ashamed of himself while talking to bicycle hub enthusiasts, by 2016 should learn some terms of the type: 27+, division size, standard impulse or assembly plan.

 

The fact that mountain bike manufacturers have enjoyed experimenting with new tire sizes in recent years is well known in the bicycle hub field. This experimentation has led to several new trends, such as 29 “, 650b and fat bikes. Now, another new tire size is coming up for 2016: 27+, which marks a potential trend, combining the best of several worlds. The 27+ is based on a wide tire in 650b format, also called 27.5 “in the jargon of the bike, which has been fitted with 2.8 to 3 inch tires, placing it among the traditional tire for all mountain bikes and a fat bike The result is a tire width that offers above all high traction and stability.

 

The mountain bike industry sees great potential in bicycles adapted to a wide variety of terrains and uses, but the rapid growth of the category of mountain electric bicycles is especially striking. This is a category in which slightly wider tires can make full use of their traction power, in which their slight weight gain plays a very small role.

 

The sizes of the wheels are also at the center of the second major mountain bike trend for 2016, the size of division . This term refers to the new strategy of being able to equip more and more models with various wheel formats, depending on the size of the bicycle hub manufacturer’s picture. So, for example, next year we can find a mountain bike model size S equipped with 650b wheels together with the same model in size M, which offers a choice between 605b and 29 “, along with a size L that is only available in 29 “.

 

The new Boost standard is also wide for the 2016 bushings, the manufacturers of mountain bikes have decided that in general it is also better, especially in endurance racing where wheels with traditional widths can be within the limits of its stability. The bushings have been widened by 6 millimeters in the case of the rear wheels and 10 mm. in the case of the front wheels.This way you get a better support of the spokes, thus achieving a spoke angle that greatly improves the rigidity and stability of the wheel. According to the statistics of the manufacturer’s, a 29 “rear wheel with a 148mm Boost hub has the same rigidity as a 27.5” wheel with a 142mm hub, some of the advantages we see in the new trend are:

 

Increased rigidity with a more efficient and more accurate driving of the bicycle.

By having a wider rear wheel, you can use shorter chain.

The suspension pivots can be placed further apart and therefore we gain rigidity.

The wider rear bushing offers a wider selection of plates.

Boost improves the clearance between the fork and the wheel.

 

Comfort is the demand in the road bike segment. A clear sign of this trend is the fact that, by 2016, most racing bicycles will be able to be equipped with wider tires. Most models will come off the assembly lines with 25mm tires, but in most cases, the bicycle frame and fork will have enough space for tires up to 28 mm. Just a few years ago, the most purest of the racing bicycle revolted these formats that, they said, were close to those of bicycle hiking (which starts at 32 mm), but now more and more brokers are aiming for this new trend , especially the biggest and heaviest, seeing in the widest tires more comfort and better grip.

 

The fact that traditionalists are no longer the only ones who have something to say in the racing bike market is also demonstrated by the success of disc brakes in the segment. Experts have little doubt that this brake technology will reign in the road bike scene next year. While the rim brakes used so far offer very respectable response times, the advantages of disc brakes become convincing in wet conditions and when the brake lever is only grasped from above or with one or two fingers. In any case, in the future, many road bike enthusiasts will come to appreciate greater safety in disc brakes, pedaling with more relaxed hands, since they require less force to operate. In addition, in 2016, the introduction of direct assembly, in the bicycle industry, another new standard.

How to Center a Wheel: Tensioned Spokes

Basic mechanics of cyclist survival

Sometimes there is no other choice. As much as we want to ignore it, the bike spoke wheel moves clearly from one side to another when rolling and something must be done. It can be with time, or by some strong wiggle, but if the wheel (especially the rear one) moves from one side to another and comes to touch the brake shoes, it is not worth separating the shoes more, which then does not brake. You have to solve it .

As always, two options. One, (do it yourself) is almost at zero cost, quite entertaining and very fast. The other option (a professional workshop) is more expensive and slower but guarantees good results. It is about seeing if I can convince you to try the first option with certain possibilities of success. Total, you know that if you have to pull bike spoke mechanic, you will charge the same and have spent a while entertaining. I do not know if it’s nice, but it’s entertaining.

If the wheel has started to oscillate suddenly you have to check if a radio has been broken. Pass the hand touching all the spokes on both sides of the wheel, which often is not visible to the naked eye. If there is a broken radio, replacing it will fix the oscillation. If you do not fix it, another will be broken in a short time and it will oscillate more and so on. Come on, a little disaster. Normally radios do not usually break. In many years of mountain biking, I think I have only broken one in a hard landing, but in my beautiful (and very cheap) Eliops 4 of the Deca I have already broken more than two thirds of the radios. The first, I did not know until I broke another and the wheel was slowing down. Now I am able to hear the click of a radio when it breaks and I always bring some spare, but I am afraid that, although I have lowered the tension and I have balanced all, they will continue to break while there is one of the originals.

I was recently asked by a friend what it took to center a wheel . Besides a certain idea (that’s what this article is about), you need a spoke key (better one), a marker, sometimes a light oil (3 in 1 or WD-40), a screwdriver and, fundamentally, a stool, a stereo and a beer. It’s about that you can take a quiet step and do not get overwhelmed. As you can imagine, surely it is not the most professional or the most perfect way to center wheels, but I usually work quite well and you know that constructive comments are well received.

First, a certain idea of how they work and what the radios are for. It is clear that to give shape and rigidity to the wheel could have been put metal plates or bars or something else. But almost any solution would be more sensitive to the wind and much heavier than steel rods in tension, which are the spokes. The spokes are attached to the bushing (the axle), with the head (like that of a nail) and its tension is adjusted with a thread at its end, on the side of the rim. There is a special, very long nut that is called ringleader, which holds from the outside of the tire, where the camera is, with a widening that it has. On this outer side of the rim, the rims also have a notch like a flat screw, so they can be moved with a screwdriver. On the side of the spokes, the ringleaders have a cylindrical shape with flat grooves forming a square that allow you to rotate them with the proper key without removing the cover and camera.

The idea is that the spokes only hold tension , as if they were strings. That means that when you pull the spokes to one side and the other side of the hub, and as the rim holds the pressure and does not collapse, some spokes are balanced with others and a very light and resistant structure remains. It’s something like the structures they call tensegrity . The radios, with the use, the blows and the time, never tense on their own , they always tend to go loose. Except that, for a bad assembly they were too tense from the beginning, the only thing that will have to be done to adjust them will be to tighten them little by little.

In addition to supporting lateral efforts and the weight of the bike spoke and load, the spokes have to withstand great turning efforts of the wheel. The tensile force applied from the chain to the shaft is transmitted through the spokes. Just as all the effort of disc brakes is transmitted to the wheels through the spokes. Therefore, especially in the rear wheels, the spokes do not go just radially but with a certain transversal angle and each radius is crossed with several more, typically with three others.


There are three types of mismatch:
The jump . It is when somewhere in your turn the rim is closer or further from the bike spoke axis, producing a small jump when turning. If it was produced by a blow, it has no easy fix, let alone playing with spoke tension. Fortunately, it is rare. So I do not give more details.

Wheel mismatched. This is a story that, I do not know why, you see a lot on the internet, but I’ve almost never seen it in reality, so it happened too.

Decentered . The typical wheel that goes from one side to another when turning. Sometimes, it seems that it is okay and suddenly it goes quickly to one side and the other. It is the most normal and I will tell you how to solve it.

Be aware that there are times when the cover is not very well aligned and confused. It may seem that the wheel oscillates and is the cover. What you have to watch and align is the tire. The reference will be the friction band of the brake shoes or equivalent.

If the wheel is not very deviated and the spokes and ringlets look good, it is likely that you can turn directly with the spoke key the heads that you have to tighten. As the radios and their heads are more oxidized or blocked or the correction has to be greater, you may be interested in removing the cover, the camera and the protection tape and even take a drop of oil for each radio thread.

First you have to place and place the wheel. There are supports to radiate, but nobody who is not professional usually has one and nobody who has one will need to read this. In addition, the bike itself already has some great supports for the wheels.

The idea is simple, where the tire goes to one side, you have to tighten a little the radius that pulls towards the other.

     

How to Choose the Best Wheel for Your Bike

The Bike Wheel mounted with steel spokes was invented more than 120 years ago, to replace the first bike wheel made entirely of wood, similar to the wheels of a carriage. It not only greatly reduced the weight, but had its durability significantly increased. Today, a bike wheel can withstand more than 100 times its own weight, and in the most extreme off-road conditions, they support peak loads that exceed a quarter of a tone!

THE ROLE OF EACH COMPONENT

This marvel of engineering is divided into three main parts:

Cube: the core of the bike wheel, responsible for 40% of lateral stiffness and vertical absorption, arising from the diameter and distance between the flanges and the body shape. It also houses bearings and shaft, plus the ratchet / free wheel mechanism in the rear hub.

Rails and nipples:

They are the “core” of the bike wheel, and also account for 40% of rigidity, which can be increased or decreased depending on the amount and thickness used in the assembly. The influence of the chosen mounting pattern (crossed or not) is less than the amount and type of radius used – smooth, drawn, aero etc.

Aero:

It gives shape; is responsible for 20% of wheel stiffness. Its profile dictates the rolling characteristics (rougher or softer) and aerodynamics. On bicycle models with conventional brakes, it serves as a brake shoe for shoes. Its weight affects the inertia, that is, in the reactivity to the retakes and accelerations.

HOW TO CHOOSE A BIKE WHEEL


Wheels, just as the frame and the rest of the set, should reflect the experience that the rider seeks during his pedals, as well as suit his weight and power. There are currently as many combinations that it is possible to buy ready or assemble a pair of wheels ideal for each situation, since a single model probably will not meet all the demands, for all situations.

WEIGHT

According to popular belief, the first prerequisite for a bike wheel upgrade is lowering weight. Of course, in the case of a bicycle powered by limited human power, this is relevant, but it is not the most important factor. The total weight of the pair helps to make the bike lighter and, depending on its location and distribution on the wheel, influences the inertia (getting out of the rest state), but it is not the most important factor either.

AERODYNAMICS

This item is super important for road cycling, especially in flat or slightly wavy and rolled circuits, where short, steep and successive climbs do not predominate. Taking into account that most of the time the average speed will be stable, overcoming the air resistance and generating less turbulence will certainly result in higher speed with less effort.

Format, rim profile height and width are responsible for a significant improvement in aerodynamic penetration and also for bike wheel stability in front of cross and side winds. Nothing scarier than losing control of the bike in the face of a strong gust of wind, or nothing more frustrating than spending energy controlling the steering bike wheel because of its inefficiency in the face of crosswind.

RIGIDITY

When we mention rigidity, it can be divided into global, lateral and torsional. Global is the combination of lateral and torsional. Lateral is the ability to withstand lateral deflection, assisting in accelerations (pickups and sprints) and steering precision. And torsional is the ability to withstand the traction imposed by the transmission and braking. No use having light wheels if the energy placed on them is lost in lateral deviation.

MATERIALS

The materials that make up the main parts of a bike wheel certainly influence performance and, more importantly, durability and versatility.

Hoops:

The most common material is undoubtedly aluminum. The quantity and variety of profiles, alloys, widths, finishes, types of construction and reliability of the hoops manufactured with the metal attest the level of evolution reached. In terms of mechanical properties, the aluminum deforms (crumbles) before breaking and can continue to operate for a long time.

With advances in the fabrication of carbon fiber composite components, it is common to find high-performance road or MTB bike wheels that take advantage of the fantastic qualities of the material, such as low weight, rigidity, strength and vertical impact absorption capacity.

For road bike wheel, the carbon allows high profile hoops (60 to 80 mm), as well as weight and mechanical qualities that cannot be imitated by aluminum. However, the technology, although quite evolved, is in rapid evolution, but the price still restricts its acquisition. With each new generation, designers find solutions to deal with the demands on the component, delivering more performance and, especially, greater durability, which is their Achilles heel.

Another point that is starting to improve is the quality of the braking on the models used with rim brakes, something that even today put its users at a disadvantage, especially when facing humid weather. Aluminum in this respect is much more reliable and consistent than carbon, although it is rapidly changing in newer models.

It is clear that if the objective is solely and exclusively high performance, the choice for carbon (if possible) can yield excellent results. But if you rely on something totally reliable, robust and cost-effective, aluminum is still unbeatable.

Rays:

I have already mentioned that, being important pillars of the structure, the best quality models are made of stainless steel and are born from rolls (like a roll of wire) and gain final form through cold mechanical work (drawing, forging and rolling), which make them more resilient.

Flat (constant thickness), variable thickness (larger at the ends than at the center) and aero models (with blade center) are available for different purposes.

Another important item to consider when choosing a pair of wheels for a particular function is the type of spoke. The most common is with the “J” head, which depending on the quality, shape of the flange where it rests and procedures performed during assembly, yields excellent durability and performance. A wheel for training or cycling in remote locations, mounted with J-head radii, will certainly be easier to repair due to the ease of replacement, as this type of lightning is easy to find than the more specific ones.

Another widely used model is the straight head ray. Although present in an increasing number, it is much less common than the traditional, in “J”. There are also spokes made of aluminum and carbon fiber, with incredible performances, but always on bike wheel with extremely high final value, which puts them out of reach of most consumers.

The spokes are connected to the rings through nipples, through threads. The threads of the highest quality rays are rolled – to distinguish them, it is only to measure the diameter, which is greater than the diameter of the ray itself – and the threads of the most economical, cut.

Nipples are also found in different materials, the most common being nickel plated brass and the most sophisticated in anodized aluminum. To assist in the maintenance of lightning stress, there are models with threaded treatment that eliminates the need to use a screwdriver during assembly. The best quality nipples usually have the tool machining surface better machined, to avoid deformation during the rationing tenure.

Buckets:

The vast majority of the best quality cubes have their body in cast or forged aluminum, but there are models with parts in carbon and some rare in fully carbon composite. The flanges that receive the spokes may be high or low (as explained above), angled or perpendicular. And more or less spaced, directly affecting the lateral stiffness, the absorption capacity and the tensile strength, depending on the design of the wheel.

The bearings can be from the traditional ones – with tracks, cones and separate balls, that vary of quality drastically between the basic models and the top of line, in terms of tolerances, finish of the tracks, precision of the balls, hardness of the materials etc. – as sealed cartridge, usually in steel alloys, with balls in retention collars (or not), in a greater or lesser number and, in the same way as the traditional, separate cone and lane, with materials and tolerances that make them more fast and sometimes durable than the more economical models.

There are also ceramic ball bearings and steel tracks of loftier alloys, with tight tolerances, providing the least possible friction and resulting in sensitive gains in power and speed.

The shafts can be in different alloy steel and treatments, or in harder alloy aluminum. But there are some rare models in titanium. The anchorages to the frame vary between those with locking nuts and locking axes. Locations can be made entirely of steel or with parts in aluminum (lever and nut), and shaft in steel or titanium. Through shafts are generally made from aluminum, from harder alloys (7000 series).

Finally, the ratchet mechanism, which has been integrated into the cube with the improvement of the Freehub, by Shimano – which will be the only one mentioned in this article, as it has become standard in the segment of bike wheel with better quality -, is composed of a movable body which receives the set of pinions (cassette), made of steel, titanium or aluminum, and has ratchet mechanism which can be of some different types and is invariably made of treated steel, being the most suitable material to withstand the requirements imposed on the part.

It is worth mentioning that the quality and type of ratchet coupling system varies drastically between the number of splines / notches for engaging and the number of tongues or the popular little monkeys (two, three, four, six, or two toothed rings with up to points of engagement). The evolutions have brought faster-engaging models – with smaller engagement angles, for more immediate responses -, and are more resistant to load and water elements, dust etc.

Which wheels should I have for my road bike? – Wheels buying guide

Wheels are one of the best upgrades for your racing bike. Very nice, you will think, but which wheel should your racing bike have? Custom Bicycle Wheel for the race bike vary greatly in price. From a few hundred euros for a nice decent starter set to thousands of euros for the high-end carbon wheel sets.

Wheel is the most important element of a bicycle

Custom bicycle wheel are one of the most important parts of the product design. They are able to withstand the weight of a cyclist, are responsible for the quality of riding a bicycle. Also, the custom bicycle wheel provide comfort and safety for the cyclist. Therefore, the custom bicycle wheel must be of high quality.

In order to make the right choice, first you need to figure out how to choose the wheels for a bicycle. Wheels consist of a rim, spokes, bushings, chambers, tires. The main criterion by which bicycle owners choose them is the size of the rim and tires. Large custom bicycle wheel are designed for speed dialing and overcoming large obstacles. In turn, small wheels make cycling more compact and maneuverable. Therefore, the choice of wheels for a bicycle will completely hang from the style of riding a bike. The size of the wheels is indicated in inches, sometimes in millimeters. Manufacturers produce wheels in diameter from 20 to 28 inches. Small install on urban folding models.

The biggest custom bicycle wheel attach to highway and road bicycles. For the mountain wheel use a diameter of 26 inches. Tires of bicycles also differ for the drawing put on a protector. The dimensions of the tires are indicated by 2 numbers: the first number indicates the width of the tire, and the second – the landing diameter of the product. For example, take a wheel the size of 40-622. This number indicates that the width of the tire is 40 mm, and the landing diameter is 622 mm.

The tread pattern is selected based on the road conditions in which the bicycle will be operated. For flat asphalt roads, narrow and smooth tires are selected. Wide tires with high treads are perfect for riding on an uneven primer. There are also intermediate versions of tires. They are most often used by tourists. This tires with protectors on the sides. The wheel chambers differ in size and type of nipple. To date, there are three main types: Dunlop, Schrader and Presta. The latter is the smallest. Today, so-called single-tube tires are gaining in popularity. In them, the highway camera is sewn into the inside of the tire. Also become popular and tubeless tires.

The fact that a bicycle has two wheels is well known, but what is the name of that part to be replaced? A custom bicycle wheel consists of six parts:

– Spokes

– Nipples

– Rim

– Body

– Hub

– Axle (quick release or axle)

The middle part of the wheel is the hub. This is the heart of the wheel. On this the body is mounted and the spokes are attached. The body is only on a rear wheel, this is the place where the cassette is mounted. A body can be suitable for a Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo group. Because the cassettes have different recesses it is not possible to place a Shimano cassette on a Campagnolo body and vice versa. The spokes are attached to the hub. The other end of the spokes is attached to the rim with a spoke nipple. Replacing parts on the wheel is a small job. When replacing spokes, hubs or rims, the custom bicycle wheel must be completely refocused. This is a precise job. Replacing the body is easy to do yourself.

The axle through the custom bicycle wheel ensures the attachment of the wheel to the frame. This can be done with a quick release but it can also be done with a stub axle. With a quick release you can quickly and easily remove the wheel from the frame, the axle remains in the wheel. In the case of a stub shaft, the entire shaft must be swung out in order to release the custom bicycle wheel from the frame.

In order to finish a wheel, it is also necessary to install bicycle tires. Depending on the type of rim you can assemble different types of tires. A folding tire (the most common tire), a tube (tire that is stuck to the rim) or a tubeless tire (without inner tube).

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Tips for More Comfortable Cycling

Extra comfort on your bike does not have to be expensive. The Bicycle Fork tested different solutions. We chose a common vowel road as a test course. With simple and cheap interventions, we succeeded in reducing the vibrations on a city bike by 57 percent.

How has it been tested?

With a test bike we have driven at 20 kilometers per hour on the same. For each test drive we have changed one part – a suspension seat post for example – to determine the extent to which it succeeds in damping vibrations. We measured the vibrations on the handlebars and on the saddle. The vibration meter registers the acceleration a hundred times per second. The measured values ​​were then converted to an average value. As a starting point for the vibration test we have taken a bicycle with a fixed saddle, a rigid front fork and Schwalbe Big Apple tires with 4 bar tire pressure. We have taken this bicycle as a standard (100 percent) in order to be able to determine the effects of the different components.

Wider tires

You can increase the comfort of your bike the fastest and easiest by driving with soft tires. A pressure reduction from 4 to 2 bars immediately yields a spectacular result: 32 percent fewer vibrations on the saddle and 35 percent less on the steering wheel.

But of course, you cannot reduce the pressure with impunity. Each tire requires a minimum pressure. If you drop below the recommended pressure, the tire will wear out quickly and you will have a better chance of punctures. The minimum pressure depends mainly on the width of the tire: the wider the tire, the lower the minimum pressure. A tire with a width of 37 millimeters is fitted on most city bikes. The minimum pressure is about 3.5 bar.

If you want more comfortable cycling with soft tires, you will have to fit wider tires. The Schwalbe Big Apple for example. It has a width of 50 millimeters and the minimum pressure is only 2 bars. Unfortunately, many bicycle fork are not suitable for wide tires. The maximum width is limited by the space at the frame, the brakes or the mudguards. Fortunately, more city bikes are equipped with standard wide tires.

Of course, softer tires have a higher rolling resistance. But that disadvantage is highly dependent on the subsurface. On smooth asphalt it is advisable to cycle with inflated tires. But on a bad road surface you can drive faster with soft tires. The vibration reduction not only provides more comfort but probably also more speed because the bike and rider are less shaken.

Not all tires are equally good. Smooth tires appear to be better feathered than rigid tires. We compared the Schwalbe Big Apple with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. With a Marathon Plus your saddle vibrates 25 percent more, because the belt is stiff and has a thick anti-puncture. For the comfort you better buy the smooth Big Apple. An additional advantage is a low rolling resistance. But because of the thin anti-spill layer you have a greater risk of tire problems.

Suspension seat posts

The traditional solution for more comfort is a saddle with springs. But the saddle of Lepper turned out not to bring any comfort improvement. Now this is a saddle with rather stiff feathers. But do not expect miracles from saddles with smoother feathers.

Resilient seat posts can significantly increase the cycling comfort. We have placed two different models over the klinkerweggetje. The Suntour SP and the Airwings Evolution. The Suntour is a seat post with hinged parallelogram and elastomeric suspension. This combination provides a vibration reduction of 20 percent on the saddle. The Suntour SP has a low price and a solid construction. The Airwings Evolution is a seat post with a normal construction whereby a bar with saddle slides into a tube with springs. With cheap seat posts, this construction provides quick play. With the Airwings not because the pin is equipped with a linear ball bearing. The construction makes the seat post expensive. The Airwings gives a vibration reduction of 27 percent and thus provides a little more comfort than the Suntour SP. But the Airwings tends to mess. You notice that especially when you cycle over a speed bump. Another disadvantage is that the pin springs in the direction of the seat tube. That gives the feeling that your saddle wants to get away from you. The suspension of the Suntour SP in the direction of the back feels much more natural.

Mounting a spring seat post is easy. There are two points to look out for. The diameter of the seat post must match the inside diameter of the frame. If you have too large a frame tube you can buy a filling bush.

In addition, there must be sufficient space between the top of the frame and the saddle rail. For the Suntour SP this is about 12 centimeters and for the Airwings 13 centimeters. If you want your saddle lower, you cannot mount these seat posts.

Suspension fork

A suspension fork increases comfort for your hands, arms and wrists. We have tested two models. The RST 801 and the Post Moderne Cozy – SL. These are simple suspension front forks with only steel springs and a simple elastomer damping. These front forks are also frequently used on city bikes. The vibration reduction of these front forks appears to be small. At the RST this is only 7 percent. The Post Moderne performs slightly better and gives a reduction of 11 percent.

 

Mounting a new front fork is a difficult job due to the parts you have to transfer and cutting the front fork. When you buy, make sure you have the correct size of fork tube (1 inch or 11/8 inch) and the type of steering head bearing (with wire or cordless). And beware: when replacing an ordinary low fork with a high suspension front fork, the geometry of the bicycle fork changes.

Conclusion

Fitting wide, flexible tires and a sprung seat post is simple, inexpensive and delivers a lot of results. Of course, you can also combine soft tires with a sprung seat post. The gain in comfort with Big Apple tires at 2 bar and the Airwings saddle is impressive. The vibrations decrease by 57 percent. The only problem may be that the straps or seat post do not fit. We do not recommend replacing a rigid fork with an inexpensive suspension fork: it is a lot of work and produces little results.

5 Basic Ingredients Of The Marketing Plan

A marketing plan gives your company a flying start and works cost-saving. This plan fulfills the set objectives in the business plan. You can use an external agency for this purpose, but by writing the marketing plan yourself you will also gain more insight into your company. At any cost, you must remember the following things  5 basic ingredients of a marketing plan.

  1. Internal and external analysis

You must be aware of the matters that is used in your field and environment. With an external analysis you can identify the market, customers and your competition. What are your strengths and weaknesses? You can do this, by applying the SWOT system: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. An internal analysis describes the state of affairs in your company and mirrors them to the competition.

  1. Strategy 

With a marketing strategy you determine the goals you want to achieve with your company in the long term. By setting provisional (and measurable) targets you can quickly make smaller jumps which helps you to reach your long term goals. You also have to find a good balance between ambition and false modesty. If you are setting an easy and achievable target then  you will not gain much in comparison with the competition, but thinking too big can also cause disastrous consequences. The marketing mix is a useful tool for determining your marketing strategy.

  1. Target group

For whom are you going to work and how do you intend to market your product? You should find out which target groups apply to your organisation . This can vary greatly per company and sector. In this way, consumers can be your main target group, but you can also focus primarily on the intermediate or retail trade. Do not forget to describe your ideal customer or clients in detail, also known as gauge. This makes it easier to make a realistic estimate of the size of your target group.

  1. Budget

Your budget must also be determined in the marketing plan. Whether you have more than sufficient starting capital or not, you will have to specify how much money you can make available for the various market segments (product development, price discounts, etc.). Calculate per product how much money you are expected to spend.

  1. Evaluation

Have you completed your marketing plan? Then you are not there yet, because a company should always move on towards the future plan to make your company grow faster.

In short: If you work on the plan then you can see a growth in your company after 6 months from the point you started.

Make sure that you regularly evaluate your marketing plan.

This allows you to quickly adjust when objectives or targets are not being met and you will not be surprised at the end of the year.

A Marketing Plan In 7 Steps

Reading a good marketing plan will make your plans concrete and the chance of success gets greater each time. In this article you can read how to do that.

Step 1: Collect information about customer and competitor

Collect good marketing starts with information about your target group, the market, competitors and of course your product or service. Analyse them thoroughly; it is not a rocket science. Using a simple survey among your existing and/or potential customers, you can get lot of information. If necessary, you can make them complete the survey by offering a gift or discount. It can then be recovered quickly. You should come to conclusion about what does your target group think about your product? You should also analyse if they did not buy your product, then why they didn’t buy them? 

Step 2: Determine which market you want to serve

Defining your market is very important in order to use your marketing budget efficiently. A maker of small sports cars does not have to compete against Volkswagen or Renault, but instead he have to focus his marketing on a small segment of enthusiasts who sell small sports cars. His marketing plan will have to be focused strongly on the needs of that target group. The sales and communication channels should also be connected with this.

Step 3: Focus on your product or service

Positioning is the backbone of your marketing plan. What place does your product or service take on the market? Does it have a special feature such as: innovative, handy, only for women, original Amersfoorts? It is about the core message that you want to convey in your statements. It determines to a large extent about how you talk about your product or service. You have very different expressions about paint than about ice creams so make sure that you show the difference in your plan depending on the nature of the product.

Step 4: Consider the life phase of your product or service

The life phase of your product determines to a large extent what your marketing looks like. In many cases, a new product or service will market you differently (‘new!’) Than a product that has existed for some time (‘proven formula’). You can use other sales channels with different pricing.

Step 5: Clear your target group

Men or women? Elderly or young people? Hip birds or cautious middle classes? Residents of Groningen or the whole world? Segmenting by target group is an important part of the marketing plan. You can think of training, residence, faith and socio-economic background. Which approach is appropriate for your target group? 

Step 6: Investigate the buying behavior of your customers

People drive for a nice bread. Droplets, however, they buy on a spur of the moment when they are at the checkout. By knowing where and when they make a purchasing decision, you can focus your sales efforts very specifically on your target group. 

Step 7: Set your marketing budget

Money that you spend on marketing needs will be given back to you later on. It makes no sense to spend more money without making any profit. However, you will not earn money if you do not spend anything on marketing. Sit down with a large sheet of paper and count: how do your expenses outweigh the possible extra income? How do you use your marketing more efficiently? to gain more profit.

4 Marketing Tips For Starters

Starting a business is one thing, but selling your product or service successfully is often another story. Without brand awareness and a stable growth of customers or clients, there will be no real success. But how do you, as a start-up, reach as many potential customers as possible? You can read this in the article below here are very important 4 marketing tips for starters.

  1. Make it personal

When setting up a marketing campaign, try to give a personal touch to products or the service that you will put on the market. Generally speaking, people are more likely to buy a product when they can identify the product with them. One product lends itself more than the other; the latest app in the field of navigation may be easier to promote in certain target groups than others- for example – a toaster that prevents the burning of slices of bread. But if you focus on bringing the message how this toaster will change the consumer’s life in a positive way (“Never again burnt toast!”), People will soon become convinced of the necessity of this product.

  1. Appearance counts

Marketing is not only about the quality of a product or service, but the presentation also plays an important role. Whether it concerns making a choice for the packaging material, assessing the design of a new business website and accompanying brochure or determining a design for your business cards: be prepared to spend time, energy and possibly money on it. The eye wants something too. So you may soon give a presentation about your product or brand in a business relationship, make sure that it is taken care of down to the last detail. Apart from the content, marketing also contributes in making a good first impression.

  1. Take search engine optimization (SEO) seriously

In the year 2018 you, as an entrepreneur, can no longer ignore search engine optimization (often abbreviated as SEO). Using this way you can try to optimize the content (content) and the navigation of a website, so it will be ultimately scored better in Google and in other search engines. Customers come out faster to your website instead focused on your competitors. Most starting entrepreneurs do not yet have an extensive marketing budget. Compared with other marketing techniques, investing in SEO is relatively advantageous, though – if you were not born with a pen in hand – you will have to hire a copywriter to create and share new relevant content.

Good SEO results cannot be achieved in a week of time. Keep in mind that this is a certain period of time before you will actually see a stable upward trend in visitor statistics. But if you invest the necessary time and energy in SEO in the start-up phase of your company, you can reap the benefits soon or later.

  1. Approach your target group actively

If you want to bring your product or service to the attention of your target group, you can of course approach the media, but actively approaching consumers or potential clients is just as effective in many cases. Imagine: you recently started as a freelance HR consultant and you have experience with supervising employees who have faced with a dismissal procedure. Then there is a chance that part of your online network is on LinkedIn. Make sure you log in to the right groups and know what is going on inside these circles. Approach the people (where you see opportunities as an entrepreneur) who are faced with a problem or who have asked a specific question in a personal, but non-committal way.

If you promote your products or services on social media, you should always be prepared for questions and / or complaints from your followers and come to a timely and adequate response. Set up alerts so that you know when and by whom your company or brand was spoken and, if necessary and possible, contact the person who said something about your product or service. Someone can have a well-founded complaint about your company (late or incomplete delivery, broken wire, etc.), but if you speak to this person in person and in a friendly way and you can quickly come up with a solution, you can kill two birds with one stone: you can save the reputation of your company, more importantly, you probably still have a satisfied customer.