Thursday, July 24, 2014

Learn To Ride A Bicycle - Duck Walk Method

Learning how to ride a bike doesn't have to be scary. Mr. Pump's duck walk method works for children and adults.

Start by removing the bicycle's pedals and lowering the seat enough to let the rider sit on the bike with feet on the ground.

1. Sit on the bike
2. Hands on handlebar
3. Look at the horizon
4. Waddle like a duck
5. Do not look down. Only look up.
6. Remember to say "Quack. Quack. Quack."

All silliness aside, Mr. Pump's taught cycling to generations of riders. If he barks like a drill sergeant, be not dismayed. He wants you to succeed. Watch the entire lesson starting at 2:58 in this Bike Shop - BikemanforU LIVE Show episode from season two.  The reality show streams Saturdays 10am eastern on the BikemanforU channel

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bike Shop - LIVE Saturdays 10am EST- BikemanforU

High Aspirations
The bike shop's LIVE Show season two with BikemanforU is officially underway. 

The YouTube Live event streams every Saturday this summer at 10am EST on the BikemanforU Channel

The uncut reality show began streaming the weekend of July 4. The online series is expected to run at least through Labor Day.

The action takes place in and around Bike 'n Kite, the family shop that sells and repairs bicycles in the resort hamlet of Westhampton Beach, NY, on Long Island's eastern shore. 

BikemanforU, YouTube's award-winning guru of DIY bicycle repair, is creator/producer. Rounding out the cast are Mr. Pump as the voice of reason, BMX Boy, the shop's assistant mechanic, student videographer SonofA, Sebastian, bike shop roustabout, daughter Baby G, and lots of customers.

The new season features a custom-built stage freshly painted in Rasta colors, directors' chairs, and an as yet untested format. Be prepared for hours of binge watching as each episode can run one to eight hours. 

Episode one hit a few bumps, to be expected while organizing more than a half dozen HD cameras. Mr. Pump cited BikemanforU's high aspirations for the mohawk failure shown above. 

Lofty goals notwithstanding, BikemanforU promises plenty of entertainment: "You can stay live and watch us live all day long. Episodes will be cut and edited for future release. We're going to try really hard to do that. We're calling it our syndicated show." 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bike Parts - 700 x 38 Tires For Rough Pavement

Hi, Bikeman, 

Thanks for the helpful videos. I want to replace the tires I have now on my hybrid (622x19 rims with 700x38C tires) but I want something more beefy/off-roadish -- the streets suck around here and am tired of flats. Any suggestions for replacement tires?


Hi Randy,

While no tire or tube is puncture proof, a belted or heavier rubber compound may offer some flat protection against surface debris, rough pavement, or off-road goat head thorns  

Personally, I prefer center-ridge knobbies with standard tubes for the streets in my city. The aggressive tread and lower psi handles bumps, potholes, chunks of concrete, broken asphalt, as well as sand, pebbles and junk that collects near the curb. No flats, so far. The ride is comfortable and I feel safer.

Our most popular 700x38 tire is the durable Serfas Vida, which features a flat protection insert that's actually molded under the tread. 

This multi-sport hybrid combo is available with presta or schrader tubes. BikemanforU customers rate it five stars.

In the knobby arena, this 700x37 WTB All-Terrain shown below is a relatively unusual size, but the flat knobs are beefy and off-roadish. The center tread pattern would serve an urban rider well on rough city streets. 

We can bundle any bicycle tire into a custom combo with tubes and rim strips - contact us

If you need to be somewhere quickly, the 700x38 Chen Shin CST Crucible Kevlar-belted tire offers strength and a smoother tread. Designed and made specifically for commuters, this tire promises lower rolling resistance and a bit faster ride plus built-in puncture protection.

For tubes - we typically ship standard but some riders prefer thorn-resistant for their thicker rubber. 

You might also consider adding a bottle of Slime to a standard tube. The non-toxic green goop uses centrifugal force, plugging punctures while you're riding. 

BikemanforU says Slime's about 80-85% effective. The pre-filled Slime tubes are quite popular.

Pamela / Customer Support

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bike Parts: France Model F 3 Freewheel Is A Maillard

This Schwinn Approved France Model F 3 freewheel was made by the Maillard factory. BikemanforU confirmed the vintage component as one produced by the French factory in the 1970s. 

A Maillard freewheel for Schwinn

The YouTuber and master bicycle mechanic said Bike ‘n Kite, established in 1977,  still owns its original remover tool that fits the freewheel body. “We used to use it all the time in the ‘70s,” he said. “Now we use it every one or two years.”

Remover tools for a Maillard Model F 3 can be found online, which may help our Cape Cod, MA, customer who sought help for his project. 

Another possibility, especially for  one-time or occasional use, is checking with a local bike shop.

Find an LBS that’s been in business long enough to remember mid -century technology, BikemanforU suggests. Newer shops aren’t likely to own the tool or even be acquainted with the obscure component.

Ask if the shop has a wide-hole (30mm) 24-spline freewheel puller – made by Maillard or a vintage copycat like the Bicycle Research CT-3 or VAR-405. An LBS may be willing to get the part off your old wheel, for a fee. 

Courtesy freewheel installation is available by request to BikemanforU customers who buy wheels at the website  Carefully cut the freewheel body from the spokes and ship the part to the shop. The  crew will remove and install the old freewheel on the new rear wheel. There’s no charge for this service.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bike Parts - Schwinn Approved Freewheel - A Maillard?

Is this a Maillard freewheel?
"Schwinn Approved France Model F 3" stamped into the metal is the only clue in the photo  of this freewheel. 

A customer from Cape Cod, MA, is seeking the right tool to loosen the component and pull it off his old wheel.

This morning, however, Mr. Pump says BikemanforU is over his head in summer repairs. Friday's Tech Happy Hour is still three days into the future. How to help our loyal customer? 

The 24 splines inside the part eliminate using Park Tool's FR-4, which fits some Schwinn Approved freewheels but only has 20 splines. 

The France clue seems to indicate the freewheel is likely a Maillard. A few generations ago, the once venerable French manufacturer produced bicycle components like the rare Helico-Matic hub . Well-made Maillard parts could be found on bikes made by or for Schwinn, Peugot, and Trek, among other brands..

Fichtel & Sachs, a veteran German parts manufacturer, absorbed Maillard some time during the 1980s, according to Wikipedia. Normandy was another brand associated with Maillard. 

Maillard Freewheel
In bicycle manufacturing history, Schwinn Approved is a mid-century marketing term. It appeared in the 1970s and well into the '80s on certain bikes and components that were manufactured to the American brand's specific quality standards. Maillard's factory was among those that were "Schwinn Approved." 

If this is a Maillard freewheel, the problem is the now defunct French manufacturer made the only tool that fits it. This special remover, however, can be found at some local bike shops. And that's where we suggested our customer bring his wheel. 

Vintage Maillard freewheel remover tools like the one at left and what appear to be reproductions can be found online for $25-40. Is this the tool our customer needs? 

How can we be sure the freewheel is a Maillard or a Normandy? Or an Atom - also associated with Schwinn and Maillard? 

Our customer has asked the voice of experience for help. Let's see what he says.