Recycled Cycles

Keeping Seattle Rolling Since 1994

Archive for the category “Tips”

Used up-

Used up-

Excessive wear on brake pads is a sure way to ruin rim sidewalls. During the winter months when roads are wet, brake pads seem to dissolve before our eyes. The road grit and water combine to make an abrasive that wear out the brake pads more quickly than during dryer riding conditions. Once the pad wears down considerable, the stopping power of our brakes plummets. Another casualty of excessive pad wear comes once all the rubber material is worn away. This exposes the metal base to which the pad material attaches. At that point metal on metal friction occurs every time you apply the brakes. The result is the destruction of the rims sidewall. Once this occurs the rim wall will lose its structure and potentially blow apart from the back pressure on the tires.
Keep an eye on your brake pads and replace them often. They are much cheaper than new wheels.


Fall Tool School Schedule


Lube is a drive trains best friend. How much is too much?

With the onset of cooler weather and clouds, Recycled Cycles is please to announce the reintroduction of our popular repair class. This fall’s class runs on Wednesday night from 7:05 to 9:00 pm. The dates are October 16,23,30 and November 6,13 and 20th. The cost of the class is $175.00 plus the $25.00 textbook.

Give the shop a call at 206-547-4491 or stop in to register and pay your tuition. We have the textbooks available for purchase anytime.

Please visit for more information.

Resolutions or Goals?

Photo by sharpneil

Photo by sharpneil

If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.
~ Yogi Berra

The idea of making resolutions at the start of a new year makes me wary. I always feel like I’m setting myself up to fail – and more often than not, I admit, I do. This year, instead, I’m calling it goal-setting. I’ve got one big goal (ride the STP with my 14-year-old son without letting him totally dust me) and mini goals that lead up to it. I find it easier – and more fun – to have something to work toward, rather than stressing out about giving up chocolate or trying to quit biting my nails.

Even if you’re not interested in tackling a big group ride like STP, think about the new year as a chance to set some personal goals. Small, achievable, measurable steps are a great way to move forward without overwhelming yourself. But be sure to choose something meaningful – know why you want to reach that goal, or it will be easy to quit. Perhaps most important, be specific: instead of saying “I will ride more this year,” try “I’ll sign up for 3 organized rides” or “I’ll commute to work by bike twice a week March through September.”

Here are some links to help get you rolling:

  • If you’re looking for dates to put on the calendar, Cascade’s event calendar is a great place to start.
  • For some help honing your skills, try CycleU.
  • Consider working with a coach. Our friends at Corpore Sano can give you a cycling-specific physical therapist’s perspective and knowledge. We’ve known Dan Harm of HARM Coaching forever – he is awesome and can help with everything from technique to endurance.
  • Want to get the family involved? We’ve got great deals on used kids’ bikes, and the selection is always changing! Also, check out Kidical Mass for great family-friendly rides.

How to Fix a Flat

Bike Month seems as good a time as any to share this video of Ryan teaching us how to fix a flat! It was taken on our dock last summer and shared by way of The Road Less Traveled. Thanks Ryan!

Helmet Fit: Keeping Kids Safe & Happy

With two active boys, I know the value of hand-me-downs. Soccer cleats and sweatshirts have been passed from kid to kid around the neighborhood, and most things are outgrown long before they wear out.

The one thing I’m cautious about handing down is bike helmets. Kids’ helmets can take a lot of abuse, and there’s no piece of cycling equipment more critical to their safety. You don’t need to buy the most expensive helmet on the market, but you do need one that is in good condition and fits well.

Helmets can prevent an estimated 85 percent of head injuries from bike crashes, but they only work if your child wears one every time they ride! Here are a few reminders to help you keep your kids safe:

  1.  Don’t let your child ride his/her bike with the helmet unbuckled or super-loose. The chin strap should leave enough room to fit a finger between the strap and the chin, but should pull tight when you open your mouth.
  2. Make sure your child’s helmet sits low enough on his or her head so that it rests one to two finger widths above the eyebrows.
  3. Adjust the helmet straps so that they are even on both sides, forming a “Y” under the ears.
  4. A helmet that fits well should be comfortable – and your kid will be more likely to wear it! Check for twisted straps or missing pads if your child is complaining.
  5. Any helmet that has been involved in a crash should be replaced, even if there is no visible damage. If the foam inside has been compromised, the helmet will no longer protect the way it was designed to.

If you’re near Lynnwood this Saturday, April 21, Kohl’s will be having a free helmet fitting and giveaway from 10am – 1pm. Otherwise, the CPSC has a simple chart that might help you to ensure your child’s helmet fits properly. Or stop in to ask us – we are always happy to help!

Yoga for Cyclists

This is a guest post from Morgan Kellock, owner and instructor at Mo-Yo Movement and Yoga Instruction in Lake Forest Park. Yoga is a great way to counter the tightness in hips and hamstrings that can result from your time on the bike.

Cyclists build mighty leg, hip, and back muscles but along with power comes tension. Because the hip flexors and hamstrings are in prolonged flexion while biking, the hips, legs, and lumbar spine can become stiff and sore over time. Gentle stretching will ease pain and increase mobility but like a tight rubber band pulled too far too fast, aggressive stretching can cause injury, too. Always cycle and stretch safely.

Forward Bends will stretch hamstrings and low back but if tightness is extreme, they are most safely practiced with support: seated on the floor with props, or standing backside against a wall. Knees can stay slightly bent, as needed. No bouncing! Hold your stretches for 5-10 slow rounds of breathing, relaxing into the legs with each breath. (If necessary, practice one leg at a time.)

Butterfly or Cobbler’s Pose—seated feet together, knees apart, hands holding ankles—will open the hips using body weight and gravity passively. Sitting with straight spine against a wall will prevent tight hamstrings from pulling the pelvis under and hunching the back. Again, use your breath and take your time through 5-10 slow rounds. Breathe into the back ribs and relax into the hips.

Pigeon Pose is great for opening the hips—flexors on front side, glutes on backside—but it can be challenging for beginners to properly align the hips for maximum benefit and safety. This is a good one to learn in class.

Following is an easy Supine Sequence for opening the low back, hips, and hamstrings that can be done while lying in bed or on the floor. Connect all the moves or do them separately as needed.

Open in corpse

1) pelvic tilts tailbone to waist, moving into pelvic clock in all planes

2) knee to chest (right & left) several times, then both knees to chest

3) supine spinal twist (right & left), releasing low back, engaging core

4) hamstring stretch (right & left), rotating through open hip if desired

5) bridge, releasing into reclining butterfly if desired

Close to corpse.

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