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And the winner is… Good Cycles!

We are chuffed to be recognised with the Innovation Excellence Award at the 2024 Civil Contractors Federation Victoria People & Training Awards!

Our submission noted the work we do with Citywide, DM Roads and Fulton Hogan and the social and environmental innovation we achieve together, but most importantly that this work supports Good Cycles Youth Employment Program and empowering young people in their own lives and communities through stable employment. 

Good Cycles, our purpose and our people were recognised in a room of industry professionals, helping raise awareness of the depth of our business and the partnerships we can offer to help other organisations also support young people and create cycles of change.

We know our staff do amazing work everyday, however awards like this are wonderful to know others recognise the value in what we do as well. Congrats to all the winners and nominees!

Learn more about how we shape livable communities

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Here are some safety tips for riding a bike in the wet

Getting out on your bike during the wetter months can be daunting. That’s why finding the right gear that makes you comfortable and protects you from the elements is essential for wet weather riding.

In the winter months, when daylight hours are shorter and weather conditions can be unpredictable, having lights on your bike is essential for safety. Bike lights not only make you more visible to motorists but also help you see the road ahead clearly, enabling you to navigate safely through potentially hazardous conditions. Whether you’re commuting or riding for leisure, investing in reliable bike lights is a small but crucial safety measure all year around, and especially during winter with increased dark hours and wet weather.

Having tyres that are prepared for all seasons means that they have plenty of grip and tread, and are not too thin since they are the only contact point between you and the road. Anything between 25 and 28 inches is ideal. To maximize your grip on the wet roads, increase your tyres’ total surface area by riding road bike tyres at 85 PSI and wider MTB or hybrid bike tyres at 40 PSI. 

Accessories to help you out in the winter months include bike racks and mudguards. Cycling with a mudguard diminishes the spray from your rear wheel and keeps your back dry. Mudguards reduce the amount of water flying on to the person behind you, so it would be a considerate investment towards your fellow cyclists too! Keep your belongings dry by storing them in panniers on either side of your rear wheel, thanks to your rear rack. If you want less drag or ride a single speed bike, then try a front rack. 

Looking after your chain is important for your bike to keep moving smoothly. Grease your chain, or better yet, take it for a safety check and service at your local Good Cycles shop. If your notice your bike swaying as you brake or not reacting as it should, our mechanics can also replace your bike’s worn brakes.

Our staff have the experience and expertise to find the right accessories to fit your bike and your budget. Make a difference in your local community by shopping online or instore at your local Good Cycles shop. Remember, 100% of our profits go towards our youth employment and coaching programs that benefit young people to break through their employment barriers.

Shop online for winter cycling accessories below

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How to be a good LGBTQIA+ ally in the lead up to IDAHOBIT

Rainbow flags attached to Goldie store front window, with bike mechanic Leigh working in the background of the photo.

Friday May 17 is International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination, a day Good Cycles is proud to acknowledge and celebrate. In line with our values of safety and inclusion, we believe it is a fundamental right for all people to feel safe, be respected and be able to be themselves at work. 

 

We are engaging with all corners of our business to share how we can properly support the LGBTQIA+ community. Ahead of May 17, we will be engaging in conversations about how to be a good ally in the workplace. Here are some ways you could do this in your own time.

Learn and Listen

Take the time out of your day to sit down and listen to a person share their LGBTQIA+ journey. This person could be a work colleague, an acquaintance, a relative or a friend. Gain a deeper understanding of LGBTQIA+ history and issues people may face. Know that somebody will share their story only when they feel comfortable and accepted for who they are. It is important that you are supportive and listen with empathy.

Be Visible

A great way to show your solidarity this week is to display rainbow flags and LGBTQIA+ information brochures around your workplace, while wearing rainbow pins, lanyards or badges with your preferred pronouns. Showing your support, wearing your values demonstrates to LGBTQIA+ people that you are there for them and are backing up your allyship in a public setting. Ensure that these work or study environments are safe and inclusive for LGBTQIA+ people to be their true selves.

Use Inclusive Language

Language describes the world that we live in, so it is important we respect those around us by using gender neutral language to avoid prickly assumptions. For example, say ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ when talking about relationships with somebody you don’t know too well. Respecting people’s preferred pronouns is another way to be an LGBTQIA+ ally, because it shows that person that you are supporting them on their journey and are accepting of their gender identity as well.

When we make ourselves seen and heard as LGBTQIA+ allies, then we create safe spaces for everyone, everywhere. In line with Good Cycles’ values of safety and inclusion, we believe that safety isn’t just a physical consideration and everyone has the right to be themselves at work. 

100% of our profits go towards employing young people facing barriers to employment.

Make a positive impact on a young person’s life by making a charitable donation.

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Announcing the winners of the Membership March Prize Pool

We have had a stellar Membership March and Good Cycles would like to thank everyone who signed up this month for their care and generosity. You are making a difference in the lives of young people overcoming their barriers to employment. And now, the moment you have all been waiting for … 

Membership March 2024 Prize Winners

Two month Lug+Carrie subscription: Peter E.

Bridge Road Brewers Prize Pack: Hilton S.

$250 Good Cycles Voucher: Laura S.

2 FYXO Melburn Roobaix TicketsCathy R.

Vittoria road tyres and Vittoria t-shirt: Jules F.

Vittoria MTB tyres: Corey M.

Vittoria gravel tyres: Miwa T.

Lime credit voucher: Simon W., Ben M.

Purpose Precinct Prize Pack: Nathaniel F.

Homie $50 voucher: Sam G., Martin W. 

Moon Meteor-X Auto 450 Lumens Lightset,  Good Cycles drink bottle, Rock “n” Roll Gold Chain lube Prize Pack: Matt O., Clare H., Rebecca M., Luke H., Jess H., Bec M.

Merida drink bottle, Merida t-shirt, Rock “n” Roll Gold Chain lube Prize Pack: Tara L., David W., Russ M., Darren B., Ryan T., Ernesto N., Leon H., Simon T., Anthony B., Emily C.

Rock “n” Roll Gold Chain lube and Good Cycles drink bottle Prize Pack: Josh R., Gabby S., Malcolm C., Karla B., David D., Matthew S., Francesco Z., Ed Z.

Congratulations to our prize pack winners!

We hope our Membership March winners enjoy their rewards. Feel free to drop in to any of our stores if you have any bike related questions, our staff will be sure to help you out. Be sure to check out your monthly newsletter for all things Good Cycles, in the meantime, happy riding everyone! 

100% of our profits go towards employing young people facing barriers to employment.

Make a positive impact on a young person’s life by getting your bike serviced with us. 

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Check out the great work our team has been doing on our most recent FOGO Bin Liner Project!

Recently our team has been working together with Citywide to deliver bin liners on behalf of the City of Melbourne for food and garden organics waste to registered homes around town. We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work our staff have been doing these past few weeks, demonstrating teamwork and communication skills to complete this project.

What the project involves:

Under the guidance of Team Leader Gareth, the crew gathers in the morning and would receive a section of a map with participating residences. Each crew member receives a bundle of bin liners and travels to their respective drop off locations in a van. Using e-cargo bikes as well as travelling by foot, each team member delivers a bin liner to each property on their list. After every shift, the team reconvenes to check how many residences received bin liners and how many more remain for the next shift.  

Over the course of three weeks, the 7-person crew delivered bin liners to 10,000 addresses in the City of Melbourne. An astonishing accomplishment and all credit goes to our crew of young people who have meticulously worked together to get the best out of each other. “It’s been great to see how smooth the workflow has been. I’m so proud of the teamwork that has been on display throughout these three weeks,” says Team Leader Gareth. “Major shout out to Lucas as without his organisational skills, none of this would have been possible,” added Gareth.  

"Fantastic to partner with Good Cycles for our FOGO bin liner delivery program for a third time running. Their professionalism and can-do attitude made getting the job done easy and supporting young people on their journey to rewarding employment is such a great outcome. We look forward to future employment opportunities."
Tim Wright
Senior Recycling Manager, City of Melbourne

The Good Cycles team have proven themselves to be hard workers in a team environment, taking with them many communication and leadership skills that they can transfer into future employment.  As this project did not require a driver’s licence or other forms of certification, it is another example of meaningful, entry level work that breaks through barriers to employment. 

"Citywide is pleased to have supported another successful FOGO Liner Delivery Program for the City of Melbourne, in collaboration with our long-standing and entrusted partner, Good Cycles. The liner program aims to encourage the ongoing uptake of FOGO services throughout the Melbourne municipality whilst also serving as a valuable entry point for youth employment and skills development through Good Cycles' community partnership initiative. A win for the environment, the Melbourne community and young job seekers."
Gabrielle Lethlean
Sustainability and Continuous Improvement Lead, Citywide Waste

Our Good Logistics team has made an environmental impact on many residences within our community, helping to prevent tonnes of food and garden organics waste from ending up in landfill and helping shape the way we think about residential waste. Each delivery of bin liners means that we can take another step towards shaping more livable communities, converting residential food and garden organics waste into fertiliser and compost.

Find out more about the positive impact we’ve been making.

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What makes Good Cycles your friendly neighbourhood bike shop?

As a social enterprise that empowers young people with safe and meaningful work, we believe in the power of positivity. It is one of the moving forces for our good cycles of change. We recently asked some of our bike mechanics to shine a light on this positivity, and posed the question: What makes a bike shop accessible? Here are four values that our bike mechanics bring to our stores.

Listening

We make sure each customer is heard, that we respect your time and budget so you can get the best out of your customer experience. Listening to a customer will allow our mechanics to solve any issues you may have, which means you can get back to cycling and getting the most out of your bike.

Respect

We understand that your bike may be your primary mode of transport and is important to you. We can work together to get you back on the road with our quality service. For us, respect also means being honest with you if the cost of service will outweigh the price of your bicycle. Our mechanics will always be happy to assist you with any query you might have.

Being Approachable

We stay grounded by constantly reminding ourselves that we serve a diverse community of cyclists. Commuters, seasoned roadies, adventurous MTB riders, second hand bike enthusiasts all visit our bike stores for regular servicing and to purchase parts & accessories. We open our doors with gratitude for each and every person that visits us.

Engaging with the client

We never make presumptions of our customers’ wants and needs, nor their cycling skills and level of bike knowledge. We take the time to ask questions, to understand what each person wants so they can get the very best out of their bike. 

"We're here to do what's best for your bicycle, because we love seeing the cycling community grow."
James
Good Cycles Bike Mechanic
"Very friendly, invested and helpful; very reasonably priced for the CBD."
James T.
Goldsbrough Lane customer

Our mechanics take the time to take special attention to details and are collaborative in finding what’s best for a customer’s bicycle. We are passionate about working for the community and providing the quality service to get you on your way. And remember, when you shop with us, know that 100% of our profits go to towards employing young people facing barriers to employment. Why not make a positive impact today and bring your bike in for service with one of our friendly mechanics.

100% of our profits go towards employing young people facing barriers to employment.

Make a positive impact on a young person’s life by getting your bike serviced with us. 

Get discounts off servicing and accessories when you sign up to be a member this year.

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The Good Cycles Goldsbrough Lane Clearance Sale is on NOW!

Good Cycles Goldsbrough Lane CLEARANCE SALE is HAPPENING NOW!

It’s not often we have a sale, but when we do, we go to TOWN! That’s why our CBD store is gearing up for its BIGGEST sale ever. Over 2 days, we’ll be spruiking the best specials we’ve ever had on selected bikes, e-bikes, and parts and accessories.

We’ll have bikes and e-bikes from brands including Norco, Merida, and Focus, with some VERY attractive discounts on popular gravel bikes, as well as some red hot deals on road and mountain bikes.

In the market for a bike to get you about from A to B, or perhaps something that you can swiftly get around on for commuting or fitness riding? We’ve got those deals covered too!

It’s not just bikes and e-bikes in this sale. We’ll have huge savings on helmets, Shimano road and MTB shoes, gloves, and bags, to name a few!

 

• UP TO 50% OFF Bikes!
• UP TO 40% OFF E-bikes!
• UP TO 50% OFF parts & accessories!

 

We also have:

• 50% off table featuring Schwalble foldable road tyres, selected clothing, Cygo lights, grips, bar tape, & more!

• Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700c tyres from $60 (were $85)

• 50% off Selected Schwalbe tyres

• 40% off selected Lazer helmets

• 20% off Shimano shoes

 

• 20% off PRO components including gravel bikepacking bags, handlebars & seatposts

 

• 20% off all Pearl Izumi, including knicks, gloves, & socks

• Used handlebars (drops & straights), seat posts, and saddles starting at $5!

 

 Want to know if we have something in your size or budget? Give us a call! 03 9041 5713

 

When:

It’s happening NOW!
 

Where:

Goldsbrough Village -Shop TG23, Goldsbrough La, Melbourne VIC 3000

Our CBD store is located in Goldsbrough Village, accessible from the corner of Little Burke & William Street

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Good Cycles has launched our newest shop in Brunswick

We’d like to send out a BIG thank you to everyone who came down to our Brunswick store launch on Friday 31st March to help give our newest store an official ‘Welcome’!

We felt well and truly welcomed amidst the @nightingale.housing Villiage precinct. Thanks to our friends, supporters, and local residents for bringing the festive cheer.

If you’re yet to check out our Brunswick store, it’s located on Duckett Street, Brunswick, easily found by bike along the Upfield Bike path. Feel free to poke your head in and say ‘Hi’. We’re open Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Special shout out to @ymca_rebuild and @wood.beast for their awesome talents in getting our retail and workshop space fitted out, and to locals @verygoodfalafel and @thebakersblock_brunswick for providing us with some amazing eats on the night!

A big thank you to our embers, supporters & friends who came along and helped us celebrate the opening of our Brunswick store!

Initially opening our doors in late December 2022, we’ve since been busy completing the fit out and merchandising our newest store.
A massive thank you to social enterprise YMCA ReBuild and fellow Brunswick locals, WOODBEAST who’ve been instrumental in fitting out our shop and workshop areas with custom cabinetry and counters.

GC_Brunswicklaunch_tile
The poster for the launch event

Our new store is conveniently located along the Upfield bike path,  next to the Upfield train line

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Soma custom bike builds

Abby's Soma Wolverine build

What drew you to build this bike up, with the parts you’ve used?

I’ve always wanted a Soma bike and after getting the fork originally for a different build I decided to also build the frame up. Originally, I build it up with the group set from my old commuter bike, a 1x GRX Di2 setup. But soon after using the bike a bunch more, especially loaded up as a bike packing setup I decided to go down the 12 speed MTB setup. The wheels were custom built as I wanted to have my own set of custom wheels. I also have a 27.5” wheelset for it, but sadly due to stock shortages no cassette for it.

 

Was there a particular intention for this custom build?

I wanted to build a super versatile bike that could be used for both commuting and bikepacking.

 

Having built it up, is there anything further you wish to change or experiment with?

For now, I’m loving it and it’s feeling super perfect, the only thing I’m going to add is a basket to the front rack

 

Any particular rides you’d like to do with the bike, or have already done?

I’m planning out a multi-day bikepacking trip out west of Gisborne ending at my partner Eve’s Mum’s house. I’ve also just had way too much fun riding this thing through mud

Frame
Soma Wolverine V4 Type-A

Fork
Soma Unicrown 15x100mm

Rims
DT Swiss G540 (700c) or DT Swiss EX471 (27.5”)

Hubs
DT Swiss 350

Tires
Vittoria Terreno Dry 700x38c or Vittoria Mezcal 27.5×2.25”/2.1”

Handlebars
Surly Moloko

Headset
Cane Creek 40

Crankset
Shimano XT M8100 (175mm) w/ 36T chainring

Pedals
Shimano PD-M9120

Cassette
Shimano XT M8100 10-51

Derailleur
Shimano SLX M7100

Brakes
Shimano M8100 Brakes

Shifter(s)
Shimano XT M8100

Saddle
Brook B17 Honey

Seatpost
Thomson Elite Offset 27.2mm

Stem
Thomson X4 90mm

Frame bags
Ortlieb Framebag RC

Rear bags
Ortlieb Seatpack Medium

Accessory bags
Ortlieb Gravel panniers, Ortlieb Fork Pack Plus Large,

Other accessories
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt, Tubus Logo Evo Rear rack, Soma Lucas 3 Front Rack

Evie's Soma Grand Randonneur build

What drew you to build this bike up, with the parts you’ve used?

Before this my only bike was a classic Peugeot road bike, and I wanted a more versatile bike which could handle gravel trails and the road, and carry a decent load to be able to commute. 

 

Abby suggested the Soma Grand Randonneur, which I liked, and we chose the rest of the parts to complement that frame.

 

Was there a particular intention for this custom build?

I really wanted a do-everything bike. A big emphasis was just comfort – I’ve never really owned a bike that fit properly before so it’s a very nice change.

 

Having built it up, is there anything further you wish to change or experiment with?

The combination of drop bars and front rack means finding an appropriate basket or bag is going to be an interesting challenge. 

 

Next year I’m going to be studying Product Design so if the opportunity comes up I’m sure the bike will end up as a bit of a test-bed for parts of my own design.

 

Any particular rides you’d like to do with the bike, or have already done?

I rode to and from work at Green Street! Getting home was a challenge – almost entirely uphill up Mount Alexander Road, but I managed it. 

 

I’m also looking forward to doing the Maribyrnong River Trail on an appropriate bike. 

Frame
Soma Grand Randonneur

Rims
Mach1 Maxx 650bx25

Hubs
Novatec 6 bolt Front, Bear Pawl 6 Bolt Rear

Tires Panaracer Gravelking SK 650x48b

Handlebars
Deda Piega 400mm

Headset
Tange Falcon 1” Threaded Headset

Crankset
Shimano Deore M6100 (170mm) w/ 32T chainring

Pedals
Ryfe Ghostrider

Cassette
Shimano Deore M5100 11-51t

Derailleur
Shimano Deore M5100

Brakes
Shimano M8100 Calipers

Shifter(s)
Shimano GRX 810 Brifters

Saddle
Specialized Power Comp

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JP’s Vietnam bikepacking adventure

Setting out in late August, JP, our Geelong store manager and devout adventure cyclist, ditched the morning chills of Melbourne and set forth, bike bag in tow to Vietnam. With a loose plan in mind, JP is currently exploring the south coast of Vietnam aboard his trusty Norco Search XR steel framed flat-bar bike. 

Traversing gaps between fishing villages and local resorts, the beaches, and countryside between Vung Tao and Nha Trang make for some spectacular scenery. Check out some of the pics of his adventure on our blog. You can also follow his journey’s progress on Strava, where he’s racking up the k’s each day.

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6 cycling resources to keep you rolling

1. Melbourne Bike Grid Map (Google Maps)

See all of the continuous paths available around Melbourne and Geelong with Google maps in Cycling mode. The Melbourne Bike Grip Map shows you a visualisation of all of the bike paths available to you so you can max out your 5km bubble.

2. Ride With GPS

One of our favourite tools for planning rides whether short or long. Ride with GPS offers plenty of different map overlays to help you plan your route while also showing other people’s routes that you can take inspiration from.

3. arevo Journey Planner app

Another tool we use to help us plan journeys is arevo. The app uses colour to represent different types of roads or cycling paths, handy when you are looking to use off-road paths only.

Bonus points for it being made here in Victoria!

4. Park Tool’s Repair Help

Park Tool makes workshop grade bike tools, but they also have a handy website, Repair Help, to help you fix your own bike. Park Tool’s Repair Help covers everything from fixing a flat to building a wheel. Useful when you can’t make it into our shop for a service!

5. Sheldon Brown

The late Sheldon Brown was a delightfully eccentric American bicycle mechanic (amongst many other things) and he created this website to help everyone from bike mechanic nerds to everyday cyclists trying to demystify tyre sizing. 

It’s a great resource when fixing up older bikes to check for part sizes and compatibility. The website is very low tech (it’s 20+ years old) but that means it loads fast!

6. Desire Lines

Desire Lines is an Australian website showcasing events, bike touring and bikepacking ride reports/essays and much more. Community driven, it always has great photos and is great for dreaming of future trips!

These are some of our favourite cycling resources and we trust they’ll become some of yours too. If you need some bits or pieces to keep the adventures going head to our online shop, we deliver Australia-wide and 100% of your purchase goes towards our mission.

 

Bike maintenance at home

Still want more? We’re hosting an online bike maintenance session to keep you pedaling through lockdown!

Date: Wednesday 22 September, 2022

Time: 5pm – 6pm

Cost: $25 / FREE for Good Cycles members (check your inbox for the promo code)

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How to carry more on your bike rather than your back

How to carry more on your bike

The rear rack

The most common is a rear rack. Bolted to your frame, rear racks can typically carry 15kgs+ of gear. Once you have the rack you can add a simple and versatile basket bolted to the rack to carry your bag or a bag of shopping, this setup typically costs around $100. 

 

Rear rack and basket to carry gear on your bike
A rear rack and basket with a bag full of shopping

Panniers

If you want a more streamlined solution, then a pannier (or two) that mount to the rear rack can be a good option. Panniers are waterproof and quite easy to fit and remove. Panniers have a lower centre of gravity compared with a basket, making the bike a bit more stable. We stock Ortlieb panniers which are made in Germany and come in a variety of styles, from the simple single pannier which is basically a waterproof roll top bag to a fancy briefcase-style bag that has a padded laptop insert.

Mounted pannier  to carry gear on your bike
The Ortlieb Urban Back-Roller Single Pannier Bag (available online or in-store)

The front basket

A front basket is another option that is becoming more popular. Front baskets can be mounted to almost any bike and have the advantage of suiting bikes that may not have the mount points for a rear rack. They can carry odd-shaped items and you can keep an eye on your gear. Front baskets start at $90.

Front basket to carry gear on your bike
A front basket allows you to keep an eye on your cargo

Bikepacking bags

If your bike has no accommodations for mounting racks or baskets – it may be a carbon fibre road or mountain bike – or you want to keep your bike as light as possible, then bikepacking bags can be a great option. 

Whilst originally designed for superlight off-road bike touring they can be good in the city too. The most popular style is a seatpost mounted bag. They can’t carry as much as a pannier or basket – think a change of clothes and lunch- but they can be mounted to any bike.

Seatpost mounted bag to carry gear on your bike
The Pro Discover Bikepacking Saddle Bag (available online or in-store)

Choose what’s best for you

If you want to see our range have a browse online and if you have any questions about what will work on your bike drop in and have a chat.

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Bike fit – making your bike more comfortable

While professional racers and really serious cyclists will pay a professional bike fitter or physiotherapist hundreds to tune their bike to fit them perfectly for speed and efficiency, everyday commuters and recreational riders can benefit a lot from small (and cheap) changes to how their bike fits them.

First of all, the below is based on the fact that your bike is the right size for you.

Even though bike manufacturers make bikes in a wide range of sizes, the bike you have, or want to buy might not suit your body proportions (such as legs vs arm length). Additionally, your flexibility may change as you get older so a bike that once fit well and was comfortable may not fit so well anymore.

Saddle height

The easiest and most obvious change to how a bike fits is the saddle height. Tall people have their saddles higher than short people, or more specifically people with long legs have their saddles higher than those with short legs!

 

Adjusted saddle height
An easy adjustment to make is the saddle height

Having your saddle at the right height will make your bike more comfortable and more efficient. The general rule is that you want a slight bend (~10 degrees) in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. A too high saddle will cause your hips to rock side to side over the saddle, and a too low saddle will mean your knees bend more than needed which can cause you to get sore.

Stem length

At the other end of the bike is the handlebars and stem. Changing how they are setup can also have an effect on how comfortable your bike is. You can change the length of the stem (this is the part of the bike that connects the fork to the handlebars) and change the width and shape of the handlebars.

If you have long arms and feel a bit ‘cramped’ on the bike a longer stem may help stretch you out and make the bike more comfortable. Likewise if you have short arms or the bike feels too long and stretched out a shorter stem will shorten the reach on the bike and make it fit better.

flipped bike stem
The stem can be ‘flipped’. Left: a positive rise. Right: a negative drop

If you’re feeling like you are bending too far down to the handlebars then raising the handlebars can really improve the comfort of your bike.

The stem can be ‘flipped’ to either be a positive ‘rise’ to get the bars higher or negative ‘drop’ to get the bars lower, and the good news is that this can be done just by using the parts already on the bike. Likewise, you may be able to swap some headset spacers that are above the stem to below the stem to raise the bars higher without buying any new parts.

Headset spacers
Headset spacers may be moved to create more height

If the bars are still too low after rearranging spacers and flipping the stem then a new stem with a higher rise can make the bike feel better. New stems range in price from $45 and upwards, so not an expensive purchase to make your bike more comfortable!

Handlebars

Finally, handlebar width and shape can affect how your bike fits you. Road bike drop handlebars (like they use on the Tour de France) come in widths from 36cm to 46cm to suit different width shoulders.

3 sets of drop handlebars
Drop handlebars, commonly seen on road bikes

Flat handlebars like on mountain bikes and many commuter bikes come in an even bigger range of widths, rises and shapes. While the width of flat bars is less dependent on shoulder width (you want wide bars on mountain bikes to give you good control on off road trails) changing the sweep or width of your bars can make the bike more comfortable and often alleviate wrist and shoulder pain.

3 sets of flat handlebars
Flat handlebars, commonly seen on mountain and commuter bikes

Want to know more?

Drop into one of our stores if you have any questions about bike fit or would like some advice on making your bike more comfortable.

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Why your drivetrain needs replacing

A chain and cassette with a chain checker tool

Well here we’ll explain what we are measuring with that gauge and why your drivetrain needs replacing. The drivetrain is what most mechanics call the chain, cassette (the rear cogs) and chainrings (the front cogs).

The chain checker tool

The tool we drop into the chain is a chain checker, and it measures how worn a chain is. The tool itself is trying to push the links of the chain apart to check how worn the rollers are. Chain wear is usually expressed in a percentage, i.e 0.75% worn. 

A chain checker tool
Chain checker tool

When a chain is 0.75% worn a new chain should mesh and shift well with the old cassette and chainrings on the bike, the chain wear is used to approximate wear on the cassette also (it can be hard to actually see or measure wear on cassettes until they are really worn out).

So why do you need to replace the chain and possibly cassette and chainrings?

As the rollers of your chain wear, they start wearing into the hollows between the teeth on the cassette and chainring, they also start wearing the teeth on them.

If a chain cassette is really worn – typically well past 1% on the gauge – the fit between the rollers on the chain and the hollows on the cassette is poor and there is a lot of slop between them. When you put some power down, say taking off at the lights or riding up a hill, the chain can jump off the cassette. This is horrible to ride and can be dangerous – think about it happening in the middle of an intersection or pushing hard up a hill out of the saddle!

The smaller cogs on a cassette wear out sooner than the larger cogs simply because there are more teeth to spread the wear across, 11 or 12 teeth vs 20+ teeth. The same goes for chainrings with 40+ teeth.

A worn bicycle cassette
A worn cassette

Over time the chain and cassette become a matched pair, like old friends that get each other’s jokes. If you change one and not the other the drivetrain can perform much worse than if they had been left as a pair! Hence why we mostly recommend changing the chain and cassette together, both being new means they will work well together.

You can just change the chain if the chain is not too worn ~0.5%, this is a good approach on higher end bikes where the cassettes can cost $150+.

While most manufacturers quote 4,000kms as an estimated life of a chain this varies based on how well the chain is cared for (wiped clean and lubed) and how the riders pedals – soft spinning or more powerful efforts. 

If you’re having issues with your chain skipping or want us to check your chain for wear, drop into one of three shops: Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Geelong and we’ll check it out.

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Career development as-it-happens at Good Cycles

The Good Cycles workshop

Abby had some injuries that meant she had to revise her career path as an auto-mechanic. It involved a period of unemployment and it hasn’t been a straightforward process to get back into work. 

Abby is managing disabilities from those past injuries and has had to explain the gap in her resume many times. But that wasn’t all that potential employers wanted her to explain. In Abby’s experience ‘a lot of people hold prejudice about the way queer people present themselves’. 

A stand out attitude and aptitude

According to our Head Mechanic, Mike Dann, attitude and aptitude stood out in Abby. 

‘She is a fast learner and quick to pick up on how things are done in the shop by watching the other staff members. She’s proactive about learning new skills and doing research on new products’. 

Abby is modest about her skills. She says she comes from a ‘bike family’. She finds it rewarding to work on a range of different bikes and to try new jobs. ‘I like problem-solving a lot so when I solve a problem with a bike and a customer is happy that it’s fixed, it makes me feel great’.

Mike takes a lot of care in training mechanics. He says the variety of jobs trainees get to do is important. ‘We have simple to complex repair jobs coming in, but we also expect employees to sell bikes and provide guidance to customers. The variety means employees like Abby can put a lot in their CV’.

Head mechanic, Mike Dann, in the Good Cycles workshop
Mike Dann, Good Cycles Head Mechanic

‘With someone like Abby, who picks things up fast, I will do a quick demo, maybe provide a technical guide online and then let them do it themselves, rather than helicopter them. It is important to have some time to do new jobs and figure out how it all works in your own time rather than someone over your shoulder pointing everything out.’

Abby is currently doing internal cable routing. With skills she already knows, she’s getting more confident, faster, and efficient. She is also honing her skills talking to customers: explaining mechanical concepts to customers with less bicycle know-how, and giving a clear reason why something needs to be replaced or repaired. 

Social and professional connections

Building social networks and professional connections is also part of the experience at Good Cycles. Abby says, ‘I’ve met people through Good Cycle’s social events. Those events have been awesome to connect, and that’s what I look forward to post lockdown’.

‘Honestly, it’s the best job I’ve had and Mike is the best supervisor I’ve ever had’. 

Mike sees Abby rapidly expanding her mechanical repertoire and selling high-value items in the shop. ‘I can see her in a permanent job as a bike mechanic in a shop, for sure’.