Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Photo - Moving By Bicycle

Our Friday photo features a family moving by bicycle. Mom and Dad are on a tandem, with a little in a bike seat on the back. They are pulling a trailer loaded with a lot of stuff. I guess this is an okay way to move if you don't have a lot of furniture. If you have a piano to move, it might not work so well. This week's photo came from

Remember kids putting baseball cards in the spokes of their bikes? This video describes Turbospoke, which is a more sophisticated, modern version:

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Free Lifetime Adjustments with Bike Purchase

With all bike purchases Circle City Bikes now offers Free Lifetime Adjustments! These adjustments include simple brake adjustment, gear adjustment and full safety inspection. Due to the closing of the Greenwood Performance Bike shop we are honoring their lifetime adjustment as well, and would love to become your new favorite bike shop!

Most Common Cycling Issues and How to Fix Them

Bike Making Loud Noises You Can't Explain? We Have The Solutions.

More Than 20 Answers to Everyday Problems

1. You fixed a puncture, and the new tube keeps going flat

If the holes in the tube are in the
bottom, the rim strip may be out of position, allowing the tube to get cut by the spokes. If they're on top, there may be some small sharp object stuck in the tire. Find it by running your fingers lightly around the inside of the tire, then remove it.



2. A remounted tire won't sit right on the rim

Let the air out, wiggle the bad spot around, reinflate to about 30 psi, and roll the bad spot into place with your hands. By pushing the tire in toward the middle of the rim you will be able to see if any of the tube is poking out. When the tube is fully inside the tire, inflate as normal.

A patch won't stick to the glue on the tube

Apply more glue and let it dry completely, about five minutes (DO NOT BLOW ON THE GLUE) When you apply the patch, avoid touching its sticky side with your fingers.

A creaking sound from the wheels

A spoke may have loosened. If tension is uniform, the sound might be caused by a slight motion of the spokes against each other where they cross. Lightly lube this junction, wiping off the excess.

A creaking sound when you pedal
Tighten the crankarm bolts. If the arm still creaks, remove it, apply a trace of grease to the spindle, and reinstall the arm.

The large chainring flexes, and the chain rubs against the front derailleur cage.

Check for loose chainring bolts

You have removed the chainrings to clean the crankset, but now the front derailleur doesn't shift right. 

You may have installed a chainring backward. Remove the rings and put them on correctly. Usually, the crankarm bolts fit into indentations on the chainrings. Sight from above too, to make sure there's even spacing between the rings.

While trying to remove or adjust a crankarm you stripped the threads- Now you can't remove it

Ride your bike around the block a few times. The crankarm will loosen and you'll be able to pull it off.

Shifter housing rubs the frame, wearing a spot in the frame

Put clear tape beneath the housings where they rub.

Noisy sloppy shifting can't be remedied by rear derailleur adjustment

The cassette lockring might be loose, allowing the cogs to move slightly and rattle around on the hub. You need a special tool to tighten the lockring fully, but you can spin it tight enough with your fingers to ride safely home or to a stop.

The cog cassette is getting rusty

A little rust won't damage the cogs quickly, so it's not a major concern. Usually, using a little more lube will prevent additional rust, and riding will cause the chain to wear away the rust while you're pedaling.

In certain gears, pedaling cause loud skipping

There may be debris between the cogs. If you can see mud, grass, leaves, twigs, or any sort of foreign matter trapped between cogs, dig it out. It's probably keeping the chain from settling all the way down onto the cog to achieve a proper mesh. If there's no debris, a cog is probably worn out. Most often this is a sign that the chain and cassette will have to be replaced.

Front derailleur won't shift precisely to a chainring

Check that the cage is parallel to the chainrings (when viewed from above), and loosen and reposition the derailleur if necessary. If it's parallel, you probably need to adjust the high- and low-limit screws, best done by a shop.

The rear derailleur makes a constant squeaking noise

The pulleys are dry and need lubrication. Drip some light lube on the sides, then wipe off the excess.

Braking feels mushy, even though the pads aren't worn out

The cable probably stretched. Dial out the brake-adjuster barrel (found either on the caliper or on the housing closer to the lever) by turning it counterclockwise until the pads are close enough to the rim to make the braking action feel as tight as you want.

Braking feels grabby

You probably have a ding or dent in the rim. This hits the pad every revolution, causing the unnerving situation. Take your bike into the shop.

One pad drags against the rim or stays significantly closer to the rim than the other

Before messing with the brakes, open the quick-release on the wheel, recenter the wheel in the frame and see if that fixes the problem. (This is the most common solution.) If the wheel is centered but a pad still rubs, you need to recenter the brake. On most modern brakesets this is done by turning a small adjustment screw found somewhere on the side or top of the caliper. (There may be one screw on each side, as well.) Turn the screw or screws in small increments, watching to see how this affects the pad position. If you center the brake and the wheel, and a pad still drags on the rim, it probably wore unevenly from being misadjusted; sand the pads flat and recenter everything. 

With each pedal stroke you hear a click coming from the saddle

The pedal may have loosened. Tighten it.

Squealing Brakes

Wipe the rim to remove any oil or cleaning reside. If this doesn't work, scuff the pads with sandpaper or a file. Still noisy? The pads need to be loosened, then toed in; an adjustment that makes the front portion touch the rim before the back- an easy fix for a shop, a tortuous process for a first timer.

Creaking Saddle

Dip a tiny amount of oil around the rails where they enter the saddle, and into the clamp where it grips the rails. Heritage purists take note: Leather saddles sometimes creak the same way that fine leather shoes can. There's not much you can do about this.

You can never remember which way to turn the pedals

Treat the right-side pedal normally — righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. The left side pedal has reverse threads (to keep it from unscrewing during pedaling). If that's confusing, just remember this simple phrase: Back off. This can remind you that, with the wrench engaged above the pedal, you ALWAYS turn toward the back of the bike to remove the pedal. 

You installed a pedal into the wrong crankarm - The left pedal into the right arm or vice versa

You can remove the pedal, but the crankarm will have to be replaced; its threads are softer than the pedal's and are now stripped out. ALWAYS check the pedals before installing. There is usually an R for right or an L for left stamped onto the axle. 

You pulled apart your headset to regrease it, and now the headset feels tight no matter how you adjust it

The bearing retainers are probably in upside down.

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lounge Area

We have cleaned up the front window and removed all the old decals. Just inside is now a small lounge area, with a couple chairs and a table. There's a coffee pot and cups over in the corner, so just help yourself when you come in. Now if you visit us with a friend that's not interested in bikes, they can sit down while you check out our great selection.

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Photo - Hussong's 1885 Ice Velocipede

Check out this image of Hussong's Ice Velocipede from 1885 courtesy of The Bicycle Man. According to Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling, the hand cranks are used to power this device instead of pedals.

Here's an interesting video of what one cyclist saw when opened his garage door:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Circle City Bicycles Welcomes New Employee

Circle City Bicycles has a new full-time employee. Today was the first day for Jeff Waltz (Or at least the first one in quite a while). Jeff started his career in the cycling business in 2002 when he worked part-time for Circle City Bicycles. In 2011 he left to work at the Performance Bike shop which had just opened on the south side of Indianapolis. Jeff was their service manager until the store closed in November of 2014. Mr. Waltz has also worked for the YMCA Flat Rock River Camp as their mountain bike program director.

Jeff has achieved a number of certifications as a bike mechanic:

  • Performance Spin Doctor
  • Certified Shimano Technician
  • Certified SRAM Technician
From the photo above you can see that Jeff has already started servicing bikes for us. He’s hard at work on a recumbent.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Indianapolis Bike Shop to Exhibit Andy Ruland's "Bicycle Conceptual Art"

Andy Ruland is known for his black and white photographs of what he calls "Bicycle conceptual art". Circle City Bicycles, an Indianapolis bike shop, will be exhibiting some of his work, such as the "Flying Insecticycle" shown above. Mr. Ruland's work was exhibited by the Southern Light Gallery of Amarillo College in 2014. We currently have only one of his photographs displayed at Circle City Bicycles, but we will adding more soon. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

7 Accessories You'll Want With A New Bike

Post-Purchase Accessories

Everyone knows the essentials: a helmet, pump, patch kit, spare tube, tire levers, proper footwear, and comfortable clothing, but there are some further accessories you can buy to make your riding even more enjoyable!

1. Floor Pump: The mini-pump that many people attach to their frame is great for emergencies on the road (or trail) - but for everyday use you should get a floor pump. It will make short work of airing your tires and keep your frame pump in great condition for those emergencies.

2. Cyclo-computer: One of the most rewarding things about cycling is finding out how far you have traveled when riding. Some even have extra functions such as heart rate. cadence (how fast you're pedaling), altitude, and temperature. There are wireless models for a super clean installation too.

3. Hydration System: Water bottles and cages are great for carrying your drinks. But, if you need to quench your thirst, hydration systems may be a better option. Insulation will keep your beverage of choice cooler (or warmer) longer and the drinking tube makes sipping more convenient. The capacity can be almost twice as much as you can carry in two large bottles. And, the hydration pack provides a place to stash food, ID, small tools and more.

4. Cargo Rack: The Tubus Logo is an ideal rack for bike setups requiring extra heel clearance (Short Chain stays / Large Size Shoes). The Logos utilize a lower mounting point which improves center of gravity and allows for better loading on the top of the rack. The design at the same time allows for bags to mount further back, thereby permitting extra heel clearance. Variable attachment system makes an easy installation on nearly all frame geometries. 

5. Eyewear: Don't forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses designed for cycling. It's not just glare you should be concerned about; aiborne debris from passing vehicles is hazardous too. Quality shades provide increased safety, including slightly higher brow coverage for when you're bent over. And the UV protection means less fatigue at of a long days in the saddle.

6. Lock: Security for your bike is important. Get a good lock and always use it correctly to prevent the heartbreak of bike theft.

Our staff can suggest other great accessories and help prioritize your purchases! Come down to Circle City Bicycles Today!

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January and February Bicycle Maintenance Classes — More Info Here


Winter Bicycle Maintenance Class

January 10th & 24th   
February 7th and 21st
10:00AM - 3:00PM

Circle City Bicycles will be offering a class on basic bicycle maintenance. This will be a hands-on class, and you will be doing a tune-up on your bicycle (or we can provide one if you prefer). 
  • This will include:
  • Adjustment of hubs, brakes, gears, headset & bottom bracket
  • True wheels
  • Lube cables
  • Degrease chain & drivetrain

Enrollment is limited to 6 people, so that everyone will have access to a work stand. Bill Hannah, manager of Circle City Bicycles, teaches most of the classes. Bill has been with us since 2005. Prior to that he was the bicycle guy for the southside Galyan's. You may have seen Bill as a volunteer mechanic at TRIRI or RAINSTORM. The class will be informal, and your questions are welcome. It will run from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on a Saturday, with a 1 hour break for lunch.

Cost for the class is $69.95 (the price of a tune-up, which you probably need anyway), plus $24.95 for the "Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair". A deposit of $20 is required to hold your spot in the class.

To enroll, call (317) 786-9244 (or 1-800-793-780) with your credit card info, or stop by our store. If you have any questions about the class, please call or e-mail Bill at

Each year we generally have 2 classes in January & 2 classes in February. In the fall, we usually have 2 classes in late October (after the Hilly Hundred) or early November.

Next Bicycle Maintenance Classes are:
Saturday, January 24
Saturday, February 7
Saturday, February 21

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Choosing A Road Bike The Easy Way

Buying A Road Bike Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

We Have Lots Of Experience Helping Riders Find The Best Bike For Their Needs. Check Out This List of Pointers To Help With Your Decision


1. Budget

Determine how much you are willing to spend on your cycling habit.

Are you a beginner? Intermediate? Expert? Do you race?  Looking to ride on gravel? Pavement? Track? Dirt Road?

All of these can factor into the price of the bike you may be interested. You should make a budget before you buy and stick relatively close to it.

2. Extra items

If this is your first bike, or at least first in a while, you want to factor extra items like a helmet, gloves, and cycling apparel into the budget. You may also want certain items like road shoes, clipless pedals, and cycling glasses too. About $200 should be enough to get just about everything you need.

3. Maintenance


Another $200 should be considered for yearly repair and replacement of parts. This would include a
new set of tires, a new chain, and some workshop labor. You can also save some money by trying to do some of the work yourself in your own garage if you are confident and willing to get a little dirty.

4. On-the-Road Emergency Items

There are a lot of things you could put in your saddle bag or handlebar bag, but the most important items are: a puncture repair kit, lights, a lock, and tire levers.

You may also want a frame pump to help in those extra sticky situations. $60-$120 will cover most of these, depending on the quality of the lock you buy.

 5. Frame Composition

Now we get into the nitty gritty. Alloy? Steel? Aluminum? Carbon?

From this point onwards, oversized aluminium tubing is pretty much dominant. As you head towards the $1,000 mark, you might start seeing the appearance of carbon in the fork, and possibly portions of the frame. Steel is the most forgiving of the trio, and will tolerate the most neglect, as long as you don’t let it rust. Aluminium takes hard knocks in its stride but has to be watched more closely after about three years or more of use as it has a limited fatigue life. Carbon is the most temperamental as any cracks or frame damage from careless use usually mean the bike is toast. You should only consider carbon if you’ve got a long commute on good roads or are planning more serious riding beyond your everyday jaunt to work. 

6. Sizing and Fitting


Like with clothes and shoes sizing tends to vary between manufacturers, so while you might need a bike with a 54cm frame from one brand, you might require a slightly smaller or bigger size from another. You should stand over the bike with both feet flat on the ground, legs close together. Lift the bike up or look at the amount of clearance: you should be able to lift the front and back wheels evenly off the ground by about 7 to 8cm, which should give the equivalent clearance between your crotch and top tube. As always, ask us if you are not sure.
Equally important is the reach, or distance from the saddle to the bars – a test ride will help you to determine if your position on the bike of your choice is going to be comfortable or not, and our experienced shop staff are trained to help you achieve this correctly. 

Come in to Circle City today and let us help you with all of your cycling needs.

Circle City Bicycles and Fitness
5506 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 786-9244