Category Archives: Gear

Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner

Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner

Bike cleaning is something we are all likely to be doing a little bit more this time of year. The highly distinctive pink Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner is a popular choice amongst many. Biodegradable and safe on all surfaces, this product is something you’ll want in your toolbox to make this task a little bit easier.

There’s a number of ways you can by this product including pre-mixed and concentrate packs. As you’ll know from similar packs in the supermarket, ‘eco’ type packs aren’t always the cheapest way of buying the product.  Below is a live ‘price per litre’ (once diluted if appropriate) comparison of this product in its various forms as advertised on Wiggle.

Don’t forget, you’ll need an empty trigger spray bottle to use if buying one of the refill type variations. Also, postage charges may apply to the lower cost items. Always confirm product details on the Wiggle website before purchase.

If you are looking to save more on this product, or anything else at Wiggle, you can use our pricetracker which will notify you if the price drops on products you specify.

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If you are looking to make further savings on ANY purchase from Wiggle, check out our pricetracker.

Does your chain need replacing?

A broken chain can mean the disappointing early end to a ride. You may carry and chain tool and spare pins to repair a chain on the road, but chain wear or “stretch” can cause excessive wear on your more expensive components long before a break. For this reason, some consider chains a regular maintenance item and they are definitely worth keeping a eye on.

What do I check ?

The industry standard for chain dimension is a 0.5inch spacing between pins, referred to as the ‘pitch’ of the chain. A 0.5% increase in this measurement would suggest a chain needs replacing, greater than a 1% increase and the chain is heavily worn and has possibly worn the cassette too.

The chain can be measured using a ruler, or specific tool (all measurements should use a portion of the chain that has standard links, be sure to excluded any quicklink or other ‘joining’ links) :

A new chain would measure 12inches for 12 links (from the centre of one pin to the centre of the pin on the 12th link). So, if this measures greater than 12 1/16 inches the chain should be replaced.

Measuring this value (with the chain under moderate tension) can be a little difficult. There are a number of chain wear indicator tools available – they simply drop-in to the chain and give a basic wear indication.

There is a debate around the design of measuring tools and that many tools many include ‘roller wear’ (that is not significant in chain stretch) aswell as ‘pin wear’ (which is the cause of the chain stretch) in their measurements. You can read the technical details on this issue here.

For our money though, we’ll take the basic CC-3.2 from respected Park Tools :

Available from Amazon here.

How long do chains last ?

This varies substantially, depending on chain type, environment, rider and type of use, with figures quoted anywhere from 3,000 – 15,000km, so checking chains is the only way to see your number.

What replacement chain should I buy / what do I need ?

Firstly, you need to determine what speed chain you need (ie how many gears you have on the back 9/10/11 etc.) as chains are speed specific.

Secondly you need to consider either the brand of chain you currently have, or the brand of cassette you have – Generally, you can mix Shimano and SRAM, but neither will work well with Campagnolo (and vice-versa). KMC are a popular brand and will work across manufacturers, but in all cases, check the product specific information.

You’ll need a chain tool to adjust the length of the chain (and in some cases remove the old and rejoin the new).

Check the GCN video below for more information on the process and some more information on chain links.

NOTE: In the video the new chain is sized by comparing the length with the old chain, if the old chain is stretched you may need to count the links or re-measure the chain to ensure you get the correct length.

 

Park Tool Chain Brute Chain Tool @ Wiggle

Park Tool Master Link Pliers @ Wiggle

X-Tools Pro Master Link Pliers One Size @ Wiggle

Chains @ Wiggle

Where can I get the best priced chains?

If you know you are going to need a chain sometime in the future but aren’t in any hurry, you may want to try our Wiggle price alert service. Simply find the chain you want on the Wiggle website, enter the URL in our price alert page and we’ll e-mail you if the price drops within 90 days, which may snag you a bargain before you need it!

Strava + Heart Rate Monitor : Information you see

I’ve been using a heart rate monitor with Strava (and Zwift) for about 6 months now. One question I had before buying it was ‘what heart rate information will I see in Strava?’

I choose the Wahoo TICKR  from Amazon  as it’s one of Stravas recommended devices. It’s a chest strap device that’s well reviewed on Amazon and I can use it with Strava for iOS and Zwift. I’ve been pretty pleased with it.

Wahoo TICKR
Wahoo TICKR

 

  • Personalized Heart Rate Training – Workout efficiently – view real-time heart rate, training zones and calories burned on your smartphone or tablet with compatible training apps. Official HR Monitor of Team Sky, defending champions of the Tour De France.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ compatibility allows TICKR to connect to smartphones and tablets, as well as GPS watches by Garmin, Polar, and more. TICKR works with iPhone 4S and later, and with select Android devices using Android 4.3.
  • Works with Wahoo RunFit + 50 Smartphone Apps including Nike+ Running, MapMyFitness, Runkeeper, Strava,  Apple Health, Cyclemeter and more.
  • Pair with Wahoo RunFit or Wahoo 7 Minute Workout and other compatible third party apps to personalize heart rate training zones and maximize your workout.
  • Apple Watch Integration – Pair directly with the Apple Watch to track heart rate or sync heart rate data through the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app or Wahoo RunFit app.

Using the latest Strava for iOS (20th December 2016), this is the heart rate information that I can see in Strava. (NOTE: This is with Strava PREMIUM membership, I will update this post with non-PREMIUM soon.) :

During an activity

When recording an activity, my current heart rate is shown (top right). From memory, I believe this figure works the same as the speed metric. Meaning that with Strava Premium it’s live, with Strava Basic it’s an average.

After an activity

Heart rate is plotted throughout the activity (this happens to be a ‘Virtual Ride’ as it was on Zwift), with an average and maximum heart rate figure at the bottom. The grey graph you can just make out in the background is the corresponding elevation throughout the activity.

Note the “drops” in the heart rate chart are where I stopped briefly, not disconnects.

Next is the “Suffer Score” for the entire activity. This is presumably calculated based on the time spent in each of the heart rate zones. These bands are illustrated with the coloured circle and the corresponding key at the bottom.

Some of my older activities also show a comment along with the suffer score such as ‘EXTREME’, ‘MODERATE’ etc. These haven’t been appearing for my later activities, so maybe this particular grading idea has been dropped.

 

Lastly, the segment effort analysis screen plots heart rate throughout the effort.

 

So, that’s the information you see in Strava when using a heart rate monitor. There may well be some more information available in Strava web interface. It’s possible that the heart rate information may also assist with other metrics such as calories burnt etc.

If you’re considering buying a heart rate monitor and were wondering what information you’d see, I hope this has been some help. Remember, the above screenshots are from Strava for iOS (iPhone SE) and using a Strava PREMIUM account. This could also change in future software versions.

Check out the Wahoo TICKR on Amazon here.