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Learn about TPI and make sure your bike has the tires you need

Curious about TPI? So are a lot of other cyclists and triathletes. In short, TPI stands for Threads per Inch. Take the time to learn about TPI, how it can impact your ride, and what bike tires we recommend. This knowledge can be beneficial during your Kerrville Triathlon training!

Tires are made with threads. Lower-end tires have lower counts which tend to make them heavier and provide a harsher ride. Higher-end tires have higher thread counts which allow them to ride smoother and contour to bumps on the road better. On some tires, the threads are mixed in with Kevlar or some other type of durable fabric. This makes them more resilient to flats. It is important to note that a higher TPI tire is not more prone to flats than a lower TPI tire. No matter what the threads per inch is on your tires, there are steps you can take to prevent flat tires.

Threads per inch and the tires you need

Tires with lower threads per inch are less expensive and are more common for training use. Higher TPI tires are more expensive and tend to be used for racing or for riding roads where you are looking for a smoother ride.

For a great low TPI tire, we recommend the Vittoria Zaffiro Tire. For those of you looking for the high TPI tire consider the Vittoria Diamante, the Vittoria Open Corsa, the Vredestein Tricomp, or the Continental Grand Prix 4000.

Check with James Balentine at City Limit Cycles to see if these tires are still good options.

Follow these derailleur adjustment tips to eliminate shifting issues

Experiencing issues shifting as you begin training for Kerrville Triathlon Festival on Sept. 28-29? Try your hand at a derailleur adjustment with these simple steps.

Derailleur designers provide a simple way for you to dial in shifting. You don’t even need tools (although, it’s easiest to make and check adjustments when the bicycle is supported in a repair stand). Keep in mind, these steps are for derailleurs that are not damaged or bent. If you suspect that it is, it needs more than this simple adjustment and you should call James Balentine with City Limit Cycles.

To adjust the derailleur, look at the point where the cable enters the rear derailleur. See that round, knob-like piece? That’s a barrel adjuster. It’s used to tune the derailleur adjustment.

Standing behind the bike, the barrel adjuster is turned either counter-clockwise or clockwise in half-turn increments until the shifting hesitation is cured. Which way do you turn it? It depends on what type of hesitation you’re experiencing. The most common problem is slow-shifting into easier gears (toward the spokes) due to the cable stretching. But, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing the opposite.

This rule will help you remember which way to turn it. If the derailleur is hesitating when shifting toward the spokes (the more common problem), turn the barrel toward the spokes (counter-clockwise). If it hesitates shifting away from the spokes, turn the adjuster away (clockwise) from the spokes. Turn it only a half turn, shift multiple times to check the adjustment, and repeat as needed to eliminate all hesitation.

Truing your wheels at home could save you money and get you back on the road

If you have some free time you should practice a new skill – truing a wheel!  
Before diving into the details, understand what ‘truing’ means. Often times, hitting potholes, curbs, and foreign objects can adjust your wheel, making it different than before. Truing a wheel means to shape it or adjust it exactly as it was before.

What you need:

wheel, spoke wrench, and truing stand( or your bicycle frame)

Truing a severely bent or out-of-true wheel can be more of a task or cause more problems than you are willing to deal with. However, for those small wobbles in your wheel, here are some easy tips to get you back on the road without running your brakes unsafely open.

The wheel consists of:

Truing your wheels when needed allows you to spend more time riding.
Truing your wheels when needed allows you to spend more time riding.

– hub: center of the wheel
– rim: outside of the wheel that the tire is put on
– spokes: connects the hub to the rim
– nipples: small metal pieces holding individual spokes in the rim (the nipple is the part that is tightened or loosened to adjust tension between the hub and rim)

Directions:

  1. find the place where the rim is rubbing the brake pad
  2. locate the spoke nipple that is opposite the side that is rubbing
  3. tighten that spoke nipple with a spoke wrench (Remember to only turn the spoke nipple a quarter turn at a time. To tighten a spoke, turn the nipple clockwise. To loosen the spoke, turn the nipple counter-clockwise.)
  4. always start at the worst spot and work your way from to the least out-of-true spot
  5. keep going until the wheel no longer rubs the brakes

When you’re done, clean your bike with these tips to get it ready for your next ride. Remember: truing a wheel requires tension in the spokes to be perfectly balanced. This generally takes a bit of patience and practice. If needed, call James Balentine at City Limit Cycles. He’ll visit you at home or at work and take great care of your bike.

Don’t let rust begin forming on your bike

We all know that nothing creates more of an eyesore on a bicycle than rust. The most common parts that rust are the bolts in the cockpit of the bicycle and the chain. The reason it shows up so readily on chains is that they are entirely steel (for the most part). Their low position on the bicycle exposes them to a lot of water and contaminants from the surface of the road. Cockpit bolts (securing the parts of your bike you touch while riding) can rust because of your sweat and hydration and their position under the body of the rider. While a rusted chain poses virtually no safety concern, it does make for poor shifting performance. It can also have a negative effect on the condition of your cassette. Rusty chains should be replaced at the earliest convenience. Bolts on the bar, stem, and top cap, on the other hand, can actually cause a safety risk. If any of these rusty bolts were to sheer due to weakening, it could result in a crash. Furthermore, rusty bolts up front can make for very difficult maintenance if they get stuck. This can cause you to need new components prematurely.

Measure to prevent rust

The best way to prevent rust is simply to give your bicycle a quick wash and wipe down after every ride. That can be a long training ride through the Texas Hill Country and/or your sprint/quarter/half at Kerrville Triathlon. Make sure to get any sweat, Gatorade, and Gu off your bike. Also, storing your bicycle in a dry place, preferably indoors, can go a long way toward keeping your bike rust-free. Finally, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your favorite bike mechanic, James Balentine of City Limit Cycles, for regular service. He will inspect for rust and other problems, saving you headaches down the road!

Make post-race bike maintenance an integral part of your training plan

Most triathletes put a great deal of thought into everything leading up to a big race (equipment, training, nutrition, etc.) However, many do not know what bike maintenance should be completed after a race. With Kerrville Tri less than a month ago, you might want to make sure you haven’t neglected your bike’s care. Utilize this post-race bike maintenance advice.

In most cases, there are only a couple of things that need to be done. If they are completed as soon as you return home after the race it will keep your bike running smoothly.

  • wash your bike and make sure you get all of the gel and drink residue off the bike (if these gels and liquids sit on your bike they will cause rust and can affect the finish of your bike – if they are acidic enough)
  • follow these bike washing tips
  • lube your chain after you’ve washed your bike
  • switch back to your training wheels if you have race wheels on your bike

Once this is done, you are ready to start riding again without any mechanical issues. If you discover something abnormal or out-of-place, schedule an appointment with James Balentine of City Limit Cycles!

Participants crossed the Kerrville Triathlon Festival’s finish line, then celebrated at the finish line festival

More than 1000 participants flocked to Kerrville, Texas, to participate in the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The most scenic triathlon in Texas featured two days of action, plus a two-day expo. Participants gave their all on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After their accomplishments, participants were treated to fajitas, cold beer, snacks, and an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River.

“I really enjoyed coming back to Kerrville for this race weekend,” said Tony Aventa, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “This year was particularly fun with the run through the park. Great job to High Five Events for coordinating such a smooth race!”

From spectating to the Kids Fun Run, Kerrville Tri is perfect for the whole family

The family-friendly Kerrville Triathlon Festival took place from Friday, September 28, to Sunday, September 30. It featured eight different events, including sprint, quarter, half, aquabike, relays, and a kids fun run. The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday. All other events, including the quarter and the half, took place on Sunday. Before the action began, participants, volunteers, and friends and family went to the ROKA Happy Hour. The happy hour and the expo and packet pick up were held at Inn of the Hills, the host hotel.

“Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of my favorite races of the season,” said Karen Moser, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “The courses are amazing, the support is top-notch, and I love the family atmosphere, especially when my daughters cross the finish line with me!”

Peter Murray (1:03:16), of McGregor, Texas, won Saturday’s sprint event. Andrea Fisher (1:10:14), of Austin, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: quarter – female winner, Haley Koop (2:23:17), male winner, Mark Saroni (2:02:52); half – female winner, Rebecca Marrou (4:54:31), male winner, Todd Gerlach (4:45:09). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available.

Kerrville Tri – the most scenic triathlon in Texas

“The Kerrville Triathlon was such a great and memorable experience for my first successful 70.3,” said Ron Ledesma. “The High Five Events’ staff and volunteers were a huge part of making it so memorable for both triathletes and spectators. The race was very well organized from the expo to the festival area, including availability of support, aid, and facilities.’

Athletes received custom-designed shirts and water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival demonstrated why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. Photos can be found on the Kerrville Triathlon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in addition to the website.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Triathletes from 15 different states prepare for Kerrville Triathlon, the most scenic triathlon in Texas

High Five Events concludes their 2018 triathlon season with the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, in Kerrville, Texas. More than 1300 athletes will participate in this beloved Hill Country event. Entering its eighth year, Kerrville Tri is rapidly becoming known for featuring the most scenic triathlon course in Texas.

Triathletes will participate on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After crossing the finish line, participants can grab an inner tube provided by the event and float in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. Before the action begins, participants and their friends and family are invited to the ROKA Happy Hour. This gathering will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 at the Inn of the Hills bar.

“People are buzzing about the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival because it combines triathlon distances for everyone, the City of Kerrville’s hospitality, and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re just as excited as the City of Kerrville to host triathletes from 15 different states and see the continued growth of this event.”

Swim, bike, run in the Texas Hill Country

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival will feature the Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and free Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all take place on Sunday. The sprint will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The half will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Triathletes who would like to participate but are unable to travel to Kerrville can register for the virtual Kerrville Triathlon.

Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup. That will take place at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, and Saturday, Sept. 29th. Registration for all distances is still open for the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Athletes will receive custom-designed shirts and trucker hats, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas and tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Introducing the Official Bike Mechanic for Kerrville Tri – James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles

Tune-up your bike and know how to change your own flat tire before race day. If you arrive in Kerrville and something occurred to your bike during transit, James and his City Limit Cycles van will be at your service during bike check-in on Friday and Saturday. James is also turning wrenches race morning (both days) should last-minute issues arise. He’ll set up shop at the southeast corner of T1 (off Guadalupe St.) Saturday and Sunday morning.

For more than two decades, James worked as a bike mechanic at bike shops, including a decade as Head Mechanic for Jack & Adam’s Bicycles in Austin. For the past 14 years, James has traveled the world volunteering as the mechanic at Triathlon World Championships for Team USA. He has also helped Olympians for Team USA Paratriathlon in Brazil and continues to volunteer for Team USA Paratriathletes.

James likes bikes. He likes to see and hear them running perfectly because he likes to see you riding them with a smile. His service experience is built around a lifetime passion for all things cycling. He’s been a pro racer, a pro mechanic, and pro-level bike geek.

Through it all, James brings a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. He has cared for all kinds of riders from recreational to pro and literally every kind of bike on the planet! Click To Tweet

City Limit Cycles is James’ mobile bicycle repair company. Now a world-class bike mechanic comes to your door so you can focus on what you love most – more saddle time. We’re lucky to have someone of his caliber at Kerrville Tri for the entire weekend. Follow City Limit Cycles on Facebook. and follow his bike cleaning advice!

You should strive for a clean drivetrain

While you’re hanging around this summer, why not try your hand at making sure you have a clean drivetrain? With these simple steps, you’ll be the grease monkey you always dreamed of being! Not only that, but keeping your drivetrain clean and lubed extends the life of your bicycle and helps maintain proper shifting performance and pedaling efficiency.

Steps:

1. When riding primarily on roads, you should clean and re-lube your chain at least once every three or four rides, depending on the conditions (rain, excessive road grit, etc.).

2. Run the chain backward through a clean cotton rag until the chain is fairly clean and dry. Lube the chain with your favorite lube, making sure that some lube gets on each link. Run chain back through the rag once more to remove excess lube. Don’t have a favorite chain lube? Check out 2 of our favorites White Lightning Clean Ride or Bike Medicine Purple Extreme.

3. Clean the cassette or freewheel. You can “floss” the cassette or freewheel with a clean rag to remove built-up gunk. If it is really dirty, you may want to scrub the cassette or freewheel cogs with an old toothbrush and some de-greaser.

4.  Wipe off your front and rear derailleur. Afterward, spray the derailleur pivots with a light, penetrating lube.

5. Wipe off your chainrings from time to time with a clean rag. If they are really dirty, you may want to scrub them with an old toothbrush and some de-greaser.

6. Clean the rear derailleur jockey wheels from time to time with a clean rag to prevent the build-up of gunk.

Tips:

If your chain is really dirty, you may need to remove it to clean it properly. However, if you regularly follow the steps above, you will not need to do this. You can buy chain cleaning kits which run the chain through a solvent bath. You can also use a wide mouth soda bottle, Gatorade bottle, or old water bottle as a chain bath. Again, following the recommendations above should keep your drivetrain clean.

You should generally replace your chain every 2000 miles. If you wait longer than that, your old chain may begin to put undue wear on your cassette or freewheel. Don’t forget to wash your bike!

Happy cleaning!

James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles