Road bicycle tips: selecting the right road bicycle tires
Learn what kind of tires work best for your road bike and how to select them. The type of road bike tire you need depends on the type of riding you do. Are you a competitive racer, a commuter, or a recreational rider? Do you ride on pavement or dirt? How concerned are you about punctures?
For racing, you want a light, slick tire that can withstand high air pressure. The high-end fold-up is your best bet. It has a Kevlar or Aramid bead (the edge of the tire that holds it on the rim). Kevlar is a fiber made by Dupont that is very lightweight and very strong for its weight. Aramids, a type of nylon used in bullet-proof vests, is also very light and strong. You also want minimum rolling resistance or friction with the road, so you want a narrow, slick tire. The narrowest tire is 20 c. The "c" stands for millimeters and refers to ETRTO (European Tire and Technical Organization) standards, which most tires today use. Racing tires are very fast but don't last long--about two competitions. They run around $50 or more.
For race training, use slightly wider training tires (23 c) made of a harder rubber compound, but still slick. These last longer, aren't quite as fast, and retail around $40.
High Use Dual-Tread and All-Season Tires
Dual-tread and all-season tires might also be used for training or for shorter recreational rides. These are also fold-ups with Kevlar or Aramid beads. However, they have a dual tread; in other words, the center of the tire is slick like the lightweight racers, but on either side of this center ridge is a stronger tread that makes them last longer and gives them more stability. Width for dual-treads ranges up to 25 c.
Commuter or High-MileageTires
These tires are for people who put a lot of mileage on their bikes, like commuters or long-distance recreational riders. They are made of a generic rubber compound and are heavier, but last longer; manufacturers say 1000-2000 miles, but the actual mileage varies depending on how you ride, your weight, and if the tire is on the front or back. (Back tires wear out faster because of weight and drive force.) These tires have wire beads and so don't fold up--you'll see them hanging on the rack at the bike shop. Width ranges between around 23-32 c. For commuter and recreational riders, the extra weight is not enough to make much difference in your ride. These tires can be dual-tread or slicks, with the dual tread adding stability on dirt or loose surfaces. Prices run around $15-30.
Hybrid bicycles (sometimes called comfort bikes) land somewhere between a road bike and a mountain bike and hybrid tires are also somewhere in between. They have a dual tread, a smoother pattern in the middle to reduce rolling resistance and a rougher pattern on either side of this to add stability on dirt or loose surfaces. In reality, however, bicycle tires on smooth surfaces such as pavement don't need much tread because traction depends on the type of rubber compound and pressure. Bicycles don't hydroplane because of the narrow tire width, curved contact area, cycling speed and high pressure. Rough tread does, however, help traction on dirt or surfaces with loose gravel or sand. Thick tread can also reduce punctures. Width of hybrid tires ranges from 25-40 c. You can put them on your road bike depending on how much clearance you have around your brakes and forks. Check with your bike shop about this. These tires range around $15-30.
Where to Buy Tires
Probably the best place to buy tires is a bicycle shop because of the wide selection of tires and employee knowledge. There are also several on-line outlets that offer excellent selection and great sales. Avoid discount stores; they have very limited selection and employee knowledge.
There are many specialty electrical tools and testers, but a few tools are used by every electrical worker.
Electrical work can come in the form of anything from residential electrical wiring to high-tech electronic instrumentation. While there exist many specialty tools for different electrical purposes, there several tools that are universal to all electrical workers.
Wire strippers, or strippers, are the most common and universal tool that is used to do electrical work. Strippers are used to remove insulation from the ends of wires before they are terminated to some type of outlet or connector. They are available in a variety of different types and sizes to accommodate every gauge of wire. Two special versions include electrician scissors and thermal strippers. Electrician scissors have special notches which can be used to strip household size wiring with the assistance of a thumb. Thermal wire strippers use heat to break the insulation after which the insulation can be removed easily by hand.
Another common tool for electrical workers is a digital multimeter. Multimeters are the primary method of measuring voltage, resistance, and amperage within a circuit. The newest models can now also measure frequency, and perform diode checks. While there are meters available that measure only one electrical property, such as a volt meter, most electrical workers agree that having a meter that can read multiple electrical properties is very convenient.
A soldering iron is a tool that is used extensively in the electronics field. Soldering irons are used to permanently repair broken wires and to perform repair on circuit boards. A properly made solder joint entails melting solder in the desired location which creates the new, repaired connection upon drying. Common solder, which is normally a lead/tin mix, in melted around 750-800 degrees Celsius.
A tool that every electrical handy man uses is a crimper. Using a solderless crimp is often far more convenient and mush easier than soldering a broken wire back together. A solderless crimp is installed by crushing it down upon each broken wire end with a crimper, thereby restoring the circuit's electrical continuity. While a soldered connection is viewed as a permanent repair, a solderless crimp is viewed by the electrical community as a quick fix.
When working with electronic instrumentation, it is often necessary to employ the use of a grounded wrist strap. These wrist straps protect sensitive electronics from being zapped by an ElectroStatic Discharge, or ESD. ESD is commonly felt when a person walks across a carpeted, dry room and touches a metal door handle. Since it is possible for a person a accumulate a static charge of tens of thousands of volts, it is important that the technician utilizes an ESD strap so that he is grounded and therefore at the same electrical potential as the equipment, where there is no danger of a static discharge.
A good set of micro-precision screwdrivers can be found in every electronic technicians toolkit. These are typically used to adjust variable resistors and capacitors, and to connect wires to proper terminals. Where micro screwdrivers are normally used in a low-voltage setting, regular-sized insulated screwdrivers are used for high-voltage operations.
These are some of the most common tools that are used by electrical workers. There exists a plethora of different electrical tools and testers, but most of these are meant for a very specific task.
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