The art of bicycle maintenance

We are often asked if we have cycled the whole way on the same bikes. We usually just say ‘yes’, but after all our recent bicycle maintenance, we thought it might be interesting to work out how much of our bikes are original components, and how much we’ve replaced along the way: One day we…

Bulging tyres and cranky drivetrains

On our way down the Alaska Highway, Jules’ tyre began bulging slightly along the sidewall. Hopeful that it would last out for a couple of weeks, we thought we’d save ourselves some money and order replacements on chainreaction. While we were at it we also ordered replacement chains. As we cycled on, the tyre bulges…

Wheel building in Alaska

After one and a half days of riding towards Tok, negotiating some roadworks around Dot Lake, my front wheel (the one I left the UK on with more than 26,000km on the clock) exploded (literally, complete with billows of smoke). Unable to cycle or even push the bike, I hitchhiked to Tok to attempt to…

Bike troubles

By the end of the Denali Highway, Jules’ bottom bracket had managed to work itself quite loose, and she had also been having to hand tighten her headset on a fairly regular basis, so we decided to hitchhike to Fairbanks to find a bike shop. We were picked up from Delta Junction by Robin, who…

Wheel building in New Zealand

My rear wheel (from Singapore) split in a dramatic fashion while riding to Taupo. Luckily it broke just before a natural outdoor hot spring, so we camped up there for the night, and I hitched to town the next day while Jules cycled. I thought it would be fairly easy to find a new rim…

Wheel building in Singapore

My wheel rim cracked, like Jules’ did in the Pamirs, about a week before Singapore. Confident I’d have no trouble picking up a replacement in the big city, I ignored it and luckily it held out on the smooth roads of southern Malaysia. Once in the city, I scoured the bike shops but with no luck. So…

Wheel building in Tajikistan

After ten years and over 15,000km of cycling on not always the smoothest roads my rear wheel finally gave up when the rim broke on the way from Dushanbe to Khorog. The spokes had pulled through the rim in a few places, throwing the wheel completely out of true, with no hope of fixing it…