Category Archives: Cycle: Triathlon & TT

GUIDE: Clean & care for your bike – Essential guide to cleaning and lubricating

Keeping your bike clean and well lubricated will ensure it runs smoothly, quietly and correctly and should save you money in the long run by lessening wear and tear on the drivetrain components in particular.

Never is caring for your bike more important than in poor weather and when you’ve ridden through rain or particularly dirty or dusty conditions, but it should become part of your routine all year round. If you leave dirt to build-up on your bike parts can wear out much quicker and other issues can go unnoticed.

If your bike is really dirty or muddy a water hose may help to clear the worst of it before you tackle the rest. For best results we recommend cleaning in a specific order.

Ribble tip from Head Mechanic Mark: “Be careful if you use a high pressure hose and don’t use it close up. Too much pressure can blast grease out of your bearings and push dirt deeper inside.”

1 Clean the drivetrain first with Chain Cleaners and Degreasers

Much stronger than all-purpose bike cleaners, specific chain cleaners and degreasers help shift oil and residue from your drivetrain (chain, chainset, cassette, jockey wheels). They are great for removing heavy build ups but it is best to avoid areas such as bearings and cables.

The chain can be a messy job, so there are self-contained chain cleaners available which you put degreaser in and then clamp onto your chain. Turning the cranks, as though you were pedalling, then passes the chain through the bath, cleaning it as it moves. A rag is then useful to remove the residue by running the chain through it.

Ribble tip from Head Mechanic Mark: “Make it easier to get in all those awkward places by taking out the wheels, washing them separately, and then ideally washing the rest of the bike in a workstand.”

SHOP WORKSTANDS HERE

2 Clean the rest with an All-Purpose Bike Cleaner

All-purpose bike cleaners can be used all over your bike but they are particularly recommended for the frame, wheels and tyres. The strength of these cleaning fluids is not particularly strong so they are not used on the drivetrain. Normal domestic detergents can contain abrasive salts so bike-specific cleaners and degreasers are guaranteed to be kinder and more effective on your bike. In the winter a regular clean will also help prevent corrosion from road salt. We prefer to work from the top of the bike downwards with a sponge or soft brush and then dry off with clean rags.

3 Re-apply Lubrication and Grease

Once the bike is dry, it will need lubricant reapplying to the chain and, over time, areas such as the headset may need re-greasing.
Lubricants
Chain lube is put directly onto the chain, and ensures a smooth and quiet running drivetrain. There are three different types of chain lube to consider:
Wet Lubes – these are a ‘stickier’ lubricant so that they remain on the chain if the weather is bad. Great for bad weather, but the chain will need cleaning more often as they attract dirt.
Dry Lubes – a much thinner lubricant, perfect for when the weather is good. They don’t attract dirt as much, but do get washed off easily if it rains.
All purpose – Can be used in all conditions, but do not particularly excel in any one, hence why there are dry and wet lubes.

Check your bike over after cleaning

When your bike is clean is also the ideal time to check it over for any signs of any significant wear and tear or potential issues.

RIBBLE 2018: SAVE 10% ON YOUR CYCLE SHOW TICKETS

COME AND SEE RIBBLE AT THE NEC CYCLE SHOW AND SAVE 10% ON YOUR TICKETS

Over the last year the Ribble range has been evolving and expanding, we have won awards and received praise from our customers for our exciting bikes and kit.

The annual NEC Cycle Show in Birmingham is one of the occasions where you can touch, feel and admire our complete range and meet and talk to the people behind our bikes, clothing and accessories.

This September at the NEC there will be exclusive first looks of new Ribble bikes and one of the first opportunities to see our new clothing and accessories ranges in the flesh.

Because we want Ribble customers old and new to be part of this we have negotiated discounted tickets with the Cycle Show. You can save 10% on ticket prices using our discount code (RIBBLE) if you book before Thursday 21st September.

We enjoyed meeting you all on the stand twelve months ago, we’ll be in our usual prominent position, and look forward to showing you our exciting new product ranges.

How to save 10% off your ticket(s)

To book your tickets:  Click here

Use Discount Code: RIBBLE

Book before: Thursday 21st September 2017

Don’t forget you can also see the Ribble range at our two showrooms in Bamber Bridge, Preston and the Mailbox in Birmingham.

WHY I TOOK UP CYCLING: How Jamie’s battle against serious illness led him to cycling and triathlon

By Jamie Fox

Recently people have asked me “Why did you take up cycling?”
My simple answer would be “for my health”, but let me explain further.

In 2014 I was having a really bad year health wise, the worst I’ve ever had in fact. I’d been in hospital three times and been off sick for nearly a month at a time for every visit plus multiple days off because I simply couldn’t do anything.

I had caught MRSA of the lungs and another bug (the name escapes me at the moment) and just couldn’t shift it or get it under control. The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) that I was diagnosed with at six-months-old was winning.

Another big factor that year was that I was finishing Gene Therapy Trials which I now believe is the reason my lung function had held on for so long because the drugs were helping to my lungs and keep me healthy. In 2013 my lung function had been around 75-80% and gene therapy was doing a really good job, but not long after I had finished the trials I was starting to get sick a lot and my lung function was dropping like a stone and infections were feasting on my lungs like an all you can eat buffet.

By the end of 2014 I was back in hospital for the third time looking for help, looking for answers and getting frustrated with the whole situation. I needed to try to stop my health declining, in hospital I couldn’t breathe and had to be put onto oxygen.

How cycling played its part

I had never felt so ill, so scared and so down mentally let alone physically, this was all new to me. I knew everybody who has CF is different and everybody’s fight is different but this was my first time experiencing this and I was out of my depth thinking I could handle it. I didn’t cope at all, it’s most likely taken me until this year and it was committing to a cycling challenge that played an important part.

It was the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 Ride that got me started in 2015 and this year I want up my game even further to tackle an Olympic distance triathlon with the help of Ribble.

During that lowest point three years ago, I sat with the doctor and said, “Once this admission is done I’m going to go away and assess things. I’m going to prove you wrong that this isn’t going to carry on and that I can help my health and my diabetes, if there’s no more that you can do, I want a go at trying something different”. I appreciated that the doctors were trying to help but I think my mindset was that “I’m going to take things into my own hands and I feel this is something I need to do, if the drugs can’t help then let me find out if I can do something”.

But what would I try?!

I had been looking into big, physical challenges where I could maybe try and see if that helped my health. I’d thought about the London marathon but, I didn’t think I could cope with running that distance with my weak left leg. What about a shorter distance? What about walking up a mountain like Kilimanjaro? I had been wanting to go there for a while but I had to be realistic. With 50% lung function walking up a mountain with the lack of air becoming more and more apparent – I wasn’t sure. What could I do?

I could cycle? I could do that. I liked cycling and I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted and it wouldn’t put too much pressure on me (well so I thought, how wrong I was!)

SO cycling it was. It had to be something big, something I would remember forever and know that I had done it starting from nothing. It had to be something I could say to the doctors “See I did it. Two fingers to your complacency”. I was trawling the internet and came across something that caught my eye.

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

I came across this ride in simple terms its 100 miles on closed roads through beautiful London and surrey countryside taking in the sights of world famous London. I mean 100 miles is big enough for the challenge to be big, catch people’s attention and maybe few a few pennies for the CF Trust. But firstly I needed a bike.

I was fortunate enough that my partner at the time offered to buy me a bike for my birthday (thank you) in November 2014. It wasn’t expensive, it wasn’t a carbon fibre, ‘go fast’ bike, but it was mine. My bike that I hoped would pedal me to great things. I had no idea how far it would take me and what challenges I would achieve, but I loved this bike from the first day I picked it up.

Starting to ride and falling in love with cycling

I went for my first bike ride a few days later (the picture above is me after my first ride) and it shocked me. I managed a measly six miles, just six miles and I was beat exhausted and my lungs hated me, but I had the bug, I knew I wanted to do this. I fell in love with cycling straight away, Lycra isn’t a fashion statement but knowing your dressed in it sort of gives me a sense of pride because I know I want to achieve something whilst dressed in my cycling gear. Over time I put my training gear on and I know I’m doing it for a purpose, to stay fit, to show others what’s possible and to help the CF trust and hopefully the money raised with help of you lovely people has helped made a difference to others in some way no matter how small.

That day I signed up to the RideLondon-Surrey 100 with the CF Trust and the rest as they say is history.

Since January 2015 I have cycled about 7000 miles and I’ve completed:

  • RideLondon-Surrey 100 Bike Ride 2015
  • KM Bike Big Ride 50km 2016
  • London To Brighton 55 mile bike ride 2016

And I’ve managed to raise around £3,500.00 for the CF trust along the way.

Reaping the benefits

Since I started training at the end of 2014 my hospital fortunes and health have stabilised. I wouldn’t say its improved as such as my lung function hasn’t improved since 2015 but it has most certainly slowed down in its declined and stabilised at around 50 to 55% for the last two and a half years. I am the fittest I’ve ever been even with my lung function and I’m still smiling look ahead to the future and what other challenges I can take on. I won’t lie, it’s been bleeding hard there been days still when I’ve not been able to do anything and my CF has affected me even on good days, but I feel better mentally knowing I’d rather be in pain training than be in pain in hospital or coughing. All the miles, pain, tears and falls have all been worth it.

Since 2015 my hospital visits have decreased massively with two admissions in January 2015 and September 2015. And that is the last time I was admitted to hospital for IV Treatment it’s been 21 months since I had a stay in hospital. It’s not been easy I’ve pushed myself like mad, I’ve still been really sick at times and I’ve still had infections and other problems and bugs have taken their toll on me at time and I’ve swallowed a lot of tablets to fend off sickness but I haven’t had to stay in hospital.

Positive effects of training

All the training has also had a positive effect on my diabetes. I now have much lower levels which I’m still working on to improve and I’ve got it under control and by having a good diabetes control it helps my chest and reduce infections because infections feed off sugar and can turn in to a vicious cycle of problems.

And now you know why I took up cycling, that’s the long and short answer but without deciding to get on two wheels and put my feet on the pedals I have no doubt I would be in that terrible place I had feared two years ago getting more and more used to hospital beds and going insane because I just wouldn’t cope. Thanks to cycling and maybe my stubbornness to prove people wrong, I’m here talking walking and still breathing through my lungs without any further grief.

And what next in 2017?

It had to be another big challenge. I felt it had to be a triathlon, an Olympic distance to be exact. On the 24th September 2017 I’m taking part in the Hever Castle Olympic distance Triathlon to in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust:

1500m swim + 40km bike ride + 10km run

One after the other, all in one go.

Thank you Ribble

I have to give a huge shout out and thank you to Ribble Cycles, I wrote to them this year asking if they could help me at all in lending me a bike and they went above and beyond what I expected. They kindly offered to give me a new bike to help me complete this challenge and my future challenges that I want to take on. The day I visited their new shop in the Birmingham Mailbox was amazing. They are all so lovely, so supportive and couldn’t be any nicer. Their offer of support will never go unappreciated, they have inspired me to keep pushing and wanting to achieve more. Without their help I could never have got a bike like this. So thank you thank you thank you to everyone at Ribble. You are all amazing for helping me and supporting me on this journey and I will forever be in your debt.

Triathlon training commences

I started training in in about October last year nothing too serious, the odd ride, the odd run but I didn’t start swimming until January this year and that’s when I started really upping my training and thinking seriously about attempting a Triathlon. I knew this would be big. The biggest challenge I’ve ever attempted. Hardest thing I’ve ever wanted to finish and the pain and training hasn’t disappointed in challenging me and making me doubt myself that’s for sure.

Training for this has been a whole different world to just biking and it’s getting harder every day. I’m swimming twice a week running twice a week and cycling twice a week plus doing short exercise at home. And not small distances either. I’m now swimming two to three miles every week, cycling 50 miles per week and running about 10km a week at present, I know that may not sound like a lot but I’m still learning still improving and still increasing my distances.

First a Sprint Triathlon

And so far I have managed to complete a sprint Triathlon in April as a practice run but that is nothing compared to the big one and I learnt a lot from that, mostly how hard and painful it is and that was only 250m swim 10 mile bike ride and 3 mile run. That is nothing compared to what I want to attempt.

I now have approximately a dozen weeks to keep training improving and hopefully dodging hospital until the big day. It’s already tough but I’ll write again soon about training progress.

What’s pushing me through this training is my health, my stubbornness and wanting to raise awareness and funds for the CF Trust. This is what inspires me to keep pushing.

Support Jamie

You can support Jamie in his fund raising for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by visiting his Just Giving page JamieFoxCFChallenges and keep updated via his Facebook page Jamie’s CF Challenges for Charity.


These guys deserve a huge thank you for everything they have done for me and I hope to be able to return their generosity one day.

TEAM RIBBLE: Ailbhe and her Aero 883 all set to Tri

Team Ribble sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll looks back on her 2016 and forward to her new tri season which begins on Gran Canaria on March 26th.

My last race of 2016 was in October and finishing racing that late made for a very long season, yet it was my first ever full season without injury or illness. I got to the end of a season absolutely whacked purely because I completed the season from start to finish. It was the first time I have ever felt like a proper triathlete!! Tick that box off!! Yahoo!

Team Ribble tri

I won one of my final races of last season in a new course record and was happy to represent Ribble on top of the podium. It was a non-drafting race and I was ever so proud to have the fastest bike split whilst on my road bike versus everyone else on TT bikes. Shows how awesome my Ribble Aero 883 is… fact!! My bike was my saving grace in 2016. I have documented all my races here on the Ribble blog and there has always been a pattern of my very forgetful limb packing. When I have rocked up to races and forgot to pack my bike legs, my Ribble Aero 883 has still got the job done. This is testament to the high standard of bike that Ribble put on show. Match made in heaven.

Thanks for all the support

All in all 2016 was a great year. I didn’t get half the results I was dreaming of, but 2017 is another opportunity to showcase again and alongside my wonderful supporters I know we will achieve together. Without my trusty bike I would have been lost. Ribble helped me out when I had no bike at all and the difference they have made to me has been extraordinary. A massive thank you to the guys at Ribble for everything they have done for me as it is simply amazing. Polaris Bike wear have been another high up on that list of wows. Protection of bikes doesn’t come cheap and these guys have helped endless amounts. The amount of times I travel abroad knowing my bike is safe is too many to mention. I made over 30 flights in 2016 and my bike has been safe from start to finish. Thank you for your support.  My feet and body have been laughing it up in Newton and Newline kit from the guys at New running gear. All conditions are catered for and I am ever so thankful for what they have done for me. A team like this makes achieving and living your dream a lot easier. Thank you thank you thank you.

str3tch

New Triumph Coaching team

Alongside everything else, I have joined forces with my boyfriend and two other friends and elite international triathletes to form a coaching business called Triumph Coaching. We would love for you guys to have a look at our website and get in touch if you have any questions. We are very keen to hear from you all and would love to know your goals and ambitions for 2017. We are happy to help you in triathlon or just single sports so whatever your needs are we would love to be involved. Just click the link and you can also find us on twitter, facebook and Instagram at team_triumph1

Progress and tri goals

2017 training began in the winter around Loughborough and it was quite ‘fun’ keeping track of how many fingers and toes still had feeling in them! Winter always brings with it a whole pile of laughter!

Run2

I am happy to report massive leaps and jumps forward in my fitness compared to this time last year. I have been able to reduce my working hours which is allowing me to train more and recover… something I didn’t have time for last year! This I know is going to make all the difference in 2017.

I don’t know whether it’s because I have gained a whole year to my life or not but my average heart rate is decreasing by a lot on all my runs. I have always been a high heart rate kind of gal – things are changing! Either I am over the hill or I am actually making use of this consistency in my training and finding fitness! A crazy thought!

My days are structured and planned down to the last millisecond – it’s not for everyone and can be annoying sometimes as you just feel like rest is a mile away all the time – but hey ho, one of life’s musts!

I have some nice goals set out for 2017 and I am very excited to get achieving these bad boys! I am aiming high and striving for more. I know what’s what and as I am my own coach, I know what I do day in and day out and what my stats and figures say I can do. My goals are big for 2017 and I am very excited to get going this weekend in the Gran Canaria European Cup tri (26th March).

I hope that everyone has had a good ol’ crack at winter training! Winter miles for summer smiles and all that jazz!

Happy pedalling everyone!

Ailbhe

TEAM RIBBLE: Share your rides and ride with new friends with the Team Ribble Strava Club

If you’re a ‘Strava addict’ then why not join your fellow Ribble bike owners in the Team Ribble Strava Club? As we go into winter there is no better time to show us your dedication in clocking up the miles and climbing.

You might only be ticking over with weekend riding or knocking out the miles in a daily commute but share it with us and see where other Club members are riding.

Ribble Valley

If you are interested in the leaderboards then we have some serious riders in the Ribble Club putting in over 20 hours of riding a week, long rides over 100 miles and breathtaking amounts of climbing. Look out for our current top dogs – Mark from Blackpool, James Ward from Leeds and cyclocross racer Richard Haughton from Kirkham – who are putting in some serious riding at the moment.

strava-hours

Strava’s global community

Strava, for the third year running, has just published its annual End of Year Insights report for the UK, providing an unparalleled insight into the behaviours and trends of the UK’s cyclists. The tens of millions of members of Strava uploaded an astonishing 9.6 activities every second of every day in 2016, up from 5.3 activities per second in 2015.

The average UK cycle ride on Strava in 2016.
The average UK cycle ride on Strava in 2016.
Here are the other 2016 Cycling Highlights:

– Globally, cyclists shared a total of 161 million rides in 2016; 27.4 million of those in the UK.

– 223,376 rides were recorded as commutes each week in the UK.

– Male cyclists recorded an average 41 km per ride, while female cyclists averaged 34 km per ride.

A further measure of Strava’s social community is the kudos, where members give praise to another’s activity. Strava saw 1.3 billion kudos given worldwide, with 183 million kudos within the UK. An impressive 51 million photos were also shared worldwide, with 5.4 million images shared in the UK alone.

How the UK compares on Strava

In terms of cycling countries, the UK only lags behind the much (averagely) flatter Netherlands for average cycling speeds. The cycling mad Netherlands leads with a 26.92 kph average for male cyclist with the UK just behind with 25.61 kph.

We look forward to seeing you in the Team Ribble Strava Club.

strava