Cycle garage – repair your bike in the garden in your asgard bike garage!

The Asgard cycle maintenance store gets the thumbs up!

A little while back Asgard had a customer contact them about how they had used one of our biggest sheds as a bike maintenance shed.  Asgard are not ones to ignore a customer!  So they have asked this customer to keep them updated as to how he got on using it through the “summer” …

“Hi Tracey

As promised he is my update on your shed/my bike shop! It’s a bit long, but you asked me to be honest.

Putting down a base.

As you know as I really pleased with the original delivery, the unit was on time… even though I had forgotten to get my base down in time.  So your delivery lads carefully stacked the unit in my garden for me.

My base was down a week later – at a cost of £100 + VAT.  I used a local concrete firm who came along and simply poured a few cubic meters of concrete into a hole I had dug.  The process took about 20 mins, no mixing concrete by hand for me! That’s my top tip for anyone thinking of buying one of these big Asgard units and needs a base putting down.  Mixing concrete for a base 2.2 x 2.2 x 100mm deep is a lot of heavy mixing work.  I worked out the cost for this would be £70 in materials and mixer hire, it just made no sense to do the work myself.

Construction

I won’t lie to you, when you lay out all the bits and look at the number of screws, this looks like one intimidating piece of kit.  The saving grace is the instruction sheet, looks a bit like an engineering manual, but is actually really clear and easy to use.  The stickers on each panel identifying what they are is a touch of genius,  as at first glance all of the panels looked the same to me.

Building this metal unit is heavy work, this being one of your biggest sheds I can see why you recommend 2 people carry out this task.  The sides are easy enough to pick up and manoeuvre, though it is near impossible to hold two sides at once and screw then into the base. Believe me I tried.  The front fascia’s are light and easy to manoeuvre, when you get onto the doors though you are in to a different world.  They were heavy things.  Due to the raised base lip you need to lift the door about 10mm off the base to get the hinges to line up with the fixing holes.  10mm is not much, but takes a fair bit of effort to hold a door steady !

I didn’t bother bolting down the unit, I know this would give me increased security, but lets face it, this shed is immensely heavy.   No one will move this.  Besides I have a ground anchor, which will bolt down through the base to act as a secure point.

Finally the roof.  I thought the doors were awkward!  The roof and top cap really needs to built on the ground and then lifted onto the shed.  We tried to build the roof ON the shed.  No chance. The roof is integral to keeping the shed perfectly square, so lowering it, squaring it up and screwing together all at once is impossible.  Two aborted attempts led  to the conclusion that we should build it on the lawn then lower into position.  That worked a treat.  A tip here would be watch the fingers! When the roof suddenly drops into place on the shed it drops an inch down onto the walls….quickly.  Any fingers in the way will be squashed.

Ground anchor installation.

Not that easy.  I had to cut a square out of the wooden floor a good 6 “ bigger than the Anchor (to allow room for the chain)  THEN screw through the base of the unit –  a real pain to do and probably not worth the effort.

That’s the build complete.  Now in use.

Cracking unit in use.  A third tip here.  I forgot to run a line of silicone down the joins as per your instructions (missed that bit to be honest).  So, the 1st windy/rain day I had a leak through the roof (under the capping joint)  Not a huge leak but enough to annoy me.  I ran the silicone all around the unit retrospectively; luckily you supply clear silicone, so you can hardly see it.  From that moment on the unit was water tight.

I ordered your full shed pack, shelves, hooks and flooring.

The flooring – I thought this was too much money when I bought it, for what I thought was chipboard.  Then I tried to lift it.  What is it?  Its heavier that the rest of the unit put together.  Really good quality stuff.  Watch the fingers when dropping into place though!

Shelves – Well worth having – great for oils and tools.  If you are smart, you put a shelf low down and use it as a maintenance platform.

Hooks – really handy.  I ordered 10, seems a lot, but once you have a couple of back packs, a helmet and a few waterproof items up there, they soon fill up.

Another tip for your customers here.  Get to Wilkos and buy some plastic storage boxes (£6.00 each) divide your riding gear into winter and summer boxes and stack them.

As a maintenance shed

Really handy.  I do have a garage, but like most peoples its full of prams and tools, here in my “man zone” there is only bike gear.  I have a bike maintenance stand which I stand just outside the shed door.  Perfect I can keep out of the wind whilst I am prepping my bike.   I don’t bring the bike in as the oil would ruin the floor.

The shed gets a little warm in direct sunlight, so I don’t stay in there too long on nice days, on a cold day it’s a great shelter from the wind and rain.

In terms of security, I really have no worries at all.  This is a really solid unit, I can’t imagine anyone getting in without a metal saw.

Conclusion.  Great shed – but get a mate to help and for your own sanity buy an electric screwdriver.

I hope that is enough.  Feel free to use this review in any way you see fit”.

See the full range of Asgard cycle garages here.

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Taking up cycling in the New Year

If you’ve decided that this year is going to be the year you start riding a bike, we’re here to support you. If you’re anything like me, you may not have even attempted to start your New Year’s resolution, but when it comes to riding a bike all you have to do is get on! Many of us haven’t cycled since we were children, if that’s you you’ll need to take the time to properly choose the right bike for you.

How to choose the perfect bike

Depending on what you’re planning to use your bike for, this will determine the type of bike you need. There are a few different types of bike to choose from:

Road bike

This is the term used for a traditional bicycle. As the name might suggest, these bikes are designed for good performance on roads. Two types of bikes fall under this category, racing and touring bikes. Racing bikes are designed for speed and performance, whereas touring bikes are designed sustained comfort.

cycle safe

Choosing the right bike for you

Mountain bike

These bikes are designed for off road use. The difference between these and road bikes is that mountain bikes have compact frames and higher handle bars, giving the rider a more upright position. There is a selection of different mountain bike types such as downhill or cross country.  A mountain bike is generally seen as a good all-rounder as they can be efficient on roads.

BMX bike

These are low profile bikes with 20 inch tyres. BMX bikes are used in competitions on trails and courses.

Once you’ve decided on the type of bike you need, you’ll have to make sure you get the correct size to fit you. Getting this right is essential as different bikes have different dimensions for varying body types. When trying out sizes, you’ll need to make sure that the straddle height isn’t too high so that mounting and dismounting is easy and comfortable.

Try before you buy to get a feel for your new bike and once you’ve purchased pay for a professional to assemble it. Now you have your bike, it is also a good idea to get some training on bike maintenance, so you know how to take care of your bike yourself.

Now all that is left is to go out and enjoy yourself!

How to clean your bike

With the wetter weather your mountain bike rides on off road and on trails are becoming muddier than ever. Cleaning your bike, just for it to get muddy again may not make a lot of sense but it’s certainly the best thing to do, if you want your mountain bike to stay in a good condition and run smoothly.

Get prepared for a dirty job with the correct cleaning supplies

To clean your bike, there are a few supplies that you will need:

  • 1 bucket
  • Hot water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Sponges, brushes and cloths
  • Chain scrubber
  • toothbrush
  • Chain lubricant
  • Degreasing solvent
  • Repair stand (if you have one, makes cleaning the bike much easier)

Time to clean? Where to start?

Clean

The first thing you should do is remove items such as leaves that may have gotten caught in your bike. Wipe down the entire bike with soapy water and apply a degreaser to the drivetrain. Gently use your sponges, brushes and cloths to get rid of any mud and grit. Scrubbing too hard could damage your bikes paintwork. If you have a repair stand, use this to remove the wheels and clean these separately.

Use a toothbrush to scrub the chain and rear cassette, use a rag to wipe the chain clean and remove any excess dirt. Once you have done this backpedal the chain through a rag covered in degreaser.

Wash the rest of your bike with a soap and water mix and rinse it down with an ordinary garden hose. Do not use a high pressure hose or power washer on your bike, as water may push itself past the bearing seal and this may cause corrosion.

Lubricate

When your bike has dried, you will need to lubricate the chain, cables, levers, shifters, derail pulleys and pivot points. Never use an ordinary household lubricant on your bike, you should always use a lubricant purposely made for bike chains. In autumn weather a wet condition lubricant would be the best choice for your bike, due to the amount of rainfall that usually occurs. Make sure any excess lubricant is wiped off the bike as this can attract dirt.

While you are cleaning your bike, it’s a good idea to check for signs of damage on wheel rims, spokes, spoke holes and tyres. Now is a good time to give your bike a general inspection and feel free to give the bike frame a good buff, to get it shining. Once you’ve cleaned your bike, you’ll be surprised at how good it feels to get back on it, not only will it look great, it will certainly feel it too.

The perfect place to carry out that necessary bike maintenance

You will need to have a decent amount of outdoor space to clean your bike and doing this inside obviously isn’t an option, unless you like mud coloured carpets! Having somewhere to store all of these bike cleaning and maintenance items is also a good idea. A garage is a good place to store all of your bike maintenance equipment, accessories and of course your bikes. If you don’t have a garage, there are a variety of garden bike sheds and cycle storage units available on the market. The bike maintenance garage by Asgard has been designed to do just that! This is a large cycle garage that can hold up to 6 bikes, with shelves and hooks to maximise storage space and it is large enough to carry out necessary bike maintenance. The cycle garage is made from strong weatherproof steel, so your stored items will be safe and dry. Having all of your bike items stored under one roof is a lot less hassle than traipsing in and out of the house every other minute for items you’ve forgotten.

How to prepare for cycling in the dark

With winter drawing near it is important to make sure you are prepared for the dark mornings and nights, if you are commuting by bike.

Around 17,000 cyclists are killed or injured in road accidents each year. Statistics have revealed that there is a higher rate of cycling casualties between October and February. During these months the sun rises much later, usually after 8am and the sunsets much earlier from any time after 3:30pm. This means that people who commute by bike are likely to spend most of it in the dark.

25% of cycling accidents occur due to the cyclist having a lack of safety equipment. Don’t cycle in the dark, without the proper equipment and lights. Make sure you can be seen.

Staying visible in the dark

Wear bright colours so you can be seen.

Wear bright colours so you can be seen.

  • Wear bright-coloured or fluorescent clothing, or a high visibility vest.
  • Wear reflective accessories, such as a belt or arm/ankle bands.
  • Ensure your bike has a reliable white front light, rear red light, rear red reflector and amber pedal reflectors.

Cycling safety

Many of you will already know how to keep safe when cycling on the roads, you will also know how difficult this can be on congested routes. However there are many new cyclists on the roads, who lack the confidence and skill. If you are scared and lack confidence, hopefully this guide will help you to cycle safely.

Cycling is statistically safe, however it is easy for new cyclists to be scared by horror stories. Per year there are 10-15 fatalities on bikes, without any other vehicle being involved, this is a relatively small number. Even when considering the role that other vehicles cause in cycling collisions, the figure is still relatively small when compared to other types of road accidents.

Take a look at these top tips for safer cycling:

Learn the skills

Cycle training is available for people of all ages and if you’re lacking in confidence, this could be just the thing for you. Training is available that covers everything from basic bike control to complex urban journeys.

Move away from the kerb

Don’t cycle in the gutter. This may make you feel safe, but hugging the pavement makes you less visible to moving vehicles. You should always cycle at least 50cm from the kerb. If you position yourself in the middle of the lane, this will force cars to overtake you when it is safe to do so.

cycle safe

How to cycle safely on busy roads

Make eye contact

Making eye contact with drivers, lets them know you’re there. This is particularly useful at traffic lights, turning right and approaching junctions. This simple act will help avoid the ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’.

Signal

It is important to signal, so that other road users know your intentions. Check over your shoulder early, so you have time to change position smoothly.

Roundabouts

When it comes to roundabouts, on your approach make sure you take your lane. This will make you visible to all road users, avoiding any accidents. Before leaving the roundabout, check, signal and exit.

Traffic lights

Don’t be a red light jumper, this is dangerous to not only yourself but to those around you. Wait behind the advance stop line and take your lane. This will let all the drivers behind you, know that you are there. You’ll also be safer in the middle of the lane as nothing will be able to squeeze past you or cut you off as they turn left.

For safe cycling make sure you:

  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic.
  • Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines and cycle boxes when you can.
  • Give pedestrians priority.
  • Use your bell to inform others of your presence.
good-looking-bike-security-solutions from asgard storage

Keep your bike locked securely

If you’re new to cycling and have purchased your first bike, make sure your bike is kept protected from the threat of theft. Asgard metal bike sheds offer fantastic security and protection for bikes. These storage units are made from weatherproof steel and are fitted with a number of security features such as tough locking systems and integral metal floors. These bike stores are available in a range of sizes and colours to suit all needs.

Tour de France 2014 Countdown

The Tour de France 2013 is over! Big congratulations to Chris Froome, this year’s winner. But now that the Tour de France 2013 is over, the real excitement for many can really begin! Next year, the Tour de France 2014 will be hitting the UK, with the Grand Depart set to take place from West Yorkshire the home of Asgard Secure Steel Storage.

The Tour de France 2014 is Yorkshire’s chance to shine and everyone is getting involved. For thousands of UK cycling fans this is the moment they have been waiting for, chance to not only watch but to also be involved in the biggest cycling event of the year.

The Tour de France 2014

When it was announced that the Tour de France would be coming to Yorkshire, the Le Tour Maker campaign was launched. This campaign was launched to recruit volunteers to help out and show the world just how brilliant Yorkshire really is! So far a phenomenal 15,000 people have signed up to become Le Tour Makers, proving just how much people want to get involved with this prestigious sporting event.

Not only has the Tour de France encouraged people to volunteer, it has also encouraged more and more people to start cycling. From the moment Bradley Wiggins won the Tour De France in 2012, the people of Britain have been hit with the cycling bug and this has only been amplified by Chris Froome’s recent 2013 win.

Cycling activities across the UK have increased across, with more cycling festivals, cycle clubs and organised events popping up everywhere. More cyclists also means more bikes on the roads and more bikes unfortunately means a bigger threat of bike theft. If you’re one of the many new cyclists out there, make sure you make bike security a priority. Bike thieves are adapting and becoming smarter and using new tactics to find higher priced bikes to steal.

If you are concerned about the security of your bike, check out the Asgard range of bike sheds. Asgard is a UK Manufacturer based in West Yorkshire; we are company full of cyclists who are looking forward to the Tour de France landing on our door steps. Asgard bike sheds made and sold by people who love bikes, so you know you’re getting a product that works.

Insurance approved bike storage

Secure bike storage from Asgard

These bike sheds are made from strong weatherproof steel and are fitted with heavy duty locking mechanisms, depending on your chosen model, which are designed to help keep thieves out and leave your bikes safe. These bike storage units are available in a range of sizes for 1 up to 8 bikes. With a little help from Asgard, you’ll be able to enjoy cycling without putting your bike at risk.

The effect of rain on your bike

I think we can all agree that the weather this summer has so far been pretty glorious. The temperatures are soaring and the sun is shining. However, we have had the occasional torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. With heavy downpours like the ones we have seen recently, it is important to make sure your bike is protected from the wet weather.

What happens when bikes get wet?

Many bikes just simply aren’t designed for outdoor living and need protecting from the elements when they aren’t in use. If you leave your bike out in the rain for long periods of time, without giving it any love, care or attention, your bike will start to suffer and this could end up costing you a pretty penny. When your bike is constantly exposed to wet weather conditions and you don’t keep on top of your bike maintenance, you may find that your bike begins to rust and have mechanical faults.  This is because when it rains, water will find its way into every little crevice.  If your bike doesn’t have stainless steel parts, this process will be accelerated further.

Clean your bike after heavy rain.

Clean your bike after heavy rain.

If your bike happens to get wet what should you do?

Whenever your bike gets rained on you should do the following to keep it in tip top condition:

  • Dry your bike.
  • Clean the chain, chain rings and cassette.
  • Lubricate the drivetrain, brakes and cables.
  • Store your bike somewhere dry!

How can you store a bike out of the rain?

If you need somewhere to store your bike and keep it protected from harsh weather conditions, there are two options that will keep your bike protected.

  1. Bring it inside.
  2. Get a secure bike shed.

Depending on the space you have available, one of these options may be better for you than the other.

Storing a bike inside the home isn’t ideal for many people as this could mean dragging dirt throughout your home or tackling stair cases. You may think that keeping your bike inside your home won’t take up much space, but what about all of the cycling gear and equipment? However if you don’t have any outdoor space, this could be your only option.

Alternatively you can store your bike outside and still keep it protected from the weather. There are many different bike storage units available on the market today, but Asgard metal storage units are weatherproof and have been proven to keep the rain out.  What’s even better is that these steel bike sheds are available in a number of sizes, so even if you only have minimal space you’ll be able to find the perfect bike storage unit for you. With outdoor storage, security may be your other concern.

Garden security bike shed

Garden security bike shed

The Asgard range of storage units offer fantastic garden security, as pick resistant locks and a variety of locking mechanisms have been used on these units to help keep your bikes and accessories safe.  With help from Asgard you can now keep your bike outside, leaving it safe and dry until your next ride.