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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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.

How to secure your garden

Garden security is important all year round, but the risk of garden theft becomes a particular problem in winter as the number of daylight hours decreases. A few simple changes can add some much needed protection.

Front Garden

A secure front garden can also help protect your home from a break-in.

  • Make sure the front of your house is visible from the road.
  • Fences, hedges and gates shouldn’t be more than 1 metre high.
  • Use gravel for driveways, as they are noisy.
  • Fit security lighting.
  • Make sure your house is alarmed.
Don't make it easy for thieves to get in your garden

Don’t make it easy for thieves to get in your garden

Gates

  • Wooden gates are easy to climb, cover cross members with panelling so it isn’t so easy to climb
  • Wrought iron gates are difficult to climb and may be a better deterrent.
  • Use two locks if possible.

Fences

Fences offer vital protection from thieves, helping to keep them out.

  • A garden fence should be over 2 meters tall to help keep garden thieves out.
  • Add trellis to your fencing, as anyone attempting to use this to climb will surely break it and fall.
  • Plant spikey leaf plants and bushed along your fence.

Garden equipment

  • Don’t leave any equipment out in your garden, this will be stolen or used as a method to break into your home.
  • Mark your postcode and house number on all of your equipment and expensive garden items with ultraviolet pen or engrave.

Garden sheds

Keep your garden shed securely locked

Keep your garden shed securely locked

Garden sheds and garages are vulnerable to theft. The value of the contents of a garden shed can easily reach into the thousands of pounds, so it is important to keep them as secure as possible.

  • Make sure your garden shed is always locked.
  • Fit a heavy duty lock, for the best protection.
  • If your shed has windows, board them up.
  • Fit your shed/garage with its own alarm system.
  • Consider upgrading your existing wooden shed to a stronger, more secure metal shed.

For more information on garden security visit http://www.asgardsss.co.uk

Will the cycling protest make a difference?

Earlier this week, thousands of cyclists took to London’s streets and rode slowly through central London, bringing streets to a standstill, calling on the mayor to give them more space on the roads. Around 5,000 cyclists took part in the protest, organised by the London Cycling Campaign.

The protest was made up of 20 guided rides across different areas of London, which joined at the London Eye before making their way up to Parliament Square, where MP’s were debating the Get Britain Cycling Report.  Protesters included family members of victims, injured cyclists and accident survivors. The protest was decorated with flags and bells, hooters and stereos could be heard.

Cyclists want more space to be allocated to them on London’s roads and are calling for a barrier of separation between them and other road users.

Protesters took to the streets or London

Protesters took to the streets or London

Cycling accident victim, John Hartley said “Some space has to be taken away from motor vehicles and given to cyclists.”

Debbie Dorling, who lost her husband when he was killed on his bike by a construction lorry 2 years ago said “the only way to stop the fatalities was to create a physical barrier between the cyclists and motor traffic.”

The London cycling campaign are calling for a number of changes to be made to make roads safer for cyclists.

These changes include:

  • A 20mph speed limit in all residential areas
  • £10 to be spent per head on cycling
  • Separation of cyclists on main roads and junctions
  • Upgrade Cycle Superhighway 2
  • Creation of safe cycling routes in Zone 1

But will this protest do anything to help? In many previous cases, we have seen the public protesting only to be ignored.  The government have already rejected the measures put forward on the Get Britain Cycling Report. In addition to this the communities secretary,  Eric Pickles has slated Cambridge for having a pro- cycling policy, which suggests he is not interested in helping cyclists at all. Hopefully the attitude he possess isn’t one that is representative of the majority of MP’s. What do you think this protest will achieve?

 Information provided by the Evening Standard

The fight against allotment theft!

More and more people are taking to growing their own vegetables, whether it is in the garden or in an allotment plot. This popularity in growing your own food has increased peoples want to have an allotment plot and now the waiting list for one in certain areas can be up to 10 years! In fact, having an allotment has become so popular even the BBC has taken to it with their show ‘Allotment wars’. Now this may sound like a crazy show about fighting vegetables…but it’s not!

Allotment wars is a documentary that shows all the dirty tricks played by rival gardeners, on allotments all over the UK. Gardeners are battling to have the best plots and this results in chaos and destruction.  Greenhouses are smashed, garden sheds are burnt and broken into and prized vegetables are killed.

How to plant your tree

On the show, one gardener has been a repeat victim of garden shed break-ins. However luckily for her, the burglar wanted nothing more than to make himself a cup of tea and relax on the sofa inside. As we know though, not all burglars are quite as nice. Many thieves target allotment sheds to steal tools and equipment, so if you have an allotment it’s important to make sure your equipment and gardening tools are stored securely.

If you have a garden shed, make sure this is fitted with tough locks that cannot be easily broken off. If your garden shed is weak and vulnerable to theft attacks, it may be time to invest in something more secure to keep your gardening equipment in.

Asgard metal garden sheds are frequently used on allotment plots, as they are strong and secure. Asgard garden sheds are all made from weatherproof steel panels and have been fitted with strong locking mechanisms to help keep thieves out. The high security range of sheds from Asgard have been designed to withstand the toughest attacks, as they are fitted with reinforced doors, hinges and panels as an added security measure. These high security garden sheds have also been approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board, which may help to reduce insurance premiums.

High security garden storage, ideal for allotments

High security garden storage, ideal for allotments

Metal sheds from Asgard are available in a wide range of sizes, so even if you only have a small allotment plot you can still keep your equipment secure. Find out more about Asgard metal garden sheds at http://www.asgardsss.co.uk

Summer motorcycle routes

The beautiful summer weather we’re having here won’t last long! So now is the best time to make sure you get out and enjoy your motorbike. What could be a better way to spend a long summer day? Why not try something different and go somewhere new. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at some of these motorcycle routes from all over the UK.

Horsham to Hastings

65 miles

This South Coast route provides plenty of beautiful scenery along the way, which is perfect for the summer weather. This may not be the longest route, but there are plenty of places to stop off along the way, allowing you to turn this into a long day trip or weekend adventure.

Barnstaple to Exmoor National Park

90 miles

This route will give you wonderful views of the coast and the National Park. With scenery so good, you might have to stop just to take it all in! Full of steep climbs, drops and corners, this ride will be far from dull!

Motorcycle routes

Washington to Hawes

65 miles

Hawes is an area that is a favourite with a lot of bikers. What could be better than travelling by bike into the Yorkshire dales on a glorious sunny day? You’ll have plenty to see along the way, with lots of little villages to stop off in.

Norwich to Fakenham

25 miles

This may only be a short route, but by one biker this has been described as ‘the best road in the world’! An excellent road surface, with fantastic corners and rural scenery, what more could you ask for?

Summer motorbike rides

Gilpin Bridge to Bowness-on-Windermere

10 miles

A quiet route, which is free of tourists, is perfect for getting some real speed. This hidden gem, may not be very long but with sweeping corners, twists and turns you’ll be glad you chose this route.

Blairgowire to Ballater

50 miles

This fast route is bendy with wide open views. On this route you’ll see mountains and forest, so make sure you stop and give yourself time to take in the amazing views.  This route is best saved for the warm weather, so perfect for this time of year.