• How to Clean Your Bike

    Cleaning your bike is simple and a crucial part of bike ownership.

    All those moving parts are constantly exposed to the elements, road debris and dirt. To keep your bike working correctly and safely, a regular cleaning routine is a must. If your bike is kept clean, it will be easier to spot potential issues before you get out on the road or trail.

    While it may be tempting to hook up the power washer and shoot the bike with a jet stream of water, this is not a great idea. Along with the dirt, you’ll also blast away the grease that should be there, which has the all important job of lubing the bike’s various components. You will also risk damaging the bearings systems.

    All you need for a good basic bike cleaning are a few fresh rags or sponges, a couple of different size brushes, a degreaser like Simple Green, diluted dishwashing detergent or a bike specific wash, a bucket or two, and a chamois cloth or towel for drying.

    Set your bike up on a repair stand or even your car’s hitch mount bike rack so you don’t have to hunch over it. Pour water from a bucket on or wet the bike with your hose (lightly, just a dribble). Remember-no blasting! You merely want to wet the bike to loosen any stubborn caked on dirt or grime so you don’t scratch the frame when you begin wiping it.

    Fill a bucket with detergent and water, grab a sponge or rag and get cleaning. Wipe the bike with sudsy water. Use a brush for hard to reach places like around the fork, brakes or hubs. Does your bike have standard brakes? Then clean your rims well; this is your braking surface after all!

    Rinse the bike with a bucket of clean water. Or if you decide to hose it down, spray it lightly. Dry the bike thoroughly with an unsoiled towel or chamois cloth.

    Once the bike is clean and dry, if you want the job to be a little easier next time, use some silicon spray on the frame. It will make your bike look pretty and shiny, with the added bonus of repelling dirt and water. Be sure to spray only the frame, though; take care to stay away from the wheels, rims, brakes and chain. Relubricate your chain with a good bike chain lube (there are many fine products available, ask your local bike shop for their recommendation).

    You are now ready to set out on your clean machine!

    Get into a good bike hygiene regimen. Repeat these basic cleaning steps as often as necessary. This is an easy and essential part of owning a bike. On a dirt free bike, it is easier to see potential maintenance problems and get them straightened out. Plus your bike will look great as you ride off down the road.

  • Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe

    If you’ve been looking for an affordable, stylish road bike cycling shoe, look no further.

    Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe

    Bring comfort and high performance race inspired design to your rides with the Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe.

    A reinforced, rigid nylon-fiberglass sole increases your power transfer with every pedal stroke. Ride stronger and ride faster!

    The breathable mesh upper and air flow vents in the soles will help keep your feet cool. These lightweight cycling shoes have supple synthetic leather and three Velcro straps for a customized fit. The molded heel cup helps to stabilize your heel. Included are reflective heel tabs for added safety in low light conditions.

    The shoes are compatible with Look, SPD, SPD-R & SPD-SL cleats. You will find walking on the Gavin Velo shoes (with the cleats attached) is easier than with other shoes.

    Whether you are training, club riding or challenging yourself with a triathlon, the Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe is a fantastic cycling shoe offered at a reasonable price.

    Gavin VELO Road Bike Cycling Shoe Rigid sole with air flow vents. Cool, comfortable POWER!

  • Wall and Bench Mounted Bicycle Repair Stands

    Knowing a few simple bike maintenance tricks and routine repairs can be a satisfying and important part of bike ownership. But what if you just don’t have enough room to accomplish these tasks?

    Before you give up and bring your bike to a shop, consider a wall or workbench mounted bike repair stand.

    Bicycle repair stands come in many shapes and sizes from heavy duty professional style bike mechanic stands like you’d find at your local bike shop, to the lightweight folding portable home bike repair stand. Wall or bench mounted stands are the most compact repair stands available and are perfect if your space is limited.

    Conquer Bench Mount Bicycle Repair Stand Bike Rack Conquer Bench Mount Bicycle Repair Stand Bike Rack 

    If you are short on garage or basement space, yet have a sturdy workbench, consider the Conquer Bench Mount Bicycle Repair Stand Bike Rack. This repair stand has a quick release that easily adjusts the height or turns the stand out of the way when not in use. The offset base plate allows ample room to spin your bike’s pedals. The head swivels 360° so you can work on your bike at any angle.

    Another great option for the workbench is the Conquer Bench Mount Bicycle Repair Stand Bike Rack. Super compact and sturdy, it is easily attached to virtually any bench. The arm extends 10” from the bench while the rotating head can adjust the protective rubber clamp to any angle.

    No bench? No problem! The Conquer Wall Mount Bike Repair Stand Bicycle Mechanic Workstand is the ultimate space saver. The mounting plate is easily attached to any stud or post and the stand’s arm detaches from the plate and can be easily stowed when not in use. The arm extends 14” from the wall, and the rubber coated clamp can grab tubes from 30mm to 75mm.

    The easily detachable Conquer Bicycle Wall Mount Repair Stand Bicycle Rack-Rotating Head is one more fantastic option for fixing your bike when space is at a premium. Adjust the quick release clamp to any angle while clamping the top tube or seatpost (be careful if it’s a carbon bike) with its locking 360° rotating head.

    Conquer Bicycle Wall Mount Repair Stand Bicycle Rack - Rotating Head Conquer Bicycle Wall Mount Repair Stand Bicycle Rack - Rotating Head

    This bike repair stand’s angle can also be adjusted at the wall plate. When not in use, it quickly detaches from the wall plates (it comes with two so you may move to another spot).

    Working on your bike, even in a cramped workspace, has never been easier than with one of these wall or workbench mounted repair stands.

  • The RoadBikeOutlet Pro-Tune Service

    Curious about the RoadBikeOutlet Pro Tune service?

    When you purchase a bike from us, as you order you may see the option to include the Pro Tune.

    If you choose the Pro Tune service, you will receive the benefit of having one of our certified bicycle mechanics fully inspect, assemble and tune your bicycle to insure proper operation. We are an authorized dealer of Vilano Bikes so use of this service will validate your warranty coverage.

    Without this service you would receive the bike dealer ready, in the factory packaging, and 90% assembled.  Dealer ready means that the bikes will require tuning of the front and rear derailleurs, adjusting the brakes and truing the wheels. Improper assembly voids warranty on the bike so if you decide to opt out of this service you will need to take your bike to an authorized dealer for assembly.

    Our Pro Tune service includes: 

    • Completely assemble the bicycle checking the alignment of the frame and fork
    • Add additional lubrication
    • Align and adjust the derailleurs
    • Grease the pedal threads
    • Align and tighten the crank sprockets and arms
    • Position the saddle level and center it on the seat post
    • Attach the brakes and adjust them correctly
    • Assemble the handlebars
    • True the wheels

    Our qualified tech will then disassemble the bicycle just enough to fit it back into the shipping box, add more packing protection, and secure all movable parts to prevent any damage that might occur during transit.

    Reassembly typically takes our customers only 10 to 15 minutes. See the above video, which shows the remaining few items that you need to finish in order to ride.

    You will need to attach the pedals, saddle, front wheel, front brake and the handlebars. That's it!

    The left pedal screws on counterclockwise as if you're sitting on the bike. The right screws on clockwise as if you're sitting on the bike. Use lease hand tighten carefully. Once you are sure you did not cross thread the pedals, and after they are attached firmly, you can tighten. Be careful as threaded parts are not covered under warranty.

    Please always ride safely and carefully.  It is a great idea to take your bike to your local bike mechanic for final sizing and a safety check. Review the owner's manual, be aware of all safety precautions, and maintain your bike regularly. Use your helmet and safety gear, be conscious of traffic, and enjoy!

  • Introducing the Vilano C1 Women's Comfort Road Bike!

    Have you seen the latest addition to Vilano Bikes’ ever-expanding stable of quality, affordable bicycles?

    Currently available at RoadBikeOutlet.com and newly redesigned for 2014, the Vilano C1 Women’s Comfort Road Bike is stylish and versatile. Now in a delicious mint green accented with detail stripes and a brown saddle and grips, the Vilano C1 is equally at home on the road or the light trail.

    The new Vilano Women's C1 gets prettied up for the photo shoot The new Vilano Women's C1 gets prettied up for the photo shoot

    Vilano C1 Women's Comfort Road Bike Vilano C1 Women's Comfort Road Bike

    Both the easy, low step through frame and upright riding position of the comfort rise handlebars make this an attractive, yet relaxed ride. The large 26” x 1.75” multi tread tires help with control even on rough surfaces. A suspension fork and comfort saddle (with anatomic relief) also make for smooth riding in the city and the country.

    Seamlessly shift and handle any situation with the Shimano trigger shifting system (21 gears). Both platform pedals and a kickstand are included.

    Heads will turn as you glide by on this simple, fun and flexible bicycle. The Vilano C1 Women’s Comfort Bike combines style and function in a beautiful package.


  • Reasons to Ride Your Bike to Work

    Part of the Bike Month festivities every year, Bike to Work Day is the third Friday in May. Do you need reasons to spend more time in the saddle? Here are six good ones:

    You will save money. Gas prices are near an all time high. With the money you bank from commuting by bike, you can buy new fun bike gear!

    You will help the environment. No emissions or fumes come from a pedal powered bike.

    You will see things you may have missed while behind the wheel of your car. Like a giant blue heron spearing a fish in the pond you pass every day. Or a five dollar bill on the road’s shoulder.

    You will not be at the mercy of your spin instructor. Because you won’t need spin class anymore! Commuting by bike is keeping fit with a purpose.

    You will not miss bumper to bumper traffic. The bored commuters sitting stationary in their cars will look at you with envy and longing as you glide past them in the bike lane carefree and car-free.

    You will feel happier. There is no better way to start your day then with fresh air and exercise. Your attitude will rub off on your co-workers and who knows? You may very well mobilize a helmeted and proud fleet of bicycle commuters.

    Get your bike out of the garage, and get to work under your own power.  The rewards are great!

  • May is National Bike Month

    It is time to celebrate! National Bike Month was established in 1956. Now is the perfect time to promote the countless benefits of biking and help persuade folks to give biking a try.

    The League of American Bicyclists is a national sponsor of Bike Month, and has been involved in bicycle advocacy since its inception (then as the League of American Wheelmen) in 1880.

    Bike Month Bike Month

    Bike Month is observed every May in communities across the nation with organized rides and events, including National Bike to Work Week from May 12-16 and National Bike to Work Day on May 16.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to examine the reasons you ride, encourage a family member or friend to begin riding, or just celebrate bicycling and bike culture.

    Whether you ride your bike for fitness, fun, transportation, your health or the planet’s health, make sure you get out on your bike this Bike Month.

    Why do you ride? We want to know! Leave a comment below, visit www.facebook.com/RoadBikeOutlet, tweet us @roadbikeoutlet, or email us at service@roadbikeoutlet.com.

  • 6 Ways to Raise Money for Your Charity Bike Ride

    Now you've gone and done it. You signed up for your first long charity ride. Aside from those pesky and time consuming training sessions, one of the hardest things you’ll have to do is raise some money. Whether you have to raise $20 or $2000… fear not! These tips will help get you on your way to your goal:

    Hit up your family, first. Ask your mom or dad to help out (because they haven’t done quite enough for you). Remind your sister in law about all the Girl Scout cookies you bought from your nieces last year. You've been meaning to call your grandmother for a month, now is the perfect time.

    What are friends for? Compose a heartfelt email and send it to your buddies. Get on Facebook and put out the plea. Donations start with asking, so ask everyone.

    Take it to the office. Here you can be passive and tape your contribution sheet to the cluttered break room fridge door. Or better yet, walk from desk to desk with puppy dog eyes and a big smile on your face and go for it. Pit your co-workers against each other: “Hey Susan! Carl just donated 50 bucks to my charity ride. How much can I put you down for?”

    Have a “do good” party. Make sure you tell folks it’s a fundraiser. Get your friend who’s in a band to come and play (for free, of course). Put out an awesome food and drink spread and ask for a cover charge. All proceeds will fund your bike ride for a great cause!

    Sell some of your unneeded junk. Head down to your basement or up in the attic and look around. Admit it, it would be fantastic to organize and get rid of some stuff. Snap a few pictures of the unused dog crate or old surfboard and get them on Craigslist. Have a garage sale or bring the items to the local consignment shop. This is “extra” cash you didn't know you had anyway, so it’s perfect to give to your organization.

    Make people cry. Dramatic? Absolutely! Make people understand the impact of their donation. Know everything there is to know about your cause, and share that knowledge. For example, “Every day X number of people are diagnosed with Y disease or condition. Every day Z people die from it. We need your help.”

    Soliciting for money can be difficult, and getting “No” for an answer will definitely occur. Try not to personalize it. Keep asking around, use the above tips liberally, and your hard work will pay off. Enjoy your charity ride!

  • Volunteering

    There are many excellent reasons to volunteer for a worthy cause. Like these:

    • Help others (what other reason do you need?)
    • Expand your horizons
    • Make a difference
    • Contribute to a cause that you care about
    • Meet new people and make friends
    • Connect with the community
    • Explore a new area of interest

    Phillip at 5K Run to benefit Alpha Omega Children's Home Phillip at 5K Run to benefit Alpha Omega Children's Home

    I could go on forever!

    At RoadBikeOutlet we believe in giving back to the community. We are based in beautiful seaside St. Augustine, FL. Our little city and St. John’s County have loads of amazing non-profits that need help.

    Our employees contribute their time and knowledge to various local and national organizations.

    Recently we picked up trash at the beach with Keepers of the Coast and ran 5K’s to benefit the Alpha Omega Miracle Home (hooray Phil!) and the Friends of Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. We have employees who serve on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and work with a local Girl Scouts troop.

    In the past we have donated bikes to Velo Fest Community Initiative, the North Shores Improvement Association/Vilano Beach Main Street, and the Rhythm & Ribs Festival. RoadBikeOutlet folks have participated in various charity rides, and the company has donated gifts to events as well.

    In April, Suzanna and Jen volunteered at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival. Put on by the St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club, the proceeds from the entirely volunteer-run festival are donated to local, national and international charitable service organizations including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, St. Augustine Youth Services, the Council on Aging, Pie in the Sky, Habitat for Humanity, Home Again St. John’s and dozens more.

    Suzanna, Michelle & Jen at the Rhythm & Ribs Fest Suzanna, Michelle and Jen at the Rhythm and Ribs Fest

    Most non-profit organizations welcome and truly need the help that volunteers have to offer. I’m sure your community has a group that would be a good fit for you. Get out there, find a cause and make an impact in the lives of others.

  • Adjusting your bicycle saddle

    We have a slew of 'how to videos' and one of my favorites is this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPH510PyFn0

    This quick video shows you how to adjust your saddle. The crazy thing is, that its super easy to do, and you'll notice the difference immediately. I suggest you make small tweaks to get the saddle in the right position.

    If you don't have this multi-tool, get it!


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