Three Wheelers, one interloper and I went along to the Senova Cycles maintenance talk held at the shop in Railway Street, Hertford.

On arrival we were plied with tea, coffee and biscuits while Erol asked each in turn what they wanted to learn from the evening. Jenny asked what to check before each ride, Steve wanted to know how to repair a puncture. Yes I thought he was joking too but he has not had a puncture on his Scott from new in 2007. How? Richard wanted to know how to index the derailleurs and Elliot wanted to know it all.

Erol started with what checks to make pre ride which included brakes, tyres and headset bearings. He then went in to more detail on brake checks, brake maintenance and setting the pads correctly. Next we moved to tyres, discussing the difference in tyre design from cheap to not quite so cheap and the difference they make to the ride quality. All were impressed with the mention of tubeless tyres and the conversion to them. Erol told us not to think about bringing our bikes in for conversion until the tyres currently on our bikes need changing. A cyclist through and through, not so much a business man. I can vouch for the benefits of going tubeless, if any of you want to know about them ask me next time we ride together.

Back to the talk and the section Steve was interested in the dreaded puncture. Erol whole heartedly agreed with me NEVER turn your bike upside down when fixing a puncture or when removing a wheel. Why would you want to scuff your levers, stem and seat? Find a fence, gate or a willing helper to hold your bike while you fix whatever it is. Rant over. Erol demonstrated the correct way to remove and replace the rear wheel. I think he may have done this before a couple of times as he had to slow down so we could see what he was doing.

inner tube



Then followed the easy way to remove the tyre and inner tube, the slightly harder task of finding what caused the puncture. Refitting tyre, tube and then re-inflating. Showing how to use a Co2 Gas pump. Steve told me he had one of these things in his saddle bag but never knew how to use it. He does now, ready for his first puncture. I never carry a pump now just one of these and a couple of Co2 cylinders

Next up was going to be gear indexing but unfortunately our two hours were up we had run out of time. Richard will have to wait for the next Senova Talk to get his answers, Elliot well he knows it all now.

gears and brakes


What the punters had to say:

“Enjoyed the evening very much and found it really useful. Erol made it very easy to understand.  It helped that we all seemed to be at a similar level (unless the others were being polite).  I think a course of about 4 weeks might be good.” Jenny

“Yes thought it was good, learnt a lot about maintaining the important parts of the bike but would be interested in a more advanced session if possible.” Elliot C Pike

“Thanks for arranging this – I thought the guys at Senova were very helpful and professional, and gave some very practical tips and advice. I would certainly be interested in attending anything similar.” Steve Collier

Erol thanks for a very enjoyable couple of hours. Most appreciated by us all. I have already had others ask if you are running any more sessions. Steve Wheeler

Richard wondering how he is going to be able to fit one of those wicker baskets on his classic Raleigh Record Ace!