John Nicholas Somers

John Nicholas Somers




Chesham, Buckinghamshire

How long have you been cycling for?

41 years.

What’s your top bike maintenance tip?

My top maintenance tip has to be keeping your bike clean, especially the drive train – just by removing the muck, grime and old lubrication residue does reduce the amount of abrasive road dirt from building up and causing excessive wear and tear to so many components of your bike. This allows both a physical and observational inspection prior to carrying any maintenance activities that are either planned or required.

What are your favourite Weldtite products?

To be honest the lubricants and cleaning products have to be my favourite Weldtite branded products…designed specifically for bicycles and produced for cyclists in mind to use, the only lubricants I use on a bike. Though from personal experience the Cyclo range of Advanced Cycle tools are exceptional, I can attest to from owning items such as the Bottom Bracket threading and facing tools.

Where are your favourite locations to ride?

For rural road cycling it is hard to beat the Chilterns (where I live) with often short sharp climbs, crazy narrow lanes with stunning views of the South Bucks countryside, though for coastal riding this is always beaten by the rides in South Wales around Pembrokeshire. I for one happen to be one of the crazies, I actually enjoy urban and metropolitan cycling, commuting for work and visiting friends in all areas of London, on both multi geared and single speed road bikes, with the preference to single speeders for London riding. For off road cycling the Welsh hills for the complexity of the terrain along with the panoramic views cannot be beaten in my personal opinion, though that is probably biased from the many years I have spent holidaying and visiting relatives in Wales.

What bike do you ride at the moment?

That is an awkward question; I currently have a stable of six different bikes: 1 full suspension MTB for rough off road riding 1 light weight hard tail for trail racing with friends 2 x single speed road bikes (one being a modified single speed off road bike that has been customised in to a tough all weather urban single speed bike) 1 light weight, high speed urban hybrid for commuting and town hacks 1 classic mid 80’s Raleigh road racer, that reminds me of the fun of cycling when I was a lot younger.

How often do you carry out bike maintenance?

Depends on the mileage, weather and road conditions but normally weekly or fortnightly at the most, though I do have monthly, 6 monthly and annual inspection and maintenance plans for each bike. If for example one of the bikes is laid up for the winter it will be fully cleaned, serviced and lubed for the layover period and before being ridden again in the spring, will be cleaned and re-lubed ready to “rock and roll” again. I complete all the maintenance required on my bikes other than servicing of the shock absorbers/forks of my off-road bikes – from building my own wheels, bleeding the hydraulic brake systems and modifying my bike to suit my needs and style of cycling. I even formalised this by attending a full time training course on bicycle maintenance at the Cycle Systems Academy in London, which for a couple of things did allow me to join the dots in my knowledge, meeting a number of great people while doing so.

What do you love about cycling?

What do I love about cycling – easy, to have the freedom to go where I want to go, when I want to go and beholden to no one. To have the ability half way through a journey simply stop and look at the scenery, wildlife, architecture or even a pub or coffee shop for a quick pit stop, so that I can enjoy every second of my life where ever I am! Potentially it is my rebellious streak from childhood, not wanting to quite conform to the norm, the side of my psyche that made me the engineer that I am, by constantly asking questions and finding that hole in my knowledge that I then had to fill…the quest to always learn and experience. The need in me as an engineer to pass that knowledge and those skills that I have learnt so far on to others and learn from others as I pass through this life…that is so fine!

Product Reviews:

Cyclo Chain Wear Indicator

I would certainly recommend this Chain Wear Indicator to my friends and colleagues and would add one to my extensive toolkit to be used as a quick “GO” or “NO GO” chain wear indicator while cleaning my drive train.

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