I've been racing bikes since I was 13, almost half my life. But until last year, I'd never worked on one.When I was growing up, my dad took care of my equipment and bankrolled the maintenance. I knew that repairs had to be made, but I wasn't sure what they involved, or even how much they cost. The only thing I could do with a bike besides ride fast was change a flat.After I graduated from college last spring and got a job at Bicycling, it seemed silly to run home to ask Dad for help. So I didn't. I could have taken our in-house bike maintenance course developed by Bicycling Test Editor Mike Yozell—but instead, I just kept riding, putting more miles on my bike than I ever had before. I didn't bother to clean it. Yes, I was also a little bit lazy. RELATED: 6 Money-Saving Home Bike FixesEverything was going fine—until this past autumn when my shifting started acting up. I dropped the bike off at my local shop, assuming repairs would be minor, and that … [Read more...] about This Is What Happened When We Sent a Maintenance Noob to Repair School
New house 10 year warranty
The in-house testing lab at the Morgan Hill, California, headquarters of Specialized Bicycle Components is a gleaming example of engineering efficiency: a spacious, well-lit shop where brutish machines rip and wrench bicycle frames and parts to—and past—their limits.On this particular morning, a special frame sits on the frontal-impact rig. The Venge is an intimidating broadsword of a bike, with a menacing coat of matte-black paint bisected on the down tube by a murderous red slash. A bright white decal spells "McLaren" on the top tube, the logo of Britain’s storied supercar maker and F1 racing team, and Specialized’s longtime technology partner.The pedal-fatigue test is long and numbingly dull. Test engineers fix the fork to a rigid point on the test jig, and the rear dropouts to an extension that simulates how a frame pivots over the rear tire’s contact patch. The final piece is a dummy drivetrain—including a cassette, chain, and overbuilt … [Read more...] about To Catch a Counterfeiter: The Sketchy World of Fake Bike Gear
The biggest financial milestone of my life occurred about 2 weeks after my father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. My mother and I were in the lawyer's office reviewing all the documents of death when the attorney pushed back his leather chair and told us that my father was almost a quarter million dollars in debt. We were shocked. Secretly, he had been borrowing from 15 credit cards and investing the money—poorly—in the stock market.We all have financial passages in our lives, and the degree to which we sail through them, or hit the rocks, determines not only how we feel about our lives but also how we're remembered after the final audit. The real tragedy of my dad wasn't that he left us in debt but that he secretly worried about it. I often wonder: Did his financial worries contribute to his death at the young age of 61?What follows are the key financial milestones of a man's life, as well as expert advice on how to handle them. But other events may influence you as … [Read more...] about The 12 Financial Milestones of a Man’s Life
For as much time and money as we spend on our mattresses—and the important things we do on them—you’d think we’d give buying one a lot of thought.And you’d be wrong.For many of us, it’s about 40 prone, self-conscious seconds, clothes on, in a showroom, staring into a fluorescent light, followed by an “I’ll take it” that’s more about relief than approval.But wait, there’s not a lot of relief, because the markup on mattresses is mysterious enough that it’s impossible to know if you’ve been taken or not. And your 40-second test didn’t tell you much anything about whether this is a good location for you to sleep, fuck, and scan Twitter for the next two decades.That’s why a new approach to selling mattresses is so novel, and so welcome.Casper is one of these new-age businesses. Based in New York City, it doesn’t have a showroom. It ships the mattress to you, in a compact box. That’s right: … [Read more...] about Should You Buy Your Next Mattress on the Internet?
Mattress shopping is the worst: You've got aggressive salespeople, tester beds that hundreds of other shoppers have already tried out, and just minutes to decide if a hunk of foam and springs is an adequate place to rest for eight hours a night. Plus, a new mattress set can set you back hundreds, if not thousands.Those are the main reasons why I skipped mattress shopping altogether when I was gearing up to move from New Jersey to Brooklyn last month. I knew Casper, Leesa, Purple, and Tuft and Needle are just a few of the growing number of companies that sell foam mattresses exclusively online and ship them to you in a compact box. Though most boast a 100-night return policy, I still couldn’t bring myself to drop more than $500 on a mattress that I hadn’t tested before. So, on Amazon Prime Day, when the Zinus Memory Foam mattress was marked down to just $160 with free delivery, I went for it. That's less than delivery would have cost at many brick-and-mortar stores.Related: … [Read more...] about I Bought a $200 Mattress From Amazon. Here’s How I’ve Been Sleeping
(Natural News) There are two things in which Elon Musk is an undisputed champion: creating hype and buzz for massively cash-flow burning products and companies, and abusing every possible loophole in the US tax code to get explicit and implicit subsidies from the government. He demonstrated the latter on Wednesday, when Tesla began taking orders for its solar roof tiles, a cornerstone strategy of Elon Musk’s strategy to sell a “green”, fossil-fuel-free lifestyle under the brand name of its luxury electric vehicles.(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)First the bad news: Tesla said the product, which generates solar energy without the need for traditional rooftop panels – assuming one lives in a traditionally sunny climate – will be substantially pricier than a conventional roof but don’t worry, it will “look better” and ultimately pay for itself through reduced electricity costs… it just may take 20 or more … [Read more...] about Why Tesla’s solar roof is just another giant taxpayer gift to Elon Musk
(Natural News) Recent reports have indicated that American households are in dire straits, financially speaking. After eight years of little economic growth under former President Barack Obama’s job-killing, regulatory-heavy policies, Americans are hurting.Here is just some of the data. As reported at Collapse.news, Americans’ household credit card debt has surpassed $1 trillion, the highest it has been since 2008 (the year Obama was elected).“Credit card debt is rising quickly, but delinquencies are still really low. Many Americans are doing a good job of controlling their debts, but eventually with big debts and rising interest rates, it’s likely that something will have to give. I expect delinquencies to start rising more quickly in 2017,” said Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.In September, The Motley Fool reported that most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings; that is, nearly 7 in 10. The report noted that in July of … [Read more...] about Most U.S. households can’t survive even a small financial emergency – Part I
How’s your recycling karma? Amusing TV commercials make light of the possible perils of not recycling—getting dumped by a date or inciting your in-laws’ ire—but they carry an important message. We’ve only got one Earth, so let’s all preserve it. Too much waste! The average Canadian produces 1,031 kg of waste annually, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada (published in 2008). This adds up to about 26 million tonnes of waste being sent to landfills or incinerators each year. Enter Waste Reduction Week, where recycling programs across the country launch an educational campaign to help reduce garbage sent to landfills. Held annually during the third week of October, this year’s dates are October 21 to 27. During this time, Canadians are encouraged to adopt more eco-conscious choices. Reduce Making a new product requires energy and materials. Raw materials are first extracted and processed—then the product is … [Read more...] about Waste Reduction Week
In recent months, stories of elevated radon levels in homes have covered the news. Studies show that at least six percent of homes may have a radon problem, which is a known cancer causing agent. Anything over 4pCi per Liter is a problem. The only way to discover whether your home is affected is to have it tested. You can treat your home for radon yourself by using radon mitigation techniques. If you prefer to have a professional handle the treatment, there are countless radon contractors available. They will use active soil depressurization, also known as ASD, to collect the radon from beneath the house. The mitigation system consists of a plastic pipe and an operating fan. The pipe is either placed into a hole in the floor, through a sump lid connection or placed beneath a plastic sheet in a crawl space. Once the pipe reaches the soil, the fan begins drawing away the traces of radon and removing the gases from the house. The process may vary slightly, depending on where the system … [Read more...] about Detecting Radon: Mitigation Standards, Costs, and Treatment
While it serves an important function in your household, many neglect the care and maintenance of their hot water tank. Since it’s usually tucked away – out of sight, out of mind – it tends to not be of concern until it kicks the bucket. In fact, just a small, minor nuisance can quickly turn into a catastrophic problem if ignored. From causing extensive damage to your walls, floors, sub-floors and personal belongings, to health issues that could arise from mold and mildew, you can find yourself in some pretty deep proverbial ‘ hot water’ – fast. Rather than accept a chilly future of ice-cold showers, it’s probably time to either fix or replace it. Avoiding this task can cause significant damage to your home-sweet-home – not to mention all the stress, mess and big hit on your wallet. Here are 8 “tell-tale signs” it’s time to warm up to the idea of a new hot water tank. 1. A Leaky Tank Out of all the … [Read more...] about When Is A Good Time To Change Your Hot Water Tank?