planning your tour in italyBike Tour Italy

After 20+ years of leading bike trips, working on bikes, and training for fitness I started writing down many of the common questions, errors in bike use, things people do not always consider when they travel, and common topics that come up during our rides or over a glass of wine.  As you prep for your bike tour and progress further along your path of life fitness on the bike, extra knowledge is always helpful.

BIKE TOURING ITALY PRE-TRIP PLANNING TIPS

BIKE TOURING ITALY RIDING SAFETY TIPS

BIKE TOURING ITALY PERFORMANCE TIPS

cycle performance: better understanding of bike frame materialBike Tour Italy Bike Frame

One of the most important components of the bicycle is its frame, it can be enlightening to understand how it's made and what that means for you, the cyclist. The goal of any frame is to offer extraordinary strength with minimum weight. However, frame strength is determined by many factors. Whether the frame is aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel is only part of the equation.

Which Material Is Right for You?

Choosing a bike depends on many factors; your style of riding, your weight, your sense of adventure are just some points to consider. The following paragraphs explain the different types of material commonly used on bikes. A few bikes out there are made of exotic metals, but that's another discussion entirely.

Steel

  • Steel is the most commonly used material in bike frames. Carbon or high-tensile steel is a good, strong, long-lasting steel, but it isn't as light as its more high-tech brother, the steel known as Chromoly.
  • A workhorse of the industry, Chromoly is a light, strong steel. When it is butted and shaped to take off excess weight, it can deliver a fairly light frame that will last through years of hard use. Chromoly is responsive and offers good flex while maintaining its form.

Aluminum

  • Having come a long way from the over-sized tubes of old, aluminum is now less expensive and very widely used on today's bikes. It's light, strong and stiff. With proper design it can give a solid ride for climbing, or lively handling in tight situations.

Titanium

  • Lighter than steel but just as strong, this more-expensive metal is found on high-end road or cross-country mountain bikes. It flexes so well while maintaining its shape that some very high-end bikes use the metal itself as a shock absorber.

Carbon Fiber

  • The latest Industry craze is Carbon Fiber Bikes.  Take a bundle of parallel continuous fibers and bind them together with glue. This creates a ply. Several plies are made up to form a laminate (just like plywood). And the laminate, if designed right, can be very tough. It's also light. So why aren't all bikes made out of carbon fiber? It tends to be brittle. The fact that metal can bend and regain its shape is what makes it last. Because of this, carbon fiber bikes are built even stronger than needed. 

What to Look For in a Frame

Manufacturing processes and market trends continue to literally shape the bicycle frame. While not as common as it used to be, the process of butting is still used in the manufacture of bicycle frames. Meanwhile, steel, the long-running workhorse, has been replaced by aluminum—its hardy cousin that grows less expensive every year. So what do you look for in a frame? Is next year's frame necessarily better than this year's?

Weight

  • Striving to shave precious grams from frame designs, manufacturers have employed all sorts of exotic metals and methods. Essentially, though, what you pay for is inversely proportional to the weight of your bike. The less the bike weights the more you pay.

Geometry

  • In theory, aggressive angles lead to aggressive ride characteristics. Relaxed angles lead to more casual ride characteristics. Which is best for you? The answer really depends on how much time you spend in the saddle. If you ride a lot and aren't interested in attacking the road or trail, go for a relaxed geometry of about 70 or 71 degrees on the head tube. More aggressive bikes have a head-tube angle of 72 or 73 degrees.

Plain-Gauge Tubing

  • Even with advances in materials, manufacturing processes and design, the best frame tubing for the buck is plain-gauge. These are tubes that don't rely on butting (see below) or over sizing or exotic blends, but are straight and strong and easy to manufacture. As a consequence they are cheaper. Those who are "serious" about cycling may point out that plain-gauge tubes weigh more than butted tubes. This is true, but the difference is sometimes only a matter of three or four pounds. If you're just out enjoying the town or trail and not attacking mountains, then this weight difference is of no consequence.

Butting

  • The goal of any good bike manufacturer is to put the material where you need it. And you need the material where the bike frame undergoes the most stress—at each end of the various tubes. This process is known as butting.
  • Internal Butting—Looking at the tube, you won't notice butting because it's hidden within the tube. So how do you know if the bike is butted? Bike manufacturers will certainly tell you, as it's a big selling point.
  • External Butting—The older, more expensive way is to add material onto the outside of the tube. This is rarely done anymore. However, you sometimes will see an extended weld.
  • There are two methods used to butt a frame tube.
  • Double Butting—As the tube is shaped, extra material is allowed internally at each end of the tube. By increasing these areas of the tube, the overall tube wall thickness can be reduced, thus saving weight.
  • Triple Butting—To save even more weight, the double butting process is refined by stepping down the material at the ends of the tube. This means the butting starts out in the standard, double-butted manner but then is thinned before stepping down again to the normal tube wall thickness. In a cutaway, the inside of the tube looks like three terraced rice paddies on a hillside.

Welding

  • There are essentially 3 ways to join frame tubes:
  • Weld them using the same material as the tube (TIG welding).
  • Braze the tubes together using silver or brass.
  • Use lugs to join the tubes.
  • Each method has its proponents, yet nearly all but the very high-end bikes use the TIG welding method. This approach is relatively inexpensive and creates a good, solid weld. However, look closely at a bike's welds. You'll see that quality bikes offer a thick, even weld that goes around the entire tube. On department store bikes the welds are thin and spotty, dabbed down generally on the top, bottom and sides, but leaving open areas in between.
  • Extended Welds—One inexpensive way of adding material to the end of a tube is to simply add welding material. Generally, this is an elliptical circle or a double line extending from the joint to about an inch or so down the tube where it fades out. What's the problem with this method? The heat used in this process can actually weaken the tube. After welding, manufacturers will again heat-treat the entire tube—baking it, essentially—to bring the metal back up to par. While effective, this is a less substantial method than actually building the butting while the tube is being drawn out.

What Other Factors Should I Consider?

How Long Are You Going To, Keep Your Bike?

  • Steel will oxidize (rust) faster than aluminum. However, steel can take more stress over the long run than aluminum. Which is better? If you live in a wet climate, aluminum may be the better choice. Dry climate? You can do well with steel.
  • How Much Do You Weigh?
  • If you go much above the 170-pound mark, you'll want a bike with a higher strength. This may take an added pound of frame weight to achieve, but it's worth it in the long run. Also, steel and titanium are generally better for bigger riders due to something called elongation. They can flex more without breaking.
  • Is Money a Factor?
  • Though steel and titanium have come down in price, aluminum is still the least expensive metal. Since most cyclists like the lighter weight of aluminum or carbon fiber, manufacturers are creating bikes that are aluminum or carbon fiber and more affordable. Titanium? Still expensive.

Having ridden countless styles and makes of bike I can tell you that having fun on the bike done not always match the price tag nor overall quality.  The Bike Manufacturing industry is designed to part you with your money.  If you bought just one bike in your life (which you can still do) it would be bad for business.  Research well, but I have always felt that if I was good enough to ride a $10,000 bike then someone would sponsor me and give me the bike, otherwise I can use a less expensive bike and train hard and use my extra money on great riding destinations. 

useful italian words for bike touring in italy

Next time you catch a bike race being announced on the TV by Italian's or when you are riding in the Italian Dolomites or a Veneto Gran Fondo, here are some Italian words to help you better understand what is being said.

Bike Parts Glossary:

Bloccaggio  - quick release skewer, plural bloccaggi
Borraccia - water bottle
Cambio  - taken from the word for 'change', in this context it means the rear derailleur
Camera d'aria - inner tube
Catena  - chain
Cerchio - rim
Comandi  ERGO o STI - shift/brake levers
Copertoncino - clincher tire, Italians always refer to their tires specifically as clinchers or tubulars
Deragliatore - front derailleur
Forcella - fork
Forcellini - these are the drop-outs, front and rear
Freni - brakes
Guarnitura - crankset
Manubrio - handlebar
Movimento Centrale - bottom bracket
Mozzo - hub, plural mozzi
Nipple - nipple
Pedali - pedals
Pignoni - sprockets, the whole cassette is the pacco pignoni
Portaborraccia - bidon cage
Raggi - spokes
Reggisella - seatpost
Ruote  - wheels
Sella - saddle
Serie Sterzo - headset
Telaio - bike frame
Tubolare - tubular tire

Terms for Types/Style of Bike Riders

Fondista - Fausto Coppi is considered the ideal embodiment of the fondista; agile, all-arounder that shines when the roads point upwards. The modern equivalent would be someone like Contador.

Passista - Francesco Moser is the historical Italian riders most utilized. The passista is a big, powerful rider able to maintain 50 km/h for an hour at the front of the peloton. Their strength and toughness make them naturals in the northern classics.

Velocista - Semi Legend, MARIO CIPOLLINI.

Scattista - The scattista is a quick burst rider, someone that has deceptively great speed, that can attack on short climbs or take a sprint victory from a reduced pack. Paolo Bettini is an excellent example.

Scalatore - Legend for Italians, MARCO PANTANI.

Dicesista - Describes a great descend-er like Paolo Savoldelli and now Vicenzino Niboli

Attacante - This is one of those guys that are always attacking, even when it doesn't make sense, see Johnny Hoogerland

Gregario - Italian for domestique, who serves the capitano - Matteo Tosatto is a great example of the spirit of the gregario. The car in the back with the director and mechanic is referred to as l'ammiraglia which translates as flagship.

*Often a rider has several characteristics, hence these terms can be combined, for example a Passista Scalatore would be a strong guy that defends well in the climbs. Or if the rider is a specialist, the term “puro” or pure is added, as in Scalatore Puro.

Italian Word that  are used to Describe The Peloton (il gruppo):

gruppo compatto - Compact group, when the whole peloton is together or when the peloton catches up to the breakaway.

attaccanti/contrattaccanti - these are the attackers and chasers that reel in the breakway cyclists.

scattare in faccia  - This translates to 'take off in your face' and means blowing someone away, see The Lance Look - ok, not a picture of the Look, but it happened a few minutes before this moment.

perdere le ruote - 'lose the wheel' means getting dropped

staccati - to break off, getting dropped

succhia ruota - Wheel sucking.

fare il vuoto - 'making the empty' means filling in the gaps that occur when riders are attacking.

gruppo frazionato - When the peloton breaks apart into smaller groups referred to as Primo Gruppo, Secondo, and so on. These smaller groups are called gruppetti

gruppo spaccato - the peloton has been blown apart.

ventaglio - After the group has been blown apart, this describes cyclists riding in a diagonal form as protection from cross winds

gruppo in fila indiana - Peloton in indian file.

i fuggetivi - meaning escapists, these are the breakaway riders

cambi corti e regolari - This describes riders taking turns with short and regular pulls. Usually this is in doppia fila or two rows.

fare l'elastico - 'Making the elastic' is the rubber band effect when a fast peloton goes around corners or other obstacles, the ones in the back have to brake harder and reach speeds of 80km/h to catch back up to the main group.

Italian words used to Describe Pedaling:

Pedalata rotonda - meaning round pedaling.


pedalata dura - dura means hard and is not a good sign, it can also be referred to as a pedalata legnosa (len YO sah) or wooden, also a bad sign


pedalata leggera - light pedaling


pedalata in scioltezza - taken from the Italian word for melted, in cycling jargon it means smooth, similarly a pedalata agile, describes the agility or ease of one's effort or the freshness of their legs. In fact, the 25 through 28 cogs are often referred to as rapporti agili.


tirare un rapportone - pulling or firing a big gear another variation is spingere un rapportone, pushing a big gear


spingere con le lunghe leve - 'pushing with the big lever' is an expression comparing legs to levers and means you're flying


punta di sella - if a rider is described as on the 'point of the saddle', he is positioned all the way forward on the saddle and is burning up the track


pedalata di punta - punta means point, or in this case, tip of your foot and refers to pedaling with one's feet pointed down. A pedalata piatta is flat, while a pedalata di tallone or tendon means the heel is lower than the pedal axle, a la Merckx.


pedalata a mani basse o a mani alte - pedaling with hands in the drop or on top of the handlebars


pedalare al coperto/allo scoperto - covered/uncovered pedaling refers to whether one is on the front pulling or resting behind


Italian Words Used to Describe Bonking or Running out of Gas:

crisi - crisis, means bonking. The reasons could be crisi di fame, failure to stay properly fueled or too often going full speed, called andare a tutta and finding yourself fuori giri or over-revved.


giornata no - A 'no day' means you're not winning this race.

impiantarsi - to plant oneself, also a bad thing, others include attaccato al chiodo, literally means hung up by a nail or similarly impiccato, impaled. Cooking terms like cotto, cooked, bollito, boiled, or lesso, steamed.


fatto - 'being made' in cycling refers to doping


la bomba - 'the bomb' was an amphetamine cocktail popular in Coppi's time, one memorable interview with him went like this. Interviewer: “Mr. Coppi, have you ever taken the bomba?” Coppi: “I only take the bomba when I need it.” Interviewer: “And when do you need it?” Coppi: “All the time.” He continued: “Everyone denies taking the bomba, but watch out getting near them with a lit match!”


andare regolari - riding at a nice, even pace, while andare con riserva means leaving something in the tank for the finale.

Italian Words Used to Describe The Route or Course to Follow(percorso):

percorso lungo/corto - long or short courses, many Gran Fondos offer these with varying lengths and difficulties


circuito - a circuit, for example races like the World Championship where the same course is repeated several times


cima Coppi - describes the highest mountain in the race, it awards riders the most points in the GPM or Gran Premio della Montagna classification


sali-scendi - literally 'raising-falling' refers to hilly roads where one is either going up or down all of the time, visit Tuscany to live it for yourself


piano/falso-piano - piano means flat terrain, whereas a falso piano is a “fake flat” these occur in climbs where the road flattens out for a brief stretch before returning to its normal rise.


muro/strappo - A muro is a wall, these are usually hard, yet short climbs, sometimes referred to a strappo meaning tear. A strappo can also be a stretch or section.

dicesa tecnica - a 'technical descent' sounds innocuous enough but in jargon it means it's a easy to get out of control, look out for steep, narrow roads with hard to read trajectories.


la volata - Meaning flight, in cycling it refers to the sprint finish. A volata corta means a short one taking place in the last couple hundred meters, while a lunga starts further back. Volatas can be referred to as corretta when everything goes smoothly or scorretta where things don't.


treno or trenino - Sprint leadout train or a smaller, reduced train.


vittoria a mani basse - 'victory with low hands' or winning the race with one's hands still in the drops is good, but not the most glorious way to win a race, better is vincere per una ruota/bici or wining by a wheel or a bike's length.

However, the best is vincere con distacco, winning by a good margin, with enough time to zip up that jersey, raise the hands and salute the heavens.

cycle performance: dressing for bike touring

For anything beyond casual rides around town, you'll appreciate cycling-specific clothing. Bike clothing makes for a comfortable ride—whether you're on the road, hitting the trail or commuting to and from work. These styles can help you perform better and ride longer. Here's what to consider.

Cycling Jerseys, Shorts and Tights

You don't need to squeeze into skin-tight spandex covered with corporate logos just for a trip to the grocery store. But cycling clothing makes sense the more miles you ride.Bike Jerseys

A bike jersey of Lycra spandex or other form–fitting material reduces drag when you ride. Many brands also offer cycling jerseys that look and feel very much like regular tops, but include a few strategically placed pockets and zippers. Their technical fabrics enhance performance by wicking away sweat to keep you drier.

Cycling–specific features:

  • Stand–up collar to shade your neck in summer.
  • Front zipper for ventilation when your temperature rises.
  • Shoulders cut wider for arms–forward comfort.
  • Sleeves specially shaped for forward lean.
  • Back pockets for easy on–the–go access.
  • Longer cut in the back for coverage when riding.
  • Reflective trim or highlights for the night riding.

Additional features for winter riding:

Long sleeves for more warmth and coverage.
Denser, heavier fabric weaves and a brushed lining to add insulation.

Bike Shorts

These are distinguished from street clothing primarily by 1) added stretch for full freedom of movement, and 2) a padded crotch liner to reduce friction and wick moisture. If possible, try several on to determine what style best fits your anatomy and your typical seat position while riding.

Road-bike short features:

  • Panel construction: In the past, a greater number of panels (typically 6 or 8) correlated to a more comfortable fit. While this is still generally true, fabric technology has progressed to the point that the number of panels doesn't necessarily mean "better" for everyone.
  • Padded liner: A smooth, soft pad of "chamois" (these days, all are synthetic and not leather) minimizes friction, wicks moisture, prevents bacterial growth and helps cushion bumps. It's the most complex part of a bike short. There are a multitude of shapes, thicknesses and materials among brands and genders.

Some general guidelines:

Short liner: Multi-density, open-cell foam liners deliver high-end performance and comfort for long rides.
Gel/open-cell foam liners offer greater recreational or mountain-bike cushioning but tend to be less breathable on long, hot rides.
Closed-cell foam liners offer good performance at a lower cost.

Legs: Longer-cut legs and leg grippers prevent saddle chafing and keep shorts in place.

Waist style: Most road shorts feature stretchy but non-adjustable spandex. A yoga-style cut offers less-restrictive comfort and is available in some women's shorts.

Tip: All of the bike-short padding in the world will not make up for an uncomfortable or poorly adjusted bike seat.

Other styles of bike shorts include:

Mountain bike shorts: Sometimes called "baggies," these have a loose outer short in addition to the spandex chamois liner. The waist is fastened by a button or hook-and-look patch for a loose fitting comfort. Pockets are also common. Choose these by their features and quality of construction, but also make sure the cut of the outer shorts feels comfortable and allows for full leg rotation and flexibility.
Bib shorts: Popular with cycling enthusiasts but a comfortable option for any rider, these don't have an elastic waistband that can restrict breathing. Worn with a jersey, they look like any other bike shorts.
Shorts: For women, some brands make cycling shorts, where the spandex short is covered by a skirt. Skorts can be worn on the road, mountain or even around town.

Bike Tights, Knickers and Leg Warmers

For cooler temperatures, you may opt for cycling tights, which cover the entire leg, or knickers, which cover the knee and above. Just like shorts, many tights and knickers come with a built-in chamois and should be chosen using the same guidelines for fit and comfort. Tights often include weather-resistant front panels and reflective detailing for dark, winter rides.

For layering purposes, some tights and knickers come without a chamois liner so they will fit over a pair of cycling shorts with no problem. Additionally, leg warmers are a handy cycling accessory that can be used on the fly to make a pair of cycling shorts into tights or knickers.

Cycling Jackets

The top 2 considerations when selecting a cycling jacket: Will it keep me warm? Will it keep me dry? Some cycling jackets will do both, but it is good to keep the following in mind:

How warm is "warm"? The jacket you use for winter riding in Ft Wayne, Indiana, will probably be different than the one you'd use for winter riding in the Tuscany, but could come in handy in the Italian Dolomite's. The level of warmth you are seeking depends on the extremity of the conditions. But don't overdress; you'll warm up from exertion during your ride. Jackets for maximum warmth will protect you against the wind and offer some insulation, mostly in the front and arms of the garment.

Is rain in the forecast? For rainy days, you'll want a waterproof cycling jacket. These provide a longer back and sleeves cut for a forward lean; some offer an oversized hood that fits over a helmet. While these often offer less insulation (which can be offset by layering) and are less breathable than other jackets, they will keep you dry if you're caught on a long, wet ride.

Not sure what to expect? For milder winter conditions, go with a highly breathable waterproof or water-resistant jacket. These are lightweight and offer wind and water protection; they can be easily stowed in a pocket or pack when not in use. Additionally, some cycling jackets can be converted into a vest via zip-off long sleeves. This feature makes for a particularly versatile jacket that can be used year-round.

Layering Your Clothing

For cool-season rides, long-sleeve jerseys, tights or warmers can all increase your comfort. Layering your clothing offers another good option.

The goal of layering is to keep your core body temperature consistent as you ride. Being too warm can be just as bad as being too cold because your body wastes energy at both extremes trying to regulate itself.

The 3 traditional components of layering:

A next-to-skin layer (e.g., long underwear) that wicks away moisture.
An insulating middle layer.
A weatherproof or windproof outer shell.

Bike Shoes

Road cyclists use seek a lightweight, aerodynamic model with slick soles.
Mountain bikers need shoes with durable soles that offer ample tread to grip the trail if needed.
For the commuter or casual rider, consider a hybrid style that acts like a cycling shoe but looks like a casual "street shoe," perfect for the office or coffee shop.

For wet or rainy rides, toe covers (which cover the shoe from arch to toe) or shoe covers (which cover the entire shoe and part of the ankle) are a great way to ensure your toes stay toasty. Both offer some wind protection or insulation, and many shoe covers will offer water protection, too.

Bike Socks

Your feet can produce as much as a cup of perspiration when you're pedaling hard. In winter, this can lead to cold feet. In summer, it can mean blisters unless you wear synthetic or merino wool socks that help wick the perspiration away. Avoid cotton socks for all but light workouts.

Wool is a popular alternative to socks made out of synthetic materials (such as polyester or polypropylene) for summer or winter riding. It is not only wicking, quick-drying (for summer) and insulating (for winter), but it does an exceptional job of insulating while wet, which is perfect for those who enjoy the occasional stream crossing or unexpected rainstorm.

Accessory Items

Helmet: Don't ride a bike without one. In addition to saving your skull, a helmet provides warmth in winter and shade in summer. Some models come with as many as 21 vents to channel air through the helmet for excellent heat control.

Caps: These add insulation to your winter rides, while a headband or a thinner skullcap can serve as a sweat barrier and help wick moisture for a cooler head during summer riding.

Sunglasses: Protect your eyes against wind, sun glare, bugs and sand or grit kicked up by other riders or cars. Always use plastic lenses that cannot shatter on impact. Many sunglass manufacturers also offer styles with interchangeable lenses, featuring different colorations to match the light conditions.

Gloves

Gloves: In summer, gloves with short-cut fingers are the popular choice. Most have a padded leather or synthetic-leather palm and moisture-absorbing terry cloth for dabbing sweat or a runny nose.

For cold-weather rides, a pair of wicking, breathable, full-finger bike gloves are a must. Most also offer some protection against the wind. For maximum warmth, consider using a thin liner inside the glove.

Arm/leg warmers: These provide a little extra warmth while taking up minimal space in a shirt pocket or pack. Each is essentially a fleece or wool sleeve that fits over your arms or legs to cover exposed skin. Warmers should be slid on under your jersey and shorts and fit snugly to avoid slippage during a ride. When temperatures rise, they can be easily slipped off without having to unbutton, unzip or change anything.

Always make sure you ride a few days in your kit to ensure everything fits well.  You do not want to be in the middle of a long tour and find you are getting hot spots from your bike clothes or that your new shoes do not fit as well with a ticker pair of socks.

cycle performance: how to wash and clean your bicycle

In just 10 minutes you can have a clean bike. This quick wash is perfect after rainy road rides or muddy mountain bike rides. It won't pass a white glove inspection, but it will be clean, lubed and ready for the next ride.

Ready? 10 minutes. Start the clock now. Break out a bucket of warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Time for a good bath. Washing your bike doesn't need to take a lot of time or make a huge mess. You will need the following:

  • Bucket with warm soapy water (dish soap works well as most have a grease cutting agent which is effective, but not so strong as to degrease bearings or totally strip off everything).
  • Bucket with clean water
  • Large brush with soft bristles
  • A few dry, clean rags
  • Chain lube of your preference. If you use a dry lube for the chain, you will need something for the cables like Tri-Flow®

Dip your brush and load it up with soapy water. Start with the handlebars. Slop on the soapy water, wash quickly across the bar, then move downward and rearward. No worry, if the dirt is still there, just let the soapy water do its work while you keep going. Hit the stem, top of headset, top tube and seat post.

Load up the brush again and go back to the head and down tubes. Brush the lower headset, fork crown, front brake and down the fork blades (don't forget the opposite side) to the front axle.

Load up the brush again. Back to the lower headset. Brush down the down tube and hit the area around the bottom bracket shell. Don't do the cranks and chain rings yet.

Load up the brush again. Start at the base of the seat post and brush down, get the area around the chain-stay bridge, then go back up to the base of the seat post. Now down the seat-stays (don't forget the opposite side).

Be sure to get the rear brake, down to the rear axle and the non-drive side chain-stay.

Load up the brush again. Slop soapy water on the rear derailleur, then the front derailleur.

Load up the brush again. Now hit the drive side chain-stay, chain rings, cranks and cog-set. Toss the brush in the clean water bucket.

Using the clean water, follow the same pattern with your brush. Once again making sure to get everything, and rinsing your brush frequently.

At this point I use an Air Compressor to blow dry the bike, this is a great small investment to make and makes your work quicker and cleaner.

Now grab your rags and wipe the bike dry in the same order as the soaping. Change the rag around frequently to ensure you're wiping with a clean rag rather than a dirty one.

Lube up your chain thoroughly, floating all the pivots with lube. Break out the grease or cable lube of your choice and lube the derailleur pivot points and brake pivot points on caliper, cantilever, and V-brakes (be careful not to get any on the brake pads).

A drop of oil or 2 on exposed runs of cables can work wonders as well. If you have Teflon lined cable housing, there is no need to lube under the cable housing. If not, drip some bike oil down there too. Go back and move all these parts back and forth a few times to work in the lube, then wipe off any excess with a rag. DONE.