How to Adjust Bike Brakes

 

CaliperBrakeLeverAdjustment

While bicycle brakes offer excellent stopping power, there are a few reasons why the brakes might not be working properly. Over time the cables may stretch, the brake pads can wear out, a pad might drag on the rim or the brakes just might not be tight enough. Because your safety depends on optimum braking, check out these guidelines for common adjustments to ensure that you can slow down and stop efficiently.

Keep in mind these instructions are for conventional brakes, not disc brakes. Do not work on your brakes unless you’re confident in your ability to do the job. Lastly, be sure that the wheels are true and round (not damaged or wobbly).

Tightening the BrakesDSC5642

First, locate the barrel (see photo). It should have a graded edge for easy gripping eliminating the need for a tool. Turn the barrel counterclockwise by hand. Periodically, check the setting by squeezing the levers. When the brakes feel right, lock the barrel adjusters in position by turning the lock ring (the second knurled piece) clockwise until it’s tight against the lever.

This easy adjustment will make the brakes feel like new after you’ve logged several dozen miles and worn down the pads. It’s also great to tighten the barrels on the fly if the brakes feel weak mid ride. This can also happen when it’s muddy or wet. Once the brake pads are worn out, simply tightening the barrels won’t be enough. You’ll need to replace the pads. 

Center the Wheel

A misaligned wheel will cause the brake pad to rub against the wheel. It has to be near perfectly centered between the brake pads for the brakes to work properly. To correct this, loosen the brakes, center the wheel, then retighten. 

Center the Brake

If both wheels are centered and the brake still drags, the brake may have gotten bumped and knocked out of position. Double-check that the wheel is centered in the frame because you don’t want to ruin the brake adjustment if it’s actually set correctly.

To center side pull brakes (road bikes), loosen the attaching bolt behind the fork crown or brake bridge until the brake is loose. (It should move sideways when you push it). Now, squeeze the lever to hold the brake pads against the rim while you tighten the brake bolt on the back of the frame. If the brake still needs minor fine-tuning, look for a small screw on top of the brake. Turn it clockwise turns to move the brake shoe on the side of the screw away from the rim and vice versa.

To center linear-pull brakes (off-road and hybrid bikes), look for a small screw in the side of the brake arm. Clockwise turns of this screw will move the pad in the arm with the screw away from the rim and vice versa.

Brake Binding

Brakes should operate smoothly and easily. The brake pads should pull away from the rims as the levers are released. If this is not the case, the brake pivots or cables might be dry, causing binding. Free the pivots by lightly lubricate the brakes where the arms pivot and squeeze the levers repeatedly to work the lube into the brakes. Do not get any lube on the brake pads or rims. Wipe clean with rubbing alcohol if this happens.

If the problem continues, the chain might need some lube. Usually, this is only required on rear cables with split housing. Look closely at where the housing sections enter the stops on the frame. If the stops are split, you’ll be able to remove the housing and lubricate most of the cable. If the housing stops aren’t split, raise the bike so that gravity will draw the lube into the housing section. Apply a few drops of lube on the cable and squeeze the rear brake lever to draw the lube into the housing. Repeat for the front section of housing.

Is it time for new brakes? Shop The House.

 

How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire

FixaBikeFlat-595

While they can be frustrating, fixing a flat tire isn’t terribly difficult. When riding, be sure to have a patch kit and bicycle tire release lever. These simple instructions can get you back on your bike quickly.

  1. Release the Brake – Before fixing the flat, you’ll need release the brake so that the wheel can be removed. The brake mechanism is right above the wheel. There are various types of brakes. If it has a know at the end of the pull-cable that catches on a notch in the caliper arm, squeeze the brake arms together to release the cable. For a quick-release lever (similar to an axle), open and release the brakes. Most mountain bikes have disc brakes and it’s important to be careful not to touch the rotor when opening the quick-release mechanism. It can extremely hot.fix-flat-tire
  2. Release the Wheel – After the break has been released, the wheel needs to be removed from the axle. To remove a front wheel, simply open the quick-release lever and unscrew the securing nut slightly on the opposite side as needed to release the tension that holds the wheel in place. Rear wheels are removed the same way, but the chain makes it a bit more complicated. Shift the gear in the smaller gear cog by adjust the shifter up then raising the bike. Then, spin its wheels until the gear-shift is complete. Pull back on the rear derailleur to give it some slack, then lift out the wheel with the other hand. The wheel should pop free! If you can’t find a quick release leaver, then the wheel is bolted on. Simply unscrew the bolts with a wrench and release the wheel.
  3. Check for Damage – Carefully inspect both the tire and the tube for the cause of the flat by running a cloth inside the tire. Any sharp objects will snag the fabric. Remove the debris. Visually check the tire tread for other culprits or large cuts. Be sure that no spokes or rough edges are rubbing along the inside of the metal rim.
  4. Identify the Cause of the Flat – First, check for obvious punctures or blowouts in the tube. Try inflating the tube so you can check for escaping air. Then, check the valve. If the valve stem or base is cut, cracked or severely worn, it may be leaking. If that’s the case, replace the entire tube. If the valve looks good, check the thin strip along the inside of your rim. Look for protruding spoke ends or areas where the strip may have come free and pinched the tube against the rim surface. Last, look for any embedded objects in the outside tread of the tire. Turn the tire inside out and do a full visual inspection of the inner surface, making your way slowly around the tire. Use a tweezer to remove any foreign debris.
  5. Repair or Replace the Tube – If the tire has sustained little or no permanent damage, as is often the case, your decision will be whether to repair or replace the tube. While repairing a damaged tube is cost effective, it should really just be used in an emergency situation. Replace the tube as soon as possible for maximum reliability. Patch kits come with step by step instructions.flat_repair_bnr_6_08_vs2_p
  6. Put the Tube Back On – Pump a few pumps of air into the tube before inserting it back into the tire. Then, install the valve in the valve opening and work the rest of the tube into the tire all the way around. Pull the rubber bead of the tire back toward the metal rim. The tire bead should drop down into the metal rim. The bead will become trickier toward the end. You can push the bead with your thumbs to make it fit.
  7. Reinstall the Wheel – Simply reverse the procedure you used to remove it. Reattach the wheel to your frame dropouts, holding the derailleur out of the way if you’re reinstalling the rear wheel. Once the tire is attached to the wheel, it’s ready to be completely inflated. Look at the sidewall to find the recommended pressure. When inflating, make sure the tire is even and has no bulges or low spots.
  8. Reattach the Brakes!! – Don’t ever forget this step.

Be prepared for flats. Shop The House for patch and repair kits, tubes, tires, and pumps.

How To Organize Camping Gear

Camping Organizing Tips

A few quick and easy tips will keep your camping gear orderly at the campsite and at home. Cooking outside, playing outside 24/7 and ‘being on vacation’ can lead to a disaster zone that will take the fun out of your camping experience. Read on for our top tips on how to organize your camping gear…

  1. Utilize Zip Lock Bags – That’s right. Every size will come in handy. Zip lock bags are waterproof, durable, reusable and incredibly handy. Get your sharpie out and label away! Put each family member’s toiletries in a separate baggie. Put dried beans, rice, cereal and other snacks in baggies. It will take up far less room than conventional packaging. Zip lock baggies also make a nice and safe hope for cameras, cell phones and chargers.
  2. campingOrganize Clothing – Remember that when you’re camping, you won’t be neatly putting t-shirts, shorts and socks in drawers at a hotel. Everything must stay in your bag 24/7, so be sure your duffel or pack is organized. Clothing that you’re least likely to wear, like an extra fleece or rain jacket, should be packed at the bottom. Keep tees, socks, undies and a light fleece near the top. Do your best to fold clothes before putting them back in the duffel! This will ensure a frustration free camping closet.
  3. Pick Up After Yourself – Part of keeping your gear organized at the campsite is cleaning up after yourself. If you whip up a mid day PB&J, put everything back where you found it and throw out all trash. Don’t let food scraps on the ground tempt bears! Once the sun hits high noon, put your fleece back in your duffel rather than tossing it on the camping chair.
  4. Storage Tubs for Car Camping – Car camping sounds easier enough, but that Subarau Outback will be packed to the gills in no time without some efficient Tetris skills. Large storage bins make for easy packing and quick access to your frisbee, headlamp or tarp. Put all of your food, cooking equipment, utensils, table cloth and anything else related to the outdoor kitchen in one bin. In a second bin, toss your tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow, tarp and anything sleep related. Save a smaller bin for campsite toys – frisbee, baseball mitts, slack line, collapsable hula hoop and anything else that you plan to bring. Duffel bags or packs with clothing can neatly fill in the gaps between the bins making for a super neat car for camping!
  5. Storage Tubs for Home Storage – You might need a few more storage tubs for your basement. Keep climbing and mountaineering gear in one tub – ropes, harnesses, carabiners and chocks. After thoroughly cleaning all of your kitchen cooking supplies at home, store it all in a separate bin. Packing up for your next camping trip will be a breeze!
  6. parks-campingProperly Store Your Sleeping Bag – Sleeping bags all come with a stuff sack and a larger sack. The larger sack is intended for at home storage, so the down or synthetic down doesn’t become permanently compressed. It also gives the sleeping bag a chance to breath.
  7. Clean Up! – When it’s time to check back into reality at home, completely empty out your pack removing all garbage and all other contents. Wipe it down with mild soap on the inside if necessary. Same goes for the tent – open it up at home, shake out the dirt and wipe down with mild soap. Be sure to let it dry completely before storing.

Stand Up Paddle Board Repair

SUP Repair

Stand Up Paddle Board Repair

Dings and cracks come with the paddle board territory for novices and experts alike. Stand up paddleboards (SUP) are pretty durable, but sometimes a deep ding is inevitable. While many dings are simply cosmetic, many are not. If you can see the foam core through the fiberglass, you should not get the board wet, as the damage will worsen.

Here is an easy 8-step guide to getting your board fixed right:

  1. Remove Leash and/or Deck bag.
  2. Strap board onto car.
  3. Drive to your local surf shop.
  4. Hand the board over to the local SUP Doctor.
  5. Hangout in the shop for 30 min to an hour chatting it up.
  6. Wait for an email or phone call telling you that your SUP’s ready.
  7. head back to the shop, pay the nice man or women and thank him/her for the quality repair job.
  8. Dive to the nearest body of water and have some fun.

For those of you who are insistent on fixing it yourself, here are some options:

Your brand new car is bound to get a scratch or two as well. It’s all relative! Fortunately, the majority of SUP dings and cracks are easy to repair yourself. Depending on the damage size, we’ve outlined some tried-and-true DIY paddle board fixes and supplies to repair your board. It’s always a good idea to bring a small repair kit when you’re hitting the water. Small repairs can be made on shore, so you can get back to paddling in no time. Check it out…

UV Activated Epoxy


lf-dingrepair-kit-wkbrds-accessories-12-prodFor a quick and dirty way to repair cracks, you can us a UV activated epoxy in kits. SOLAREZ Epoxy repair putty is a mixture of clear, fiber reinforced epoxy resin with an amazing solar activated cataylst. It gels in 5 seconds and cures in about 5 minutes – but only when exposed to sunlight. Creating a great “quick fix” for when you are one the go.

Epoxy Repair Putty


chinook-ding-all-SUP-Repair

Epoxy putties are great when you are in pinch and out on the water. It is a hand-kneadable epoxy compound that mixes in about one minute for permanent repairs to wet areas. It may also be applied underwater in both fresh and salt water. Ding All Epoxy Stick will bond to substrates such as Fiberglass, epoxy,Wood, Glass, and Metal. For best results, ensure the area is clean and roughened up. When applying to wet areas, it’s best to keep pressure on the putty until adhesion begins. (Side Note* Try to get the putty as smooth as possible before it hardens and it can be a pain to sand.)

Epoxy Repair Kits

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For larger dings, Epoxy Repair Kits works wonders.  Normally they include: Fiberglass Cloth, Resin, Hardener, Mixing Sticks, Cup, and 2 Grades Sanding Sponge, Cover Sheet and Directions. These kits are designed for structural repairs on epoxy boards.

Q-Cell/Filler

Q-cell-fillerQ-Cell is microscopic glass balls that works as a thinking agent for epoxy in Surfboard Repair. It works well with both Polyester and Epoxy boards. Basically, you just add some Q-cell to your epoxy/catalyst mixture creating a past the is about the consistency of mayo. Once mixed up, apply the paste to the void and let dry. Once hard, It drys white and can easily be sanded. Before mixing up the past, make sure the board is prepped and cleaned.

Clear Ding Tape


ding_tapeA clear adhesive tape specifically for board dings, clear ding tape is designed to seal up small dings, cracks and punctures. It’s easy to use and clean up is breeze. Just dry and clean the cracked area. Then, seal the tape over the crack ensuring there are no air bubbles. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes in the sun before heading back into the water.

How To Wax Cross Country Skis

Traditional striding cross country skis will need regular waxing on the center third of the base to enable them to perform properly on the snow. Wax will keep dirt out of the base, prevent the base from drying out and will keep your skis gliding fast. Some cross country skis, however, are waxless. These are less common and grip the snow via an embossed base. Although not necessary, a thin layer of glide wax can be applied to a waxless base to help the skis move faster and to help keep snow from sticking to the base. For traditional waxed skis, the procedure is more involved. The following waxing instructions will not only aid in selecting and applying wax, but will also ensure that you get the most out of your skis this winter!

Choose a Wax
You’ll want to chose a wax that is best suited for the outside temperature. The most popular, hard waxes resemble a large crayon and perform best when temperatures are low and snow crystals are sharp. They are color coded for the appropriate temperature range. Klister waxes have a glue-like consistency and come in tubes. They are for warmer temperatures and snow that has been repeatedly melted and frozen. Lastly are spray waxes. These are a quick parking lot fix to be used only as a temporary wax.

The tips and tails of classic skis and the entire base of skate skis should be glide waxed. The kick zone (center third) of classic skis should be waxed with a grip wax.

Clean the Base
Before waxing, you’ll need to clean the base of the skis with a fine, steel brush to remove dirt and old wax. Always work tip to tail when waxing cross country skis. That will get the little micro hairs on the base laying down in the direction of travel on snow so you won’t be slowed down. Then use fine copper brush to clean it up a bit more.

When waxing the kick zone, mark it off with masking tape then scrape the area with a plastic scraper. Next, apply a small amount of base cleaner to the kick zone to remove more dirt and excess wax. Then, rub the area with a fine grade of sand paper wrapped cork.

Apply the Wax
To apply hard wax, rub a stick of hard wax on the kick zone of the base on each ski then buff with a cork. You can repeat two or three times, buffing after each coat. If you have an electric waxing iron, you can also apply binder wax as the first coat in the kick zone. Heat the iron to 110 degrees, then run it over the wax and let cool until it has reached room temperature again. Then, buff with a cork, and follow with wax. Buff the final coat with the cork, and, optionally, brush with a special nylon brush.

Once the kick wax has cooled, apply liquid glide wax to the nose and tail of the skis (the areas other than the kick zone.) Glide wax often comes in an applicator bottle with a sponge end, so you can apply it easily even in the parking lot of a ski area.

For klister wax, rub the kick zone with a sandpaper cork. Apply base klister in diagonal strips on either side of the groove. With a waxing iron set at 110°F, warm and smooth it onto the base, then let it cool and cork the area. Last, apply a universal or temperature-specific klister in the same pattern. Spread it out with a plastic scraper or a cork.

Use the wax temperatures listed on various waxes as a guideline. Let your own experience decide which wax works best for your conditions. In general, if the skis skid and slip rather than grab, the wax is too hard. If snow starts sticking to them, the wax is too soft.

Basic Waxing Principles

  • Work from tip to tail for ironing, scraping and brushing in glide wax areas on the ski.
  • Before waxing, make sure base is clean. This can be done via the brush method and/or with base cleaner.
  • Triple check the iron temperature as too much heat can permanently damage the base.
  • Never put an iron on a ski base that doesn’t have wax on it.
  • When ironing, never stop the iron on the ski base.
  • Wipe the iron before use to remove old wax or dirt.

Check out our Cross Country Accessories and Equipment for product details.

How To: Technical Fabric Care

So, you bit the bullet with some new technical clothing! The higher price tag on waterproof, breathable, moisture wicking and wind blocking clothing will be well worth the investment and deliver for years with proper care. Read on to learn more about how to care for your sweet new ski parka…

Basic Care For Technical Fabrics

  1. Above all, always refer to the manufacture’s label in the garment. A warranty would be invalid should something happen to your dope new jacket with improper cleaning. Some outerwear also might come with additional care instructions on the hang tag.
  2. Many manufactures approve the use of cleaning and care products like Granger’s, Nikwax and Sport-Wash. Such products leave no residue and rinse cleanly. You can always call customer service for a particular brand to verify which cleaning products they recommend.
  3. Before washing, close zippers, seal velcro and turn article inside out. Front loading washing machines are best for washing outerwear so as to reduce the likelihood of abrasion and excessive twisting (diminishing the cleaning effectiveness).
  4. Heavily soiled items should aways be washed separately. Soil particles break into smaller pieces and could dirty other garments.
  5. Oil stains on synthetic materials like nylon or polyester should be treated as quickly as possible to minimize staining. Treat the stain with an approved stain remover. If stain remains after washing, do not dry the garment. If you are in the lodge, away from your trusty stain remover, blot the stain with water and ice.
  6. Never use fabric softeners on performance or technical fabrics. They break down the technical properties of the garment diminishing water repellency, breathability and wicking ability.
  7. Use powdered detergent.

Down Jacket Care

Many people prefer to have a down jacket cleaned by professionals since it’s somewhat of a task. Never dry clean down. If you’d like to launder down at home, fill a front loading washing machine with warm water. Add the jacket and allow it to wash in plain water, so that dirt and debris are safely removed. When cycle is complete, remove garment and hand squeeze any remaining water. Fill the washing machine with warm water again and run cycle with a gentle down safe detergent (refer to manufacture for recommendations) so as not to break down the feathers. When cycle is complete, squeeze out excess water, then lay jacket flat and blot with a dry towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Dry the garment on low for 15 minutes, then remove and fluff with your hands, so feathers remain evenly spread throughout. Tennis balls can be added to the dryer to aid in ‘refluffing’ the feathers. Return garment to dryer for another 15 minutes on low and repeat until nearly dry.

Fleece Care

First off, fleece is very heat sensitive, so never dry your fleece on high or iron it. Fleece should be washed inside out to avoid pilling in lukewarm water with a mild powdered detergent. Hang to dry or dry on low.

Softshell Jacket Care

Softshells can be machine washed with either warm or cold water using powdered laundry detergent that contains no fabric softeners. As mentioned earlier, washing reactivates the DWR treatment, so don’t be scared to wash your softshell jacket or pants! Additionally, soft shells breath better when clean. Tumble dry on low for 15-20 minutes or line dry. Never iron your soft-shell.
Always remove faux fur trim. Most are attached with buttons or a zipper.

Patagonia Torrentshell Parka with DWR

Patagonia Torrentshell Parka with DWR

Rainwear or Waterproof/Breathable Care

Regular cleaning of your rainwear allows it to preform at your best. How often it should be cleansed depends on how often you wear it. For Portland and Seattle residents, you may need to wash it once a month. As a generally rule of thumb, wash your rainwear at least once a year. Washings enhance breathability and reactivate DWR (water repellency coating). Over time however, say after a dozen washings, the DWR can loose it’s effectiveness and an approved waterproof spray should be applied. Like all other outerwear, close the zippers, turn the garment inside out, use a front loading washing machine with powdered detergent and treat stains immediately with cold water then a stain remover. Let the water and detergent mix before placing the garment inside. Two rinses are recommended to remove all residue. Dry on low for 15-20 minutes, then hang dry if still damp.

DWR (Durable Water Repellent) Care

Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that DWR actually reactivates with each washing and drying. Removing dirt, oil and debris helps to expose the DWR, thereby making it more effective. Low heat for 15-20 minutes reactivates DWR effectiveness. Of course, after a dozen or so washings, DWR will break down. If at that time, you notice that water is no longer beading off the surface of the fabric, it’s a good time to apply a DWR finish from Granger’s, Nikwax, Sport-Wash or ReviveX.

Synthetic Base Layer Care

Synthetic base layers can certainly be washed with your regular clothing. However, it is strongly advised to use mild detergents that advertise as being “free” or “clear” from fragrances or excessive cleaning agents. Eco-friendly and biodegradable detergents tend to be far less harsh than low priced “regular” detergents. Be sure to use only the recommend amount of detergent, if not slightly less. Excess soap may leave a residue behind on the garment, thereby reducing it’s wicking and breathability properties. Since base layers can be vulnerable to snagging, do not wash with anything containing zippers or velcro. Wash with cool or warm water and dry on low for 15-20 minutes or line dry. Never use fabric softeners or bleach.

Wool Care

The biggest concern with wool is shrinkage. To be on the safe side, lay wool garments flat or hang to dry. Socks, however, can be dried with regular laundry on low as most wools sock manufacturers today have agreed. Like synthetic base layers, wool is also susceptible to snagging, so avoid washing with other garments with velcro, zippers or buttons. Stick to washing wool with knits.

 Gore-Tex Maintenance 
A full Gore-Tex manual on how to wash, treat and take care of this material.

How to Wax Downhill Skis

In this article we will discuss a simple, easy, and effective way to wax your downhill skis for optimal performance. Waxing your skis is probably the single most important thing you can do for your new purchase to ensure a longer life span that performs. Regular waxing is also essential for speed. Even if you don’t like to go too fast, wax should regularly be applied, otherwise the skis will dry out and literally stick to the snow. This could cause a nasty injury to the skier!

It takes about 10 to 15 grams of hot wax for one pair of alpine skis, which means if you purchase a 100 gram wax pack, you will have 6-8 applications. We usually recommend hot wax application because it will last longer and give you a good base layer foundation. Rub on wax is only a quick fix and should only be used when you’re in a pinch.

  1. First you need to fix your skis onto a flat surface. Keeping your skis flat and secured is important so that you can easily apply the wax. Take a ski specific wax iron and heat it to a temperature hot enough to melt the wax, but not too hot that it burns the wax. If you see smoke you need to turn down the temperature. Wax is a petroleum product and is harmful if inhaled.
  2. Next, take your hard wax and melt a nice line of wax right down the middle of the ski. Try to keep a steady flow of wax so that it can cover the entire ski.
  3. Once you have a nice line of wax down your ski you will want to melt the wax. Rub your iron across the entire surface of the ski, from tip to tail. Take your time and melt the wax into the base.
  4. After the wax cools for at least 30 minutes take a sharp plastic scrapper, we prefer plastic to glass because it won’t cause as much damage to your skis. Scrape the wax off from tip to tail. There shouldn’t be much excess wax, but it won’t be completely devoid of wax. Repeat this three or four times until the surface is nice and even.
  5. The final step is to brush the wax with a heavy duty scouring pad from the structure of the base. This will allow water to slide through it more easily.
  6. Your skis are finished and can be used immediately!

Tips for Waxing your Downhill Skis

  • Be sure your skis are at room temperature before starting the waxing process. If they are cold, the hot wax and iron could permanently damage the base.
  • Higher performance skis need to be waxed more often than entry level skis. Entry level skis have bases that are designed to hold onto wax for a longer period of time, but they don’t go as fast as intermediate or advanced skis.
  • Always wax in a well ventilated area.
  • Consider waxing your skis in a heated garage or basement. It makes a mess as you scrape the wax off, so if it’s done in your parent’s living room, be sure to lay down a drop cloth!
  • The plastic scraper should have a sharp, 90-degree edge when you scrape. Use a metal file to flatten the edge of the plastic scraper for efficient wax removal.

Gore-Tex Care: Maintenance, Washing & Restoring Gore-Tex

Taking good care of your waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex jackets or pants is very important when you consider the cost of wearing Gore-Tex.

Care of Gore-Tex

You love your Gore-Tex®. Admit it. Whether it’s your shoes, your jacket, or your gloves, you rely on Gore-Tex to keep you dry and comfortable for hours, days, months and years on end. Fortunately, Gore-Tex is easy to take care of as long as you keep the following in mind:

How to Wash Gore-Tex

Before you throw your Gore-Tex gear in the wash, be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully. The first thing to note is that Gore-Tex should not be dry-cleaned if it uses both Gore-Tex fabric and down insulation. However, some outerwear garments that use Gore-Tex fabric also use silk or wool and these garments should be dry cleaned only. Be sure to request clear, distilled solvent rinse and a spray-repellent when dropping your Gore-Text off at the cleaners.  If you decide to wash your Gore-Tex at home skip the fabric softener (including dryer sheets) since they contain, among other things, fragrances, waxes and oils that will adhere to your Gore-Tex and lessen it’s ability to breathe and repel water. Never use chlorine bleach on your garment.  Machine-wash your outerwear in warm water using liquid detergent, preferably in a front loading washing machine. If you have a stain, you can use a stain remover such as Spray n Wash™ or Shout™.

*Always check the individual care label and follow those instructions first. This advice is not intended to override any specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Drying Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

Gore-Tex Volcom Snowboard Jacket

When drying your garment in the dryer, tumble-dry warm is the recommended setting. The heat from the dryer helps to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment’s outer fabric. DWR is a repellent for outdoor fabrics and is recommended for use with Gore-Tex products. However, it is not recommended to use the wash-in treatments as this may affect the garment’s breathability. DWR is available at your local outdoor retailer. If you need to restore the water repellency after being caught out in a rainstorm, simply machine wash the garment, rinse, and put it in the dryer. Washing will remove dirt and other contaminants and the heat from the dryer will redistribute the DWR treatment on the fabric surface. If the DWR treatment is no longer effective after washing, it can be restored by applying a topical DWR treatment.

Ironing Gore-Tex

If your jacket or pants are wrinkled after coming out of the dryer, it is acceptable to pass the iron over the garment. Only use a warm steam-iron. Be sure to place a towel or cloth between the garment and the iron. You do not have to iron the garment until it is completely dry. Be very careful not to melt the outer fabric.

In summary, Gore-Tex products such as Gore-Tex JacketsGore-Tex pants and Gore-Tex Shoes are built to last and are easy to take care of. Taking care of your Gore-Tex will ensure that you get your money’s worth from the product. Routine care and maintenance on your part will ensure the highest performance from them and extend their useful lifespan. So, follow the instructions carefully on the label to help your Gore-Tex product looking fresh and new for a very long time.

Pretreating Gore-Tex

If you are taking on the responsibility of cleaning it yourself be mindful of a few thing before jumping in. It is safe to use a pre-wash treatment such as Shout or Spray ‘n Wash as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And always be mindful to rinse well. Bleach is something that you should never allow to come in contact with your Gore-Tex jacket or pants, as this will likely damage your garment.

Repairing Gore-Tex

Gore-Tex is guaranteed for a lifetime against manufacturer’s defects. Gore isn’t afraid of anyone putting it to the most extreme tests! Accidents do happen, however. Gore makes a repair kit that comes with two patches that press on if you in the field and happen to tear your jacket or pant. It’s not a bad idea to stash one of these in your pocket. Once you get home, ironing the patch increases its performance. Patches should last just over five washings. A more permanent repair is recommended, so take your damaged Gore-Tex gear to an authorized repair center or contact Gore directly at 1-800-431-GORE.

Gore-Tex Footwear

You can clean the outside of your Gore-Tex footwear using a brush or a cloth and tepid water. When drying your shoes, remove the laces, loosen the tongue, avoid direct heat and allow them to dry naturally. Gore recommends applying a topical water repellency restorative (DWR treatment) for outdoor fabrics. They do not recommend wash-in treatments as they can affect breathability.

Gore-Tex Gloves

First off, Gore-Tex gloves rule! Say good bye to swampy, cold hands. Your Gore-Tex gloves should be hand or machine washed in warm water with powdered detergent. Follow the same rules (no bleach, no fabric softener) as you would with your outerwear. Gently squeeze the water out of your gloves, but do not wring or twist them. Allow them to drip-dry with the fingers pointing upward.

Restoring DWR

Gore-Tex is treated with DWR, or durable water repellent. It is an extremely thin polymer that causes water to beadupon the surface of your gear and roll off. DWR is not permanent, however. Dirt, exposure to insect repellents, detergents, and normal wear and tear will eventually cause the DWR to stop working. Normal washing and tumble-drying outerwear will redistribute DWR over the surface, thereby reactivating it. Over time, however, a topical DWR treatment for outdoor fabrics will be needed and can be applied to the garment. Never use wash-in treatments, as they will affect the garment’s ability to breathe. If your footwear needs its waterproofing refreshed, a DWR treatment for shoes will do the trick. Unless it has been specifically approved for use on Gore-Tex, never use any waterproofing waxes, greases, or polishes on your Gore-Tex shoes.

How To Mount Snowboard Bindings

Getting your snowboard setup dialed is akin to fine-tuning a car, but much easier. Still, you want things to be just right when you mount bindings on your board, from choosing binding angles to stance width and forward lean.

Finding a comfortable stance width comes first – most riders use between 21”-23” stance widths.  To measure, use the distance from the middle of one baseplate to the other, or use the reference stance that is typically marked on the topsheet as a guide. All snowboards use the same four-hole mountain pattern, with the exception of Burton (see www.burton.com for instructions on using their Channel System). (Learn more about your natural stance,  “Am I Goofy or Regular?”)

Once you’ve determined your stance width, set your stance/binding angles. A pretty common setup is +18 on your front foot, and -6 on your back foot. That said, freestyle riders may go +15/-15 or even more duck-footed. On the other extreme, freeriders may go +18 up front and 0 or +3 on their back foot. It comes down to what feels comfortable, and your style of riding.

Once you adjust your binding baseplates to the appropriate angles, center the bindings over the board and align the holes in the plates with the inserts in the board. Drop 4 screws through each baseplate and loosely tighten. Re-measure your stance width just to be sure, and then use a screwdriver to tighten down the screws. Get them tight, and check them again after a day of riding to be sure the screws aren’t loosening up–it happens.

Now to adjust your binding highbacks to the board. You want the highback to be as aligned with your heelside edge as possible, so loosen the necessary screws on the binding chassis and slightly twist the highback to align. Keep the highback in its new position while re-tightening the screws.

Last but not least… Looking at the back of the highback, there should be a forward lean adjustment. Forward lean literally pushes your calves forward, forcing you to bend at the knee and get lower. Some people like Zero forward lean, others kick it up a notch or two. Again, it comes down to personal preference and riding style.

Okay, now get out there and test your setup. Don’t be afraid to tweak your stance width, bindings angles and forward lean throughout the day until it’s picture perfect. Ride on – MH

On-Hill Accessories. Putting Together a Legit Kit.

Ever get to the top of the lift and find yourself asking, “does anyone have a screwdriver?” Your bindings are so loose you can rotate from regular to goofy without moving the board, and there’s not a tool in sight. Well, except for you…

Tool Kit

It pays to pack your own snowboard tool, and depending on the weather, there are a few other key items that will keep you from running back and forth to the base lodge all day. First and foremost, keep a snowboard-specific multi-tool in your pocket, like Dakine’s Stubby Driver.

Or, wear a toolbelt, no seriously—686 makes a snowboard belt with a built in #2 Phillips driver, bottle opener, and a detachable loop with 8mm, 10mm, and 11mm wrenches.

The 686 Snowboard Tool Belt

High Maintenance

If you like to keep your edges ultra buff and catch-free, or you are still detuning that new board, Dakine’s Pocket Stone is a handy accessory—you can score both of these items for under 20 bucks. Slow base or powder day? Consider rolling with a tin of rub-on wax to avoid getting stranded on the flats.

Storm Insurance

Powder day runs are pure gold, and you want to maximize every minute you have on the mountain. So if it’s hammering, or mid-winter cold and windy, consider rolling with these items stuffed in your outerwear.

• Bandana/facemask – There are a variety of styles, from gangsta to cowboy, and are virtually weightless so you won’t even know it’s in your pocket.

• Extra goggles – If you have fog issues or tend to yard sale bring a backup pair of goggles. There’s nothing worse than trying to ride down a mountain blind in a snowstorm.

• Backup gloves – These can be in your pocket or in your car, but it pays to switch into a fresh pair of gloves when your other pair is soaked. Cold hands=no fun.

• Chapstick and sunscreen – pretty self-explanatory, protect your face so you don’t get weathered.

-MH