Rouse Bicycles | Bicycle | Owner`s manual | Rouse Bicycles Bicycle Owner`s manual

Owner’s Manual
Rouse Bicycles Owner’s Manual
1st Edition 2010 This manual meets EN Standards 14764, 14766 and 14781.
IMPORTANT:
This manual contains important safety, performance and service information. Read it before you take the first ride
on your new bicycle, and keep it for reference.
Additional safety, performance and service information for specific components such as suspension or pedals on
your bicycle, or for accessories such as helmets or lights that you purchase, may also b e available. Make sure
that RO USE BICYCLES h as given yo u all the man ufacturers’ lit erature th at was in cluded with yo ur bicycle or
accessories. In ca se of a conflict b etween the i nstructions i n this m anual and information p rovided by a
component manufacturer, always follow the component manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have a ny que stions or d o not understand so mething, ta ke re sponsibility for your safety and con sult with
ROUSE BICYCLES.
NOTE:
This manual is not intended as a comprehensive use, service, repair or maintenance manual. Please see ROUSE
BICYCLES for all servi ce, repairs o r maintenance. ROUSE BICYCLES may al so be able to refer yo u to classes,
clinics or books on bicycle use, service, repair or maintenance.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
GENERAL WARNING: ............................................................................................................................ 5
A special note for parents: .......................................................................................................................... 5
1. FIRST.................................................................................................................................................. 6
A. Bike Fit ........................................................................................................................................... 6
B. Safety first....................................................................................................................................... 6
C. Mechanical Safety Check ............................................................................................................... 7
D. First Ride........................................................................................................................................ 9
2. SAFETY ........................................................................................................................................... 10
A. The Basics..................................................................................................................................... 10
B. Riding Safety................................................................................................................................ 11
C. Off Road Safety............................................................................................................................. 12
D. Wet Weather Riding .................................................................................................................... 13
E. Night Riding................................................................................................................................. 14
F. Competition Riding...................................................................................................................... 15
G. Aerobars....................................................................................................................................... 16
H. Changing Components or Adding Accessories............................................................................ 16
I. Maximum Weight............................................................................................................................16
3. FIT..................................................................................................................................................... 17
A. Standover Height .......................................................................................................................... 17
B. Saddle Position............................................................................................................................. 18
C. Handlebar Height and Angle ....................................................................................................... 20
D.Control Position Adjustments ....................................................................................................... 21
E. Brake reach ................................................................................................................................. 21
4. TECHNICAL.................................................................................................................................... 21
A. Assembly ....................................................................................................................................... 21
B. Wheels........................................................................................................................................... 22
1. Secondary Retention Devices ....................................................................................................... 23
2. Wheels With Cam Action Systems............................................................................................... 23
3. Removing and Installing wheels................................................................................................... 24
C. Seat Post Cam Action Clamp ....................................................................................................... 27
D. Brakes........................................................................................................................................... 27
E. Shifting Gears............................................................................................................................... 30
F. Pedals ........................................................................................................................................... 32
5. SERVICE.............................................................................................................................................. 37
A. Service Intervals........................................................................................................................... 38
B. If your bicycle sustains an impact:............................................................................................... 40
Appendix A....................................................................................................................................... 41
Appendix B ....................................................................................................................................... 42
Appendix C ....................................................................................................................................... 47
Appendix D....................................................................................................................................... 48
GENERAL WARNING:
Like any sport, bicy cling involves risk of injury and dam age. By ch oosing to ride a bicy cle, you a ssume the
responsibility for that risk, so you need t o know — and to practice — the rules of safe and re sponsible riding and
of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.
This Man ual contains man y “Warni ngs” and “Ca utions” concerning the con sequences of failure to m aintain o r
inspect your bicycle and of failure to follow safe cycling practices.
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

The combination of the safety alert symbol and the word WARNING indicates a potentially
hazardous situation which, if not avoided, could result in serious injury or death.
The combination of the safety alert symbol and the word CAUTION indicates a potentially
hazardous situation which, if not avoided, may result in minor or moderate injury, or is an alert
against unsafe practices.
The word CAUTION used without the safety alert symbol indicates a situation which, if not
avoided, could result in serious damage to the bicycle or the voiding of your warranty.
Many of the Warnings and Caution s say “you m ay lose c ontrol and fall”. Because any fall ca n result in se rious
injury or even death, we do not always repeat the warning of possible injury or death.
Because it is impossible to anticipate every situation or condition which can occur while riding, this Manual makes
no representation about the safe use of the bicycle under all conditions. There are risks associated with the use of
any bicycle which cannot be predicted or avoided, and which are the sole responsibility of the rider.
A special note for parents:
As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for the activities and safety of your minor child, and that includes
making sure that the bicycle is properly fitted to the child; that it is in good repair and safe operating condition;
that you and your child have learned and understand the safe operation of the bicycle; and that you and your
child have learned, understand and obey not only the applicable local motor vehicle, bicycle and traffic laws, but
also the common sense rules of safe and responsible bicycling. As a parent, you should read this manual, as
well as review its warnings and the bicycle’s functions and operating procedures with your child, before letting
your child ride the bicycle.
WARNING: Make sure that your child always wears an approved bicycle helmet when riding; but also
make sure that your child understands that a bicycle helmet is for bicycling only, and must be removed
when not riding. A helmet must not be worn while playing, in play areas, on playground equipment,
while climbing trees, or at any time while not riding a bicycle. Failure to follow this warning could result
in serious injury or death.
1. FIRST
NOTE: We strongly urge you to re ad this Manual in it s entirety before you r first ride. At the very lea st, read and
make sure that you understand e ach point in this se ction, and refer to the cite d sections on any issue which you
don’t completely understand. Please not e that not all bicycles have all of the fea tures described in thi s Manual.
Ask ROUSE BICYCLES to point out the features of your bicycle.
A. Bike Fit
1. Is your bike the right size? To check, see Section 3.A. If your bicycle is too large or too small for you, you
may lose control and fall. If your new bike is not the right size, ask ROUSE BICYCLES to exchange it
before you ride it.
2. Is the saddle at the right height? To check, see Section 3.B. If you adjust your saddle height, follow the
Minimum and Maximum Insertion instructions in Section 3.B.
3. Are saddle and seat post securely clamped? A correctly tightened saddle will allow no saddle movement
in any direction. See Section 3.B.
4. Are the stem and handlebars at the right height for you? If not, see Section 3.C.
5. Can you comfortably operate the brakes? If not, you may be able to adjust their angle and reach. See
Section 3.D and 3.E.
6. Do you fully understand how to operate your new bicycle? If not, before your first ride, have ROUSE
BICYCLES explain any functions or features which you do not understand.
B. Safety first
1. Always wear an approved helmet when riding your bike, and follow the helmet manufacturer’s instructions
for fit, use and care. (fig 1).
2. Do you have all the other required and recommended safety equipment? See Section 2. It’s
your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the laws of the areas where you ride, and to
comply with all applicable laws.
3. Do you know how to correctly secure your front and rear wheels? Check Section 4.A.1 to
make sure. Riding with an improperly secured wheel can cause the wheel to wobble or disengage from the bicycle, and cause serious injury or death.
4. If your bike has toeclips and straps or clipless (“step-in”) pedals, make sure you know how they work (see
Section 4.F). These pedals require special techniques and skills. Follow the pedal manufacturer’s
instructions for use, adjustment and care.
5. Do you have “toe overlap”? On smaller framed bicycles your toe or toeclip may be able to contact the
front wheel when a pedal is all the way forward and the wheel is turned. Read Section 4.F. to check
whether you have toeclip overlap.
C. Mechanical Safety Check
Routinely check the condition of your bicycle before every ride.
Nuts, bolts, screws & other fasteners: Because manufacturers use a wide variety of fastener sizes and shapes
made in a v ariety of material s, often differing by model an d compon ent, the co rrect tigh tening force or torq ue
cannot be generalized. To make sure that the many fasteners on your bicycle are correctly tightened, refer to the
Fastener To rque Sp ecifications i n App endix D of thi s ma nual or to the torque sp ecifications in the in structions
provided by t he manufacturer of the component in q uestion. Correctly tightening a fa stener requires a calibrated
torque wrench. A professional bicycle mechanic with a torque wrench should torque the fasteners on your bicycle.
If you choose to work on your own bicycle, you must use a torque wrench and the correct tightening torque specifications from component manufacturer or from ROU SE BICYCLES. If you need to make a n adjustment at home
or in the field, we urge you to exercise care, and to have the fasteners you worked o n checked by a profe ssional
bicycle mechanic as soon as possible.
WARNING: Corre ct tigh tening forc e on fas teners –nuts, bolts, scre ws– on your bicy cle is importan t.
Too little for ce and th e faste ner ma y not hold se curely. Too much forc e and the fas tener can s trip
threads, s tretch, d eform or bre ak. Either way, incorre ct tightening fo rce ca n re sult in compo nent
failure, which can cause you to lose control and fall.
Make sure n othing is loose. Lift the fro nt wheel off t he ground by two o r three inches, then let it bou nce on th e
ground. Anything sound, feel o r look loose? Do a vi sual and tactile inspection of the whole bike. Any lo ose parts
or accessories? If so, secure them.
Tires & Whe els: Make su re tires are correctly inflat ed (se e Se ction 4.G.1 ). Check by putting o ne h and on th e
saddle, one on the intersection of t he handlebars and stem, then boun cing your weight on the bike while lo oking
at tire deflection. Com pare wh at you see with ho w it lo oks when you kno w th e tire s are correctly inflat ed; an d
adjust if necessary.
Tires in good shape? Spin each wheel slowly and look for cuts in the tread an d sidewall. Replace damaged tires
before riding the bike.
Wheels true? Spin each wheel and check for brake clearance and side-to-side wobble. If a wheel wobbles side to
side even slightly, or rubs against or hits the brake pads, take the bike to a qualified bike shop to have th e wheel
trued.
CAUTION: Wheels must be true for rim brakes to work effectively. Wheel truing is a skill which requires
special tool s and expe rience. Do not attemp t to true a w heel unles s you ha ve the kno wledge,
experience and tools needed to do the job correctly.
Wheel rims clean and u ndamaged? Make sure the rims a re clean and u ndamaged at the tire bead a nd, if you
have rim brakes, along the braking surface. Check to make sure that any rim wear indicator marking is not visible
at any point on the wheel rim.
WARNING: Bic ycle wheel rims are subject to wear. Ask a pr ofessional bicycle mechanic abou t w heel
rim wear. Some wheel rims hav e a rim wear indicato r which bec omes visible as the rim’s bra king
surface wears. A visible rim wear indicator on the side of the wheel rim is an indicatio n that the wheel
rim has reached its maximum usable life. Riding a wheel that is at the end of its usable life can result in
wheel failure, which can cause you to lose control and fall.
Brakes: Check the brakes for proper operation (see Section 4.D). Squeeze the brake levers. Are the brake quickreleases closed? All control cabl es seated and securely eng aged? If you have rim b rakes, do the brake pad s
contact the wheel rim squarely and make full contact with the rim? Do the brakes begin to engage within an inch
of bra ke l ever move ment? Can yo u apply full b raking force at the levers without h aving them to uch the
handlebar? If not, your brakes need adjustment. Do not ride the bike until the b rakes are properly adjusted by a
professional bicycle mechanic.
Wheel retention system: Make sure the front and rear wheels are correctly secured. See Section 4.B.
Handlebar and saddle alignment: Make sure the saddle and handlebar stem are parallel to the bike’s center
line and clamped tight enough so that you can’t twist them out of alignment. See Sections 3.B and 3.C.
Handlebar e nds: Make sure th e h andlebar gri ps a re secure an d in go od condition. If not, have a professional
bicycle mech anic re place them. Make sure the han dlebar end s and extensi ons are plugg ed. If not, have a
professional bicycle mechanic plug them before you ride. If the handlebars have bar en d extensions, make sure
they are clamped tight enough so you can’t twist them.
WARNING: Loose or damaged han dlebar grips or exten sions can c ause you to lose control a nd fall.
Unplugged handlebars or ex tensions ca n cu t you and cause s erious injur y in an oth erwise minor
accident.
VERY IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Please also read and become thoroughly familiar with the important
information on the lifespan of your bicycle and its components in Appendix B on Page 36.
D. First Ride
When you bu ckle on your helmet and g o for your first fam iliarization ride on yo ur new bicycle, be sure to pick a
controlled environment, away from cars, other cyclists, obstacles or other ha zards. Ride to become fam iliar with
the controls, features and performance of your new bike.
Familiarize yourself with the braking action of the bike (see Section 4.D). Test the brakes at slow speed, putting
your weight toward the rear and gently applying the brakes, rear brake first. Sudden or excessive application of
the front brake could pitch you over the handlebars. Applying brakes too hard can lock up a wheel, which could
cause you to lose control and fall. Skidding is an example of what can happen when a wheel locks up. If your
bicycle has toeclips or clipless pedals, practice getting in and out of the pedals. See paragraph B.4 above and
Section 4.E.4.
If your bike has suspension, familiarize yourself with how the suspension responds to brake application and rider
weight shifts. See paragraph B.6 above and Section 4.F.
Practice shifting the g ears (see Section 4.D). Remember to never move the shifter whil e pedaling backward, nor
pedal backwards immediately after having moved the shifter. This could jam the chain and cause serious damage
to the bicycle.
Check out the handling and response of the bike; and check the comfort.
If you have any que stions, or if you fe el anything ab out t he bike i s n ot a s it should be, consult a p rofessional
bicycle mechanic before you ride again.
2. SAFETY
A. The Basics
WARNING: The area in w hich you ride may require sp ecific safety devices. It is your responsibility to
familiarize yourself with the la ws of the area where you rid e and to compl y with al l applicable la ws,
including properly equipping yourself and your bike as the law requires.
Observe all local bic ycle laws and regulations. Observe regulations about bicycle lighting, licensing of
bicycles, r iding on sidew alks, laws regulating bike path and trail use, helmet la ws, child carrier laws,
and/or special bicycle traffic laws. It’s your responsibility to know and obey the laws.
1. Always wear a cycling helmet which meets the latest certification standards and is appropriate for the type
of riding you do. Always follow the helmet manufacturer’s instructions for fit, use and care of your helmet.
Most serious bicycle injuries involve head injuries which might have been avoided if the rider had worn an
appropriate helmet.
WARNING: Failure to wear a helmet when riding may result in serious injury or death.
2. Always perform the Mechanical Safety Check (Section 1.C) before you get on a bike.
3. Be thorou ghly familiar with the control s of your bicycle: bra kes (Sectio n 4.D. ); pedal s (Se ction 4.F.);
shifting (Section 4.E.)
4. Be ca reful to kee p bo dy parts an d ot her objects away from the sha rp te eth of chai nrings, the moving
chain, the turning pedals and cranks, and the spinning wheels of your bicycle.
5. Always wear:
 Shoes that will stay on your feet and will grip the pedals.
 Make sure that shoe laces cannot get into moving parts, and never ride barefoot or in sandals.
 Bright, visible clothing that is not so loose that it can be tangled in the bicycle or snagged by objects at the
side of the road or trail.
 Protective eyewear, to protect against airborne dirt, dust and bugs — tinted wh en the sun is bright, clear
when it’s not.
6. Don’t jump with your bike. Jumping a bike can be fun; but it can put huge and unpredictable stress on the
bicycle and its components. Riders who insist on jumping their bikes risk serious damage to their bicycles
as well as to themselve s. Before you a ttempt to ju mp, do stunt ri ding or race with your bi ke, read a nd
understand Section 2.F.
7. Ride at a speed appropriate for conditions. Higher speed means higher risk.
B. Riding Safety
1. Obey all Rules of the Road and all local traffic laws.
2. You a re sharing the road or the path with oth ers — motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists. Respect
their rights.
3. Ride defensively. Always assume that others do not see you.
4. Look ahead, and be ready to avoid:
 Vehicles slowing or turning, entering the road or your lane ahead of you, or coming up behind you.
 Parked car doors opening.
 Pedestrians stepping out.
 Children or pets playing near the road.
 Potholes, sewer grating, railroad tracks, expansion joints, road or s idewalk construction, debris and other
obstructions that could cause you to swerve into traffic, catch your wheel or cause you to have an accident.
 The many other hazards and distractions which can occur on a bicycle ride.
5. Ride in designated bike lanes, on designated bike paths or as close to the edge of the road as possible,
in the direction of traffic flow or as directed by local governing laws.
6. Stop at stop signs and traffic lights; slow down and look both ways at street intersections. Remember that
a bicycle always loses in a collision with a motor vehicle, so be prepared to yield even if you have the
right of way.
7. Use approved hand signals for turning and stopping.
8. Never ride with headphones. They mask traffic sounds and emergency vehicle sirens, distract you from
concentrating on what’s going on around you, and their wires can tangle in the moving parts of the
bicycle, causing you to lose control.
9. Never carry a passenger, unless it is a small child wearing an approved helmet and secured in a correctly
mounted child carrier or a child-carrying trailer.
10. Never carry anything which obstructs your vision or your complete control of the bicycle, or which could
become entangled in the moving parts of the bicycle.
11. Never hitch a ride by holding on to another vehicle.
12. Don’t do stunts, wheelies or jumps. If you intend to do stunts, wheelies, jumps or go racing with your bike
despite our advice not to, read Section 2.F, Downhill, Stunt or Competition Biking, now. Think carefully
about your skills before deciding to take the large risks that go with this kind of riding.
13. Don’t weave through traffic or make any moves that may surprise people with whom you are sharing the
road.
14. Observe and yield the right of way.
15. Never ride your bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
16. If possible, avoid riding in bad weather, when visibility is obscured, at dawn, dusk or in the dark, or when
extremely tired. Each of these conditions increases the risk of accident.
C. Off Road Safety
We recommend that children not ride on rough terrain unless they are accompanied by an adult.
1. The variable conditions and hazards of off-road riding require close attention and specific skills. Start
slowly on easier terrain and build up your skills. If your bike has suspension, the increased speed you
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
may develop also increases your risk of losing control and falling. Get to know how to handle your bike
safely before trying increased speed or more difficult terrain.
Wear safety gear appropriate to the kind of riding you plan to do.
Don’t ride alone in remote areas. Even when riding with others, make sure that someone knows where
you’re going and when you expect to be back.
Always take along some kind of identification, so that people know who you are in case of an accident;
and take along some cash for food, a cool drink or an emergency phone call.
Yield right of way to pedestrians and animals. Ride in a way that does not frighten or endanger them, and
give them enough room so that their unexpected moves don’t endanger you.
Be prepared. If something goes wrong while you’re riding off-road, help may not be close.
Before you attempt to jump, do stunt riding or race with your bike, read and understand Section 2.F.
Off Road Respect
Obey the local laws regulating where and how you can ride off-road, and respect private property. You may b e
sharing the trail with others — hikers, equestrians, other cyclists. Respect their rights. Stay on the designated trail.
Don’t contribute to erosion by riding in mud or with unnecessary sliding. Don’t disturb the ecosystem by cutting
your own trail or short cut through vegetation or streams. It is your responsi bility to minimize your impact on the
environment. Leave things as you found them; and always take out everything you brought in.
D. Wet Weather Riding
WARNING: Wet weather impairs trac tion, braki ng and v isibility, both for the bicy clist and for other
vehicles sharing the road. The risk of an accident is dramatically increased in wet conditions.
Under wet conditions, the stopping power of your brakes (as well as the brakes of other vehicles sharing the road)
is dramatically reduced and your tires don’t grip nearly as well. This makes it harder to control speed and easier to
lose control. To make sure that you can slow down and stop safely in wet con ditions, ride more slowly and apply
your brakes earlier and more gradually than you would under normal, dry conditions. See also Section 4.D.
E. Night Riding
Riding a bicycle at night is much mo re dan gerous than riding during the d ay. A bicyclist is very difficult for
motorists and pedestrians to see. Therefore, children should never ride at d awn, at d usk or at night. Ad ults who
choose to a ccept the grea tly incre ased risk of riding at dawn, at d usk o r at nig ht need to ta ke extra care both
riding and choosing specialized equipment which helps reduce that risk. Consult your local bike shop about night
riding safety equipment.
WARNING: Reflectors a re not a su bstitute fo r re quired lights . Riding at d awn, at du sk, at night o r a t
other times of poor visibility without an adequate bic ycle lighting s ystem and without reflectors is
dangerous and may result in serious injury or death.
Bicycle reflectors are designed to pick up and reflect car lights and street lights in a way that may help you to b e
seen and recognized as a moving bicyclist.
CAUTION: Check re flectors a nd their moun ting brackets re gularly to make s ure th at they are cl ean,
straight, un broken and secur ely mounted. Hav e a pro fessional bic ycle mechanic r eplace d amaged
reflectors and straighten or tighten any that are bent or loose.
The mou nting bra ckets of front and re ar refle ctors are often de signed a s brake straddle cable safety catche s
which prevent the straddle cable from catching on the tire tread if the cable jumps out of its yoke or breaks.
WARNING: Do not r emove the fron t or rear re flectors or reflector brackets from your bicycle. They are
an integral part of the bicycle’s safety system.
Removing the re flectors redu ces y our v isibility to o thers u sing th e roa dway. Being stru ck by other
vehicles may result in serious injury or death.
The reflector brackets may protect y ou from a brake straddle cable catching on the tire in the event of
brake c able failure. If a brake s traddle cable catches o n the tir e, it c an cau se th e wheel to stop
suddenly, causing you to lose control and fall.
If you choo se to ride under conditions of poor vi sibility, check and be sure you comply with all local la ws about
night riding, and take the following strongly recommended additional precautions:
 Purchase a nd install batt ery or ge nerator p owered hea d a nd tail lights which m eet all re gulatory
requirements and provide adequate visibility.
 Wear light co lored, reflective clothing a nd accessories, su ch as a refle ctive vest, refle ctive arm and l eg
bands, reflect ive stripes on your helmet, flashing lights attached to your body and/or your bi cycle ... any
reflective device or light source that moves will help you get the attention of approaching motorists,
pedestrians and other traffic.
 Make sure y our clothing or anything you may be carrying on the bicycle does not obstruct a refle ctor or
light.
 Make sure that your bicycle is equipped with correctly positioned and securely mounted reflectors.
While riding at dawn, at dusk or at night:
 Ride slowly.
 Avoid dark areas and areas of heavy or fast-moving traffic.
 Avoid road hazards.
 If possible, ride on familiar routes.
If riding in traffic:
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

Be predictable. Ride so that drivers can see you and predict your movements.
Be alert. Ride defensively and expect the unexpected.
If you plan to ride in t raffic often, ask yo ur local bike shop about traffic safety cl asses or a good book on
bicycle traffic safety.
F. Competition Riding
If you engage in racing or competition riding you voluntarily assume an increased risk of injury or death.
Not all bi cycles are d esigned fo r th ese types of riding, an d tho se that are m ay not be suitable fo r all types of
aggressive riding. Check with Rouse Bicycles about the suitability of your bicycle before engaging in competition
riding.
When riding fast downhill, you can reach speeds achieved by motorcycles, and therefore face similar hazards and
risks. Have your bicycle and e quipment carefully in spected by a qualified mechanic a nd b e su re it i s i n perfect
condition. Consult with expert riders, area site personnel and race officials on conditions and equipment advisable
at the site where you plan to ride. Wear appropriate safety gear, including an approved full face helmet, full finger
gloves, and body armor. Ultimately, it is your re sponsibility to have prope r e quipment and to be fa miliar with
course conditions.
WARNING: Although many catalogs, advertisements and articles about bicycling depict riders engaged
in various forms of r acing, this ac tivity is extremely dangerous, increases your risk of injur y or death,
and increa ses the sev erity of an y injury. Remember tha t th e action de picted is bei ng perform ed by
professionals with many years of trai ning and ex perience. Know your limits and al ways wear a hel met
and oth er a ppropriate s afety gear. Even with s tate-of-the-art protectiv e safe ty gear, you could be
seriously injured or killed when jumping, stunt riding, riding downhill at high speed or in competition.
WARNING: Bicycles and bic ycle parts have limitation s with regard to s trength and i ntegrity, and this
type of riding can exceed those limitations.
G. Aerobars
Caution should be exercised when utilizing aerobars. Although highly effective at de creasing aerodynamic drag,
aerobars al so decrea se t he ride r’s a bility to steer and brake relative to standa rd ha ndlebars. It is highly
recommended that you p ractice riding in a smooth, flat area away from oth er riders and traffic. Once mastered,
aerobars are never recommended for use in a group or in heavy traffic.
H. Changing Components or Adding Accessories
There are many components and accessories available to enhance the comfort, performance and appearance of
your bicycle. However, if you change components or add acce ssories, you do so at yo ur own risk. The bicycle’s
manufacturer may not have tested that compon ent or acce ssory for compati bility, reliability or safety on your
bicycle. Before installi ng any comp onent or acce ssory, incl uding a different size tire, m ake sure tha t it is
compatible with your bi cycle by che cking with ROUSE BICYCLES . Be su re to read, understand a nd follo w th e
I. Maximum Weight
Rouse frames have been designed and tested to withstand very high loads, and as a result we have not traditionally
assigned maximum weight restrictions for our frames. However, your bicycle is also made up of numerous individual
components, all of which have their own unique weight limits. As a result, Rouse recommends that you consult the
component manufacturer to ensure that all components selected for use on your bicycle are suitable and safe for your
intended use.
instructions that accompany the products you purchase for your bicycle. See also Appendix A, p. 32 and B, p. 33.
WARNING: Failure to conf irm com patibility, pr operly install, opera te and maintain an y component or
accessory can result in serious injury or death.
WARNING: Changing th e compon ents on your bike with o ther th an ge nuine repla cement p arts ma y
compromise the sa fety of your bic ycle and ma y void the w arranty. Check with ROUSE BI CYCLES
before changing the components on your bike.
3. FIT
NOTE: Correct fit is an essential element of bicycling safety, performance and comfort. Making the adjustments to
your bi cycle which re sult i n co rrect fit for your b ody and ridi ng condi tions re quires expe rience, skill an d spe cial
tools. Alway s have a p rofessional bi cycle me chanic make the a djustments o n your bicycle; or, if you have the
experience, skill and tools, have a professional bicycle mechanic check your work before riding.
The fit suggestions below are based solely on safety co ncerns. They specify the absolute minimum standards to
ride the bike, but do not g uarantee optimal performance. ROUSE BICYCES uses more elaborate fit requirements
to ensure optimal performance and comfort.
WARNING: If your bicycle does not fi t properly, you may lose control and fall. If your new bike doesn’t
fit, ask ROUSE BICYCLES to exchange it before you ride it.
A. Standover Height
Standover height is the basic ele ment of bike fit (see fig. 2). It is the distance from the gro und to the top of the
bicycle’s frame at that point where you r crotch is when straddling the bike. To check for correct stan dover height,
straddle the bike while wearing the kind of shoes in which you’ll be riding, and bounce vigorously on your heels. If
your crotch touches the frame, the bike is too big for you. Don’t even ride the bike around the block. A bike which
you ride only on paved surfaces and never take off-road should give you a mini mum standover height clearance
of two inches (5 cm). A bike that you’ll ride on un paved surfaces should give yo u a minimum of three inches (7.5
cm) of standover height clearance.
B. Saddle Position
Correct saddle adjustment is an important factor in getting the most perfo rmance and comfort from
your bi cycle. If the sadd le po sition i s not comfortable fo r yo u, conta ct a profe ssional bicycl e
mechanic.
The saddle can be adjusted in three directions:
1. Up and down adjustment. To check for correct saddle height (fig. 3)
 sit on the saddle;
 place one heel on a pedal;
 rotate the crank until the pedal with your heel on it is in the down position and the crank
arm is parallel to the seat tube.
If your leg is not completely straight, your saddle height needs to be adjusted. If your hip s must
rock for the heel to reach the pedal, the saddle is too high. If your leg is bent at the knee with your
heel on the pedal, the saddle is too low.
Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to set the saddl e for your optimal riding position and to show
you how to make this adjustment. If you choose to make your own saddle height adjustment:
 loosen the seat post clamp
 raise or lower the seat post in the seat tube
 make sure the saddle is straight fore and aft
 re-tighten the seat post clamp to the recommended torque (Appendix D or the
manufacturer’s instructions).
Once the sa ddle is at the corre ct height, make su re that the seat post do es not project fro m the
frame beyond its “Minimum Insertion” or “Maximum Extension” mark (fig. 4).
Seat posts may easily be cut down if a lowe r seat height is desired as long as minimum insertion is maintained. A
standard fine tooth hacksaw will work. Be certain to remove any burrs on the post before reinserting into the
frame.
WARNING: If your seat is not inser ted in the se at tub e as d escribed in B.1 abov e, t he sea t post ma y
break, which could cause you to lose control and fall.
2. Front and back adjustment. The saddle can be adjusted forward or back to help you get the optimal position on
the bike. Ask a professio nal bicycle mechanic to set the saddle for your optima l riding po sition and to sh ow you
how to m ake this adjustment. If you choose to make your o wn front and ba ck a djustment, ma ke sure t hat the
clamp mechanism is clamping on the straight pa rt of t he saddle rails and i s not touching th e curved part of the
rails, a nd tha t you are usi ng the re commended torq ue on the clamping fa stener(s) (Ap pendix C or the manufacturer’s instructions).
3. Saddle angle adjustment. Most people prefer a horizontal saddle; but some riders like the saddle nose angled
up or down just a little. A p rofessional bicycle mechanic can adjust saddle angle or teach you how to do it. If you
choose to make your own saddle angle adjustment and you have a single bolt saddle clamp on your seat post, it
is critical that you loosen the clamp bolt sufficiently to allow any serrations on the mechanism to disengage before
changing the saddle’s angle, and then that the serrations fully re-engage before you tighten t he clamp bolt to the
recommended torque (Appendix C or the manufacturer’s instructions).
WARNING: When makin g sad dle an gle adjus tments with a single bolt s addle clamp , al ways che ck to
make sure that the serrations on the mating surfaces of the clamp are not worn. Worn serrations on the
clamp can a llow the saddle to mov e, causing you to lose control and fall. Always tighten fasteners to
the correct torque. Bolts that ar e too tight can s tretch and deform. Bolts that are too loose can m ove
and fatigue. Either mistake can lead to a sudden failure of the bolt, causing you to lose control and fall.
Small cha nges in saddl e positio n ca n have a su bstantial effect on perfo rmance an d comf ort. To find your be st
saddle position, make only one adjustment at a time.
WARNING: After any saddle a djustment, be su re that th e saddle adjusting me chanism is pro perly
seated and tightened before riding. A loose saddle clamp or seat post clamp can cause damage to the
seat post, or can cause y ou to lose control an d fall. A correctly tightened saddle adjusting mechanism
will allow no saddle m ovement in an y d irection. Periodically check to make sure that the sa ddle
adjusting mechanism is properly tightened.
If, in spite of carefully adjusting the saddle height, tilt and fore-and-aft position, your saddle is still uncomfortable,
you may ne ed a differen t saddl e de sign. Saddle s, like p eople, come i n m any different sha pes, si zes a nd
resilience. Your local bike shop can help you select a saddle which, when correctly adjusted for your body and
riding style, will be comfortable.
WARNING: Some people have claimed that extended riding with a saddle which is incorrectly adjusted
or which does not support your pelvic area correctly can cause short-term or long-term injury to nerves
and blood vessels, or even impotence. If your saddle causes you pain, nu mbness or other discomfort,
listen to y our bod y and stop riding until you se e your local bike shop about saddle adjustm ent or a
different saddle.
C. Handlebar Height and Angle
Your bike is equipped with a “threadless” stem, which clamps on to the outside of the steerer tube. A professional
bicycle mechanic may be able to change handlebar height by moving height adjustment spacers from below the
stem to above the stem, or vice versa. Otherwise, you’ll have to get a stem of different length or rise. Consult a
professional bicycle mechanic. Do not attempt to do this yourself, as it requires special knowledge.
WARNING: Installing more than 40mm (1.5”) stack height of headset spacers can result in damage to
the fork’s steerer tube, which could cause you to lose control and result in serious injury or death.
WARNING: On some bicycles, changing the stem or stem height can affect the tension of the front
brake cable, locking the front brake or creating excess cable slack which can make the front brake
inoperable. If the front brake pads move in towards the wheel rim or out away from the wheel rim when
the stem or stem height is changed, the brakes must be correctly adjusted before you ride.
WARNING: The top of the stem where fitted over the fork steerer tube must NOT extend more then 5mm
above the top of the steerer. If the stem is extended beyond this height the stem may break or damage
the fork’s steerer tube which could cause you to lose control and result in serious injury or death.
WARNING: Always tighten fasteners to the correct torque. Bolts that are too tight can stretch and
deform. Bolts that are too loose can move and fatigue. Either mistake can lead to a sudden failure of
the bolt, causing you to lose control and fall.
WARNING: An ins ufficiently tighten ed s tem cla mp bolt, ha ndlebar clamp bolt o r bar en d e xtension
clamping bolt may compromise steer ing action, which could cause you to lose con trol and fall. P lace
the front wheel of the bi cycle between your legs and attempt to t wist the handlebar/stem assembly. If
you can twist the stem in relation to the front wheel, turn the handlebars in relation to the stem, or turn
the bar end extensions in relation to the handlebar, the bolts are insufficiently tightened.
D.Control Position Adjustments
The a ngle of the brake a nd shift co ntrol levers a nd their p osition on th e ha ndlebars can be chan ged. Ask a
professional bicycle me chanic to make the adju stments fo r you. If you choo se to ma ke yo ur o wn control lever
angle adjustment, be sure to re-tighten the clamp fasteners to the recommended torque (Appendix B).
E. Brake reach
Many bike s have bra ke l evers which can be a djusted for re ach. If you have small hand s or find it difficult to
squeeze the brake levers, a profe ssional bicycle mechanic can either adjust the reach or fit sho rter reach brake
levers.
WARNING: The shorter the brake lever reach, th e more critical it is to have correctly adjusted brakes,
so th at full braking p ower ca n be applied within av ailable brak e lev er trav el. Brake lev er trav el
insufficient to apply full braking power can result in loss of control, which may result in serious i njury
or death.
4. TECHNICAL
It’s important to your safety, performance and enjoyment to understand how things work on your bicycle. We urge
you to ask a professional bicycle mechanic how to do the things described in this section before you attempt them
yourself, and that you have a professional bicycle mechanic check your work before you ride the bike. If you have
even the sli ghtest do ubt as to whet her you un derstand something in this se ction of the Manual, talk to a
professional bicycle mechanic.
A. Assembly
ROUSE bicy cles are ship ped to you partially asse mbled. A pro fessional bicycle me chanic sho uld complete the
final assembly of your bicycles and perform all adjustments to make it fit you. It is strongly recommended that you
allow a professional bi cycle me chanic t o pe rform th e a ssembly and fitting operations, as it re quires specifi c
technical knowledge of each part appropriate tools, and the understanding of interactions of various materials.
B. Wheels
Bicycle wheels are designed to be removable for easier tr ansportation and for repair of a ti re puncture. In most
cases, the wheel axles are in serted into sl ots, called “d ropouts” in the fo rk a nd fra me, b ut some susp ension
mountain bikes use what is called a “through axle” wheel mounting system.
Wheels are secured using a “Skewer.”
It is very important that you know how to secure the wheels correctly, and that you know how to apply the correct
clamping force that safely secures the wheel. Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to instruct you in correct wheel
removal and installation, and ask him to give you any available manufacturer’s instructions.
WARNING: Riding with an improper ly secured w heel can a llow the wheel to wobble or fall off the
bicycle, which can cause serious injury or death. Therefore, it is essential that you:
1. Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to help you make sure you know how to install and remove
your wheels safely.
2. Understand and apply the correct technique for clamping your wheel in place.
3. Each time, before you ride the bike, check that the wheel is securely clamped. The clamping
action of a correctly secured wheel must emboss the surfaces of the dropouts.
1. Secondary Retention Devices
Most bi cycles have front f orks which utilize a secondary wheel retention devic e to reduce the ri sk of the wheel
disengaging from the fork i f the wheel i s incorrectly secured. Secondary retention devices are not a su bstitute for
correctly securing your front wheel.
Secondary retention devices fall into two basic categories:
a. The clip-on type is a part which the manufacturer adds to the front wheel hub or front fork.
b. The integral type is molded, cast or machined into the outer faces of the front fork dropouts.
Ask ROUSE BICYCLES to explain the particular secondary retention device on your bike.
WARNING: Do not remove or disable th e secondary retention device. As its name implies, it serves as
a backup for a critical adjustment. If the wheel is not secured correctly, the secondary retention device
can re duce the ris k of the wheel disenga ging from the fork. Remov ing or disabli ng th e se condary
retention device may also void the warranty. Secondary retention devices are no t a s ubstitute for correctly securing your wheel. Failure to pro perly secure th e wheel c an c ause the wheel to wobble or
disengage, which could cause you to lose control and fall, resulting in serious injury or death.
2. Wheels With Cam Action Systems
There are cu rrently two types of over -center cam wheel retention mechanisms: the traditio nal over-cent er cam
and the cam -and-cup system. Both use an over-center cam action to clamp the bike’s wheel in place. Your
bicycle may have a cam-and-cup front wheel retention system and a traditional rear wheel cam action system.
a. Adjusting the traditional cam action mechanism
The wheel hub is clam ped in place by the force of the over-center cam pu shing against one d ropout and p ulling
the ten sion a djusting nut, by way of th e ske wer, a gainst the other d ropout. The amo unt o f clampin g fo rce i s
controlled by the tension adjusting nut. Turning the tension adjusting nut clockwise while keeping the cam lever
from rotating increa ses clamping fo rce; turning it counterclockwise while keeping the cam lever fro m rotating
reduces clamping force. Less than half a turn of the t ension adjusting nut can make the diff erence between safe
clamping force and unsafe clamping force.
WARNING: The full force of the cam action is needed to clamp the wheel securely. Holding the nut with
one hand and turning th e le ver like a wing nut with the other hand un til e verything is as tight a s you
can get it will not clamp a cam action wheel safely in the dro pouts. See also the first WARNING in this
Section, p. 20.
b. Adjusting the cam-and-cup mechanism
The cam-and-cup system on your front wheel will have been correctly adjusted for your bicycle by a professional
bicycle mechanic. Ask a p rofessional bicycle mechanic to ch eck the adjustment every six months. Do not use a
cam-and-cup front wheel on any bicycle other than the one for which a professional bicycle mechanic adjusted it.
3. Removing and Installing wheels
(1) If your bike has cam action front wheel retention, move the cam lever from the locked or CLOSED position to
the OPEN position. If your bike has through bolt or bolt-on front wheel retention, loosen the fastener(s) a few turns
counter-clockwise using an appropriate wrench, lock key or the integral lever.
(2) If your front fork has a clip-on type secondary retention device, disengage it and go to
step (4). If your front fork has an integral secondary retention device, and a traditional cam
action system loosen the tension adjusting nut enough to allow removing the wheel from
the dropouts. If your front wheel uses a cam-and-cup system, squeeze the cup and cam
lever together while removing the wheel. No rotation of any part is necessary with the camand-cup system. You may need to tap the top of the wheel with the palm of your hand to
release the wheel from the front fork.
(3) If your bike has cam action front wheel retention, move the cam lever so that it curves
away from the wheel. This is the OPEN position (fig. 6). If your bike has through bolt or
bolt-on front wheel retention, go to the next step.
(4) With the steering fork facing forward, insert the wheel between the fork blades so that the axle seats firmly at
the top of the fork dropouts. The cam lever, if there is one, should be on rider’s left side of the bicycle. If your bike
has a clip-on type secondary retention device, engage it.
(5) If you have a traditional cam action mechanism: holding the cam lever in the ADJUST position with your right
hand, tighten the tension adjusting nut with your left hand until it is finger tight against the fork dropout. If you have
a cam-and-cup system: the nut and cup will have snapped into the recessed area of the fork dropouts and no
adjustment should be required.
(6) While pushing the wheel firmly to the top of the slots in the fork dropouts, and at the same time centering the
wheel rim in the fork:
(a) With a cam action system, move the cam lever upwards and swing it into the CLOSED
position. The lever should no w b e p arallel to th e f ork bla de an d curve d to ward the wheel. To apply
enough clamping force, you should have to wrap your fingers around the fork blade for leverage, and the
lever should leave a clear imprint in the palm of your hand.
(b) With a through-bolt or bolt-on system, tighten the fasteners to the torque specifications in Appendix D
or the hub manufacturer’s instructions.
NOTE: If, on a traditional cam action system, the lever cannot be pushed all the way to a position parallel to the
fork blade, return the lever to the OPEN position. Then turn the tension adjusting nut counterclockwise onequarter turn and try tightening the lever again. With a through-bolt or bolt-on system, tighten the fasteners to the
torque specifications.
WARNING: Securely clamping the wheel with a cam action retention device takes considerable force. If
you can fully close the cam lever without wrapping your fingers around the fork blade for leverage, the
lever does not leave a clear imprint in the palm of your hand, and the serrations on the wheel fastener
do not emboss the surfaces of the dropouts, the tension is insufficient. Open the lever; turn the tension
adjusting nut clockwise a quarter turn; then try again. See also the first WARNING in this Section.
(7) If you disengaged the brake quick-release mechanism above, re-engage it to restore correct brake pad-to-rim
clearance.
(8) Spin the wheel to make sure that it is centered in the frame and clears the brake pads; then squeeze the brake
lever and make sure that the brakes are operating correctly.
Removing a Rear Wheel
(1) If you have a multi-speed bike with a derailleur gear system: shift the rear derailleur to high gear (the smallest,
outermost rear sprocket).
(2) If your bike has rim brakes, disengage the brake’s quick-release mechanism to increase the clearance
between the wheel rim and the brake pads.
(3) On a derailleur gear system, pull the derailleur body back with your right hand.
(4) With a cam action mechanism, move the quick-release lever to the OPEN position. With a through bolt or bolt
on mechanism, loosen the fastener(s) with an appropriate wrench, lock lever or integral lever; then push the
wheel forward far enough to be able to remove the chain from the rear sprocket.
(5) Lift the rear wheel off the ground a few inches and remove it from the rear dropouts.
Installing a Rim Brake Rear Wheel
(1) With a cam action system, move the cam lever to the OPEN position. The lever should be on the side of the
wheel opposite the derailleur and freewheel sprockets.
(2) On a derailleur bike, make sure that the rear derailleur is still in its outermost, high gear, position; then pull the
derailleur body back with your right hand. Put the chain on top of the smallest freewheel sprocket.
(3) On single-speed, remove the chain from the front sprocket, so that you have plenty of
slack in the chain. Put the chain on the rear wheel sprocket.
(4) Then, insert the wheel into the frame dropouts and pull it all the way in to the dropouts.
(5) With a cam action system, move the cam lever upwards and swing it into the CLOSED
position (fig. 7). The lever should now be parallel to the seat stay or chain stay and curved
toward the wheel. To apply enough clamping force, you should have to wrap your fingers
around the fork blade for leverage, and the lever should leave a clear imprint in the palm
of your hand.
NOTE: If, on a traditional cam action system, the lev er cannot be pushed all the way to a position parallel to the
seat stay o r chai n stay, retu rn the lever to th e OPEN position. Th en turn th e te nsion adj usting nut
counterclockwise one-quarter turn and try tightening the lever again.
WARNING: Securely clamping the wheel with a cam action retention device takes considerable force. If
you can fully close the cam lever without wrapping your fingers around the se at stay or c hain stay for
leverage, the lever does not leav e a clear imprint in the palm of your hand, and the s errations on the
wheel fastener do not emboss the surfaces of the dropouts, the tension is insufficient. Open the lever;
turn the tension adjusting nut clockwise a quarter turn; then try again. S ee also the first WARNING in
this Section.
(6) If you disengaged the brake quick-release mechanism in above, re-engage it to restore correct brake pad-torim clearance.
(7) Spin the wheel to make sure that it is centered in the frame and clears the brake pads; then squeeze the brake
lever and make sure that the brakes are operating correctly.
C. Seat Post Cam Action Clamp
WARNING: Riding with an improperly tightened seat post can allow the saddle to tu rn or mov e and
cause you to lose control and fall. Therefore:
1. Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to help you make sure you know how to correctly clamp your
seat post.
2. Understand and apply the correct technique for clamping your seat post.
3. Before you ride the bike, first check that the seat post is securely clamped.
D. Brakes
Your ROUSE Bicycle uses rim brakes, which operate by squeezing the wheel rim between two brake pads.
WARNING:
1. Riding with improperly adjusted brakes, worn brake pads, or wheels on which the rim wear mark
is visible is dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.
2. Applying brakes too hard or too suddenly can lock up a wheel, which could cause you to lose
control and fall. Sudden or excessive application of the front brake may pitch the rider over the
handlebars, which may result in serious injury or death.
3. See the brake manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care of your brakes, and for when
brake pads must be replaced. If you do not have the manufacturer’s instructions, see a
professional bicycle mechanic or contact the brake manufacturer.
4. If replacing worn or damaged parts, use only manufacturer-approved genuine replacement parts.
1. Brake Controls and Features
It’s very important to your safety t hat you learn and remem ber which b rake le ver co ntrols whi ch brake on your
bike. Traditionally, the righ t brake lever controls the rear brake and the left bra ke lever controls the front brake;
but, to make sure your bi ke’s brakes a re set up this way, squeeze one brake lever and lo ok to see whi ch brake,
front or rear, engages. Now do the same with the other brake lever.
Make sure that your hand s can reach and squeeze the bra ke levers comfortably. If your hand s are too small to
operate the levers comfortably, consul t a profe ssional bicycl e me chanic b efore riding the bi ke. The leve r rea ch
may be adjustable; or you may need a different brake lever design.
Most rim b rakes have so me form of q uick-release mech anism to allow the b rake pa ds to clear the tire when a
wheel is re moved or rein stalled. Whe n the bra ke quick relea se is in the op en po sition, the brake s m ay be
inoperative. Ask a p rofessional bi cycle mechani c to ma ke sure that you u nderstand th e way the brake qui ck
release works on your bi ke (figs 8 and 9) and ch eck each time to make sure both bra kes work corre ctly before
you get on the bike.
2. How Brakes Work
The braking action of a bi cycle is a fun ction of the fricti on between the bra king surfaces. To make sure that you
have maxim um frictio n a vailable, ke ep your wheel ri ms and b rake pa ds and calipe r cl ean a nd fre e of dirt,
lubricants, waxes or polishes.
Brakes are designed to control your speed, not just to stop
the bike. Maximum braking force for each wheel occurs at
the point just before the wheel “locks up” (stops rotating)
and starts to skid. Once the tire skids, you actually lose
most of your stopping force and all directional control. You
need to practice slowing and stopping smoothly without
locking up a wheel. The technique is called progressive
brake modulation. Instead of jerking the brake lever to the
position where you think you’ll generate appropriate braking
force, squeeze the lever, progressively increasing the
braking force. If you feel the wheel begin to lock up, release pressure just a little to keep the wheel rotating just
short of lockup. It’s important to develop a feel for the amount of brake lever pressure required for each wheel at
different speeds and on different surfaces. To better understand this, experiment a little by walking your bike and
applying different amounts of pressure to each brake lever, until the wheel locks.
When you apply one or both brakes, the bike begins to slow, but your body wants to continue at the speed at
which it was going. This causes a transfer of weight to the front wheel (or, under heavy braking, around the front
wheel hub, which could send you flying over the handlebars).
A wheel with more weight on it will accept greater brake pressure before lockup; a wheel with less weight will lock
up with le ss brake pressure. So, as yo u apply brakes an d y our weight is tran sferred forward, you nee d to shift
your body toward the rear of the bi ke, to transfer weight back on to the rear wheel; and at the sam e time, you
need to both decrea se rear braking and increase front brak ing force. This is ev en more imp ortant on de scents,
because descents shift weight forward.
Two keys to effective sp eed control and safe stopping are con trolling wheel l ockup and weight tran sfer. This
weight transfer is even more pronounced if yo ur bike has a f ront suspension fork. Front suspension “dips” under
braking, in creasing the wei ght tran sfer (see al so Se ction 4.D). Practice bra king and weight transfe r tech niques
where there is no traffic or other hazards and distractions.
Everything changes when you ride on loose surfaces or in wet weather. It will take longer to stop on loose
surfaces or in wet weather. Tire adhesion is reduced, so the wheels have less cornering and braking traction and
can lock up with less brake force. Moisture or dirt on the brake pads reduces their ability to grip. The way to
maintain control on loose or wet surfaces is to go more slowly.
E. Shifting Gears
Your multi-speed bicycle will have a derailleur drivetrain
1. How a derailleur drivetrain works
If your bicycle has a derailleur drivetrain, the gear-changing mechanism will have:
•
•
•
•
•
•
a rear cassette or freewheel sprocket cluster
a rear derailleur
usually a front derailleur
one or two shifters
one, two or three front sprockets called chainrings
a drive chain
a. Shifting Gears
There a re several different types and styles of shifti ng contro ls: levers, t wist grips, triggers, combination
shift/brake controls and push-buttons. Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to explain the type of shifting controls
that are on your bike, and to show you how they work.
The vocabulary of shifting can be confusing. A downshift is a shift to a “lower” or “slower” gear, one which is
easier to pedal. An upshift is a shift to a “higher”or “faster”, harder to pedal gear. What’s confusing is that what’s
happening at the front derailleur is the opposite of what’s happening at the rear derailleur (for details, read the
instructions on Shifting the Rear Derailleur and Shifting the Front Derailleur below). For example, you can select a
gear which will make pedaling easier on a hill (make a downshift) in one of two ways: shift the chain down the
gear “steps” to a smaller gear at the
front, or up the gear “steps” to a lar ger gear at the rear. So, at th e rear g ear cluster, what is called a do wnshift
looks like an ups hift. The way to k eep things straight is to remember that s hifting the chain in towards the
centerline of the bike is for accelerating and climbing and is called a downshift.
Moving the chain out or away from the centerline of the bike is for speed and is
called an upshift.
Whether upshifting or downshifting,
the bicycl e derailleur sy stem desi gn
requires that the drive cha in be moving forwa rd a nd be und er at least some
tension. A derailleur will shift only if you are pedaling forward.
CAUTION: Never move the shifter while pedaling backward, nor pedal
backwards immediately after having moved the shifter. This could jam
the chain and cause serious damage to the bicycle.
b. Shifting the Rear Derailleur
The rear derailleur is controlled by the right shifter. The function of the rear
derailleur is to move the drive chain from one gear sprocket to another. The
smaller sprockets on the gear cluster produce higher gear ratios. Pedaling in
the higher gears requires greater pedaling effort, but takes you a greater
distance with each revolution of the pedal cranks. The larger sprockets
produce lower gear ratios. Using them requires less pedaling effort, but takes
you a shorter distance with each pedal crank revolution. Moving the chain from
a smaller sprocket of the gear cluster to a larger sprocket results in a
downshift. Moving the chain from a larger sprocket to a smaller sprocket results
in an upshift. In order for the derailleur to move the chain from one sprocket to
another, the rider must be pedaling forward.
c. Shifting the Front Derailleur:
The front derailleur, which is
controlled by the l eft shifter, shifts the chain between the la rger and smaller
chainrings. S hifting the chain o nto a smaller chain ring ma kes pedaling ea sier (a downshift). Shifting to a large r
chainring makes pedaling harder (an upshift).
d. Which Gear Should I Be In?
The combination of la rgest rear and smallest front g ears is for th e steepest hills (fig. 1 0). The smallest rear and
largest front combination is for the greatest speed. It is not necessary to shift gears in sequence. Instead, find the
“starting gear” which is right for your level of ability — a gear which is hard enough for quick acceleration but easy
enough to let you sta rt from a sto p without wobbling — and experiment with upshifting and downshifting to get a
feel for the different gea r combinations. At first, practi ce shifting where the re are no ob stacles, hazards or other
traffic, until you’ve built up your confidence. Learn to anticipat e the need to shi ft, and shift to a lower gear bef ore
the hill gets too steep. If y ou have difficulties with shifting, the p roblem could be mechanical adjustment. See a
professional bicycle mechanic for help.
Cross-chain gears should be avoided at all times as these will quickly wear out the chain, and possibly also the
derailleurs, chainrings, and sprockets. Cross-chain gears occur when the chain is on both the largest chainring at
the front and the largest sprocket at the rear, or alternately both the smallest chainring at the front and the
smallest sprocket at the rear (fig. 10). These positions orient the chain at an angle with respect to the centerline of
the bicycle, which places greater stress on the drivetrain components. There should be no need to resort to crosschain gears as equivalent ratios can be found by using other combinations of front and rear gears.
WARNING: Never shift a derailleur onto the largest or the smallest sprocket if the derailleur is not
shifting smoothly. The d erailleur may be out of ad justment and the chain c ould jam, causing y ou to
lose control and fall.
e. What If It Won’t Shift Gears?
If moving the shift control one click repeatedly fails to result in a smooth shift to the next gear chances are that the
mechanism is out of adjustment. Take the bike to a professional bicycle mechanic to have it adjusted.
F. Pedals
1. Toe Overlap is when your toe c an touch the front wheel when yo u turn the ha ndlebars to steer whil e a
pedal is in the fo rward most position. This is common on small-framed bicy cles, and is avoided by
keeping the i nside pedal u p and the out side pedal down when ma king sharp turns. On a ny bicycle, this
technique will also prevent the inside pedal from striking the ground in a turn.
WARNING: Toe Ov erlap could cause you to l ose control and fall. Ask a professional bic
ycle
mechanic to help you determine if the combination of frame size, crank arm length, pedal design and
shoes you w ill us e r esults in ped al ov erlap. Whether you hav e o verlap or not, you must k eep the
inside pedal up and the outside pedal down when making sharp turns.
2. Some bicycles come equipped with pedals that have sharp and potentially dangerous surfaces. These
surfaces are designed to add safety by increasing grip between the rider’s shoe and the pedal. If your
bicycle has this type of high-performance pedal, you must take extra care to avoid serious injury from the
pedals’ sharp surfaces. Based on your riding style or skill level, you may prefer a less aggressive pedal
design, or chose to ride with shin pads. Your local bike shop can show you a number of options and make
suitable recommendations.
3. Toeclips and straps are a means to keep feet correctly positioned and engaged with the pedals. The
toeclip positions the ball of the foot over the pedal spindle, which gives maximum pedaling power. The toe
strap, when tightened, keeps the foot engaged throughout the rotation cycle of the pedal. While toeclips
and straps give some benefit with any kind of shoe, they work most effectively with cycling shoes
designed for use with toeclips. A professional bicycle mechanic can explain how toeclips and straps work.
Shoes with deep treaded soles or welts which might make it more difficult for you to insert or remove your
foot should not be used with toeclips and straps.
WARNING: Getting into and out of pedals with toeclips and straps requires skill which can onl y be
acquired with practice. Until it b ecomes a reflex action, the technique requires concentration which
can distract your attention and cause you to lo se control and fall. Practice the use of toeclips and
straps where th ere a re no obs tacles, hazards o r tr affic. Keep th e s traps loose, a nd don’t tighten
them until your technique and con fidence in ge tting in and ou t of the ped als warrants it. Never ride
in traffic with your toe straps tight.
4. Clipless pedals (sometimes called “step-in pedals”) are another means to keep feet securely in the correct
position for maximum p edaling efficie ncy. Th ey ha ve a plate, called a “cle at,” on the sole of the sho e,
which clicks into a mating spring-loaded fixture on th e pedal. They only engage or disengage with a very
specific motion which mu st be practiced until it b ecomes i nstinctive. Clipless pe dals req uire shoes a nd
cleats which are compatible with the make and model pedal being used.
Many clipless pedals are designed to allow the rider to adjust the amount of force needed to engage or disengage
the foot. Follow the pedal manufacturer’s instructions, or ask a professional bicycle mechanic to show you how to
make this adjustment. Use the easiest setting until engaging and disengaging becomes a reflex action, but always
make sure that there is sufficient tension to prevent unintended release of your foot from the pedal.
WARNING: Clipless p edals are in tended for u se with shoes spe cifically made to fit them and are
designed to firmly keep the foot en gaged with the pedal. Do not use sho es which do not engage the
pedals correctly.
Practice i s required to l earn to e ngage and disengage t he fo ot safely. Until en gaging and di sengaging th e foot
becomes a reflex action, the technique requires concentration which can distract your attention and cause you to
lose control and fall. Practice engaging and disengaging clipless pedals in a pla ce where there are no ob stacles,
hazards o r traffic; and be sure to follow the ped al m anufacturer’s setu p and service in structions. If you do not
have the manufacturer’s instructions, contact the pedal manufacturer.
G. Tires and Tubes
1. Tires
Bicycle tires are available in many d esigns a nd specifications, rangin g from general-purpose designs to tire s
designed to perform best under very specific weather or terrain conditions. If, once you’ve gained experience with
your new bike, you feel that a different tire might bet ter suit you r riding ne eds, a professional bicycle m echanic
can help you select the most appropriate design.
The size, pressure rating, and on some high-performance tires the specific recommended use, are marked on the
sidewall of the tire (see fig. 11). The part of this information which is most important to you is Tire Pressure.
WARNING: Never inflate a tire beyond th e ma ximum pres sure mar ked on the tire’ s side wall o r your
wheelset. Exceeding the recommended maximum pressure may blow the tire o ff the rim, which could
cause damage to the bike and injury to the rider and bystanders.
The best and safest way to inflate a bicycle tire to the correct pressure is with a bicycle pump which has a built-in
pressure gauge.
WARNING: There is a safety risk in using gas station air hoses or other air compressors. They are not
made for bicycle tires. They move a large volume of air very rapidly, and will raise the pressure in your
tire very rapidly, which could cause the tube to explode.
Tire pressure is given either as maximum pressure or as a pressure range. How a tire performs under different
terrain or weather conditions depends largely on tire pressure. Inflating the tire to near its maximum
recommended pressure gives the lowest rolling resistance; but also produces the
harshest ride. High pressures work best on smooth, dry pavement.
Very low pressures, at the bottom of the recommended pressure range, give the
best performance on smooth, slick terrain such as hard-packed clay, and on deep,
loose surfaces such as deep, dry sand.
Tire p ressure that is too lo w for you r weight an d the riding conditions can cau se a
puncture of the tube by allowing the tire to deform sufficiently to pinch the inner tube
between the rim and the riding surface.
CAUTION: Pencil type automotive tire gauges can be inaccurate and should
not be relied upon for consistent, accurate pressure readings. Instead, use a
high quality dial gauge.
Ask a professional bicycle mechanic to recommend the best tire pressure for the
kind of riding you will most often do, and have him inflate your tires to that pressure.
Then, check inflation as described in Section 1.C so you’ll know how correctly
inflated tires should look and feel when you don’t have access to a gauge. Some
tires may need to be brought up to pressure every week or two, so it is important to
check your tire pressures before every ride. Some special high-performance tires
have unidirectional treads: their tread pattern is designed to work better in one direction than in the other. The
sidewall marking of a unidirectional tire will have an arrow showing the correct rotation direction. If your bike has
unidirectional tires, be sure that they are mounted to rotate in the correct direction.
2. Tire Valves
There are primarily two kinds of bicycle tube valves: The Schraeder Valve and the Presta Valve. The bicycle
pump you use must have the fitting appropriate to the valve stems on your bicycle.
The Schraeder valve (fig. 12) is like th e valve on a car ti re. To in flate a Sch raeder valve tub e, remove th e valve
cap and clamp the pump fitting onto the end of the valve stem. To let air out of a Schraeder valve, depress the pin
in the end of the valve stem with t he end of a key or othe r appropriate
object.
The Presta valve (fig. 1 2) has a narrower diameter and is only fo und on
bicycle tire s. To inflate a Presta valv e tube u sing a Pre sta h eaded
bicycle p ump, remove the valve cap; unscrew (co unterclockwise) the
valve stem lock nut; and push down on the valve stem to free it up. Then
push the pu mp hea d on to the valv e head, an d i nflate. To inflate a
Presta valve with a Schraeder pump fitting, you’ll need a Presta adapter
(available at your bike sh op) whi ch screws on to the valve ste m once
you’ve freed up the valve. The adapte r fits into the Schra eder p ump
fitting. Close the valve after inflation. To let air out of a Presta valve, open up the valve stem lock nut and depress
the valve stem.
3. Clincher and Tubular Tires
There are primarily two kinds of bicycles tires: The Clincher Tire and Tubular Tire. Clincher tires are shaped like a
“U” in cross section with wire or Kevlar beads on the outer edge of both sides that hook onto the rim and hold the
tire in pla ce on the wheel over the inn er tube. Tu bular tires do n ot have bea ds. The o uter edges of the tire are
sewn together around the inner tube, which is glued to the rim to hold the tire in place.
If you install wh eels with tubula r tire s on you r ROUSE bi cycle, it is ve ry i mportant that you read all safety
information a bout tubula rs from the wh eel and tire manuf acturers, in parti cular the inform ation on the proper
technique for gluing the tires to the rim. Imprope rly glued t ubular tires can separate from the rim causing serious
injury or death. It is up to the rider to take responsibility for ensuring their tubular wheels and tires are safe to use.
WARNING: We highly recommend that you carry a spare inner tube when you ride your bike. Patching
a tube is an emergency repair. If you do not apply the patch correctly or apply several patches, the tube
can fail, resulting in possible tube failure, which could cause you to loose control and fall. Replace a
patched tube as soon as possible.
5. SERVICE
WARNING: Technological adv ances hav e made bic ycles and bic ycle co mponents m ore comple x, and
the p ace of innovation is incre asing. It is impos sible for thi s manual to prov ide all the in formation
required to properly repair and/or m aintain your bic ycle. In order to hel p minimize the cha nces of an
accident an d possible i njury, it is critical that
you ha ve any repair or mainte nance which i s not
specifically described in this manual performed by a professional bicycle mechanic. Equally important
is that your indi vidual maintenance requirements will be determined by everything from your r iding
style to geographic lo cation. Cons ult a professi onal bicycle mechanic for help in deter mining y our
maintenance requirements.
WARNING: Many bic ycle serv ice and repair tasks re quire s pecial kno wledge a nd to ols. Do no t begin
any adjustments or service on y our bic ycle until you hav e learned from a professional bicycle
mechanic how to properly complete them. Improper adjustment or service may result in dama ge to the
bicycle or in an accident which can cause serious injury or death.
If you want to learn to do major service and repair work on your bike:
1. Ask ROUSE BICYCLES f or copies of the man ufacturer’s in stallation an d service i nstructions fo r th e
components on your bike, or contact the component manufacturer.
2. Ask ROUSE BICYCLES to recommend a book on bicycle repair.
3. Ask ROUSE BICYCLES about the availability of bicycle repair courses in your area.
We recommend that you ask a professional bicycle mechanic to check the quality of your work the first time you
work on something and before you ride the bike, just to make sure that you did everything correctly. Since that will
require the time of a mechanic, there may be a modest charge for this service.
We also recommend that you ask a professional bicycle mechanic for guidance on what spare parts, such as
inner tubes, cables, etc. it would be appropriate for you to have once you have learned how to replace such parts
when they require replacement.
A. Service Intervals
Some service and maintenance can and should be performed by the owner, and require no special tools or
knowledge beyond what is presented in this manual.
The following are examples of the type of service you should perform yourself. All other service, maintenance and
repair should be performed in a properly equipped facility by a qualified bicycle mechanic using the correct tools
and procedures specified by the manufacturer.
1. Break-in Period: Your bike will last longer and work better if you break it in before riding it hard. Control
cables and wheel spokes may stretch or “seat” when a new bike is first used and may require readjustment by a
professional bicycle mechanic. Your Mechanical Safety Check (Section 1.C) will help you identify some things
that need readjustment. But even if everything seems fine to you, it’s best to take your bike to a professional
bicycle mechanic for a checkup. ROUSE BICYCLES typically suggest you bring the bike in for a 30 day
checkup. Another way to judge when it’s time for the first checkup is to bring the bike in after three to five hours
of hard off-road use, or about 10 to 15 hours of on-road or more casual off-road use. But if you think something
is wrong with the bike, take it to a professional bicycle mechanic before riding it again.
2. Before every ride: Mechanical Safety Check (Section 1.C)
3. After every long or hard ride; if the bike has been exposed to water or grit; or at least every 100 miles: Clean
the bike and lightly lubricate the chain’s rollers with a good quality bicycle chain lubricant. Wipe off excess
lubricant with a lint-free cloth. Lubrication is a function of climate. Talk to a professional bicycle mechanic about
the best lubricants and the recommended lubrication frequency for your area.
4. After every long or hard ride or after every 10 to 20 hours of riding:

Squeeze the front brake and rock the bike forward and back. Everything feel solid? If you feel a
clunk with each forward or backward movement of the bike, you probably have a loose headset.
Have you a professional bicycle mechanic check it.

Lift the front wheel off the ground and swing it from side to side. Feel smooth? If you feel any
binding or roughness in the steering, you may have a tight headset. Have a professional bicycle
mechanic check it.

Grab one pedal and rock it toward and away from the centerline of the bike; then do the same
with the other pedal. Anything feel loose? If so, have a professional bicycle mechanic check it.

Take a look at the brake pads. Starting to look worn or not hitting the wheel rim squarely? Time
to have a professional bicycle mechanic adjust or replace them.

Carefully check the control cables and cable housings. Any rust? Kinks? Fraying? If so, have a
professional bicycle mechanic replace them.

Squeeze each adjoining pair of spokes on either side of each wheel between your thumb and
index finger. Do they all feel about the same? If any feel loose, have a professional bicycle
mechanic check the wheel for tension and trueness.

Check the tires for excess wear, cuts or bruises. Have a professional bicycle mechanic replace
them if necessary.

Check the wheel rims for excess wear, dings, dents and scratches. Consult a professional
bicycle mechanic if you see any rim damage.

Check to make sure that all parts and accessories are still secure, and tighten any which are
not.

Check the frame, particularly in the area around all tube joints; the handlebars; the stem; and
the seatpost for any deep scratches, cracks or discoloration. These are signs of stress-caused
fatigue and indicate that a part is at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. See also
Appendix B.
WARNING: Like any mechanical device, a bicycle and its components are subject to wear and stress.
Different materials and mechanisms wear or fatigue from stress at different rates and have different life
cycles. If a component’s life cycle is exceeded, the component can suddenly and catastrophically fail,
causing serious injury or death to the rider. Scratches, cracks, fraying and discoloration are signs of
stress-caused fatigue and indicate that a part is at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced.
While the materials and workmanship of your bicycle or of individual components may be covered by a
warranty for a specified period of time by the manufacturer, this is no guarantee that the product will last
the term of the warranty. Product life is often related to the kind of riding you do and to the treatment to
which you submit the bicycle. The bicycle’s warranty is not meant to suggest that the bicycle cannot be
broken or will last forever. It only means that the bicycle is covered subject to the terms of the warranty.
Please be sure to read Appendix A, Intended Use of your Bicycle and Appendix B, The lifespan of your
bike and its components, starting on page 43.
5. As required: If either brake lever fails the Mechanical Safety Check (Section 1.C), don’t ride the bike. Have a
professional bicycle mechanic check the brakes. If the chain won’t shift smoothly and quietly from gear to gear,
the derailleur is out of adjustment. See a professional bicycle mechanic.
6. Every 25 (hard off-road) to 50 (on-road) hours of riding: Take your bike to a professional bicycle mechanic for a
complete checkup.
B. If your bicycle sustains an impact:
First, check yourself for injuries, and take care of them as best you can. Seek medical help if necessary.
Next, check your bike for damage.
After any crash, take your bike to a professional bicycle mechanic for a thorough check. Carbon composite
components, including frames, wheels, handlebars, stems, cranksets, brakes, etc. which have sustained an
impact must not be ridden until they have been disassembled and thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic.
See also Appendix B, Lifespan of your bike and its components.
WARNING: A crash or other impact can put extraordinary stress on bicycle components, causing them
to fatigue prematurely. Components suffering from stress fatigue can fail suddenly and
catastrophically, causing loss of control, serious injury or death.
Appendix A
Intended use of your bicycle
WARNING: Understand your ROUSE bike a nd its inte nded use. Choosi ng th e wrong bic ycle for your
purpose can be hazardous. Using your bike the wrong way is dangerous.
No one type of bicycle is suited for all purposes. Your retailer can help you pick the “right tool for the job” and help
you understand its limitations. There are many types of bicycle s and many variations within each type. There a re
many types of mountain, road, racing, hybrid, touring, and cyclo-cross bicycles.
There are also bicycles that mix features. For example, there are road/racing bikes with triple cranks. These bikes
have the low gearin g of a touring bike, the quick h andling of a racin g bike, b ut are not well suited for carrying
heavy loads on a tour. For that purpose you want a touring bike.
Within each type of bicycle, one can optimize for certain purposes. Visit your bicycle shop and find someone with
expertise in the area that interests you. Do your own homework. Seemingly small changes such as the choice of
tires can improve or diminish the performance of a bicycle for a certain purpose. On the following pages, we
generally outline the intended uses of various types of bikes.
Industry usage conditions are generalized and evolving. Consult ROUSE BICYCLES about how you
intend to use your bike.
High-Performance Road
CONDITION 1
Bikes designed for riding on a paved surface where the tires do not lose ground contact.
INTENDED To be ridden on paved roads only.
NOT INTENDED For off-road, cyclocross, or touring with racks or panniers.
TRADE OFF Material use is optimized to deliver both light weight and specific performance. You must understand
that (1) these types of bikes are intended to give an aggressive racer or competitive cyclist a performance
advantage over a relatively short product life, (2) a less aggressive rider will enjoy longer frame life, (3) you are
choosing light weight (shorter frame life) over more frame weight and a longer frame life, (4) you are choosing
light weight over more dent resistant or rugged frames that weigh more. All frames that are very light need
frequent inspection. These frames are likely to be damaged or broken in a crash. They are not designed to take
abuse or be a rugged workhorse. See also Appendix B.
Appendix B
The lifespan of your bike and its components
1. Nothing Lasts Forever, Including Your Bike.
When the useful life of your bike or its components is over, continued use is hazardous.
Every bicycl e and its component part s have a finite, limited us eful life. The len gth of that life will vary with th e
construction and mate rials u sed in th e frame a nd comp onents; the mainte nance an d care the fram e and
components receive over their life; and the type an d amou nt of use to which the frame a nd compo nents a re
subjected. Use in competitive events, trick riding, ramp riding, jumping, aggressive riding, riding on severe terrain,
riding in severe climates, riding with hea vy loads, commercial activities and other types of non-standard use can
dramatically sho rten the life of the fra me and co mponents. Any one or a co mbination of these conditi ons ma y
result in an unpredictable failure.
All aspects of use bei ng identical, lightweight bicycles and their components will usually have a sho rter life than
heavier bicycles an d their comp onents. In selectin g a lightwei ght bicycle o r components you are m aking a
tradeoff, favoring the higher performance that comes with light er weight ov er longevity. So, if you choose
lightweight, high performance equipment, be sure to have it inspected frequently.
You sho uld h ave your bicycle and its components checked p eriodically by a professi onal bicycle me chanic for
indicators of stress and/ or potential failure, including cracks, deformation, corrosion, paint peeling, dents, and any
other in dicators of p otential problems, inappropriate use or abuse. These are important safety checks and very
important to help prevent accidents, bodily injury to the rider and shortened product life.
2. Perspective
Today’s high-performance bicycles require frequent and careful inspection and service. In this Appendix we try to
explain so me underlyin g material scie nce ba sics a nd how they relate to your bicycle. We discuss some of the
trade-offs made in d esigning your bicycle and what you can expect from your bicycle; and we provide important,
basic guidelines on how to maintain and inspect it. We cannot teach you everything you need to know to properly
inspect and service you r bicycle; and that is why we r epeatedly urge you to take your bi cycle to a profe ssional
bicycle mechanic for professional care and attention.
WARNING: Frequent inspection of your bike is importa nt to your safety. Follow the Mecha nical Safety
Check in Section 1.C of this Manual before every ride.
Periodic, more detailed inspection of your bicycle is important. How often this more detailed inspection
is needed depends upon you.
You, the rider/owner, have control and knowledge of how often you use your bike, how hard you use it
and where you use it. You must take responsibility for periodically bringing your bike to a professional
bicycle mec hanic for inspection an d serv ice. Y our mechani c will help you decide what frequency of
inspection and service is appropriate for how and where you use your bike.
For your safety, understanding and communication with your mechanic, we urge you to rea d this Appendix in its entire ty. T he materials used to m ake your bike determine ho w and how frequently to
inspect.
Ignoring this WARNING can lead to frame, fork or other component failure, which can result in serious
injury or death.
A. Understanding Composites
All riders must understand a fundamental reality of composites. Composite materials constructed of carbon fibers
are strong and light, but when crashed or overloaded, carbon fibers do not bend, they break.
What Are Composites?
The term “composites” refers to the fa ct that a part or parts are made up of different com ponents or m aterials.
You’ve heard the term “carbon fiber bike.” This really means “composite bike.”
Carbon fiber composites are typically a stron g, light fiber in a matri x of plastic, molded to form a shap e. Carbon
composites a re lig ht relati ve to metal s. Steel weighs 7. 8 g rams/cm3 (g rams per cubic centimeter), titanium 4.5
grams/cm3, aluminum 2.75 grams/cm3. Contrast these numbers with carbon fiber composite at 1.45 grams/cm3.
The composites with the best strength-to-weight ratios are made of carbon fiber in a matrix o f epoxy plastic. The
epoxy matrix bond s the carbon fib ers together, transfe rs l oad to other fib ers, a nd p rovides a smooth outer
surface. The carbon fibers are the “skeleton” that carries the load.
Why Are Composites Used?
Unlike metals, which have uniform properties in all di rections (engineers call this isotropic), carbon fibers can be
placed in sp ecific o rientations to opt imize the stru cture for pa rticular loa ds. T he choi ce of where to place the
carbon fibers gives en gineers a powerful tool to create strong, light bicycles. Engineers may also o rient fibers t o
suit other goals such as comfort and vibration damping.
Carbon fiber composites are very corrosion resistant, much more so than most metals. Think about carbon fiber
or fiberglass boats.
Carbon fiber materials have a very high strength-to-weight ratio.
What Are The Limits Of Composites?
Well designed “composite” or carbon fi ber bicycles and components have long fatigue lives, u sually better than
their metal equivalents.
While fatigue life is an advantage of carbon fiber, you must still regularly inspect your carbon fiber frame, fork, or
components.
Carbon fiber composites are not du ctile. Once a carbon stru cture is overloa ded, it w ill not bend; it will break. At
and n ear the bre ak, the re will b e roug h, sha rp edges a nd m aybe dela mination of carb on f iber or carbon fibe r
fabric layers. There will be no bending, buckling, or stretching.
If You Hit Something Or Have A Crash, What Can You Expect From Your Carbon Fiber Bike?
Let’s say you hit a curb, ditch, rock, car, other cyclist or other object. At any sp eed above a fast walk, your body
will continue to move forward, the momentum carrying you over the front of the bike. You cannot and will not stay
on the bi ke and what ha ppens to the frame, fork and other co mponents is irrel evant to what hap pens to your
body.
What should you expect from your carb on frame? It depends on many complex factors. But we can tell you that if
the impact is hard enough, the fork or frame may be completely broken. Note the significant difference in behavior
between carbon and metal. See Se ction 2. A, Unde rstanding Metals, in thi s Appendix. Even i f the carb on frame
was twice a s stro ng a s a metal fram e, once the carbon fram e is overlo aded it will not bend, it will bre
ak
completely.
Inspection of Composite Frame, Fork, and Component
Cracks:
Inspect for cracks, broken, or splintered areas. Any crack is serious. Do n ot ride any bicycle or compo nent that
has a crack of any size.
Delamination:
Delamination is serious damage. Composites are made from layers of fabric. Delamination means that the layers
of fabric are no longer bonded together. Do not ride any bicy cle or component that has any delamination. These
are some delamination clues:
1.
2.
3.
A cloudy or white area. This kind of area looks different from the ordinary undamaged areas. Undamaged areas will look glassy, shiny, or “deep,” as if one was looking into a clear liquid.
Delaminated areas will look opaque and cloudy.
Bulging or deformed shape. If delamination occurs, the surface shape may change. The surface
may have a bump, a bulge, soft spot, or not be smooth and fair.
A difference in sound when tapping the surface. If you gently tap the surface of an undamaged
composite you will hear a consistent sound, usually a hard, sharp sound. If you then tap a
delaminated area, you will hear a different sound, usually duller, less sharp.
Unusual Noises:
Either a crack or delamination can cause creaking noises while riding. Think about such a noise as a serious
warning signal. A well maintained bicycle will be very quiet and free of creaks and squeaks. Investigate and find
the source of any noise. It may not be a crack or delamination, but whatever is causing the noise must be fixed
before riding.
WARNING: Do not ride a bicycle or component with any delamination or crack. Riding a delaminated or
cracked frame, fork or other component could lead to complete failure, with risk of serious injury or
death.
B. Understanding Components
It is often necessary to remove and disassemble components in order to properly and carefully inspect them. This
is a job for a professional bicycle mechanic with the special tools, skills and experience to inspect and service
today’s high-tech high-performance bicycles and their components.
Aftermarket “Super Light” Components
Think carefully about your rider profile as outlined above. The more you fit the “shorten product life” profile, the
more you must question the use of super light components. The more you fit the “lengthen product life” profile, the
more likely it is that lighter components may be suitable for you. Discuss your needs and your profile very
honestly with a professional bicycle mechanic. Take these choices seriously and understand that you are responsible for the changes.
Original Equipment Components
Bicycle and component manufacturers test the fatigu e life of the components that are original equipment on your
bike. Thi s mean s that they have met test crite ria and have rea sonable fatigue life. It does not mean that the
original components will last forever. They won’t.
Appendix C
Fastener Torque Specifications
Correct tightening torque of threaded fasteners is very important to your safety. Always tighten fasteners
to the co rrect torque. I n cas e of a conflic t be tween the in structions in this man ual and infor mation
provided by a component manufacturer, consult with ROUSE BICYCLES or the manufacturer’s customer
service representative for clarific ation. Bolts th at are too tight can stretch and deform. Bolts that are too
loose can move and fatigue. Either mistake can lead to a sudden failure of the bolt.
Always use a correctly calibrated torque wrench to tighten critical fasteners on your bike. Carefully follow
the torque wrench manufacturer’s instructions on the correct way to set and use the torque wrench for
accurate results.
FASTENER RECOMMENDED TORQUE
Water Bottle Cage Bolts:………………………… 2 – 3 Nm
Stem:……………………………………………… 8 – 12 Nm
Brake/Shift Lever:………………………………… 5 – 8 Nm
Stem (to fork):……………………………………… 4 – 5 Nm
Stem Top Cap:…………………………………… 1 – 2 Nm
Aerobar (to basebar)……………………………… 9 Nm
Aerobar Extensions (armrest bolt)……………… 8 Nm
Front Derailleur (mounting bracket)……………… 2.5 Nm
Seatube Collar…………………………
6 Nm
Pedals:……………………………………………
35 Nm
NOTE: Aluminum seatposts must be greased. Carbon seatposts must be coated in carbon assembly
compound
Appendix D
Painting
At some point, you may choose to repaint your ROUSE frameset. This is not something that can be done easily
and special care must be taken to prepare and paint your frameset. This can only be done by a professional
painter that is familiar with carbon fiber. ROUSE BICYCLES can refer you to an approved painter or you can call
ROUSE for a list of approved painters.
Caution: We recommend hand sanding to remove the decals and scuff the topcoat. Do not bake over 150
degrees F. Do no t sa nd a way an y composite m aterial. Do n ot sa ndblast, bead-bla st, or blast with an y
other media. Blasting can remove structural composite material which could reduce strength.
. bicycles.com
Advanced Sports, Inc
ROUSE BICYCLES
512-539-6101
www.rousebicycles.com
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