Fitting A Road Bike Frame To Your Needs
For most of us, well-intentioned but casual bike riders who secretly believe we might be Lance Armstrong's heir if we only had a few more hours a day to spend on our bicycles, buying a new road bike is tantamount to buying a road bike frame. The frame is what we're thinking of, something new and shiny and colorful, something we suspect even car drivers envy when they see us flash through the snarl of traffic. Truly, a road bike frame is a beautiful thing and part of the reason we love bicycling.
When you have the good fortune to be looking at new bicycles, though, you definitely want to look at a few elements besides the color of a road bike frame. Face it. When you're on your way back home from a long Sunday ride and you're riding your thirty-fifth mile smack into a stiff headwind, the fact that your frame is cobalt blue or even Bianchi green is not going to help you. The length of your seat tube is going to help you and the length of your top tube and even the angle of the three main tubes all put together is going to help (or hinder) you, but color is not.
If you shop at a discount store or even a general purpose sports store, if you get any help at all in choosing a bike that fits you, it will probably consist of a clerk instructing you to stand over the top bar of the frame and see if you can comfortably straddle it with your feet on the floor. This is not really particularly helpful, especially if you happen to have anything unique about your physique, like long legs combined with a short torso. If you have long legs, you can straddle almost any bike, but will your body be able to relax comfortable in the stretch between your saddle and the handlebars? The whole geometry of the road bike frame matters a lot to fit. And fit matters excessively to comfort.
If you're a racer, comfort will not be your only consideration. Indeed, it may be down among the last elements you consider. Speed is not usually built from comfort, and the road bike frame that promotes speed is built of different materials than one used primarily for recreational riding. Frames can be made of titanium, chrome-moly, aluminum or steel, and each metal has different advantages of weight and strength. Frame geometry varies, too, with touring bikes featuring a longer vertical base and top tube than the skittish racing models.
So when you're looking at road bike frames, think beyond the paint. Get a frame that fits both you and your purpose. Whether you do your research online or in a good bike store, you'll be glad you took the time.
Getting Some Air In Cherokee County Bike Park Gives Woodstock A New Place To Play
Sure you can ride your mountain bike just about anywhere but there's nothing like riding miles of winding hand-built single track (just wide enough for one) through the forests of North Georgia. But where? Unfortunately, mountain bikes have been unceremoniously kicked out of public parks all over the Southeast for their tendancy to erode paths built for hikers and even collide with the hikers themselves. The solution? Well if you live in Woodstock Georgia, you wrangle your own park and build your own trail.
The Southeast Off-Road Bicycle Organization (SORBA) is responsible for the wildly popular Blankets Creek trail system that skirts Blankets Creek at the edge of Lake Allatoona. Other nearby SORBA projects include Atlanta's Morningside Nature Preserve trail that links Midtown Atlanta with Buckhead through a 30 acre forested trail, and Big Creek Park in Roswell.
Almost entirely built by hand by a team of volunteers, Blankets Creek Park is Cherokee County's only designated bike park and is proving itself to be one of the state's best rides. Right in Woodstock, just off Sixes Road, not too far from downtown and just 25 miles outside of Atlanta, the park draws over 100,000 bikes annually. Kids, men, women, families, couples, lone wolves, seasoned riders and even hikers all converge here for the great trails, a good workout and fun times.
The park has three short loops that let you choose your own adventure - from beginner trails to hair-raisers that demand technical skill. The group is currently building a fourth for a total of 16 miles of off-road goodness. The North Loop will be complete in spring 2008 and is going to bust the guts of all but the most experienced cyclists. With breakneck climbs and headlong descents, you really have to know how to handle your bike if you want to make it to the end of this four mile trail. Fortunately there's plenty of opportunity to train up.
The Mosquito Flats trail and the slightly more challenging Mosquito Bite Trail (1.3 miles total) are fun easy rides perfect for kids and beginners or to get your heart rate up before taking on the more challenging trails. Intermediate riders can try the Dwelling loop (3.5 miles) and advanced riders can try the South Loop (4 miles) for a steady stream of switchbacks, climbing, rock gardens, roots and log crossings.
Though all previous trails were built by hand with rakes, shovels and a lot of back-breaking labour, the new North Loop trail is being blazed by a mini-excavator. The main benefit is that the trail will be complete in less than half the time it would take to build it by hand.
Blankets Creek is located in Woodstock on the shores of Lake Allatoona. To get here, take I-75 north to I-575 north and take exit 11. Turn left on Sixes Road, go about 1.8 miles and turn left into the trail head parking lot. The park is open every day, but closed for rain. Check the trail direction before you begin as it changes daily. Admission is a $1 suggested donation.
WHAT TO BRING
- A helmet. You can't ride the trails without one.
- Tool kit and tire pump
Exercise Bikes To Suit Every Budget
Exercise bikes are available in various types of models as well as costs to suit all budgets and needs of people. There are three types of exercise bikes and these are upright exercise bike, semi-recumbent exercise bike and recumbent exercise bike. Depending upon your need you can buy the one, which suits your needs. It's a great cardio vascular workout and helps one to lose calories easily as well as tone up the figure. The recumbent stationary cycle is as popular as the treadmill to burn the calories and attain a good and fit body.
The recumbent exercise bikes help a person to reduce the blood pressure level. The person is seated very close to the floor. The feet of the person are near the chest level. Control panels display various readings and this helps a person on the recumbent exercise bike to see whether they are achieving the target that they had set for themselves. The control panel gives the readings for the pulse rate, heart rate, the number of calories burnt, the distance traveled etc. the biggest advantage is that one can exercise at any point of time on the recumbent exercise bike.
The bikes can be adjusted for the height. It's easy to adjust the height of the seat as well as the resistance levels. There are also various programs which are designed for both the beginner as well as the for a more advanced workout. Its important that you seek the advice of a doctor and personal trainer before one can start exercising on a recumbent exercise bike, so you don't put yourself at risk of a medical complication. Also ask people who are currently exercising on a recumbent exercise bike before you start working out on one too.
The whole gist of this article is 'do your research well'. Follow that principle and you should have a satisfying buy experience.
Bicycle Rims And Wheels Your Bike Cant Go Anywhere Without Them
The first bicycle wheels were from a horse drawn cart, made of wood with a metal band round the bicycle rim, very hard and very uncomfortable to ride. Then a man called Dunlop (Scottish) invented the pneumatic tire, this along with Macadam (another Scot) inventing the tar road surface made cycling a lot more comfortable.
The bicycle rim, like the bicycle frame hasn't changed much in design, its still round and always will be. From the first wooden rims the next were made of steel, then alloy and now if you can afford it, carbon. Of all bicycle parts the bicycle rim can make a big difference to how your bike handles. First the weight of your rim affects your sprinting and climbing as the weight will low you down, for a long, flat effort the weight isn't so important as when you get the wheels rolling the weight can help to keep them going. The shape of the rim can be important also, a flat rim is best for climbing as aerodynamics are not so important on a hill, a deep section, aero, rim will help you cut through the air, but in a cross wind could cause you handling problems.
Bicycle Rims Materials
The different materials used for rims are very important also, steel is heavy and if damaged can be difficult to pull back into shape, but because its so strong it is quite difficult to bend in the first place and steel is cheaper than all the other materials. Alloy is probably the most popular rim, it can be made in any shape and profile, flat or aero, but not too deep as it would then weigh too much, most deep section rims are of a alloy braking section nearest the tire which is then mounted to a carbon deep section for lightness and aerodynamics and a very beautiful looking bicycle rim. As with most things if money is no problem you can go for the best, this would be an all carbon rim, strong and very light, but there are a few problems with these rims, first they don't brake so well in wet conditions and you must use special brake blocks for carbon and they can be expensive, also the rim has to be perfectly round and not have any bulges in the rim wall as this will make braking quite erratic, carbon is a difficult material to work with and must be well looked after.
Types Of Rim To Consider
There are also two types of rim to consider and this depends on which kind of tire you want to use, first there are tubular tires these are glued on to the bicycle rim, cost more and are difficult to repair after a puncture, but for racing they feel and ride wonderfully. Clincher tires have improved a lot recently and are nearly as good as tubulars for performance and are easily repairable and more reasonably priced. Most manufacturers make all styles in both systems.
So which should I buy? Not an easy answer, as there is so much to choose from, years ago you went to your local bike shop, picked out which hubs, spokes and rims you wanted and he would build your wheels, but now most rim makers also manufacture there own wheel sets, Mavic, Shimano and Campagnolo are probably the best known, check out there web-sites for all there new goodies, there are other brands and if you go to your local cycle shop or look in the bike magazines you'll find them. There is a lot to choose form, but they are all round.
Necessary Mountain Biking Equipment
Being prepared while out on the mountain bike trail is an absolute must and a great rule of thumb is to always pack more mountain biking equipment the farther away from help you plan to be. There are a few important considerations you should also make regardless of the skill level of mountain biking that you plan to partake in.
The first consideration, for anyone planning on being active outdoors regardless of mountain biking or not, should be to have a well stocked first aid kit. You can purchase biker specific first aid kits, that are purposefully designed to fit nicely in a small pack, under the seat or even in saddlebags. A well stocked first aid kit will contain antiseptic, pain reliever, tensor bandages, band-aids, moleskin, and tweezers.
The second necessity is to have a mountain bike specific tool kit and there many options available as to the type of bike you have and the tools you want it to contain. The very basic tool kit should have the required tools needed to repair a flat tire and will fit nicely under your seat or in a saddlebag. Other tools to look for are an Allan key or small wrench, a chain breaker, a tire gauge, a Swiss army knife, and some strong tape.
Another highly recommended piece of mountain biking equipment to include is a spare mountain bike chain. Any experienced bikers know all to well how easy it is to bust a chain on the trail and the headache it can cause. Often a broken chain can be repaired but do not take the risk of being left without one.
Last but definitely not least is a portable air pump. These pumps come in numerous shapes and sizes and can be purchased specifically to fit your bike. Most can fit under the seat or in saddlebags, and often the repair kit includes one.
All these pieces of equipment are designed to be light weight and easily stored on your bike. Never risk traveling far from help without then because being prepared with the right mountain biking equipment can save you many hours of frustration.
Pocket Bike Parts
One of the most appealing aspects of pocket bikes is that you can modify and upgrade them yourself. You can strip them down and rebuild them from scratch with high performance parts, modifying and customizing them until they almost flip you off the seat when you roll the throttle on! If the flipping off a bike with speed isn't for you, there are plenty of parts made specifically for improving the design to give it that hot, unique look that sets you apart from everyone else. But before you can upgrade or switch out, or even do basic maintenance, you have to understand the basic parts of a pocket bike.
This is one of those parts that really is not essential to the pocket bike, but it does make your bike look really good! Fairings are the plastic covers that surround the frame of your pocket bike, and give it a "super bike" type of look. There is not much you can do with them, other than paint them, but you can put on any design you want and that is always pretty fun to do.
The Wheels and Tires
This is straight forward. Everyone knows what a wheel is. The important part is the tires. The tires on a pocket bike can make a big difference if you are racing. It's definitely one of the main pocket bike parts you should think about upgrading. Most, if not all, pocket bikes come with pretty generic crappy tires. The rubber used in them tends to be hard and doesn't grip the track well. Sava is a well known brand of tires that are affordable and will cut seconds of your lap times on the track!
The sprocket connects your engine's power to your back wheel. Changing the size of your sprockets can make you bike accelerate much faster (which is what most people want) or it can give you a higher total speed, depending on which one you want. Unfortunately you can not both, so think about which upgrade is the most important to you for your needs before committing to the work. Tracks with long straight-aways translates to you wanting the top end speed. Tracks with a lot of sharp corners and curves means you want the acceleration.
These are just some of the parts that can be changed, modified, or re-built to make your pocket bike the best running, and best looking, racing bike in your neighborhood. Decide what you want, buy the parts, and when you go to town, remember to have fun!
Value Through And Through
Many motorcycle enthusiasts agree that pocket bikes "Motorcycle Works of Art." Pocket bikes are at their best in sports competition, as the increasing number of races has shown. Pocket bikes provide all the thrill of MotoGP racing. Pocket bike racing is also the most affordable motor sport. Some even claim that the very fine riding skills like balance, self-control, agility, and fast reaction time required for pocket bike racing is proving helpfull in learning to use full sized motorcycles on open roads as well.
Transportation is eay since at only 38-47? long and less than 50 lbs, they can be transported without any additional support equipment, even in a car trunk or backseat! Pocket bikes can be raced in parking lot competition or on Go-Kart Tracks, and you won't be alone since this is one of the fastest growing motor sports in the world.
These bikes are suitable for any age 16 and up, to the 300 lbs adults, though obviously what type of bike you would give each varies greatly. There are smaller pocket bikes designed for younger children, but caution should still be used. Pocket bikes are the thoroughbreds of minimotos and are therefore intended for competition. They are designed for racing and private land only, not for highway use. A helmet, protective gear, gloves and good shoes should be worn at all times during their operation to minimize the chance of injury. Children under 18 should operate these or any other motorized devices only under the strict supervision of an adults.
Several international MotoGP Champions started their careers with Pocket bike racing. The best example is Valentino Rossi. He was Italian Pocketbike Champ twice before becoming 125, 250, 500 and several time 1000cc MotoGP World Champ. Thomas Luethi is the first Swiss Pocketbike Junior Champion that made it into the Moto World Championship. He was followed by others, such as Vincent Braillard. There is no doubt that there will be more Swiss top riders to come, the Swiss Pocketbike Championship being one of the best providers.
Bike Buying Tips
The Right Bike for You
Want to buy a bike but don't know where to begin? Maybe a friend of yours recommends getting a certain bike, while another biking buddy insists that his bike is the best choice for you. Who do you listen to? How about neither? What you need to do is sit down, relax and figure out what your priorities and preferences are to determine what bike is going to work best for you. Here are some points you will definitely want to consider before you pick out your new set of wheels.
What's Your Riding Style?
Start by asking yourself why you want to ride to begin with. Is it for exercise? Do you want to fly through the air for the thrill or the sport of it? Where are you going to ride? Through city streets or back road trails? Once you define your style of riding, it will be easier for you to choose the kind of bike you need.
There Are a Variety of Bike Options Available
Although there is a multitude of bike styles, the following are some of the most popular:
Mountain Bikes: These are durable bikes you can take off the road. Mountain bikes have fat tires, comfortably wide handlebars, and low gears for easier navigation of hills.
Road Bikes: If you plan on doing long rides, pavement riding, this is the bike for you. Road bikes are built for speed, have thinner tires and handlebars, and are overall, much lighter in weight.
Hybrid Bikes: This type of bike combines the features of mountain bikes and road bikes. Hybrid bikes are perfect for those who want to experiment with all styles of riding.
Cruisers: These bikes are generally one speed and are constructed for literally just that
Buying Cycling Jerseys Shoes And Other Bike Clothing Online
At one time you could only buy cycling equipment at your local cycle shop, if they had what you wanted or you had to hope they could order it and then you would have to wait for it to come and hope it was the right size, colour or price. Then cycling magazines started to have adverts for the bigger stores and you could post off a cheque and wait for your prized article to arrive. Now things could not be easier, your at home watching the Tour de France on television, you see you hero attack on the mountainous slopes of Alpe-d'Huez, what are those sexy carbon cranks he's using? They look like FSA or are they Campagnolo, they could be Stella Azurra, which are they? How much will they cost? Where can I get them? Well, get on the Web, put the name of that most wanted item into your search engine and see what it comes up with. The next move can be nearly as exciting as riding your bike up the mountains, that's making comparisons of all the equipment, something you probably wont be able to do at your local cycle shop and then ordering it online, the worst bit is waiting for it to arrive.
All the top cycle components, clothing, frames and cycle manufacturers have their own web-sites, once you've found what you really want for your bike, most sites can link you to a retail out let, from there, with the use of your credit card you can order the goods on-line, or check out a store near to where you live and if they stock what you are looking for. This is best for items of clothing, shorts and jersey sizes vary from one maker to another and there is nothing worse than receiving your new professional look a like kit and it is too big or small, so get down to your local cycle shop or sports store, try on your choice for size and if all is OK, you can buy it there and then or if you don't mind waiting and it's at a better price, order and pay for it online and wait for it to arrive in the post to your house.
How to wear comfortable cycling shoes
There are many cycling shoes on the market, and finding the right ones for you can be hard. Look them up on the web, go through the search engine or if you have a particular make in mind, find them online and if you can't try some in a shop, this is best, because size can be a problem, one manufacturer size 9 could be a half size bigger or smaller than another company, and most of the best cycling shoes are Italian, so remember that European sizes are very different from American or English sizes, and German shoes are wider and Italian shoes are narrower and you may be looking for a size 44 or 45, so try as many different shoes you can and then make your decision. Very importantly with shoes is which pedal system you are using, Look, Shimano, Campagnolo, Time and all the other systems have different fittings on the sole of the shoe, check up which they have on the shoe manufacturers web-site and then it should then be safe to order them online.
An other good and very important item you could look for online is a cycle helmet, as with most cycling goods there are many different helmets on the market, some times the helmets you see on the heads of the professionals are difficult to find, but anything is possible on the net, just type it in and away you go, it may be that just the helmet you are looking for is available in Holland, get it ordered, it may take some time to come but if its what you want it'll be worth it. Sizes of helmets, like shoes can vary, so if it is possible to try before you buy, then make sure it's a comfortable fit, the big difference between cycle shoes and helmets is that helmets come with different pads to go inside so you can make the helmet fit exactly, which could help if you've ordered the wrong size, this is not something you can do with cycling shoes.
The net is a great way to find the frame size you want for your new bike, with the new sloping frame designs it can be tricky to know which size to order, all frame designers have their own ideas for what is best, so if you know the top tube length of your present bike then you can compare online with the design dimensions on the manufacturers web-site and then you will know what size to order either at you local bike shop or from your internet supplier. As this is probably the most important and expensive thing you'll buy for your cycling, and so with online shopping you can make sure you make the right decision.
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