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.
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.
Custom Pocket Bikes
So you buy your first pocket bike, or maybe you buy your first major upgrade. It's a great looking bike, you go to show it off and realize there are two other people who have the exact same bike. That takes the wind out of the sails a bit, but the good news is that it does not have to stay that way. One of the nice things about pocket bikes is that you don't have to buy a customized bike to have one! You can change your pocket bike's appearance, upgrade its performance, and transform your machine into a custom pocket rocket you can be proud of. You'll find all the tools, parts, and accessories you'll need at pocket bike chop shops.
Turn your normal stock pocket bike into your personal custom pocket rocket! If you're not sure where to find the parts you need, a good place to start is at one of the numerous mini bike forums or that have recently rolled into action on the Internet. There you'll find an enthusiasts' community with unsolicited testimonials (because have you ever seen a company's website with a bad testimonial?) from members
Exercise Bikes And Working Out
The exercise bikes are an excellent way of working out. They are high impact cardio vascular workout machines. They help in losing weight by shedding the calories and also help in toning up the muscles of the lower body especially the lower limb and the calf muscles. It's very convenient for people to listen to music or read a book while they are on the exercise bikes. Its convenient as exercise bikes can be installed at home. Unlike treadmills and fitness rowers, which take a huge amount of pace. Therefore even in a small area, you can have a great workout. The popularity of the exercise bikes is second to that of treadmills.
The exercise bikes are available for as little as $200 for the stationary exercise bikes and go up to $3000 for an exercise bike with all the frills added. Exercise bikes work on the principle of resistance to magnetic, air or a flywheel. All have their own advantages, therefore before you make purchases, read the these reviews of exercise bikes available on the Internet as well as in many magazines. Almost all exercise bikes will also have some sort of a control panel. This control panel gives the display of the heart rate, the calories burnt, the distance covered etc.
Before you buy a exercise bike, look for the reviews in various magazines as well as websites. See whether you require a simple exercise bike or a more advanced exercise bike. You can also opt for an used exercise bike. You can also ask your personal trainer for giving you the reviews of the exercise bike will be beneficial as they will give you an impartial advice, versus the salespeople of the exercise bike company. Also ask the advice of those who have already used or are currently using an exercise bike.
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
Total Bike Rack Buying Guide
Unfortunately we can't ride our bikes everywhere. Sometimes we have to transport our bikes from one place to another. In the old days, people would use hodge-podge methods to tie their bikes to vehicles for transport, but those days are long over! With the advent of back racks, it is now possible to transport your bikes safely and securely.
Bike racks come in many different styles and uses. They also come in various prices. You need to do a little investigation to see what fits your needs. You very well sped as much as 300 dollars on a high quality bike rack or pick up one really cheap at bazaars or garage sales. The one you pick will depend on your needs. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions.
1. What vehicle will be used?
You need to know where the bike rack will be going. This is important because you need to know how the rack will attach to your vehicle. Racks use different attachment methods. You will have to choose one that fits your vehicle.
2. How many bikes will you need to transport?
Do you transport two or more bikes? If so, you will want to buy attachments that will allow more than one bike rack.
3. Where do you want them to be racked?
Consider whether you want a roof, rear, or sport rack:
- Roof Racks These racks are attached at the top of a vehicle
- Rear Racks These racks attach to the rear of vehicle
- Sport Trailers These are used to carry many bicycles
4. What shape are your bikes?
You must into consideration the size and shape of your bikes. If you are transporting children's bikes, for example, you will need racks that will take that size of bicycles.
5. Who will load the bicycles on the rack?
It has to be convenient for the loader. The easier the rack is to load unto the more expensive the rack.
6. How strong should your rack be?
If you are loading heavy bikes, you will need racks that can withstand the weight of the bike. They have to be made of sturdy material. But the sturdier the material, the pricier the rack.
7. Should it be lockable?
If you want added security for your bikes you will want to purchase racks that support locks and other security devices.
8. How often are you likely to use the rack?
You need to know how often you will use the rack so that you can purchase one that can withstand the rigors of travel. If you will not use it often, you will not have to purchase a heavy-duty, high price rack.
9. How much do you want to spend?
Ultimately, everything boils down to your budget. If you can't afford it, even if you need it, it will have to wait. But don't be afraid to save up if the cheaper alternatives do not match up to your needs. Try to find a rack that has only the features you need. If it has bells and whistles you don't need, don't buy it right away. It's fine to take into consideration features and functionality that you might need in the future, for example.
Getting The Right Bicycle Seat
It takes only one ride on the wrong bicycle seat to demonstrate irrefutably that a good bicycle seat is paramount to regular bicycle riding.Even the shortest, smoothest ride can be painful and joyless if your bicycle has a bad seat on it.
What differentiates a good seat from a bad seat?It will differ between any two people, and it will differ especially between men and women.Our anatomies in the lower torso are made for strikingly different purposes, and it's pretty safe to venture that none of them include bike riding!Truth be told, the perfect bicycle seat has not yet been marketed.There are, however, some seats that are markedly better than others.
The biggest mistake made by occasional riders, particularly the elderly, is to opt for a bicycle seat that is bigger and better cushioned.Stop right there.Bigger seats are the wrong way to go, for anyone.Bigger seats increase friction and contact.All they will do is to broaden the area of your discomfort.Go for a smaller seat.The aim is to decrease the contact area between your derriere and the bicycle seat, not increase it!
As for cushioning, here you have some leeway.There are some very comfortable, stream-lined bicycle seats out there now, especially those made with the bumps of mountain bike riding in mind, or for the hybrid bicycles so popular with urban riders.Here, you can combine a svelte seat with some very nice and unobtrusive cushioning that will be positioned right where you need it: under your right and left buttocks' contact points.There is absolutely no good reason to have cushioning under your entire derriere.
Today, there are a lot of bicycle seat designs intended to account for the anatomical differences in men and women.The most important is that the flare of a woman's seat is just a little bit wider to allow those contact points and their cushioning to hit where a woman's anatomy requires it, but there are also bicycle seats made with various openings in the middle to decrease painful prolonged contact with male or female genitalia.
Whatever you decide might be a good option for you, try out a bicycle seat before committing to purchase.Shop at a good bike shop.Their employees know a lot and most will allow you to return it if you need to take it home to try it on your own bike. You really can't know if it's right unless you try it.
Led Bike Light Adding Safety And Efficiency To Your Ride
LED flashlights are an economical and safety conscious choice for any bicycle rider. Many riders overlook this piece of safety equipment because it has been traditionally considered too bulky or heavy to carry on a bike. However, there are a number of bike light options now available that are easy to carry and versatile, making them perfect for bicycle safety.
Why Carry a Light on Your Bicycle
Anyone who bicycles should consider keeping a light on their bicycle. There are a variety of types of lights that can be used on bicycles. Bicycle specific lights, such as an LED bike chip, are wonderful investments. The LED bike chip connects to the bicycle, providing a bright, hands-free source of light. If you need a flashlight, you can easily remove the LED bike chip and use it as a hand held flashlight.
There are a variety of reasons for carrying a flashlight on your bicycle. The most obvious is for safety. In the summer, when many people bicycle in the evening to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, it is easy to end up far from home with darkness rapidly approaching. While there are hours of additional daylight, once darkness settles in, it gets dark quick. What starts as a leisurely ride can quickly turn frightening if you take a wrong turn or encounter a flat tire. A bright LED torch is the perfect companion for your ride. The LED torch has a compact size, a bright light and long battery life.
If you need help, a strobing light can bring it. While you may think the chances of injury or danger on you bicycle are rare, it only takes a pothole to damage your bicycle beyond repair, or even a minor wreck to leave you too sore to ride home. A strobing light will be noticed by passers-by, and is just the thing to bring someone to the rescue. Many strobing lights can be used as a regular flashlight, and switched to strobing if necessary.
What Makes the Best Sort of Light
LED flashlights are a good choice for the bicyclist. The battery life of the LED light is extraordinary, and the clear, bright light that the LED flashlight emits is a wonderful safety feature, particularly in foggy conditions. If you are frequently out in the early morning or late evening hours, or at times when the weather is unpredictable, a strong light, such as an LED torch is a safety conscious choice.
The batteries in an LED flashlight, as well as the bulb, last an extremely long time, often thousands of hours. Compare this to traditional filament flashlights and you can see the benefits of an LED flashlight. Also, an LED flashlight will gradually lose strength over a period of time, while a traditional flashlight will work one time, and the next time, it will be dead. Because you are unlikely to use your flashlight each time you ride your bicycle, it is important that you have a flashlight with a long shelf light. If you have a traditional light bulb, you would find it necessary to carry extra batteries and even a spare bulb, but with an LED flashlight, all you need is your flashlight. You can easily find a small LED flashlight that will fit into the palm of your hand.
Mountain Bike Frames
Your very first ride down the steep slopes of a bona fide mountain on a rock strewn trail on an old bike will undoubtedly leave you convinced to the necessity of purchasing a strong and resilient mountain bike frame! It, as your body will attest, is going to absorb a lot of shock. If you invest in a good mountain bike frame, it will do even more: it will actually absorb, into its metal and components, much of the shock that would otherwise move readily into your own components!
Design and construction of mountain bike frames has advanced centuries in the last couple of decades, really. What is available today only remotely resembles the first so-called mountain bikes some of us rode in the early nineteen-eighties. Today, mountain bike frames are available in geometries and materials unimagined two decades ago. What you need is going to be a combination of your own body and your individual intentions. If you like the thrill of high speed downhill rides, you will need a vastly different bike than if you ride on level trails. If your preference is to avoid going over rocks, you will need a different bike than someone whose eyes light up at the sight of a boulder strewn pathway. Think about what you enjoy before you go shopping for a mountain bike.
Mountain bike frames spend a lot of time on roads these days, too. Most of the bikes seen around town seem to be mountain bikes or some hybrid of the mountain bike. Fact is, mountain bikes are made for comfort. What they add to genuine off-road riding (shock absorption, easy gearing, and responsive handling) may be essential but what they add to street riding (shock absorption, easy gearing, and responsive handling) is no less appreciated by the casual rider. You will even find mountain bike riders on most any of the long, multi-day road tours so increasingly popular. You will not, probably, find these riders among the front pack though: a mountain bike frame is not made for efficient road usage, even if it does add comfort.
Getting a mountain bike frame that's right for you is possible either in person at a good bike store or online if you know your size and usage requirements, but the vastly different frame geometries make riding a bike before buying it more important than ever. The traditional triangular structure of a road bike frame is frequently drastically skewed on today's mountain bike frames, rendering the triangle almost unrecognizable. Shopping at a good bike store will put you in touch with bike professionals who will be able to recommend the right geometry for your unique physique and your own unique preferences and strengths as a rider.
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