Benefits of Strength Training For Cycling

    Strength training for cycling has many benefits proven out by various studies. It will 1.) Improve cycling endurance 2.) Raise your lactate threshold(LT) 3.) Increase total amount of force applied to the pedals 4.) Increase ride to exhaustion period 5.) Protects against injury 6.) Rebalance body strength. If any of those terms went over your head go ahead and read on and I will explain in detail what they are and how strength training will improve that area of cycling.

Cycling Endurance

    Research has shown that strength training for cycling shows positive gains in endurance performance without any change in you VO2max. VO2max, by the way, is how much oxygen your body can consume at maximum exertion, this is also known as aerobic power and maximal oxygen consumption. You may wonder how can your endurance increase without increasing you aerobic power. The probable cause of this is because during a ride you will begin to use more slow-twitch muscles(muscles used for endurance) instead of the fast-twitch muscles(muscles used for power with low aerobic power). You are using more of the muscles that have a higher aerobic power while your overall aerobic power remains the same. Also fast-twitch muscles fatigue faster than slow-twitch muscle thus increasing your cycling endurance.

Lactate Threshold (LT)

    Strength training for cycling will raise your LT. You may be wondering what does lactate threshold(LT) even mean. When your muscle begin to ever themselves they produce lactate acid and that is then flushed away by your body at a certain rate. Your LT is the point at which your body is producing more lactate acid than can be flushed away. At that point you will have entered into your anaerobic power, which is exercise without the help of oxygen. Strength training for cycling  will cause you to use more slow-twitch muscles than fast-twitch muscles. This means less lactate acid is being produced; raising the point at which your body becomes anaerobic.

Pedal Force

    This is a relatively simple concept that if you have more strength you can apply more force to the pedal. Great output is always associated with faster riding.

Exhaustion Period

    Strength training for cycling will increase your ride to exhaustion period. This is how long you can ride at any given intensity before you succumb to exhaustion. The improvements in this field show a positive change of about 10 to 33 percent. The results are most distinct in new riders and don’t affect the more experienced rider so dramatically.

Cycling Injury Protection

    This is a big worry for almost all cyclists, whether you just do it for exercise or if you are a professional cyclist you want to avoid injuries in whatever way you can. The weakest part of your muscle is where they connect to the tendon. This is the point at which most muscle tears occur. With strength training it increases the load capacity of these muscle-tendon unions. This safeguards you against injuries during sudden change in power such as when accelerating quickly or sprinting.

Rebalance Body Strength

    Strength training for cycling will rebalance your body’s overall strength. These imbalances could be the big nasty ones such as having a strong lower body and a weak upper body. It can also affect the smaller differences such as the two muscle that oppose each other on the same joint. An example of this is you bicep and triceps both acting on your elbow. This will also reduce injury.

With such a broad range of improvements it is almost guaranteed that strength training for cycling will make you a better cyclist. If you are a competitive racer just a few percentage points to any of these fields could mean the difference between winning or losing. If you just cycle for the benefits realize that strength training will only increase and broaden those benefits.

Ride To Your Own Soundtrack

I just recently was browsing cycling blogs and I found myself at Bike Rumor; I was greeted with the most incredible, new gadget for a bike I have seen in a while. Cogoo Turnable rider!

How does it work?! Let me tell you; every piece of the bike has been updated with technology that measures any kind of movement.

For the tires you attach a platter stick and it turns them into jog wheels.

On the center you have your fader box.

The kit comes with the fader box, two brake sound pads, and two platter sticks.

The only downside I see in this is that it is not as durable as it should be but you should be practicing on an old bike and using this for the show!

Cycling In The Rain

This is yet another fulfillment of a suggestion from my Suggestion Box page I set up. I am loving that people are taking advantage of that page. If you would like a post about anything cycling just let me know! SexyFlexi asked me to make a post about cycling in the rain. I thought for a while on this one and after much deliberation I decided where to go with this post. Very few cyclist like to ride in the rain while some love it. The thing that all cyclist can agree on is how awesome and hardcore you look while cycling in the rain. It is like proving to mother nature that no matter what she throws your way you are going to ride anyways. So here is an album of some great cycling in the rain shots and cycling posters.

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Cheap Mountain Bikes That Get The Job Done Right

    Sometimes when you are just starting biking you need cheap mountain bikes to fulfill your desire to ride. This the case for Josh from my suggestion box page. He asked me to tell him a good “dual-sport” bike to buy for under $250. Since telling him which is a good bike is a subjective opinion I thought I would give Josh a list to choose from. You may notice that I will be naming off mountain bike reviews this is only because at this price level these mountain bikes are great on pavement but can still do some minor trail riding. Through all of this I want you to remember that sticker price is not final you can get the bikes cheaper if you want to make a deal. This list is in no particular order so just review all the specs and see which one you like. So lets review some cheap mountain bikes!

K2 Mountain Bikes

    K2 offers a really great line up of cheap bikes in many different styles. The best mountain bike I found from K2 that is under $300 is the K2 Zed 1.0This is a hard tail trail bike; this means that the bike only has shocks on the forks and not on the rear tire. I find that at this price range it is usually best to go for a hard tail just because if you get a full suspension you will get lesser shocks in front and back. If you just get a hard tail the shocks will be a better quality. The frame and fork of this bike is aluminum so nothing special there; you will find this same specification on most cheap mountain bikes. This model comes with pad brakes. The Zed 1.0 is a 21 speed and that should be all you need for a bike of this caliber. The price for this bike is $299.99.

Mongoose Mountain Bikes

    The best place to buy a cheap mongoose bike is at believe it or not Wal-Mart. You may laugh and scoff but Wal-Mart does a great job of bringing cheap mountain bikes into the world at an incredible price. I will show you the best mongoose bike that they carry, but depending on the Wal-Mart near you this may be different. This bike is the Mongoose Detention. The Detention is a 26 inch wheel full suspension bike. If you really like a soft ride when you bike a full suspensions bike is for you. Like I stated previously though the components won’t be as great but they may just reach your needs. This model comes with disc brakes which if you have only ridden pad brakes will be like a new experience for you. Finally you can stop on a dime. It is a 24 speed and comes with trigger shifters which are very nice on a bike. The frame is again made of aluminum. The only problem with Wal-Mart bikes is the fact that you can’t pick the size of your bike. If you are average size then you are set. This bike comes off the line at a price of $299.00.

Diamondback Bike

    Diamondback comes with a great lineup of cheap mountain bikes. The one the meets my specifications is the Diamondback OutlookThis is a really sleek and clean-looking bike. It again is a hard tail so more control and better front shocks. It comes with pad brakes and is a 21 speed. The frame is made of aluminum and this comes with Shimano shifters. This is an all around great bike and if I were to personally pick a bike I believe it would be this one. The price tag on this bad boy is $249.99

Those are just a few of the great cheap bikes out there. Don’t let people talk you into a bike that is way over what you need and costs too much. If you are just a casual rider why do you need a bike that can take a 40 foot drop. Don’t feel like you need to look better for someone else get the bike that fits you! Hope you enjoy your new bike whichever it may be.

New Page

You had better run over to my new page. It is the “Suggestions Box!” page and you should check it out. I think it has a little something for everybody to do. I appreciate all people who support my site. I really want to be able to bring the biking community together through my site. I will be continually cooking up new ideas to do this and implementing them on my site as fast as I can.

Perfect Cycling Cadence Zones

What is Cadence?

The definition of the word cadence alone means the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement. In cycling terms this is the speed at which you spin your feet on the pedals. This is measured in how many rotations per minute(rpm). You need to optimize your cadence if you want to be a part of serious cycling and increase your cycling power.

A Good Starting Point

    There is an average cadence of that most elite cyclists use in certain situations. When your speed is remaining constant you should be keeping a cadence of 90-100 rpm. When you are sprinting you should be pushing a rate of 120 rpm. When you are climbing you should be shooting for right around 60 rpm. You should know also that a low cadence is hard on your knees and requires greater force generation. This style causes you to have knee pain cycling habits. While a higher cadence requires greater metabolic efforts, which will cause heavy breathing.

What About Me?

    The cycling cadence numbers I stated where just averages. What you should do is to push to become the most economical version of yourself. That is what cadence is about; it is finding that proper balance between mashing the gears at 30 rpm and spinning your wheels at 150 rpm. The way to calculate the cadence that is proper for you, you need to know your economy. Economy is how much power you are using to do a task. The less power you use to complete the same task the more economic you become. So let’s move on to a cycling workout to enhance your economy and avoid cycling injuries.

How Do I Raise My Economy?

    Here is a cycling training program to increase your economy through changing your cycling cadence. Let me be your cycling trainer for a second. If you are way above those cadence spectrums I stated you may want to try going into a larger gear. To train yourself down put yourself in an incredible large gear. The gear should be so big that you can only support around 60 rpm. Once you start feeling strong go into an even larger gear so you support 60 rpm consistently. Now when you go back into you actually riding range shoot for a gear that is just large enough so that you are in the 90-100 rpm range. This is very much a strength training for cycling. Don’t forget that low cadence cycling can cause a cycling knee injury.

Now if your cycling cadence is to low I find that working your way up is a little more difficult. I have a low cadence rate because I want to feel like a monster and when I push down my pedal I’ll be darned if I am not 30 feet from my starting point. As you may have guessed you will do the opposite of the rider with the high cadence. This not only helps you get more economic it also helps how smooth your pedal stroke is. Use cycling technique to improve your cycling cadence.  The smoother and more efficient the stroke is the more economic you become. When grinding huge gears this finesse is sometimes lost, but when spinning away you will definitely notice any clunky pedal strokes.

What’s Next?

    Now you feel you are in a pretty good standing with cycling cadence, start playing around with it and see what cadence works best for you. Like I said there is no set standard, but I do think you need to train each side of the spectrum so you can get exact economy results from your body. Also keep the very real possibility of cycling injury in mind when picking your  cadence zone. The main issue with cadence is the cycling knee injuries. Once you have discovered your perfect cadence for your body adjust your bike to fit it. If you have a high cadence you will want a shorter crank arm and lower your seat a bit. If you have a low cycling cadence you will want to have a longer crank arm for more leverage and a high seat for a better angle on the pedals.

 

Top 7 Cycling Road Shoes

Is it time for you to get new cycling road shoes? Do you want the best of the best and at a reasonable price? If so, check out these choices I have compiled from the top seven brands of cycling shoes. I have compiled these with the best shoe of each brand. I then put them in order from worst to best, in my opinion. I have rated these shoes of the features they provide, the price, and the style. The one who ranks highest in all categories is the number one choice.

7. Giro Cycling Shoes

    The Rapha Grand Tour model is by far the best cycling road shoe Giro has to offer. It is made as the name suggest for the long tour. Here are a couple of the features you will receive with the Rapha Grand Tour.

  • Hand cut yak leather.
  • Giro’s SuperFit footbeds.
  • Carbon enhanced soles.
  • Weight: 255 grams.
  • Price: $450.

This is definitely a great shoe no doubt about it is cool and stylish, but the price is a bit of a doosie. I am going to have to rank this one lower just because of the that issue. The Rapha Grand Tour comes in at a healthy number 7.

6. Diadora Cycling Shoes

    The next great brand in cycling road shoes is Diadora. They are a well known European cycling shoe. The top road shoes they currently have is the Sprinter 2 model shown to the right. Here are a few of the features:

  • The sole is made of nylon reinforced with fiberglass
  • Comes with a stiff, breathable cage for your upper
  • Comes with velcro straps
  • Weight:85 grams.
  • Price: $99.99.

These shoes are definitely at the lower end of the spectrum for style, but they are also very inexpensive and a great model with some excellent features to offer. These shoes are very inexpensive but lack in both the features and the style. Diadora Sprinter 2 is coming in at rank number 6.

5. Sidi Cycling Shoes

Considered by some as the best cycling road shoes Sidi has quite a bit to offer in their Ergo 3 model.

  • Vented Carbon soles for rigidity, ventilation, and weight.
  • Adjustable heel security system to avoid any heel lift at all.
  • Techno II buckle to evenly distribute all the upper weight.
  • Weight: 300 grams.
  • Price: $499.99

This is a great shoe to go along with an overall great shoe brand. The features seem endless and very useful and this could very well be at the top but the price is very steep. I gave the final rank of 5 just because the price, but if price is not a problem for you this could be the pair to take you to the finish line first.

4. Carnac Cycling Shoes

   You want a new pair of quality cycling road shoes look no further because Carnac may have the shoes you are looking for. The latest and greatest addition to the Carmac shoe department is the Attraction model. This model combines comfort and efficiency without any compromise. Here are just a few of the features:

  • Uppers are made of an ultra light breathable fabric.
  • The double straps now come with a magnetic feature.
  • Getting the straps on and off are a breeze but will not detach without your intention.
  • Weight: 204 grams.
  • Price: 499.99

This is a really great choice for a shoe. While it may still be pretty expensive it has a very unique look and has great features, with a larger price tag. That is why this shoe has been put at number 4.

3. Specialized Cycling Shoes

     Specialized has a great shoe just middle of the way in these brands. The 74 Road Model comes with some great features and price that may please you.

  • Uppers made fully of genuine kangaroo leather.
  • Replaceable high strength braided steel laces.
  • Carbon sole for stiffness and lightweight.
  • Weight: 270 grams.
  • Price: $400.

These shoes were looking pretty promising until the price came up. While the straps are nice I think they are a bit unnecessary. They are a little heavier than the Shimano and Diadora shoes, but are still lighter than the Sidi shoes. I would rank them just above the Carnac Shoes at position number 3.

2. Shimano Cycling Shoes

    From Shimano I have chosen for the best cycling road shoe the SH-R191 model. Here are the features that this shoe offers.

  • Anti-slip heel lining knitted with metal fiber prevent heel lift.
  • Supple stretch resistant synthetic leathers and 3D moisture control mesh.
  • Oversized micro-adjust and dual off-set straps.
  • Reinforced insole for improved support, enhanced profile, and duel density for biomechanical support.
  • Weight: 270 grams
  • Price: $219.99.

While this may seem like and unassuming shoes is is among this list because the balance between price and features are startling. These shoes are ultra lightweight and have a very low cost. That is why I have decided to put the SH-R191 in the number 2 position.

1. DMT Cycling Shoes

DMT has some pretty great choices for cycling road shoes, but the pair I have chosen for this list is the Prisma. This model comes with features as follows:

  • Upper is microfiber with mess for a stiff and lightweight material that still breaths.
  • Laces can be tightened or loosened with the spin of a knob.
  • Carbon formed heel for best fit and no sliding up and down of the heel.
  • Thick tongue for comfort.
  • Weight: 255 grams.
  • Price: $244.99.

With looks like that and the price to match I would say that the DMT is taking this competition. With that said the winner of the best cycling road shoe for the best price goes to the DMT Prisma!