Giro D’Italia Crash

Unbelievable ending to today’s stage in the Giro D’Italia. Mark Cavendish got his front wheel taken out by a crazy move by Roberto Ferrari. Going down with Cavendish was the pink jersey wearing Taylor Phinney. Cavendish finished the race by walking across the finish line; he seems to be okay. On the flip side Phinney was rushed away in an ambulance for his ankle and didn’t cross the finish line. This means that now Phinney is out of the Giro altogether. This was a very poor ending to the stage taking out the overall leader and the fastest sprinter in the field. Made for an exciting race none the less.

Get Started Utility Cycling

commuters    The number of people utility cycling is growing everyday. Especially with the rising gas prices and price of transportation only going up. If you want to commute to work and all your social gatherings you need to get the right gear and I am here to get you started into your life of cycling. You will need a bike, a helmet, and some great biking apparel.

The Bike

When you are looking for a bike, it needs to fit a couple of specifications. It first of all must be the right size for you and you can find what size you need at your local bike shop. If you need to travel across large hills to commute to your work you will want to have a bike with multiple gears. If you live on relatively flat land and you want to keep things simple it may be best to stick with just a single gear bike. Utility cycling is such a broad range of thing you must decide on all the small details to make the bike fit you perfectly. On you your bike you will want a chain guard, because if you are commuting to work or a social event you don’t want to consistently have a whole in your bottom right pant leg. You should also have fenders on your tires as to not spit up mud on you during a rainy ride. Those are the basic needs for utility cycling and just to give you an idea of a great bike I like the Trek Belleville.Trek Belleville

The Helmet

A helmet is a must have for any kind of cycling, but especially if you live in a large city. A helmet is a helmet so what you need for commuting is something that will fit well and look great. Along with the helmet you should adopt some hairstyles that can endure a bike ride underneath a helmet. A couple of cool looking helmets I have found are the Bontrager Convert or the Specialized Street Smart.

Bontrager Convert, helmet, commuting

The Apparel 

     In utility cycling you want to be comfortable as well as look great. If you have a long ride to work you may want to look into getting padded cycling shorts to soften the saddle for you. Depending on where you live if it rains often when you cycle you will definitely need a rain poncho. To protect your hands while riding it is a good idea to wear gloves if you have any minor spill your hands will usually be the first to hit the ground. All other apparel is not specified to just cycling and you will need to decide what you need. In windier places you may need a jacket that is windproof. If you cycle in the extreme cold you will also need to dress accordingly. bike clothing

Utility cycling is what a large part of the community is moving towards and you should jump on board. It has health benefits as well as economical and ecological benefits. The start-up cost can be as much as you want if you wish to ride a bike that you have had for 14 years go ahead it will get you to your destinations just the same. If you like to look the coolest while going to work that may cost you a little extra, but it is your choice. Hope this start-up guide for utility cycling is just what you need to get yourself started in cycling.

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.

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.

 

Are You Geared For Cycling?

Hello all my readers however few you may be let me introduce my new blog to you. I have started this blog because of my love for cycling, and the community that surrounds it. In this blog I will be bringing you information about cycling, from helpful exercises all the way to cycling shoe reviews.

I want to be a help to the cycling community, by providing a resource in which they can rely on to give quality information. My hopes in starting this blog is to teach the community what I know and to learn from the community what I do not. I understand the more I can collaborate with like-minded people, the more likely I can create a quality blog.

The style of my writing is smooth and easy to read. I want to keep it that way so as not to confuse anyone and get the information stated as clearly as possible. I like visuals such as videos and pictures so a lot of that will be included in my blog. I will keep the overall length of my posts short. I know when I go to read blogs I don’t want to get into a thirty page report on this subject. In the end, I want to make a blog that I myself would love, portraying my own voice. In this way I can draw in like-minded people.