Great Inexpensive Road Bikes

I seem to be doing a lot of these bike lists lately. A lot of people don’t know where to look or where to start looking sometimes for a bike. From seeing my Cheap Mountain Bikes That Get The Job Done Right post spinmethin asked me to do a road bike version of that post. I really like doing product reviews or compilations like this so if you want to see something in particular from me you can just leave the information in my Suggestions Box! page. These bikes will be what I consider to be the best money spent on a road bike. The people that will most benefit from these bikes are starting cyclists or cyclist who are happy with where they are at and don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on something they won’t even use. Without further ado let’s begin the list.

Raleigh Revenio 2.0

    I am not sure why, but the more and more I look at Raleigh the more I like them. They have a very nice selection of bikes for people who don’t want to pay an arm and leg for a bike. The Revenio series has a pretty broad selection; the price depends on the components and such. The Revenio 2.0 is the one I chose simply because it is not too expensive and all you need to get into road riding. The frame is butted aluminum alloy but the fork is carbon composite with chromoly. The shifter and derailleurs are Shimano Sora; so a lower end Shimano but a step up from the 2300. Just as a side note I have heard that these are very nice shifters the only problem is that you can’t access the down shifting from the drop bars; this is just because of the placement. The cassette is a 9 speed with 12-25 teeth. The crank is a FSA Vero compact with 34/50 teeth. The tires that come with the bike are 700 x 23. I personally think the overall look of the bike is just great it has red shifter lines giving the stark black body a great contrast. For the in-depth spec sheet and fitting chart click here. The price tag comes in at $899.

Felt Z95

    Felt is yet another great bike producer. They do not have as much of a selection of inexpensive bikes just because of course they spend most of the time concentrating on the high-end bikes. Th Z95 is a cool looking bike for sure all black and white. The shifters and front derailleur of this bike are very low-end Microshift, but the rear derailler is Shimano Tiagra. The Tiagra is a step above the Sora and since, for me at least, most of my shifting is on the cassette this may be worth it to you to give up quality of your front derailleur. The shifters can also be accessed from the drop bars unlike the Shimano Sora. The frame is butted aluminum while the fork is carbon fiber. The crankset is FSA tempo compact so not quite up to par with Raleigh but I doubt you would notice the difference. It has 50/34 teeth. The cassette itself is a has 10 speeds and a range of 11-28 teeth. That is a broader range than the Raleigh for sure. The tires that come with this bike are 700 x 25 which I have heard are really better tires for safety. They will however be slower, whether you notice or not is depending on how avid of a rider you are. In depth specifications here. The price for this bad boy is $899.

Trek 1.1

    I am actually not very enthused with Trek’s choices of lower end bikes. This is the bottom line that they have but I find anything with more class is too expensive. I have to include Trek into the list because it is a huge name in cycling and if you are a fan I can’t very well skip over them. The 1.1 is a great bike don’t get me wrong. The reviews say even though it is an aluminum frame and fork it is a much smoother ride than other aluminum frames. That has mostly to do with the geometry. The shifters and derailleurs are Shimano 2300 so the lowest end of the Shimano spectrum. The crankset is Vuelta Corsa compact with 50/34 teeth. While the cassette has 8 speeds ranging from 12-25 teeth. The tires on these are 700 x 25 like the Felt counter part. For in-depth specs visit here. The bill for the Trek 1.1 is $729.99

Of course as usually I can’t cover all the brands and all the bikes that I think should be on this list. These are just a few of the ones that I liked. Remember for the most part you get what you pay for. You just need to know what you want out of you bike to get the best bike for yourself. I will be making a post pretty quickly on how to do just that. Some people don’t know what they want especially if they are a beginner cyclist. Of these three bikes I must say that the Felt Z95 is my favorite. It is not the best bike but it fits what I would want most out of a bike of that caliber. As always I hope you enjoyed and benefited from this post. If you would like to see a post just for you all you have to do is ASK! Or you can just leave a comment, thanks!

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Taylor Phinney Rides On In The Giro D’Italia

    It seems that I spoke to quickly about Taylor Phinney no longer being in the Giro D’Italia. While he did get a ride in the ambulance he still crossed the line. He said he was a little jumbled during the crash and after the fact, but in the ambulance his head cleared up. He seems to have no broken bones and he is very thankful that today is a rest day. At this point it looks like he will ride on in the Giro. He is still in possession of the Maglia Rosa and is ahead of Geraint Thomas by 9 seconds. It’s great that he did not get knocked out of the competition by Roberto Ferrarri’s poor judgement. Robert Ferrari got put in last place for his actions. If you don’t know what I am talking about visit my post here, and watch the video of the crash.

Top Women’s Mountain Bikes Under $1000

    My girlfriend is just looking into getting herself a nice mountain bike. I of course wanted to help her get the best bike she can for what she wants to do. This is a list of the bikes that would probably be best for her and any other woman reaching within her parameters. What she is looking for is a bike that she can take on moderate trail riding and not down hill crazy single track rides. The main things that this bikes will have is the price, weight, look, components, and tire size. You will see a lot of these bikes will have 29″ tires this is only because I prefer them and so does my girlfriend. Let’s kick things off.

Trek Marlin

    The Trek Marlin is a really cool looking bike just because of the nice color scheme it has going on. It is a 29er and that gives it that great mountain bike look. A couple great things about the Marlin is it comes with disc brakes instead of rim brakes. The brakes are mechanical instead of hydraulic so not the best but still very functional. It is a hardtail and you will see that all the bikes on this list will be hardtails. It has a mix of lower end Shimano and Sram components. The fork has 80 mm travel. The frame is Trek’s Alpha Gold Aluminum. I don’t have a definite weight on this bike but from customer reviews it is a little heavier than they like. The bill of the Trek Marlin is $679.99.

Specialized Myka Sport Disc 29

This bike has the look of a specialized with the way the frame curves as it does. Some people like this newer look while others still like the more straight line geometry of a bike frame. This is supposedly meant to be lightweight and easy for girls to maneuver. The wheels are again 29″ and they come with disc brakes also. In addition the disc brakes are also mechanical. The fork has 80 mm of travel. This bike has much the same components as the Marlin if not completely identical; with a mix of Shimano and Sram. The frame is also aluminum as we will probably see in all these bikes. The Myka family has many options aside from this particular model, and ranging from $470 – $990. The Myka Sport Disc 29 costs $690.

Raleigh Eva 29 Sport

    I think that personally this may be my favorite bike out of the list. I don’t know why but it has a really cool look to me and while it is a big name in cycling it is not so huge in america. To have one of these you would probably not see someone else riding the same bike. The odd angle of the top tube really intrigues me also, but that is all preference. It has mostly Shimano Alivio components which may still be low-end but still better than the components on either of the bikes I have shown previously. It again has mechanical disc brakes, but while the rear disc is again 160mm just like the previous two, the front brake is 180mm for more stopping power. The fork has 80mm of travel. With, as the name suggests, 29″ tires. The frame is of aluminum again. The end price for this bike is $739.

Kona Tika

    The Kona Tika is a great mountain bike with a look and color very similar to the Trek Marlin I have put at the top of the list. Nice straight lines as far as the frame, which is also made of aluminum. Again this comes with 160mm disc brakes but the plus is that they are hydraulic making them that much nicer. Again pretty basic components mostly coming from Shimano. Not up to par with the Raleigh; equal or even better than the Trek or Specialized. Also the wheels on this girl is just 26″ which in my opinion is not great but you may prefer them. With the smaller wheels comes a smaller frame so the weight is lesser on this bike than the others. The Kona Tika costs $755.

Orange Diva

    This is the most expensive bike on this list but it is the cheapest women’s mountain bike that Orange offers. I think this is a little better than the rest but it depends on what you want and of course when you pay more you get more. The components are Shimano Deore so a step even above even the Raleigh and two steps above the rest. The wheels are only 26″ inches but again that is preference. The biggest advantage is that the fork has more travel with and optimum travel of 100mm. This could be worth it to you but you must think about how you will use that travel because you will be paying for it. The frame is of course aluminum and the has a nice look with the slightly augmented top bar for the feminine riders. It comes with 160mm disc brakes. The final price for this bike is $899.99, which is over 100 more than the other bikes.

Cannondale Trail Women’s 6

I really like the look of this bike with the deep purple you can get it in or if you want a lighter ride it comes in white. This comes with mechanical, 160mm disc brakes. Again low-end Shimano components on this ride. The wheels are only 26″ but the fork has 100mm travel. This is really a pretty great bike for the price. The frame is without a doubt aluminum. The price tag comes in at $610.

The End

The list could go on and on but those are just a few of the ones that I am looking at and I will definitely have a post of the one that she picks and the reasons. I hope you find what you are looking for. If you want me to review more just leave a comment or visit my Suggestions Box! tab and tell me just what you want to hear from me.

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.