It is incredibly important that a person purchases a bike that meets all their wants
and needs. First of all you want to decide if there is a specific reason why you are
looking to purchase a bike. For example are you going to use your bike to get to work?
Perhaps you are planning to do some off road biking or plan on purchasing a bike in order
to ride long distances. If you are made well aware of what type of bike is going to meet
your personal needs you are going to be able to avoid a common problem faced by many
looking to buy a new bike. This dilemma is not being well informed before making a bike
purchase and ending up with a style of bicycle that does not meet your needs at all. Bikes
are available to consumers in a number of different styles in order to accommodate for
different body shapes, a wide assortment of accessories that can be used to mold the bike
to your individual needs and a wide range of prices for different styles of bikes.
There are a few different styles of bikes available to consumers and each style has its
own features and benefits.
Here is a brief description of each bike.
Road Bike: A Road Bike is very striking and lightweight. Road bikes were outlawed in the
year 1934 because they were considered to be too fast. However over the years they began
to make a real comeback. The style of a road bike makes it perfect of recreational riding,
traveling to work in the city or enjoying a leisurely ride down a country road.
Mountain Bike: Mountain Bikes are made to be able to keep up their power while being
lightweight and well built. The simple, straight forward riding position of a Mountain
Bike makes it an excellent choice for recreational riding as well as riding on advanced
trails lots of rocks and dips along the road.
Touring Bikes: A Touring bike is made for those planning on traveling on more intense
terrain. A touring bike is very similar in appearance to a bike built for racing however
touring bikes are a bit sturdier. Due to advances in bike building technology, touring
bikes are manufactured to be very light in weight while being able to hold up while being
ridden over very intense roads.
City/Commuting Bikes: A Commuting bike is built solely for use on the asphalt. A City Bike
is ideal for those looking for alternative means of transportation to their job as long as
you do not have a lot of items to transport along with you.
Cruiser/Tandem/Comfort: A Cruiser Bike is the perfect choice for those looking for a bike
simply to ride along easy terrain. This style of bike is a wonderful choice for families
that wish to bike together. A tandem bike is also a fantastic choice for families or even
couples that wish to enjoy a bike ride together.
So before you purchase a bike make sure to consider your specific desires. Once you are
sure of where you will be going with your bike you will be better informed and able to
select the bike that is perfect for you.
Bicycle safety is a very important part of riding a bicycle. People ride bikes for many
reasons including recreation and relaxation, for exercise, muscle toning, and weight loss,
charity bike-a-thons, wine tours, bicycle races and many more!
Riding a bike can be such a rewarding experience, but proper bicycle safety is a must! The
following paragraphs will discuss bicycle safety, as well as how it applies to different
aspects of bicycle riding.
A person who wears a protective helmet to guard their head understand is very important
when you are riding a bike. It is very easy to injure your head or brain if you are
involved in a bicycle accident, fall off of your bike, or lose your balance while riding.
By wearing a protective helmet, you are taking steps in the right direction to guard your
head and brain from possible injury due to accident. Some examples of when a protective
helmet is absolutely necessary include when a child rides a bike, when an inexperienced
cyclist rides a bike, bike-a-thons, bike races and mountain biking.
Knowing you are protected can boost your confidence level, and make your bike riding
experience more enjoyable.
In addition to wearing a protective helmet, there are instances when you may also want to
wear protective pads when riding a bicycle. For example, when a child is first learning to
ride a bike, they will often take spills. In order to prevent knee and elbow abrasions,
there are knee and elbow pads available to wear while learning. This protective gear plays
a very important role in bicycle safety, and not just for bike riding beginners.
During bike races it can be important to not only wear a protective helmet, but to also
wear protective padding available for adult cyclists. Very often during bike races,
cyclists will be involved in accidents and sustain injury. By wearing protective elbow and
knee pads, a cyclist is decreasing his or her chance of serious injury in case this should
No matter what reason you are drawn to get on a bike, knowing proper bicycle safety can
help prevent serious injury. It is very easy to have an accident on a bicycle, and wearing
the proper safety gear can help protect you in case of an accident. Any time a person who
rides a bicycle they must first consider wearing all of the proper protective and safety
This articles gives information on road bikes and figures out why they are popular.
The oldest and most popular form of bikes is the Road Bike. These have been an eye-catcher
for people since decades and one can easily find several deals on the internet to buy
Vintage Road Bikes. These bikes are popular as they are light weight and have been
designed specifically to ride on smooth roads. One can easily sail on a flat road for
miles with an ease and speed, which cannot be found in any other bike ride.
Why Are They So Popular
Tires: - The road bikes are swift as they run on thin tires - tires are kept as thin as
possible so that the drag produced is minimum. As the friction is minimized, these bikes
can attain high speeds within seconds with very little effort. A word of caution as
the amount of friction is lessened on the bike tires; stability of these bikes also comes
under scanner. They are less steady as compared to mountain bikes (which depend a lot on
stability and road grip due to the terrain on which they are used).
Handlebars: - Propelled by new innovations in road bike design and technology over the
last decade, these road bikes have become a treat to watch. The metallic colors and
designs often prompt you to stop and have a second look at them. To add style to them,
these come with special curved handlebars that give many hand arrangements over long runs.
These handlebars also assist the rider to a have a low, smooth riding stance.
Gearing System: - Another astonishing feature about these bikes is the gearing system. In
order to provide a relaxing feeling over along distance, most modern bikes have triple
chain-rings at the front and around 10 rings on the rear wheel. This allows a huge gear
range so that bikes can cope with steep hills and twisting roads. Even the ones used for
racing and superior performance employ such gear technology, as high gears are required
for faster speeds. Integrated brake levers and gear shifters is another recent advancement
that has allowed bikers to change the gear and pull the brakes, both at the same time,
with very little movement of hands.
Road Bikes An Asset to Own
With the amount of work, money and time being invested in road bike technology, it is an
investment to look out for. If someone has not driven these latest bikes, that person is
certainly missing something in his life.
Riding a mountain bike is pretty much the same as riding any other type of bike. Except
for the rocks, the fallen trees, the streams and the occasional mountain. In other words,
mountain biking is the extreme version of two-wheeling around the neighbourhood. It can be
dangerous, so should be respected and even a little feared. If you want to hit the trails,
you need to learn mountain biking skills.
Mountain biking skills involve agility, balance and stamina. Review the following list of
exercises, and find a suitable place to practice. These can be don at home, at a school or
park, on a bike path and ideally, at a place with a steep hill.
Sit and Spin
In other words, just go for a ride. Get on your bike and cruise around to find the best
position for mountain biking. Your arms should be slightly bent. Your legs should be 70 to
90 percent extended at the bottom of every stroke on the pedal, so it may be necessary to
adjust your seat higher or lower.
Get used to keeping your body relaxed because when you're on the trail, your knees and
elbows should never be locked.
Feel the Pedal
While on your bike, practice moving your foot away from the pedal. Do this first while
sitting on your bike with one foot on the ground, then try releasing and replacing your
foot while pedaling around. If you have toe clips on your pedals, you'll need to spend a
little extra time with this exercise. There will be times on the trail that feet will have
to leave the pedals. Make sure you're comfortable with this move, before you have to use
your feet to balance yourself over a bumpy path.
Get used to shifting gears. You'll use them a lot on the trails. Higher gears make the
bike go faster, but it's harder to pedal. Lower gears make pedaling easier, so you'll use
these gear positions when climbing hills. Be sure to shift to a low gear before you reach
the hill, rather than when you're already climbing it.
Drop a Curb
Ride down the sidewalk, and then find a curb that's easily accessible. Approach the curb
at moderate speed, stand up and coast right down onto the road (look for cars first!) If
you want to learn mountain biking, you need to know how to handle sudden drops. Try this
exercise at different speeds until it becomes second nature.
Coast is Clear
Coasting on a bike can feel like flying. Get your bike up to a reasonable speed, stand on
your pedals and just cruise without sitting down. Keep your arms bent, don't lock your
knees, and try to lean your body towards the rear end of the bike. Mountain biking
involves very little sitting, so spend some time coasting to get used to the feeling.
Stand and Pedal
Just like coasting, you'll also spend a great deal of time pedaling while standing. While
pedaling, simply lift your body off of the seat. Or, start off standing on the pedals then
start cranking them. After you've mastered standing and pedaling on flat ground, practice
while climbing a hill in lower gear.
It's easy to learn mountain biking. You already know how to ride a bike, so now it's time
to master these additional techniques. Once you're comfortable coasting, dropping,
standing, pedaling, spinning, and switching gears, you'll be ready to hit the trails, and
tackle any challenge along the way.
Remember when you were a kid, and you first dared to ride your bike down that really
steep hill in your neighbourhood? The ride down can be a rush. Stopping isn't always so
much fun. Bicycle control relies on two elements: steering and brakes. If either of these
is missing, you are an out of control cyclist, hazardous to yourself and others.
History's first bicycles had no brakes. Band-aids hadn't yet been invented, so the next
logical step was to devise a stopping system. Thus, brakes were born to help riders slow
down and stop, and bicycles suddenly became more popular. By increasing frictional force
on the wheels, cyclists were able to slow down and stop.
The first widely used braking system was called "the plunger". It first appeared
on the high-wheeled bicycles that were popular in the 1800s. The plunger operated on a
simple principle. To slow down a bicycle, a lever was either pressed down or pulled up,
causing a metal show to press against the outer side of the tire. Of course, the friction
created caused excess wear and tear on the tire. Cyclists found that the plunger did not
work well with pneumatic tires, even after covering the metal shoe with rubber. Wet
surfaces were another drawback, as water decreased the friction between the brake shoe and
tire, reducing the braking power.
The next major development in bicycle brakes was the "coaster brake". Most of us
have used coaster brakes, still popular in pint-size toddler bikes and tricycles. Some
utility bicycles and cruisers also use coaster brakes. The concept behind coaster brakes
is simple reverse motion. When the pedals are moved in a reverse direction, the brake
mechanism inside the hub of the wheel pushes outward, creating friction and slowing down
the bike. Coaster brakes are quite strong and tend to lock up and skid the rear wheel when
engaged, so they're great choices for sidewalk burnouts.
Most of today's mountain, road and stunt bikes use caliper rim brakes. By pulling a lever,
a cable is tightened. This cable then forces the brake pads or shoes to press against the
inner rim of the wheel, stopping the bike. Caliper bicycle brakes are light and relatively
inexpensive, but they do come with their own set of problems. Not hugely efficient on
rainy days, wet brakes take twice as long to stop a bicycle because the water reduces
friction between the brake and the wheel. Caliper brakes work best when pressure is
It is important to balance the braking between the front and rear brakes while riding. If
too much brake pressure is applied to the front wheel, your momentum and body inertia will
take you right over the handlebars.
Over the decades, braking systems and materials have changed, but the fundamentals of
slowing and stopping a bicycle have not. Bicycle brakes are still based on the concept of
friction, and are still vitally important to your safety.
The article refers to the different contents of the bicycle wheels. It tries to explain
the role that these important parts play in the smooth running of the wheels.
There is no better way to spend a weekend than to go on a leisurely ride on a bicycle on a
quiet track in the woods. Bicycles have an old world charm about them and even in this
fast-paced world has its own prominent place. Of all the parts of the bicycle, it is the
bicycle wheels which are the most important ones. Bicycle wheels are the ones which carry
the entire burden on them and thus need to be very carefully observed.
Types of Tires
Almost 99% of the bicycles have the clincher kind of tires. The clincher tires consist of
an outer tire with a cross section which has a typical U shape while there is
another inner tube within the tire. Apart from these parts there are three key parts which
create the tire. The first part is the Bead which is basically the rim of the tire.
Normally, the beads contain hoops which are made up of steel wires which are very strong.
The second very important part is the fabric. Tire manufacturers weave this cloth fabric
between two beads to make the basic framework of the tire. The third major portion is the
rubber. Rubber is used as an outer layer to the fabric. Rubber is used only after the
basic framework is complete.
Apart from the clinchers, the bicycles also have wheels which are known as tubular tires.
Unlike the clinchers, the tubular tires do not have any beads. In the tubular tires, the
two rims of the tires are actually stitched together around the inner tube.
Other Tire Aspects
Bicycle tires have a part called traction. This traction is basically the resistance
capacity of the tires which avoid skidding or slipping. Another very important aspect of
bicycle wheels is the width and pressure of the bicycle wheels. The width and pressure of
the wheels are inversely proportional. This implies that if the width of the wheel is
greater then it has a low pressure and if the width is not very wide then it has a high
pressure. Also generally, the wheels are made up of two basic types of rubber, namely
natural latex rubber and butyl.
There are several other points apart form the features mentioned above. However, these are
the most important features which make up the basic framework of the wheels of the bicycle
and without which the wheels cannot work.
The article provides detailed information about the intricacies of bicycle saddles. The
article also talks about the common misconceptions that people hold about bicycle saddles
While riding a bicycle, the rider must enjoy the ride to the fullest. This is possible
only when he has a good bicycle with an extremely comfortable seat. With an uncomfortable
seat, riding the bicycle can cause a nerve breaking experience. This is how, bicycle
saddles are so important.
Saddle is defined as the seat for the bicycle rider. Thus, it obvious becomes an extremely
crucial part of the bicycle. There are specific dimensions of the saddle which are
necessary to make it comfortable seating for the riders. To make the seats more
comfortable, they also consist of polyurethane seat pads. These pads are very strong and
are long lasting. They can endure all kinds of weather. Another very important component
of the seats is the pre-loaded suspension system. This system minimizes the jolts and
effects of the bumps to the riders.
These saddles are now available even in the most modern and state-of-the-art designs and
makes. They are made of ergonomic designs. They come with seat posts and clamps and are
easy to install. The saddles with ergonomic designs are made up of the best suspension
system which makes even long rides very comfortable. The saddles are made in such a way
that it does not create any harm to the body of the rider. The ergonomic designs allow the
seats to be wide enough so that there is a proper weight distribution possible. The seats
are also equipped with ventilated seat slots which do not allow any moisture or any heat
to build up. The ergonomic design also has center relief system which does not allow any
pelvic or perineal pressure. The saddle is carefully made so as to not lead to any
chaffing of the inner part of the thighs.
Many people believe that saddles are responsible to several physical troubles, especially
to the frequent bicycle riders. Many people believe that saddles can cause reproductive
disorders. There is a common misconception that saddles can cause impotency among males.
This is just a myth and there are several factors apart from the saddles which can cause
health problems to the riders. Apart from saddles other factors refer to the rider's
height, weight, size of various bones and bone structure, body structure, terrain, ways
and habits of riding of the riders and even other features of the bicycle.
Thus, it is important that riders have bicycles which are fitted with the appropriate
saddles which can give them a fun-filled ride.
When you go out mountain biking, there are certain things you should take so that you
get home every time. Tools, supplies and food are the essentials. The key is to take what
you need but not more - nobody wants to be hauling extra weight, but you can be prepared
with just a few things.
Most important is to have a spare bike tube along with the tools required to change it.
There is nothing worse than a flat tire, especially if you are well into your trail ride
as it can make for a extended walk back. You could run out of daylight if your flat occurs
in the late afternoon. Nobody likes getting stuck in the dark, especially when a bit of
prevention and planning can avoid this. Bring along a spare inner tube with the proper
valve type, either the schraeder or the presta. Make sure you also have 3 tire levers to
remove the tire and a bike pump. To really be on the safe side you could also carry a tire
patch kit in the event of a second flat tire. Change a tire at home so you don't have to
figure it out while you're out on the trail.
Mountain bikes are put together with allen bolts so make sure you carry a folding set of
allen wrenches. Extended rides over bumpy trails can tend to make bolts loosen up. You
also may want to make adjustments while on the trail to your brake or gear levers. Allen
keys sets are quite small and inexpensive. If you know how to use a chain tool it wouldn't
hurt to bring one along in case your chain let's go or requires adjusting.
Make sure you bring enough food and water for your mountain bike ride. A great compact
snack to bring along are powerbars, as they prevent you from running out of steam. If you
ride when you are tired your risk of becoming injured is greater due to lack of attention.
A good supply of water is critical to keep yourself properly hydrated. You can carry frame
mount water bottles or use a bladder setup like a Camelbak. In addition to carrying your
water, a Camelbak has storage space for tools and spare tubes.
Always make sure you are dressed appropriately for your mountain bike ride. Keep in mind
you will warm up quickly after starting your ride, so don't wear a heavy jacket that
you'll end up removing it after 15 minutes. It's best to dress in a series of light
layers. Keep in mind that if it's wet or cold, your feet and hands will feel the cold the
most. Wear riding gloves and socks suited to cycling. Your local bike store can assist you
in selecting the correct gear for the kind of riding you will be doing so try and
establish a good relationship with them.
Ride Safe (The Tools Every Biker Should Have Along for the Ride)
Its actually quite easy to do routine maintenance on your own bike. And having the
right tools for the job can mean the difference between enjoying an all-day ride and
having to pack your bike up and head back home when something goes awry. So, what tools do
you need to take along for the ride? First and foremost, you should have the tools to
repair a flat fire. Next, invest in the tools needed to maintain your chain and brakes.
Bike Survival Kit
A basic bike survival kit should include:
Tire patch kit
Wrenches in various sizes
A more extensive bike survival kit would include:
Solvents specifically designed for bike chains
Things to Check for Before You Hit the Road
Brakes: Ensuring your brakes are working well is vitally important. Make sure you check
your pads often to prevent rim damage and to ensure that your bike actually stops when it
is supposed to. Adjusting the tension is also important.
Chain: Degrease the chain and re-lube it. Clean rear sprockets with a brush tool.
Gears: Check derailleur gear action and cables. Degrease chain and re-lube. Clean rear
sprockets with brush tool.
Pedals: Make sure the axle spins freely. Check bottom bracket axles for looseness.
Steering: Make sure handlebar and stem is tight.
Frame: Check for damage. Make sure the seat is adjusted appropriately for your height.
Wheels: Make sure spokes and nipples are tightened and wheels are trued.
Check tire pressure and condition. If your suspension fork is quick release, make sure
they are tightly fastened, and dont forget to check tire pressure.
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When youre out on the trail, miles and miles from home, you dont want any
serious mechanical situations occurring with your bike. Pushing your bike up and down
steep, slippery slopes is not what mountain biking is all about. You want a fun,
exhilarating ride, and the best way to ensure this is by keeping your bike in good
mechanical order. Here we look at a few things you should do to keep your bike in shape.
Clean your bike after each ride
When youre out all day on the trail, youre bound to get dirty, and so is your
bike. While you might not mind staying dirty for a while, your bike does. When you get
back to camp or when you load your bike into your car, give it a quick clean with some
spare water. If your bike is caked in mud, clean the excess gunk with a stick. When you
get your bike home, give it a thorough clean. Take particular care in getting all the
mechanical parts as clean as a whistle.
Keeping your chain lubricated
Once you have cleaned all the crap off your mountain bike, then you need to lubricate the
chain. A dry chain will eventually lead to big problems, including kinks and broken links.
And Murphys Law clearly states that this will happen at the worst possible time,
when youre miles from anywhere. Before you lubricate the chain, make sure that it is
clean. Also, clean the gear sprockets with a small brush. There are special chain
lubricants available specifically designed for the rigors of mountain bike riding, so use
these instead of a general purpose lubricant.
Lubricating your brake cables
While were on the subject of lubrication, every now and then you should lubricate
your brake cables. You dont need to do this as often as your chain, but you should
do it periodically. Its really quite simple to do. Remove the cable from both the
brake housing and the levers and then remove the cable from the plastic covering and
lubricate the whole length of the cable before putting it all back again. If your brakes
feel sticky, then this may be all you need to do to fix it.
Adjusting your brakes
Your brakes can really come in handy when youre on a big downhill ride, so the last
thing you want is for them not to be working properly. Before going on a ride, always
check your brakes are properly adjusted. Firstly, if you have cantilever or V-type brakes,
check that your brake pads are not too worn and that they are adjusted properly. If they
need replacing, then do so. It may be a good idea to have some spares just in case.
Alternatively, they may just need a little adjusting which is a simple procedure. It may
just be a little fiddly and may require some trial and error. Next, adjust the cable from
the brake and then do the fine tuning from the handlebar brake levers. If you have disc
brakes, these will require a more complex service so you should closely follow the
directions in your owners manual.
You should do a full service on your mountain bike periodically. The length of time
between services will depend on how often, and how hard you ride, and the conditions in
which youre riding. If you enjoy spending time on your bike in the great outdoors,
then youll need to be prepared to spend a little time with your bike in the garage
Riding in group can be both a daunting and exhilarating experience for
those starting out in the sport. If you catch onto a riding group while out on the road or
head out with a group of friends there a number of simple but specific things you'll need
to know to both remain safe and become a smooth part of the riding group.
To begin -- why do cyclists ride in groups? Put simply -- it's more efficient. In what is
primarily an endurance sport conserving energy where ever possible is vital if you want to
go the distance and still have something to pull out of your hat when you get to the
finish line or hit the hills. Drafting, or riding in another cyclists slipstream, will
mean you expend thirty percent less energy. When cyclist are sharing the task of breaking
the wind at the front of the group it means they can go faster for longer and tire less
quickly. Group riding skills and knowledge are vital to anyone wanting to cycle regularly.
You should try to maintain a consistent distance between your front wheel and that of the
cyclist you're following. Some where around twenty to thirty centimeters is optimum. Much
closer than this and the danger of collision increases, much further away and you'll lose
the benefit of the slipstream and they may pull further away from you making the gap
harder to close. You need to be constantly aware of what is happening up ahead, of the
group's and the individual ahead's speed, obstacles coming up and general traffic around
you. A group will usually communicate up and down the line informing each other of speed
changes, hazards, other cyclists and cars as they go.
You can often control your speed with out having to use your brakes, which will result in
a loss of momentum and possibly too sudden a speed change for those behind you to react
to. By moving your position on your bike, for example sitting up, you'll get more air
resistance and so slow naturally. Also pulling slightly out of the line of the slipstream
will slow you although you have to be cautious if riding two abreast.
You must avoid crossing your wheel with the cyclist in front of you. This means your front
wheel has over lapped the back of their rear wheel. It is extremely dangerous as a wind,
or road surface can easily result in the wheels colliding. This will end badly for you,
the guy in front may well not be affected but it will knock your handle bars out of line
most likely resulting in you and everyone behind you crashing...into you. As the speed in
group riding are much faster than when riding alone you must be very careful to pay
attention. A split second of distraction can be all it takes.
With those dangers highlighted riding in a group forces you to be very focused and may
well demand more of you than you would of your self in solo training. As it forms such a
consistent part of racing and riding in general it is vital that you include group
training as part of your larger program.
There is far more to group riding than can be covered in this article and there are many
resources available on the internet to further your knowledge. It is an essential set of
skills -- not only for your safety but also if you want to take your riding to the next
Matt McCullough has been instrumental in establishing the cycling resource site
Cycling-Secrets.com. Cycling-Secrets provide resources and information to cyclists of all
levels and provides free software to help you track your rides, health and progress.
Cycliing-Secrets also supports a number of bicycle centred charities. http://www.cycling-secrets.com - free cycling
software and resources http://monroe15.wordpress.com/-
Matt's Cycling Blog
How to choose a mountain bike depends on what you are going to do with it, if all you want
your new mountain bike for is going for a nice leisurely ride on the canal path or a ride
in the woods with the dog, well you wont need a full suspension downhill machine with 4
inch travel on the forks and a fully articulated rear end with damping and rebound
Where to Start From.
If you do want to go for an easy ride in the park you don't need to spend too much, if you
think you will do any off-road riding then big tread tires maybe all you need, but if you
think you might try some rough stuff then you will need suspension. Gears will probably be
Shimano, brakes must be V-brakes, but could be made by a few different manufacturers, all
the rest of the MTB components will depend on how much you can spend. If you go to your
local bike shop or big sports store and see what they've got to offer, then buy it or have
look on the Internet and maybe you'll find the same thing at a better price.
The Next Step Up.
So maybe you want to be a bit more adventurous, more off-road, more forest tracks and dry
boulder river beds, then you'll need something a little lighter, with suspension forks.
All this will cost you more money, but will be worth it for the extra enjoyment and
adventure. With a better mountain bike it will have a sportier handling and because it is
lighter, it will be easier to struggle up the hills before you come flying down the other
side. The components will again be Shimano and the quality will depend on how much money
you can spend. V-brakes and Rapid-fire gear shifters, along with Shimano chain set, bottom
bracket and headset. Handle bars, stem and seat pin should be alloy and along with a
comfortable saddle you'll be set to take to the hills.
More Money, More Bike.
The next rung up on the mountain bike ladder would be good enough to race on. There are
many to choose from, get on the net and surf the bike manufacturers sites and all the shop
sites along with the magazines for juicy photos of the bikes. The top manufacturers in
this price range, I would say are: - Trek, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale, these
companies make the nicest frames with the best mountain bike parts available at the price,
gears will be either Shimano or SRAM, brakes could be V-brakes or cable disc brakes, both
are very good and light, most of the other MTB parts, of course will be Shimano and as
usual get the best you can afford. There are many combinations of hubs and rims to make up
your wheels; hubs from Shimano and rims form Mavic are the usual mix. Then you have to
choose which suspension forks to put on you bike, you may not get a choice, depending on
which bike you buy, the main ones are Suntour, Marzocchi, Manitou, Fox, RockShox and RST,
buy any of these and you wont go far wrong.
Top Bikes, Top Money.
If you want what the professionals ride you will have to pay a lot of money a professional
MTB. As with road bike at the top of the range, you can specify what you want to build up
your dream bike. Top bikes frames to spend your money on could be Klien, Scott, Rocky
Mountain, Gary Fisher, Santa Cruz and K2; these are some of the most sought after bike
frames in the world and would be the envy of your friends. Probably the best forks to put
on your frame would be RockShox SID's these are light and do all the things you need with
control of all functions, there are many other to also to consider, look at how much
travel they have and the rebound and damping systems. Gears again will be either SRAM or
Shimano Rapid fire, XT or XTR, more money could be spent on carbon or very light alloy
cranks, the brakes should be hydraulic discs from Hayes, Pace or Magura or stick to the
trusted V-bakes. Wheels from Shimano or Mavic or some fancy carbon wheels, but remember
they will have to take a lot of punishment, so maybe better to go for reliability over
light weight expense. Carbon handle bars, stem and seat pin and a light weight race saddle
and Time or Shimano SPD clipless pedals, then your choice of tires will depend on what
terrain and ground conditions you are going to ride on.
Downhill bikes are very different, more like a cross country motor bike, but without the
engine, low center of gravity and a lot of travel on the suspension on the forks and the
rear end, disc brakes, wide rims and fat tires, gears are only at the back as usually a
single chain set is used. Unless your going to do a lot of downhill racing then there
isn't much point in buying one as you have to get up the hill first before you can come
down and as light weight is not an issue with downhill bikes, they are very heavy to get
up hill with out the use of a tow rope or a ski lift.
About the Author
Andrew Caxton is a the Webmaster and publisher of http://www.bike-cycling-reviews.com.
A cycling site that focuses completely on road bikes and mountain bikes reviews
ou may think that mountain bike
helmets are all the same but in fact you would be wrong. Whilst all helmets are designed
to protect your head, some are better designed than others. If you take more care choosing
the right helmet to suit you then you will have less of a risk of injuring yourself if you
do fall off your bike.
Wearing the wrong type of helmet for you can end up in you suffering from a serious
head injury. So how do you know when a helmet is right for you?
Choosing the Right Helmet to Suit You
As the helmet is the most important safety accessory that you will purchase for
mountain biking, you need to ensure that you spend a good amount of money on one. Whilst
you may not want to pay a large amount of money for something that you do not necessarily
want to wear, it is vital that you do purchase a good helmet. So never compromise the
quality for a few dollars as it is simply not worth the risk.
Firstly when choosing the right helmet to suit you, you will need to look into the
materials that they are made from. Look for a material that is durable and which have a
soft inner lining. This soft inner lining is extremely comfortable and it also helps to
cushion the head if you do suffer a collision or a fall. A comfortable helmet is
essential. So before you purchase anything, always ensure that you try it on first.
Once you have chosen the right helmet for you, the next important step is to ensure
that you wear it properly. So many head injuries occur because riders have not fitted
their helmets properly. So the best way to ensure that you have the helmet on properly is
to slide it forward on your head so that it is roughly half an inch above the eyebrows.
Obviously you do not want to cover your eyes with the helmet so take care not to obstruct
your vision as you adjust the helmet. Once you are happy with how it is placed, make sure
that the straps form a "y" shape around the ears. You should also adjust the
straps around the chin. Ideally they should feel snug and not too tight.
In order to see whether the helmet is fastened on well enough, try moving it backwards
and forwards. You should aim for the skin to move with the helmet, but you do not want it
too tight. So if the helmet pinches you whilst you are moving your head backwards and
forwards then you will need to adjust the straps a little to make the helmet slightly
Overall choosing the right helmet to suit you really is important if you want to
prevent a potentially serious injury.
Riding a bike is more than just balancing and paddling. To get the true joy of your
ride, it is mandatory to have appropriate tire pressure in your mountain bike. This has a
marked effect on your bike's performance. Tire pressure can vary significantly between
rider to rider and tire setup to tire setup. Trail conditions and the type of terrain can
also greatly affect what tire pressure you should run.
What you have to understand is what pressure suits you the best. This will be different
in different terrains, but you will have to find it out. Here is a guideline for you to
understand the effects of different tire pressures on your biking performance.
Low Tire pressure
When your bike has tire pressure lower than ideal, you will have the following effects:
More Friction: your tire will go flatter with your weight and the weight that
you are carrying. This will increase the ground contact and cause more friction.
Difficult Paddling: you will have to exert more force while paddling your bike
which will eventually burn you out sooner than your usual distance.
Tire Damage: excessive low tire pressure is likely to damage your tire. If you ride
constantly with low tire pressure, you will wear out your tire sooner than its prescribed
High Tire Pressure
If you feel that riding a bike with an absolutely tight tire, you are doing something
which is not advisable. A tire with high tire pressure will affect your ride in the
Lesser Ground Contact: a tire with air pressure higher than normal will have
lesser ground contact, which means that you will have lesser friction than what is
required. It will give you lesser traction than what is required, especially while
negotiating a steep climb.
Bumpy Ride: higher air pressure will make your ride bumpy as every stone and pebble
will send its effect to you directly which otherwise a tire with normal air pressure would
Wear and Tear: when your tire stops its shock absorbing action due to high air
pressure in the tires the overall impact will be gradual damage to your bike. Parts will
wear out sooner than its prescribed life.
It is very important to maintain ideal tire pressure in
your tires at all times for a comfortable and stable ride.
Lucky you. After years of agonizing bachelordom you finally found a great girl. She
understands your need to control the universe of the remote. She doesn't nag you about the
toilet seat. She's a gourmet cook. Maybe she even enjoys Sportscenter. She's athletic and
beautiful and sexy and she loves you.
But she doesn't ride. Why not?
Maybe she's not comfortable on a bike. Or maybe she's comfortable on a bike but has
visited you in the emergency room too many times. Could be some past boyfriend ruined any
chance of her ever riding again. Probably she thinks mountain biking is too hard core.
But wouldn't it be great if the two of you could ride together? Wouldn't it be cool if
once a week the two of you could go for a jaunt or if (someday) she could come along on a
Well, she can, but she's going to need your help. Below are Tracey's Top Ten Rules for
getting your girl to ride. The rules don't guarantee success but might increase your
Rule 1 Start the discussion.
Begin talking about how great it would be if the two of you rode together. Promise
it'll be just the two of you until she's ready to ride with others. If she has girlfriends
who ride, encourage her to ride with them a few times before she ventures out with you. If
she doesn't have any female friends of the dirt variety, find a local group of strictly
female mountain bikers and drive her to her first ride. She's intimidated by your riding
ability, the sport, and her own insecurities. Tread carefully.
Rule 2 Do not overinvest.
If she doesn't have a bike, borrow one or get a used one cheaply. Buy only the
essentials: bike shorts, glove, and a helmet. A thousand dollars is a lot of money to
spend on what could turn out to be only a one-day outing. You don't want her to feel
guilty about the $600 Trek spending the rest of its years in the garage.
Rule 3 Tell her the basics.
Knowing how to corner is important, but not necessary for the first ride. The most
intimidating, confusing, and important things about mountain biking are shifting and
braking. Give her a lesson on shifting gears and using the back brake. Tell her about
cross-chaining so she doesn't work against herself. Do this in the parking lot right
before the ride so she remembers. Teach her trail etiquette and explain why uphill riders
have the right-of-way. Stop there. Answer her questions, of course, but resist the urge to
tell her about torque and ratios. Her eyes will glaze over under the haze of too much
Rule 4 Start slow.
Maybe your girl is a yoga instructor or world-class skier. Doesn't matter. Take her on
a beginner ride. Remember mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. Just because
she's in shape doesn't mean she's ready for an intermediate trail. She needs to focus on
braking, gearing, and trail etiquette. Throw a rock garden or steep uphill into the mix
and the chances for failure increase exponentially.
Rule 5 Be a gentleman.
Give the bike a once-over and fix any mechanicals before the ride. Get her bike off the
rack for her. Put the front wheel on. Carry everything except her water. This means all
tools, extra tubes, and the windbreaker.
Rule 6 Watch your language.
I'm not talking f-bombs here. I'm talking about how to give her advice while she's on
the trail. Women speak more indirectly than men. Ever notice how, if your girl wants you
to take the garbage out she says, "Do you want to take the garbage out?" Of
course you don't want to take the garbage out, but she wants you to, and this is her way
of asking you. Replace "You need" with "Why don't you try" or "It
might be easier for you to do x if you do y." Practice using these phrases before you
hit the trail. Remember it's not what you say but how you say it.
Rule 7 Be patient.
There's a good chance she's going to get discouraged and angry as she's fiddling with
the gears and trying to stay upright. She might even yell at you-even though you've done
nothing wrong. Whatever you do, do not yell back. She's frustrated and wants to impress
you. Try not to shake your head when she walks her bike over what looks to you like a
couple of pebbles. Do not laugh when she has the fall of the century. Most importantly,
stay within her field of vision. There's nothing scarier than being left to your own
devices in unfamiliar territory.
Rule 8 Watch her body language.
Even though you've told her "We can stop any time you want to," she's not
going to be as vocal as she should. She knows you're hard-core and hardly ever stop; she
doesn't want to ruin your fun. But if she's huffing and puffing after the first half-mile,
take a rest. Don't ask her "Do you want to stop?" because chances are she'll
probably say no. If she refuses to make eye contact with you, she's angry. If this
happens, get off the bikes, enjoy the scenery, and kiss her sweaty forehead. If she wants
to turn back after ten minutes, tell her the first twenty minutes of any ride are the most
difficult. Determine her level of frustration/anger and decide if negotiating another ten
minutes is going to be worth it.
Rule 9 Lie.
Tell her how great she's doing even if she's not. But don't overdo it because her BS
meter will go off. If you can't think of anything positive to say, tell her "You're a
beautiful rider" or "You look sexy on bike." Then you won't have to lie.
Rule 10 Accept that this is not a real ride.
Chances are, you're not going to get a workout: you're going to be stopping, starting,
encouraging, and explaining. Both of you are paying your dues on this initial ride, but
who knows? With a little effort, patience, and tongue-biting, she could turn out to be the
best riding partner you've ever had.
First, they have wide and knobby tires for extra traction and shock absorption.
Also, most mountain bikes are fitted with bar ends on the handlebars. However, with the
increase in the popularity of riser handlebars, fewer riders now tend to use bar end
There are basically four different classifications of mountain bikes.
1. Fully rigid- Fully rigid mountain bikes have a frame which has a rigid fork and
fixed rear with no suspension.
2. Hard tail- Hard tail mountain bikes have a frame with no rear suspension, and these
bikes are usually used with front suspension.
3. Soft tail- Soft tail mountain bikes have a frame with a small amount of rear
suspension, but activated by the flex of the frame instead of by the pivots.
4. Dual or full suspension- Dual or full suspension mountain bikes have a frame with a
front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage that makes the
rear wheel move on pivots.
Mountain Bike Disc Brakes
There are many key components on the typical mountain bike. One of the most critical
components of a mountain bike is the mountain bike disc brakes. Mountain bike disc brakes
are featured on most new mountain bike models. Mountain bike disc brakes offer much
improved stopping power over the previously used rim brakes.
Mountain bike disc brakes also work much better under adverse conditions. This is
because they are located at the center of the wheel. Unlike rim brakes, they remain drier
and cleaner than other rims. Although there are many advantages to mountain bike disc
brakes, there are some disadvantages as well. They tend to weigh more and are often more
expensive as well.
Maintenance on disc brakes also tends to be more difficult and costly. This is
especially true of hydraulic disc brakes, which work by moving brake fluid through a hose
or line to squeeze the pads together.
It is very important to make sure that your brakes are in as proper working condition.
This means you need to take your bike in to your local bike shop and get a full inspection
at least once a month. This will not only ensure that your brakes and the rest of the
parts on your bike last as long as they possibly can, but more importantly that you can
feel safe riding on a bike that you know is safe and secure and which will be able to
properly handle those rugged and steep hills.
About the Author
Before you purchase a mountain bike or mountain bike accessories, make sure to visit www.mtbiking.info where you will quickly and
easily find resources and information on Cannondale
mountain bikes, Mongoose
mountain bikes, Trek mountain bikes, GT mountain bikes, Giro helmets and Bell helmets. You
will find mountain biking
articles and mountain bike reviews that will save you money.
Even if there are no mountains where you live, it can make sense to buy a mountain
bike, just because of the security they provide, even in urban areas. And there's always
the chance of a weekend ride in the country.
If you're a bicycle enthusiast, but have only tried cycling on the road, it's time you
gave mountain biking a try. By mountain biking, I mean more than heading down an actual
mountain - although that what most people think about when they hear the phrase
However, mountain bikes - light bikes with fat tires and front suspension - make it easy
to go cross country riding as well.
So even if you live in an area that has no mountains - get yourself a mountain bike
anyway! Those fat tires make for a nice ride - and as long as they're properly inflated
they can go almost as fast as the thinner tires of road bikes, but you don't need to worry
about going up curbs or down curbs.
There are three styles of mountain biking - the one everyone thinks of which is downhill
riding, free riding, and cross country. If you're a professional cyclist or a dedicated
amateur you'll want to buy a bike specifically designed for each style, but if you're a
casual cyclist who'll want to try one style one weekend and a different style the next,
any good mountain bike will do.
Most people will buy a brand new tool whenever they take up a brand new hobby. This is a
mistake. Examine yourself. Have you done this in the past - decided on a hobby, bought all
the equipment, used it once - then stored it in your garage and never used it again?
So, if possible, rent a bike first - indeed, in so doing you'll be able to try out quite a
few bikes and decide on which one you'd like to buy. Make sure that the people renting you
the bikes have taken proper care of them, of course, and that they're not just
Are you a beginner?
If there's any mountain biking in your area, chances are there'll be a club or two, which
will cater to beginners. The best thing to do is seek out your local bike shop. Anyone
there can tell you what goes on in your area. In addition, most bike shops will have racks
featuring the brochures of local clubs, and bike maps of the local trails, for free.
Practice makes perfect
If you're not in shape - you can get in shape with mountain biking... if you make a
concentrated effort to do so. Set yourself goals of miles to ride each day. If you don't
have the time to ride an hour or so everyday, but if you have a steep hill near your home,
you can always spend ten minutes or so doing wind sprints up and down that hill. This will
increase your stamina and strengthen your leg muscles no end. (Make sure you check with
your doctor to make sure you have no health problems that would limit vigorous exercise.)
Don't get on a bike and then find the toughest trail and throw yourself down it. Start
with beginning trails and work on your skills for a while.
Riders fall. Face it - it's going to happen. So the most important piece of equipment you
have, after a good bike - is a good helmet. Never buy a used helmet - you don't know
what's happened to it. Also of use to the mountain biker are goggles or other eye
protection, elbow and knee pads, and good shoes. Always carry a few dollars and some
change in a pocket so you can call for help if need be, and make sure you have
identification on you at all times. (That last bit of advice is good for any type of
biking, or jogging, come to that!) Always be prepared for the worst to happen, and then it
[probably] never will.
Mountain bike training has a lot of "trail myths" surrounding it.When someone decides that they want to get better on the trail they
are usually told things like "work on your cardio", "ride your bike more"
and "get a bike fit"...but there is more to each of those pieces of advice.
"Work on your cardio":
While cardio is important, the real key to riding faster and longer is to
achieve better efficiency on the trail. Cardio is like the size of your gas
tank and your efficiency is like the mile-per-gallon. You can get more by
working on both than simply shoving a bigger gas tank in.
Efficiency comes from working on mobility and strength in the gym and on
your skills off the trail. Increased mobility and strength will result in
less wasted energy on the bike as your body is better able to achieve and
maintain optimal alignment and movement. Increased technical skills will
result in less wasted speed and momentum on the trail which means less
overall "effort" to achieve the same speed.
all up and you are able to go faster while pedaling less, which means better
use of the cardio capacity you already have. For most riders starting out
with a mountain bike training program, this is the first place to start.
Increased "cardio" is nice but if you're wasting a ton of energy on the
trail it is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it- it will
never get full until you plug the leak!
"Ride you bike more": When
new riders first start every time they go out for a ride they feel like they
are improving. However, this honeymoon period soon ends and riders are left
trying to figure out how to continue improving. The advice from most veteran
riders is that since riding helped in the beginning, then riding more must
be the answer, right?
fast, my friend. Riding your bike is the best way to learn how to apply
your current fitness and skill levels to the trail. After a year or so
of riding most people have maxed out their current fitness and skill levels,
which is why they stop improving. While riding more can improve those
things, you eventually run into the ugly truth - you hit the point of
diminishing returns and an extra couple hours of riding each week doesn't
really improve your overall performance.
Strength and conditioning is one of the most efficient uses of your mountain
bike training time and can dramatically raise your performance potential.
When done right, it can improve fitness and skill levels as you develop
better body awareness, strength, power and mobility. That way, when you hit
the trail you are learning to apply those new levels, resulting in an
increase in performance without a large increase in riding time.
a bike fit": Bike
fits are great - if you're a roadie. On the trail they are very limited when
the perfect world of the roadie meets the chaos of the trail. Mountain
biking carries a very high technical skill element and you want your bike
set up to best fit this need, not to work around your mobility and movement
bike fits looks to change how the bike is set up around you regardless of
how those changes affect the balance and handling on the trail. Some of the
most common bike fit "fixes", such as changing stem length, will negatively
affect your ability to corner and handle your bike. Mountain bikers need to
pick the weapon that will give them the best balance and position and then
work on fitting their body into that set up. It is rarely the fit that is
holding a rider back; it is more often the tight and weak rider that is
holding the bike back.
working on your cardio, riding more and getting a bike fit can be helpful
and result in some progress, they are not the most efficient and effective
ways to transform your trail riding. The foundational movement and strength
levels of the rider determine their true potential and by working on these
things you can ride faster, longer and with more confidence no matter what
bike you're riding or trail you're on. Strength and mobility training
deserves an important spot in your mountain bike training program if you
really want to stop riding at the same level year after year.
Strength Training Systems is the world's only strength and conditioning
company that focuses exclusively on the unique demands of mountain biking.
Riders from around the world have discovered how they can climb faster,
increase their skill and have more fun by upgrading the engine that drives
their bike - their own body!
out more about this unique program and how it can help you enjoy riding more
http://www.bikejames.com. While you are
there you can sign up for blog updates and get the famous No Gym, No
Problem: Real Bodyweight Training for Mountain Bikers workout program.
Riding a mountain bike with correct technique may come easy to some, but for
others you sometimes must kill the old habit and get the new ones to stick.
With the proper technique, mountain biking can be easier, and you can be
much better at it as a result and ride over much more difficult terrain.
There are three main things that you want to keep in mind when riding on
trails. These tips should never be forgotten, and any professional will tell
you the same and agree with every bit of information in this list.
first thing you want to remember is to keep you eyes looking forward. This
is something that a lot of people tend to forget and it can really lead to
some horrible things down the trail. When you are riding, you want to look
ahead instead of right down at your front tire. A lot of beginners will tend
to look at where they are placing the tire and that leads to riding through
bad lines or running into trees or rocks. Looking ten to twenty feet in
front of your track will reduce the chance of falling, and actually make you
ride much faster than you typically were before.
next thing that you need to remember is to keep your elbows up. This is
called the "attack position" and is the key to riding better and being able
to handle difficult sections. If you watch any mountain bike video or race
with professional riders, then you will notice that they all keep their
elbows up while they ride. This actually allows you to react quicker to
obstacles and terrain that would otherwise be more difficult. On top of
this, it raises your balance levels and makes it harder for you to go off
track and keeps your body center. So keep those elbows up and "attack" the
Last, but not least, is to remember to remain on the "balls" of your feet
and keep your knees bent when standing in difficult sections. This is really
important because keeping your center of gravity down and low will allow you
to ride much faster, and keep you on the bike and help to keep you from
getting thrown over the handlebars when you hit a large bump or rock.
These techniques are very simple to remember, and will ultimately make you a
better mountain biker in the long run. You will be able to ride fast, longer
and with much more confidence than you formally had.
seem obvious but there is a dual benefit in cyclists using bike lights in
dim/dark conditions. They are used to not only to increase the rider's
visibility, but also to help others to see the rider. Lights are an
extremely important piece of equipment as statistics suggest a car-bike
collision rate is several times higher at night than during daylight. What
is more startling is that these collisions are largely down to the
inadequacy of the cyclist's equipment which can be easily prevented. Using
the proper equipment makes cyclists visible to other road users and can make
cycling at night much safer than this statistic suggests. The most common
setup for bike lights are white lights at the front of the bike, red lights
at the back, and orange reflectors on the side, but be sure to check the
legal requirements of your jurisdiction as there are different rules on what
Looking specifically at the UK, the regulations governing bicycle lights are
set out in the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 and subsequent
amendments in the UK Highway Code. The standards for reflectors are quite
straight forward however the regulation for lights is somewhat less straight
forward. Reflectors must conform to BS 6102/2 or an equivalent European
standard which means that bikes should have a red rear reflector and
amber/yellow pedal reflectors on the front and rear of both pedals. For UK
use, bike lights must abide by the BS 6102/3 or an equivalent European
standard. However, it must be noted that a steady light can be used on if it
flashes at a constant rate of between 60 to 240 flashes per minute and has a
luminous intensity of at least 4 candela.
LED bike lights have a higher luminous efficacy and a lifetime of around
40,000-50,000 hours of operation and options to dim and turn on/off the
blinkering. There are varying degrees of power to bear in mind. Higher
powered LED lights would be recommended for those cyclists that cycle in
dim/dark conditions on a regular basis. For those cyclists that occasionally
ride at night a lower powered inexpensive LED front light and rear LED
flasher would be sufficient, especially for riding on well-lit streets that
do not require such an intense beam. There are many types of
bike lights on the market to meet the
needs of all bike lovers.
All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. None
of the photographs may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey.