As the month of July is coming to an end, we have had to say good by to the Tour de France, and look towards summer ending, schools starting and some amazing bike rides. Personally, I will be doing my first real triathlon in August. What will you be doing? Here are a few good ideas to start with.
In 2009 Bontrager released their first ever cycling shoe line. After teaming up with Esoles in order to get thousands of foot scans. The result was a well fit shoe, with replaceable arch support and a bargain compared to other shoes. The line was very in depth with women, men and triathlon shoes. (Personally, I have two pairs and I love them!)
For 2010 they are going even deeper with the line and adding more color. The women are staying pretty subtle but the mens line have a lot of orange through out.
The comment was made on my Basic Short article that cycling clothes aren’t always needed. I believe this is true so I made the comment on Twitter to see what everyone thinks or wears. The response is overwhelming and now I sit wishing I had used hash tags in twitter to be able to keep all the comments together for you all to read.
The answers were wide spread from “Yes, every time I ride I wear cycling clothes” to “No, I don’t own spandex or even a technical t-shirt.” Now I’m doing some research on well priced clothing that can double as cycling and everyday wear.
There’s a take on women’s designed product the basics are shorter top tube because women (most women) have longer legs and a shorter upper body. The shorter top tube and over all length of the bike allows for easier reach to handlebars, better fitting for someone with those long legs.
Masi has a take that those shorter tubes and steeper angles change the feel of the bike. Instead they have simply made a couple of their key models smaller, changed colors and most importantly the touch points of the bike. Touch points are narrower handlebars, seatpost that aren’t leaned so far back, shorter stem and an over all reach on the bike that allows you to use your brakes or shifters correctly.
Welcome the Bellissima line. Tim Jackson of Masi isn’t sold on the pink, but I am. Now to sell him on the idea of one model that runs smaller than 48cm. Allowing our youth to get into the sport at a decent price would be very rewarding.
You’ve been riding for a while and are getting bored or anxious to get out riding with some people. Riding with a group or with a couple friends is a very unique feeling and once you get the hang of it can make you a stronger rider. Below I have put together some key things to remember when group riding and then some helpful hints. I can’t harp enough to remember safety and to ask a lot of questions. Read more…
Safety is a big thing for me. Helmets, lights and brakes on those fixed gear bikes are all important things. Any customer that comes through the shop getting into cycling or buying a new bike the two must accessories are a well fit helmet and a rear blinky light. So that I don’t sounds like I’m pushing things at them I explain the basics, you have one head (duh) and a good light will give drivers a good warning that you are up the road.
Today I’ll be talking about Knog’s colorful line of blinky lights.
Recently going out on a limb I pulled in a Gary Fisher Simple City 3W into our Trek Concept store in Charlotte, NC. We have been selling a lot of life style hybrids, cruisers and comfort bikes. I thought the Simple City really fit that niche and added character that the other bikes could have, but had to be purchased and added on.
Cycling clothing can be very daunting, especially when you see how tight the shorts and jerseys fit. The shorts feel like they have a built in diaper and may cause “sausage rolls” due to them squeezing a bit too tight. Here’s some input on shorts, what to look for and why they cost so much money!
A few questions to ask yourself when you’re buying shorts
How long of time will I be riding at one time?
How often do I ride during a normal week?
Are you looking for style or are you self conscious at all?
Now to help with the questions above.
Basics about women’s cycling shorts
Chamois (Pad): The first and most important is the chamois built into the butt and crotch of the short. As the short becomes more expensive the chamois becomes denser, multi layer and with wicking or anti-bacterial built in. The denser pad is important as you ride further. The entry level short has a nice squishy pad to aid in comfort as you start riding, it helps break in your butt. As you start venturing over 15-25 miles get out of that entry level short and into a short with denser padding. We will touch upon this as we talk about price point shorts.
Panels : A short is built of panels wrapping around your leg and butt. The more panels the better as it will conform better around your body. Higher end shorts have shaping in the panels to keep the short from binding as your leg goes up and down when pedaling.
Fabric : As any technical piece the fabric becomes higher end with the price. Softer to touch, will wick your sweat away instead of absorbing it, will keep the chafing to a minimum and should fit comfortably.
Length or Style : Shorts normally have a 6- 7 1/2″ inseam, there are shorts with a 5-5 1/2″ inseam that many women that attend spin class, have sexy legs or don’t want tan lines go with. Personally they make my legs turn into sausages right now, so I stick with a 7″ inseam. There are also things called skorts, which have an outer technical skirt – very fashionable and easy to ride in. Last but not least, there are triathlon shorts that have less padding, designed to be swam/bike/run in. We will talk about triathlon shorts in an article by themselves.
Levels of shorts
$40-50 for your basic short. These shorts have 4-6 straight panels normally, a basic chamois and are a great short to start your riding in. The chamois because of its thick padding won’t wrap around your butt as well but it gets the job done. If you ride more than 1-2 times a week upgrade to the next level for your second pair of shorts. The hand washing and drying over and over will quickly wear out this level of short.
$65-75 for your intermediate short. In this short you will start getting more panels 8-10 and depending on the brand maybe they will start shaping around your leg instead of being straight. The chamois pad will become multi layer, so it won’t be one thick layer of padding all the way through. It will be thicker near your sit bones and forward towards your sensitive tissues. The sides of the pad will be thinner with the purpose of protecting for chaffing. The work horse of the line of shorts, this can take abuse but for over 3 hour rides look at the next level.
$100-120 for your experienced short. Once you try on one of these shorts in this level you’ll wonder why you haven’t before, then you check the price tag and you remember your budget or thinking why does cycling have to be so expensive. Shorts in this price range are going to be lighter, softer, the chamois will be thicker for longer rides. The short also won’t wear out in the time the under-$100 level shorts will. They are built to last. The padding isn’t as soft, but it is supportive once you get used to the idea. The fabric will wick away your sweat and keep your dry. The chamois may have some anti-bacterial functions thanks to Bamboo or carbon weave. It’s okay if you aren’t ready to spend $100 on a pair of shorts, but if you ride long enough you’ll get to this level.
Other notes :
Underwear : Do not wear anything between you and the short. No underwear, thongs, or extras. The short is supposed to hug your body to aid in comfort.
Washing : Washing your shorts in the washing machine are okay, but hang dry so not to over heat the spandex and elastic. If any irritation starts with the chamois start hand washing with anti-bacterial soap. Sometimes the chamois can soak up your detergent and cause infections or irritation
Chamois creme : This personal lube helps with chafing, in grown hairs, and keeping things soft so not to stick. There are many varieties out there, some having a cooling sensation so be ready for it.
Shorts & saddle : Your shorts are only as good as your saddle. Sometimes your favorite saddle can also be killed by a bad fitting sort. Try different things, ask lots of questions to find your perfect match.
There are other things out there to know about cycling bottoms, capri’s, knickers, knee warmers, tri shorts and so on. As the season progresses we’ll touch upon each and everyone.
If you are in the area of Edina, Minnesota do yourself and others a favor : go CHEER! The Hartford Breast Cancer two day event to raise money for Open Arms of Minnesota and Susan G. Komen For the Cure Minnesota Affiliate.
There are many pit stops, and “cheer sections” that need to be volunteered at. Also, with camping and excellent bike support it sounds like a ride not to be missed.