2010 April

Different Types of Pedals

There are a variety of pedal types out in bike land these days.  The three top types of pedals are the following :

Platform Pedals

These are the pedals you have been using since the big wheel.  The are flat, sometimes with small grip pegs sticking out.  These do not require any special shoes, are the easiest to use and are also the least effecient of the pedals listed.

Toe Clips and Straps

Take the above platform pedal, and and a cage with strap.  These can be tightened down on your shoe to give you some ability to pull up on the pedals, as well as keeping your foot in a relative position.

Clipless Pedals

You have probably heard horror stories of clipless, or clip-in, pedals.  Chances are if you have tried them, you have toppled over one or two times.  Requiring special shoes, special pedals and a high confidence rate.   I recommend to try learning how to clip in with a friend, or your favorite local bike shop.  Being locked into a trainer also helps as you don’t have to worry about falling over.

Clipless pedals (also clip-in or step-in) require a special cycling shoe with a cleat fitted to the sole, which locks into a mechanism in the pedal, holding the shoe firmly to the pedal. Most of today’s clipless pedals lock to the cleats when stepped together firmly, and unlock with when the foot is twisted outward. Clipless refers to the lack of an external toe clip (cage), but not to be confused with platform pedals without toe clips. – Souce: Wikipedia

Do I Need Clipless Pedals?

Good question, visit our follow up article on the advantages and disadvantages of clipless pedals.

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Pink Shoes

A customer came in to the bike shop yesterday looking for pink shoes.  The only thing I had to offer her were the Sidi T2 triathlon specific model, unfortunately her foot was too wide for a Sidi shoe.

Do you know of any Pink Shoes?

The customer has a wider foot, so a shoe more like Shimano or Pearl Izumi fit would be best. We found the Bont shoes, but have no experience with the molded shoes.

The best we found

DeFeet shoe covers in pastel pink

Sidi T2

What to Expect on Mountain Bike Group Rides

Every Monday night there is a group ride that I put together at a local state park.   Currently, I’m the slowest person in the group but no one seems to mind as I am surrounded by customers and members of the mountain bike team I run.  All good people, all excellent people to share moments on the trail with.

During this past weeks ride one of the faster fellows on my mountain bike team slowed down to chat with me.  He had been encouraging his wife to come out on the group ride, but she was too intimidated by those fast guys he rides with.

It rang a bell in my head, as I’ve been on those rides and have heard tons of stories from customers.  What I should of said there was, I’ve heard horror stories from customers.

Group Rides Should Be Fun

There is a reason we aren’t calling them training rides.  If you want to have a test-fest* make sure it is in the fine print of your advertising of the ride.  If the ride says a no-drop, then you should wait every once in awhile and make sure the people behind you are alive.  When they arrive, let them breathe before you leave again.

How a Proper Group Ride Acts

  • You show up to destination 15 minutes prior to the departure time
  • Everyone says hello and talks up
  • Arguing for who is taking the lead into the trail
  • Put the single speeders up front, it will be better for all
  • If the group separates too often, you lead designated leaders of these separate packs.  Those leaders make sure their group stays together as best as possible.  Stopping every few miles to regroup and make sure everyone is alive.
  • For more beginner rides, you may stop at every mile marker.
  • Someone is your sweep. Normally an individual with mechanical experience to help your fallen friends with flat tires.
  • You finish your ride
  • Have a beer
  • Plan for next week

Our group rides are at Lake Norman State Park, come join us if you are near Charlotte/Lake Norman, North Carolina.

*Test-fest : A term I have coined for those events where there is too much testosterone or testicles in the area.

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Cervelo’s YouTube Stream

For the past few months I’ve been doing my best to find good video content, inspiration and motivation to continue to learn to become a better “filmographer.”  ONly this past fall did I start messing with video, coming from a photography and graphic design background.

One of the streams on YouTube that keeps impressing me is Cervelo. Anything that gets me to want to go ride my bike, is a good video to me!

Computer and Camera Woes

If you are a loyal BSG reader, you know that about two weeks I slowed down on articles.

No fear, my new iMac is here!  My laptop wasn’t able to push the HD video and audio I needed to do for the podcast and video reviews here in BSG and Commute By Bike.  The new iMac is here, and I have a list of articles, podcast and videos I am trying to hammer out as time allows.

Let’s catch up – how is the riding going where you are?  What goals have you accomplished so far this season?

Can I Wear Guys Cycling Shorts?

The easy answer to the question “Can I wear guys cycling shorts?”

Yes!

The hidden answer after that is, as long as they fit you.

For a very long time women were lucky to have various types of moderate level shorts.  There has been a few companies that come to mind that have been doing women’s cycling shorts well. These companies are : Pearl Izumi, Giordana, Sugoi, and Sheebeast.

Even with these brands, for one reason or another I’ve still worn about 50-75% of the time, guys shorts.   One of those large reasons are bib shorts, which is another topic in its own, I love them and not one company has made a good women’s design bib.  This has left me wearing guys bibs.  Other reasons are team sponsorship, right now the shops team kit are guys bibs, which is fine with me.

Reasons Not to Wear Guys Shorts

Length of chamois.  The pad/chamois goes high on guys shorts as they have more “package.” This freaks some women out as it comes well in front of the pubic bone.
Chamois size.  Remember that whole women’s design?  That goes with shorts too.  Women tend to need wider chamois in their shorts.  Just make sure the chamois doesn’t end too quickly for you or end where the saddle will rub.  That will leave you with several saddle sores.
Inseam length.  Companies tend to put a shorter inseam on women’s shorts compared to men’s.  This is another reason that I wear guys, I have long legs and the 6″ inseam on girls shorts are just too short normally.

Recommended Guys Shorts/Bibs to Try

Bontrager RXL
My go to shorts for the past year since I found them.  They have different materials through out the short to help with compression and the chamois is made to mate with their inForm saddles.

Gore Power Bib
– One of my new favorites if you read my article a couple days ago.  One note, do NOT get the Men’s Xenon bibs as the chamois has a break in the middle.  Can you say “camel toe?”

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your local bike shop confuse you, your favorite pair of shorts are two fold.  The first is the dressing room test, is it comfortable?  The second is to make sure it fits well on your favorite saddle.  Seams away from the edge of your saddles and that the chamois doesn’t “fold” in half and start pushing up on soft tissues.

Men’s or women’s : who cares as long as it fits?

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Introduction : Gore Bike Wear Power Lady Jacket

MSRP : $199.99
GORE-TEX® Paclite® Shell

Options : 4 colors, 6 sizes

From the Company

This waterproof and breathable road cycling jacket offers great protection in bad weather conditions. Plus it will fit in any backpack folded up.

Initial Thoughts

A compact, completely waterproof jacket even down to the taped seams.  It is able to zip up in to its own rear pocket, making this a very small and easy to carry jacket.   Because all of the rain that the Southeast had been having this spring I’ve kept this jacket in my messenger bag at all times.

Once I see how this jacket does with wear and tear I’ll upload a video for you all to see the highlights and key features, or negatives concerns of course.

Visit Gore Bike Wear to see more

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.
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