On this site, for some reason, I don’t talk enough about bike rides. About the act of riding my bike. The bliss, the happiness and the emotions or pain it puts through my body.
That’s why we all do this right? It isn’t about the new bike, or the fancy gadgets. It is about the feeling we have inside of us when we ride that new bike for the first time, when you dig in to that wide sweeping turn and accelerate through the corner. All with the motor of your own engine.
Lately, I have been riding one of my road bikes more, a Ridley Orion. The feel of a thoroughbred wanting to gallop from the line, pushing me to longer miles than the coach prescribed. The bike wanting to push further. Hugging the asphalt and yet the 700×23/25 tires buzzing efficiently under me.
As the weather gets cooler we all need motivation, so here is my deal.
I’ll work on telling my story of riding if you tell me yours.
I won’t lie, the Airborne Delta CX was the most exciting part of becoming a member of the Airborne Flight Crew this past spring. I was going to have the inside scoop, test ride and ride for a season a wonderful cyclocross bike that hopefully would crack open a huge “hidden nut” in the bicycle industry. A budget priced, disc brake, cyclocross bike. As a lover of cyclocross bikes for the utility and functionality, this bike fit right into my arsenal to refer friends and followers to.
Across the country the use of cellphones while driving is being cracked down on. Depending on your area it could be as simple as “no texting” or as strict as no cell phone use, unless on work duty.
The statistics for accidents and deaths due to use of cellphones are very high, to be honest it is one of the biggest fears I have as a cyclist on the road.
What are your local governments doing and how does it make you feel?
Locally, we have a ban on texting while driving. I don’t think it has changed much of anything and it doesn’t make me feel better. After the first few times friends of mine get tickets for using their iPhones or Blackberry’s while driving, then I will feel like change is happening.
Until then, I will keep my children on side roads with a good shoulder or dirt paths.
Aluminum hydroframed with carbon fork, change the spec and you have three different levels of Raleigh’s new womens road line. There are some thoughts I walk away with after looking through the line. First off, I don’t understand the geometry and will look more into it with Raleigh. I wish they would bring the smaller 45cm through the whole sizes, especially since it has a 495mm top tube! Until I have more answers, here’s the 2011 Raleigh Capri womens line up…
July through September is an exciting time of the year for the bike industry. July is one of the busiest months across the US for retailers, and right around the corner the next seasons product is budding to be released.
One of the first releases out on the wire are the new Trek Bikes line of women’s road bikes called Lexa.
Trek Lexa $689.99
Compared to the Trek 1.1 unisex bike, this bike is all aluminum (including the fork) with 8 speed drivetrain and compact cranks.
Trek Lexa S $899.99
Compared to the Trek 1.2, carbon fork and 9 speed drivetrain.
Trek Lexa SL $1099.99
Compared to the Trek 1.5 with 9 speed Tiagra and carbon fork. Available in compact or triple.
Trek Lexa SLX $1319.99
10 speed shifting, hydro-formed frame and a higher end aluminum bike.
During April there was a little event called 30 Days of Biking. The goal was to get your butt on a bike during the 30 days of April. A wrench was thrown into my gears during April quickly and I didn’t get nearly all the 30 days (or half of it.) I’m making my own version of 30 Days of Biking in May, everyday a bike ride, everyday a new adventure.
Starting the 30 days of biking off with an easy spin. 19.93 miles, a normal loop from my house that I’ve enjoyed over the past few years. Given the fact I hadn’t been on the road bike in a couple weeks, I felt great and was excited to feel that good!!! I mentally was trying to get back in the feel of things as the next day, Monday, my goal was to try commuting by bike again.
One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!
A common inquiry I receive is whether a certain component is worth the upgrade. To begin I’m going to simply touch on mountain bike parts, next week touching on road. I’m going to do my best to spell out the two main component brands, SRAM and Shimano, and their levels of parts. There are several other component manufactures out there and if you have specific questions please comment below.
SRAM Corporation is a privately held bicycle component manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1987. SRAM is an acronym comprising the names of its founders, Scott, Ray, and Sam, (where Ray is the middle name of company head Stan Day).
In 2008, the company received a strategic investment from Trilantic Capital Partners, formerly known as Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking, the buyout arm of Lehman Brothers. The firm invested $234.8 million in SRAM in a deal that closed Sept. 30, 2008. On May 12, 2011, the company announced in a filing that it intended to raise up to $300 million in an IPO.
SRAM was first known for grip shifters, which are still used to date and are normally featured on internally geared hubs, children’s and hybrid bikes. Grip shifters can be found on the higher end bikes, but are not available in the new 10 speed components.
SRAM also owns RochShox, Zipp, Avid and Truvativ that make up a complete component line of shocks, wheels, brakes, handlebars, seatposts, pedals, cranks, etc.
SRAM Mountain Components
SRAM was the first to bring 10 speed drivetrains to the masses with XX, or 2×10. The 10 speeds in the rear is now available from both SRAM and Shimano. For me SRAM and Shimano don’t have even playing fields in mountain since the XX technology is far lighter than the XTR from Shimano.
Heirarchy of 2011 SRAM Mountain Components
XX - the best. If you have the money, or must have the lightest parts. This is the level X0 – Traditional the best from SRAM, but was trumped by XX. 2×10 technology (Comparable to XTR) X9 – Shifts amazing, a bit heavier and no carbon! Go with if you are worried about weight, but don’t want to break the bank. 2×10 technology (Comparable to XT) X7 – The most affordable of the 2×10 technology, will last and give you the advantage. Not the lightest, but won’t break your wallet (Comparable to SLX) X5 – Found on mid level, what I would consider the lowest end for off road worthy parts. 9 speed(Comparable to Deore) X4 – An entry level, found normally on hybrids or mountain bikes not intended to be ridden off road. Perfectly fine if not abused or ridden off road. X3 – Normally found on kids bikes or very entry level bikes. Will need more maintenance and parts will wear out more quickly.
Shimano, Inc. (TYO: 7309) is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. Shimano product sales constitute 50% of the of the global bicycle component market. Its products include drivetrain, brake, wheel and pedal components for road, mountain, and hybrid bikes.
Shimano is the best known name within bicycle parts. The first to introduce mountain bike specific groups (Deore XT) and continue to push the envelope with electronic shifting to the masses, and innovation technology.
Shimano Mountain Components
XTR has been known over a decade as the bee’s knees of mountain bike parts. Still to this day, the clean and etched look of “XTR” on your rear derailleur or cranks will show folks you know your parts.
XTR [M980] – Top of the range for XC mountain bikes. 10 speed, comparable to SRAM X9 Deore XT [M770] – The longest running of a mtb component line. Amazing shifting, with a bit more weight than XTR. 9 and 10 speed, between SRAM X9 and X7 SLX [M660] – The best bang for the buck in the mtb line, still great shifting but more weight and won’t last as long as XT. 9 and 10 speed, comparable to SRAM X7 Deore [M590] - Entry level, good place to start but will wear out after a couple years of hard use. 9 speed, comparable to SRAM X5
Deore XT Deore LX Deore
Saint [M810] – Top of the range for downhill and freeride bikes, and many components are based on the XT groupset but more durable.
Recreational mountain bikes component
Alivio [M410 and M430] 8 and 9 speed Acera [M360] 8 speed Altus [M310] 8 speed Tourney 6, 7, 8 speed – Includes several different levels of quality, and can be found on department-store bicycles
Ritz and his crew love bikes, support many causes and have the best hug to be found at tiring trade shows. Your local bike shop can order, or you can order direct. My personal favorite is Breakfast Buzz, Bike Shop Girl will probably have a private label of this after the holidays!
Lights and more Lights
It’s that time of the year that either it’s dreary on your road ride or you aren’t mountain biking after work because you can’t see. Help out your cyclist, keep them riding and safe!
On the road option 1: To be seen, this is for the front and back on the road when it’s getting dark. I’m a fan of the new Knog Blinder lights as they charge with a built in USB and add some personality to your bike.
On the road option 2: I’m biased, I LOVE the folks at Light & Motion. The gift set will add some much needed visibility and you can see with the 200 lumen headlight, unless you’re rolling at 25mph. Both are charged by a USB cable, saving the planet one battery at a time.
On the trail: Light & Motion is what I run almost exclusively. They are water proof, bomb proof, and the company (as mentioned) rocks. If your loved one doesn’t have anything to trail ride with I would recommend the Taz 800or the Seca 800. The biggest advantage of the Seca is being able to run on your helmet (my preference) and a separate battery so you can charge others or have backups for long rides.
Strava and Garmin Geeks Rejoice
Does your loved one ride non-stop with a Garmin strapped to their bike? Class it up a bit with this K-Edge mount.
I’m sure if I go way back I can remember things earlier, but one of the things I do remember is my brother, who’s three years younger than I, picking up my bike and riding it around sans-training wheels. I remember being pissed that he could ride it better than I could.
Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?
A good friend of mine is owner of Beverly Cycles in MA, and just exudes a passion for cycling. He was one of the ones that unknowingly got my head back into cycling after giving up for a time.
What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?
I’ve done a fair amount of races this year, more than the last couple of years, but I think the best moment was the other day. We’ve recently moved to Malaysia from the Boston area, and the other day was my first bike ride here. While it was a whopping 3 miles and was only for getting around to run errands and meet up with folks, it broke the ice of cycling here. I’m much less worried about going out for rides, and I can’t wait to go out again.
Tell us what you ride
I have many bikes. My theory is the usual N + 1 where N is the number of current bikes, and I have enough parts and frames in the basement of our hours in the States to build several bikes.
That said, my road bike is a 2009 Fuji RC frame with Ultegra 6700 parts and Mavic Krysrium wheels.
My CX bike (the only one I have with me until October) is a mix of various parts I’ve bought in shops, online or salvaged from other bikes. It’s a 1×9 with BB7 disc brakes, carbon fork and Mud2 tires. I’m planning on putting road tires on soon until my road bike is shipped over.
I have two bikes that I left in the States for when I visit, one is a 1976 Raleigh Grand Prix with Sora crank, fenders and 700c wheels. The other is the first new bike I’ve ever owned, a 2002 Trek 1000 road bike, which will be my primary bike when I’m back home, in case I want to jump into a race.
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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!