Review: 2012 Trek Lush Women’s Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Since posting the first photos back in July the 2012 Trek Lush has been a buzz around Bike Shop Girl. The Twitter stream gets many comments, Facebook gets many questions and my email has its own little folder of women waiting to hear more on first test rides and availability. As I mentioned a few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be loaned a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon for review and demo purposes from the East Coast Women’s Trek Demo rep.
The Ultimate Century Nutrition Plan
Our guest article today is from, Kimberly Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD, the founder and owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and competitive athlete who provides custom meal planning, nutrition coaching, and event-nutrition guidance to athletes worldwide. More information on Fuel Factor services can be found at www.Fuel-Factor.com. Kim can be reached at kim@Fuel-Factor.com .
Whether you are professional cyclist pushing some serious wattage to win a race or a cycle-newbie excited to explore the countryside, implementation of a sound nutrition plan will be a huge determining factor in how your body will respond to the century challenge. Fueling peak cycling performance involves a trio of steps including: 1) tapered training and carbohydrate loading the 2 weeks leading up to the ride, 2) eating a meal the morning of the ride, and 3) consuming foods and fluids during the ride itself. Here’s a nutritional countdown to help your century preparation:
Two weeks and counting….
Many athletes actually dread the taper leading up to a big event, such as a century ride, but from a nutritional standpoint, when you complete your peak training volume about 2 weeks out from race day, muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores are about 30% lower than capacity, not an ideal place to be at for peak performance. Therefore, a two-week taper is appropriate before a century ride as means to allow your muscles to nutritionally reload.
In the first week of your taper, training volume should be reduced by 40% with the cutback being reflected on all your normal weekly rides. On race week, not only will training volume be reduced by another 40% but carbohydrate concentration in your diet should increase approximately 25% representing about 80% of your total caloric intake. However, while increases in carbohydrate are necessary, this is not an invite to blindly pile on the pasta till your pant button explodes. Calorie intake needs to match output so if you find yourself gaining more than 2% of your pre-load weight, you are consuming too much. Most athletes require ~15 calories per pound of body mass to support basic metabolic needs and tapered daily activities.
One day and counting…
While you may be eager to explore the pre-race scene, it is important that you maintain a ‘taper focus’, keeping your activity and time on foot to a minimal the day prior to a century. Make sure to stay hydrated, sipping on fluids until your urine maintains a pale yellow appearance. Continue your carbohydrate-focus but keep your diet low residue, meaning fiber content should be reduced a bit in favor of ‘easier-to-digest’ options (e.g., banana instead of an apple; white pasta over whole wheat pasta). In addition, fat and protein at your evening meal should be kept minimal as these nutrients take longer to clear the gut and can cause nausea on race morning, especially if the meal is eaten after 6pm. Make sure to stick with familiar foods, saving the more exotic local cuisine for post-ride.
While a training taper and coordinated increase in carbohydrate intake is proven to prime your muscles for peak cycling performance, a carbohydrate-focused meal on ride morning will help restock your depleted liver glycogen stores, ultimately giving you that mental boost to perform at peak during the initial stages of the century ride. Our liver has the capacity to store approximately 100 grams (400 calories) of carbohydrate making this the target for consumption in the 2 hours leading up to race start. Much like your carbo-loading regimen, limit dietary fiber intake and instead use up to 25 grams of protein (e.g., egg, yogurt, soy milk) to help stabilize energy levels. Small amounts of fat (up to 20 grams), like that found in a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, can provide additional satiation value. Finally, aim at drinking ½-1 liter of fluid or enough that your urine runs pale yellow in the hours leading up to event start. For those vulnerable to cramping or premature muscle fatigue, consuming up to a gram of salt as part of your pre-ride fuel, whether found naturally in your food or added like that in a sports drink, has been shown to help mute the onset by a good 20% during endurance events such as a century ride.
Meals on Wheels
All the nutritional work during your taper and carbo-loading regimen and pre-ride meal is not enough to carry you through a century ride making ‘meals on wheels’ essential for protection against the mental ‘bonk’ and muscle wrenching ‘wall’. Because both pedaling and digestion of food require oxygen nourishment, it is impossible to replace 100% of cycling output, which falls at 500-1000 calories/hour for most endurance cyclists, but, while a 30-40% replacement rate is optimal for most, the goal is to test that limit as means to mute the fatigue seen with depleted glycogen stores.
Note that with increases wattage, effort, and/or heart rate, there will be increases in calorie output yet the ability to absorb nutrients will decrease making the onset of muscle fatigue more probable. Therefore, cyclists who are racing a century should focus primarily on easier-to-absorb liquid carbohydrates (e.g, sport drink, gels with water), utilizing multiple carbohydrate sources (e.g., maltodextrin + 1-2 simple sugars) to help improve rate of uptake and accommodate their higher calorie outputs. All cyclists should avoid piling on the calories at sag stations as this will only divert blood/oxygen/water to the belly increasing the likelihood of cramping and/or nausea post-feeding. Ultimately, experimentation with different products during training is key to help create a plan that will work best for you on event day.
Want help creating an ultimate cycling nutrition plan? Kimberly Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD founder and owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and competitive athlete who provides custom meal planning, nutrition coaching, and event-nutrition guidance to athletes worldwide. More information on Fuel Factor services can be found at www.Fuel-Factor.com. Kim can be reached at kim@Fuel-Factor.com .
Tech Tuesday: How to Adjust a Threadless Headset
Make sure to visit the sponsors of this posts.. Problem Solvers!
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!
Today’s Tech Tuesday is based around adjusting your threadless headset. Threadless headsets are what 99% of new bikes come with these days, thanks to Cane Creek, and works with the bearings are pulled together by a nut placed inside of your fork steerer, then the stem is tightened down to hold everything in place.
Steps to Adjust your Threadless Headset
Step 1: Make sure that it is your headset that is loose. Often a loose headset is misdiagnosed by a loose quick release, brake caliper or front hub. We check the headset by grabbing the front brake only, rocking the bike front to back, if you feel movement you then turn the handlebars to the side and again rock the bike front to back.
Step 2: Once you are sure that it is your headset that is loose, or perhaps you have installed a new stem, loosen your stem steerer bolts so the stem can be moved side to side. You do not need to take the bolts out. Now tighten the top (stem) cap, you do not need to wrench down on it, but it should be snug. Rock the bike front to back to make sure the movement is gone.
Step 3: Tighten your stem down, making sure it is lined up with your wheel properly.
Step 4: Loosen the top cap a hair so not to cause the bearings to bind
Step 5: Move your handlebars side to side to make sure the headset is not too tight. If you feel binding repeat steps 2-4 but don’t tighten the top (stem) cap as much.
Step 6: Check over all the bolts and go enjoy and properly steering bike.
First Impressions: 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike
A beautiful brown box with a huge Raleigh logo on the side showed up this past week for review. Inside, a 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 women’s cyclocross bike in for review. I previewed the line back in August and received a good amount of tweets and comments about the line. At $1,650 this bike could be a break through road/cross/commuter/do all women’s bike. Allowing more options and ways to get women on one well spec’d bike. I have high hopes, and the bike will be abused to see if they meet the hopes.
Ways to be a Social Savvy Bike Shop
“Word of Mouth Marketing” is a term I love to use, and use it more often than the marketers around me would like. For myself, word of mouth marketing is anytime a person/company is spreading their marketing message by words, typing, reviews or voices instead of using advertising. Some may look at it also as grassroots marketing, or gorilla tactics.
Bike shops, like many small businesses, have been slower on the take of grassroots marketing they realize they need to do it but how do you justify the time or cost of time that it takes to spread a message. Below are some elementary ways a bike shop can spread their own message without paying an arm and a leg for an agency or specialized professional to do so. Granted, if they paid a bit upfront for setup and guidance from these said professionals they will get a better product to run with on their own. It is also hard for a bike shop to justify the cost of having someone with marketing skills, especially when you can’t draw a straight line to a dollar figure on their evening sales report.
Emails and e-newsletters are an old hat. Small businesses have been using them for 10 years, some put more thought in what is within those email walls before hitting the “send button.”
Here’s some best of class ways of doing things:
- Consistent. This doesn’t mean you have to email out every Thursday, but figure a timing that works for you and do your best to make it. This could be bi-monthly, or monthly, or quarterly.
- Understandable subject line. Don’t get too creative, people need to remember why they subscribed to you and why they should open
- Cross interest. Try to touch on various interest in your “generic email” newsletters. IF you have your email lists categorized by interest, then great – send triathlete emails to triathletes. I still suggest to write a “generic email” to all your customers that highlight all interest. Just because I bought a triathlon bike from you does not mean I’m not interested in the kids bike specials for the holidays.
Everything is tagged with the word social these days. Social media, social hype. I separate social media hype in a few ways, social community and social outlets. Facebook Pages, Twitter, and Google+ are community driven. Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo are examples of social outlets. They all have social aspects, some more outlets and some more community building.
Learn how to build a community and tribe.
Customer Data Mining
Are your customers on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn? Do you know your top customers buying habits? Do you know your top customers by bike type, or by apparel, labor and numbers? Do you know the women that buy because there is a sale or a coupon shows up in their inbox?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you are missing connections and sales.
Motivational Monday with Wendy Davis
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!
What’s your name and location?
Wendy Davis in great Missouri
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
mountain, single-speed, gravel, cross, road
What is your first cycling memory?
June 16 2007 was my first mountain bike ride as an adult. I pedaled 1.5 miles and launched myself over a cliff. A visit to the ER confirmed a broken elbow. In that short time I found my destiny. I fell in love with mountain biking that day.
Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?
I ride to inspire others to ride. I want people to see that if I can do it, so can they. The bike has made me happier and healthier. I keep riding because it makes me a better human.
What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?
Racing at Sea Otter courtesy of Airborne Bicycles and crushing gravel at the Dirty Kanza 200
Tell us all about your bikes
2009 Specialized hard-tail singlespeed
2011 Kona Jake the Snake
2011 Airborne Goblin
Read more about Wendy over at her blog!
Booth Babes at Interbike are a Turnoff
This past Interbike I saved my vacation time and dollars for other things, leaving my coverage to be from industry friends and stalking the internet for worthwhile product to talk about. On return from Interbike a few female friends that work within the bicycle industry emailed or texted about the outrage from an article running in the daily version of Bicycle Retailer.
Booth Babes have a Hard Life
The attached scanned in version of the article talks about how difficult the job is. The women are paid between $100-500 a day, and are paid to “attempt to charm strangers and lure them into trade show booths by talking about products you know little about.”
As a woman in the industry that does know what she is talking about this insults me. Pretty faces and large breast may attract guys to the booths, I get that. The ways of marketing to guys isn’t something that bothers me, hell I even second the notion if it means you see more women in the industry supported.
There are Beautiful Women in the Industry
I could give you a list of a 100 women that either work or race within the bicycle industry that could compete in the “looks” category of the booth babes. Here’s a thought :
Hey Mr. Bike Industry Guy, if beautiful women attract people to your booth, why not support more women (that actually ride bikes) year around to attract more people in general to bicycles.
Think of that cute shop girl that sold you a tire a few weeks ago, or the mechanic with full sleeves that could kick your butt in the alley cat. These are the woman we need to turn into poster girls. I bet most women in the industry would be happy talking shop in a booth, to be paid for it would make it that much better.
That $2,000 you spent on the booth girl at Interbike could be spent sponsoring a well deserving female athlete to get to the next level.
Is it the Boobs or That They are Women?
Women are needed in the industry. I wish I could throw you a fancy fact about how women in the bike shop or at shows give off more participation but I can’t. Somewhere there must be one if companies are spending such large amounts of marketing cash for the booth babes at Interbike or Sea Otter.
A friendly, KNOWLEDGABLE, woman with a contagious personality is going to attract all types of people to your booth, shop or company. Women tend not to be as intimidating to strangers, easier to approach and less cliche. This isn’t always true but if you are a bicycle shop employee or consumer you have probably felt the “boys club” feeling when walking into a random bike shop.
This goes for booths as well. A bunch of guys in sweatshirts, tshirts and baggy cargo shorts, guys that could be super nice but not over the top welcoming, I would say this is 7 out of 10 booths at any show I’ve been at. If it isn’t sweatshirts and cargo shorts it is crisp polo’s and khakis that you feel they are above you, if you aren’t going to talk to the about Campy Super Record that they are waiting to put their nose up at you.
Look are Everything
Boobs sell, so do colors, smiles and warm welcomes. An early morning at Sea Otter, a booth with free coffee will have more traffic than any booth with tank top clad boobs. The Luna Chix team trailer at Sea Otter is always slammed. These women are friendly, gave away free food and took the time to talk to everyone interested. They are real women that come back from warm up laps muddy, that are well versed on the bikes they are riding and to me, are the best sales representatives for Orbea that you could ever have.
Find the Women
You want to attract people to your booth with boobs? Put out a call, place and ad for bicycle industry models or racers. Ship in some shop employees that already SELL your PRODUCT.
You want more people riding bikes? Put more women behind your product, on the front of your booth selling it, in the design meetings, on the sales calls, and so on.
Preview: Specialized Cycloross Tires
As cyclocross season is getting rolling, cyclocross product is rolling in the door for test riding and abusing in the name of reviews! One of the most sensitive subjects for cyclocross racers (other than bike geometry) is tire choice and pressure.
2012 Specialized Cyclocross Tires
Three new cyclocross tires focused on from the big S, Specialized Bicycles. One for each terrain, hard packed, mixed conditions, and wet or muddy conditions.
Specialized Trigger Tire
This is the tire for the hard pack conditions, and developed with the help of Todd Wells.
Details: Sharp but shallow diamond tread pattern in the center. Increased and more stable blacks in the shoulder for cornering in hard surfaces.
Trigger Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 420g MSRP: $100
Trigger Pro TPI: 120 Weight: 275g MSRP: $55
Trigger Sport TPI: 60 Weight: 405g MSRP: $35
Specialized Tracer Tire
Details: One tread that covers all courses, a center knob providing good traction, shoulder knobs to adapt on hard or loose grounds.
Tracer Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 420g MSRP: $100
Tracer Pro TPI: 120 Weight: 285g MSRP: $55
Tracer Sport TPI: 60 Weight: 405g MSRP: $35
Specialized Terra Tire
Details: Sharp edged tread that clears well in mud and muddy
Terra Tubular TPI: 290 Weight: 425g MSRP: $100
Terra Pro TPI: 120 Weight: 305g MSRP: $55
Tires in for Review
One set of each of the Terra and Trigger tires showed up and are being mounted to give you a full review! For now go check out Specialized full run of cyclocross tires on their website.
The FTC makes me tell you that I receive these tires for free for review. I was not paid or bribed, but I wouldn’t mind making a dollar on this.
First Impressions: 2011 Specialized Myka Expert Women’s 29er
For the past month the women behind Bike Shop Girl have been test riding the 2011 Specialized Myka Expert 29er. Getting our own first hand impressions of how Specialized does women’s 29ers. Along the way this has also allowed us to try out the Specialized 29er tires, Specialized Riva saddle and Rock Shox “Specialized Womens Tuned” fork.
The Day that Changed my Life, I’m Looking for Donations
October 1st, 2010 was a beautiful Friday in Charlotte. The morning had started with a 5 mile commute down the road to catch my bus into Charlotte. The work day went by quickly, I had been blessed with tickets to the Sugarland concert and it was FRIDAY! As I left my office, pedaling the .75 miles to the bus stop I never thought the next 12 hours would be so different and so altered.
If you are a loyal reader, you know I was left hooked by a car in an intersection. Not but two blocks from my bus stop and commute home for a solid weekend with family. The next several hours was spent on a backboard for MRI’s and X-rays. While my brain felt fine, I had always done well in panic situations. Calming everyone around me as my hip and legs were in intensive pain. I knew my life was changed, the preacher of “commuting by bike”, the family that owned one car, the care-free feeling I had felt in Charlotte for the past 5 years was shattered.
Everyone of my readers, Twitter friends and loved ones pulled me through. For many months I felt I had lost my soul in that accident. The soul that was commuting by bike in middle school, I felt that I had lost her. Over the past year I have found new pieces, have changed and have started to push myself. Finding my limits that I am working on breaking.
This October 1st I am Running a 5k
If you know me, you know that I am a cyclist. While I enjoyed running in middle and high school, it hasn’t been something of any interest for the past year. Over the winter, and more specifically this summer I started to jog. We call it “wogging” in my family as I feel I am super slow. When my company decided to walk or run the Race for the Cure in Charlotte there was a light that clicked on in my head. Yes, this would be a great way to celebrate one year of being alive.
Why not ride a bike? I ride a bike daily. Thanks to everyone that supported me I feel confident (though sometimes freaked out) to ride on the road or commute. That hurdle was overcome this past spring. Instead I am partaking in something, a run, that I know will hurt, I will struggle and at the end I will feel more proud of myself for completing than riding a 100 miles.
A sub 30 minute 5k with rolling hills. That is my goal. It is a stretch, but I know somewhere in it I can do it.
A car accident is scary. The whole day was a blur but cancer – now that is the one of the most frightening things a person can handle in a life time. Putting one step in front of another. Putting a few dollars down for the cure.
9 Days to Raise $425 Please Help
As much as I am stretching for 30 minutes in my first 5k, I am stretching for fundraising. But, I believe in all of you. I believe we can push over this hurdle and everyone of you will be with me as I celebrate 1 year of being alive. Every year I hope to find a cause such as this one to celebrate with.
I am 15% of the way there as I type this. Please keep pushing for me. Donate!