Monday, May 23, 2011

Bicycle Types - The Three Major Categories

 Depending on the type of riding you prefer there is a bicycle specially designed for that style. It can be said that there is not one bike that can do it all. Try taking a road bike down a mountain trail and you will not like the results. And although a downhill bike can certainly follow the trail of a road bike, it will not do so very effectively.

There are three major categories of bicycles, road, mountain, and hybrid. Each of these categories will have sub categories further defining a specialized role. And even then these sub categories can be broken down into different types as well. A good example of this would be a mountain bike in the all mountain sub category falling into one of two different types, full suspension or hard tail.

Road bikes are the easiest type of bicycle to explain. They are meant primarily for riding on hard paved surfaces. The frames are very lightweight and stiff. A stiff frame equates to a very responsive ride without the soft feel that you would feel in other types of frames. There will not be any suspension on a road bike. The tire will be very narrow and pumped to a high pressure of over 100psi.

The dropped handlebars put the rider into a riding position that is extremely effective in transferring the rider's energy through the drive train to the road. All of the characteristics of the road bike are for this reason, to transfer energy effectively. For example a suspension system would dampen some of that energy reducing the effectiveness.

Mountain bikes are much more complex to describe due to the many different types. Mountain bikes, often referred to as MTB's, will have several categories and sub categories. In general however MTB's share many common features.

MTB's will have large diameter frames for durability. Most frames today are made of aluminum for light weight. Carbon frames are available on more expensive bikes. The tires will be wide, in some instances over 2 inches, with a low air pressure of about 40psi.

The geometry of an MTB varies given the style of riding it was designed for, but like the road bike the geometry will be designed for efficiency in mind given the bikes purpose. A downhill racer will be much different than a cross country model. Almost every type of MTB will have some form of suspension which will vary again due to the particular style of riding the bike is meant for.

The hybrid category is best described as a cross between a road bike and an MTB. Designed for general purpose all around riding it can perform well in both on road and off road conditions. But there has to be some compensation therefore the hybrid will not equal the performance levels of a road bike or an MTB.

Similar in geometry to an MTB the hybrid puts the rider in an upright position. It will have thinner tires than an MTB, more similar to those of a road bike for better performance on paved surfaces. But for off road use the tires will be wider than those of a road bike. These features are what give the hybrid a wide range of riding situations but with some performance limitations. For an aspiring cyclist a hybrid can be a wise choice for general all purpose riding.

It is not uncommon for an avid cyclist to own more than one bike, different bikes for different rides. In some European countries it is normal for people to have four or five bicycles. In the U.S. two to three bikes is common among serious riders. Given the fact that no one bike can do it all, then perhaps if you can afford to do so owning more than one bike is a wise decision.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Competitive Cycling Tips : Time Trial Tips For Competitive Cyclists

When racing in a time trial as a competitive cyclist, it's important to stay in a tucked position and go all out. Learn how to compete in a time trial in this free competitive cycling video lesson.

Expert: Sal Collura
Bio: Sal Collura has been racing bikes at the elite level for 20 years. He placed 5th overall in the Criterium rankings for the State of Oregon in 2007, and 3rd overall in 2006.
Filmmaker: Sal Collura

Saturday, May 14, 2011

TEDxMileHigh - Allen Lim - Life with Bikes

What would you do if you lost your passions? Doing is great, but it's ultimately about trying, says Allen Lim. In this personal story, he details the creativity and persistence that was required to bring one of his own passions back to life. In the process, he implores us to rediscover the bicycle as well as our personal passions.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

World Record Bike High Jump Attempt

It is not yet an Olympic sport but records are still there to be broken.

These guys are jumping a huge height just from standstill on their bikes and making it look very easy.

Do they take the world record though?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mountain Bike Riding Tips

 Mountain bike riding has become a very popular recreational activity. There are many places to ride from trails to lake shores to forests, and yes, mountains. Being prepared for riding will make your riding adventure more enjoyable. Here are some mountain bike riding tips for the beginner. Advanced riders may also find this information useful.

On Your Mark...

- The first important tip that any rider should know is to have proper equipment, such as a helmet. Even if you don't buy another accessory, make sure you don't skimp on your helmet.

- Another accessory, but not required, are riding gloves. If you are riding for any extended length of time, they will come in handy. You will be gripping hard on the handle grips at times and you will need extra padding. This will help keep your hands from getting tired. They also offer some protection when and if you fall.

- Padded cycling shorts are good too. They will increase your comfort on the bike for those long rough rides.

- A cycling jersey can be beneficial since they are loose fitting and usually have pockets that have zippers or velcro.

- A good pair of cycling/hiking shoes can make or break your day. Sometimes you may need to carry your bike over some terrains that you can't ride on and you want good gripping shoes.

- Eye protection, like sunglasses or clear unbreakable lenses will keep bugs, dust and other debris out of your eyes.

- Water is an essential item. Don't go without this one. You can dehydrate very quickly when cycling. Also if you are biking in the sun, use sunscreen.

Get Ready...

- The type of mountain bike you ride needs to be designed for the type of riding you are going to do.

- The body frame of your bike must fit your unique size and proportion.

- The brakes must be more powerful than a standard bike to keep the wheel from moving when hopping on uneven ground.

- Since you are riding on dirt, mountain bike tires need to be knobby not skinny. This ensures traction on rugged terrain.

- Your bike should be checked regularly and any repairs made that are necessary before you take your mountain bike out for a ride.

A prepared rider will have a bike that fits well and works properly. This will give you greater comfort and a more enjoyable riding experience, and help prevent unnecessary pain and injuries.

Get Set...

Do your part to preserve and enhance the mountain biker's access and image by observing the following rules:

- Obey all of the rules. They were designed in part for your safety.

- Don't damage our ecosystem. If you are riding and damaging a wet trail, this not only leads to erosion but also will lead to trail closures.

- Ride only on open trails. Closed trails are closed for a reason and riding on one is illegal. Don't do it. It just gives the mountain bikers a bad reputation.

- Pay attention to the dirt beneath you. If it is soft consider other riding options, but stay on existing trails and don't make new ones.


Hopefully these mountain bike-riding tips will get you started happily and safely on your way to a great experience. Now that you are ready... Go!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Group Ride Etiquette


1. Keep an appropriate distance according to your skill. If you feel uneasy you are unsafe. Don't hit the brakes, simply pull out of the line after looking back and let yourself drift back a little before you rejoin the group. The key is letting the riders around you know what you are up to BEFORE you make a move.

2. If you are new to group riding (even if you have been cycling for a while) Find an appropriate group to ride with, never ride up further than you are comfortable. Just because you can ride at 28 MPH does not mean that you should in a group. it is best to start with a beginning group then work your way up. (I recruit for cat 5 racers out of beginning ride groups, people who understand there limits make for better team members).

3. Take an appropriate pull, if you don't have the energy to take a pull simply rotate back as soon as you get to the front, most riders can respect the rider who is unashamed and willing to go to the back for the betterment of the group. Remember if the group has to wait for you because you took too long of a pull and got dropped they will be less likely to want you in the front later. (always ride well within yourself) ) OH yeah, don't contest the sprint if you didn't take a pull its bad form.

Communication is the key let others know what you are up to. What to say and how to say it.

1. SLOWING, if you find yourself in the front of the group and have to slow the group for a stop sign or any other obstruction YELL out so that at least three to five riders behind you can hear you SLOWING, BREAKING, or STOPPING depending on what is going on. Here is the key say it way before you do it, allow for a five to ten count. example: SLOWING, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 then let off the pedals slowing to the new speed. (a good way of making sure you give enough time is to say the command then place your weak hand behind your back and wave off the rider behind you repeating the command). This will insure that you give enough time for the riders behind to react and it will make sure that you don't hit the brakes or slow down too soon.

Manage the hills

Climbing is an art form, each of us attack a hill with a different goal. For some like me survival is the goal. For others domination is the goal. All of us find ourselfs somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. So how do you manage the hills. Simple take them at your own pace. The hills are not the place to practice your paclining. It only takes the smallest of errors going up to cause an accident. Leave plenty of room between you and the person in front of you so that if they stop suddenly you can get around or stop safely. If the rider up is slower than you want to go- check your 6 then pass them quickly a word of encouragement as you pass would be a nice bonus too. Don't pass if you are going to slow down as soon as you do, this causes the yoyo effect and can frustrate the riders behind. Pass at a steady sustainable speed and continue at that pace until you are well clear of the rider back. Remember that the rider back may challenge themself to keep up. Encourage that it is how we all get better. In short leave room and expect to be passed don't worry all will wait at the top.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

X Games Asia 2011 - Vince Byron BMX Vert Gold Medal

Vince Byron wins the gold medal in BMX Vert at KIa X Games Asia 2011.

Log onto for all event info