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Guides

  • 10 Essential Tips for Bike Commuting

    If you're not already doing it, you've probably at least started thinking about riding to work. That's great! With a little preparation, riding your bike to work has all kinds of benefits. And it's a lot more fun than sitting in a car, stuck in a traffic jam!

    If you're new to the whole commuting thing or just haven't done it in a while, I've put together our top 10 bike commuting tips to help you get over the learning curve sooner than later.

    1. Plan your route.

    bike-lane

    Narrow, busy roads are no fun when you're on a bike. Big trucks and careless cars zooming by while you try to stay within a 1-foot shoulder can create a lot of anxiety, and for good reason. So before you start, check out a map and run through the options. If bike paths or roads with bike lanes are available, use them, even if they're not the most direct route. A couple of added minutes each day are much less worse than getting hit by a truck, and the commute will be much more enjoyable if you have plenty of space.

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  • Intro to the World's Top Road Cycling Races

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Bicycle racing is a fascinating and heart-pounding sport. The strategy required to move up in a multi-stage race, the pure power of an all-out sprint, or the grit of a time trial: in every case, bike racing is a beautiful example of competition at its best.

    Today we are going to list the top road races in the world. While you might never be able to participate in these yourself (although who knows; keep on training!), you can participate through watching. Spectating the world's top bike races is a phenomenal experience, especially with the breathtaking camera work that makes you feel like you're in the middle of the pack.

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  • Non-clipless Bike Shoes: What to Look For

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Many cyclists choose to use cycling shoes -- clipless shoes that match to specialized pedals. We've written about these shoes before, and they are a phenomenal option for many riders. They increase the efficiency of your pedal stroke, help balance the muscles of your legs, and add power.

    But some folks just don't want to use bike shoes, for various reasons. Some don't want the added expense, while others aren't comfortable with the feeling of being attached to the bicycle and not being able to put out a foot rapidly to catch a fall. Many people just want to be able to walk around comfortably when riding from place to place.

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  • Training With Power, Step 1: Obtain your FTP

    Road Cyclist Training

    As I mentioned in my first post about power meters, training with power in cycling can be fairly complex, and the very first step is the easiest of all: collect data. Begin your first few weeks of training by simply riding with your power meter and collecting data.

    Some cycling power meters come with their own software suite for collecting and analyzing data, such as PowerTap's PowerAgent, and there are some freeware programs out there you can use, as well (e.g. Golden Cheetah). Training Peaks is an online software suite that offers free and premium accounts, and they even have an offline version called WKO+. Regardless which product you use, it’s important you collect data from every ride. More on that later.

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  • A Woman's Tips for a Successful Mountain Biking Date

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    As a female road cyclist who rarely ventures onto the trails but seems to constantly be dating guys who love throwing themselves down rocky trails on their bikes, I've had my fair share of successful and unsuccessful couple mountain bike rides.

    If you're thinking of taking your relationship to the next level and becoming an "adventure buddy" couple, here are a few tips for before you start in. (These tips apply mostly to those couples where one person is already involved in biking or any other outdoor activity but the other is not. If you both already love biking and are quite competitive, that's a whole different can of worms.)

    Couple mountain biking

    1. Make sure you both know what you're getting into.

    It's no fun to show up to the trail unaware and unprepared for the rocky 3,000-feet elevation gain in the first three miles, only to drop back down that in the last three. It's also no fun to have seriously underestimated your significant other's athletic ability and propensity to whining. Be clear about the trail, judge your significant other's capabilities beforehand, and figure out a trail you can both feel comfortable on.

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  • A Cyclist's Guide to Falling

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    At some point in your cycling life, you'll take a spill. It's the hard truth that falls happen, and they are never pleasant. You should be able to avoid the vast majority of falls by riding smart, being aware of your surroundings, and reacting to changing road conditions, but it is important to simply know how to fall.

    Know how to fall?

    It might sound like nonsense, but anyone who has studied martial arts knows that one of the first things that is taught in many of these disciplines is the basic skill of falling. All bicyclists should think about this as well; it's a good skill to develop.

    bike crash

    Be prepared to fall and fall well.

    By definition, a fall is at least partially uncontrolled. If you had full control of the situation, you wouldn't be falling, right? Falling correctly is about regaining what control you can, reacting to the circumstances of the fall, and acting in a manner to reduce the injuries you will sustain.

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  • Bike Frame Geometry: The Basics

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Bicycle frames are built with specific uses in mind. This becomes most obvious when you compare different styles of bikes. A cruiser frame looks substantially different than a mountain bike frame, and a road bike frame looks different still.

    The geometry of a bike frame is defined by the angles and distances between the basic parts of frame, such as the top tube, down tube, the seat and chain stays, the seat tube, the head tube, and the fork. The precise angles in which these parts are arranged determines much for a bicycle: how it handles, how it rides, how it feels, and what type of terrain it can deal with.

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  • Why I Train and Coach Cyclists with Power Meters

    CompuTrainer Lab

    I bought my first power meter a few years ago because, honestly, I'm a gadget junkie, and power meters were the latest and coolest gadget to have. I'm also a data-holic, so the power meter was a perfect fix for me -- a gadget that gave me tons of data. For the first year or two it was fascinating to ride with my meter then go home and watch my computer re-create my ride in the form of graphs and charts -- all sorts of them. Piece by piece, I slowly began to learn what the data in all those graphs and charts were trying to tell me.

    They could tell me with precision when I was gaining fitness, and exactly how much. They'd also tell me exactly how much fitness I was losing when I got lazy. As I collected more and more data I also began to see how I could compare my current fitness with, say, this time last year. I began to correlate the numbers produced by my meter with how I felt and how I performed on the bike.

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  • Bike Repair Stands 101

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    If you've ever had to do any repairs on your bike, you can probably understand the need for a bike repair stand (or work stand). A stand holds your bike off the ground so that you can access the components more easily. It makes the whole repair process much easier than doing the same thing on the ground.

    If you're a serious cyclist and want to do most of your own maintenance, or if you're interested in building your own bike from scratch, you're going to need some sort of stand. This article will go over the reasons to use a repair stand, basic features to look for in solid models, and a few other tips and tricks. Let's get down to business.

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  • Seatposts 101: Find the right seatpost for your bike

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Every bicycle has a seatpost. The seatpost is a tube that connects the frame of the bicycle to the saddle, where the rider sits. Seatposts are useful because they allow for adjustability. In this way, the same frame can accommodate riders of different sizes or can be adjusted for different riding styles or terrain types.

    This article will go over basic information about seatposts, such as different types of posts, how to choose the right one for you, common seatpost issues and more.

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