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Clothing, Helmets & Shoes

  • How to fit and wear a bike helmet

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Like 'em or not, helmets are just a good idea. They are the only thing that is going to protect you from an impact to the old noggin, which is unfortunately more common than it should be (mostly due to poorly designed cities and drivers and pedestrians -- even if you are a great cyclist, it's other people you have to worry about).

    Whether you are purchasing your first helmet, updating an old cracked or out-of-date model, or helping a child or friend get a helmet, knowing how to fit and wear a helmet correctly is important. If it's not on there right, it could do more harm than good -- seriously. That's why good fit is so important.

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  • How to install cycling cleats

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Positioning your bike cleats properly is a very important part of fitting your bike. Cleats that aren’t adjusted to fit your body can cause discomfort and pain while riding, and over time can even contribute to knee, hip and ankle injuries.

    While cleat positioning differs slightly for each person due to different biomechanics, the basic procedure for installing and adjusting cleats is straightforward and will save you a lot of time and grief in the meantime.

    It is important to note at the beginning that shoe choice can have an impact on comfort. Some shoe manufacturers offer designs for people who tend to over-pronate, for example, or who have high arches. Before installing your cleats, make sure you have the right shoes.

    Time required: 10 minutes

    Tools and supplies required:

    • Cleats
    • Cycling shoes
    • Clipless pedals
    • Allen wrench (usually size 5 or 6)

    Step 1: Find the center line of the cleat (from side to side). Most cleats are marked on the center line to make this easy. The middle of the cleat, and thus the axle of the pedal, should sit around the ball of your foot, just behind the widest foresection of the foot.

    Step 2: Put on your cycling shoes, sit on a chair, and locate the ball of your foot. Once you have found the ball, use a marker to draw a line across the bottom of the shoe marking the middle of the ball of your foot.

    Step 3: Now, align the midline of the cleat with the line you have drawn, and install the cleats by using your allen wrench to screw them into place on the sole of the shoes. If you ride more technical terrain or desire more control, you can move the cleat about 5mm to the rear; if you ride ultra-long distances, you can move it back slightly further.

    Step 4: Check to be sure the cleats are evenly positioned on each shoe by placing the shoes with the cleats over the edge of a table; the toes should extend the same distance. Adjust if necessary.

    Step 5: Attach your shoes to the pedals to assess the side-to-side positioning of the cleat. The heel of the shoe should be about one half inch away from the crank arm; riders with wider hips may need to angle the cleats slightly for greater clearance. In general, cleat angle is a personal preference. Most people prefer a straight cleat because the play in the cleat generally makes it ok. Whichever final cleat angle you choose, there should be no twisting sensation in the knees, ankles or hips.

    Step 6: Take a test ride. Carefully note how each shoe feels - some riders need to set up each shoe individually, since each foot might be a different size, or legs might prefer different dynamics. Adjust the cleats as necessary. It may also be good to have a more experienced rider watch you ride and suggest adjustments; they will often have recommendations for knee angles and foot positioning.

    Step 7: Enjoy your new, more efficient footwear. Just remember: after your first long ride you may need to retighten the bolts on your cleats.

  • How to dress for cold-weather cycling

    When it's cold outside, it's too easy to stay in and watch old episodes of Star Trek. Well the "I can't ride; it's too cold" excuse is now officially lame, because we're giving you some helpful advice on how to stay warm when temperatures are less-than-ideal.

    It's all about layers

    For cold-weather cycling, multiple thin layers are much better than one or two thick layers. That allows you to easily regulate your temperature as you start sweating and the air temperature changes.

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  • How to clean your bike helmet

    Take a shower with your bike helmet

    If your bike helmet is getting greasy and dirty, this is a quick, easy way to clean it with hardly any effort!

    Tools you'll need for this job:

    • Shower
    • Shampoo
    • Hair (Sorry if you're bald. You'll have to improvise.)

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