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Tag Archives: Road bikes

  • 7 Amazing Destination Bike Rides: Road Edition

    It's probably safe to say that most cyclists, at some point, have dreamed about traveling to an amazing location just to ride their bikes. But sometimes the daily grind just gets us down, and the dream starts to fade. That's why we've put together this short list of awesome destination rides, so you can keep the dream alive! Whether you want to tour and camp for weeks or just make a few day trips out of a particular route, there's something here for you. So read and dream. Then make it happen!

    Pacific Coast Highway

    1. The Pacific Coast Highway

    Starting in Vancouver, British Columbia, and stretching as far south as San Diego, you'll see it all on this amazingly beautiful ride. From breathtaking coastlines to the Redwood Forest to the Golden Gate Bridge, big cities, beautiful beaches: we could go on an on. Whether you do the whole thing or just a portion, the Pacific Coast Highway should be on every road cyclist's bucket list.

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  • 5 Ways to Deal With Snobby Cyclists

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Most cyclists (and non-cyclists) have encountered the stereotypical "snobby cyclist." Generally clad in Lycra and riding a high-end racing bike, the snobby cyclist tends to be disdainful of anyone who is slower than he is on a bike. Non-cyclists might as well be scenery to the snobby cyclist.

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  • Drop/Road Handlebars: The Basics

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Handlebars are one of the most important parts of the bicycle, as they are the part that interfaces with your hands and allows you to steer. They also provide a convenient location to mount brakes, shifters, and accessories such as cycling computers or front lights for riding at night.

    Road bikes are generally optimized for speed, which is why most use a drop handlebar (often called 'road bars'). We've all seen this style: the flat top bar that extends to either side of the bike, and then curls forward, down, and back toward the rider.

    Choosing the right drop bar is generally pretty straightforward; however, there are some important things you should know before you go ahead and make a purchase. This guide will go over some of those basic points, so you are prepared to make the right decision.

    Why a drop handlebar?

    Drop road handlebar

    Drop handlebars were developed to facilitate aerodynamic riding positions while also allowing for more relaxed positions if the rider desires them.

    On a typical drop handlebar, you can have your hands on the drop-portion (lower section) of the bar for maximum aerodynamic speed while maintaining minimal access to braking and shifting, on the top of the flat portion of the bar for maximum comfort and a more upright position, or on the brake hoods for a good balance between the two and the easiest access to braking and shifting.

    Classic racing-style road handlebars use a neutral geometry to allow a wide variety of comfortable riding styles. The variety of hand positions available make long rides more comfortable with drop handlebars, since the rider can move around. Drop handlebars also provide excellent leverage for sprinting and climbing hills when the rider is likely to stand up and hold on to the brake hoods to achieve maximum pushing power from the legs.

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  • Six upgrades for your road bike

    Road bike

    Believe it or not, it's that time of year again. The snow is melting, the temperatures are rising, and your bike is calling your name. Each year you make upgrades to your bike to shake off the dust and get back to doing what you love.

    There are a hundred different things you can do to get your road bike back faster and stronger than ever, but here we focus on six basic, relatively inexpensive upgrades that will show big improvements. This list is in no particular order of importance, but is meant to give you some ideas on getting the most out of your rides.

    1. Tires

    New bike tires can dramatically change your riding experience instantly. As your bike sits in the cold corners of the garage or shed, cold temperatures crack and dry out the rubber tread and sidewalls. This leaves your tires with less-than-stellar grip, puncture protection and sidewall stability. Getting good tires can fix all of that as soon as you mount them on your wheels.

    2. Saddle

    There are only three contact points from your body to your bike, and your rear end is the most significant one. Having an under-performing saddle can really limit your riding ability and stamina. Good, quality saddles these days are made and designed to enable cyclists at all levels to get the most comfort for rides, whether you're spending one hour in the saddle or all day.

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  • Road bike caliper brakes: The basics

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Most modern road bikes use road brakes, or caliper brakes, which are a sub-category of rim brakes -- designs that slow and stop your bicycle by forcing rubber pads against the rim of your bike to create friction.

    Caliper brakes function as a single unit, mounted to your frame by a lone bolt, that pivots when the brake levers are pulled. These designs are useful for road bikes because they provide a great balance between stopping power and delicate modulation of the amount of power you can apply.

    How do they work?

    Front road brake

    In the most common design, called dual-pivot side-pull caliper brakes, the braking cable enters the calipers from the top of one side of the mechanism. When the brakes are pulled, one arm pivots from the center and the other pivots from the side, forcing the brake pads into contact with the rim of the tire.

    Caliper brakes provide good stopping power, low weight and simple operation. While they can be knocked out of alignment, adjustment is easy and straightforward. Overall, they make a great choice for road cyclists looking for a good set of brakes. Caliper brakes are generally not used on mountain bikes because the length of the arms that would be necessary to reach around the large, knobby tires would compromise the stiffness of the braking action.

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  • Road Bike Racing 101

    Bikewagon - BWCC

    Road bike racing has been around a long time, and there's a lot of heritage behind the sport. The Tour de France is in it's 100th year for 2013, and cycling's popularity seems to be on the rise lately with bigger fields across the board and more races popping up.

    Actually, there are several styles of road races; ironically, one style is just called a road race. The broader spectrum is pretty much anything that involves racing on paved and/or public transportation roadways. This could include gravel roads, cobblestone roads, raceways like those used for car racing and similar surfaces.

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  • How to tape bike handlebars

    Anyone who has been riding road bikes for a long time knows that handlebar tape gets worn out, dirty, and loses its cushion after a year or two of heavy riding. Fortunately, replacing worn handlebar tape is easy and only takes a short amount of time and few basic tools. Whether you need a new layer of padding for your training rides or you just want to re-style your cycle with some flashy colors, here is how to make it happen.

    Time required: 15 minutes

    Tools required:

    • Scissors
    • Electrical tape
    • Rubber bands
    • New handlebar tape
    • Two bar ends/plugs (usually included with new handlebar tape)

    Step 1: Remove the old handlebar tape. It is usually attached near the stem clamp with electrical tape, and with bar ends wedged into the end of the drop bars. Pull out your scissors if you have any trouble. In order to remove the tape from around the brake lever mounts, you will have to roll back the rubber hood around each mount. You may need a rubber band here to secure the hood in place - it can remain rolled back until the end of the process.

    Step 2: If necessary, remove and replace the electrical tape holding the brake cables flat against the top portion of the handlebar. This helps keep everything nice and snug when you wrap this section.

    Step 3: When you buy handlebar tape, most often it comes with two small 3-inch sections separate from the main strips. If it doesn’t, take a moment to cut this length right now. Take this piece, and, holding it by the midsection, place it on the inside of the drop bar opposite the brake lever mount, so that either end of it extends upwards and forwards, under the area covered by the rubber hood when it is folded down as normal. You should be able to tuck the ends into place, or secure it with a small piece of electrical tape.

    Step 4: Now let’s begin the wrapping the main section of the tape. For the right side of the handlebar, you will be wrapping clockwise, and for the left side, counterclockwise. Start at the drop portion of the handlebar, on the top side, with the end of the tape pointing diagonally toward the mid-section of the bike frame. Make sure a significant amount (1/2- to 3/4-inch or so) is extending past the end of the bar, and that the edges of the bar are fully covered.

    Step 5: Continue wrapping along the handlebar, angling the tape evenly and overlapping 1/3 to 1/2 the width of the tape. Stretch the tape as you go, making sure to maintain an even amount of tension. Too much pressure, and the tape will rip. Too little, and it will be loose. Aim for a nice happy medium, and keep it snug.

    Step 6: As you approach the curved sections of the handlebar, make sure to increase the overlap on the inside of the curve. This will ensure you have good coverage of these areas.

    Step 7: Once you reach the brake lever area, continue wrapping, slightly overlapping the bottom of the brake lever mount on the front side of the bar. Swing vertically around the interior side of the brake lever mount, then back down around the bar in a horseshoe shape. Then continue wrapping along the upper part of the bar, again making sure there is more overlap on the inside of the curve. Remember to overlap evenly and maintain pressure.

    Step 8: When you approach the stem, cut your handlebar tape neatly, pull it tightly into place, and secure with electrical tape (wrapping in the same direction as you were wrapping your handlebar tape).

    Step 9: Now, finish off the end of the drop bar. Push the overlapping sections of tape into the opening in the end of the handlebar, then push in the bar end (looks like a cork or plug) to secure the tape.

    Step 10: Fold the rubber brake-mount hood back into place, and repeat these steps on the other side of your handlebars. Enjoy your flashy new look!

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