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Adjusting Bar Ends For Better Biking

Installation
When installing bar ends, make sure that the fasteners and clamping area are placed in an unobtrusive fashion so your knees don’t contact them and get sliced and diced in a crash. It’s also a good to idea to check them for tightness frequently, because if a bar end slips while you’re pulling hard, it can be disastrous.

Adjusting Bar Ends
Position bar ends on the handlebar to match the natural angle of your hands and wrists when you grasp the bar ends. If you’re bending your wrists to hold on, change the position of the bar ends until your wrists are in a neutral, relaxed position. This may take a little experimentation. For most riders the bar ends are angled slightly upwards but not too steeply. If you set them too high, when you stand to climb, you’ll have to bend your wrists a lot, which can strain the wrists and prevent you from maintaining a safe grip.

Weight Watch
If you’re concerned about bike weight, there are carbon fiber and magnesium bar ends that are extremely light. Lightweight handlebars, however, will need to have reinforcements inserted inside the ends, so that the bar-end clamps tighten securely without crushing the bars.

Fit And Feel
Some bar ends are anatomically shaped to better fit your hands, which you might like. These may be bent aluminum or carbon fiber. Forged construction adds strength and matte or scored finishes improve the grip. Some riders like to put road handlebar tape on their bar ends, too, for comfort and to keep them from heating up in the hot sun.

Keep ‘Em Plugged
Finally, always keep the ends of your bar ends and handlebars plugged. If you lose the caps that the bar ends and handlebars came with, stuff anything (cork, cloth) in there, or tape over the hole until you can get the correct replacement. This is important because the thin edges of bar ends and handlebars can cause nasty puncture wounds if you crash.

Advantages Of Folding Tires

Folding tires (illustration) make a significant difference in handling and ride quality. For example, there’s road rubber that uses special materials and construction to improve the suppleness of the tire, resulting in a much smoother ride. And, there are models designed for sky-high pressures, which on super-smooth surfaces, reduce rolling resistance and assist all-out racing efforts. And all folding tires are lighter for improved climbing and acceleration.

Carry A Spare
An often-overlooked advantage of these folding road tires is that it’s easy to carry a spare. Folders pack small enough to fit in a seat bag, jersey pocket or suitcase (when you travel with your bike). This means that you can easily carry a replacement if you’re concerned that one of your tires is ready to fail.

Easy On And Off
You’ll also find that folding tires, both road and dirt models, are usually easier to remove and install. This is because the Kevlar beads are more flexible and because the tires stretch slightly with use.

Innovations In Off-Road Rubber
Interestingly, the biggest advance in tire technology recently is the advent of tubeless off-road tires. These still use air, but like car tires, an airtight seal is formed at the rim to eliminate the need for a tube and rim strip. Although they usually require the use of a special rim, these tires are gaining in popularity because you can run lower pressures than with conventional tires with no risk of pinch flatting.

The soft pressure, combined with a suppleness that results from the elimination of the friction between the tube and the tire, allows tubeless knobbies to grip better in corners and provide more suspension and speed over stutter bumps, roots and rough terrain. Climbing traction improves a lot, too. And, in the event of a puncture, the construction of these new tubulars is such that air leaks out slower than with a conventional tire and tube — usually slow enough to ride home. Plus, if you get a flat that releases the air immediately, you can easily fix the tire by installing a regular tube and inflating as with normal tires and tubes.

Just ask and we’ll be happy to show you the latest in tire technology.

Choose The Right Tire Tread

While road-tire treads are strikingly similar, off-road tires come in so many models it can be confusing, initially, trying to pick one out. The key to making a successful choice of either tire type is selecting the appropriate tire for the terrain you’ll be riding.

Tires For The Road
Looking for a little added traction from a road tire? Consider getting one with traction grooves, which some experts believe provide added control in wet and dry conditions. (Other experts claim that road tires are so narrow that any tread placed on them has a negligible effect. We’ll help you decide, based upon our own experiences.) Innovative modern clincher casings can provide an extremely lively and resilient ride, comparable to what you would expect from a premium tubular (a type of tire used by professional racers where the tube is actually sewn inside). A new rubber compound, silica, is found in quite a few new upper-end road tires. Silica improves adhesion and lowers rolling resistance without sacrificing tread durability.

Off-Road Tires: Tubes Or Tubeless?
When buying new tires, first determine if your bike uses standard tube tires, which contain an inner tube inside the tire, or if yours use the tubeless type, which don’t include tubes. The illustration shows how these tire types differ.

Tubeless tires do away with tubes by using a special rim, tire and rim strip that seals the tire so an inner tube isn’t necessary (though you can use one if you wish). The advantage of tubeless tires is being able to run lower tire pressures, which provides additional traction, control and comfort. This is possible because there’s no tube to damage should you hit a pothole or rock and bottom out the tire.

If there’s a disadvantage to tubeless tires, it’s that they are a bit more fussy, and because there’s no tube, if there’s even a small leak, you have to figure out where it’s coming from and how to fix it whereas on a standard tire and tube set-up, you can easily patch or replace the tube to repair leaks.

Off-Road-Tire Tread For Soft Conditions
For soft conditions, loose rock, and loose climbs, pick a fairly wide tire with tall, broad, paddle-like knobs. It’s important that the tread’s knobs have a stable base, for traction when you lean them over on a hard surface. Tread that is overly flimsy can also lead to durability problems. Tires for soft conditions are usually front- or rear-wheel specific.

Off-Road-Tire Tread For Hardpack
For hardpacked surfaces, there are tires that have closely spaced small knobs, and sometimes no center knobs at all. They can be narrower than soft-condition tires as well. If there are rocks strewn into your hardpack, use a smooth but wide tire. Another key to getting a good hardpack tire is making sure that the knob is at least twice as wide at the base as it is tall. If it’s too tall, the tire will deflect under hard cornering loads.

Off-Road-Tire Tread For Mud
If you think you may encounter mud on a trail with few options for avoiding it, the key is to use narrow tires with widely spaced lugs. Wider tires will jam your frame stays and fork with mud. Narrow tires can also penetrate through the soft mud on top and reach the harder ground below for better traction. Choose longer knobs for more grip, or shallower knobs for lower rolling resistance where there’s no mud.

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Considering A Pump? Get The Right Type

No one want to be stuck, away from home, with a flat tire. That’s what makes a frame pump such a popular and essential accessory. There are two types of frame pumps, those made for off road and those made for road biking. The difference has to do with the difference in tires. Off-road tires are fatter, require more volume and are run at lower pressures. Conversely, road tires are skinnier and take less air, but at much higher pressures. Frame pumps are designed for these differences.

Big Barrel Versus Small Barrel
For example, off-road pumps typically feature larger-diameter barrels (aluminum barrels are best), which thrust more air into the tube with each stroke. Road pumps have the opposite, a narrow barrel that pushes less air in. This smaller-diameter barrel, though, makes it possible to insert higher pressures because you’re pushing less air in with each stroke.

Check The Chuck
The pump head (also called the chuck) is important, too. Choose a pump with a head that quickly converts between Presta and Schrader valves if you have bikes in the family with both valve types (illustration) or want to be prepared for everything (you might get a chance to rescue some other cyclist whose pump fails). Some pumps automatically adapt to the appropriate valve. Another clever new frame-mount pump design includes a convertible head, plus a T-handle, fold-down feet and a long, flexible hose, features that turn the inflator into a veritable take-along floor pump!

Mighty Minis
Not all pumps fit all frames. If you’re not sure what to get, ride your bike in so we can take a look and recommend a pump. Usually, mini pumps fit best because they come with a bracket that attaches to the bottle-cage screws. Once this bracket is installed, you just snap the pump into it to hold it securely (sometimes there’s a little Velcro strap to help keep the pump in place). Or, you might prefer to carry your mini in your hydration pack or your jersey pocket (this can get uncomfortable on long rides).

Some Suspension Gets Pumped, Too
A special type of pump you might need is one designed for suspension forks and rear shocks. These have very small-diameter barrels, gauges that may go as high as 300 psi and bleed valves to let small amounts of air out of the shock for fine-tuning the setting. These special tools are important if your bike is equipped with air shocks because regular frame pumps usually cannot achieve high-enough pressures.

Floor Pumps Rule
For all-round ease and speed of use, versatility and durability, few cyclists ever regret also owning a floor pump. Weight and compactness isn’t an issue for something you carry in your trunk or store in your home, so these are designed with larger barrels, two-hand handles and sturdy stand-on bases to deliver larger amounts of air with each stroke. The better ones have a gauge you can view at a glance and are made from high-quality metals and composites. The best of this type will be serviceable for a lifetime of use. Use yours before every ride and save your frame pump or carry-along inflator for on-ride emergencies.

If you’re still not sure what you need in an inflation device, check our excellent selection or ask us. We’re pump pros!

Correct Tire Pressure Improves Your Ride

How much tire pressure should you run? Start by trying the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, which you’ll find printed on the tire sidewall (it’s often on a small label but it might be molded into the casing, too, so look closely). This suggested inflation range is a good starting point. If it’s a wide range, for example 40 to 60 psi, experiment to find which pressure works and feels best.

Pump Road Rubber More, Knobbies Less
The most common mistakes are riding with too little pressure in road tires and too much pressure in off-road rubber. The former happens because road treads don’t have a lot of air volume. Sure, road tires are pumped up to high pressures. But, because they’re skinny tires, there’s hardly any air inside. Consequently, even if only a little leaks out (most bicycle tubes are made of butyl rubber, which is porous and naturally seeps air), the pressure and volume are greatly reduced. To prevent this, check tire pressure on a road bike before every ride. If you don’t, you’ll be riding on soft tires, which is asking for trouble. More about this in a minute.

Off-road rubber is inflated to lower pressures and because the tires are much wider than road models, there’s considerably more air inside. These differences mean that fat tires don’t seep air very quickly so they don’t require frequent inflation the way skinny tires do. Unfortunately, the tendency is to over inflate off-road tires. By all means, if you’re riding your fat tires exclusively on pavement and smooth surfaces, inflate them as hard as you like (don’t exceed the manufacturer’s maximum recommendation).

Go Low
If you’re riding off road, however, seriously consider lower pressures — in the 35- to 45-psi range, depending on the terrain and your weight. This will greatly increase your control and comfort over trails while improving traction and handling. Indeed, if you’ve been riding off-road on 50 to 60 psi, you’ll be amazed at the difference.

How Low Is Too Low
Just, don’t go too low. That’ll increase the risk of a flat two ways (this holds true for road and off-road rubber): First, softer tires pick up more debris, which may work into the tires popping the tubes. Second, when you hit holes, ruts, rocks, etc, soft tires can deform to the point that the rim hits the ground or rock so hard that it pinches the tube (between the rim and obstacle) and cuts it in two places, which is what’s known as a pinch flat or snakebite puncture (because the holes in the tube resemble a snakebite). Besides damaging the tube, this impact can bend the rim, leading to an expensive repair. Under-inflated tires also lack the sidewall rigidity needed for hard cornering. And, too-soft tires wear quicker.

Road Rating
But this doesn’t mean you should always inflate road tires to the maximum pressure. Roads in the real world aren’t billiard-table smooth. The jarring effect of bumpy pavement on over-inflated tires robs energy and makes for a bone-rattling ride. Properly inflated tires will roll over bumpy roads smoother and faster and get you home without shaking loose your dental work. On ultra-smooth roads, however, when rolling resistance is critical, such as in a time-trial or triathlon, go as high as 140 psi if your tires are rated to take it. Stay at the lower end of the pressure zone for comfort and rough roads.

Check Our Chart
Which pressure you use depends a lot on your weight. So&

Follow A Pre-Ride Checklist To Increase Enjoyment, Reduce Problems

Once a week conduct this 30-minute bike inspection, which checks all systems. (Print this list and use it as a checklist to keep track of things as you work.)

  1. Wipe down the frame and look for flaking paint that may indicate that a crack has developed. Although frame failure is rare, it can happen. (It’s most likely if you crash or ride hard all the time.)
  2. Wipe down the rims, to clean residue that affects braking. Scrub with alcohol to remove any black deposits. Closely inspect the rim sides for wear from braking. See deep grooves? Have us check the rim for safety.
  3. Spin the wheels. They should be round and true. If they wobble, spokes may have loosened and the wheel should be trued and tensioned.
  4. Inflate your tires to the proper pressure (it’s usually written on the sidewalls) and inspect them closely for wear and tear. If they’re bald or the sidewalls are damaged or cracked, replace the tire(s).
  5. Grab the top of each wheel and gently push and pull laterally, feeling for play at the hubs. If you find any, the wheel bearings should be adjusted.
  6. Apply the front brake and rock the bike back and forth feeling for play. If there’s any play, the headset (steering bearings) needs adjustment.
  7. Hold onto the crankarms and push and pull laterally feeling for play in the bottom-bracket bearings. Play indicates adjustment is needed.
  8. Check that these key parts are tight by putting a wrench on them and trying to tighten them: crank bolts, chainring bolts, pedals (the left pedal is turned counter-clockwise to tighten), stem bolts, derailleur mounting bolts, derailleur pulley bolts, brake bolts, seat-post bolt, seat bolt.
  9. Prep the chain by applying a bike-specific lubricant, let it soak in for a few minutes, then wipe off the excess with a rag.
  10. If your derailleur cables run beneath the bottom bracket, drop a bit of light oil on the contact areas.
  11. Inspect your chainring for broken teeth, but don’t be alarmed if you have newer chainrings and some teeth are slightly shorter than others. Chainrings are designed this way because the shorter teeth provide a specific release point where the chain can easily drop from the large ring to the small, improving the shifting.
  12. Examine all the cables for rust and fraying, signs that replacement is needed.
  13. Make sure your handlebars have end plugs because open-ended bars can hurt you if you crash.
  14. If you use clipless pedals, check the hardware on your cleats and the cleats themselves for wear (signs of worn-out cleats can be difficulty getting in and out of your pedals, and cleats that pull out inadvertently during hard pedaling).

Let Us Help
Feel free to ask us if you have any questions regarding inspecting your bike for maintenance and safety. We’re here to help! Our expert service department is happy to perform required maintenance, too, should you not have the time, special tools or inclination to do it yourself.

Get The Maximum Mileage From Your Cycling Shoes

One of the best features of cycling shoes is that they last far longer than other sports shoes. For example, you must replace running shoes every six months (or sooner) because the materials inside the soles lose their ability to provide cushioning. Also, regular sneakers are in constant contact with the ground and the soles and uppers wear rapidly. Contrarily, if cared for, a quality pair of pedal pushers could last five or even ten years! These easy tips will help you get the most from your shoes:

  • Maintaining the fit: We recommend wearing only cycling socks with your riding shoes because these thin socks won’t stretch the shoes, which can ruin the snug fit so important for efficient pedaling.
  • Walking: Shoes made for off-road use or touring sport lugged soles and recessed cleats that are made for easy walking. Road-specific shoes, however, are designed for optimum power transfer when pedaling. While these shoes may include heel and toe tabs for walking, it’s best to walk as infrequently as possible. Walking flexes the soles and stretches the shoes. Over time, this changes the fit and the stiffness of the shoes, which decreases efficiency and comfort.
  • Moisture: Water won’t hurt cycling shoes as long as you dry them properly. To do this, as soon as you get home, extract any removable liners and stuff the shoes with newspaper, which will absorb the moisture and dry the shoes. Do not place the shoes by a heat source because this can damage them. If the shoes are really wet, replace the newspaper after a few hours (the first batch is probably saturated).
  • Maintenance: While not much can go wrong with cycling shoes, we recommend checking the bolts that attach the cleats to the soles about monthly. If these loosen, the cleats can change position, which may cause knee pain. If you have a pair of shoes with buckles that ratchet, they may be attached with hardware. It’s a good idea to regularly check that this hardware is tight, too.

Lock Your Bike To Keep It Safe, Inside and Out

Bike thieves are sneaky and resourceful so you’ve got to be diligent when locking your machine. When shackling your ride, it helps to examine how you’ve secured it while thinking like a thief. Ask yourself how you’d violate the lock and escape with the bike if you were a crook, and take pains to eliminate any risks. Here are some tips to help:

Lock your bike to something that can’t easily be cut, broken or removed. And, don’t attach your pride and joy to something like a loose or short pole. The crook might be able to pull the post out of the ground or lift your bike over the top.

Where you leave your bike is important, too. Secure your ride in a visible, well-lit area and you’ll force the thief to operate in plain view, which may be enough to get him to pass on your machine and find another. And, don’t routinely lock your baby in the same place all the time. A thief may notice the pattern and pick your bike as an easy target. Similarly, if you leave your rig outside a movie theater, a thief may realize there’s a strong chance that you won’t be out until the movie’s over, which gives him time to get the tools he needs to swipe your ride. Also, if you store your bike in your garage, leave the door closed and consider locking the bike to something because you never know who might spot the bike when the door is open.

When using a U-lock (illustration), position your frame and wheels so that you fill as much of the open space within the lock’s U portion as possible. The tighter the lock up, the harder it is for a potential thief to use tools to attack your lock.

Always secure your components and accessories, too, especially quick-release wheels and seat posts, with a secondary cable lock.

Don’t rush when locking your bike because you might mistakenly lock it incorrectly. To prevent this, check your lock before leaving to be sure you’ve secured it properly.

For the greatest theft deterrence, use two locks such as a U-lock and a locking cable. This forces the thief to get through two locks and usually the creep will skip your bike and find an easier one to steal.

Get It Back
If you’re unlucky enough to have a bike stolen, don’t assume it’s gone for good. As long as you can identify the bike (you did record the serial number, didn’t you?) and you’re willing to do a little leg work, there’s a chance of recovery. Immediately prepare a flyer with a photo and description of your bike. Include any details that make identification easier such as special accessories or markings on the bike. Post these flyers on telephone poles, on community bulletin boards, at colleges, by bus stops, in short, everywhere and anywhere. Also, hand them to all your friends and let us know as soon as possible so we can be on the alert, too (sometimes thieves think they can sell stolen bikes to bike shops and we’re always on the lookout).

Sign Your Bike
One thing that you can do that will help if you happen to find the bike is to put your name or license number on it somewhere secret. One hidden location is inside the handlebar (write your name on a piece of paper and slip it inside). You might also write your name on the underside of the seat. These marks will help in the event that you discover your bike at a swap meet or police auction because they’ll help you prove ownershi

New Bike? Here’s What Else You May Need.

Once you’ve rounded up the essentials (helmet, pump, seat pack, patch kit, spare tube, tire levers, mini tool, cycling shorts, gloves, jersey, shoes/pedals), these accessories will make your cycling even more enjoyable.

Floor pump: The frame pump (often called a “mini-pump”) is essential for emergencies on the road and trail, but for everyday use you’ll want a floor pump. It’ll make short work of airing your tires and save wear and tear on the frame pump.

Cyclo-computer: One of the joys of cycling is being able to cover lots of ground and a cyclo-computer can tell you how far, how fast and how long you’ve ridden. Some even have extra functions such as heart rate, cadence (how fast you’re pedaling), altitude, and temperature. There are wireless models for a super clean installation too.

Vehicle (car) rack: The trails or roads you bike aren’t always riding distance away, so you may want a rack designed to easily and safely transport your bike on your car, van, truck or SUV. Which one you get depends on how many bikes you’ll carry and on the type of vehicle you drive. Ask us to recommend the right rack for you.

Hydration system: Water bottles and cages are adequate for carrying drinks. But, hydration systems are a great option for quenching your thirst. Insulation keeps your beverage of choice cooler (or warmer) longer and the drinking tube makes sipping more convenient. The capacity on larger systems is almost twice as much as you can carry in two large bottles, too. And, the hydration pack provides a place to stash food, ID, small tools and more.

Eyewear: Don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses designed for cycling. It’s not just glare you should be concerned about; airborne debris from passing vehicles is hazardous, too. Quality shades provide increased safety, including slightly higher brow coverage for when you’re bent over. And the UV protection means less fatigue at the end of long days in the saddle.

Lock: Security for your bike is important. Get a good lock and always use it correctly to prevent the heartbreak of bike theft.

Socks: Even something as simple as socks can enhance your riding if they’re specifically made for cycling. Ours are, and they breathe, wick and reduce friction for maximum comfort on every ride. They also look very cool.

Our staff can suggest other great accessories and help prioritize your purchases.

Proper Shifting Helps Your Bike Last Longer, Work Better

An important shifting rule is to reduce pressure on the pedals during shifts. Modern drivetrains will shift regardless of pedal pressure. But, if you can always ease up a bit, the shifts will be smoother and your chain, cogs and chainrings will last longer.

Shift Before Hills
The hardest place to ease pedaling, of course, is when you’re struggling to get up a steep hill. The trick is to shift before the steep part of the hill so you can make the shift with little pressure on the pedals.

Finesse Front Shifts
Another thing to remember concerns shifting the front derailleur. You’re shifting between chainrings that are significantly different in size. This means that the derailleur has to work hard to move the chain from one to the other. So, the light-pedal-pressure rule really applies here. If you can finesse this shift, you’re much more likely to get a clean, smooth shift. And, you’ll eliminate problems associated with high-pressure shifts such as having the chain come off.

Shift That Dropped Chain On
Speaking of chains falling off, you can usually shift the chain right back on the chainring if it falls off. This isn’t possible if it falls off when you’re climbing a hill, because you lose your momentum and have to stop. But, anytime you’re riding where you can coast for a few seconds, you can almost always get the chain back on by gently pedaling and shifting the front derailleur to move the chain toward the ring.

Pedal slowly and lightly and the ring will grab and engage the chain and you’ll be riding again as before. (When a chain comes off repeatedly, something is wrong and you should have us take a look at the front derailleur adjustment.)

Drivetrain Care
In addition to proper shifting, cleaning and preventive maintenance can extend the life of your drivetrain as well. For starters, keep your chain clean and well lubricated. Chain-cleaning tools make it a snap to keep your links spotless. We can recommend some.

You should also inspect your chain every six months or so and measure it for stretching. The rule of thumb for checking wear is to put a load on the pedals, pick a chain pin on the top side and measure to any pin 12 inches away. Because the links are exactly one-inch long when brand new, you should be able to measure exactly 12 inches between two pins. If the measurement is 12 1/8 inch, or longer, it’s time to replace the chain.

Check The Cogs, Too
Keep in mind that cogs wear at about the same rate as the chain. So, if you put on a new chain, your worn cogs won’t work right. They’ll skip, which is an annoying and possibly dangerous condition where pedal pressure causes the links to ride up and jump over the teeth on the cog. The cure is to replace the cassette cogs.

Remember to keep your front chainrings and rear cogs clean. One trick to removing grit from cogs is to fold a rag in half, place it between the cogs and slide it back and forth. Repeat between each pair of neighboring cogs until the cassette is clean. Don’t spray degreaser on the rear cogset because this can penetrate the hub and freehub body, breaking down the grease in those areas, leaving them completely unprotected against friction.

Safer Night Riding Begins With Good Lighting

Modern high-end light systems offer enough brightness to give your riding companions sunburn (kidding!). And, they come in a wide variety of price points. But, how much light is needed for safe road or off-road riding?

Light It Up
To illuminate the road or trail ahead for your own eyes, not just to be seen at night by others, 10 watts is a good starting point. In general, the greater the headlight’s wattage, the brighter the light. There are also systems with yellow and white light, the latter being brighter at the same wattage.

Find The Right Features
Modern lighting systems are packed with features. There are twin- and single-beam headlight systems. There are different battery types (rechargeables are found on better lights). There are ingenious quick-release mounts so you can install and remove the light in a blink. Most lights offer high- and low-beam options like your car (use the high beam for downhills, pitch-black woods, high speed and intersections). There are even computerized light systems on which battery usage and light output is controlled via microchip.

Trail Torch
The ultimate trail setup is having one handlebar light and another on your helmet. The head-mounted light illuminates your field of vision and is especially handy for following bends in the trail because it moves with you as you turn to look (just don’t look directly at friends when riding because you’ll blind them for a few seconds). Meanwhile, the bar-mounted beam allows monitoring conditions directly in front of the bike for bumps, roots and trail irregularities.

Portable Power
High-watt light systems require large amounts of power so battery systems have gotten very sophisticated. In ascending order of cost, bicycle lighting systems use lead-acid batteries, Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries, and Nickel-Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries. NiCad batteries are lighter and less susceptible to power loss at high or low temperatures than lead-acid, and will last many more recharge cycles. NiMH batteries weigh 30% less than NiCad batteries and offer similar run-times and durability. Proper care and feeding of your battery must be followed to insure you get maximum battery life. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding charging and use of any rechargeable battery.

Night Rides Can Be The Best Rides
Having a good light means you can ride safely at night, which is sometimes the best time to ride. It’s after car-commuting hours so the roads are less busy. The sun’s gone down, so it’s often the most comfortable time of day, too. And, at night, off-road riding can be magical. The best way to decide on a lighting system is to come in and look at some to compare features and cost. Which one is best for you really depends on how and where you plan to use it and how much you’d like to spend. If you can answer these questions, we can help you pick the perfect light.

Understanding The Differences In Cycling Shoes

To select shoes, visualize yourself cycling and using your bike the way you plan to ride. Then check out our chart and see what shoes match your riding.

When shoe shopping, don’t underestimate the importance of trying them on. Some brands run wider than others. Some sole shapes may fit better than others. Some brands run big and some run small. No matter how much you like the look or features of a shoe, a lousy fit can ruin a ride. So, it’s always best to come in and try some on.

How you ride… The shoe for you…
You’re a casual cyclist who doesn’t feel comfortable looking like a gonzo bikie. Consider casual cycling shoes, which look more like sneakers. There are even cleated models that work with clipless pedals.
You love rolling up the miles but you enjoy stopping to admire the view almost as much. Look at footgear made for touring. It’s flexible for comfort with rubber soles and recessed cleats for walking. Off-road models work, too.
You love off-road rides and races. You’ll want a lugged sole, recessed cleat, snug-but-comfy fit, light weight, decent sole stiffness (not too stiff) and secure fastening system.
You’ve been on off-roader but now you plan to get a road-specific bike. You may want to continue using your off-road shoes. Just get the same pedals for your road bike that you have on your off-roader.
You’re a serious triathlete. Check out triathlon shoes, which are designed for high efficiency but also with features to get you in and out quick.
You ride metric centuries and group rides that are more social than competitive. You’ll do fine with a mid-line road shoe because it’ll be more flexible and comfortable than the full-on road race model (see below).
You enjoy hammering on the road with your buddies sprinting for every city-limit sign. Get a lightweight, high-end road shoe with super-stiff sole for exceptional energy transfer and extra-secure strap system.

Ride To The Right. But, Not Too Far Right!

Here are some guidelines that will help you choose the optimum safe position on the road:

Laws   

  • Most bicycle laws use the same language regarding where cyclists should ride       
  • Directions to ride “as far to the right as practicable” appear in most laws       
  • No clear definition of “practicable” has been identified

Safety       

  • Do not ride where you’re subject to poor road conditions and constant hazards       
  • Give yourself ample room to the right to maneuver in an emergency       
  • Ride in the right third of the lane if there is insufficient room for lane sharing

Traffic rules       

  • Slower moving vehicles travel to the right of faster moving ones       
  • Motorists are looking for other vehicles in or near the travel lanes, not against curbs       
  • Follow the same rules as motorists, including yielding right-of-way and signaling

Wide lanes       

  • Ride just to the right of the travel lane to remain visible to other motorists       
  • Ride at least 3 feet from parked cars in all situations; consider this a right-side limit       
  • Always ride in a straight line; do not swerve in and out between parked cars

Hazards       

  • If a lane narrows ahead or is blocked, signal and establish your position in traffic early       
  • Avoid riding where glass and other trash accumulates on the right side of roadways       
  • Avoid grates and gutterpans as they can cause you to crash

Tip courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists (bikeleague.org).

Hours

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday Closed

Location

Hawley's Bicycle World
4784 Raeford Road
Fayetteville, NC 28304

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