Choosing Your Bicycle Clothing

As revealed by a recent survey, approximately 90 million adult Americans ride a bicycle once every year, about 30 million regularly bike for recreation and an estimated of 20 million or more commute via their bicycle.

When you are riding your bicycle at least 10 kilometers or more a day, you should invest in bicycle clothing as regular clothes can be uncomfortable and painful.

Reasons you must wear bicycle clothes:

1. For comfort. Wearing bicycle clothes will give you comfort as you are riding. Bicycle clothes have undergone through thorough research into the complicated details of bicycle clothing, taking into account where not and where to put the seams and the materials used are those that draw sweat further away from the body.

2. For health. Bicycle clothing helps watch over your health, as the appropriate materials helps prevent dehydration as well as prevent saddle sores on your crotch.

3. For safety. Bicycle clothing means you are wearing the appropriate reflective gear plus other safety qualities.

Great fitting bicycle clothing is just as significant as riding a great fitting bike. Today’s bicycle clothes not just help you execute comfortably and better, but they also to allow you to move more freely.

Here are bicycle clothing necessities and tips on choosing the right kind for you:

1. Helmet. Never ride your bicycle without one. Not only they protect your head from bumps, but also supply warmth during winter and cover during the summer.

Helmet models come with 18 vents as well as special features that channels air into the helmet then around the head and finally out your back for extreme heat control.

Choose a helmet that aside from its features, has a good fit. Look for web molded foam that prevents your helmet from falling apart on impact.

2. Jersey shirts. These are shirts made of lycra and other synthetic materials, that efficiently carry sweat away from your skin.

While an ordinary or cotton shirt would quickly be soaked, it takes much effort in order to get your jersey shirt sweaty. And this is an advantage since a soaking wet cotton shirt will feel colder compared to a jersey shirt.

Note however that transport of sweat is less efficient for overly thick jerseys; so choose a jersey shirt with just the right thickness.

Look for jerseys with:

– Neck zippers for proper ventilation should your temperature increase

– “Stand-up” collar in order to seal your body heat in, during cool weather

– Convenient location of pockets

– Wider cut shoulders for “arms-forward” comfort

– Longer cut at the back

– “Form-fitting” cut to lessen flapping

– Bike Shorts. Regular shorts constrict the thighs as it expands when you are riding, resulting to thigh irritation as they chafe against your saddle.

3. Bicycle shorts actually are padded and seamless therefore very flexible.

Look for bicycle shorts with:

– Multi-panel assembly for comfort

– Lower-cut in front

– Soft, smooth saddle pad so as to reduce cushion bumps and friction

– Longer leg cut to avoid saddle chafing

4. Biking gloves. A great pair of breathable wicking gloves during cold weather is necessary.

During summer, gloves having “short-cut” fingers are a very popular choice among most bikers.

Make sure you choose biking gloves that have synthetic leather or padded palm as well as “moisture-absorbing” terry cloth intended to wipe sweat.

5. Biking socks. When biking heavily, your feet produce much perspiration and can result to cold feet during winter. During summer, feet perspiration results to blisters. To avoid these, wear polypropylene or polyester socks which efficiently draw perspiration away.

6. Biking shoes. Purchase biking shoes that are tighter fitting than your normal fit, is compatible with your bike’s pedal system as well as have a molded and thick sole.

However, do make certain that they fit not too tightly because your feet will feel numb after riding a few kilometers.

Avoid excessive shoe padding also, because they can be difficult to dry should they get wet. Velcro straps are great since can be opened and close easily and close.

Your first pedal towards attaining fitness or riding your way to any destination starts without doubt with purchasing the right bicycle clothing as this brings you more comfort so that you can have fun at the same time.

How to Maintain Your Bicycle

If you maintain your bicycle regularly, it will stay in good condition for a longer time. Check on your bicycle before each ride. This is mainly to ensure your safety while riding.

You do not have to master special bicycle maintenance techniques or obtain special tools and equipment to keep your bike in good shape. You only need a few wrenches and some oil to lubricate your bike. You just need a little determination and your natural passion for bikes in order to understand and perform the simple procedures.

Here are some simple bicycle maintenance methods.

1. Check if your tires are inflated properly. To do this, use a pressure gauge. You should know the air pressure suited for your bike. Most tires have numbers printed on one side. Do not over bloat, otherwise spokes might break and rims might crack. Giving less air on the other hand is not also advisable because it will wear the rims which will consequently make riding ineffective.

2. Check on your chain. To check if it is performing well, pedal backward. If it squeaks or resists in any way, it might be because of some accumulated dirt and grease. Clean your chain with isopropyl alcohol and a rag or toothbrush. You also need to lubricate it using bicycle oil or any edible oil. Never use motor oil.

3. Check your shifting gears. Ride your bicycle and check if it shifts properly.

4. Check on your bike frame. Look for any signs of corroding. If you see a rusty spot, rub it steel wool.

5. Check on your brakes. Make sure that the brakes are properly functioning. It should be able to stop your bike fully. Moving the brake pads closer to the wheels might solve any problem. You can do this by rotating the adjuster barrel. You can also ask a mechanic if you need to replace your cable or brake pads.

6. Check on your wheels. When you spin them, make sure they do not rub against something like the brake pads or the frame. The spin should be smooth and without any odd sound or noise. In case the wheels rub against the brake pads, make some adjustments on the pads so they will stay away from the wheel. But if you have a bike with disc brakes, you do not have to worry about this matter. Also, check it there are things stuck in your tires. These could be stones, sand, metal pieces, or even nails. You could use something pointed to get rid of them.

How to Ride Your Bicycle on Icy Trails

Three things I need to emphasize before writing anything else on this subject. Number one, do not ride your bicycle if the conditions are not safe. And number two the best way to ride your bicycle on ice is with studded tires that are in good condition. And the third and most important, always wear your helmet. Especially if the trails are snow covered and/or icy.

OK, now that we have covered the safety issue, let me explain why I’m writing this article. I have already written a review on my Studded Bicycling Tires. My studded snow tires are worn out and I don’t have the money to replace them at this time. But I continue to go out Bicycling anyways. I was out riding one afternoon and the trails where very icy because the temperature was in the forties earlier in the week but then it turned very cold. So the snow melted when it was warm and then the puddles froze on the trails. And while I was riding and trying to make sure I didn’t crash, I thought some people might like some tips on riding their bike on icy trail just in case they happened across some unexpected ice on their bike ride.

The first thing I recommend to do is to look forward as far as you can and look for non icy areas. If you are looking forward you can plan your line to get through the icy area. When I ride on icy areas I point my bike in the direction of the dry areas. You don’t want to turn your bike while you are on ice. When you get to a dry area is the time to change your line. But don’t forget to be looking forward so when you get to the non icy area you know where your next line will be headed.

Next, don’t turn on ice if you can help it. I already covered this a little in the previous paragraph but it is important enough to cover again. Turning or changing direction is very difficult to do while you are on ice without crashing. If you must turn, try to turn as little as possible. And remember, if you can’t stay on the trail because of ice it’s ok, the snow on the side of the trails is usually safer than the ice on the trail.

Don’t use your brakes on ice. This will always make your tires slip. If you absolutely have to use your brakes, use the rear brake. Never use the front brake while on ice. If your rear tire slips it is easier to recover than if your front tire slips.

And you don’t want to pedal while on the ice. When you pedal the rear tire can slip on the ice and come out from under you. Also when you pedal you are shifting your weight from side to side and that can also make your tires slip on the ice.

And just to recap: Do not ride your bicycle if the conditions are not safe. The best way to ride your bicycle on ice is with studded tires that are in good condition. And always wear your helmet. Especially if the trails are snow covered and/or icy.

This article is only to help you if you come across an area of ice you didn’t expect. If you know the trails are icy I recommend staying home for a couple of days just to be safe.

Ride Your Bike in a Skirt

Everybody knows that when you ride a bicycle, you should wear pants and T-shirts, of course, that if you don’t have some special equipment to wear when going on a ride. However, people have thought that women also have the right to dress up however they want when they go riding, therefore, they could also wear a skirt.

There have already been a few discussions and a few actions to encourage this idea. One of them is SkirtBike, an action initiated by VeloBello, which focuses on personal independence and self-confidence in your own abilities and the advantages that riding a bike can have with women and their personality. These actions have become very popular and have always had a lot of participants, mainly because they offer a new perspective on what sports and leisure time should look like when it comes to outfits and freedom.

These actions are all organized in a free spirit, treating their participants in the best way possible, with cookies, coffee, juice and the weather always seems to be on their side. Also, such events represent a perfect occasion for the participants to receive different gifts from the organizing company.

This is also an opportunity for women to experience new things, such as how it feels to be feminine when riding a bike and how it feels to ride a bicycle wearing a skirt, which is not necessarily very comfortable. Therefore, if you are a woman and you are tired of wearing training pants, you should really adopt this idea and feel good in your shoes wherever you are and whatever you do.