Cycling Questions

You've Got Questions, We've got answers!

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What is the average life span of road tires?

About 2,500 miles

What is the best road tire?

Well, that depends a little bit depending on what type of riding you do. If you ride in the rain, you'll want rain specific tires. If you're a professional rider or a weight wennie, you'll want a super light, but thin tire, like the Bontrager R4 Road.

I recommend a tire that is a little bit heavier, but one that is going to last longer and give decent flat protection. For training rides or the recreation cyclist this kind of tire is going to be perfect. And the little bit of weight that is adds is going to save to time compared to changing flats with race tires. I have used the Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II tires with great success. They last 2,000-3,000 miles, and have great flat protection.

The Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick tire is also a very good tire. I haven't burned through a set yet, but so far they seem to have good flat protection.

The Continental Ultra GatorSkin tire is very good for flat protection. Its not the lightest, but stops more punctures and lasts a long time.

For more help on selecting a tire use Bontrager's tire selector tool

Should I Use a Helmet Mirror?

A helmet mirror is a very good idea for riding in traffic. Sometimes its not safe to turn your head and look, or you like to keep an eye on what's behind you periodically. You have several options to choose from; The traditional helmet mirror that mounts to your visor or helmet shell. This option is most popular. Or a mirror that plugs into the handle bar end. Or a small mirror that glues onto your sunglasses lenses. The downside to this option is that you have to leave the mirror on, and you may not like wearing that around when you’re not riding. Also if you multiple color lenses for weather conditions you're going to have to buy that many mirrors.

Do I have to keep pedaling while shifting?

Yes, you must. The forward motion of the chain is what allows it to glide over the gears as it's shifting. If the cassette and chain aren’t spinning the chain can't move into another gear.

I would like to improve my fitness, how much do I need to ride?

To improve your fitness you need to be riding at least 7 hrs per week. How you do that depends on your schedule and preference. Since most people ride on the weekends 3 rides per week is a good start. (Yes at least one will have to be during the week.) You should be doing intervals on two of those days. If you ride two days in a row you should make that second ride a moderate paced ride. Your body will also be doing inactive recovery on the days that you don't ride.

If you have 1-2 hours to ride every day you may be able to get better results in the same amount of time on the bike each week. You can do quick hard workouts and be able to recover quicker that if you did longer rides. Try doing intervals and some sprinting workouts about 4 days a week. Be sure to do some easy recovery rides in there too.

you should always start out gradually, no matter which training plan you are on. Training too much or too quickly will actually do more harm than good. If you haven't been riding consistently then get a month of solid base miles in before doing intervals or other intense workouts.

Do I have to be fit to start cycling?

No! You do not have to be fit. In fact exercise lowers your health risk and can help you lose weight. Be sure to check with your doctor especially if you have a heart condition or other serious medical condition.

My hands get fatigued while riding, what can I do?

You may not be priory fitted to your bike. If your saddle is too far back or forward you may be putting excess pressure on your hands and thus causing fatigue. Have a friend help fit you to your bike, or have a bike shop do it.

if the problem still persists, you may want to get a more comfortable handle bar tape that is thicker or has gel in it.

You can also get a pair of gloves made specifically for Cycling. These have thick leather or synthetic pads on the palm to help alleviate pressure. Some even have gel in the padding to add comfort. It is very important to get a pair that fits correctly, otherwise the padding won't be in the right place, and it could even cause more pain than helping.

Why should I wear gloves?

Wearing gloves is highly preferential. But, besides offering riding comfort they protect your palms in the event of a crash. The thick padding will take the beating for you. If you race, where crashes are prone, you should always wear gloves.

Some riders find that when they sweat the shifter hoods become slippery and hard to hold onto.

What should I be eating on a ride?

If you ride for more than an hour you must eat on your ride. You should be taking in 170-300 calories depending on your weight, or one third the amount you are burning.

How much water should I be drinking?

While riding you should be drinking between 16-24 ounces, and never more than 28 ounces per hour, even on hot days.