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Trek's New Tech Push: Helping Cars Talk to Bikes So Streets Become Safer

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:48

Trek made news at the CES show last week by announcing a partnership with Ford and a software company, Tome, to create smart products that alert cyclists and drivers to each other on the road.



Trek's involvement is notable for several reasons: It marks a shift from passive safety measures—like the daytime running lights Trek makes under its Bontrager brand—to active ones; it incorporates cycling into the transition from current technology to full Level 5 autonomous vehicles; and it represents one of the first significant cases where cycling interests are actively involved in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.



RELATED: Trek and Ford Partner to Help Bikes Talk to Cars



But Trek can't do this on its own. That's where Tome, which works in mobile connectivity, comes in. The key is a technology called V2X communication, said Tome CEO and co-founder Jake Sigal. V2X is short for vehicle-to-everything. It essentially makes the entire transportation system into a connected network, where cars can talk to other cars and road users like bikes and pedestrians, and even V2X-enabled pieces of stationary infrastructure like road signs.



It sounds futuristic, and in some ways it is. But Sigal pointed out that the technology is advancing quickly. “The city of Columbus [Ohio] just got a $50 million grant to install and test this technology,” he said.



And cyclists' seat at the table is not merely courtesy of Trek’s involvement. Tome's Sigal is one of several enthusiast cyclists at the company, and Trek isn't their only connection to the bike industry (SRAM is a client). Tome also works with a number of software and automotive companies. Trek spokesperson Eric Bjorling said Tome’s connections to clients like Ford were a major reason that Trek pitched the partnership more than a year ago. “Tome was the bridge, a company that can bring two very different industries to the table,” Bjorling said.



A cyclist’s voice is essential in developing the technology, according to Sigal, because bikes are unique. “There’s a very real difference in a car's interaction with a cyclist than with a pedestrian or motorcycle interaction,” he said. Cyclists can switch from riding on a sidewalk to the street, and often move faster in congested urban environments than other vehicles. Those characteristics also make cyclists particularly vulnerable, which V2X might help change.



RELATED: The Science of Being Seen



With V2X, connected vehicles that come into a shared communication range will essentially exchange a kind of digital greeting that contains data like speed, location, and direction. After the initial "I see you," these systems will regularly update each other on changes in those metrics. This kind of tech can already be found in cars and trucks today, in the form of assisted-driving features like emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot warning systems. The Trek-Tome-Ford partnership would simply extend that sensor network to bikes.



Alerts will be dynamically filtered so that only important notifications are displayed, Sigal said. An example: The sensor network will pick up your presence nearby, but the system is sensitive enough to know if you’re on an off-street path, not the roadway, so no alert needs to be delivered to a driver. Or, in a situation where a freeway crash diverts auto traffic to a normally quiet side street frequented by cyclists, the software might create a dynamic danger zone alerting riders to the increased traffic volume (and drivers to the cyclists' presence). Eventually, as cars become fully autonomous, driver alerts might disappear altogether.



The exact method of delivery, right now, is still to be determined. The technology is inherently device-based, so it could come as part of a V2X-enabled light or helmet. Or, Sigal said, it could simply run off an app on your phone. Whatever form it takes, it’s some combination of software and device. V2X is also far from the only navigation tool in use in cars; prototype autonomous vehicles, in particular, use an overlapping array of cameras, LiDAR, and radar sensors to scan roadways and other road users. “[V2X] provides higher validation, but it’s not a replacement system," Sigal said.  



That raises a set of troubling questions: How reliable is this communication? Would all these alerts add to driver distraction? And what about people without these devices? Last year, while researching a story about how cities will build safer streets in the future, I spoke with Martha Roskowski, a cycling advocate who was then the vice president for local innovation at People for Bikes. She raised a troubling scenario about so-called smart cities: “I hope we don’t end up in a place where, in order for people to walk and bike and be safe, they have to wear some kind of transceiver,” she said.



Here are seven things we wish (human) drivers would do:






That’s a theoretical concern right now, but a valid one. One of the imagined effects of a fully autonomous transportation system is that it could make traffic signals obsolete. Instead of relying on stoplights to direct traffic flow, autonomous vehicles might navigate intersections in what's called a "slot-based system," communicating with other road users via technology like V2X communication. It's a little like how a flock of birds can wheel and pivot sharply as a group based on subtle communication cues, without the birds running into each other. But what if you can’t communicate with the rest of the flock? If you're riding an unconnected bike, would you sit at an intersection, frozen and invisible, as traffic simply flows around you?



RELATED: How Self-Driving Cars Might Take Cyclists Off the Road



Sigal, at least, sees that as unlikely for two reasons. First, the simple reality is that most of us already carry a V2X-enabled device—a phone—most of the time. And if the tech is embedded in services like bike share, the bike-share rider wouldn’t even need that. Sigal also wants to keep added costs for things like connected lights to a minimum, to make them as accessible as possible. Tome, Ford, and Trek are consciously developing open-source, rather than proprietary, products and want to enlist other companies as partners. “Ford says they want to back an industry standard,” he said. 



Three years ago, Volvo and sports equipment company POC announced a similar partnership, an all-Swedish consortium that also included the telecom Ericsson. Although the POC-Volvo-Ericsson work also relies almost exclusively on existing technologies, and they demonstrated prototype concepts at CES in January 2015, no consumer products have yet emerged, and no additional partners have been announced. (The project is still active, however.) Sigal outlined an aggressive 12-24 month timeline for products from the Tome-Trek-Ford collaboration to reach markets. So what’s sets it apart from the POC/Volvo collab three years ago?



Partly the technology itself. Sigal said they’re already testing at the University of Michigan’s MCity facility, a simulated urban streetscape. V2X is further along, although there are still competing technology standards from which a "winner" must emerge. Developers like Tome have access to more readily available data, including from cycling-focused companies like Strava. And partly, it’s about timing and the zeitgeist among carmakers themselves.



Sigal spoke to me from the Detroit Auto Show, one of the auto industry's biggest events. He mentioned that many of the manufacturers’ displays included bikes and cycling. “Vulnerable road users are very much on the radar of the car companies,” he said. “And most car companies now have a multi-modal strategy where, five years ago, it was different.” The collaborative interest is there, the technology is rapidly coming together, and the market is only growing. It might finally be time for someone to put it all together.



​What It Takes to Climb Mont Ventoux

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 16:49

One of cycling’s most storied climbs—renowned for its stark moonscape summit, where strong winds can add resistance to an already taxing nearly 9 percent average grade—Mont Ventoux is located in the Provence region of southeastern France. The south approach from Bédoin is the famed ascent raced in the Tour de France, most recently in 2016. As you pedal the rolling terrain that leads to the start of the climb, you might feel like the mountain is watching you. The early slopes deceive, but just after you pass the ruins of Les Bruns, a second-century Roman villa (about three miles in), Ventoux’s signature ramps appear. With no switchbacks to ease the grade in this section, six-plus miles at a biting 9 to 10 percent separate you from the flatter sections at Chateau Reynard.



RELATED: This Is Your Body on a Climb



From there, about four miles remain. Above the treeline, the mistral winds rip. The 5 percent gradient should feel easy after such steep pitches, but after an hour or more of climbing, it seems like purgatory. When you finally reach the summit, the panoramic views of the French countryside are a revelation.



Stateside Alternative: Onion Valley Road, near Independence, California, has a similar elevation profile—and magnificent views of the snowcapped Sierras.



You need: Sustainable power



The key to success on a long, unrelenting climb like Ventoux is improving your maximum sustainable pace and power at threshold, i.e., your natural climbing effort level. Steady state intervals, where you hover just below your threshold, will help your body adapt to sustaining this intensity. (Build even more cycling power with our strength-training program, Maximum Overload.) They’re relatively easy to do but require concentration because it can be easy to let your mind (and your effort) drift.



Here’s how to figure out your general training zones using only your breathing:






Try this workout:



Once or twice a week, after a 10-minute warm-up, ride 10 minutes at a steady effort, just above your endurance comfort zone—similar to when you’re riding with someone who is a bit faster than you. You should be able to speak just a few words at a time. Recover for 5 to 10 minutes (you want to be able to maintain your targeted intensity for the next interval). Repeat two more times. Once those feel easy, do two 20-minute intervals, recovering for 10 to 20 minutes between. Eventually, work up to one 30-minute effort.



All the details:



Elevation gain 6,200 Ft



Location 44.1741° N, 5.2787° E



Distance 13.7 miles





The final push uphill feels like riding through a moonscape. Andia/UIG via Getty Images



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The staggering views can help mask the burn in your legs. Harry Engels/Getty Images for Laureus



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Happy FriYay! Here Are Our Favorite Cycling Videos of the Week

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 16:46

Happy FriYay! We hope you had a great week and are excited to get out and crush the weekend. Think of this video as a pump-up jam to get you stoked for your next ride.



We start with an adorable U.K. toddler cruising on his Early Rider balance bike—after driving it around on the back of his battery-powered mini-Mercedes. "When you just want to send it, but have to go see the girlfriend at nursery first," reads his mom's caption on Instagram. 



Next we see Levi Kysler showing off his favorite jump and inspiring us to try for some big air this weekend. Then Monon Carpenter takes it to another level by pulling a no-hander in mid-air and grabbing her bars underhand as she lands. (She calls this trick the "underhander-lander.") 



RELATED: Watch The First Mountain Biker Descent of Corbet's Couloir in Jackson Hole



This week we get to see some amazing Cyclocross action at Nationals in Reno. One highlight is Christopher Blevins bunny hopping the stairs and taking the win in the U23 race. 



We also see some not as graceful, but equally fun, cyclocross moments in Spain as young riders enjoy sliding down a muddy descent. We hope they rinse off before hopping in the car.



Be sure to tag us in your epic adventures on Instagram, and you could be featured in our next FriYay roundup!



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The 20 Best Cycling Shoes for 2018

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 16:06

Your feet are one of the most important contact points with your bike, and the right shoes can make a big difference in your performance—and enjoyment—when riding. Whether you’re upgrading your old favorites or searching for your first pair, you won’t regret taking the time to find a pair that fits well, and suites the type of riding you plan to do.



RELATED: The Most Comfortable Shoes to Slip on After a Hard Workout



A good fit means snug, but not tight. Go too loose and you’ll sacrifice energy during every pedal stroke; too tight and you’ll risk cutting off circulation. If you’re shopping online, it helps to come armed with knowledge of both your European and American sizes, which you can often cross reference on the retailer’s sizing chart to pinpoint the size that will work best for you.



Here’s how to take care of your new kicks when they get wet:






When it comes to function, you’ll find a shoe for almost every style of riding. If you plan to walk or hike while riding (like you might on some challenging mountain bike trails), look for shoes with rubber lugs for traction. Or if you’re trying to scoop up some Strava KOM’s, a lightweight, stiff-soled road shoe will serve you well.



New shoes can completely shift your experience on a bike—making you feel faster, lighter and more comfortable. Start your search for new cycling shoes with our expert recommendations below. 



​5 Great Water Bottles to Keep Your Drinks from Freezing on Super-Cold Rides

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:57

Insulation is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your water warm—or at least drinkable—even on the coldest days. Whether you’re fat biking, commuting, or just getting out on the cyclocross bike as the conditions allow, these bottles and bottle holders will help keep your hydration fluids from freezing so you can keep riding. (Pro tip for super frigid temps: add a splash of vodka in the bottle to keep water from icing.)






No, Really, What Are Sharrows Good For?

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:45

“Get in the bike lane!” the driver shouted as he rolled down his window at the red light. I didn’t expect an easygoing conversation. Angry drivers and cyclists rarely have a productive dialogue, especially after horn honks and arm gestures. But in this instance, I was more confused than anything else. There wasn’t a bike lane, or even a shoulder that might pass for one. I told the driver as much. Then he pointed to a symbol—a white bicycle outline topped with two chevrons—on the road. “There!” he said. “You have to ride there.”



For something that ought to help clarify rules of the road, the shared lane marking—more commonly known as the “sharrow”—can cause tremendous confusion. The distance between what it’s supposed to mean and how it’s actually used is a source of frustration for cyclists and drivers alike. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The sharrow, though often maligned and misunderstood, can have its proper place on our shared streets. That can only happen, however, if we understand its uses and limitations.



So let’s demystify the sharrow, perhaps the most divisive piece of the road cycling puzzle.



Sharrows first appeared in Denver in the 1990s, but the word itself (a portmanteau of “share” and “arrow”) was coined in San Francisco in the early 2000s. The term has been included in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices—the traffic engineer’s bible—since 2009. Elaborated in the manual is what, exactly, sharrows are supposed to achieve.



An example of a shared lane marking in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.


FHWA



First things first: A sharrow is not a bike lane, as it does not create road space nominally reserved for bicycles. Instead, it is meant to be used in situations where cyclists and drivers must coexist in the same lane. (Think slower-moving neighborhood streets; you’re never supposed to see sharrows in areas with speed limits above 35 mph.) Primarily, it’s a positioning tool that tells you where to ride to avoid both flung-open car doors and vehicles passing too closely. In theory, if you ride where the sharrow is placed, you won’t find yourself squeezed in a lane too narrow for cars and bikes together.



RELATED: Your Definitive Guide to Riding Your Bike in Traffic



The sharrow also conveys information. It’s meant to help cyclists stick to recommended bike routes, avoid wrong-way riding, and find gaps where a bike lane might temporarily disappear. It should also alert drivers to the likely presence of bikes, encouraging them (supposedly) to move a little farther to the left if they want to pass a cyclist.



Learn how to safely pass a cyclist:






But do drivers and cyclists actually follow these directions? Maybe a little bit: According to FHWA spokesperson Neil Gaffney, multiple studies have found that sharrows “increase the distance by which motorists pass bicyclists, reduce wrong-way riding, and reduce the number of bicyclists riding on the sidewalk.” He pointed to a 2004 study conducted in San Francisco, which found that passing drivers tended to give cyclists more than two extra feet of space when sharrows were present. Additionally, a 2010 FHWA report found that cyclists generally had more space to maneuver after sharrows were installed on roads in Seattle; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.



The big question, then, is not whether sharrows can produce results, but whether they have come to replace cycling infrastructure that performs much better. After all, sharrows are easier to install, tempting planners to slap them down instead of face the political headache of carving out space for bike lanes (which might involve removing parking spaces for cars). But officials seem to agree that since they don’t establish any separated space for cyclists, sharrows are not an acceptable stand-in for the real thing.



“Shared lane markings should not be considered a substitute for bike lanes, cycle tracks, or other separation treatments where these types of facilities are otherwise warranted or space permits,” reads the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, put out by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Sharrows can complement bike lanes, but they won’t bring the same kind of increase in cycling or improvement in bike safety.





Sharrows are best suited to quieter neighborhood streets. NACTO



This raises the additional question of whether sharrows are necessary at all. Most cyclists can already tell the difference between a quiet neighborhood street and a high-speed arterial where space and safety are bigger concerns. Will some extra paint on the ground really help that much?



New research indicates that it won’t. A 2016 study found that sharrows failed to dramatically increase the amount of bicycling on Chicago roads between 2000 and 2010. More notably, streets with sharrows saw less of a decrease in cycling injuries than streets with no bike markings whatsoever. “It is time that sharrows are exposed for what they really are, a cheap alternative that not only fails to solve a pressing safety issue, but actually makes the issue worse through a sense of false security,” the authors concluded.



RELATED: After Deadly Crash, Cyclists Form Human Barrier to Protect Bike Lane



Indeed, planners are beginning to turn away from sharrows. Darren Buck, bicycle planner for the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., noted that their use has changed over time. “When sharrows were introduced, many in the bike community hoped that they might result in some driver behavior change around bicyclists, or that they would make many riders feel more comfortable on busier streets,” he told Bicycling. “We don’t think there’s a lot of evidence out there to support those hopes. We have moved away from installing sharrows on streets where the separate space of a bike lane would be more appropriate.”



Even bike advocates have grown skeptical. Liz Cornish, executive director of Bikemore in Baltimore, said, “I don't think sharrows are ever enough to overcome what in Baltimore can often be a pretty hostile experience sharing the road with people who drive. And because they are not used consistently, how would anyone actually know what they mean?”



Does Bikemore ever ask for sharrows as part of its advocacy? “Never,” Cornish said. “Our mission is to create a healthy bicycling city. That means we have to get more people riding. Enough cities have made this transition for us to know that is only possible when you commit to a network of high-quality protected infrastructure and multi-use trails. Sharrows don't even rank.” (Help get someone riding with Bicycling's exclusive Get Someone Riding Kit.)





Increasingly, planners are turning away from sharrows in favor of dedicated bike lanes. Charles Donaldson / EyeEm



Are sharrows completely useless, then? Some say they can still serve an important role.



“They can work great on naturally calm streets. I find them reassuring,” said Will Handsfield, a Washington, D.C.-based transportation planner and former policy advisor to the D.C. city council. “I would love if cities were more open to narrowing travel lanes for a block to fit in a bike lane, and maybe that will happen, but that’s not always the case.”



Sharrows offer a recognition of reality: Not every street has room for bike lanes and, in many cases, cyclists and drivers will be forced to interact. The goal of the sharrow is to make these interactions more predictable and safer, reducing the potential for conflicts that might arise when different road users try to share a common space.



RELATED: How to Ride Safely Around Parked Cars



The reason why sharrows have such a poor reputation, according to Handsfield, is their misapplication—when they appear on high-speed roads, for instance. “Engineers need to take more seriously their responsibility to not put sharrows where they don't belong,” he said. “It's not the tool that's wrong, but it's the way the tool has been mismanaged that gives it a bad rap.”



It’s hard to predict what the future holds for the sharrow. As cities build more bike lanes, the use (and abuse) of this road marking could slowly fade away. It might come to be seen as an intermediate step on the path to more bikeable streets. Or it might evolve, performing the same task with better design and greater visual distinctiveness. In the meantime, for all its flaws, the sharrow will continue to insist that everyone should just try to get along.



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The Levi's Commuter Jacket, Powered by Google, Lets You Stay Connected on Every Ride

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:10

The Levis’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with software called Jacquard by Google offers cool tech features that cyclists can access by simply swiping your sleeve. It's an interesting concept with some real benefits to bike commuters—you can access music, phone, and navigation all without taking your eyes off the road. Levi's has had a popular line of jeans and other apparel for bike commuters, but never before offered something so high tech. To make it, the company partnered with Google and its wearable tech application, Jacquard (Jacquard is a type of fabric that has the design woven into the material). In Google's application, touch and gesture sensors are built right into the sleeve and pair with your phone via Bluetooth to access your music, calls, and GPS. 



The Commuter Trucker has a well-placed pocket on the upper left sleeve that fits an iPhone, keeping it close to your ear so you can hear calls on speakerphone, GPS directions, and your favorite tunes. It's made of four-way stretch denim, so it won't restrict your movements as you ride. You can also, Levi's says, toss it in the washing machine without frying the electronics. 



RELATED: 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Levi's New Commuter Jacket



The whole thing is basically powered by a small clip that attaches to your sleeve and works with the sensors woven into the fabric to track your gestures. With the Jacquard app, you can even customize each gesture. For example, a tap could pause music and a brush of your sleeve could give your ETA. 



The Commuter Trucker goes for $350. For a similar, tech-free version, you can also rock this one ($100 at Amazon).



Photos of the Levi's Commuter Jacket:




The jacket was designed for cyclists with a interior and exterior zipped pockets to stash your gear and reflective detailing on back for added visibility. Image courtesy of Levi's



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Get ETA updates with a simple brush of your sleeve. Image courtesy of Levi's



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Jacquard is a special type of fabric with high-tech sensors woven in. Image courtesy of Levi's



​25 Milestones Every New Cyclist Can’t Wait to Reach

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:05

Ah, to be a new cyclist. Every ride presents an opportunity for a personal record, a new road or trail to explore, and fitness to be gained. As a new rider, you might have specific events you’re working toward completing, like a first gran fondo or triathlon. Alternatively, after riding with more experienced friends, you might have a particular skill you’re hoping to master. Even if you’re purely riding for fun or “just” commuting to and from work each day, there will eventually be milestones you’ll fondly look back on.



We’ve rounded up 25 such moments that new cyclists often look forward to achieving. Some of them might not be goals you even realized you had, but once you’ve hit them, you’ll be able to recognize—and appreciate—how far you’ve come since you first started riding bikes.



Surviving a 40-degree ride without freezing—or sweating your ass off



Knowing how to dress for winter riding is an art. Accumulating all the necessary warmers, vests, jackets, and knickers is the first step. But learning to layer them so that you can ride in frosty conditions without shivering the whole time—or overshooting and drowning yourself in sweat—is the sign of true mastery. Not only does this prove you have enough determination and grit to ride when it’s cold out, but it also shows you’ve endured enough trial-and-error layering experiments to develop your own algorithm for happy riding.



RELATED: How to Layer for Winter Riding and Enjoy the Cold



Your first Strava crown



Maybe it was an accident, or maybe you worked tirelessly toward that King or Queen of the Mountain for months. Either way, seeing your name in the #1 spot on the Strava leaderboards is pretty sweet. While you may not have yet achieved any trophies in real life, that Strava crown proves you’re the fastest at something, somewhere, on your bicycle, and that’s certainly worth celebrating.



Riding clipless pedals—without crashing at the first stoplight



They might seem intimidating at first, and you might fall over a couple times during the learning process. However, once you’ve mastered clipless pedals, you will never go back for non-casual riding. While clipless pedals help you cycle more efficiently, more than anything, they make you feel connected to your bike. Once you’ve embraced clipless life, your bike isn’t just a bike: It’s an extension of you and your strength.





dvs/Flickr



Getting lost



Finally, you’ve grown comfortable enough to explore your area without a pre-planned route. You’ll end up wherever you end up, and snake your way back home somehow. Getting lost (and un-lost) on purpose is a true testament to the spirit of adventure in bike riding, and it can often lead you to some beautiful, remote places you’ll want to revisit in the future.



Your first “real” kit



You’ve ditched the sneakers and now it’s time to really join the big leagues: matching spandex. It’s not a hand-me-down, and it’s not a haphazardly thrown together combo plucked from the back of the Sports Basement sales rack. You bought a jersey (like our lightweight Velocio bike jersey), bib shorts, and maybe even a jacket or warmers, and they all match, flawlessly. This is a big moment because it may be one of your most expensive bike-related purchases since you bought your bike itself, and an indicator that things are getting more serious between the two of you. With your kit on, you suddenly feel ready to ride with the pros, and oh so much faster. Don’t forget to ‘gram it. #NewKitDay FTW.



Riding 50 miles



For many of us, 50 miles marks our first “big” ride, and it is a noteworthy achievement. Telling friends or family you’ve pedaled half a century almost always garners some “wows” and wide eyes from non-cycling friends and family. It’s also a signifier of great things to come: Once you can successfully ride this long, chances are you’ve got the skills and stamina to hit 70 or 80 miles, too. It’s just a matter of continuing to pedal, continuing to eat, and staving off the bonk.



Bonking



Nobody sets out to bonk on a ride, but eventually it’ll happen. Bonking happens when you don’t hydrate or fuel enough earlier in a ride, and it’s a growing pain for many cyclists at various points in their development. It often means you’ve pushed yourself harder, faster, or longer than you’ve pushed yourself before, and in the process, failed to stuff enough carbs in your mouth to compensate for all the work your muscles are doing. Bonking—and riding through it—is a learning experience, but it also shows true ambition and grit on your part. Heck yeah!





amygdala_imagery



Snapping photos while riding



Whether you’ve spotted some elusive fauna in the distance or you just want to capture a mid-ride selfie, being able to take smartphone photos mid-ride has become a staple of the Instagram era. It not only captures the beautiful scenery you spot, it also helps you act as a cycling evangelist to those who haven’t yet converted to the church of two wheels. (“Don’t you want to get in on this stoke?”) And just as importantly, it means you can now hold your line while riding one-handed or no handed, which is crucial for fishing in your pocket for food or signaling an upcoming turn.



Getting dropped



Many cyclists avoid large, fast group rides and races for a silly reason: The fear of getting dropped. But getting dropped is a badge of honor. Like bonking, getting dropped is just one of the growing pains of transitioning from a casual to a more serious cyclist. Getting dropped means that you put yourself out there and you gave it your all, but whether for lack of skill or fitness, you came up a little short. It’s OK! With time, you’ll learn the tricks—how to draft properly, where the local sprint spots are, and whose wheels to follow—to ensure you stick with the pack till the end in the future.



Your first road rash



If you ride on the road long enough, you will eventually hit the deck. You’ll hit a pothole, cross wheels with another cyclist, take a turn too hot, or one of any number of unpredictable accidents. If you’re lucky, you’ll escape with only one injury: road rash. It definitely sucks (raw flesh is, unsurprisingly, very tender), but as long as you get back up to ride another day, it’s a testament to what a hardass you are.



Teaming up



Nothing brings a sense of belonging in the bike world like joining a local club or race team. A team means teammates to commiserate with on training rides, carpool buddies for distant events, and valuable sources of riding wisdom (and valuable sources of gear to borrow, too). There’s a sense of pride in flying through a paceline, looking around, and being surrounded by friends in identical matching spandex. On top of that, a team can mean access to deals from sponsors, and if you’ve reached this point in your cycling career, your bank account is in desperate need of some discounts on ride stuff.



Welcoming your first saddle sore into the world



Alright, no one looks forward to this awkward, often painful cycling milestone, but it is a milestone, nonetheless. It’s often a sign you’ve been spending lots of time in the saddle…and have earned a well-deserved rest day. (However, if you’re experiencing repeated saddle sore issues, it may be time for a bike fit or a saddle swap.)





Photograph courtesy of Andrew Bernstein



Your first cycling tan lines (which will always appear at the most inopportune time)



In the race world, having a crisp tan line is a sign of distinction and dedication. It’s something to be celebrated and duly documented on social media to competitors and followers. As a more casual cyclist, the first time those lines start to appear—where your socks, bibs, and/or jersey sleeves end—you may not be quite so enthralled. They always seem to show up just before a wedding or major event where you seriously don’t want a tan line. Still, it is a sign that your hobby has gotten more serious. You can mitigate them with a sleeveless jersey, sun sleeves, or copious amounts of sunblock.



Pinning on your first number



You’ve been riding your butt off, your friends have told you that you’re fast, but now it’s time to put it to the test. Pinning on your number for the first time is perhaps just as nerve-wracking as toeing the start line. Too few pins, and you risk distracting flappage or losing your number altogether; too many and, well, hardly anyone uses too many pins their first time. Your first race or big event is a testament to your dedication and passion—no matter how the results go. Your race number is proof of that endeavor.



Being able to pedal no-handed



Pedaling no-handed shows you have mastered your steed. You’re in command of your balance, you can steer with your hips, and keep your eyes focused down the road. You and your bike are one. Some of us, years into our cycling careers, are still working on this skill, but for others it comes more naturally. Maybe it’s a bit of a show-off skill, but darn if it isn’t useful when it’s time to take on or off a vest.



Fixing your own flat



True freedom is never having to call for a lift every time you experience the heartbreak of a tire going soft, or having to pay a bike mechanic for what amounts to an easy fix. Now you can ride anywhere—even beyond cell signal range or Ubering radius. Being able to successfully fix a flat is a true sign of self-reliance, and one of the first steps in mastering basic bike repair.





frozenmarshmallows



Learn how to fix a flat in two minutes:






Being able to help others out on the group ride



The evolution from padawan to cycling Jedi doesn’t happen overnight, but at some point, you’ll realize that you’ve transitioned from being the one taking guidance from more experienced riders to the one doling out help and encouragement to cycling newbies. It can feel good to share useful advice, or offer an extra Gu when someone’s on the verge of bonking. You’ve been there—look how far you’ve grown!



Learning to do routine bike maintenance yourself



It started with fixing a flat, but eventually you’ll pick up other bike maintenance skills: How to properly clean your bike, how to tune it, and how to replace components. When you’ve reached this point, you’ve progressed past just being a casual bike rider. You now understand more deeply how your bike functions, which makes you a more complete cyclist. As you ride more, more problems will eventually arise. Being able to deal with them, or prevent them in the first place, is key if you don’t want to spend hours upon hours at your LBS.



Feeling comfortable calling yourself a cyclist



The transition from “commuter” or “bike rider” to “cyclist” isn’t a physical one, it’s a mental one. It’s accepting that you belong to the greater cycling community, that you are an athlete, and that you are an example to others on the road. It may take months to reach that point, or it may take years. When you first start out, you may have no ambitions of calling yourself a cyclist, but when you finally start to identify by that title, you will wear it with pride.



Getting your first bike-themed knick-knack as a gift



And then there’s the first time you get a bike-themed mug, pillow, or hand towel. Congratulations: Your friends and family now see you as a “cyclist,” too. Once they’ve made this recognition, they’re going to think of you whenever they see bike-patterned socks, stationary, or Christmas ornaments—which they can’t help but buy for you. These thoughtful knick-knacks will quickly fill up what room in your home isn’t already filled by bikes and old tubes. Just embrace your new house makeover. Those 10 bike-themed kitchen towels are a reminder of yet another accomplishment.



You try to go for a run and suffer a thousand deaths



Before exercising on two wheels, many cyclists start out as runners or triathletes. At some point, perhaps in the winter or when your bike is in the shop, you may decide to strap on your sneakers and hit the pavement. And when you do, holy cow, you wonder how you ever used to do this on a regular basis. Congratulations, your body has adapted to cycling now. With a few weeks of practice, you could get back to your old running self… but why would you want to?





Kevin Kozicki



RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Cycling is Better Than Running



You’ve taken a vacation day—just to ride your bike



It’s not playing hookie (though maybe you’ve done that, too), but when you’re ready to start taking vacation days just so you can ride your bike, you’ve reached a new level of bike enthusiast. One step further: Taking an entire bike vacation. When your ideal getaway is an escape on two wheels, you know that bike riding isn’t just a form of exercise, or even a passion—it’s a source of immeasurable joy and satisfaction.


Your first bike is a hobby. Your second bike, however, means things are getting serious. Eventually, you may need an entire stable to house your collection. Owning multiple bikes is noteworthy because it’s a significant financial investment, and depending on the size of your place, may require significant spatial resources, too. It means you’re ready to ride no matter the conditions—and no matter what ride mood you’re in.



Your first race win



There is no sensation that can match the feeling of being the first person to cross the finish line in a bike race. It means that on this day, you trained the hardest, raced the smartest, and used your energy most effectively. Racing isn’t just about strength, it also takes endurance, strategy, and the mental fortitude to push past what you think are your limits. Winning a race, no matter the kind or size of race, means you did that.



When you’ve got “rituals”



Maybe it’s that you can’t hop on the bike until you’ve finished your second morning espresso, or maybe it’s that you don’t toe the start line of a race without a coat of sparkly polish on your nails first. Whatever the case, you know your cycling habit has reached new heights when you’ve got one or more rituals you follow before or after important rides. Ritual and superstition are common in many athletic disciplines, and while it may be silly, it helps give you the confidence you need to perform your best. And at this point, you’ve learned what works, so it’s you that does indeed know best.



A broken clavicle



In the eyes of some, you’re not a true cyclist until you’ve broken your collarbone. So in a way, this is the ultimate cycling milestone to achieve. However, it’s also the least fun, and the most expensive. But if you can break a bone and can eventually get back on your bike and ride again, you truly understand the suffering, sacrifice, and reward of being a cyclist.



The Best Tech For Cyclists We Saw at CES 2018​

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 18:06

If you want a mind-blowing look into the future—or at least the future as imagined by high-tech inventors who dream up robot dogs and $11,000 commodes (more on that later )—look no further than Vegas’ annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where the wonderful, weird, and sometimes totally practical burgeoning technologies are on display each January. We combed the floors with our cyclist’s eye to spy the best and brightest, most promising inventions that can elevate your cycling life. Here’s what we found.



5 Huge Deals on Women's Apparel We Love From Performance Bike

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 17:55

Get this heavily discounted women's apparel before it's sold out!

Try This Metabolism-Boosting Flywheel Workout With Any Indoor Bike

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 16:49

If you’ve ever been to a Flywheel class, you know that the 45-minute interval ride will leave you high on endorphins and drenched with sweat, not to mention help you burn between 400 and 800 calories (depending on how hard you ride, of course).



But if you aren’t fortunate enough to live near one of the brand’s 42 studios, you’ve got options. If you're willing to spend the dough, you can purchase Flywheel's FLY Anywhere high-performance bike, which features the same tracking tech you get in the studio and a built-in platform offering live and on-demand classes led by expert instructors.



However, if that’s not in the cards for you, you can still try this 45-minute Flywheel-inspired workout, designed by Flywheel Sports creative director Danielle Devine-Baum, to fly on your own. Just crank the playlist below—striving to pedal to the song's BPM (beats per minute) unless otherwise indicated—and get riding. 



RELATED: The Best Spin Class For Every Type of Cyclist



Song #1: “Everybody Wants to Run the World,” Tears for Fears 


Flat road—time to warm up! Ride around 112 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, you’d be around a three. Once the song’s chorus hits, speed up each time. Halfway through the song, add a bit more resistance as your body starts to feel warmer and your muscles get ready to work.



Song #2: “River,” Eminem [feat. Ed Sheeran]


You’re still warming up, but at this point you’re getting into the ride. The speed is 90 BPM.  If you were running, you'd be at a jogging pace. On this song, alternate between second position (butt off the saddle, hands on the tops of your bars), third position (butt off the saddle, hands on the hoods), and seated while maintaining the speed. Two times during the song, increase your speed. Your resistance here is, on a scale of one to 10, around a four. By the end of this song, you should be working up a sweat.



Song #3: “Walking In Memphis,” Marc Cohn


You’re on a hill. On a scale of one to 10, your resistance is around a six. Your speed is 65 BPM. Each time the chorus hits, speed up your pace. You should feel slightly breathless on these intervals. On the first two, use third position when you push. On the last one, challenge yourself to push as hard as you can in the saddle.



Song #4: “Work R3hab Extended Mix,” Rihanna [feat. Drake]


This is a slow, flat incline ride. Your speed is a 100 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, even though it is a rather flat road, you’re around a five on the resistance. Start in the saddle and then hit second position, focusing on stabilizing the core. When you hit the saddle again, speed up. Repeat this four times during the course of this song.



Check out these four core exercises for cyclists:






Song #5: “Fallen Empires,” Snow Patrol


This is a light hill. Your speed is a 74 BPM. On a scale of one to 10, start on the lighter side, about a four on the resistance scale. Every 30 seconds, add a bit more resistance. By the end of the song, you should barely be able to hold your pace at 74 BPM. Alternate between seated in the saddle and third position with every resistance change.



Song #6: “Changes,” 2Pac


Now you’re on a heavy hill. Your speed is a 55 BPM. Start in third position. Leaving the resistance high from the previous song, slow your legs down. You should be at around an eight on your scale of one to 10 resistance. It’s going to get really heavy. Each time the chorus hits, speed up as fast as you can. pushing through the resistance. If you find that your legs want to go faster than 55 BPM when you’re not on the chorus, add more resistance. This should be thick and challenging. Sit when you feel you need, then come out. Your power is in third!



Song #7: “Gold Dust (Extended Mix),” Galantis


This is a flat to a hill. Your speed is whatever you want! Take the resistance down while you’re in the saddle. The speed of the music is 128 BPM, but take a moment to spin lightly and hydrate. Once you feel ready, start to speed up as close as you can to the rhythm. Toward the end of the song, take the resistance to a five out of 10, come to third position and ride the hill at 65 BPM.



Song #8: “Silver Springs,” Fleetwood Mac


Now you jog. Your speed is 88 BMP. Starting in the saddle, close your eyes, take a moment, and just ride. You’re riding at about a six on your scale of one to 10. Find third position when you’re ready. When the chorus hits, hit the saddle and go all out. Push as hard as you can. Repeat until the song ends.



Song #9: “O.P.P. (Re-Recorded),” Naughty By Nature


This is a light flat. Your speed is 98 BPM. On your scale of one to 10, you’re at a four. Starting in the saddle, just ride and find your breath. This song is about big changes in resistance. When the chorus hits, add as much resistance as you can while still holding your speed. When the chorus ends, take it off. Feel free to use second position when it feels good to come up.



Song #10: “Thunder Road,” Bruce Springsteen


Last song, last hill! Your speed is 70 BPM. Out of your 10, find a seven. Take the first half of the song to ride in third and notice how your body feels: energized and strong. As the second half of the song approaches, take a seat and start to remove resistance little by little. Take the last 60 seconds of the song to put your head down and push as hard as possible right to the finish line!



Want to lose weight by riding? Check out our Bike Your Butt Off! guide for cyclists.



The article The Metabolism-Blasting Flywheel Workout You Can Do On Any Stationary Bike originally appeared on Women’s Health.



The Timbuk2 Rapid Pack Is a Bike Bag That, Finally, Does It All

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 16:33

My favorite backpack is one that I definitely should have tossed three years ago when it was eaten by squirrels at the bottom of a climbing crag. But instead I patched it up, and have used it happily ever since—why? Because it is a good pack. 



The Timbuk2 Rapid Pack ($89 at amazon.com) lacks the frayed edges, mysterious stains (and possible rabies) of my old favorite, but I sense that it has the potential to join its ranks. The Rapid Pack is simple without being basic, light without being flimsy, and has all the right pockets in all the right places. In the last two weeks alone, I’ve used it as a carry on, a bike commuting bag, a hiking pack, and a purse. I’ve even crumpled it up and used it as padding for fragile gear inside a bigger bag. 






Inside the main compartment you’ll find two ample shoe pockets along with one padded pocket across the back for a 13" laptop. This laptop sleeve can also hold a 2L hydration bladder, and a port for the hose near the top of the pack makes it easy to convert into a hydration pack. I generally like to have a hip strap to keep my hydration packs from sloshing around, but the Rapid Pack distributes weight well enough that it could work just fine (as long as you stay on fairly smooth terrain). 



A central external zip pocket is perfectly sized for a wallet, and the two slanted mesh pockets on the sides give you easy access to quick layers (like gloves or a wind jacket) while riding. When you’re done with your commute you can hook your helmet straps through two nearly-invisible loops, which are angled so your lid won’t dangle or swing around. The 14 liter capacity is generous without being unwieldy, and the straps are low-profile and comfortable, if a bit wide-set to fit those with shoulders broader than mine.



RELATED: 11 Awesome Commuter Bags That Make Riding Around Town Easier



One of my favorite features is the checked graphic across the body, which doubles as a reflector in low light. It’s one of those things that doesn’t detract from the look of the pack, but gives you a little peace of mind when you have to stay late at the office.  And if it’s really dark, there’s a hidden loop for a blinky



I don’t know what natural disasters await this pack (hopefully not squirrels), but I can tell already that it’ll be one that I repair and reuse for seasons to come. And for under $100, I think that’s a pretty good deal. 



Photos of the Timbuk2 Rapid Pack




A little extra padding will make city riding and light off-road excursions more comfy Image courtesy of Timbuk2



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Smart, fun details bring more joy to every ride. Image courtesy of Timbuk2



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The Rapid has all the right pockets in all the right places to make storage and organization easy. Image courtesy of Timbuk2



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No, Fellas, Cycling Won't Kill Your Erection

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 16:23

Psst. Want a better sex life without resorting to sketchy, email-spammed supplements? Get your butt on a bike four or more days a week.



That’s right: a bike. Contrary to stubbornly persistent misinformation, cycling can actually benefit erectile function in males, and riders who log more miles score better in the lab (and perhaps elsewhere) than those who cycle less frequently, according to the largest study on the topic to date.



RELATED: 6 Ways Cycling Improves Your Sex Life



The multinational study, published last year in the Journal of Urology, compared the urinary and erectile function of 2,774 cyclists, 539 swimmers, and 789 runners. Participants were surveyed on sexual health, prostate symptoms, urinary tract infections, genital numbness, and saddle sores. Cyclists also answered questions about how often and far they rode, what bikes they rode, where they rode, and a host of other variables.



When all the data were analyzed, the cyclists had no more urinary or sexual health problems than swimmers or runners. They did have about twice the incidence of urethral strictures—scarring or narrowing in the urethra—but it wasn't common and didn’t appear to affect urinary health. Meanwhile, getting out of the saddle frequently (about 20 percent of the time) significantly reduced the chances of experiencing numbness.



RELATED: Should You Get Busy the Night Before a Big Ride?



These results echo the findings of a 2014 study of more than 5,282 male cyclists, which found no connection between cycling and erectile dysfunction or infertility, regardless of how many miles or hours logged on the bike. That included cyclists churning out 200 miles a week. (Check out this Velocio bike jersey for men.)



This isn't to say that you shouldn't take steps to protect your man parts on a ride. But the next time someone tells you cycling causes erectile dysfunction, present them with this hard evidence to the contrary.



Take a look at the Levi's commuter jacket:






Made of Wood and Begging to Be Ridden: The Renovo Pursuit

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:47

If you’ve ever hit a baseball with a wooden bat, you may have sensed that the power the bat transmits to the ball feels lower than that of an aluminum bat. Wood has a natural tendency to absorb vibration. Perhaps this is why I’ve frequently used the term “wooden” to describe a lifeless, overly damped ride.



I’ll never do it again—not in a derogatory sense, anyway.



The Renovo Pursuit, a road bike with a wooden frame handmade in Portland, Oregon, has a ride that’s lively, smooth, rigid, and well damped without being overly so. Compared with models made from traditional materials, the Pursuit has the stiffness and vivacity of a high-end steel bike with the vibration damping of an endurance-focused carbon bike. (According to Renovo, wood absorbs vibration four times better than carbon does.)



RELATED: The 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Carbon Fiber



The frame is constructed from thin layers of wood bonded with epoxy to form a composite material, similar to how a carbon layup is made. These pieces are then milled using a CNC router that shapes the wood into three-dimensional parts. The resulting seatstays, chainstays, and hollow main-triangle halves are sealed then bonded together to create a complete frame.



Every Renovo is hand-sanded and finished with a satin polyurethane clear coat (a glossy finish costs $500 more). Final touches include aluminum dropouts and sleeves in the head tube, seat tube, and bottom bracket that are compatible with industry-standard components.



Still, why would you want a 4.9-pound wood frame when there are lighter carbon fiber bikes available that feel a lot like the Pursuit? Simple. In the same way steel is so appealing to some people, a Renovo buyer wants to own a bike that not only begs to be ridden, but also has a story. When you own a Renovo, you own a bike made from sustainably sourced materials and renewable resources. The Pursuit, for example, is made primarily from Oregon-sourced Port Orford cedar, chosen for its high stiffness-to-weight ratio; and from Bubinga, a wood sourced from Africa and known for its compressive and sheer strength. The pinstripe details come thanks to Wenge, a dark-colored hardwood also from Africa. Because no two pieces of wood are alike, you will also own a unique wood-grain pattern that no one else will have.



I’ve always believed that almost any commonly used material that’s properly engineered can make for a great-riding bicycle. It’s time to add wood to that list.



Photos of the Renovo Pursuit 


5 Signs You're Dehydrated That Have Nothing to Do With Thirst

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:45

The old adage, “If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!” is actually still up for debate among experts, but one thing is certain—thirst is far from being your only signal that you need to hydrate, stat.



Dehydration occurs when your body is losing more fluid than it’s taking in, according to Robert Segal, MD, founder of the Medical Offices of Manhattan. That can happen with exercise, illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting, and loss of body heat.



And it can lead to some pretty serious problems. Driving when you’re just one percent dehydrated, for instance, can lead to pretty dangerous behaviors behind the wheel, like lane drifting or late braking, according to a 2015 study. Plus, if you’re two percent or more dehydrated, your athletic performance might take a hit, too.



When the weather is toasty, it’s easy to remember to grab some water, but as it turns cooler, the chances of dehydration can increase, Dr. Segal notes. For example, if you’re biking in chilly temps and you’re wearing multiple layers, it can be tougher to keep hydration in mind.



But you should. When you don’t supply your body with enough fluids, you reduce functioning in every system, including cells, tissues, and organs, he says.



There’s no one, set water prescription for everyone—it depends on things like diet and activity level. Still, there are some ways to know you’re not getting enough. Here are five signs you might be dehydrated.



RELATED: How to Know If You're Dangerously Dehydrated



5 Cities With the Most Badass Winter Bike Commuters

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:07

We’ve all seen those riders, bravely riding into work each morning, letting neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor slick, icy roads deter them from getting into the office by 9 am. Last week’s teeth-chattering cold front got us thinking about those badass bike commuters who refused to let a beatdown from Mother Nature stop their rides. Based on data from advocacy group People For Bikes, we reached out to several riders from America’s coldest and most bike-crazy cities to find out their secrets.



UCI Chief Calls for Chris Froome's Suspension Over Drug Test Results

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:28

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome should be suspended from Team Sky over an adverse drug test, according to world cycling chief David Lappartient. Froome tested for twice the allowed amount of the asthma medication salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a España.



"Sky should suspend Froome," Lappartient, president of the UCI, pro cycling's governing body, told the French newspaper Le Telegramme. "Without wishing to comment on the rider's guilt, it would be easier for everyone. It's up to [team manager Dave] Brailsford to take his responsibilities."



"Quite apart from that, I think that's what the other riders want," Lappartient added. "They're fed up with the general image."



Lappartient said that regardless of Froome's innocence or guilt, fans will not give him the benefit of the doubt until he is either exonerated or found to have broken the rules. "In the eyes of the wider public, he's already guilty," said the UCI chief, who claimed he found out about the test result an hour after being elected to his post over Briton Brian Cookson on September 21.



RELATED: Chris Froome Says He 'Hasn't Broken Any Rules' After Failing Drug Test



"We're in the hands of the experts," he said. "It's up to Froome to demonstrate the reasons for such a high level of salbutamol, it's up to him to prove his innocence."



Regardless, Lappartient believes the affair will last a long time, with the possibility of Froome appealing any eventual sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. "This affair won't be sorted out in two minutes," he said. "It could last at least a year."



Some of Froome's main rivals have hit out at cycling authorities for failing to ban the reigning Tour and Vuelta champion. Earlier this week, Frenchman Romain Bardet described cycling as "a laughing stock" over the affair. World time-trial champion Tom Dumoulin previously insisted that his team, Sunweb, would have suspended him for a similar offence.



Bardet even suggested that if Sky doesn't suspend Froome, the rider himself should voluntarily "pull out" from racing "while waiting for the authorities to decide."



Lappartient said he understood Bardet's feelings, adding, "He's saying out loud what everyone's thinking under their breath."



RELATED: 7 Reasons Why We Can't Wait for the 2018 Pro Cycling Season



Lappartient said he would look into the issue of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE), which many believe have been abused to allow riders to gain an unfair advantage from legally taking banned substances. He said he wants to put in place "independent medical observation" that would prevent riders from competing if they've applied for and been granted a TUE.



"That would allow us to solve the corticosteroids problem," Lappartient said.



In 2016 the Russian hacking group Fancy Bears revealed that Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France in 2012 before Froome emulated him a year later, had received three TUEs during his career at crucial moments: before the Tour in 2011 and 2012, and before the Giro d'Italia in 2013.



Wiggins said he needed to take the corticosteroid triamcinolone to treat allergies. But some ex-cyclists have spoken out against that, claiming it would have given him a significant performance boost.



Keep up with the latest cycling news by subscribing to our newsletter.



The 10-Minute Workout You Can Do Even When You're Extremely Unmotivated to Exercise

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:45

Whether you're having trouble getting your butt into gear on a Monday or are just having a lazy weekend, this quick workout will make you feel more energized and ready to conquer your to-do list. It takes only 10 minutes, so it's easy to squeeze into your schedule (like when you're waiting for laundry or tea water to boil). But it's also super effective and challenges your whole body—so be prepared to sweat a little. Try to perform each exercise below for a minute, and flow from one to the next without any down time. (To take it to the next level, check out our Big Book of Training.)



Help! ​I Ride My Bike Every Day and I Still Can’t Lose Weight

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:33

Struggling with your weight loss goals? You are not alone. The blunt truth is that though daily exercise like cycling will improve your cardiovascular health, lift your mood, and boost your fitness, you can easily pedal an hour a day and not lose a pound. As many people notice to their dismay, you might even gain a few.



Training more but gaining weight? This might be why:






“Just adding exercise does not equal automatic weight loss,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, sports nutritionist at Pittsburgh-based Active Eating Advice and co-author of Bike Your Butt Off. “You need to be sure you’re not unconsciously eating more, not overcompensating with treats and sweets, and that you’re exercising in a way that encourages fat loss and builds lean muscle tissue.”



Don’t get discouraged (or hang up your wheels!). It’s not as complicated as it sounds. With the right adjustments to your riding (and fueling) routine, you can pedal off unwanted pounds. Here’s what you need to know:



​​Industry Nine Launches Further Into Road With I9-Series Disc Wheels

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 18:57

Industry Nine (I9) is following the introduction of its new mountain bike Trail 270 wheelset with a new line of sectional carbon road wheels that it hopes will make the premium brand a more significant option for road cyclists. The 24-hole, disc-brake wheels come in three depths: 35mm, 45mm, and 65mm. The rims all have a 21mm inner width and are tubeless ready. As with I9’s mountain wheels, you can select the hub and spoke nipple colors to match your bike and even customize the graphics. Because I9’s wheels are built to order, the rims can be mixed if you want a different depth for the front and rear rims.





The new I9 wheels come in three depths. The middle depth I9.45 is the company's all-around profile meant to do it all. Photograph courtesy of Industry Nine



The team at I9 says they have been working on the design of the wheels for over two years at the brand's Asheville, North Carolina, headquarters. The three rim shapes were designed in house by I9, and are manufactured by Reynolds. The new rims have relatively wide inner widths and a more compliant construction to deliver what the company hopes is the best ride possible with wider tires. In wind tunnel tests, the company claims the wheels performed competitively to Zipp’s 303 and 404 wheels in aerodynamics and cross-wind handling.



Based on the success of its I9’s mountain bike wheels, the brand could become a strong option for riders seeking high-performance aerodynamic road wheels. We have some of the new hoops and will publish an in-depth review soon.




The I9.35 is the slimmest of the bunch, and also the lightest.


Photograph courtesy of Industry Nine



I9.35: What You Need to Know




  • 35mm deep
  • 1,355 grams
  • $2,300




These new wheels are made for tires between 23mm and 28mm—ideal for all-day, everyday riding. Photograph courtesy of Industry Nine



I9.45: What You Need to Know




  • 45mm deep
  • 1,495 grams
  • $2,350




Industry Nine says the aero profile of the I9.65 reduces drag, but also handles well in cross-winds. Photograph courtesy of Industry Nine



I9.65: What You Need to Know




  • 65mm deep
  • 1,555 grams
  • $2,400


Watch the new I9 road wheels in action: