Category Archives: Bike Tips

Buying A Mountain Bike
June 30, 2012 8:13 pm|Comments (0)

It can be a bit frustrating as well as time consuming when you buy a mountain bike.  Below, you’ll find some tips and things to be aware of before you lay down the cash and buy a mountain bike.

Determining your price
There is really no limit as to how much money you can spend on a new mountain bike.  To help you keep your spending under control, you should figure out what your price range is and how much your willing to pay for a new bike.  When you buy, you shouldn’t buy from mass merchant stores such as Wal-Mart.  You should instead support your local bike shop and get a much better bike and much better service.

Finding your style
All mountain bikes are designed with several different riding styles and terrain types in mind.  You’ll need to figure out what type of riding you will be doing the most.  Smooth riding, cross country racing, mountain cruising, or lift accessed downhill is something you need to figure out.  Make sure that the bike you select fits your personal style and not that of the sale’s staff.

Full suspension or hard tail
If you can afford it, a full suspension mountain bike is always worth the purchase.  A hard tail, without rear suspension, is much lighter weight and pedal more efficiently, although full suspensions offer more comfort and overall better control.  You’ll want to make that decision based on your price range, riding style, and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on the most.

Finding your favorites
Comparing mountain bikes component to component is nearly impossible, as there are far too many combinations available.  The best way to go about doing this is finding a few components that are the most important to you and making sure the rest or the minimums fall within your price range.  You can start with the fork then look at the wheels and rear derailleur.

Sales and seasons
During the year, the prices of mountain bikes can fluctuate quite a bit.  Spring through summer is the main buying season.  If you can wait until the right price pops up, normally in the fall and winter, you can save a couple hundred dollars.  Many bike shops will also offer discounts or other accessories if you buy from them.

Finding a good dealer
Finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding the best price.  You should always find a dealer that cares more about selling you a great bike than selling you a high priced one. A great dealer will have a clean repair shop and give you the impression that you can really trust them.

Test ride
You should test ride as many bikes as you can within your price range and riding style.  You’ll find that some bikes will feel right, while others won’t.  The more bikes you can test drive, you better you’ll understand what works and what doesn’t.

Doing the research
Product reviews and bike reviews are some of the best ways to find out about a mountain bikes reliability and overall performance.  You should always look at what other owners and reviews think about a bike before you make that final purchase.

Posted in: Bike Tips
Technical Down Hill Mountain Biking
June 30, 2012 8:04 pm|Comments (0)

The key to down hilling is relaxing your upper body. The steeper and rockier the hill is, the more tightly the rider tends to put a death grip on the handle bars.  Most riders tend to slow down as they approach obstacles such as rocks, then apply both brakes.

If you don’t apply your brakes, the rock will stop your wheel.  This isn’t good, as the rock can throw you off balance and completely kill any type of momentum you have.

Relaxed riders won’t slow down as much.  The combination of extra momentum, no front braking at crucial moments will allow the wheel to bump over the rock and continue onward with little effort.

If you are going slow, it’s essential to release your brakes as much as possible when you approach an obstacle.  This may entail going a bit faster, although the result is much less painful.  On steep hills, going really slow will always make things much more difficult.

One exception to this is a very tight turn.  If a hop is out of the question, you’ll need to slow down to allow the smallest radius of turning circle. This kind of thing takes practice, although track standing isa great way to improve on your balance.

Although down hilling is one of the most extreme methods of mountain biking, it can also be one of the most dangerous.  If you’re new to mountain biking you shouldn’t start out with down hilling, as it takes a lot of practice.

With a bit of practice and knowing the right techniques, technical down hilling is something you’ll find fun.  It can provide quite a rush and a lot of excitement for those who seek adventure.

Posted in: Bike Tips
Spring Bike Tune Up Tips
June 30, 2012 7:53 pm|Comments (0)

If you don’t ride in the winter, you’ve probably spent the winter months on the couch eating chips and watching television.  Before you know it, spring will be here and a new season of mountain biking will begin.  Even though your body may not be in shape, these tips will ensure that your bike is.

Before you take your bike out, check the wear and tear on your components and adjust them if its necessary.  Start off with your chain.  If you haven’t replaced it in a year or more, it’s time to do so.  Over time, the individual parts in the chain will get worn out, increasing its effective length.

As this happens, the chain is no longer able to conform to the cog and the teeth of the chain ring, so it wears those teeth out to fit the profile of the chain.  If you can replace the chain before it stretches too much you’ll save yourself from having to replace high priced cogs and chain rings.

Now, check the bearing surfaces.  These include your bottom bracket, hubs, and the headset.  Each of these should turn without a problem with no play in the system.  Before checking the bottom bracket, make sure each cranking arm is snugged tight.  Next, hold on to the crank arm (not the pedal) and wobble it back and forth.  If you hear any clicking or if the crank arm binds, the bottom bracket needs to be adjusted.

Do the exact same thing with your hubs.  Take the wheels off the bike, spin the hub axles, then feel for any free play or binding.  If you feel play or binding, you need to make an adjustment.  To check the headset, start off by putting the newly adjusted wheels back on the bike.

Now, grab the front brake and pull and push the handle bars back and forth.  There shouldn’t be any play.  If you lift the front end off the ground, the fork should turn very smoothly.  If it feels rough, it needs to be either adjusted or replaced.

While your looking, check the condition of your cables and housing.  The cables should be rust free and the housing shouldn’t be cracked or kinked.  If you see any of this you should replace the offending device, as if you don’t your shifting and braking will be sluggish.

Last, you should inspect your brake pads.  Most pads will have ridges or indicator marks that will let you know when they need to be replaced.  Brake pads that are worn out will comprimise both safety and braking efficiency.

Once you’ve got the tune ups out of the way, it’s time to go for a ride.  With your mountain bike running better than ever, all you have to do now is have fun!

Posted in: Bike Tips
Setting Your Bike Tire Pressure
June 30, 2012 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

Riding your mountain bike with the appropriate amount of tire pressure can make a huge difference in how much control you have over your bike.

Setting your tire pressure too high will make for poor contact with the ground and also make your bike less controllable.  Setting your tire pressure too low will make your tires unpredictable and also make them susceptible to pinch flats.

The appropriate amount of tire pressure in a mountain bike will vary between rider to rider and tire setup to tire setup.  The conditions of your trail and the type of terrain your riding will also greatly impact what tire pressure you should be using in your tires.

The trick here is to find out exactly what mountain bike tire pressure works for you and your setup during normal conditions.  After doing this, you can learn to adjust your pressure for different trails and types of terrain as needed.

You should start by finding a reliable pressure gauge or a pump with a pressure gauge.  Then, use this same gauge or pump anytime you are making adjustments.  A gauge can be very inaccurate, so if you switch around it you can make things much more difficult.

You should start with a higher pressure of around 40 -50 psi.  If you have a tubeless system, you should start lower, 30 – 40 psi.  The more you weigh, the higher pressure you should start with.  Try this pressure for a while and get a feel for how the tires take corners and loose dirt.

Drop the pressure by 5 psi in each tire and get a feel for how this new setup rides and how it compares to your previous setting.  You should notice some improvement in stability, and if you don’t, drop the pressure by another 5 psi.

You want to find the lowest pressure you can ride with without sacrificing pinch flat resistance.  A pinch flat occurs when your tire rolls over an object then compresses to the point where the tire and the tube get pinched between the object and the rim on the wheel.

With tubeless tire systems, you can run much lower air pressure, as you don’t have to worry about getting pinch flats.  If you start to dent your rims, burp air out along the bead, or feel the tire roll under the rim during hard cornering, you’ve taken the pressure much too low.

Posted in: Bike Tips
Cross Country Mountain Biking
June 30, 2012 5:50 pm|Comments (0)

Cross country mountain biking is cross country at its finest.  Where free riders and downhill bikers use four wheel bikes and ski lifts to get them to their destination, cross country bikers get to the top of the mountain by the ride.  Though free riding is very popular, the life vein of the sport has always been cross country biking.

Just as cross country riders are a different breed, the bikes they ride are as well.  The cross country bike is completely different in many ways from other types of mountain riding bikes.  The premise for cross country riders is speed.  Everything about their bikes revolve with the idea of making the bikes faster and faster.

Bikes used in cross country mountain biking can be fully rigid frame, hardtails, or even full suspension frames.  Through the years, the cross over to full suspension has become very popular.

The weight difference between free ride bikes and cross country bikes are considerable.  You’ll be extremely hard pressed to find a bike that weighs more than 24 pounds, and even that weight can be heavy.  Free ride bkes weigh close to 40 pounds, which makes the difference in weight pretty close.

If you’ve never tried cross country mountain biking, you’ll probably find it to be a break from the ordinary.  Even though this type of biking involves trails, it’s normally the type of terrain that beginners wouldn’t want to ride.  Involving hills and rough terrain, cross country biking offers quite the rush.

For mountain bikers everywhere, cross country is the way to go.  It offers you a new assortment of bikes, new areas to bike, and a new twist to mountain biking as you know it.  If you’ve been looking for a mountain biking rush, cross country mountain biking is what you need to be experiencing.

Posted in: Bike Tips
Beginner Mountain Bike Skills
June 30, 2012 4:14 pm|Comments (0)

Mountain biking is an exciting sport that can be enjoyed by anyone who knows how to ride a bike.  Compared to the average bike ride, it does present some danger.  Therefore, you should master these basic skills before you hit the trails or the dirt.

You can practice these beginning skills at a local park, school, bike path, or simply around your house. If you can, try to find a location with a steep hill.

Get a feel for your pedals
Practice moving your foot away from the pedal, first while sitting on your bike with one foot on the ground.  Next, move on to releasing and replacing your foot while pedaling around for a bit.  Those with toe clip and clipless type foot pedals will want to spend a bit more time practicing.

Sit and spin for position
Simply sit on your bike and pedal around.  You should keep your arms slightly bent.  You should also adjust your seat height so your leg is 70 to 90 percent extended at the bottom of every stroke on the pedal.  Keep your body relaxed, as there will never be a position where you should have either your knees or your elbows locked.

Shifting gears
Get a feel for shifting gears with your bike.  The higher gears are harder to pedal and will go faster while the lower gears are easier to pedal and will help you ascend hills.  As you get to steeper hills, its best to shift before you get to the hill rather than while your on it.

Coasting
You should spend a bit of time coasting while standing on your pedals, without actually sitting on the seat.  Keep your arms bent but don’t lock your knees.  Now, try experimenting with shifting your body towards the rear end of the bike.

Pedal while standing
You should get as comfortable as you can with pedaling while standing on your bike.  Try lifting yourself off the seat while standing on the pedals, then crank them around.  You should try this in higher gears on flat ground then again in lower gears while on a hill.

Dropping down a curb
Try finding a curb where you can easily get to the upper portion of it.  Practice at a moderate speed, standing and coasting right off the curb from the upper level to the lower level.  Try this at different speeds until it becomes second nature.

Once you practice these techniques and get the hang of them, you’ll be able to hit the trails feeling comfortable on your mountain bike.  Even though it may take some getting used to, it’ll become second nature before you know it.

Posted in: Bike Tips
The top 10
June 30, 2012 10:42 am|Comments (0)

Here is a condensed version of our top 10 bike picks. Not all models are going to be in stock all the time and we will do our best to update the information on a consistent basis. Bikes with no price shown are currently out of stock.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of Tuesday 23rd of January 2018 02:41:18 AM but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Posted in: Bike Tips