A Buyer’s Guide to Mountain Bikes

The wife and I recently invested in a couple of mountain bikes in an effort to get fit, save money, and perhaps be a little kinder to the environment. I’m pleased to say, several months on, that we’re certainly fitter, have saved some money being more active and not driving everywhere, and as for the environment I suppose you could say we’re doing our little bit.

I was amazed at the start of our little life change at the myriad of mountain bikes out there to tempt all levels of ability and certainly all sizes of wallet. I admit to being confused at that time as to where to start and I expect I was not, then or now, the only one. The categories detailed below may help you as they helped me to cut through the jargon and the sales pitch so that you buy the right bike for you.

  • Price Range. You can spend a whole lot of money on a decent mountain bike but my advice is to stick to a price range and only road test those bikes that fall in that price range, period. I do the same when I’m buying a new car, that’s why I’m still married.
  • Terrain. What type of mountain biking you will do can impact the type of bike you buy. Will it be thrill seeking downhill, trail racing, cross county racing, or like me, mountain cruising.
  • Comfort. My advice here is to go for a full suspension mountain bike, the alternative hardtails may be cheaper, but in the long term the full suspension bikes are more comfortable. Your derrière will thank you for it.
  • Components. There are huge combinations of components available when buying a mountain bike. Start with the fork, wheelsets, and rear derailleur. Remember, if you buy the right bike you can replace many of the components later.
  • Right time to buy. Mountain bike prices can be seasonal with many models being sold spring through to summer. If you buy out of season you may well pick up a good deal.
  • The Dealer. I recommend you buy, or the very least test ride, your mountain bike at your local dealer. You will get a far better service, even if you end up buying the bike for a cheaper price elsewhere. Remember the points above, this bike is for you, not necessarily the bike the dealer would like to own.
  • Product Reviews. Once you’ve found the right bike, take a deep breath and walk away for twenty four hours. In that time go and read some product reviews. This breathing space may reinforce your decision as a good one, or get you to rethink. At least you will be sure.

I hope you find the right mountain bike to suit your needs. Remember to have fun, mountain biking in all its’ styles is a great sport and a great way to get fit.



Good Sport Design: What It Can Do For You

Whether you enjoy mountaineering or horseback riding, hiking or biking, the equipment you use can make a big difference in your overall performance. When you choose equipment that features good sport design, your performance levels – as well as your comfort and enjoyment of your activities – get a big boost. While there is a plethora of equipment and tools that provide you benefits and advantages in various sports, the true value of each lies in what it can do for you. Consider this example of good sport design and how it can make your life easier and your leisure time more enjoyable.

Rolling Backpacks

For years, kids have taken rolling backpacks to school. But these rolling backpacks aren’t designed for actual outdoor use. The small plastic wheels and fragile frames can’t stand up to the harsh conditions found in climbing and hiking. But could a different type of rolling backpack do the trick? Instead of the small, hard plastic wheels and pull up handles featured on many other backpacks designed to be pulled along behind you, what about a carry device that consists of a sturdy, lightweight frame that installs onto high-quality hiking backpacks and a single large, centered ball. When not in use, the frame flips up above the backpack. A simple adjustment drops the frame so that you can easily pull it along behind you or push it ahead of you, even over the rockiest, most uneven terrain.

The oversize roller ball is an example of how good sport design can improve on a good idea and make it even better. Unlike small wheels, which are designed to roll smoothly over the tiled floors of airports or paved sidewalks, the roller ball is designed for uneven ground. With a rolling backpack frame, you can choose between carrying your pack on your back and rolling it along the ground. That’s a major benefit to anyone who loves to hike but is plagued with bad knees or a bad back.

With the rolling backpack, even those who are unable to carry a 30-pound pack the great outdoors. If the biggest reason you’ve been unable to enjoy your favorite outdoor sports is that you can’t carry your equipment when you trek, the right rolling backpack can reopen your world.

Even if you don’t have back, knee or hip problems, you’ll enjoy using a rolling backpack for your mountaineering or trekking. As a hiker, your range is limited by the distance you can walk carrying your gear. When you need to take a load off your shoulders, your only real choice is to take a break, take off your pack and stop your hike until you’re ready to pick up your burden again. With the rolling backpack, you never have to stop to rest just because your shoulders are aching. You can just drop the pack, adjust the frame and keep on walking. You’ll see a major sports advancement in performance enhancement and the number of miles you can put in on an average day.

That’s just one example of how good sport design can enhance your enjoyment of your favorite outdoor activities. There are hundreds of other great  sports  equipment ideas and innovations available for those who love to get out in the woods and the  mountains  and enjoy the great outdoors.



Mountain Biking Tips

Have you tried the latest fitness craze?  Mountain  Biking is growing in popularity, from the weekend bush  mountain  biker to the hard core downhill  mountain  bike racer. Following in my husband’s footsteps, I’ve recently joined the hordes trying to conquer this sport and although I haven’t been out much yet, it is definitely addictive. Here are some tips to assist you when you’re starting out.

 Mountain  biking is a  sport  consisting of riding purpose built  mountain  bikes off-road, often over rough terrain.  Mountain  bikes differ to road bikes in that they are built to withstand rougher conditions. They are therefore slightly heavier, have wider tyres with more rubber nodules to assist the rider to have more control on rough surfaces and greater suspension with front shock absorbers to withstand the knocks of bush tracks. They also have wider handle bars allowing the rider greater control over uneven terrain.

Before you begin your  mountain  bike riding there a few things to consider:

– Size of your bike. Make sure that the frame is not too big as this can lead to injury when having to dismount in a hurry or too small as you need to be able to pedal efficiently.

– Always wear a helmet. As you will be riding through the bush in unpredictable terrain, a quality helmet is essential for your safety.

– Gloves. Gloves are an important consideration as they help to cushion your hands on the handle bars where it can become quite uncomfortable with the uneven ground and also help to protect your hands from scratches when riding through the bush.

– Shoes. Although some people don’t like the idea of having their feet clipped onto a pedal, this is by far the safest way to  mountain  bike as your feet will often bounce off your pedals if they’re not clipped in.

– Padded pants. Invest in a pair of padded biking pants as they soften the impact and allow you to ride for longer and in more comfort.

– Riding shirt. This is not an essential but a good idea as riding shirts are longer at the back for protection. It is also a good idea to invest in a lightweight water and wind resistant jacket.

– Bike tool kit. Extra bike tubes, bike pump and tools are needed more so when  mountain  biking as you are often off road and a long way from help.

– Hydration. Always have enough water with you, either have a drink bottle fitted to your bike or invest in a camelback. I would recommend the camelback as you don’t have to reach down for your drink bottle and you can rehydrate when necessary.

– Food. If you are riding for any length of time as you usually do, it is best to have some high carbohydrate foods such as fruit, nuts, cereals, vegetables and bread to keep your energy up.

So there you have it. A few tips for beginners so you have a bit of a heads up and know more about what you need to start out.



The Truth About Helmet Mounted Sport Camcorders

I’ve had a Helmet mounted camera for quite some time now and I take it on many of my excursions. I’ve had a lot of fun with it, it has taken and withstood it’s share of bumps and bruises and I thought I would share a few pointers that I’ve learned while putting my sport helmet camcorder through it’s paces.

Having a Helmet Camcorder that is able of shooting and showing HD videos of your dynamic lifestyle with your friends and family is usually well worth the cost. Should you have a High Definition television than you would almost certainly prefer to purchase a video helmet cam that is Full Hd. Wireless helmet cameras offer top of the line HD resolutions recording. A 1080p full high definition wireless helmet video camera will record video along with sound on a microSD card in addition to standard sd cards.

Wireless helmet camcorders offer you top quality 1080p / 960p / 720p HD resolutions producing at 30 and 60 frames per second (60 fps in 720p). Should you opt to pick your helmet camcorder resolution by frame rate, many top of the line cameras offer three. With this type of wireless camera capability, the fastest action will be silky smooth or ready to replay in slow motion.

Some top of the line helmet cams have an integrated display screen which sets them above and beyond other helmet cams that you can buy because this solution will mean you could enjoy your videos immediately after filming them which is always very exciting. By watching the video segments it’s also possible to identify which clips may not be worth consuming up space on your storage device, these can quickly be eliminated from memory space utilizing the straightforward menu changes.

An extra huge bonus of the screen is that it allows you to see exactly what you’ll be filming when aiming the camera onto your bike, surfboard or wherever else you can think of. This is a nice change from rivalling products where it is a hit-or-miss approach.

Using a full high-definition wireless helmet camera will give you the video that can be found out there to consumers. The video quality on a higher end system should offer HD 1280 X 720 image resolution, and it should pick up sound great as well. One thing that you should watch for concerned with, is how easy is it to use, if, say, you are in freezing temperatures and need to get your gloves back on quickly.

If you are in the market a wearable videocamera you will want to consider a Helmet Cam. The quality of these devices are increasing as the prices are dropping. Being able to have a lightweight, easy to use, helmet cam that produces a quality video is important, regardless of what you intend to record with it. A Helmet Cam is an option that has lived up to the hype so far.

You should also be on the lookout for other accessories for your Helmet Cam. If you need extra batteries, or a charger you can use internationally, they can be picked up for a reasonable rate. While helmet cams usually come with a goggle mount or a flat surface mount, you should also be able to purchase a universal mount adapter if you need to use it another way. Along with the camera you might also be looking for a wide range of mounting options included such as a a helmet mount, handlebar mount, a goggle mount, a head strap, universal clip, and more. Another thing to look for is if the camera has a regular camera thread on it letting you use any other mounts that you may already have.

And finally when choosing a wireless helmet cam, here are some other options to consider:

  • Full-function, hands-free, digital recording
  • Waterproof – for shooting underwater or other intense environments
  • Dustproof
  • shock-resistant for extreme conditions
  • Mounts easily on helmets, handlebars, and other sports equipment
  • High resolution at 30 frames per second
  • USB and RCA cables included for easy playback on PC or TV (NTSC)



Necessary Mountain Biking Accessories

Mountain biking entails the sport of riding bicycles off roads, often over a rough terrain, whether riding specially equipped mountain bikes or hybrid road bikes. Mountain biking is an adventurous sport but if proper biking accessories and precautions are taken mountain biking can be enjoyed by everyone. Some of the necessary biking accessories are:

o Helmet: The bike helmet is the most important bike accessory. Helmets provide important head protection, as falls can occur over rough, rocky, sandy, or mountainous terrain. Modern mountain bike helmet is both comfortable and stylish. They come in two varieties full-faced or regular. Full-faced helmets (BMX style) provide the highest level of protection.

o Mountain bike gloves: Mountain bike gloves differ from road touring gloves and are made of heavier construction, and often have covered thumbs or all fingers covered for hand protection. If you do not have mountain bike gloves, you can also use baseball gloves as a substitute.

o Mountain bike shoes: Mountain bike shoes are chosen for their comfort and ability to withstand backcountry terrain. You need to pick the type of shoes you wear depending on the type of pedals you have. A good mountain bike shoe should be durable, comfortable and have a stiff sole for better pedaling efficiency.

o Clothes: Clothing is chosen for comfort during physical exertion in the backcountry, and its ability to withstand falls. Road touring clothes are inappropriate due to their delicate fibers and construction.

o Hydration system: Hydration system is most important for mountain bikers in the backcountry, ranging from simple mineral bottles to water bags with drinking tubes. You can also carry fruit juice or coconut water to fulfill the mineral loss occurring during the tour.

o Bike tools: Bike tools and extra bike tubes are very important. Along with bike tools, pump is also very necessary to inflate flat tires.

o First aid kit: As injuries and wounds are part and parcel of mountain biking, first aid kit is a very important mountain biking accessories. First aid kit should include bandages, sterile pads and an antiseptic cream. Also keep an extra pair of sunglasses and contact lenses



GT Mountain Bikes – Best For Athletes

Every athlete may have different personality that is unique and distinct from each other. Not all sports minded persons love the same sport at all. There are men who love to play football but dislike boxing or swimming. There are also women who love to swim but dislike figure skating. Whatever it is they want, they all still have one thing in common and that is being athletic and sports minded. In every sport they play, sports equipment is present in order to proceed with the game. Like for example, in playing soccer, you need to have your own soccer ball to enjoy fully and a bike to enjoy the race at mountain trail.

When you are the type of person who loves adventures and nature tripping, then I suggest you must have the so called “big toys for athletes”, the GT Mountain Bikes. This is manufactured by the largest American company that has been serving the country since the 19th century. They have been producing quality bicycles that professionals have been using as their trail pedal- driven recreational vehicle while others uses it to compete in such races.

GT Bicycles are popular for their unique triple triangle frame bikes. You can often see the triangle frame design on the hard trail versions of bikes produced by this company. The triangle frame design is often see under the hard-tail versions display of the said company. They have divided their mountain bikes into six types and each type is composed of different models to choose from. Each model type is distinct and has its own characteristics that every athlete will enjoy.

GT Mountain Bikes provides the riders the confidence and comfort for it is all made from top quality materials and comes in different models that match the taste of each rider. Riders do not only enjoy the creations of this company but can also join the different teams of GT to compete in BMX, mountain and Road categories.

This is not only a bicycle that can drive you to some places but at the same time gives you another toy collection. It is another model that can be display and can be used to experience another thrill and adventure. You do not need to go further to search the next toy you would want to have. Grab your own GT mountain bikes now and enjoy the ride while enjoying the nature scenery all around the world.



Outdoors With Mountain Bikes and Fire Pits

Mountain biking is a great way to spend a weekend – just you, your friends, and the outdoors, getting a great workout as you explore the wilderness. No matter how much fun that may be, though, the nights can get pretty cold, and you might even be craving some hot food by the end of it. To that end, you would really do well to invest in a portable fire pit to take with you – they’re cheap, they’re functional, and they provide a lot of atmosphere to the proceedings. With the help of a fire, you can turn that fun weekend into an amazing one.

Fire pits are great for a number of reasons. First, they don’t take any time to set up. Even if you don’t bring a portable fire pit with you, you can make one very easily by gathering some stones and stacking them tightly against each other in a circle. You should, of course, take all the proper precautions and make sure that you don’t accidentally cause a forest fire. Secondly, they are multipurpose. Not only can you heat up the immediate area and make sure you stay warm once it gets cold at night, you can cook food over the pit if you’ve got some meat or beans you want to get heated up.

No matter what type of weekend mountain biking excursion you plan on making, it would be incomplete without the presence of a fire pit of some kind. The relaxing nature of an open flame at the end of a hard day outdoors simply can’t be beat, and it will create a lot of long lasting memories of you out in the wilderness, traversing the landscape on your trusty mountain bike. It’s the kind of weekend you’ll remember for decades to come.



Examining Different Mountain Biking Terrain

Mountain biking has become a popular sport and recreational activity for a lot of people. An important factor for most mountain bikers is the terrain they ride on. While most riders prefer riding on rough and dangerous terrain, it helps to understand the characteristics of each of these terrains. Mountain bikes are chosen keeping the terrain in mind and are usually strengthened by using better materials and also sport bigger tires for the added support. The terrain also makes demands on the biker’s skills and talent, as not all terrains are suited for the average rider.

Cross Country

Cross country is the most popular mountain biking choice. This is a combination of different terrain types. It includes hilly surfaces and loops. The course is outlined in some cases. In some places, riders also have races on these outlined courses. The Scott Scale 60 is a perfect choice for this terrain.

Downhill

Downhill mountain biking is among the most dangerous terrains that mountain bikers. Most often, ski resorts in the summer as used as downhill biking track. The terrain is usually mapped such that the riders have to maneuver around various obstacles and rough terrains. This terrain needs riders to be experienced and should sport the right protective gear. A Scott Scale 20 or a Scott Scale 29 would be ideal choices for bikes for this terrain.

Freeride

The name suggests that it is a combination of all forms of mountain biking. It contains a good mix of downhill biking tracks and some trails and loops. The terrain has is rough and is generally recommended for experienced riders who have demonstrated skilled riding in other downhill terrains.

Dirt Jumping

Dirt jumping involves riding up a mound of dirt and landing successfully on the other side. It also involves performing stunts on your way to the other side. If you are a novice rider or just a hobbyist, this is not the right terrain for you.

Trials

Trial riders jump over obstacles of varying sizes using their bikes. This is viewed on par with skateboarding where the scoring lays emphasis on creativity and style.

Mountain bikers keep their terrain in mind while choosing their bikes. Recreational riders could go in for bikes like the Scott Scale 29. These bikes have sturdy frames and fairly good suspension forks. This helps in improving the ride quality. These bikes are commonly used for commute in most cities and are easy to ride. These bikes are perfect for people who would like to go cycling with their entire family.

Mountain biking has evolved over the years. Mountain bikers now have a variety of bikes to choose from. The bikers also have easy access to the best gear and parts for their mountain bikes. However, newer riders should understand the risks involved and should know where to draw a line. A lot of injuries occur while performing stunts or while hurtling down a very tough hillside. People who wish to enter this sport should spend some time researching and understanding the terrain that they are best suited for and get themselves the best gear and equipment.



Mongoose Mountain Bikes

 Mountain  biking is growing both as a hobby and a  sport . The thrill and adventure behind this sport is so addictive that you always want to go back. However, not any other ordinary bike will make it through the rough terrain and thus everyone is definitely looking for a heavy duty kind of a bike that’ll give the toughness required. One such brand of bikes that will definitely handle extreme terrain and conditions, are the Mongoose  mountain  bikes.

This started out as a home based business actually in Skip Hess home’s garage in Southern California and has grown to be one of the leading manufactures of bikes in the world. The original idea was to race in the market of BMX bikes. However, today they manufacture bikes of all calibers and they operate under the brand name of Pacific Cycle.

If you are a fun of BMX sports, then am sure you’re aware of the association of Mongoose and its support to top racers in this field. In fact, it’s the development of this name that more and more consumers were exposed to the quality of this brand and thus the popularity of mongoose  mountain  bikes today.

Mongoose  mountain  bikes can easily be found at any bike store near you and also offers a wide range of selection. When it comes to the price, they’re very considerable and you’ll find them within your budget. These bikes are made of soft alloy metal and are magical when it comes to rough  sport  of  mountain  biking. They’re easy to handle for a beginner and you can upgrade them as you wish.



Know Your Bike – Downhill Mountain Bikes

Downhill mountain biking is a branch of bicycle sports wherein riders race downhill, starting alone at set intervals, to aim for the best time to finish the entire course. Riders usually reach the point of descent by other means than cycling such as lifts (just like ski lifts for alpine skiing).

The first ever downhill mountain biking time trial was held on October 22, 1976 in a fire road now known as Repack Road in Fairfax, California. Since the sport was new, there were no standard downhill mountain bikes yet and the riders who have participated rode bikes that were known as “klunkers” or “paperboy bikes”. The winner of the said race was Alan Bonds, also the only one to have reached the finished line.

Downhill mountain bikes, or simply referred to as downhill bikes, are bicycles that are intended for this kind of sport. These bikes are built to outlast the steep jumps and rough terrains that are usually common in downhill races. These bikes are sturdier than usual mountain bikes and are therefore heavier. The geometry of their frames lean back further compared to other bicycles and feature full suspensions. Typical downhill bikes will also have thicker tires compared to other bicycle counterparts.

Since downhill riding is considered as an extreme sport, extra precaution is very much needed. Riders are advised to wear helmets that cover the whole face, similar to that in motocross. Falling is very common in downhill biking, therefore a body armors is also much needed together with elbow and knee guards to prevent serious injuries.