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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Mountain Bike Events – Ten Tips for Beginners

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 Mountain  bike events can be a great way to ride a part of the countryside you wouldn’t normally be able to access and provide an opportunity to meet like minded people. Undertaking your first event may be a little daunting but rest assured there will be other first timers and plenty of support on the day. Here are ten tips for riding your first event taken from my own personal experience of riding and being part of a support crew. Take note of these and you will not only complete the race but actually enjoy it as well.

  1. Try to train in similar terrain and conditions to those which you will experience on the day.
  2. Get your bike in for a service at least a couple of weeks before the event to give time for any major repairs. You don’t want to waste all that training with an avoidable gear failure on the day and bike shops can’t be expected to turn around a significant job with a couple of days notice.
  3. Ensure your bike is properly set-up for you. Bike shops or sports physios can help with this. Riding a poorly set-up bike at high intensity for a long period will cause you back or leg problems that will take a while to recover from.
  4. Start using energy bars and drinks (including recovery formula) during your training so that your body becomes used to them. Don’t suddenly start using a new product on the day from one of the onsite sponsors. Your body may not be used to it and react badly.
  5. For longer rides use a chamoix cream or vasoline to reduce chafing. One of my friends goes by the “if it moves vas it!”
  6. Organise a great support crew to help you get ready, cheer like hell during the event and be there to help you recover at the end of the race.
  7. Get to the event early and go for a warm up ride to get rid of nerves, stretch the legs and undertake final checks on the bike.
  8. Make sure you know the course and don’t rely on those ahead of you to be taking the right turns.
  9. Ride to your own pace and don’t be tempted to blast after the pros off the start line. Also ride to your own ability in any technical sections.
  10. Have fun, smile lots and banter with your fellow riders – you never know when you might need their help!

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Mountain Biking Trails – Bring Me That Horizon

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That little itchy feeling when you cruise on your good old cycling road around your block. Like one hundred and second time? Isn’t it? If your answer is “yes” then it is time to talk about mountain biking trails.

Where do you want to go today?

Your bicycle is a mechanical invention letting you to enjoy various cycling types and methods. If it sounds a bit strange, take a look at two different cycling machines – road bike and mountain bike. They are created for quite different roads.

Since this article is about mountain biking trails, I suggest we try to characterize each of them.

Forget your biking road around the block and begin with…

Cross country trails (XC trails) are probably the broadest type of trails. Like the name suggests, your path brings you through forests, plains, hills and… everything else you can imagine when you leave urbanized areas. Most likely you will be peddling on a single track.

That means no intense traffic and more nature for you.

If this seems too easy and too relaxed for you, try something more challenging. Mountain biking trails called downhill (DH) trails and freeride (FR) trails. Since these trails are highly specialized, you should consider getting more “serious” bike. Downhill and freeride machines are something every mountain biker can be proud of.

Downhill and freeride trails are dangerous. Therefore you will get most adrenaline and joy riding on them. While both require extra skills and equipment, downhill trails are usually faster and rough (I believe it’s the right word to describe downhill feeling).

Freeride trails are more technical.

Have you ever heard about bike stunts? If no, you will definitely learn them on your freeride trail. Handmade obstacles, various jumps and dropdowns. Already feel adrenaline in your veins?

Grab your bag pack

Mountain biking trails often lead you out of the city. Into the wild, if you like. It’s called escape romantics. Mountain bikers love this feeling. However, be sure your escape will be safe and reasonable. You don’t need to take a whole supplies team on your trail with you.

Bag pack filled with bike repair kit together with repair kit for yourself (it means first aid kit) some water supplies and a map should be enough for your first journey into the wild.

Surely, if you plan to ride more than one day and sleep in a tent without hot shower and your TV, your bag pack should carry much more necessary stuff than this.

One thing is for sure – take your first step. Find your perfect trail.

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Best Bike Repair Stand for Mountain Bikes

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I did an enormous amount of research when evaluating bike repair stands and learned a number of good pointers. When choosing a bicycle repair stand for a  mountain  bike, you need to keep in mind a few tips, which are not necessarily different than if you own a road cycle but are more prominent and important.

I’ve listed them below in order of importance:

#1 Stability is King

When buying a bike repair stand for any bicycle, you want it to hold your bike stable.  Mountain  bikes tend to weight more than the urban road cycles and as such you really need to watch that your stand will hold your bike well. Your stand should not tip over, it should not wobble and it should hold your bike solid no matter how much your bike weights. You may need to pay a little more for this quality, but you will be far happier than buying something cheap and having to upgrade later on.

#2 It is All About the Clamp

The second most important feature on a good stand is a good clamp. The clamp is the part of your stand that holds you bike at an elevated level and if you have a bad clamp on a good stand, then you have a bad stand. The clamp needs to be as solid as the stand and be functional enough so you can position your bike any which way you need it. If stability is King, your clamp is queen. For a heavier  mountain  bike, you again want to pay extra attention to getting a good one as a good stand will make you happy.

#3 Look For a Good Brand

Brand is important when it comes to bike repair stands because you will have so much more support and confidence with a good brand than if you buy a stand from a lesser known brand. A good brand has a reputation to protect, and their reputation depends entirely on you being happy with their product. With a  mountain  bike this is important because we tend to beat up our bikes on the trails more than our tamer urban brothers and sisters. This means you will use your stand more often, and it will suffer more wear and tear in the long run. If something on the stand breaks somewhere down the road, the company behind the brand will likely fix your stand or replace it for free. Good brands come with warranties. Stands from lesser brands often do not. In most cases, you do get what you pay for.

#4 Read What Others Have to Say

It is hard to test a bike repair stand, especially if you are buying online. Read what others who have used it before you have to say about the product. You should be able to find a stand with an almost perfect review rating, and if you do, you know you will be happy too. If there are a few complaints, unsatisfied customers or heaven forbid comments about their stand wobbling and being flimsy, avoid that one and move on to the next. Good stands are not hard to find, in fact with very little research you can determine the better ones out there by reading the reviews.

If you follow these four simple but useful tips, you should do well. My own personal choice that I can recommend is the Park Tool PCS-10 Repair Stand which met all of the above pointers, and Park Tool is known for being the better brand in the industry. This stand does well, even with the larger  mountain  bikes and is good for the price. There are others out there too that will work for you if you look around. Use the above guide as well as some common sense and you will find a stand that suits your needs well.

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Evaluating the Mounts on a Action Camera

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Helmet cameras can mount in a variety of different ways to helmets, handlebars, and many kinds of sporting tubes. A good helmet camera will come with several mounting options, including properly placed screw holes and cable-tie brackets. Some of the different options for mounting a helmet camera will be discussed in this post..

One of the most common kinds of mounts is the adhesive mount. This is useful for smooth, flat surfaces, such as a helmet. The other options for helmet mounts usually include adhesive Velcro, screws (not a good idea), or goggle straps. Attaching the camera mounts directly on top of the helmet using an adhesive strip is advised because doing so provides a secure mount, but is not as permanent as when using screws. Most adhesive mounts stay secure even when wet, and most can endure an excellent velocity of wind pressure. The drawback to using adhesive directly on the helmet is deciding on the correct placement. It is advised that a few different placements with tape or loose adhesive be accomplished prior to selecting the final placement for the final adhesive. Also, choose whether a forward-looking or rear-looking placement is preferred.

Google straps also generate a good option for helmet or head mounting. Goggle straps can be fitted with Velcro strips and positioned either forward or rear looking. The draw back to a goggle strap mount is the chance of a loose-fitting goggle. Make sure the strap is secure and isn’t going to vibrate when in use.

One other popular strategy to secure an action camera with a selection of circular tubes, such as bicycle handlebars is by using cable-ties. Cable ties ratchet tight by pulling on the end of the tie. They can be found in a range of lengths and colors, and they are very reasonably priced. They hold securely of course, if they have to be re-attached, it is inexpensive merely to cut one and throw it away and utilize another one. One really should have a pair of pliers or cutters handy when adjusting the cable-ties, simply because they’re just about impossible to break in two without cutting them.

Things to consider for the utilization of mounts include the secureness of the fit, whether a wet condition will likely be encountered, exactly how much vibration will be in effect, as well as how much adjusting the mount will be needing once it fastened the first time. Most mounts come with a range of options that address all these concerns.

Finally, it is extremely important to look at the mount as an important part of the action camera experience. Having good quality video is considered the goal, and a poorly suited mount can detract from that goal. Also, with the high cost of the camera, the mount must be secure enough so as not to lose or damage the camera.

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Mountain Bike Riding Helps You Think

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It is a well known fact of life that doing exercise improves physical fitness and  mountain  bike rides are no exception. In fact it can be said that as a cardio-vascular activity there is very little to compete with  mountain  bike riding except for running and swimming.

One other impressive ‘side-effect’ of riding  mountain  cycles is the incredible boost to your brains ability to function which in turn can help you think with more clarity, help you solve complex problems and help you put all those worries you carry around daily into perspective. However, this is not just an assumption based on mere anecdotal evidence. The truth is that exercise really does help your brain perform better – and that’s a scientific fact.

So, what happens to your brain when you go bike riding?

Well, the first things that will begin to happen to your brain when any exercise regime is undertaken (including  mountain  bike riding), is that the brain, like other muscles, begins to take in extra oxygen and glucose. These additional elements and compounds help fuel the physical exertion required to compete in the  sport  of  mountain  bike riding, as well as help the brain to function and replenish neurological connections that help us to think.

It is often stated that a healthy mind is a healthy body, but in this instance, it can be proven that a healthy body will equal a healthy mind.

So, if you feel like the need to give your brain and thinking ability a boost, it’s possible to do so with a go on your  mountain  bike. This is especially effective if you want to give your thinking power a quick sharp injection of energy first thing in the morning. As far as an all round body workout goes, a simple ride on a bike can do wonders for your thinking power, your physical state as well as your cardio-vascular condition.

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A Buyer’s Guide to Mountain Bikes

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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.

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Good Sport Design: What It Can Do For You

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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.

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Mountain Biking Tips

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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.

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The Truth About Helmet Mounted Sport Camcorders

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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)

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Necessary Mountain Biking Accessories

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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

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