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Drinking & Biking!!!

Drinking & Biking!!! 0

(*not to be taken as medical advice*, just some thoughts for making the most out of your bike ride!)

What to drink while riding is a big question.  While a break at a café in the middle of a fondo or a pub stop after a single track shred session might be exactly what you’re looking for, we’re talking about hydration during your ride.  


If your ride is 45 minutes to an hour, and you’re just out to casually enjoy the sunshine and the beauty of the woods, we can keep the answer simple.  Chances are that plain water is the best thing for you. It’s amazing what staying hydrated can do for a person. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bring a granola bar or your favorite fruit or veggie along with you, but you should feel fine without needing to resort to any fancy gels, chews or otherwise potentially unappetizing sounding fuel.


If you’re making a day of it, longer distance racing, touring, training, circling the parking lot for hours, or on a group ride that expects to last for a while, that’s when your nutrition will really define or dismantle your smile, and maybe your ride.  


What should you bring on those longer, more energy intensive rides?  

Many sports drinks are available as either an additive to water like a powder or tablet, or as an already hydrated option you can buy and drink immediately.  Most contain a decent amount of electrolytes, usually as salt, which helps with absorbing other nutrients. We lose a lot of salt through sweat, so carefully replenishing is a must.  Carbs are also very common to see in these supplemental fuels, and are the body’s main source of energy. Sugars give you a boost of energy while your body processes the carbs, all of which is more easily absorbed because of the electrolytes.  Sugar also makes these drinks taste pretty good, which doesn’t hurt. Magnesium and potassium are also frequently in the mix, due to their ability to help with cramps and dispersion of lactic acid buildup. Problems due to deficiency can rear their ugly heads when you least expect it, so it’s best to make sure you stay on top of getting enough of the good stuff in you.


Some good options for powders or tablets are available from Nuun, Skratch Labs, Hammer Nutrition, Untapped, and Saltstick.


A key consideration for hydration that often goes underappreciated- is *when* to reach for your water bottle.  If you wait until you’ve lost a lot of fluids, and your body is telling you that you need to refuel, you’re too late.  Our bodies don’t do well with strenuous energy release paired with food or drink consumption. Your best bet is to drink small amounts regularly rather than large amounts when you feel dehydrated.  If you wind up waiting too long, you’ll likely get cramps, a burning feeling in your muscles, general fatigue, stiffness, and other things you’ve probably dreaded while looking up a tall hill astride your trusty metal steed (ok, maybe carbon?).

The long and short of it is: Plan for your ride.  Bring more water than you think you'll need, and on longer rides, be sure you're replenishing those nutrients too.

Teravail Kennebec review- Plenty of grip!

Teravail Kennebec review- Plenty of grip! 0

I’ve spent about 16 hours of hard trail time on the Teravail Kennebec 29x2.6 Light and Supple tire.  This replaced the 29x2.5 Maxxis Minion DHF Dual compound EXO I’d been using for quite some time.  The short and simple word on the Kennebec is that it’s a fast tire that leaves little to be desired in the grip department.  

Teravail made a great competitor for the Maxxis Minion when they made the Kennebec.  While the Kennebec has some fairly pronounced tread like the minion, it’s nicely spaced to keep from clogging up in muddier weather, but close enough down the center to keep the tire rolling as quick as it needs to.  Stopping power was absolutely excellent, due to the paddle shaped pattern and horizontal siping of the center treads.  The rubber compound slipped less than expected on wet rocks and roots, and did great in the very muddy spring we’ve had this year.  With the dryer part of the season now here, the Kennebec is still holding its own in the packed, dry single track.  It grips great into the corners of the tread because of the vertical siping on the edge knobs for those occasional sharp corners that try to knock you off the trail.  Even in loamy, freshly made trails, it holds up.

The supple, smaller plus-size casing does wonders for absorbing small bumps on rocky, rooty New England trails.  I could see the Durable, thicker casing version of the Kennebec being a better option for the southwest US or other more puncture prone areas, being that the thinner, Light & Supple version (as tested) wouldn’t provide as much protection from goatheads and sharper rocks, however in New England, the added flex really eats up the roots, rocks, and small bumps.  

 

Tire used on WTB ST i29 Rims using WTB rim tape, Stans valves, and Orange Seal sealant, 17-23psi depending on terrain on a Transition Smuggler.

 

  • 365 Cycles
How to Adjust Your Headset: In 3-Steps

How to Adjust Your Headset: In 3-Steps 0

Your headset is the bearings in your frame that allow the fork to turn smoothly.  As with any bearing, your headset must be adjusted properly to operate as designed.  Too tight will cause the bike to not want to steer, and too loose will allow the fork to shuck back and forth inside of your frame.

There are two types of normal headsets.   Threadless headsets and threaded. Most modern bicycles use a threadless setup.   The basic principle of a threadless headset is that the bearing preload is set by the top cap (above the stem),  and pinch bolts are tightened to lock down the adjustment.


With any bearing there are two steps to adjustment.  

  • Preload: Applying pressure to the bearing to eliminate play while still keeping the bearing moving freely.  

  • Locking down the adjustment:  Tightening a lock bolt to secure the adjustment.

With a threadless headset, the preload is set by first loosening the stem bolts connecting the stem to the steerer tube of the fork.  Once the stem bolts are loose the top cap of the headset should be tightened until snug but not tight. Then re-torque the stem bolts.  We have put together a few easy steps to help you adjust your threadless headset.

Threadless Headset Adjustment

Before you start adjusting: Hold the brake and rock the bike back and forth while holding on to the upper headset cup. This will confirm that The headset is in fact loose.

1. Loosen the pinch bolts holding the stem to the steerer tube of the fork

    2. Snug the top cap bolt on the top of the fork while holding the brake and rock the bike back and forth to check that there is no play.

3.  Make sure the stem is still straight and torque the pinch bolts to their recommended torque spec using a Torque Wrench.

When your headset is tight and you are sure it is working correctly, it’s time to go ride!

  • 365 Cycles
Do You Need Butt Butter?

Do You Need Butt Butter? 0

Do you ride your bike so much that your ass is as red and raw as those baboons you’ve seen on Animal Planet?  If so, you are not alone! Many riders experience chafing discomfort, and in more severe cases, the dreaded Saddle Sores.  In this post we are going to talk about our butts and some things you can do to help alleviate the red and raw ass’ness from chafing and saddle sores.

Chafing from the contact points on your bike saddle can result in some serious pain.  And because this is a topic about your nether regions, open discussions with your local bike shop associate can feel awwwkwarrrrrd. Instead you consult with Dr. Google: How do I Deal with Saddle Sores?

Anti-Chafe cream to the rescue!  Yes, with good quality riding shorts (aka Bibs or Chamois) and anti-chafe cream, you can be back on the bike with a mischievous smile.  Two popular brands we sell here at 365Cycles are Chamois Butt'r and DZ Nutz available in original and eurostyle which formulated to give a cooling effect.

Chamois Butter and other anti-chafe creams work by keeping your delicate assets lubricated to prevent chafing of the skin.  Chamois Butter works well to keep skin to chamois contact area well lubricated without excessive build up of the cream.  Additionally, it washes out of your chamois with ease.

 

You can apply Chamois Butter two ways:  You can put the Chamois Butter directly on your chamois itself or directly on your skin.  Put a liberal amount of the cream onto the area of your chamois your butt bones contact. Or, you can apply a generous amount of the cream directly to your skin.  Don’t rub the stuff in, it's not moisturizer after all!

You can get Chamois Butter in a tube or tub.  Some Chamois creams have a cooling effect. The tube is the way to go if you tend to be a person who likes to share - you don’t want your buddy double dipping into your tub of Chamois Cream!  

While Chamois Butter and other anti-chafe cream are a great way to alleviate saddle soreness, there are multiple reasons why you may be experiencing chafing and saddle sores that you should also explore:  

Lack of proper fitting Bibs or Chamois are often an issue.  Keep in mind that even the very best quality bibs and chamois don’t last forever.  Bacteria can grow in chamois that isn’t properly cleaned and transfer to your chafed skin causing hideous agonizing saddle sores.  Wash and your chamois after every ride!  No cheating!

Make sure you have a saddle that works to support your body ergonomically.  Finding a saddle that is ergonomically supportive can take some time and money but it is well worth the effort.  A saddle should work so well that you forget about it being there. A saddle that is too wide or too narrow, too long or too short, can cause chafing to a point where you feel like you have more of an ass hatchet than a proper bicycle saddle.  

A professional bike fit is very important to combat saddle issues.  Especially if you are a road biker and you have tried the above ideas, a professional bike fit is key.

Of course, using anti-chafe creams like Chamois Butt’r & DZ Nutz AND attending to saddle choice, bike fit, and overall chamois hygiene is the ultimate ticket to ride comfortably and without Animal Planet calling on you to cameo in their next baboon segment.

  • 365 Cycles