Friday, February 22, 2019

Orange Cycle: Finding the Right Saddle

Orange Cycle: Finding the Right Saddle: Who hasn't purchased a new bike only to discover the fun was dampened by an uncomfortable saddle?  Saddle comfort is a fairly common iss...

Finding the Right Saddle

Who hasn't purchased a new bike only to discover the fun was dampened by an uncomfortable saddle?  Saddle comfort is a fairly common issue especially with new cyclists. 

Bikes come with a standard size saddle.  For instance a woman's Specialized Ruby road bike comes with a 155mm saddle.  Just because that awesome new bike fits perfectly with regard to the frame sizing doesn't necessarily mean the saddle will be right.  Shorts with a good chamois (padding) will definitely help, but if the saddle is too big or too small you will still have comfort issues until you have a saddle that fits you. 

Orange Cycle has the Retul Digital Sit Bone Device (DSB).  All of our sales people are trained to use this device so please ask to have your sit bones measured if you're not sure the saddle on your bike fits you. 

Here are a few things to also consider if you are experiencing discomfort:

  • Saddle height.  If your saddle is too high it can cause you to shift your weight side to side which will result in irritation in the perineal area.
  • Saddle angle.  Oy.  I personally use a level to keep my saddle at zero angle.  Getting a professional bike fit will also fix this problem.  The slighted angle tilted up or down can make a huge difference on your comfort and finding relief.  
  • Riding style.  I see a lot of road cyclists hit bumps and remain seated.  Not me.  If I'm going to hit a bumpy section I stand on the pedals until I'm past the rough spots.  Something else I've learned along the way - if I'm out on a long ride I will get out of the saddle periodically to give my back and butt a break.  Maybe the road bike isn't doing it for you any more - then try a flat bar hybrid (with or without front suspension).  If you're on a hardtail mountain bike then you might want to consider a full suspension bike.  Some people end up going to a recumbent bike.  Nothing wrong with any of those choices because all of them still keep you off the couch and that's the goal here.   
  • Gel or Foam saddle?  Gel offers great comfort on casual rides.  The downside of a gel saddle is that it tends to get compacted more quickly than a foam saddle.  A good foam saddle springs back to shape after a long ride which is why most road cyclists prefer foam.  Foam also provides more support for the cyclist.  
  • Center split in the saddle.  These saddles reduce or eliminate the material in the middle of the saddle, which relieves pressure on the perineum and provides airflow and comfort during long rides.
Talk to one of our experienced and knowledgeable sales professionals and don't be afraid to say exactly what's going on.  We want you to love riding your bike and to be as comfortable as possible.  Test ride a few saddles until you find the one that's right for you.  

'Til next time - Keep riding!
~  Dottie

Friday, February 1, 2019

Charity Rides

Team Orange Cycle at Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life 2016

2018 is behind us and now we are are rolling into the 2019 charity/organized cycling season.  If you haven't signed up for a charity ride in the past you might consider checking out the rides scheduled for 2019.  CAAM Events has most of the rides on their roster plus so many more!  Check out their website and join a team to raise funds for very worthy causes!

There's something to be said about committing to an organization that you're willing to support by appealing to your family and peers to raise funds for something that speaks to you.  A lot of teams pull together to raise a goal, train and spin out 25, 35, 50, 65, 70 or 100 miles.  The reward is completing the goal you set and participating in the pre and post ride food, music and fun.

Tour de Cure 2017

Many of our team members here at Orange Cycle join in on the charity rides when our schedules allow us.  We find huge satisfaction of being a small part of the big picture.  Deena and Howard encourage us to build a team, ride for fun and, of course, represent our bike shop.  They support our team and donate to several organizations.  They also do something incredibly giving to our community.  By your hard work of raising $150+ in donations for a charity ride in which you participate Orange Cycle will give you one Orange Cycle jersey per year.  Bring proof of your fundraising and one of our team members will show you which jersey is free to you.

Raise $150+ in charity ride donations get a free OC jersey!

The morning of Horrible Hundred 2018 I was walking back to my car I was chatting with a fellow from Sarasota who admitted he was very nervous about doing the century as he hadn't trained for hills.  I smiled and told him so were a lot of other people.  The best piece of advice I could give him was "Let the hills come to you.  Don't look up as you're ascending, go the pace you're comfortable with and remember, if you can maintain 2.5 - 3 mph you won't fall over."  For me it was harder to walk up Sugar Loaf Mountain than what it was to ride.  When a friend told me what another cyclist told her about maintaining balance on the bike at that snail pace I tried it and passed on the word (it's TRUE and it beats walking up that big ol' hill!).  I hope the advice worked.

Tour Latino 2018
What are you waiting for?  Sign up and join the fun!  Not familiar with local cycling clubs?  Call Orange Cycle and ask for some suggestions.  Ride, have fun and support your local organizations!

Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life 2018

Peace out and ride on!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Folding Bikes on Vacation

Most of my vacations involve three things:  My boyfriend, my dog and a bike.  Even if the first two don't get to go I will usually try to fit a bike ride into the schedule. 

Recently with our Asheville trip pending we were still trying to decide whether to rent bikes or take our own.  Rich has a folding bike and I was contemplating taking my mountain bike.  A week before we left on vacation he suggested I purchase my own folding bike.  So I added #6 to my fleet of bikes because it made sense.  We have talked about traveling more by car so we could take folding bikes and my awesome bike dog Max.  We decided this trip would be the inaugural folding bike trip.

We packed the tiny rental car which, amazingly, had room for the two folding bikes in the trunk plus our suitcases, a cooler (for growler's of beer not food or water), a pillow, a blanket, dog bed, dog food, dog bowls and said dog Max (wait . . . WHO'S going on vacation???).

We had most of our trip planned out.  Drive north on Blue Ridge Parkway, hike, eat, taste craft beer, music, drive south on Blue Ridge Parkway, hike more, eat more, more music, drink more, kayak, bike, eat more, shop for records (as in albums) in some particular order.  We stayed in West Asheville close to the BRP and highways leading us hither and yon.

Our first morning there we drove into Asheville to have breakfast and survey our surroundings.  We sat outdoors in the long anticipated cool air enjoying breakfast made of organic fixings and me sitting back with a big mug of dark roast coffee with pure raw honey and cream.

Following our meal we walked around checking out shops.  Hmm . . . super hilly city, people on scooters all over the place, lots of pedestrians and no cyclists.  Definitely nobody trying to ride up those hills on a 6 or 7 speed folding bike with 20" wheels.  No matter.  We knew we would find a trail that would be perfect for us.

After missing the window of opportunity to kayak on the only day for which we had allotted time my partner in crime quickly looked up the dog park, we put Max in the car and off we went to Carrier Park and The French Broad River Dog Park with the leash and our folding bikes.

Dottie, Rich and Max 

The French Broad River
Arriving at Carrier Park we pulled out the bikes, unfolded them, found someone who was kind enough to air the tires on Rich's bike after I managed to let the air out of one of his tires due to a broken nozzle on the bike pump located at the park and off we went.

Our Dahon folding bikes

First thing at the parking lot we noticed was a Velodrome.  I stopped and chatted with a guy in the parking lot who said Asheville had just completed the $1.3 million project this past spring.  There were only two people there when we arrived.  I instantly wished Orlando had their own Velodrome.  Click Velodrome link above to check out this cool makeover!

While we rode Max ran alongside on his leash.  He's such a cool, smart dog and was pretty easy to train.  He didn't care much for the dog park but he loves running and we enjoyed the view.  We even took a little dirt path that ran alongside the river - perfect to cut him off the leash and we had some photo ops too.

Max - Bike Dog!

Max - the only unsocial dog at the dog park.
When we got back to the car Rich wanted me to go do a lap around the Velodrome.  I shook my head but temptation got the best of me so I hauled my bike over the boardwalk, chuckled, hopped on my little 6 speed bike and did a lap, waving at the lone guy on the track who was taking a break.  He laughed out loud and so did I.  By no means did I break any records.  It sure was fun though!
My Dahon folding bike and I meet the Velodrome!
We packed up our bikes and the dog and left.  Happy memories and now we know it doesn't matter what dog park we visit Max isn't interested in playing with other dogs.  He just wants to hang out with his humans.  We're definitely going back to Asheville next year and I think we will take our little folding bikes with us.
Artsy little mall near Carrier Park

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Electrified Part 2

     After several months of pedal assist riding, I have realized that there are several things to consider when purchasing one.  Just like a traditional bike, the proper choice of bike and accessories is very important to the enjoyment of your bike.

     There are quite a few manufactures of electric bikes at this time, and probably many more about to enter the market.  This many choices makes decision making difficult, but when you realize that the starting point for a quality electric bike should be at least $1500 (in my opinion), quite a few bikes can be eliminated from consideration.  It sounds like a lot, but a good quality bike will start at about $500. (again, my opinion).  A pedal assist bike also has a battery, motor, and charger, all adding to the cost.  The bike should have a stronger frame, wheelset, and better brakes than a regular bike. The extra weight and power of the bike makes these essential.

     Another consideration is service.  Any good mechanic can work on the bike.  But who can work on the battery or motor if issues arise?  Major brands will have parts and service availability; bikes bought from Amazon or big box retailers will not.   It is frustrating for both the customer and Orange Cycle when we are unable to work on a bike due to lack of support from the company.

     So you have a good quality bike.  Now comes the accessories to make it safer and more enjoyable.  First, a helmet should always be worn.  I believe that a helmet is essential for riding any bike., Second, a good lock is essential.  U locks are much more secure than cable locks, however they are heavier.. With a pedal assist bike I do not have a problem with the extra weight.  My bike has a rack and bag to load up on stuff when I am running errands.  My lock is always with me, and my bike is always there after I leave it outside a store or restaurant.  Third is a bike rack.  Not everyone realizes that the bike rack you use for your regular bike is probably not strong enough for the extra weight of an electric bike (or two).  A trunk mount rack or receiver style mast rack is not designed for that much weight,, and a lot of receiver hitch wheel tray racks are often rated at 40 lbs. per bike.  Check the weight capacity of your current rack before loading electric bikes.

     Orange Cycle carries several models of Specialized and Raleigh pedal assist bikes.  We have knowledgeable sales staff and incredible repair staff to help you.  Stop  in for a test ride.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Electrified Part 1

      I admit, one year ago I did not really believe in pedal assist bikes.   It took a ride on one while on vacation to change my ideas about these bikes.

      While on a trip, my wife (an admitted non-cyclist) and some friends rented some pedal assist bikes to explore the local paved trails of Hood River, Oregon.  Some of us were on regular bikes, but the ones on the electric bikes were having a blast going up the hills.   Sheila was hooked on riding.  I still had my doubts.

     Last fall we invested in a pedal assist bike for her.  After a lot of research and test rides, she found the bike she enjoyed the most.   Since then she rides on a regular basis, both just riding for exercise and also running local errands.   My problem was keeping up with her.  While I am a decent cyclist, it was frustrating to try to match her consistent 15 MPH over hills and into head winds.

     About 2 months ago I purchased a Specialized Como 3.0.  I am now a firm believer in pedal assist bikes.  Not only is it fun to just ride, it has taken the place of my car on many local trips. In the summer I do not run local errands on my bike-  by the time I get somewhere I am too sweaty to be presentable in public.  On an electric bike I cruise at 18 MPH (or more) with minimal effort, with a nice breeze cooling me.  I really feel that with some planning my wife and I could become a one car family. 

     I have had some cyclist friends give me grief about my new bike.  Everyone of them has a smile on their face after testing it- it makes you feel like Superman on a bike.  As Specialized says- It's you, only faster.  There are many advantages of the pedal assist bike.  One is it opens up cycling to a lot of people who would not otherwise ride.  Another is that is fantastic for commuting or local trips.  I can get from College Park to downtown Orlando or Winter Park in about the same time as in my car, and parking is never an issue.  The new bike is not replacing my regular rides; it is supplementing them.  

     If you have not ridden a pedal assist bike, stop by Orange Cycle and check out our selection of Specialized and Raleigh electric bikes.  You'll love the ride. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Orange Cycle: Hydration and Hindsight

Orange Cycle: Hydration and Hindsight: Several years ago while I was still living in the Show Me state a friend sent a text asking if I was going to participate in the Red Ribbon ...