Monday, June 8, 2015

That's How We Roll: Top Picks for Upgrading Your Wheels

If you're looking to upgrade your ride experience, wheels are the biggest change you can make to your bike. It is your connection to the road, the final point of transfer for torque and the only weight that reacts differently to the forward momentum of the bike.

Want to improve your aerodynamics? Want a drastic change in weight? How about upping your average speed? The best answer to all these steps up is wheels.

The problem is, after market wheels can range from $350 to over $3,000. Where to make your mark? What's the best bang for your buck? Here are a few options that get our stamp of approval for good money spent to really get you rolling.

Please Note:

When somebody is looking at wheels, I often tell them, don't look to upgrade from what's on your bike now, look for an upgrade for your next bike. This way, your wheels will gain a longer lifespan because they will be an upgrade that lasts longer than one bike.

Understand the purpose of the wheels you are looking for. If you are predominantly climbing hills, weight should be a higher priority than aerodynamics. If you are mainly in flat areas you may want a deeper profile wheel to cut through wind resistance.

Beat the competition, not your
wallet with the Rapide CLX 60's
The Aero Approach

When you think of a deep-dish wheel options one name comes to mind: Zipp. They are fantastic wheels, but not everyone is ready to spend $2,800. Fear not, Roval is here to help you out. With the Roval Rapide CLX 60 you get a comparable carbon aero profile, with an overall lighter weight and
much better bearings for $2,200. In fact, Rapide CLX's come with ceramic bearings (a $600 upgrade on Zipps, bringing their price to $3400). For a full carbon, aero shaped, ceramic bearing wheel, it's hard to beat the Rovals at $2,200.

For the KOM

The unique 3-sided cut out profile of the
Ksyrium SL S
Want to trade your bike in for a billy goat? Think about the Mavic Ksyrium SL S's instead. The weight and stiffness combination makes Ksyriums feel like they would rather roll up a hill than down. 3D inter spoke milling cuts out any unnecessary weight between the spokes. The Mavic's
aluminum rims have a history of reliability so you won't get stranded on top of the mountain.  Being that this is an aluminum wheel, the price point is a little cheaper to turn your bike into a mountain killer, $1150 (with tires!).


Wheels are a huge step. Don't be afraid to spend some money to get a set that will last you a long time. It is better to save up some money and get too much wheel than buy a lower priced set that is going to make you want to upgrade again.

If you have any more questions about wheels or any other bike-related topic, please come by the shop and let us talk your ear off.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

4 Things You Need Besides Water

When you bike, you sweat.
When you sweat you need to drink water.
When you drink just water, you need to give your body electrolytes as well.
"But Why?" You may ask.

Electrolytes are the gate keepers of support materials for a rider's muscles. 
When you push your muscles you are using up electrolytes in the process. When one releases liquid from their body, in any form, it is primarily excess water and electrolytes. So you've got to replenish them!

I'm going to try to briefly go into how electrolytes are made but please understand, I am no Bill Nye.There are four things used to make up electrolytes, Sodium, (Na) Potassium, (K), Magnesium (Mg), and Calcium (Ca). When any of these elements get diluted in water their ions become charged. All of our cells use that charge as a driving force. 

My version: No electrolytes, muscles no move good. 

If you go to the grocery store and ask "where is your potassium?" I doubt you will get the answer you are looking for. So to help you out we've created a chart of a few of our favorite hydration mixes and their levels of the 4 elements that contribute to electrolytes. Everybody's body is different so you might want to experiment with varying amounts of the elements. Find the levels that work for you and have a great ride!

BRAND          Serving               Sodium              Potassium           Magnesium           Calcium

EFS                      32g                   300mg                 160mg                   150mg                 100mg
Skratch                 12g                   180mg                   20mg                    6%                        2%
Perpetuem            69g                   210mg                   80mg                       8mg                   35mg

These are not the end all be all hydration mixes, just some of our favorites around the shop. Each brand and type have their focus and niche. I suggest doing a little research on a few you may be interested in. This is a great strategy in trying out different nutrition. My favorite is Skratch, so to talk a little bit more on the topic of hydrating is Aaron from Skratch Labs

Keep in mind that your body only keeps stock of what it needs. The best system for hydration does not start during the weekend ride, but the start of the week. The body does not know your future plans and activites so it is only set up for what you are doing currently. This means you should prepare the body to hold more fuel through the week so it is prepared to stock up during your active moments. A combination of exercise and electrolyte consumption days before high levels of activity is best.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Medically Based Bike Fitting

Why should anyone get fit?

Fit is for everybody, not just the racers. Riding a bike should be fun and pain free, if you only ride a certain distance or you have saddle discomfort or any other discomfort you would benefit from a bike fit.

So you practice fit at Orange Cycle, where they use the Body Geometry Fit method. What is a Body Geometry Fit?

Body Geometry Bike Fit is a medically based process, we spend the first hour of your fit learning about your biking and injury history and  assessing your goals, then we perform a 22 point inspection of your body to get detailed information of your personal flexibility, skeletal angles and any limitations. With this information we do not have to use averages.  Everyone is slightly different.  Using your specific information will always be the most detailed and accurate process. After the pre fit assessment, we move through a 15 step process using your body information to fit your bike to you.

What kind of training have you had?

I have been through all 3 levels of Specialized Bicycles Components University. Each is a hands-on, week-long class in Morgan Hill, California. After completing the 3 levels of education, I was then qualified for the 2-day Certification testing. The testing is designed to be incredibly taxing and a true test of knowledge and practice. I am one of only two Certified Body Geometry Fit Technicians in the state of Florida, and less than 100 nationally. 

All the educational material is a collaboration between Specialized and the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Each of my classroom experiences were led by Andy Pruitt, PA-C, EdD from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Andy Pruitt, PA-C, EdD and Aaron Post were the Proctors for my Certification Testing.

What sets the body geometry fit apart from other experiences?

Because of the medical background of Body Geometry Fit we have more information to work with, we are sometimes making adjustments in 1 or 2 millimeters to get to a pain free position, whereas other computer based systems base their adjustments on averages of maybe 5000 athletes.

The Orange Cycle Fit Studio feels more like a doctor's office than
a part of a bike shop
A good example of this is if you had identical twins same height and weight but one had tight hamstrings limiting forward flexion, they would be unable to ride the same height on their handlebars but a system based on averages would have them in the same position. We are all individuals and our bike fits should be also. 

Can a Body Geometry Fit make a rider faster?

Yes. We make all the adjustments on the bike based on your pre fit assessment. We are looking to place you in a comfortable, neutral position but, most times the benefit is being stronger on your bike.

What is the role of technology in the fit studio?

People fit people not computers, you cannot tell a computer the position it has created for you is uncomfortable. 
We must use technology as a tool paired with the use of our knowledge and experience. 

Anyone using a computer-based system can position the rider using the numbers on the monitor, but the rider can still feel uncomfortable. Biomechanics and knowledge of human kinesiology are essential. For example, if you don't know that the person your working with has one leg longer than the other, or a hip impingement,  or a hip rotation, we cannot help with any discomfort they are feeling on the bike due to the lack of knowledge about the causes. 

I Heard you recently got another accolade to improve your services...

I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge, so I recently became a certified personal trainer, this has helped improve my kinesiology and increase my depth of knowledge of the muscle skeletal system.