RSS

Tag Archives: bmx

Cyclocross: Training and Technique, by Simon Burney

Cyclocross: Training and Technique

Cyclocross: Training and Technique

When I hear the word cyclocross my mind immediately conjures up a picture of a cyclist, covered with mud from head to toe, throwing their bike up on their shoulder climbing a hill that mountain goats wouldn’t attempt. Cyclocross races usually take place in the fall and winter over a course that includes pavement, off-road trails, hills, man-made obstacles and mud. Cyclocross has been around for over 100 years an is usually associated with countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and France, but is growing in popularity here in the states. The folks at VeloPress recently sent me a copy of Cyclocross: Training and Technique (third edition), by Simon Burney, and if you are even slightly interested in cyclocross you need to get a copy of this book. In fact, even if you have no desire to participate in a cyclocross race you might find this book useful—especially if you enjoy riding year-round in inclement weather.

Cyclocross: Training and Technique starts by giving a brief history of cyclocross races, and then explains the equipment necessary to compete. Cyclocross bikes look a lot like regular road bikes, but allow for fatter tires so they can have better grip on the ground and greater clearance on the forks so mud won’t build up as quickly. The book also covers the basics of training, along with a section on the techniques and tactics of cyclocross racing. Near the end of the book there is a chapter on how to stay healthy—avoiding viruses, proper treatment of injuries, nutrition, hydration and recovery.

I mentioned earlier that you don’t have to be a racer to benefit from this book. The chapter on Techniques and Tactics will benefit anyone who rides in bad conditions—mud, sand, snow, rain, ice and over rocks and roots. I ride all year long and in all weather conditions, but every once in a while something will surprise me. A few weeks ago I was riding in the snow on an off-road trail and had to dismount because a busy beaver had cut down two trees and they fell directly over my trail! The trees were too big to bunny-hop over, so I had to pick up my bike by the down tube and climb over them—something any cyclocross racer wouldn’t have given a second thought about doing.

trees cut down by angry beaver

A couple of trees cut down by a beaver!

Cyclocross: Training and Technique, by Simon Burney, is published by VeloPress and retails for $19, but you can find it on Amazon.com for around $12. This paperback book is well illustrated with photographs throughout and has 230 pages.

 
15 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pad

Three times in the past four years I’ve had a “parting of the ways” with one of my bikes. Unfortunately, I was always in the process of riding the bike when we parted ways—and when we went different directions it was always when I was riding on solid ice. Fortunately, the only thing I’ve hurt so far has been my pride, but to make sure I wouldn’t break an elbow this winter I started wearing SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pads when heading out on the ice.

SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pad

SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pad

SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pads easily slip over your arm and are held in place with a Velcro closure. Since most people wear this product in the summer for BMX or mountain biking it has several features to improve breathability, such as vented side padding and perforated neoprene construction. The area around your elbow has an internal hard cap protector and side-impact protection thanks to EVA foam padding. I was able to fit these pads under my winter cycling jacket without any trouble or loss of flexibility.

Side View Of The SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pad

Side View Of The SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pad

I didn’t use these pads on every ride this winter—they were reserved for days when we had sleet and ice falling from the sky or when I knew I was going to be riding over a frozen pond. Riding over frozen ponds is easy since my steel studded tires grip the ice well—the problem comes when you make the transition from the ice to the bank. While on the ice there is almost nothing to slow your forward momentum, but when you hit the shore your front tire slows down immediately while your rear tire is still at full speed—and that’s the best way to FDGB (Fall Down Go Boom).

SixSixOne Rage Elbow Soft Shell Pads come in four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and retail for $50. They are available at larger bicycle shops, as well as online retailers like Amazon.com and CompetitiveCyclist.com. SixSixOne also sells knee guards and they retail for $60 a pair.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

A few months ago I put a pair of Rolling Darryl rims on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley and red (burgundy) Surly PVC RIm Strip that you can see through the cutouts. To add a little more color to the rims I installed red anodized spoke nipples. I thought I was done upgrading the bike—and I was until I saw a pair of Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals.

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

During most of the year I ride with Crank Brothers Eggbeater Mountain Bike Pedals, but once the snow and ice starts falling I switch over to wide flat pedals. Back in November I put a pair of 45NRTH Heiruspecs Winter Grip Pedals on my Pugsley—they have a great grip, but a really thin finish (it started chipping off after just a few rides). Since I am in the local bike shop several times a week anyway, I asked them to help me find a pair of wide flat pedals with a more durable finish and they suggested the Premium Slim Pedals.

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Pedals are made from extruded and CNC machined aluminum (6061 alloy) and have a CNC machined chromoly spindle for added strength (with sealed bearings). There are sixteen removable and replaceable metal pins per pedal (eight per side) for a great grip. The pedal body varies in thickness from 14mm to 17mm. These pedals weight 8.3 ounces (236g) each, which is two ounces per pedal heavier than the 45NRTH Heiruspecs. In all honesty, the main reason I bought these pedals was the beautiful red anodized finish. These pedals perfectly match several other red anodized items I’ve recently added to my bike (spoke nipples, rim tape, water bottle cages, and seat clamp).

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Pedals are available in five colors (Black, Silver, Red, Teal, and Purple) and retail for around $100 a pair. These pedals are sold at bike shops all over the United States and you can use Premium’s dealer locator to find an authorized dealer in your area.

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium Slim Alloy BMX Pedals

Premium has a fairly simple warranty on their bike products, they are “100% guaranteed against manufacturer’s defects for life to the original owner.” However, the rest of their warranty says, “If you buy a Premium product and it breaks, bends, or dents because you were jumping it off roofs, trying to learn tailwhips, or sliding down a rail, you’re out of luck. If you break a used Premium product your friend gave you and you can’t prove you bought it with a copy of the original bill of sale, you’re out of luck.”

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Frame Defender (Product Review And Giveaway)

Last spring I was at the local bike shop when a young man brought in his two-week old $1,900 mountain bike for repair. He claimed that when he was out riding on a local trail his bike frame buckled—and since this was obviously a manufacturer’s defect he wanted a new bike frame. The folks at the shop told him they would email a photograph of the damage to the manufacturer and file a claim for him and then let him know what the manufacturer decided. When the guy left the shop I looked at the frame and could immediately tell that the damage to his down tube was not a defect—it appeared as though he had hit a large rock or tree stump and it left a nasty gash in his down tube about four inches above the bottom bracket. The folks at the bike shop knew the guy was not telling the truth about how the damage happened, but instead of calling him a liar they would let the manufacturer break the bad news to him. I thought about this incident when the folks at Frame Defender asked me to review their bicycle frame protector—a product that could have saved this guy from a lot of grief.

Frame Defender Kit For Mountain Bikes

Frame Defender Kit For Mountain Bikes

Frame Defender is made of a dense, but lightweight, foam that is intended to absorb the energy from a shock (like hitting a large rock or tree stump). Most of the products on the market that claim to protect your frame simply protect it from scratches—this product is meant to protect the frame from impacts. Frame Defender is not just a single pad to protect the down tube—the kit also comes with pads to protect your chain stays and four extra pads you can use at your discretion. The down tube pad measures 24″x3″. There is also a 10”x3” pad and a 8”x2” pad, along with four 1.5”x1” pads. The standard thickness of each pad is 5.5mm. These pads can easily be cut down to size with an X-Acto knife or razor blade.

Close-up Of The Frame Defender Pads

Close-up Of The Frame Defender Pads

On the back of a Frame Defender pad is a thick layer of 3M adhesive. When you put this product on your bike consider it to be a permanent addition—3M adhesive products are meant to last. Normally I test every product I review, but there was no way I could truly test this product unless I deliberately crashed my bike into the boulders around Lake Michigan. However, after examining the product I am certain it will work as advertised—unless you get hit by a truck I think your bike frame going to be well protected by this product.

Frame Defender Kits retail for $25 and are only available from the Frame Defender Website. Once you get to their Website you can look at the 20 or so colors and patterns they have available. You can choose from several solid colors (like black, blue, and grey), two-tone color combinations and several camouflage patterns.

Close-up Of The Frame Defender Pads

Close-up Of The Frame Defender Pads

As my regular readers know, I seldom keep the products that are sent to me for review. While I did examine, twist, handle and photograph this product I did not put it on one of my bikes (remember, this product should be considered a permanent addition). So, I have one Frame Defender Kit in perfect condition that I am going to give away to some lucky reader. To enter the contest for the Frame Defender Kit pictured above all you have to do is pick a number between 750 and 1000 and enter it in the comment section below (you don’t actually have to make a comment). The contest ends at midnight (CST) on Friday, February 8, 2013. After the contest closes I will use a random number generator to pick the winning number. If no one has the exact number the person with the number closest to, but not over, the winning number will get this Frame Defender Kit. In case two or more people chose the same number the first person to pick the number will be the winner. This contest is for U.S. residents only and only one entry per household allowed. When the contest is over I will publish the results in the comments section of this article. I will send this product to the winner via U.S. Mail at my expense.

 
45 Comments

Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
TDuncan

My view, my style

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

Grow With Me, Child.

My Journey of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Les Posen's Presentation Magic

It's time for a paradigm shift in how presentations are performed. One presenter's blog on how to present as if all your audience members had a brain.

Mommyfriend

...finding perfection in imperfection daily.

road|THEORY

Just ride...

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Commenting on biblical studies, archaeology, travel and photography

ἐκλεκτικός

Steve Wolfgang's view of the world from suburban Chicago -- or wherever he may be on any given day

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Shannon E. Williams

Gather. Discover. Cultivate.

BikeHikeSafari

Thru Hiking and Bicycle Touring the worlds best trails

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Cyclerist

Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from January - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area

Kerrie Is Running*

*trying to run

foodbod

healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

grayfeathersblog

Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life

Travel Tales of Life

Never Too Old To Explore

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Fatbike Brigade

Exploring the world on fatbikes

A Sierra Fatty

A Dyslexic Journalism journal about downhill, fatbike, cyclocross, dual slalom, snowbike, adventure, bikepacking, xc, dh, enduro, ridebikeswithfriends, paddleboard, snowboard, ski, cross-country ski

PaleoHikerMD

REAL FOOD, REAL HEALTH, REAL ADVENTURE, REAL FAMILY

The HSD

What happens when a medical doctor becomes a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom

Raising Jordans

Eat. Play. Learn.

FueledByLOLZ

Running and Laughing through the Garden State

Tinkadventures

Inspiring Your Outdoor Adventures

The Bro Code

Putting The Hero Back In Action

Fat Girl to Ironman

My five year journey to awesomeness...

MPLS MAMA BEAR

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Christov_Tenn

Always Thinking, Reading About, and Up To Something

35,000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts

Thoughts, views and opinions of a northwest cyclist and adventurer

Sports Bras And Sippy Cups

This Mama Lifts More Than Just Babies!

A Promise to Dad

"You don't have anything if you don't have your health"

Triathlon Obsession

Triathlon, Sport and Healthy Living

The Chatter Blog

Living: All Day Every Day: Then Chattering About It

chasingmailboxes.wordpress.com/

ride your heart out. washington d.c.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Chatter Gets Fit

From Couch Potato to Triathlete to Ultrarunner... My Journey

%d bloggers like this: