Tag Archives: road bikes

In the U.S. bike markets it all happens at Interbike.

HaveFunBiking will share many new bike products from Interbike

by John Brown, Havefunbiking.com

Show season is at hand in the cycling industry and HaveFunBiking.com will be on the show floor. We are excited to try the newest product and deliver to our readers the most curated list of new products over the next couple months. On Monday September 18th , before dawn, we embark to Las Vegas to try countless bikes at Interbike’s Dirt Demo. Following that, on Wednesday the 20th, the doors open to the last Interbike in sin city. Stay tuned to our Blog to see all the newest products and news from the show floor at HaveFunBiking.

Interbike

Interbikes’s Dirt Demo is a great way to try new product.

HaveFunBiking goes to Interbike in Las Vegas

Don’t worry, the fun doesn’t stop when we leave Vegas. Following the show we will be reviewing product we will see over the course of next week, so stay tuned.

Here the manufactures of Tern Bicycles is showing and demonstrating the latest line of folding bikes out at the Iterbike's Canyon Demo location.

Here the manufactures from Tern Bicycles is showing and demonstrating the latest from their line of folding bikes out at the Interbike’s Canyon Demo location.

 

Here a bike shop representative takes a fat bike out for a test ride so she can share the highlights with her customers.

Here a bike shop representative takes a fat bike out for a test ride so she can share the highlights with her customers.

 

On Wednesdays Interbike official begins with several thousand exhibitors showing off their latest products in bike wear and fad.

 

Interbike

Miles of product at Interbike 2017!

Here the manufactures of Alter Bicycles is showing and demonstrating the latest line of there line of bikes at Interbike.

Here the manufactures of Alter Bicycles is showing and demonstrating the latest line from their their line of bikes at Interbike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here a manufacture is showing and demonstrating a colorful line of helmet mirrors at Interbike

This manufactures rep is demonstrating their colorful line of helmet mirrors at Interbike

Feel free to let us know what new products you want to hear about and what topics you need more info on.

Learn How To Install Bar Tape For Your Most Comfortable Ride Yet

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Riding and maintaining your road bike can be easy with some basic maintenance and by practicing the right skills. Plus, while you ride your bike, you should do everything you can to feel comfortable. That includes the right fit, the right clothes, and above all else, the right touch points. Touch points on a bike are anywhere your body touches the bike (specifically hands, feet, and saddle). The easiest touch point to freshen up on your road bike is the bar tape. Read below for a step by step instruction on installing bar tape.

How to Start Installing New Bar Tape

The first choice you have when wrapping your bars is, will you wrap from inside out, or outside in?  Either choice is fine as long as you start from the bottom of the bar rather than the top. Wrapping from the top down, will position the edge of the bar tape so it easily unravels with normal use.

Bar Tape

The bars on the left are being taped from inside to outside, while the ones on the right are going outside to inside.

To begin. position the end of the bar tape about 50% off the end of the bar. While holding the end of the tape tightly, begin stretching the tape and winding it around the bar. When winding it, make sure that each section of tape, covers 25% of the previous wrap. It is important to stretch the tape. While most bar tapes have an adhesive backing to help hold itself in place, stretched tape will constrict around the bar as you wrap it, and stay in place better.

From left to right you can see how to start, how to wrap the tape, and the hood clamp detail

Wrapping levers

While winding the tape up the bar, the only real difficulty is the brake hoods. First thing you want to do is flip the back of the brake hood forward, exposing the hood clamp band and a portion of the hood body.

The soft rubber hoods flip forward to tape bars, or replace cables

The most common ways to wrap around the hood are either, maintain the standard, spiral, winding pattern, or wrap the lever in a figure 8 pattern. For a standard wrap, first place a small piece of bar tape to cover the clamp band, then continue wrapping up the bar. For the figure 8 pattern, start winding as normal, once the tape gets over the hood, wrap the tape back down the side of the hood winding it around the bottom of the hood and crossing the tape in a figure 8 pattern across the back of the hood strap. You have done it correctly if no bar is showing once you flip the brake hoods back into place.

On the left, the tape is being wrapped in a helical fashion while the bar on the right is using a figure 8 pattern

Finishing Your Bar Tape

Once you have taped up the bar, past the hood, and are about 2” from the stem clamp, it is time to finish the tape. Most bar tapes come with vinyl finishing tape to hold the tape in place. Whereas bar tape is quite flexible finishing tape is a lot more ridged. When cutting the bar tape, cut it on an angle so that when wrapped, it leaves a sharp flat edge. Before using the finishing tape, I find it helpful to use a vinyl electrical tape to secure the bar tape, then wrap the supplied finishing tape on top in the opposite direction. When you have finished taping, go back to the open end of the bar, tuck any spare tape into it, and tap the bar plug into place.

An easy sign of a good tape job is a clean finish and bar plugs that face upright. It’s O.K. to sweat the small stuff!

Tips and Tricks

Before you begin taping the bar, be sure to have scissors, electrical tape, a small section of bar tape, and the bar plug within reach. There is nothing more annoying than getting to the top of the bar and having to let it go (unraveling the bar) and go get scissors or tape. If you want a little more cush, take some spare bar tape and run it length wise along the top of the bar all the way to the hood and wrap over it. This method gives you added padding without increasing the bar diameter too much. If you want to change the profile of the bar you can use some spare brake housing under the tape to give the bar more of a wing profile. Simply secure it in place with liberal amounts of electrical tape.

Simple things like additional tape (above) and a section of spare brake housing (below) can customize your bar shape

Hopefully by following the above instructions your new bar tape will go on quickly and neatly. However, if you don’t have the time or feel uncomfortable visit your favorite bike shop and they can get the feel your looking for.

Cycling shoes can help you ride longer, faster and in greater comfort.

Cycling Shoes: What Are The Differences and How To Make Sure They Fit

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Cycling shoes can help you ride longer, faster and in greater comfort but only if you get ones that fit well. Read on to see what makes cycling shoes unique and how to find the right ones for you.

Benefits of Cycling Shoes, Clipless or Not

Cycling shoes have a very stiff sole to disperse pedaling pressures along the entire length of your foot. In contrast, normal sneakers have flexible soles that centralize most of your pedaling efforts onto the sesamoid bones, causing a lot of discomfort. Therefore, a cycling shoe is also a great option for riders who don’t plan to use a clipless pedal. Once you add the benefits of a clipless pedal, cycling shoes will make riding easier and more comfortable.

Types of Soles for Cycling Shoes

What makes a cycling shoe stiff is the materials used in the sole. The most common materials are nylon and carbon fiber. Nylon is a great choice for cycling shoes because it is strong, relatively light, very durable and highly resistant to cracking. Additionally, nylon is inexpensive, so it can be used to make low cost cycling shoes. The downside of nylon is in its stiffness over time. In my experience, Nylon will generate a flex point over time, making the shoes more flexible through the years. Carbon is very similar to Nylon in that it is strong, and light. Where carbon differs is that it is far stiffer than nylon, never generates flex, and is very expensive to produce. Carbon soles are only found on high cost shoes, but offer a much longer lifespan.

Types of Cycling Shoes

Cycling shoes can help you ride longer, faster and in greater comfort and there is a large selection to choose from.

Cycling shoes can help you ride longer, faster and in greater comfort and there is a large selection to choose from.

Cycling shoes can most easily be categorized into three categories – Road, Mountain, Recreation.

Road Cycling Shoes

Road shoes are easy to spot because the sole is almost entirely smooth with only a small bit of tread on the heel. They are the only shoes capable of accepting a large road cleat, and are typically highly ventilated.  Thanks to the lack of tread, it is easy to see what the sole material is.

Mountain Cycling Shoes

A Mountain shoe will look like a road shoe above the sole. Often time the closures, ventilation and appearance are the same as it’s road sibling. Where these shoes differ is the sole design. Mountain shoes have deep treads built into the sole to offer traction in loose and steep conditions. Because the sole is covered in rubber treads it is more difficult to conclude if it is made of carbon or nylon.

Recreation Cycling Shoes

Not everyone needs a road specific shoe or the aggressive treads that come with a mountain shoe. For that reason, most companies make a recreational cycling shoe. These shoes use a soft rubber for the tread that offers tons of grip when used on a flat pedal, they also use a nylon sole for stiffness and clipless compatibility. Mostly, these shoes look like a casual sneaker even though they hide cycling specific benefits inside. Some even use a hinged sole that can flex upward when you walk, but will not flex under pedaling forces.

Insoles in Cycling Shoes

Your foot is designed to work like a leaf spring when walking or running. Your arch collapses to absorb impact and rebounds to help you propel forward. Although, when cycling, having your arches collapse can cause alignment issues in your knees, ankles, and hips. To combat arch collapse, most cycling shoes use insoles designed to support your arch. If your shoes don’t offer insoles with enough support, there are plenty of options available for custom insoles.

Trying them on

Now that you understand what you’re looking at, let’s talk about how to try the shoes on. First thing to remember about cycling shoes is that they are nothing like sneakers. Cycling shoes are often sized in European sizing and while most brands offer a conversion chart, only use it as a starting point.

When you try a Cycling shoe on for the first time, it should fit tighter than a sneaker. You want a tight fit because your foot is attempting to pull out of the shoe during a pedal stroke. In contrast, while running your foot is being slammed into the shoe so sneakers need to be more roomy. Additionally, most cycling shoes are made of synthetic materials that stretch and conform to your foot over time. Therefore, a shoe will be far more snug when you try it on than a year later. If the shoe is snug all the way around, that is good fit even if you can feather your toe off the front of the shoe. If you feel any specific point of contact, that usually is an indicator that the shoe is the wrong fit.

Installing Cleats in Cycling Shoes

If you go to your local bike shop to get your shoes, they will typically install the cleat for you. If you are doing it on your own, try to position the cleat just behind the ball of your foot and straight on the shoe. I find it helpful to grease the threads of the cleat bolts before installation.

Hopefully, you feel comfortable going to try cycling shoes on after reading this. If you do have any more questions, either leave them in the comments, or visit your local bike shop.

With hundreds of custom bike builders in the US, and hundreds more spread across globe, how do you pick the right builder?

MinneCycle: Show Review and Why Buy a Custom Bike?

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

With hundreds of custom bike builders in the US, and hundreds more spread across globe, how do you pick the right builder? Start with shows like Minnecycle, and when possible and have a conversation.

Minnecycle enjoyed its fifth year this past weekend in the world headquarters of Peacock Groove. Peacock Groove, in Minneapolis, is home to one of Minnesota’s most prolific bike builders, Eric Noren. Minnecycle displayed handmade bicycles from over a dozen other custom builders. Although the location is not a showroom, but rather a basement workshop, the setup created a gallery feel while still being welcoming. A location like this would be a hindrance for many groups but those who run Minnecycle are not your typical group. The workshop displayed bikes in every state of assembly, as a visual lesson on how a custom bike is built. Minnecycle can only be described as an unmitigated success. The attending builders were friendly, the feel was casual, and the work was outstanding. With a show this good, the only question left is “why buy a custom bike”?

Great Space, Cool custom bikes, and even Eric in mid-build

In Custom Bike Considerations, Size and Specificity

Custom bikes are great for riders that need something custom. I realize that statement sounds redundant and silly, but it really is the best way to define it. For instance, riders who have unique body types don’t fall into standard sizes bikes. As an example, it’s common for some riders to have a longer torso than the prototypical body type. These riders need a bicycle with a longer top tube than what is available on a standard bike.  However, a custom bike built with a longer top tube gives them the proper reach. Additionally, if a rider has unique needs, custom builders can make a bike to fit those needs. Many custom builders focus specifically on bicycle types not available through mass production. Great examples of these bikes are Cargo bikes, Adventure bikes, and utility tricycles, Hand Trikes, and Recumbent bicycles.

Quality and Craftsmanship

Being a professional custom builder is as much a calling as it is a profession. Although builders come from widely varying backgrounds, a few traits seem to be universal. Most builders are mechanically inclined, problem solvers, and are exceedingly detail oriented. Outside of those traits, a professional builder has the experience of building hundreds of bikes. So, when buying a custom bicycle, you are getting the cumulative experience and natural talents of a builder. Additionally, through every step of construction, your bike will be painstakingly reviewed for quality and alignment. That level of quality is not possible at a mass-produced level. While massed produced bikes are great, the attention to detail, quality control, and experience of a custom builder adds up to a truly uniquely riding bicycle.

Appleman builds custom bikes by positioning each piece of carbon fiber by hand to ensure the best possible ride quality.

Finding the right builder for you

Like Minnecycle, try reaching out to them digitally if you can’t meet them in person. Most builders are very accessible through email and social media. Find builders who are already making bikes similar to what you want. Ultimately, you are looking for a builder that you can get along with.

Apple Valley Used Bike Sale Benefits Kids ‘n Kinship Youth Program

If you are looking for a gently used bike, you can find one this Saturday in Apple Valley. Ready for his ninth annual used bike sale, Rick Anderson has over 300 bicycles primed to ride for your #nextbikeadventure. On Saturday, May 13, find a bike that fits you. All proceeds from sales benefit the Kids ‘n Kinship youth mentoring program.

Rick Anderson with a wide assortment of gently used bikes ready for the sale in Apple Valley, this Saturday.

Used Bike Sale Benefits Youth Program

Throughout the year, Anderson gathers with other volunteers to tune up donated bikes for the annual sale. If you’re looking for a bike, stop by this Saturday at the Superior Service Center on 14580 Glenda Drive in Apple Valley next to the Red Line’s 147th St. bus stop. The sale goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m!

At the sale you will find models for all ages and skill levels from $25 to $300 with many priced under $100. Models include some top-quality cycles from Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant. Everyone who purchases a bike will receive a Famous Dave’s Wings coupon. Customers will also be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates for Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant in Apple Valley.

Rick’s passion for biking, mentoring children, and finding great deals gave him the idea for the sale. He locates inexpensive or donated bikes, fixes them up and sells them with proceeds going to Kids’ n Kinship. In his previous eight sales, Rick has fixed, sold, and donated close to 2,000 bikes. The proceeds are generously donated each year to this wonderful Dakota County community program.

For More information see www.ricksbikesale.com.

The Dakota County Kids ‘n Kinship is a private non-profit organization that matches children who have a need for an additional supportive relationship with carefully screened adult volunteers. Once a match is made, volunteers spend 1-4 hours per week with the child. Typical activities might include picnicking, attending sporting events, sharing interests or going to the movies.