Bike Components: A Beginner’s Bike

Must Know Bike Components

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“Many materials and technologies are used to build different types of bikes. Below is a beginner’s guide to bike components. Read it now”

Buying a new bike or accessories can often be bewildering to the novice; the folks working in the shop almost seem to be speaking a different language. It’s almost as bad as trying to pick out a personal computer.

From our perspective, sometimes it’s hard to tell when we’re using everyday language and when we’re slipping into technical jargon. We have to really ask questions to make sure we’re on the same page with a customer and really understand what they are looking for, and often it’s just a matter of making sure we agree on the meaning of the words we are using. For example, we sometimes get people asking for a “wheel,” when all they really need is a new tire. On the other hand, we’ve gotten really perplexed looks when we’ve handed somebody a “rim,” when they were really looking for an entire wheel.

So, breaking down the language barrier is an important step in productive relationships between bike shop customers and bike shop employees. To that end, here is a glossary providing a breakdown of the anatomy of the bicycle.

Bar ends – the angled extensions attached to the ends of some flat handlebars and riser handlebars that provide an alternate place to rest your hands.

Bottom bracket – the collection of ball bearings and spindle housed within the bottom bracket shell of the frame, which provides the “shaft” mechanism on which the crank arms turn.

Braze-ons – threaded sockets that may or may not be present on the bike frame that provide a place to attach accessories such as bottle cages, cargo racks, and fenders.

Cage – the preferred fancy name for water bottle holder.

Cassette – the collection of gears that is attached to the rear wheel on most modern bicycles (see “Freewheel”).

Chainrings – the gears that are attached to the right-hand crank arm nearer to the front of the bike. A bike with two chainrings is said to have a “double crank;” a bike with three chainrings is said to have a “triple crank.”

Cog – a single gear on a cassette or freewheel gear cluster, or the single rear gear on a fixed-gear bike.

Crank arms – the pedals screw into these; these bolt onto the bottom bracket spindle.

Cyclocomputer – the preferred fancy word for an electronic speedometer/odometer.

Derailer – the device that is bolted to the frame that handles the job of moving the chain from one gear to another when you shift gears. The front derailer handles the shifting on your chainrings and is usually controlled by your left-hand shifter. The rear derailer handles the shifting on your cassette or freewheel, and is usually controlled by your right-hand shifter.

Derailer hanger – a part of the frame where the rear derailleur is attached. It is usually an integrated part of the frame on steel and titanium bikes, but is a separate, replaceable piece on aluminum and carbon fiber bikes.

Drop bar – the type of handlebar found on road racing bikes, with the half-circle-shaped curved ends that extend below the top, flatter part of the bar.

Dropouts – the U-shaped notches at the rear of the bike frame, and at the bottom ends of the front fork legs, where the wheels are held in place. So-called because if you loosen the bolts holding a wheel in place, the wheel “drops out.”

Fixed gear – a type of bicycle that has a single gear and does not have a freewheel or cassette/freehub mechanism, so you are unable to coast. If the wheels are moving, you have to be pedaling. “Fixie” for short. More at TECH TALK: BIKE COMPONENTS FOR BEGINNERS

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Triathlon Transition: Tips for a Faster Triathlon

Faster Triathlon Transition Tips

“Simple tips to help you do a faster triathlon transition. Read them now!”

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Whether this is your first triathlon or you’ve reached a point that your life is defined by your training and pursuit of the podium, making a fast transition is important. It is the one area where minutes can be shaved off your time and you can have the satisfaction that you’ve minimized the loafing time. With any event it is the after event thoughts that plague, “why didn’t I push it harder on the bike or the run? Could I have been faster in my transitions?”

Practice, practice, practice. A week before the race may not be the time to start practicing your transitions, but I suspect for the majority of folks that’s when it happens. When your training and doing bricks (run to bike or visa versa) set your self up a mini transition area and see what works for you.

Set your bike up and remember where you’ve parked it. Some folks have used balloons or luggage ties – something colorful to draw attention to your spot. If you are on asphalt colored chalk is a good way to mark where your bike is. Trim your bib number and then tape your bid number on your bike on the seat post to keep things aerodynamic and make sure you can ride without it flapping, rubbing, or annoying you.

Layout your towel – this really isn’t for drying off after the swim its for marking your territory and keeping your feet clean and comfy while you get your shoes on and off. Layout your helmet and glasses. Put your running shoes on top of your bib and racebelt so it doesn’t blow away. Have your socks, hat, and what ever race food you plan on taking with you in a neat and sequential order.

If you are running without socks, put body glide on the heals of both shoes to prevent any hotspots.

T1 – getting out of the swim a lot people are dizzy and wobbly so be cautious.

Getting out the wetsuit: before getting out of the water – pull the neck of your wetsuit and get a good gulp of water down the front, this will eliminate some of the vacuum and stickiness. Pull your zip, remove the arms in quick fashion and kick out your legs while keeping one leg on the wetsuit.

Always put your helmet on first, then glasses, bib number (turned around to the back) and shoes. For the serious folks have your shoes clipped in and ready to go and use a rubber band to keep them parallel for easy mounting and slide the shoes on while on the move – this takes some practice. More at MAKING FASTER TRIATHLON TRANSITIONS

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Ironman Training: Rules to Remember

Ironman Training Rules

“Getting ready for your Ironman training? Make sure you list down these rules to remember. Know what they are below!”

Ironman Training Rules

There’s an old saying that goes, all roads lead to Rome. In the triathlon world, all roads eventually and hopefully lead to Kona and the Ironman World Championships.

If you’ve been bitten by the triathlon bug chances are you’ll want to go long and race your first half- and full-distance IM.

Here are a few tips for any triathlete who wants to go long and step up to the half and full-IM distance.

TRAIN EVERY DAY
It takes a minimum of 13 hours of training per week to get in shape for an Ironman race. That means you’ll be training almost every day of the week.

After all, you not only have to swim, bike and run during the race, but you have to beat the cutoff times.

Participants in competing in the half- or full-Ironman events will be pulled from the course if they’re unable to finish each leg of the event in the set amount of time.

DON’T FAKE IT
To some small extent you can fake the training for both an Ironman and half IM race. In other words, you can finish both of these race distances without completely putting in the time to train, but you’ll hate the race.

There are few things more miserable in life than spending 17 hours on an Ironman course hating every painful swim stroke, bike pedal and running step. Sure, there are amateur athletes who’ve finished without putting in the hard work, but they just spent over $500 on the entry for a day of self-inflicted pain.

THE FOURTH IRONMAN SEGMENT
You probably know that a triathlon of any length consists of a swim, bike and run, but in order to succeed at the half- and full-Ironman distance you’ll have to learn a fourth discipline: nutrition.

Unlike the sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, the half and full IM becomes about how fast you can swim, bike and run, and just as importantly how you can take in enough calories to keep from bonking. More at The 4 Rules of Ironman Training

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