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Cycling Jargon Defined – A to L

By John Marsh

Ever been on a group ride and felt like other cyclists were speaking a foreign language? They chatter about blocking, bonking and breakaways, and your head is spinning trying to figure out what they mean.

Cycling, like other intensive pursuits, has its own lingo. Here’s a quick introduction to

Read more . . . Cycling Jargon Defined – A to L

Try This 2 x 20 Minutes, Twice Per Week For Amazing Results!

By John Marsh

No, this isn’t a plug for a new no-sweat fitness machine. Instead, it’s a prescription for more power and endurance on your bike.

It’s simple. On a normal ride, choose terrain that allows you to pedal hard and steady for 20 minutes. It might be a gradual climb or

Read more . . . Try This 2 x 20 Minutes, Twice Per Week For Amazing Results!

What Climbing Cadence is Best for Knees?

By Fred Matheny Q: I’ve heard that it’s better for knees if you spin a lower gear on climbs rather than mash a big gear. Why is it harder on the knees to pedal at a slower rpm? What about pedaling slowly when out of the saddle? – Jim

Read more . . . What Climbing Cadence is Best for Knees?

What Does Gearing Terminology Mean?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I’m a new cyclist and confused about gearing. I have no idea what’s meant when other riders use numbers to talk about gears. And I’m not sure how this applies to my riding, either. Can you explain? – Sally P.

A: Good

Read more . . . What Does Gearing Terminology Mean?

Is Professional Bike Fitting a Scam?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I’ve been fitted by three different bike shops using different fit systems. Each shop measured me on and off my bike, which they all agreed is too small for me. They also came to the same conclusion regarding my body: extra-long legs and arms, very

Read more . . . Is Professional Bike Fitting a Scam?

How Should I Pedal When Standing?

By Fred Matheny

Q: I have read many articles about circular pedaling techniques, but they all relate to seated riding. When I’m standing and climbing on short, steep hills, my feet feel like they’re attached to a stair climber and I’m just pumping up and down. What exactly should

Read more . . . How Should I Pedal When Standing?

Secrets of Indoor Training

By Fred Matheny

The No-where Bike Most cyclists don’t like riding an indoor trainer. They equate it with miserable, mind-numbing boredom. They’ve had it after a few winter weeks of grinding away in the basement while sleet batters the windows and streams of toxic sweat drip from their chins, corroding

Read more . . . Secrets of Indoor Training

Indoor Trainer Safety Warning

By Jim Langley

Today’s column is a simple yet important bicycle safety warning covering one critical detail about using indoor trainers. It was spurred by this Comment from a reader with the pen name “dyonchik,” who shared,

“My carbon 2010 Cannondale Synapse suffered excessive wear on the rear dropouts. After the C’dale rep

Read more . . . Indoor Trainer Safety Warning

Training vs. ‘Just Riding’

By Fred Matheny

I know several fast, strong and accomplished cyclists who won’t let the word “training” pass their lips. They feel the word connotes a level of seriousness that’s unhealthy at the least and, at worst, could dim their enjoyment of the sport. They simply “go for a ride.”

Of course,

Read more . . . Training vs. ‘Just Riding’

Tips For Using Car Racks Safely

By Jim Langley

Andy asked

“I have a Giant Defy Advanced bike with a carbon frame. When transporting my bike by car, I was told not to use a bike rack that held the bike from the top tube, but to get a rack where the bike sat on wheel supports.

Read more . . . Tips For Using Car Racks Safely

Take the Lane When Your Safety is at Stake

By John Marsh

We all love to ride country roads. Quiet, scenic, hills, curves — the essence of road cycling.

Occasionally, though, you may find yourself in a tight spot. It can happen on a twisty two-lane when motorists can’t see very far around the next bend. There may be a rough shoulder,

Read more . . . Take the Lane When Your Safety is at Stake

Comfort and Safety in Spring Training

By Fred Matheny

Here are a few tips for added comfort and safety on your long Spring rides.

Stand and shift positions. To prevent crotch numbness and undue tenderness during long hours in the saddle, stand frequently and sit in slightly different locations. Dwelling in one position and grinding

Read more . . . Comfort and Safety in Spring Training

Set Your Goals for a Successful Summer

By Fred Matheny

Your cycling objectives probably are based on summer events. Maybe you’re aiming at a best-ever century or a PR in the local 10-mile time trial. Maybe you want to be strong every day on a weeklong tour. Or maybe you just want to be ready and fit to ride

Read more . . . Set Your Goals for a Successful Summer

Age Is No Barrier: Training Elizabeth

By Coach John Hughes

What do you do when you are 69 years old and hold the women’s age 65-to-69 record of 169 miles in the Calvin’s Challenge 12-hour race? Set a goal of at least 180 miles in this year’s race on May 4!

My good friend and client Elizabeth

Read more . . . Age Is No Barrier: Training Elizabeth

Finding Your Exercise Sweet Spot

By John Marsh

I was intrigued by the subject line of an email I received late last week from Premium Member Bill Rosenfeld. It read: “Most De-Motivating Study Ever.”

Bill sent a report in the New York Times about a recent study “showing that a fairly leisurely approach to scheduling workouts may actually

Read more . . . Finding Your Exercise Sweet Spot

Road Bike Fork Safety Check

Jim Langley

When you work in the bicycle media, you see press releases and bulletins from around the world every day. Most of the time the news is comprised of interesting product developments, race results, efforts to grow cycling, and other fun bicycle stories. Unfortunately, you also see cycling accident reports — some

Read more . . . Road Bike Fork Safety Check

Winterize Your Ride

By Jim Langley

I’m writing my column from Boulder, Colorado, where I’m spending the week to attend meetings at one of my company’s offices. So far on this trip the weather has been beautiful for a mountainous area. But on past winter visits to this bike mecca, I’ve marveled at how nothing —

Read more . . . Winterize Your Ride

Breathe With Your Belly

If you’re like most riders, hills are a serious limiter. You do fine on the flats but on steep stuff your lungs scream, especially on group rides where the hotshots force the pace. You gasp for breath and maybe you’re forced to slow down.

Get help from the technique known as belly

Read more . . . Breathe With Your Belly

How Can I Combat Poor Recovery?

Question: I’m 57 and each year find it more difficult to recover. I used to do three or four hard workouts in a row, but now it takes me at least 48 hours to feel lively again. Stage races or week-long tours are tough. It’s not just my legs — my

Read more . . . How Can I Combat Poor Recovery?

What’s the Right Way to Wear Warmers?

By Fred Matheny   Q: This will be my first winter on the bike. I’m confused about whether to wear leg warmers under or over shorts. And what about tights? Should I wear shorts underneath? — Robert M.

A: Wear leg warmers or knee warmers under your

Read more . . . What’s the Right Way to Wear Warmers?

Tips for Mountain Riding

By John Marsh

One of the joys of Summer for me is the chance to pick up one or both of my sons at camp in the north Georgia mountains.

Sure, I miss my boys and look forward to seeing them after a week away. But I also appreciate the chance to

Read more . . . Tips for Mountain Riding

How Do You Analyze a Training Diary?

Question: You’ve mentioned that you’ve kept a training log for almost 37 years. I’m curious — what are your training totals for 2012, and how do you analyze your entries to help you plan ahead? — Mark N.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Good question, Mark. Not many riders keep

Read more . . . How Do You Analyze a Training Diary?

Lowering Your Gearing

By Jim Langley

This time of year, depending on your location, you’re either preparing for the big spring and summer events to come, or already rolling up the miles. Either way, one of the most important things is having easy-enough gearing on your road bike for the shape you’re in and the

Read more . . . Lowering Your Gearing

Shifting For Beginners

By Jim Langley

The idea to cover a few basic shifting tips came to me on last Saturday’s ride. We were climbing a steep hill and one of the riders dropped her chain. When I rode up alongside she was already off her bicycle trying to put the chain back on with a

Read more . . . Shifting For Beginners

How to Avoid Crashes in Groups

By John Marsh

If there’s one thing the Tour de France has taught us, it’s that even the best bike handlers in the world sometimes crash with alarming frequency.

Most recreational roadies ride in large groups from time to time, in century rides, local organized rides, brevets, races, etc. While our groups don’t

Read more . . . How to Avoid Crashes in Groups

How to Choose a Bike Club

By Fred Matheny

Cycling can be a solo sport. Long rambles through the spring countryside, hard rides in the hills, weekend tours to scenic areas—all can be enjoyed with only your own thoughts for company.

In fact, many cyclists prefer to go alone. Then they can choose their own route and are free

Read more . . . How to Choose a Bike Club

Do Winter Cycling Shoes Work?

Q: I hate shoe covers because they’re such a pain to get on. Does anyone make insulated winter cycling shoes? Do they work? – Mary P.

Coach Fred Matheny: Some shoe covers are easy to get on – like the Gore Race Power model that has a full-length

Read more . . . Do Winter Cycling Shoes Work?

How Does Snowshoeing Help Cycling?

By Fred Matheny

Q: Snowshoeing has become the hot crosstraining sport among the local cyclists in my area, but I don’t see the connection to riding a bike. What’s the carryover to cycling? — Tammi W.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: I love snowshoeing! Unlike cross-country skiing, it has a

Read more . . . How Does Snowshoeing Help Cycling?

Interbike Report

By John Marsh

After last week touching on the Interbike products that struck a chord as the most exciting introductions this year, I’ll cover a number of products this week from the novel to the basic day-to-day sort that could improve your riding experience. I’ve included pricing and contact info when possible. RBR

Read more . . . Interbike Report

How Effective is Slow Riding?

By Fred Matheny

Question: My boyfriend is doing a 300-hour regimen of slow riding (recommended by a coach) to build capillaries. The coach says if he rides harder during this period, he will prematurely destroy the budding capillaries. He rides three times a day — at dawn, lunch and dusk. Great

Read more . . . How Effective is Slow Riding?

How Can I Remedy a Weak Leg?

Question: While riding, I sometimes feel my left leg drop off significantly in its contribution to powering the bike. Is there a training technique for dealing with this? — Don B.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Yes, and you don’t have to use a leg-press machine or any other special

Read more . . . How Can I Remedy a Weak Leg?

Great Chain Tips

By Jim Langley It may not look like much, but the chain is among the most important components on your road bicycle. Forget to lube it and pedaling is significantly hampered. Break it, and unless you’re prepared to fix it, your featherweight wonder is almost useless. Choose a quality chain and take

Read more . . . Great Chain Tips

The Roadies: Should I Go Hard on Every Ride?

Q: I’m 43 and riding 250-300 km (155-186 miles) per week, which is a bit of a challenge in the wet winter we’re having here in Adelaide. This distance is broken into one 100-km (62-mile) ride plus 2 or 3 rides of 50-80 km (31-50 miles). Some are in a bunch, some solo.

Read more . . . The Roadies: Should I Go Hard on Every Ride?