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Feel the Pressure

My cycling friends at times find it odd that I am a NASCAR fan.  But frankly, I am amazed by the parallels between stock cars and bicycles.  One such aspect is that of air pressure in our tires. Even if you’re not a big race fan, tune in to a NASCAR race some time, wait for the pit stops to start, and listen to the conversation concerning pressure. Tire pressure is just as, if not more so, important than the adjustments made to the suspension. In fact, tire pressure on both stock cars and bicycles has become part of the suspension adjustment.

Up until the last decade adjusting the tire pressure on your bike to achieve more comfort was thought to sacrifice speed.  But recent research is debunking that myth. Yes, if we always rode on perfectly smooth surfaces, the harder the tire the better, would be true.  However, consider the surface you ride on.  At least on my routes, even the paved surfaces can be quite bumpy.  So what PSI should you run?  For the purpose of this conversation, I’m talking road bike, but I encourage all to adjust your fatter tires also.

Of course every tire comes with a PSI range written on the sidewall.  For safety sake never go above that high mark.  The low mark however, according to your weight, can be cause for some debate.  Not to geek out on you with the science, here’s the bottom line: every vibration from the road surface is not only uncomfortable, but you’re also losing forward momentum, in addition to control and braking power.  The layman’s term would be “grip.”  By lowering the tire pressure, the tire compresses and more of the tire comes in contact with the road, thus more power transfer, control and braking ability.  So although it looks somewhat strange, the tire should actually flatten out as it comes in contact with the road surface.  More contact, more grip, well you get the idea.  So again, what PSI should you run?  It does take some experimentation.  I weigh about 200 lbs.  On my road bike I’m ruining 105 psi in the back and 100 psi on the front.  Thus, for most of you, running the tires limit of 110 psi or more, in my opinion, is much too high.

So give it a try and do your own research.  A good place to start is the YouTube channel from the guys at GCN (Global Cycling Network).  Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sDX54zNmxY .  And do your body a favor, lower that tire pressure.

Bill Dilts

Sales Associate

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Thoughts on Hydration

One of the first accessories I would recommend for your bicycle would be a bottle cage.  Not only is it a necessity, but it’s also kind of fun picking out that right cage to match the style of your bike.  Black is always an easy “go to,” but there are now many other choices. On my gray touring bike I installed red for that OSU Buckeye look.  My single speed bike is all blue, including the tires, so a blue cage was the obvious choice.  Most bikes have the setup to install two cages.  If you plan doing rides longer than 30 miles/3 hours, I would highly encourage you to purchase that second cage.  And then, of course, you’ll need water bottles to occupy those cages.

Once you have the cages installed, bottles on board, and your mind focused on hydration, half the battle is won.  Now we need to fill the bottles.  Sounds simple, but there is more than meets the eye here.  First of all, a cage without a bottle and/or a bottle without water will do no good at all, other than looking pretty.  And yes, I’ve done both, and it’s not a good day when you make that discovery 30  minutes into the ride. Then there’s the matter of ice.  I don’t know of any proof that cold water hydrates better than room temp, but it sure tastes better, and you’re more likely to drink it. Thus I usually ice my first bottle and then just water in the second.  Theoretically the ice will be gone in the second by the time I get to it, but yes if you wish, do ice both. I have also experimented with icing a sports drink in the first and just plain water in the second. For longer rides I do think it makes a difference, or at least in my mind it does.  If then I get a break before the sports drink runs out I refill that bottle with my second bottle of water and then refill that bottle with water when I get a chance.  It’s all personal preference and everyone has their own system.  The one thing I would recommend is to always use the same bottle for the sports drink.  The sports drink will gunk up the bottle a bit and require cleaning much more than the bottle with plain water.

OK, we’re 75% there.  Now you need to drink.  Again, sounds simple, but…..  Yes, I have been on rides for over an hour, and for one reason or another, I have not taken the first sip.  Not good.  My general rule is to take three sips every 30 minutes.  Some folks will tell you every 20 minutes.  Again, personal preference.  You will learn quickly what you specific needs are.  I time this by checking the ride time on my bike computer; you can use a watch; some computers even have an alarm you can set which will tell you when to drink.  Bottom line, DRINK!

Now for the bad news, you will be fighting a losing battle.  No matter how much water or the best sports drink you consume during the ride, you will dehydrate to some extent.  Your goal is to minimize the damage.  I have found that hydrating the night prior to the ride can have more of an effect than almost anything you’ll do during the ride.  You may think that can be done the morning of, but all that tends to do is bloat and weigh you down. And will almost assure that you’ll need a restroom break on the ride almost before you get warmed up.  Your nutrition intake before and during the ride will have more effect the day of, but that’s another subject for another day.

Bottom line, there is no one method of hydration that fits everyone.  Like so many things in cycling, each individual will discover their specific solution.  I encourage you to experiment on your own, ask your friends what works for them, and do your own research.  There are tons of options out there on the subject, not specific to cycling.  Think and drink, and you’ll minimize the effects of the heat and your exertion.

Bill Dilts

Sales Representative

Bicycle One Gahanna

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6 Last-Minute Gifts Any Cyclist Will Love

6 Last Minute Gifts Any Cyclist Will Love

Short on time but still looking for the perfect gift for the cyclist(s) in your life? Look no further! Here are our hand-picked 6 Last-Minute Gifts any cyclist will love to get; from easy to gift stocking stuffers to a big “wow” gift that will win any occasion. Almost every item on our list is in-stock and ready to pick up right from our store. No shipping, no hassle, no wait. So make it easy for yourself (and your wallet) and take a look at our top 6 Last-Minute Gifts…

1. Cageless Waterbottle

Fabric Cageless Water Bottles, colors, left to right, Black, Red, Lime Green, Bright Blue
Fabric’s Cageless Water Bottles eliminate the need for bottle cages by simply mounting directly to the frame of the bike via the pre-existing bolts- saving weight and money. They come in a variety of colors and two different sizes; not to count they look really, really cool. Because afterall; less is more. – Fabric Cageless Water Bottle 22oz, $15.00

2. Indoor Trainer

EVO Mag Pro Trainer
Nobody wants to get cabin fever- least of all cyclists. So when the snow’s falling and the temperature dips below sanity, make sure they have a way to ride that won’t give them frostbite. Indoor trainers are a great solution for the rider who wants to keep fit through the winter months without braving sub-zero Ohio weather. One of our top trainers to gift this year is the Evo Pro Mag Trainer; it’s got all the features they want at a fraction of the price. Quiet and smooth magnetic resistance makes for a less noisy, more realistic ride-feel, and a bar mounted resistance remote allows the rider to change the resistance level easily and conveniently. And it folds, making storage simple. Pretty cool, right? – Evo Pro Mag Trainer, $99.99

3. USB Rechargeable Light Set

Serfas E-Lume 200/15 Combo USB Rechargeable Light Set
Tired of spending the family fortune on batteries? Your prayers have been answered- USB Rechargeable Lights are quickly taking the illumination game out of the dark ages and into the future. And thanks to Serfas, new and improved  high power bike lights aren’t going to break the bank either. Sets like Serfas’ E-Lume Combo Series start at $49.99 (for 200 Lumen Front, 15 Lumen Rear) and can go hours between charges. So cyclists everywhere can ride off into the sunset- without worrying about what comes after. – Serfas E-Lume 200/15, $49.99

4. U-Lock

Blackburn San Quentin U-Lock
Let’s be honest; they own a sweet bike- but it’s not going to stay theirs unless they step up their lock game and start giving bike thieves something to break a sweat over. When wimpy cable locks aren’t enough, and you can’t afford a bike insurance policy, give them the next best thing: a bike lock that could have been Fort Knox in a previous life. U-Locks have to be sawed off; which means more hassle for potential thieves and more security for bicycles. Blackburn offers some heavy duty winners with formidable U-Locks named after famous prisons; “San Quentin” has an 18mm steel shackle and $4000 Theft Replacement Guarantee. With odds like that, it’s hard to go wrong. Bike Lock: 1 Bike Thief: 0 – Blackburn San Quentin, $39.99 (originally $89.99)

5. Adjustable Water Bottle Cage

BiKASE Justy Adjustable Water Bottle Cage
What happens to the forward thinking people who don’t want to be limited to carrying one size of waterbottle on their bikes? They get the Justy- and never look back. The BiKASE Justy does what everyone’s secretly been wanting to do for years: securely carry any sized bottle where they want, when they want it. Need to bring along a big ol’ jug of Gatorade with you? Easy. Want to pop a small bottled water bottle on your bike? Simple. Justy adjusts to fit almost any sized bottle with a twist of dial and push of a button- big or small. So even if they already have bottle cages, we’d venture to guess that they wouldn’t mind a cage or two with a little more wiggle room – BiKASE Justy, $19.99

6. Bike-Specific Multi-Tool

Park Tool Premium Rescue Tool
They may not be MacGyver, but chances are, they still want to be. Make their dreams come true with a bike-specific multi-tool that has all the gadgets they need for emergency repairs- and then some.

Park Tool offers an array of multi-tool models but, if we’re picking favorites, we’ll have to say the Premium Rescue Tool is the tool we’d want to be stranded on dessert island with. It’s small, compact, and includes just about everything they’d need to fix their bike on the fly: Phillips and Flat Head screwdrivers, hex wrenches, spoke wrenches, an emergency pedal wrench, a rotor truing tool, tire levers, a bottle opener…and the list goes on. Being prepared has never been so fun, or easy to give. – Park Tool Premium Rescue Tool, $32.99

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Best Budget Kids Bikes

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Looking to get your kids bikes that won’t fall apart but also don’t want to spend a fortune? Have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of some of our best valued kids’ bikes- from toddler-oriented balance bikes to your teen’s first “grown up” bike.  All are quality rides that will get them rolling right;  without taking you to the cleaners. And if you’re not into late night Christmas Eve wrenching, bicycles bought from us come fully assembled and tuned. So without further ado, here are our top “budget friendly” bikes for kids 2 and up…

Evo Kids Hot Shot Wooden Balance

2-4 years: Evo and Kidzamo Balance Bikes $79.99 and up
Start your little one out right with balance bike: the kinder, gentler entry into biking. These pedal-less mini bikes allow kids 2 and up to start learning how to ride a bike at their own pace. By the time they graduate to a “real” bike, they’ll already have the skills they need to balance a big kid bike. Simple wooden models start at $79.99. (Evo Hot Shot Jr. in Blue [$89.99] shown)

3-5  years: Raleigh MXR/Jazzi 16- $169.99

An easy to use coaster brake and rust-proof aluminum frame makes the MXR  and Jazzi both simple and lightweight for beginning riders. Each bike has a small 16″ frames which allows kids to start learning the mechanics of bike riding without getting overwhelmed and a cute custom chainguard keeps their clothes clean and tidy. The MXR and Jazzi have all the features they want at a price you can handle- and to top it off training wheels come already installed and ready to roll. (2015 Raleigh Jazzi 16 in Pink shown)


7 and up: Verde A/V- $269.99
A great bike for kids just getting into BMX. Under $300 gets you a full high tensile steel frame and wheels with sturdy 14 mm axles. The A/V’s  “Regent” sealed hubs add durability and value while the smaller scaled frame size means younger kids can ride safely and easily. And as an added bonus the A/V comes in enough colors to keep any aspiring BMX rider on fleek for years to come. (2016 Verde A/V in Infrared shown)

2017 Raleigh Talus 2 Black/Red Mens MTB

9 and up: Raleigh Talus 2 / Eva 2- $359.99
For the growing kid who’s ready to move out of his/her little bike and into something bigger and better. Set them up for the years ahead with a non-rusting aluminum frame and a suspension fork that will soften the bumps along the way. Both bikes come in 2 colors and a wide range of size options (XS-XL) they can grow into.  (2017 Raleigh Talus 2 in Black shown)

9 and up: Raleigh Gala- $309.99 

Give her the gift of style with a tried and trued high tensile steel frame, street specific tires and matching magenta fenders. A simple single speed drive means she doesn’t have to mess with shifting and the built in rack with bungee cords lets her securely carry extra cargo along.  The classic retro design is both stylish and easy to get on and off of.  And with 2 different size options (XS/SM and MD/LG), she’ll have plenty of room to grow. (2016 Raleigh Gala in Purple shown)

-Allie F. 

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5 Reasons to Buy a Bike This Christmas

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Bikes are great: they’re fun, they keep you fit, they don’t pollute. And they’re as practical as they are enjoyable- bikes can be used for recreation, transportation, perspiration…you name it. So this Christmas why buy them another tool set or pair of socks they may or may not need when you can make their bicycle dreams come true? No matter what’s on their list, chances are, what they really want is a bicycle. Here are 5 convincing reasons why…

1. Nostalgia Always Wins

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Back in the day, getting a bicycle for Christmas was the Holy Grail of the Holidays. And even though lots of things (gas prices for instance) have changed, the undeniable appeal of a shiny new bike parked under the Christmas tree hasn’t. That magical moment when they come down the stairs Christmas morning and see the new bike you bought them is going to be worth every cent you could have spent on a flat-screen TV. There will always something special about a bike.

 

2. It’s Actually Useful

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Stop wondering if they’ll really use your gift and start thinking all the ways they can use it! If they want to commute on it, they can. If they want to loose some weight, they can. If they just want to ride the bike path with the family, they can. A bike has as many functions as  that multi-tool you give them every year. And it’s much harder to misplace.

 

3. Easily Accessorized

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Don’t want to fill their stocking with tons of junk they probably couldn’t care less about? Get them accessories for their new bike. A bell, water bottle cage, mirror, a cell phone mount…the possibilities are endless. Although it’s a little too big for a stocking, an indoor trainer will allow them to ride year-round regardless of temperature or weather. Cool weather clothing like a jacket or gloves will keep them warm on chilly day rides. And if you’re feeling lazy, a gift card is never wrong.

 

4. Makes Fitness Fun

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Bikes are an astonishingly easy way to get exercise. You pedal, you burn calories. Simple as that. And cycling is super low-impact which means less wear and tear on joints and the like. So when January rolls around and brings aspirations of a healthy lifestyle with it; you’ll have already equipped them to meet their fitness goals- without expending money on a gym membership they’ll probably won’t even use.

 

5. The Gift That Keeps Giving

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Bikes are sustainable; some simple maintenance and upkeep are all you need to keep the bike of their dreams riding smoothly and safely for years to come. And many bike shops will offer free tune-up packages with bike purchases (ours is Free Tune-Ups for Three Years) which makes it easy to keep their new ride going strong.  So well that new iPhone or gaming system is probably going to be outdated and not quite as novel in a year or two,  a quality bike can provide years of enjoyment. So yes, a bike is the perfect gift.

Make their dreams come true this Christmas- give a bike!

-Allie F. 

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