9 Essential Bike Race Tips for Beginners

bike race tips

There’s nothing worse than showing up to your first cycling race dressed incorrectly or being the unlucky rider who causes a crash in the field. Fortunately most rookie mistakes are completely avoidable. Follow these bike race tips and you’ll not only gain the trust of other’s in your field– an important element if you want to race for a team — but also discover just how much fun bike racing can be! 

I’ve compiled 9 rookie racing mistakes and how to avoid them. Hint: Avoiding mistake number 9 alone could cost you thousands of dollars!

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GoPro Hero4 Black vs Silver: Find Your Perfect Action Camera

VS

If you’re looking to add an action camera to your cycling set-up, you can’t go wrong with a GoPro. They’re the industry standard in action cams, offering every feature you can imagine to capture your wildest adventures. But which camera is right for you?  The GoPro Hero4 Black and the Hero4 Silver look very similar, but have a few distinct differences.

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Test Your Climbing Legs: Exclusive Photo Review of the Epic Zwift Island Climb

zwift island climb

Switchbacks, sustained climbs, bridges and fast, flowy descents are all features of Zwift’s Watopia Mountain Expansion.  You can test your legs on two routes: The Mountain 8 and The Pretzel. 

Whichever you choose, bring your climbing legs and prepare to suffer like a Grand Tour rider.

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How to Find the Best Bike Pump: The Ultimate Guide to This Key Bike Tool

best bike pump

 

Updated 12/26/16

A good floor pump is the one tool every cyclist should own. Running tires at their optimal pressure not only improves performance, but reduces the risk of pinch flats. The goal is to spend less time wrestling with a pump and more time in the saddle.  Here are our top picks. 

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Essential Bike Tools: Buyer’s Guide for the Beginner Mechanic

essential bike tools

Updated 11/20/16

DIY bicycle wrenching might sound intimidating, but consider this: Having a few essential bike tools and the skills to perform basic maintenance will not only save you significant cash in the long run, but could also save you from a long walk home if you snap a chain or pop a spoke in the middle of nowhere.

There are a few basic bike tools that every cyclist should own, some aren’t even bike specific (ie: they can be found cheaply at a hardware store). Every cyclist should know how to lube a chain, fix a flat and properly clean a bike. In fact, a cleaned and degreased bike should be first on the list before a tool ever touches it.

The right tools will help you replace a chain, cables and housing, as well as adjust brakes, remove a cassette or straighten misaligned wheels. I suggest pairing this guide with a bicycle maintenance book such as The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Maintenance or the recently updated Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and, if in doubt, always consult your local bike shop before attempting a hero move that could compromise your bike or result in more repairs.

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Start Cycling Now: The Best Beginner Road Bikes of 2017

best beginner road bike

Last updated 5/19/17

I can give you my reviews, but buying a road bike is ultimately a personal decision. To find the best beginner road bike, it’s important to consider more than just the cost. Choose a bike that fits you well, you enjoy riding and that has the most technology available at that price point.

Sounds a little intimidating, right? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

I’ve included easy-to-navigate guides to help you understand the difference between component groups and frame materials, to figure out if you really need disc brakes and to discover if the bike’s a good fit for you.

Then I rounded up the best bikes for your budget and riding style.

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Get Fast! 8 Top Carbon Fiber Road Bikes Under $2,000

best road bikes under 2000

Last updated: 8/23/17

If you’re looking for an upgrade or are ready to get serious about investing in a road bike, these top road bikes under $2,000 are a great place to start. This price point hits the sweet spot between entry level road bikes and more serious racing machines.

Drop 2k and you’ll have the pleasure of riding full carbon fiber. You’ll get a taste of a lighter bike that’s more speed and performance oriented. These tend to be solid all-day rides or decent entry level race bikes.

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More Cowbell for Less Cash: the Best Cyclocross Bikes Under $1,500

best cyclocross bikes under 1500

Last updated 3/11/17

Can’t decide between a road bike and a mountain bike? Or maybe you love the idea of riding on dirt roads and gravel, but don’t feel comfortable riding them on a road bike. Enter the cyclocross bike. In a nutshell, it’s a little rougher and tougher than a road bike, but faster and more fun to ride on the road than a mountain bike. It’s also the perfect commuter. If you’re looking for the best cyclocross bike under $1,500, here are some of my favorites, including our number one pick, the value-packed Fuji Cross 2.0 LE. 

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The Best Bikes for Women (that aren’t pink-colored men’s frames!)

best bikes for women

Last updated: October 20, 2016

Let’s begin by clearing up one common misconception: Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to ride a women’s specific design (WSD). If you’re struggling to find a bike that fits, trying a WSD model is a great first step. After all, companies try to design the best bikes for women to address their specific needs like a shorter reach and torso. Remember that it’s always best to find a bike that fits well over one that was chosen just to save a few bucks. You want to buy a bike you’ll still love to ride years later.

Though some women’s specific frames are the same as the men’s version, just repainted or with slightly different components, a true women’s specific bike is more than just a pink version of the men’s and those true WSD bikes are the only ones I’m recommending here.

To find the best bikes for women, look for a varied frame geometry and components that are specific to a woman’s smaller hands, narrow shoulders and shorter reach. Whether you’re looking for an entry level road bike or a bike fit for racing, you’ll find the cream of the crop here.

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