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.… Read more
Flying over rocks and dirt on a bicycle has been an obsession for cyclists from the beginning. Mountain bikes have an incredible evolution from early “klunkers” to the current batch of most confidence-inspiring machines the industry has cooked up today. Mass-production and technology trickle-down has kept prices stable so that most of us can afford a fun, durable, capable bike without taking out a loan.
Many of the current mountain bikes around $2,000 are the perfect option for someone who is new to the sport but doesn’t want to mess around with an entry-level bike, or experienced riders looking to replace an older bike. Two grand might sound like a lot of money for a bicycle. However, it is the current market value of a bicycle that is masterfully designed and equipped to handle the abuse and challenge of modern mountain biking. In that context, it’s money well-spent.
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the perfect pair of bib shorts and, honestly, I’m not sure I’ve found them yet. It’s the old Goldilocks syndrome: you know, this one is too this, this one is too that, but this one is just right. Only, the ‘just right’ one is ridiculously hard to come by.
During my brief amateur racing “career”, our team kits were made by Vomax, then Sommerville Sports and, in my third year, Hincape. Of those three, Hincape wins hands down (and is still one of my favorites). The Hincape bib shorts have the best, least stiff, and most comfortable chamois. The leg grippers don’t cut into my thighs and they have the option of a shorter inseam length (which I much prefer, especially in summer).
In contrast, the chamois in both the Vomax and Sommerville Sports versions, is very stiff so that, even after multiple wears, it still pokes out in the back just below the tailbone (not the most attractive silhouette!) Also, the Sommerville shorts have leg grips of death. My entire team had to insert rolled up towels into the legs to try and stretch them out before we could wear them without cutting off our blood circulation.
Unfortunately, Hincape doesn’t seem to offer their standard team kit bib short for sale to the general public – at least I haven’t been able to find it. In my quest to find the perfect bib shorts, I think I’ve slipped into every chamois out there. Here are some of my favorite bibs and what I’ve discovered along the way.
A hybrid bike hits the sweet spot between a mountain and road bike. Hybrid bikes don’t match the specific capabilities of either bike, but if you plan to ride on pavement as well as off-road or on trails, then a good hybrid bike may be the perfect ride for you.
When you first start mountain biking, an ordinary pair of running or hiking shoes will probably do you just fine. But once you’ve decided this is the sport for you, a more specific shoe can definitely help improve your performance.
What you go for will depend on the type of riding you do, the weather conditions you ride in, and your budget.
Last updated 2/10/17
If you’ve never struggled to find a comfortable saddle, consider yourself lucky. For most new riders and even seasoned veterans, the struggle to park your butt on a comfortable perch is all too real and can put a serious damper on riding time. Even the best bike saddle can wear out and collapse over time, suddenly turning into a torture chamber.
Finding the perfect saddle doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt. Just avoid these five common mistakes.
Looking for the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life? From the latest technology to keeping legs toasty, here are our 10 favorite cycling gifts.
Winter can be a lonely time for cyclists accustomed to in-season group rides. But the solution is as simple as picking up an Garmin USB Ant Stick and a $10 monthly subscription to Zwift. After downloading the software and syncing devices like power, cadence and heart rate, you can invite your buddies on a virtual training ride or hit the road with other cyclists (including pros) across the globe. Vie for Strava segments and points or follow Zwift’s virtual training programs as you ride one of two routes, including Richmond, Virginia’s World Championship course.