Correct Cycling Shoes Will Improve Your Performance

Selecting appropriate cycling shoes has become increasingly specialized. There are multiple pedal systems catering for different types of cycling, from road to mountain and triathlon biking. For those who ride at least 3 or more times per week, specific cycling shoes can improve your performance.

Choosing a biking shoe is determined by the type of pedals used on the bicycle. In the past, shoes were designed for traditional platform pedals, with hard leather soles fitted and metal cleats. The invention of Velcro-adjustable shoes followed the introduction of the clipless pedal.

Combined with a stiff-soled bike shoe, the clipless pedal is energy saving. The energy produced by your leg and foot goes to the pedal. Because the shoe is clipped into the pedal, you can pull more efficiently on your upstroke as your foot goes through the revolution of the crank.

The toe clip system allows the foot to bend which can result in a loss of energy when the power of your leg and foot is transferred to the pedal. The advantages of toe clips are that they cost less, and can be used with any shoe. They require very little maintenance.

Cycling shoes designed for clipless pedals have stiff soles. Mountain bike shoes are slightly more flexible because the shoes are needed for walking up steep terrain. If you’re a beginner at mountain biking, you may want to get a less stiff shoe because you’ll probably be walking more than riding!

Whether you use clipless or toe-clipped pedals, mountain biking shoes must have rough tread patterns which are perfect for scrambling up rugged slopes. Road bike cycling shoes don’t need much in the way of tread.

When choosing a cycling shoe, make sure the sole is correct for the type of riding you do, and that the upper covering in easily washable. Fastenings should consist of 3 easily adjustable straps. Buy a shoe with a comfortable seamless interior. And buy a shoe with reflective markings if you. ‘re going to ride at night.

Road Bike Cycling – Choosing a Suitable Bike

There are many reasons for cycling on the road and there are several different types of road bikes. The four main types of bikes for road bike cycling are road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and folding bikes. All of these types of bikes also have many variations and different designs so choosing the right bike for your needs can be a big decision.

What type of bike you choose to ride on the road depends on how often you will use it, the purpose and distance of the journeys you make, as well as which type of bike you feel most comfortable riding, as they all have different riding positions.

Generally road bikes have drop handlebars and thin tires, and they are relatively lightweight. They are mostly designed for speed so that the riding position is low down rather than upright, as this is the most aerodynamic position. This type of bike is certainly the quickest choice for road bike cycling and is the bike of choice for racing and most experienced road bike cycling fans.

Road bikes can essentially be divided into two sub-categories – touring bikes and racing bikes. Touring bikes are excellent for long distance rides and cycling holidays, while race bikes are designed for acceleration and speed.

Touring bikes have lower gear ratios so they are appropriate for carrying gear with you on a long ride or tour. Race bikes are extremely light and have very rigid frames to maximize the transfer of power from the rider to the wheels, in order to offer a smooth ride.

A good choice of road bike for commuters, keeping fit and cycling for leisure are hybrid bikes. These are essentially a mixture of a mountain bike and a road bike, and they are growing in popularity all the time. They have fast spinning wheels like a road bike, but the riding position is more upright and similar to a mountain bike position, because they have flat handlebars.

Hybrid bikes are easy to maneuver, with a range of gears that make it easy to cope with changes in speed or gradient. They have wide tires similar to a mountain bike so they can used off-road. They are definitely a convenient choice for general road bike cycling and leisure rides.

Mountain bikes have tires with substantial tread as they are designed for off-road riding, but they can also be changed to road cycling if you already have one and want to cycle on the road without another huge cost. To adapt a mountain bike you can just swap the tires for narrower, smoother tires. This will decrease resistance and make cycling on the road easier and faster.

If you cycle on the road as part of your journey to work a convenient sort of bike to use is a folding bike. These are ideal if you use public transport as part of your journey, or if storage is an issue at work or at home. Instead of having to worry about where to leave your bike safely you can just fold it up and carry it with you.

Whichever style you choose, when road bike cycling always think about making yourself obvious to other road users by wearing reflective items and using lights. This is imperative for your safety on the road, regardless of the type of bike you choose.

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of Bikes

The mountain bike is a popular, versatile bike that can be ridden off-road and on road. Check it out, along with these other types of bikes:

Road Bikes / Cycles

These are the types of bicycles you will see being used in popular road races. If you want to get serious about cycling, this is probably the bike for you. Their streamlined and lightweight design make them more aerodynamic than other classes of bicycles. Handlebars swing downwards, so that the rider can assume a crouched aerodynamic position when riding. The main limitation on road bikes is that they are not too well suited to off-road terrain, due to their thin tyres and lightweight frame.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are a great all round versatile bicycle. Their frames are normally much thicker and sturdier than those of road bikes. As the name suggests, they are well suited to “mountain” type off-road trails, with multiple gears helping the rider negotiate varying gradients. Tyres are also quite thick with gripping tread. A rider assumes a more upright position when riding, compared to a road bike, with flat handlebars and suspension (on better bikes) also assisting with changes in terrain. While mountain bikes aren’t as sleek as road bikes, they are still a decent ride on road as well.

BMXs

Many kids would have grown up idolising professional BMX riders with their daredevil tricks and fearless movement racing around challenging dirt tracks. These are the BMX’s two main uses. With a smaller, strong frame, BMXs have no gears, with pure peddling power strength required to move the bike along. Short for Bicycle Motocross, these bikes were purpose designed for bumpy, dirt track racing. The sport’s popularity is evidenced by its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Some BMX riders seek to perfect difficult stunts and tricks, more akin to performance than actual bike riding. Some freestyle BMX stunts can be seen in events featured in extreme sports competitions.

Foldable Bikes

From the sporting to the practical, foldable bikes are a convenient option, allowing the rider to fold up their bike into a compact size. Some may be able to packed away into a bike bag. Folding into a smaller size allows these bikes to be carried on public transport, and then unpacked for the next (riding) leg of the journey! Being foldable also makes these bikes easier to store, whether at home, office or on buses or planes. The more complex designs and parts of these bikes means they are usually a pricier option.

Motorised and Electric Bicycles

These bicycles provide assistance to the bike rider. Electric bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in China, where there are estimated to be around 120 million. Electric bikes are powered by an electric motor, which itself, is powered by a rechargeable battery. Different variations can either provide power on demand by handlebar initialisation (when natural cycling gets too tough!), or automatic, with electric assistance being given as a sensor on the bike judges the rider’s cycling speed. Motorised bicycles use an internal combustion engine for power.

Riding BMX bikes can be great fun in off-road settings.