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41

Cyclists shaving their legs is more tradition than anything else--there is a whole industry around creams, soaps, and salves. However, I'll defer to Sheldon Brown's explanation for a few acceptable reasons why they do it: To prevent infection when crashing. To pull off bandages more painlessly after dressing a wound. To get a massage of the legs without ...


23

The Pedaling Technique of Elite Endurance Cyclists: Changes With Increasing Workload at Constant Cadence was published in the International Journal of Sport Biometrics 7:29-53, 1991. However, it seems to come to the conclusion that they don't really make any difference as far as pedaling efficiency goes. "...while torque during the upstroke did reduce the ...


21

Other than the obvious fact that your better quality (and better handling) bikes tend to be lighter, there's no real correlation between weight and performance (other than a modest effect on acceleration and the obvious effect on hill climbing). But you can generally (with some exceptions) assume that a bike that is quite a bit (like 2x) heavier than others ...


13

The case for/against clipless, or even straps, is sort of summed up in this piece from the Rivendell Bicycles website. They mention studies, albeit without citing the exact source, that actually pulling up on the pedal is extremely unlikely, except maybe on short uphill or sprint bursts, and so being attached to the pedal is far from being a must. And they ...


12

It's the best way to show off the hard work you've put into developing all those muscles :)


12

It's something that should be experienced. Go grab an old school beater bike (like my old MTB that weighs 35lbs), ride it for awhile. Then, stop by a bike shope and see if they'll let you test drive a nice lightweight bike (usually on the order of 16-20lbs). You'll be astonished at how much more FUN it is to ride the light bike due to the responsiveness ...


12

Jan Heine performed some wind tunnel tests of "Real World Aerodynamics" a few years ago. A link to a blog post (and the results published in Bicycle Quarterly) can be found here. Those tests cover only one component (the aero drag component) of commuter-type bicycles vs. "racing" bikes. If you want to make your own apples-to-apples comparisons of ...


11

Presuming you are doing a standing start and coming to a complete stop at the top of the hill. The simple requirement is you need energy to move your from the bottom to the top. Most of the energy required will be to raise potential energy of the payload (you and the bike). Essentially you will be creating kinetic energy (moving the bike) by converting ...


10

I see frame geometry having 3 primary affects Fitting the rider; which you're already addressing and I won't talk about here... But a lot of geometry stuff comes down to making the other stuff work with fitting riders on the bikes. It's very important. Fitting stuff on the bike Handling characteristics. Since you asked, I'm talking about your basic ...


8

I would recommend getting a Garmin and using Motion Based software to track your rides. They track all of the metrics that you mentioned.


8

I think that is question can at least be partially answered by whether or not you can tolerate food in your stomach. While having a big heavy meal would probably be bad, having something in there, plus doing some refueling along the ride will help you keep from bonking and also make sure you are not running on a deficit for the rest of your day. I find ...


8

For commuting, a heavier bike might actually get you overburned if you ride everyday. I have a 18kg bike (full-fledged mtb converted to city bike) and a 10.5kg bike (steel 10 speed converted to fixed). I use both for commuting, depending on weather and mood. Specifically when I carry some stuff on the rear rack (then the bike is even heavier), compared when ...


7

I've never seen a noticeable difference in wind resistance whenever I've shaved my legs for cycling, though I was never competitive to the point of measuring time in hundredths of a second. I have found, from painful personal experience, that road rash from a crash heals much more nicely on shaved skin than hairy legs, mostly because bandages and tape ...


7

To be anecdotal Mark Cavendish has been known to be distinctly suspicious of stretching because he believes that the tightness of his muscles assists in his ability to sprint. Not at all based on science or anything besides the 'what I am doing is working, so why change it?' mentality. But who are we to argue that? The results speak for themselves! The ...


7

Most 700c rims will work with essentially any size of tire. Yes, smaller tires generally reduce rolling resistance a little, but unless you're road racing, it's rarely worth going below about 700x23c, IMO. Also note that just being smaller doesn't necessarily mean lower rolling resistance -- one brand of 700x19c might have higher rolling resistance than ...


7

I think the times you're posting for the distances you're riding, especially on a touring bike are pretty reasonable. Professional athletes, or racers, will ride quicker, but for an amateur aiming for a century your times are fine. On a longer ride, you need more time for rest stops and food and nature breaks. A road bike will make you a little quicker, ...


6

I love strava.com to track my performance, my GPS collects the data, upload to strava and see where I rank for different segments of road. I can see that my friend was two seconds faster up that hill and then work harder to go faster the next time.


6

Garmin Edge 500. It's small, light, and works with ANT+ devices. For a full review see Ray Maker's blog: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2009/11/garmin-edge-500-in-depth-review.html I've had mine since March, and I've recently coupled it with a Powertap PRO+ power meter. The combination is a bit pricey though, but there are two great things that you get from ...


6

I've used SportyPal also. Works pretty good. You also might want to check out MapMyRide. They have a Blackberry and iPhone app to track your route. Personally I find the only problems with using my cell phone as a GPS device is that the battery drains really fast, and also that the reception isn't that great. SportyPal and MapMyRide both support GPX ...


6

Try Runkeeper for iPhone and Android. http://runkeeper.com/


6

So you can get razor sharp tan lines. Pesky hair can result in migrating shorts which leads to blurring of the tan line. And really ... if you are going to look foolish, you might as well just jump RIGHT in.


6

First off, understand that HR drops as you age, even if you stay in good physical shape. Older riders will tend to have a lower HR. In addition, HR drops as you become better conditioned to high-output activity. Basically, as you suggest, the capacity of the heart and circulatory system increases so that sufficient oxygenated blood can be delivered to the ...


6

If you must leave a bike outside during winter, the best thing to do is to shelter it as best you can (eg, under an eave, but not in the "dripline") and cover it with a sturdy plastic tarp. The tarp should be tied down well to keep it from blowing off, but should be open at the bottom to allow air in. Before storing the bike, squirt some chain oil on the ...


6

Small changes in bike fit make dramatic differences in performance. Heat and humidity make a big difference.


5

Aesthetical reasons trump all else. Hairy limbs peeking out of tight lycra just look nasty. Contemplate attached picture to see what looks better, Astarloa's legs or arms?


5

First, get 'Training and Racing w/ a Power Meter' by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. So incredibly helpful in learning about your device. Second, use WKO+ for analysis. I have been using it for 4 years and it is fantastic. In reference to you question, I typically use the 20 min time trial as a good way of setting my training zones. After a solid warm up ...


5

I agree with Dustin's answer as the putative reasons usually cited, but I think at some level, it's a mark of the tribe. Guys figure "if I shave my legs, other cyclists (and even some non-cyclists) will recognize me as a fellow cyclist." If being a cyclist is an important part of your identity, that'll be important to you. It is kind of cool to be able to ...


5

There are a few answers and links on a different SE site: http://answersonfitness.stackexchange.com/questions/744/which-is-more-important-stretching-before-or-stretching-after-exercising It seems that stretching immediately before exercise can reduce performance, but a long-term strategy of stretching (after warm-up) is beneficial.



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