Monthly Archives: March 2014

  • Pedals 101

    For those new to cycling, shopping for the right bike pedals need not be overwhelming. At RoadBikeOutlet you are sure to find what you need among our great selection of Wellgo Pedals.

    From flat to clipless and everything in between, here is a quick explanation to the types of bike pedals available:

    Platform (or flat) pedals are likely what were on your first bike when you were a kid. As you ride, your feet can rest on either side of the wide surface of platform pedals. One benefit to these is you are easily able to disengage from the pedal merely by lifting your foot. Check out Wellgo Platform Pedals Silver/Black 9/16".  Another fun and colorful option to consider would be fixed gear platform pedals available in many colors.

    Also in this category are platform pedals with toe straps, clips or cages designed to enclose the ball of your foot. These help you pedal more effectively as there is power as you push the pedal down as well as when you bring the pedal back up. These Track Fixie Bike Pedals have toe clips and a leather strap.

    Clipless Pedals is the slightly confusing name for pedals that you “clip” into while wearing cycling shoes mounted with a small plastic or metal cleat. This style of pedal has no toe clips (hence, “clipless”) as the shoe-cleat-pedal combo holds your feet securely to your bike. This is the most efficient way to pedal as you expend energy on both the down stroke and the up stroke. These Clipless Road Bike Pedals with Cleats are a great choice.

    For the best of both worlds, there are even reversible pedals that are platform on one side and clipless on the other. Take a look at the versatile Wellgo WPD-95B Reversible Platform Clipless Pedals.

    With a great assortment of Wellgo Pedals, RoadBikeOutlet makes your bike pedal purchase easy!

  • Tips for Cycling in Traffic

    Unless your cycling is limited to spin classes or the exercise bike in the corner of your basement, you will probably be sharing your riding space with vehicles that are much larger than you are. If you ride defensively, you’ll be prepared for any unpredictable situation that may arise. Keep in mind that laws pertaining to bikes and bicycle riding vary from state to state, so be sure to double check the laws wherever you ride.

    Here are some quick and useful tips for cycling in traffic:

    • Be predictable! Ride in a straight line and avoid unexpected or sudden movements. Do not swerve in and out of traffic.
    • Be courteous.
    • Be prepared and alert to any changes in surroundings.
    • Ride on the right side of the road with the flow traffic. If there is a bike lane, use it. If there is not enough room, take the whole lane.
    • Watch the road ahead for debris or obstacles.
    • Be visible. Wear bright clothes and use lights at night.
    • Do not ride on the sidewalk.
    • Always yield to pedestrians.
    • To help be sure drivers understand your intentions, make eye contact with them if possible.
    • Be ready to brake at all times. Keep your hands on your handlebars!
    • Be careful at any curb cuts, driveways or alleys.
    • Use a mirror mounted on your helmet, handlebar, or glasses. But always look over your shoulder too.
    • Obey traffic signals. Is the light yellow? Stop. Lights are made for cars (not slower bikes) and you may not have enough time to get through an intersection before it turns red.
    • Signal your movements and intentions using correct hand signals.
    • Give trucks, buses and other larger vehicles a wide berth. Longer and bigger vehicles have a hard time seeing cyclists because of the blind spots. Be positive they can see you, or assume they can’t!
    • Keep a safe distance between you and other cyclists (enough that you’ll be able to react if an unforeseen situation arises).
    • Be cautious when passing parked cars. Stay far away from the possibility of a door opening into your path.
    • If you need to stop for any reason, pull entirely off the road so you do not become an obstacle to another cyclist or vehicle.

    Check with your local bike shop for information on good biking routes, local laws and safety, and group rides in your area. Your LBS is sure to have many valuable resources they want to share with you, so go visit them!

    These are basic guidelines for bike safety that can apply to any situation in any place while biking in traffic. While some of these tips may seem like common sense, it is a good rule to take nothing for granted when riding your bike on the road.

  • Tips for Cycling on Wet Roads

    Spring is quickly approaching and with it, at least in some parts of the country, comes seasonal rains, snow melt, and slick roads. Whether you are an experienced cyclist or a beginner, spend enough time in the saddle and your chance of getting caught in a rain shower increases no matter the season. Wet and undesirable road conditions will not get the best of you if you are prepared.

    Here are some tips for cycling on wet roads:

    Be cautious in the first moments of a storm as that is when roads are the most slippery (especially if it hasn't rained in a long time). Oil and water mix to make the road surface dangerous.

    Keep in mind that painted lines or other road markings, metal manhole covers or grates, and piles of leaves will be super slick. Avoid riding through puddles as there is high potential for hidden hazards lurking (like road debris or a deep hole).

    Apply your brakes earlier than you would in dry conditions and leave plenty of room to stop. Brakes are less efficient when wet. It could take a full revolution of your wheels for the brake pads to squeegee the water from the rims and begin to stop the bike.

    Brake early, before you start turning, not while in the middle of a turn. To help prevent your back wheel from locking up, keep pedaling as you use the back brake.

    Be wary of pedestrians with hoods up or carrying umbrellas.  They may not see you and could step off the sidewalk into your path.

    Remember that car drivers’ visibility is decreased in poor weather. Be obvious to them! Make sure you have proper bike safety lights and wear bright clothing. Grab a rain jacket for you and a plastic bag for your phone. If you wear glasses, consider wearing a cap or hat under your helmet.

    If you are worried about looming inclement weather, take the preventative step of lowering the air pressure in your tires before you ride (more rubber in contact with the road equals more traction).

    Riding in a rainstorm may not be ideal, but it does not have to mean no bike ride. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you will have post-ride as you think to yourself, “I got out there today!”  Just take the extra care to be safe and cycling in the rain will become second nature.

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