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Noble Sports is a full service bike shop based out of Springville Utah. We pride ourselves on being cycling experts and love to help everyone from the seasoned cyclist to the beginner.

Gravel Grinding: The up and coming cycling discipline you may not have heard of.

Cross country, mountain, road, downhill, free ride, trials, cyclocross, etc…It’s hard to keep track of all the cycling disciplines, and of course the above list does not begin to cover all of them.  We’d like to introduce you to one more up and coming discipline; it’s called “gravel grinding.”  Ever heard of it?

Gravel grinding is exactly what it sounds like…riding a bike on a gravel road.  Though this may not seem overly enjoyable, it is becoming increasingly popular for 2 reasons: 1) There are hundreds of thousands of dirt country/mountain roads that can take you places that paved roads don’t, and 2) You don’t have to take your suspension heavy mountain bike on these roads, they can be done on a cyclocross or gravel grinding bike.

KuhlRiderColdCrush

For those that don’t know, a cyclocross bike has the appearance of a road bike, but the chain stays and fork are wider apart to allow for a slightly wider and knobbier tires.  In addition, most cyclcross frames have less aggressive frames than a road bike, which means they are more nimble and playful.

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My Crusher rig, the incomparable Cannondale SuperX

Last weekend, I headed for Beaver, UT where some friends and I participated in former pro cyclist Burke Swindlehurst’s magnificently put on gravel grinding race, “The Crusher in the Tushar.”  There is no other event that I will more confidently endorse than this one.  10,500 ft of climbing for 5hrs, 6,000ft of descending in 15 minutes (that’s at my pace, Levi Leipheimer, the winning pro did it in an hour less).  It was my 2nd year participating and boy was it fun (and incredibly difficult).  I’ve linked a few articles about the Crusher that you can read about that paint a better picture of it than I could : )

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So go ahead, save your pennies for a cyclocross bike and get out there to see what all the hoopla is about.  We highly recommend it : )

-Noble Sports

Crushar in the Tushar 2014

Grizzly Adam’s Crusher Report

A more comprehensive article about gravel grinding.

Tips for Riding Your First Century

This weekend, Noble Sports will be sponsoring a free supported group century ride.  We have gotten a lot of questions at the shop about how to prepare for a ride such as this.  Rather than ramble here, we’ll send you to one of our favorite internet articles that gives some valuable tips for riding a century.   Please click the link below for the article.

12 Tips for Riding Your First CenturyCentury

And if you are interested in being a part of the ride or just want more information, check out our Facebook page and RSVP so we know how many to prepare for!  Have a good week of riding and be safe!

20 of the Greatest Cycling Quotes

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We’ve rounded up some of our favorite cycling quotes, some funny, some motivational, and some are just plain awesome.  Did we miss any good ones?

1) “Every time I see and adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”  -H.G. Wells, novelist

2) “Learn to ride a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live.” -Mark Twain, novelist

3) “As long as I breathe, I attack.”  - Bernard Hinault, 5-time winner of the Tour de France

4) “It never gets easier, you just go faster.” – Greg LeMond, 1st American winner of the Tour de France

5) Bicycling is a big part of the future.  It has to be.  There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym.” – Bill Nye, The Science Guy

6) “The bicycle riders drank much wine, and were burned and browned by the sun.  They did not take the race seriously, except among themselves.” -Ernest Hemingway, novelist

7) “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.” – Grant Peterson, bicycle designer

8) “When I’m on the bike I’m a gladiator.  I want to kill my opponents, physically and mentally.  When you see that you can, you have to do so.” – Fabian Cancellara on bike racing, Cyclesport

9) “Shut up legs.  Do what I tell you to do.”

-Jens Voigt, professional cyclist

10) “Cyclists live with pain.  If you can’t handle it, you will win nothing.” -Eddy Merckx, cycling’s all-time winningest champion

11) “Bicycles are the indicator species of a community, like shellfish in a bay.” ~ P. Martin Scott

12) “The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” ~ John Howard

13) “Cyclers see considerable more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to.” ~ Dr. K. K. Doty

14) “Never use your face as a brake pad.” ~ Jake Watson

15) “You don’t suffer, kill yourself and take the risks I take just for money. I love bicycling.” ~Greg LeMond

16) “Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.” ~ H.G. Wells

17) “The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it.” ~ Doug Bradbury

18) “Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx

19) “Life may not be about your bike, but it sure can help you get through it.” ~ Hallman

20) “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Responding to Noble Sport’s most Frequently Asked Question

 

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Here at Noble Sports, we get asked lots of bike questions, but there is one that gets asked about 10 times as much as any other.  Customers walk into the store and whether they are there for a road bike, mtn bike, or just a tube…they catch a glimpse of the Cannondale Lefty Shock, and for many it blows their mind.  “Why does that have only one shock?”  “Is that actually stable?”  “I wouldn’t trust that thing?”  “How does it work?”  “What are the advantages?”

We’ve heard them all and some of us are better at explaining it than others.  Whether you know the workings of the Lefty or not, if you’ve ridden one you know they can withstand the tests of hard riding and that their ride quality surpasses that of any other fork.  So, let me ‘splain how it works.  No, there is too much…let me sum up…ok ok, better yet, check out this video where Cannondale explains it better than I ever could:

How a Cannondale Lefty Works

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Upcoming Noble Events:

1) Thursday the 26th of June at 7:00pm we will be holding a FREE hour long mechanics class where we will go over the basics of tuning a bike.  after the class, mechanic related items at the shop will be put on sale for class attendees.

2) We are working on solidifying a date for a Noble Sports Century Ride, and mtn bike group ride,  probably in the next few weeks so tune in for more info.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the shop!

Climb Like a Pro

 

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Last week we gave you part 1 of our favorite rides in Utah County.  Part 2 is full of some of our favorite climbs so before we post those, we wanted to to share some awesome video tutorials that will make you climb like a pro.  Enjoy!

1)Prepare for the Climb

2) Climb Like a Pro

3)Spinning is Winning

4) Climbing: Know Thyself

 

PS: Do you use Strava?  We started a Strava Cycling Club, anyone can join.  Follow this link!  http://www.strava.com/clubs/75912

 

Top 10 Great Road Rides in Utah County (Part 1)

The weather is getting nice and it’s time to start putting in some miles.  Utah County is home to some of the best riding in the world.  Here’s a few rides you owe it to yourself to checkout this season.  Tune in next week for the second half of the list.

10) Murdock Canal Trail

Distance: 21 Miles

Elevation Gain: Minimal

In October 2010, a massive project was undertaken to enclose the 21-mile Provo Reservoir Canal in Utah County.  Benefits of the canal enclosure included increased safety for residents along the canal, redundancy for existing water delivery systems, improved water quality and reduced seepage and evaporation.

An additional benefit arose when the canal construction created a perfect corridor for a 17-mile addition to Utah County’s existing trail system. The Murdock Canal Trail extends from 800 North in Orem to SR-92 in Lehi and will passes through seven Utah County cities, including American Fork, Cedar Hills, Highland, Lehi, Lindon, Orem and Pleasant Grove. Future expansions will eventually connect the trail to the Jordan River Parkway as well as the Provo River Trail. It isavailable for year-round walking, jogging, equestrian use, cycling and skateboarding.

murdock canal trail murdock canal map

9) Suncrest

Distance: 4 Miles. Elevation Gain: About 1,200 feet

It might not look the part, but the climb up the south side of Suncrest from Utah County has a bad reputation among many a cyclist. While locals often challenge themselves up the forgivingly wide road to the top, pros see the climb as a nasty reminder that their day is far from over. Though only four miles long and about 1,200 feet up, the climb is often accessible during the winter months and is a year-round training destination.

Start this ride by going to where Timpanogas Highway and  Highland blvd meet in Lehi.  Highland blvd eventually turns into Suncrest Dr.

8) Provo River Trail

Distance: 15 Miles

Elevation Gain: 500ft

You can start this trail where the Provo River empties into Utah Lake and ride it all the way up to Vivian Park in Provo Canyon.

provo river trail

 

 

7)Hobble Creek Right Fork

Distance: 10.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 1,200ft

The Hobble Creek Right Fork winds beautifully up into the mountains at a gradual grade of about 2% though there are steeper short lasting sections throughout.  Definitely one of the most beautiful rides in Utah.  If you bring your cx bike you can continue beyond 10.5 miles on dirt roads and eventually find yourself on the Strawberry ridge.

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There, that should get you started for this week.  Go out and ride, and let us know how you liked our suggestions!

4 Ways to Motivate Yourself to get out and Ride Your Bike

Did you spend too little time on the trainer and too much time eating pumpkin pie this winter?.  Now that the weather is finally turning and the Holidays have passed, are you ready to get out and ride?  How’s your motivation?  Here are our top 4 ways to get yourself motivated for the riding season (in no particular order).

1) Get a fitness app.

There are a number of apps to choose from.  We here at the shop are partial to Strava because it is geared towards the racer who is seeking results.  Fitness apps provide a well organized and easy to use exercise journal.  They monitor your progress and help you set goals.  The next best thing to riding is being able to look back on your ride and see what you accomplished.

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2) Get a cycling computer

If you don’t have a smartphone, there are other ways to record your rides.  A GPS cycling computer such as a Garmin 510 can easily be mounted on your bike and later recorded data can be uploaded onto your favorite fitness app online.  Many cycling computers are able to  sync up with wireless cadence sensors and heart rate monitors.  Stop by the shop and we’ll be happy to show you some great options.

Garmin 500

 

3) Clean and Tune up Your Bike

Cycling is only enjoyable if your bike and gear are functioning properly.  Dust off the cobwebs and bring your bike in for a spring tune-up so that you can enjoy your exercise.

4) Get a New Bike!

You might find this crazy, but nothing motivates like a new bike.  Sell your old bike and come grab a new one.  The same principle can be applied to new gear.  Come grab some new shorts, gloves, shoes, pedals, helmet, etc…All these things are going to enhance your riding experience and are guaranteed to add some motivation.

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Yes, we have this bike in stock. Yes, it will motivate you to ride.

 

 

What motivates you to ride?  Sound off in the comments, and remember:

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What is PeopleforBikes?

Why do you ride? Have you ever thought about how you would describe it to a bike skeptic? What about describing it to your child? We thought that Peopleforbikes summed it up real well for us:

” We ride for fun. We ride for fitness. We ride to get from here to there, to free ourselves from the daily grind, and to make our world a better place through bikes. Sometimes we ride for no reason at all.

We ride because we love how riding a bike creates a cool breeze on a still morning and how, after a long day at work, hopping on a bike makes us feel like the day has only begun. We ride so that our kids can enjoy the simple pleasure of two-wheeled adventures around the neighborhood. We ride to make familiar places new again.

But mostly, we ride because it’s fun.”

So if you can agree with this, what does it make you want to do? The first option for most of us would be to get out and ride. One possibility is to write down why you feel the way you do about riding and share it with those around you. Peopleforbikes.org also points out how important it is for us to take a stand and let our leaders in the local governments know about our thoughts on making cycling safe for all levels. Join the close to 800,000 just like you on Peopleforbikes! Cannonadale has People for bikes as their key advocacy sponsor. In their words: Now is the time to help influence the direction of cycling as an alternate form of transport and recreation. Help support those who spend every waking moment creating more ways for all of us to enjoy our bicycles.

P4B

Stop the texting while driving

This a reminder to stop texting and driving

 

This may definitely look familiar to everyone that has traveled on the I-15 south in Springville. We believe that it is an important cause to support and that the casualties are never worth any message that we are trying to send while driving. David Henson and his wife Leslie were simply walking on the sidewalk when a driver that was texting ran into a car that pushed that car into the Hensons. Being a cyclist of any level, you use the roads as well and in order to ensure your safety we challenge you to remove any form of distraction including texting while you are driving. For more information on the efforts by the Henson family you can visit stopthetextsstopthewrecks.blogspot.com or another helpful website is stoptextsstopwrecks.org.

 

3 Tips for Spring Bike Cleaning

Bears are not bikes.

So unlike coming out of hibernation, your bike is going to need some TLC before it turns into a beast once again. Here is a list of 3 simple checks to spring maintenance that are going to need to be made before you want to ride like there is no tomorrow. Some bikes are lemons but no one wants a ticking time bomb!

1.  Tires – The tire that just made it through the last ride you had isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore. But good thing you are the rider that makes sure they have some good rubber to keep them glued to the road.

Check your air pressure. If you aren’t sure what that is check on the side of the tire for PSI. Often times people think they have a flat when it really just has been a while since they put air in the tires.

 

2.  Brakes – Only your grips should be squishy. If you squeeze the brake levers and they come close to touching the bars then its time to tighten things up. Depending on the brakes you have you would follow the cable till it meets with the actual brakes. Find the bolt that is holding the cable in place. Loosen it and given the cable a good tug and then clamp it down again. Look it up on youtube if this doesn’t make sense. Also make sure that the brake pads are in their proper place.

 

3.  Chain - Rust is a color of hair , not bikes. If your chain has some rust on it, take some steel wool and give a go through. Then a rag for the dirt and follow that up with a topping of lube.