All posts by admin

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.

3 Reasons to use a Helmet

 

 

Helmets are ironically far from our minds. There are plenty people out there that can remember their parents militantly reminding them to wear their helmet. In response the thought would be “if helmets are so important why aren’t you wearing one?” Helmets were the things that you purposely left behind at a friends house when you knew the disney princess or ninja turtles design it had wasn’t cool anymore.

Growing up in California, we had a helmet law go into effect. Any kids under 18 seen riding without a helmet would be given a ticket and escorted back to their parents. In absolute shock and bewilderment we watched a cop chase, in his car, a kid on a bike that wasn’t wearing a helmet. Apparently it was severe enough of a problem to drive up the sidewalk in his car after the kid. I am grateful for the cop reinforcing how important helmets are.

1) Hospital bills are more expensive then helmets

I currently own a Giro helmet. I bought it because it looked descent and it has a great price tag. I have owned it for 6 years now. The helmet cost $45. There was obviously no to maintenance fee to it so what you see is what you get. We don’t need to go too far into what would happen if you weren’t wearing a helmet and the price of just an emergency room visit or a ambulance fee. Broken bones are able to heal but brain damage is permanent. I wonder how much physical rehab costs? My guess is more than $45.

This is the rear of the helmet where my head met the cement.
This is the rear of the helmet where my head met the cement.

This is from the inside of the helmet

                      This is from the inside of the helmet

 

2) Creditably

As in the example stated above, when it comes to give advice like wearing a helmet, lead by example. I once saw a bumper sticker that I thought said it all. ” More walk less talk” Anyone that you care about you would want them to be safe in whatever they did, wouldn’t you think they would want the same for you. And if you  earn a living as a stunt professional…you should probably have two helmets.

3) Insurance against bad drivers 

While we may feel that we are entirely competent on how to be safe, unfortunately you can’t say that about every driver out there. There will be plenty of absent minded drivers on any given day. In addition to wearing a helmet, make sure that when you are crossing major intersections and are using the crosswalk make eye contact with the drivers that are looking left but turning right. They could be half way through the turn before they look in front of them.

There are plenty of other things to consider in order to make your helmet decision one that you will not regret. The fit, the price , the design and functionality are a few of them. For more information on helmets you can click on the link to know how to find a helmet that fits. Thank you for coming by the Noble blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to change bar tape

 

There are a couple of tricks when it come to changing bar tape. How much to bar tape overlaps as you wrap it is crucial. Too much and there won’t be enough when you get to the end and too little and the tape will separate when it gets warm. The amount of bar tape that you leave at the end of the bar is important so that you have enough to hold the bar plug in. Don’t forget your electric tape when changing bar tape so that you have something to anchor the shifter cables before you wrap the bars and also to anchor the end of the bar tape closest to the stem. Lastly you will need some scissors in order to cut the the end so that the bar tape runs parallel with the stem.

 

3 Painfully Simple ways to Maintenance your bike

Clean your ride regularly- There are many degrees to cleaning. It isn’t spring so so don’t worry about the deep cleaning at this point. (That is why you have a bike shop do a tune up every six months) This would be superficial cleaning of the frame, but more importantly the moving parts like the chain. Degreaser is the key to cleaning. The places to get would be the chain, derailleurs, cassette, sprocket, brakes. brake and derailleur cables and your pedals. Follow the next step after cleaning.

BikeLubediagram

 

Points that need to be lubricated- the chain in a no brainer, but what about your bottom bracket cable guide? Where is that located and why does that matter? If you lift up the bike you’ll find the bottom bracket and mounted under that are the cable guides. Can you imagine a place on your bike that would be as exposed to all the mud and water? This simple place to maintenance will ensure that your derailleurs work properly which make it a whole lot easier for you to go anywhere. Lube the moving parts that you just cleaned off but be sure not to leave extra lube on there because it is a magnet for dirt.

lube-bottom-bracket-cables

 

Tighten things up regularly- How do you think boat captains would keep a tight ship? We would never want it to ever to be true if someone accused you as to having a loose nut. There are plenty of parts on the bike that can be maintained or tightened regularly and are painfully simple. It is true that for parts like the derailleurs the tension really matters but bolts on the chain ring done matter. I had an experience where I was on a ride and climbing a hill I shifted into the smallest chain ring. Needless to say it didn’t work. After the ride, come to find out, that all the bolts except for one had fallen off the chain ring and I had never noticed. Keep a tight ship so that you can set sail at any time.

tightning bolts

 

How to prepare for cold weather riding

One thing to prepare for cold weather riding is make sure that you have plenty of layers. You can always take layers off but if you have few to start with then you may be out of luck. The other variable that makes it difficult to predict is that since you are doing exercise you are going to generate some degree of heat. This means, as the video will point out that if you start a little cold on your ride then you can be assured that you dressed appropriately. The clothing for cold weather riding specifically will be covered in the second video so be sure not to skip that one. If ye are prepared ye shall not freeze.

Cycling Training Plan

Developing a Training Plan

The purpose of this class is to teach you the steps on how to develop your own training plan.  We are not personal trainers here but we have lots of riding and racing experience plus I have read lots of books on the subject.  If you really want to get hard core get a personal trainer they will help you a ton and help you get to your goals faster than any other way.

What are your goals?

  • What are you trying to accomplish, do you just want to go faster, have a century in mind or want to do Lotoja?  Depending on what your goal is will affect how you plan.
  • Begin with the end in mind.  There are several different types of exercises and routines you can do, knowing where you are going will help us pick which to do.
  • I look at training as 3 different animals:   Short distance Road biking under 50 miles, Long distance Road Biking, Insane distance over 100 miles. picture about training goals

The different type of training regiments

These are some common training regiments, think of these like sets when you go weight lifting.  Each one does different things and we’ll help you in different ways.  Before starting these you need to figure out your max heart rate.  The easiest way to do that is, to get a heart rate monitor, bike 10 minutes as fast as you can then rest  5 minutes then do another 10 minutes as fast as you can, the highest your heart goes is a pretty good estimate of your max heart rate.  You can also take your age – 220 but that is a ball park figure

  • Fast Pedal -  This ride should be done on a flat section of road and will go on for about 30 minutes.  Start with at least a 10 minute warm up, then pedal for 1 minute at a 85 to 90 RPM then go to a 95 to 100 RPM, repeat this 2 times (4 minutes total)  then rest 2 minutes, this would make a complete set.  Your heart rate will climb but don’t use it to judge your intensity.  This workout is all about your cadence, focus on that.
  • Endurance Miles -  This is also called base build miles, we want to do these a lot in the beginning of the season.  Find a long ride (at least an hour) and keep your heart rate between 50-91% of your max heart rate the entire time. 
  • Tempo Training is an excellent workout for developing aerobic power and endurance.  This will really help to make your legs stronger.  Keep your gears high (harder) and your cadence low around 75-80
  • Climbing Repeats- Do this on a road with lots of hills, preferably short hills.  Keep your heart rate at 95-97% of max as you pedal, Cadence should be high around 90-100.  Basically you will go up the hill as hard as you can for 2 minutes, then go downhill for a bit, then back up repeat. You can do this on a long hill to; just go up as hard as you can for 2 minutes take it easy for 1 minute, repeat. 
  • Power Intervals – These hurt, but are extremely helpful. Don’t do these more than 2 times a week.  The way these work is you gradually increase your effort for the first 30 seconds until you get to what you feel is your max you can sustain for 2 minutes, then keep it at that max effort for another 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Take your effort down for 2 minutes, repeat.

 

There are more work outs to choose from these are just some very common ones.  I recommend any of Chris Carmichaels books or videos along with the Cycling Training Bible by Joe Friel

cyclisttrainingbiblebookChrisCarmichealbook

 

 

 

 

 

Developing the plan

            Now its time to put it all together.  I normally write out a weekly plan, what rides am I going to do each day what days am I going to rest etc.  On the topic of rest, rest is extremely important, if you start a ride and you are super sore from the last day, take it easy, just do a nice gentle ride.  The worst thing you can do is push it and try to build, soreness is the body’s way of telling you to take it easy.

For short distance rides, do a lot of power intervals, climbing repeats, and fast pedal work outs.  SO here is a basic example of how a short distance work out would go.

Short Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Recovery Ride Warm Up, Tempo Training 10 minutes, 4 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (2 hours) Rest

 

           

 

For Long Distance, do a lot of endurance miles, a lot. Also in Utah you want to do a lot of climbing repeats and more power intervals.

Long Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 2 sets of fast pedal, 6 climbing repeats Recovery Ride Warm Up, Tempo Training 20 minutes, 6 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (3+hours) Rest

 

For Insane Distance, you are going to train very similar to Long Distance, in fact depending on where you are at in your training you will start with Long Distance than work up.

Insane Distance

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warm Up, 2 sets of fast pedal, 6 climbing repeats Endurance ride (2+ hours) Warm Up, Tempo Training 20 minutes, 6 Power intervals Recovery Ride Warm Up, 4 sets of fast pedal, 2 climbing repeats Endurance Ride (5+hours) Rest

 

Recovery

Your body needs time to recover, the purpose of the recovery ride isn’t to build more muscle or lose more weight, it’s to get the blood circulating in your legs to remove the lactic acid build up.

The key with any work out plan is to adjust it weekly.  If you get sick for a week, this will set you back about 2 weeks, 1 week of being sick and 1 week to recover where you were before you got sick.  You want to be building off what you did the week before.  If you were able to do all the power intervals than add another set.  If you are limited by time, try doing more sets and lest resting time between.  The key is to develop the plan each week and work towards your goal.

 

The grand finale Heart Rate Monitor post

Just like the favorite cowboy hat that we found out the we were wearing backwards, heart rate monitors can be used incorrectly and we may not even notice.

There is almost a guarantee that a heart rate monitor will stay in the “toy-gadget” unless you learn how to make it accurate and most effective towards your goals.

For you to know how the bang for everyone of your bucks here is a list of the 2 most commonly made mistakes thanks to Matt Fitzgerald at Competitor.com:

Mistake 1.) Using the formula 220-Age to determine your maximum heart  rate. We covered this in the last post but it needs to be 205 – (.5 x age). It is important   to get one of the most important measurements right.

Mistake 2.) Using a heart rate monitor for interval (short and fast) work outs. You all know what jet lag is, well there is such thing as cardio lag. If the workout is too short your heart rate monitor will say you are in Paris when your heart rate is on New York time. Just like your body when traveling, you monitor needs time to sync with your heart.

cyclingheartrate

Knowing what you do about heart rate monitors and the benefits as well as limitations we should take to heart (no pun intended) what my mother often told me:start savin!- Dont buy something only because it is the cheapest but because it has what you need. If you buy cheap things that is all you can expect from them.

  • the inexpensive ones will measure your heart rate but most likely won’t include the sensors needed or be compatible with bicycles
  • Garmin products allow for a GPS product as well as a heart rate monitor
  • the difference for men’s and women’s heart rate monitors are the colors
  • When scrolling through the different monitors they show what other products are compatible but most likely aren’t included in the price
  • A good question to ask yourself is if it is important to be able to upload your workout information onto you computer. If so you will need to spend a little more.
  • Garmin, Suunto and Polar are the ones that have an attachment for your bike

garminpolar

suunto

 

And this we come to the end of our Heart Rate Monitor saga. Thanks for coming by to learn more of what we hope was helpful information. If you cant find info on a topic of your interest please pose the question and we will answer it.

 

Why use a Heart Rate Monitor – Part 2

Last post we talked about 3 scenarios when riding your bike that a bike computer with speed/ cadence doesn’t do the trick. Crossing over from road to mountain, weather and road conditions and frequency of workouts.

For all the variations mentioned a heart rate monitor  can be used to asses your workout no matter the conditions. Just because you are peddling slower doesn’t mean that you are  getting any less of a work out.

The heart rate monitor is the most efficient tool in order to measure the intensity of your workout. The frequency and duration of your work out is done quite simply by a stop watch. The other factor is learning how to read and react to the information that the heart rate monitor give you.

“How to use a heart rate monitor” article on Active.com states that “until you learn what the numbers being displayed mean the heart rate monitor is just a “gee wiz” toy. To give the numbers meaning you need a reference point, a heart rate unique to you at a given level of intensity.”

heart rate

 

The numbers you need to know:

  • Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR) – Wear your heart rate monitor to warm up and then run 30 minutes at race pace.
  • Resting Heart Rate- this is easily measured when you first wake up. If done consistently, an increased resting heart rate can mean that you are over training.
  • Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – Runners World Magazine uses the following formula: 205- (.5 x your age)

 

Why don’t you figure those numbers out and comeback next week for some recommended products as well as commonly made mistakes

Here is a video that Lexus did using a heart rate monitor that we think you will get a kick out of!

 

Why use a Heart Rate Monitor?

There is anything but a shortage of gadgets created in order to measure your performance. The great news is that a lot of them are becoming integrated but the advantage of using them all remains in question. Why should I care about anything more than my cadence and my speed?

bike computers

 Scenario #1: Let’s say that you have a standard that you ride, and you even have it listed as a KOM (king of the mountain) on Strava. The day that you set your PR it was calm and cool. Now you are trying the ride again on a windy warm day. If you were to do it slower, does that mean that you slacked off? Can you discount or adjust for the wind resistance?

Scenario #2: You just got done with a hard week in your training for the next race. That weekend you decided to celebrate by staying up late on Sunday. Monday comes and you hit the road again but your legs feel like logs. Hills turn into mountains and your legs got stuck on the slow mo option. Does this mean that you lost a day in your training? Do you have to do 2 workouts that day to feel like you are making progress?

Scenario #3: It is so hard to decide between road and mountain so you do both…or you can’t make it to the mountain so you stick to the road for that week. Whatever the case be, how are you going to track your performance from one type of bike to the other? How could you feel good about measuring the speed on a mountain bike when you are barely crawling up the mountain?

Welcome to Science Second:

Health experts have found that there are advanced ways to measure an athletes performance. Given that one of the most crucial factors to your performance is how your body is able to absorb oxygen, one test is called the V O2 max  test. This is the one where you breath into a tube measuring the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. While these are very accurate, the equipment is a small fortune and then you need a professional to operate it.

VO2

 

Dr Mark Jenkins, MD who is a Ironman triathlete and Student Health Director for Rice University has done research to point out the correlation between maximum VO2 and maximum heart rate.  On his website he points out that 55% of you VO2 max coencides with 70% of your max heart rate. Thus, Dr. Jenkins concludes that  “once you have determined your maximum heart rate you have a very convenient method of monitoring your workouts.”

Does this mean that a heart rate monitor will solve all our problems? And what are the most common made mistakes when using one? Come by next week to find the last half of the information. OR you can email rhopkins@noblesports.com to get the second half earlier than that.

4 Bike to School Tips

4 Biking to School Tips
    The summer is coming to an end and back-to-school time is nearing. The school routine means parents need to drop kids off and pick them up unless…they ride their bikes to school. Some parents are too nervous to let their kids ride, while for others it means that they need to get their kids or their own bikes repaired and some may just not have taken the time to ride the route with their kids and identify hazards if there be any. Here are some things to consider as you confidently encourage your kids to ride their bikes to school.
kids riding bikes
1. Helmet- It is an absolute necessity that kids have a proper fitting helmet and that they wear it. This might have to start with a proper example from you.
  •  Needs to sit parallel with the ground without sliding forward or backwards
  •  Two finger between your childs eyes and the helmet
  •  when they open their mouths it makes the helmet snug
2. Proper lock- You don’t want to make it easy on your child to not ride their bike because it got stolen.
  •  make sure you teach your kids the proper placement of the lock. All too often can someone be absent minded and lock only the front wheel.
  •  Find a safe place for your child to place the key or get a combo lock with code that your child can easily                        remember.
  •  Go with your child at least once to see where they are going to lock up the bike and show them how
3. Bike Maintenance- Don’t send your child off on an accident waiting to happen.
  •  Check the bike over thoroughly for cracks in the frame, missing bolts and check to brakes
  •  Inspect the chain as well as spray it with a chain lubricant
  •  If it has a flat tire, take the tire off and check for foreign objects before you go pumping it up assuming that it has just been sitting their for a while and that is why it’s flat. By all means teach your children how to change a tire.
4. Ride the routes- frantic children don’t make for very good GPS computers
  • Accompany your children always if you would like or ride with them at least a week so as to make sure they know that way. Avoid intersections whenever possible.
  • Talk to your neighbors to find other kids that could all ride their bikes together
Please email rhopkins@roundhouseracing.com  if there is anything that we left out or additional questions that you have.

3 Ways to Increase your MPH

 Here are a 3 tips that will allow to you boost your abilities to maintain a faster speed for a greater amount of time:
1. ILTs (isolated leg training)
    Its sounds just like what it is. You can take one foot off the pedal and hold it 6 – 12 inches from the bike. This will then force one leg to do the work that both would normally. Doing this will eliminate dead spots. (points in your pedal stroke where there is no force being exerted) You will want to start with 30 second intervals and eventually move to 60 second intervals. Then you can take the drill to the hills when you are used to the flats. If this is that case for you make sure that you have your pedal technique down because you could ruin yourself doing inproper technique up hills.
*this is a norm for riders to do indoor during winter months
2. Eliminate Coasting
   There are more times then we recognize that we are coasting. As a test you can choose a route that is flat and has as few stop signs as possible. Try and do the ride with 30 minutes of non-stop peddling. If or when this becomes easy double the time and maintain the constant power to the peddle.
3. Love what you fear: hills
   For the cyclists that are not looking to improve, hills can become their worst enemy. For those, like yourself, that are looking to improve they are your greatest tool. Hill repeats are a great technique. Heart rate monitors are the way to measure this exercise. Check out this site if you done have one. Pick a hill that takes 3-5 minutes to climb. Do it the fastest you can while staying in Zone 2 and play with the gears to see what helps. If you dont have a heart rate monitor, focus on 80% effort. Spin for a cool down at the bottom of the hill and then repeat. 3-5 times should do it for you.
Here is a video that can give you some more ideas:

Here is the link at the Active article that inspired this post. Please let us know if there is anything that was left out or could answer the questions that you have.