Category Archives: Uncategorized

Responding to Noble Sport’s most Frequently Asked Question

 

lefty

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

leftyexplain

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

 

saganclimbing

 

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.

hobble1HobbleCr-Lres

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.

watch?v=sJtLZ8Ufevo

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.

2014-Cannondale-SuperSix-Evo-Ultegra-Di2-blue01
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:

cyclingmeme1

 

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

 

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.

Is buying second hand bikes actually cheaper?

usedmountainbike

Many people believe that buying used bikes is cheaper than buying brand new ones. Many times this is the case, but many times it is also not the case at all!

There are several things that you need to be careful of when buying used mountain bikes. You will need to be far more educated about mountain bikes to be able to ensure that you make a sound purchase. In addition to the information that I outline in the bike buying book (click here to check it out), you also need to consider the following factors.

Determining market value of Used Mountain Bikes.

It is a lot trickier to tell whether you are getting a good deal on used mountain bikes. There are two ways you can make an educated guess. The first way is to compare the used bikes, to new bikes.

Firstly you might want to compare the price of the used bikes to when they were new. So you might need to go and ask someone at your local bike shop to inform you on what the retail price of the used mountain bikes when they were being sold in the store. You should also look at the price of equivalent new bikes at the point in time.

You might want to look at what you get in a new bike for the same price as you are prepared to pay for the used bikes you are looking at.You then need to look at the used mountain bikes and take into account their age, condition and history to assess the depreciation of the bike.Then you need to compare it to other second hand bikes of similar quality to the one you are looking at. By doing this, you can see if the market value

Look at the wear and tear of used mountain bikes!

rusted-bike-gears

One important thing you need to look at when you are assessing a second hand mountain bike is to try and ascertain it’s wear and tear. Firstly, it is a good idea to ask the previous owner if possible a few questions. You should ask them questions like:

  • How often they rode it
  • Where they rode it
  • Whether they are the only owner
  • Whether it has had any frame repairs
  • Why they are selling it
  • How often they had it serviced and maintained.

You should also give all the bikes you are looking at a thorough check over! Look at all the key wear and tear areas to check how they look. Take it for a test ride. Some of the things you should look for are:

  • Are the chain rings and sprocket teeth sharp or still rounded? Sharp teeth on cassette and chainrings are a sign that they are worn out.
  • Are the wheels still straight?
  • Do the gears change quickly or are they sluggish?
  • Do the gears slip when you put a lot of pressure on the pedals? Test the most commonly used gears (usually the middle sprockets of the cassette) to assess this.
  • Look for cracks in the frame around the bottom bracket and head tube area. They are the parts of the bike with the highest stress levels. Cracks can be very small so check carefully. If the bike even has the smallest crack, steer well clear of it!

Used mountain bikes and their resale value!

Whether you are buying new mountain bikes or used mountain bikes, it is unlikely that you are going to keep it forever. More than likely you will be upgrading in the near future, and you will want to get the best price for your bike. There are a few keys to getting the best price for your second hand bike when it comes time for the upgrade. Here are a few key points:

  • Buy a bike with a well-known brand name. People are more sceptical when buying second hand bikes, so it helps to rely on the reputation of well known companies to do the selling for you.
  • Get it serviced regularly, and keep the service receipts.
  • Try not to ride in the rain. In terms of wear and tear, for every hour riding in the rain (or mud) is like riding 10 in the dry.

Warranties on second hand bikes?

warranty

Bikes these days unfortunately are not made to last forever, unlike in past times. You must remember, unless you are buying a used mountain bike from a bike shop (which offers their own warranties) you generally will have no warranty cover on a second hand bike. This means you are running a bit of a risk when buying used bikes. Buyer beware!

Many bike companies will only give their warranties for the owner with the original receipt. So try and obtain the original receipt from the person you are purchasing the second hand bike from to help your case if a warranty claim arises.

Why use energy gel?

Why in the world would you want to gulp down a liquid the consistency of snot when you are in the middle of a workout or race? With the exhaustion that you muscles feel and the burning of your lungs it would seem like the best thing to do would be to hydrate. We all know that at this point energy bars are like unto small stones that you have to swallow and then you have to bid your time while your body breaks them down.

Lets delve into a little painless biology to understand what we are talking about in the energy supplement realm:

Carbohydrates: These are one of three main sources of energy that the body consumes. (Protein and fat are the others) Carbs should be anywhere from 45 to 65% of our diet. Within the carbohydrates there are simple carbs and complex carbs. The complex are thought to be the best because they take time to break down or burn and release more nutrients. The carbs are absorbed into the blood stream and become glucose. The glucose that is not used when it enters the blood stream is stored in the form of glycogen.

carbs

Ever heard of carb loads before a race or workout? So what is happening is we consume foods with complex carbs like pasta and potatoes (starches) Then our body breaks them down into glucose and then stores them in the form of glycogen. During the race the next day our body begins to draw from the reservoir of glycogen to fuel our strenuous activity. (As a nerd point, how fast a food transforms form glycogen to energy is called the glycemic index) This is when carb depletion takes place. When the stored glycogen has been used and we begin to slow down, this is sometimes called “bonking” or “hitting the wall”.In order for our body to have a continuous reserve is when it is necessary to replete ourselves with carbs. If this is done well we can recover much more quickly.

Bonk

 

The original questions is “why use gels?”

Dr. Edmund Burke from Active.com explains that “neither a liquid nor a bar, carbohydrate gels combine the benefits of both liquid sports drinks and solid energy bars to take sports nutrition a step further. Carbohydrate gels are more concentrated than a liquid and digest more easily than a bar, translating into more efficient energy and better performance. Carbohydrate gels are great for training, competition or any time an individual needs a quick energy boost. ” This form of carbs has the highest glycemic index or is absorbed most quickly.

In addition without the protein and fats that bars have, gels have complex carbs and simple sugars that are able to be broken down very quickly. The gels are also able to be added to water as to make them less viscous. Gels are also the only supplement to contain Amino Acids which are protein in their simplest form and help to construct muscles.

At Noble Sports we have a number of gels including the popular Hammer Gels. Come down to the shop and grab a couple for the next workout or race that you have.

hammer

Start the season out right

Now that it is warm enough to break out the bikes from winter hibernation there are a number of things that should be on your check list. Most everyone will make sure that their bikes are dialed in with tune-ups and part replacements. But how many of us take the time to make sure that our bikes are dialed in with our bodies?

Professionals check this frequently, why shouldn’t you at least once? The best way to find out this information is through a bike fit. The most precise fits have traditionally been done by world renowned athletes that cost a pretty penny. Guru has developed an innovative bike fit machine that is computer guided. Check out this Guru bike fit video to see more about how the process works.

rider-home

Noble Sports is one of only 3 bike shops in Utah that has a Guru bike fit machine so come take advantage of it! Prices start at $75 and it takes 45minutes to an hour. Just call the shop and set up a time to come in. 8014910484.

Saddle Up Partner

One of the most common problems that keeps us from riding as much as we would like is saddle soreness. If the problem isn’t addressed then times will get very tough and treatment will mean even more time off of the bike.

There are a number of things that have to be taken into account in order to determine the correct fit for your saddle. One of them is the amount that you move in the saddle, another is your flexibility.

One crucial thing that we are sure that too few of us know is your sit-bone width. Your weight on a saddle is placed on the iscihcal tuberosities or the “sit-bone”. This will of course determine the width of your seat. When you come into the store we can help you figure this and the other variables to make your saddle your friend.

shimano-logo2170

We carry both Shimano and Fi’zi:k saddles. Shimano offers a 30 day trial period with a guaranteed return if you don’t like it. Fi’zi:k saddles we rent for $5 dollars a day and credit that towards your purchase.

It is looking like it will be a fabulous weekend for a ride with weather in the 80s. Come by the shop on Saturday at 9:30 for the group ride and come check out the saddles while how bad yours fits is still fresh in your mind!

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