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.

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GPS bike computers

The GPS bike computers could definitely be considered extravagant when they first came out. Most people didn’t even have them for their cars and GPS on smart phones were booming. With time the features on the GPS bike computers have evolved and simultaneously the ways to share those features also evolved. In the past 5 years a now popular platform was created that essential is a Facebook for bikers/runners. Strava has tens of thousands of users now that allow a competitive experience without have to be physically at the same place.

Garmin has dominated the GPS bike computer market and has made it very easy to upload your ride. The information that you can retrieve with the use of a GPS bike computer include heart rate, distance, WATTs(the power that is being expended while peddling), elevation changes, weather. Each one of these categories can be extremely helpful in how one can improve their performance.

The Garmin products allow you to upload this information to Strava giving you the ability to compare rides and measure progress. Your rides can be shared and invitations can be made for people to join your ride. Groups can train regardless of the location for an event. You can follow the profile of pros and even ride the same courses and see how you match up.

If a GPS bike computer doesn’t  sound helpful to you then you can try using your smartphone with a Strava app for android or apple. The accuracy of a smartphone will suffer but it will allow you to start your Strava account and see how helpful it is to you and your training efforts.

At Noble Sports we have various Garmin GPS bike computers including the 500. During the month of July Garmin is offering a 50 dollar rebate on the 500 as well. That will put the 500 under $300. Please come into the shop and check one out.

Garmin 500

Hydration part 2- Hot Weather

Hydration

To begin, what is the goal of hydration?

To replace all the fluids that are lost through perspiration.

With that being said it is important to remember that we function very similar to a radiator that you would find in your car. Our body runs at an efficient temperature. When exertion of muscles increases the need for oxygen in the blood we breath harder and our heart beats faster. To ease the strain on the body, we sweat. Unlike a radiator we don’t have a fan attached to us. That is where your bike ride brings another benefit… a cooling stream of air. But with every ounce of sweat that you produce is another ounce that you need to drink.

Just like radiator fluid (which originally was water), one of blood’s functions is:”It regulates our body temperature. When the weather is very warm or during strenuous exercise there will be increased blood flow to the surface, resulting in warmer skin and faster heat loss.” (Medicalnewtoday.com) Seeing the blood is almost entirely water, we need to hydrate.

For maximum efficiency on your ride:

4 hours before: 12-16 ounces of water

2 hours before: 12 ounces of water

During the ride: 12 ounces per hour in cool weather and up to 80 ounces of water an hour in hot weather

(If you are used to intense work outs in the heat, then you can measure your weight before an after a work out and drink that much in water the next time)

It all begins to make sense why most would say that you hydrate the week before seeing that with hydration as a habit you can error on the safe side. Sports nutrition expert Monique Ryan, RD, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes said  

your first priority should be staying on top of your daily hydration,” says Ryan. Research on gym-goers found that nearly half began their workouts in a dehydrated state. “Many people don’t consume enough fluids during the day,” Ryan says. “If you hydrate properly on a regular basis, you won’t need to worry as much about getting dehydrated during a typical moderate ride.” The old eight-glasses-a-day dictum is a good guidepost

Thanks for reading and please let us know your questions

Hydration

Proper hydration can be an issue for most athletes. With dehydration comes the break down of body mass and the rise of our core temperature. With every percent of body mass we lose our heart beats 5 times faster per minute. If our heart rate continues to rise then our performance will be compromised and we can even put ourselves in danger. The advantages of hydration can be dramatic in your ability to perform. Here is a video that talks about the performance advantages of hydration.

Hydration Supplements are products that can be added to your water to enhance the amount of electrolytes. Electrolytes aid in your body’s heart and nerve functions, muscle control and coordination and your bodies ability to absorb fluids. Strenuous exercise will deplete your bodies number of electrolytes.

One dilemma of electrolyte rich drinks is that they also contain plenty of sugar as well. This gives you unneeded calories as well as a bigger mess to clean up in your water bottle or even worse in your water bladder.

Camelback has launched the sugar-free effervescent tablet. The Lemon-lime and Berry flavors are caffeine free while the orange flavor is caffeinated. On tablet can be used for every 24 ounces of water. They come in a container of 10 tablets.

Noble Sports carries the tablets and below you’ll find a couple reviews you can read before you come.

elixir

Mountain Bike Review said “All in all, I really liked Elixir, it was great tasting, was refreshing, easy to use, left no residue, had no overwhelming sugariness, and extended my athletic performance and recovery. The major benefit, outside of the electrolyte replacement, was that is made me drink the required amount of water on a ride

Gear Junkie felt “Overall, I am a devotee to the category of effervescent electrolyte tablets. The small tabs make getting sodium, potassium, magnesium and other performance enhancers into your system as easy as plunking a tablet in water. A final bonus: The sugar-free tablets do not gunk up a water bottle or hydration reservoir like sugary supplements can.

 

Is that really necessary?- triathlon edition

When competing in triathlons there is a majority of equipment that you have collected as you have ran, biked or swam that will be useful. However, specific equipment has been developed specifically for the conditions that exist during a triathlon. Some may be considered luxuries and others necessities. Triathlon suits, triathlon bikes, triathlon bike shoes, triathlon running shoes, triathlon wetsuits and the list goes on. While at the beginning stages the need for all these speciality items my not be apparent; as you experience grows so will your desire for specialized equipment.

Road bike shoes vs. Triathlon bike shoes

While the advantages my not be obvious they definitely exist.

   - There is a strap or pull tab on the back of the shoe as to make pulling the shoe on and off easier

- Instead of multiple straps, the triathlon shoe only has one as to make it much easier to entry and exit

- Strap direction is different as well. Instead of opening the strap towards the bike and risk getting it stuck in the chain the strap opens outward preventing this.

- Much more ventilation in the shoe to allow for wet and bare feet.

roadVtriShoe

 

You can check out triathletestuff.com or watch this video for more of an explanation.

shimanotrishoes

Noble Sports carries the Shimano triathlon shoes in store. Shimano also offers a 60 day trial on their shoes and if you don’t like them then you can get a full refund. Come to the shop and try on a pair to see the difference.

How to not dread the mountains in mountain biking

There are few people in this world that dont enjoy going down a great trail and might even become a little more competitive than normal.

But what if you have to go uphill that erases excitement real quickly not to mention evaporates your desire to race.

To encourage your drive to ride anywhere and even fuel you to participate in the mid week mountain bike race here are some tips:

1. Stay 0n the saddle- there is no better way to build your leg strength and stamina.It also teaches you the importance of body position and the relevance to the traction that your rear wheel is able to hold.

2. Try and try again- If you can get through a certain section without losing traction or feeling like you are going to pass out…start over again from the bottom.

3. Keep your eyes ahead of you- As painful as it might be to keep looking at the hill you have to conquer, when your eyes are ahead you can see critical parts that offer a unique challenge, and scan the line that offers the most grip and the least hassle.

Here is the link to an article that can confirm what I just told you

For more on breathing techniques here is a video that can help out

Come join us tomorrow and every week at the weekly race series at sundance and soldier hollow

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Static Bike Fits

Have you ever had a bike fit?

Do you ever get pain in your shoulders when you ride?

What about pain in your lower back?

There are a number of problems that can be solved when a bike is properly adjusted to your body.

The measurements that are taken into consideration when performing a static bike fit (in a stand stil position on your bike) are the positioning of your hoods, handle bars, the angle of your knee in relation to the ground and your hip joint, your seat position and your seat post position.

Bikefit

Geoff and Jamie at Noble Sports can help you with your static fit. This can dramatically increase even the comfort you feel as you ride. It should not be a painful experience. 8014910484. Call us to set up your static bike fit.

For more information here is an article to check out

If the shoe fits

If the shoe fits… of couse you should keep it.

If the shoe doesn’t quite meet your expectations then return it in up to 30 days and you get a full refund.

This is the Shimano footwear guarantee.

shoes

If you have ordered your shoes online and they have been a perfect fit then you should consider yourself one of the lucky few. There are some big differences in how you would size and fit an athletic shoe as opposed to a bike shoe.

1. While an athletic shoe will need to have some room in it to adjust for motions like running and so you would size them up. Bike shoes should not have the same amount of space in them. On a bike there is a repetitive motion of your foot moving forwards and backwards and if there were too much room your foot would be doing  its own version of a slip and slide making bruising and blistering a constant companion.

2. Most athletic shoes aren’t velcro. Shoe laces allow for a finite adjustment in tightness. If you were to apply the same amount of pressure to your velcro straps then you could easily cut off circulation in your foot. Too loose and you have heel lifting going on with another easy way to make blisters your constant companion.

3. Athletic shoes do not have a hard plastic sole. There will not be nearly as much, if any, flex in your bike shoe. This will most definitely affect you perceptions on how they fit.

Come into the shop and we can go through our checklist on how to properly fit you to your bike shoe. Then you can take the 30 day challenge to see if it really is the best fit for you.

You can also check out this article to do some more research

Know before you go…on a group ride

There are a couple of things to consider before you go on a group ride as to make it something that you would like to do again. Some of those things are:

Hold a line: You have to be able to make a parallel line along the side of the road. If you swerve it no longer affects just you as it is very likely that you might have people on either side of you.

Drafting: It may take some adjustment to ride so close to other riders. Drafting off them entails riding anywhere from a few inches to a few feet. Drafting off of someone can greatly effect the wind resistance you experience but dont think that it is a one way ticket. Be prepared to lead out the pack as to share the burden.

Eliminate Distraction: Don’t get fixated on the wheel of the person in front of you. Hazards come quickly and you need to be able to react quickly so keep your gaze a couple of feet ahead of you. Do not wear headphones. The group leader will be giving verbal warnings about hazards.

For more information check out this article on active.com

Noble has group rides on Saturdays that will be covering routes all over the county. Join us on facebook to keep up with where we are going , what time and where we are meeting.

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