Friday, December 2, 2011

Practice Good Body Mechanics At The Bar

Next time you ride your bike, notice how you hold your handlebar. Is your hand wrapped so tightly your knuckles are white? Is your wrist bent?

If so, it's probably time to consider good body mechanics. Try keeping hands, wrists, and forearms level and straight. Avoid bending the wrist, which increases pressure on sensitive tissue.

Awkward handlebar positions can cause hand fatigue and pain. They stress the ulnar and median nerves, both major structures that run through the arm into the hands.

Compression or squeezing of the ulner nerve, for example, can lead to neuropathy, also called handlebar palsey. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition involving compression of the median nerve where it passes through the wrist.

Numbness, tingling, or weakened grip are a few symptoms of irritated nerves in overstressed hands.

Head off  potential problems with proper body mechanics, wrapping your handlebar with shock absorbent tape or grips, and wearing supportive bike gloves.

Thumbs Up To Padded Palms

 Slipped on my favorite pair of  bike gloves the other day, and, after a long summer of bare-handed riding, gripping the handlebar was noticeably easier. 

Giro Monaco Bike Gloves
Felt better, too, especially in the fleshy part of my palms, and even the undersides of my fingers.

I felt like a dolt. I had known enough to put on a helmet but had forgotten that gloves are personal protective equipment, too.

Even as objects of fashion, they  keep our hands safe from the elements. Task specific gloves protect us against the dangers and health hazards of our activities.

A well-made pair of  articulated gloves,  padded for holding a bicycle handlebar, does all that and more.

Quality cycling gloves are made to move the way our hands do when we ride our bikes. They don’t bind, bunch, or compromise handling skills. They  do their job and stay out of the way. 

Ergonomic padding helps relieve uncomfortable pressure on sensitive tissue inside our hands. We can grip the bar for longer periods. A good pair of bike gloves protects without encumbering our cycling skills and abilities.

So much the better, if someone comments on how good they look.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flashing Mode Beats A Steady Beam

Serfas 500 lumen rechargeable  bicycle headlight  TSL-500
Commuter Bike Light
After months of riding to work with my bike light set on steady beam, I switched recently to flashing and hmmm, what a difference.

While I can't speak for oncoming traffic, remarks from strangers leave no doubt in my mind that flashing gets you noticed.

Suddenly, my blinking commuter light's a topic of conversation, as in 'What is that?' People in the ferry office spot my bike from the far side of the parking lot and have my ticket ready when I arrive a few minutes later. Kids give me a thumbs up.

As the days grow shorter, my commutes now begin and end in the dark.  Brightness is a must on my handlebar. And, while more light is always welcome, I wouldn't ride with anything less than my Serfas True Lumens 250 

If you haven’t used flashing mode yet, why not give it a try. In terms of being seen, it’s better than the red carpet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This Commuter Saddle Delivers Speed Plus Comfort

Serfas Tegu TGU-1 Saddle for Commuters
 Anyone who commutes on a bike more than five miles to work or school will appreciate the Serfas Tegu TGU-1 performance saddle.

This bicycle seat lets a cyclist ride fast for longer periods without becoming a pain in the you-know-what.

BikemanforU spotted this waterproof, microfiber model in the Serfas Performance Series line-up and immediately recognized it as an ideal commuter saddle.

He could only get 20, though, so when they're gone, they're, well, gone.

A major reason for commuters to like this saddle is the dual-density foam base. Serfas has perfected the art of seat padding, so you get a firm, supportive ride over long periods of time. Commuting by bike is so much more pleasant without low back pain or pressure on sensitive pelvic tissue.

Serfas also designed a high-back sit area for maximum leverage. Making the most of your pedal power gets you there on time without breaking a sweat.

Next, titanium rails add strength while keeping the weight down. A rider who's the least bit competitive will appreciate that this saddle weighs a mere 9.6 ounces.  

While designed to be MTB specific, the Tegu TGU-1 performs equally well on a road bike, cross, hybrid, fitness or any other bike whose rider needs to go somewhere quickly.

Known for high quality products, Serfas gives you a 90-day comfort guarantee, too. Just keep your receipt and let BikemanforU know if you're not happy. You'll probably be happy, though. And your behind will thank you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Steve O's Rack Pack Debut With SunLite Top Loaders

Mr. Pump found some great deals on SunLite Top Loader Rack Packs. He’s so enthusiastic about the value and quality that he bought as many as he could find.  Quantities are limited and shipping is free.
BikemanforU intern Steve O gave us his Rack Pack video review featuring the Top Loader line up; small single trunk bag, medium with five compartments, and large with hidden pannier saddlebags.
In his first time in front of the camera, he did the entire video in a single take. That's poise and professionalism. Steve O joins us this summer before heading off for his freshman year at Cornell. Go Big Red!
1000 YouTube Subscribers on the Fourth of July

That’s right. The BikemanforU channel received its 1000th youTube subscriber on Independence Day. RockHell led the Thank You Cheer with the crew. Front row, left to right, Sebastian, Steve, and Mark (all holding the ever-flagrant RockHell) and in the back, left to right, are Mr. Pump, Ray, and Pamalu.
A BikemankiniforU
Word in the bike cave is that BikemanforU has been given a mankini, courtesy of RockHell, after he was less than impressed by her new tattoo. The plastic cutie has dared him to wear the strip of orange lycra in his next instructional video. 

Will this mankini play a part in the next BikemanforU video? RockHell votes yes. What do YOU say?
We know he has fun with props in his videos and is said to be mulling the challenge. The skinny swim trunks are an apparent retaliation after he called RockHell's tattoo a "tramp stamp."

Tattoo or tramp stamp?

Never sure if she's a prop or something else, the bikini clad video participant bared the unusual body art in her latest video.

Tools for the home bike mechanic are being talked about for the next video but whether RockHell will appear is an open question.

Mankini meets the BikemanforU  tool belt

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tall Ship's Sighting Signals Summer Cycling In New London

The Tall Ship Half Moon is a replica of explorer Henry Hudson's ship sailed on his 1609 voyage
Summer’s here when the Tall Ship Half Moon ties up in New London harbor.  Its square rigging silhouetted against the sky welcomed this reluctant cyclist pedaling on the journey to work this morning.
Many moons have passed since the old garage bike was commuterated. After six months of slogging through snow, slush, mud, rain, and sand, not to mention pot holes, the circa 1999 mountain bike now known as Purple Haze, the commuter bike, is overdue for a thorough cleaning.

Clacking gears this morning raised concern that hurried wipe-downs on the kitchen rug at home or inside the bike cave at work aren’t enough bike maintenance. Shifting between the medium and large chainrings a couple times, however, soon put things right. The drive train was running silently again by the time New London’s waterfront park and its surprise visitor came into view.  
Owned and operated by New Netherland Museum in New York, the Half Moon is a wood-plank replica of the ship explorer Henry Hudson sailed in his 1609 voyage up the river that now bears his name. The small tall ship plies the rivers of Connecticut, New York, and Delaware that were part of original New Netherland territory several centuries ago. 
New London port is a stop-over for supplies, and perhaps a few public tours. After a little energetic elbow grease using some BikemanforU cleaning tools, Purple Haze will head down for a look.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Dreamed I Kissed The Sky In My Kenda Kross Plus Tires

Kenda Kross Plus tires for mountain bikes and beach cruisers give you speed and control

A particular bike tire has been calling my name or rather, Purple Haze, the name of my commuter bike, for some time now.
True, assertive lugs have done much to inspire a reluctant cyclist’s confidence. They deserve loyalty as an all-season stalwart. And yet, this funny looking semi-slick keeps beckoning.
One look at the Kenda Kross Plus brings a smile. Imagine a stubby mohawk on either side of a bare head. If this tire could talk, it would probably do stand up. Don’t be fooled, though. There’s serious intent at work here.
Easily one of the most popular tires with BikemanforU customers, the 26 x 1.95 size for cruisers and mountain bikes is a shop favorite, too. As anyone who watches his youTube channel knows, BikemanforU likes to eat.  He likens the all-purpose tread to steak and seafood, a real “combo platter, baby!” 
Mountain bike rider who wants tires that taste pavement?  Worried about your beach cruiser sliding out of control? Looking for a road tire but want some trail action, too?
The answer lies in a smooth center with grippies on the sides. You can go fast on hard surfaces like pavement because more of your pedal power goes into propulsion. At the same time, you can maintain control through soft stuff.

Made by Kenda with an K847 Goliath tread, the Kross Plus is, technically, "A multi-use tire with smooth center for low rolling resistance and raised lateral lugs for traction, excellent for street or light trail use," according to the distributor. It's also popular with law enforcement agencies, aka cops on bikes.
Purple Haze, the commuter bike, is outfitted with the original 26 x 1.75 knobby mountain bike tires that came with the bike when it was purchased in the last year of the last century. That they are without dry rot and still hold air, lots of it because this is a large air-volume tire, is a miracle of sorts.
They've made a twice-weekly commute on the journey to work for the last six months. Besides pot holes and broken concrete, these urban assault tires handle shortcuts across gravel and the wet shifting sand of a riverfront parking lot, not to mention water-logged valleys in a certain grassy backyard.
Their connected center block tread on knobby tires add some oomph, so even a cyclist who prefers the slow and easy cruises at 10 + mph.
So, with form and function happening, why switch treads?
“The Kenda Kross Plus is the tire I had in mind for you,” Mr. Pump said when he began this bike’s commuteration last winter.  
And why ever not? Besides handling bumpy roads, soggy yards and sand, Kross Plus bike tires boost pedaling efficiency. Like the great Hendrix song says, Pardon me, while I kiss the sky.