13 Creative Indoor Bike Storage Ideas

13 Creative Indoor Bike Storage Ideas

Cycling is fun and rewarding, but storing your bike can be a hassle, especially if you live in a small apartment or condo. Fortunately, there plenty indoor bike storage ideas to consider. Have a look at the 13 solutions below and get inspired.

1. Shelf Mounting Brackets

On the market, there are several wall-mounted bike racks to consider, but these solutions are costly. Alternatively, you can invest in shelf mounting brackets. Find an empty space on your walls and mount the brackets.

Use them as hangers for the bike – a simple and inexpensive solution if you?re looking for budget indoor bike storage ideas.

2. Behind The Bed

Are you living in a studio apartment and are short on space? Store your bike on the wall behind your bed. Use shelf mounting brackets or a specialty bicycle rack to hook your machine to the wall.

If you live in a rented apartment and can?t bring any changes to the interior, just replace the headboard with a narrow bookshelf and keep the bike on the top shelf.

3. On The Desk

Another genius solution to use either in your tiny home or at the office is to store the bike on the desk. It is usually sufficient to just place the desk in front of a wall and reserve enough space behind the monitor for the vehicle.

This solution is particularly useful if your working place doesn?t have a secure bike parking where you can keep the bicycle during the office hours.

At home, this idea saves you plenty of floor space while also decorating your home in style.

4. Recycled Pallet Bike Support

Indoor bike racks are expensive but used pallets aren?t. And you can use them for numerous home decoration projects.

If you?re not quite skillful, just take an old pallet and varnish it with a protective coat. Flip the pallet on its side and use the existing holes to lock the rear wheel in place.

Lean the bike and use the wall as a support for the front wheel; this solution is truly amazing but I recommend you paint the walls in a dark shade.

5. Built-In Bike Rack

A space saving solution is your hallway is little is to opt for a built-in bike rack. Know that many hallway furniture manufacturers propose ready-to-buy solutions which are ideal for all standard bikes. If you ride a specialty bike and need something custom-made expect to spend some money on this piece.

Yet, this solution will save you a lot of floor space and will keep things organized in your home. All in all, in my opinion, it?s worth it.

6. Design Storage Solution

Wall-mounted bike racks can give an unflattering look to your home. But when the bike integrates perfectly in the d?cor, storing your bike on a wall can become a design idea rather than a storage solution.

This indoor bike storage idea works particularly well in industrial interiors. If you have a vintage or road bike, that?s even better.

Just find an empty space on the wall, mount minimalist brackets and hang your bike on the hooks.

7. Wine Rack

There are dozens of things in a home that are dead easy to repurpose, such as the wine racks. Use them to store towels in the bathroom, to hang planters, or your bike on a wall.

For the latter purpose, choose a wine rack made of metal and with hooks designed to keep the bottle in place. Mount the rack in a suitable spot and just hang your bike from the top tube.

Like it is easy to imagine, this solution works only for the standard bikes with a top tube. Women?s bikes and specialty vehicles may need alternative solutions.

8. Butcher Hooks

Do you remember those hooks butchers use to hang meat? You can repurpose those too. The idea could recall creepy images, but the solution is actually amazing in a small home.

All you need is a rail with hooks. Mount it on the ceiling and use the hooks to hang your bike from the rear wheel. This idea is perfect if there is more than a bike in your household but you?re truly short on space. And if you?re lucky enough to have a garage, you can even mount the butcher hooks in this space.

9. Diagonal Mount

Wall-mounted bike racks are very popular in small homes. Offering a comfortable bike storage solution, they allow you to save precious floor space. But who said that you have to follow the norms and mount your bike vertically or horizontally?

Let your nonconformist spirit shine and mount the brackets in diagonal. Hang your front wheel on the upper hook and the rear on the bottom one to ensure stability.

10. Original Home D?cor

Talking about functional home d?cor, use your bike as a focal point when you?re at home. Invest in a fashionable commuter?s bike in a solid color. Choose a bright shade, such as white, black, electric blue, yellow, green, or red.

Paint a wall in a contrasting color. If it?s a chalkboard effect paint, even better. Then, just lean the bike against the contrasting wall when you?re at home.

While this solution sacrifices some floor space, it is ideal for those living in a rented apartment.

11. Multifunctional Rack

Wood is a noble material that can easily beautify your home. Wooden shelves add versatility by holding your decorations. Wooden shelves with a bike rack are simply perfect.

There are dozens of models available on the market or you can simply make your own if you?re talented enough.

12. Suspend Your Bike

When searching for indoor bike storage solutions, don?t limit yourself to the floor and walls. The ceiling is also a part of your house ? and it often remains unused. A splendid idea is to mount the bike rack on the ceiling.

A pulley system can lower the rack to take the bike off or to put it on. And when there is little space available or when you have guests, just use the pulley system to rise your bike and store it suspended from the ceiling.

13. Repurposed Racks

I?ve seen this idea in a coffee shop and to be honest, I think it?s amazing. As long as you have a standard bike with a top tube, you can use any wall-mounted object as a support for your vehicle. For instance, a hat shelf or an umbrella rack.

Repurposed frames can also be transformed into a design wall-mounted bike rack by simply attaching brackets to the frame. And the ideas could go on and on.

Finding creative indoor bike storage ideas is easy. Just inspect your place and see where your bike could fit. It doesn?t matter if it?s on the floor, on top of a table, mounted on a wall or suspended from a ceiling. Once you?ve found that perfect spot, search the right solution that can keep your bike securely.

Whether the solutions above inspired you or if you want to add other ideas to this list, I?d be happy to read your comments and thoughts. Happy rides!

Best Folding Mountain Bike To Fit In A Small Apartment

Best Folding Mountain Bike To Fit In A Small Apartment

Bike storage is a frequent issue for those living in small apartments. But you don?t have to give up the pleasure of riding just because you live in a restricted space. A foldable mountain bike and perhaps an innovative storage solution can be the answers to your needs.

Now, the main question that arises is, how does a folding bike perform? Is it worth the investment? Read our guide to find it out.

Or, if you?re in a hurry, click on the links in the table below to check the best folding mountain bikes on the market.

ProductPriceRating
ORKAN Aomais 26" Folding Mountain Bike$$Star rating 4.5 of 5
Camp 26" Alloy Folding Mountain Bike$$$$$Star rating 3.5 of 5
Kingttu G6 26? Folding Mountain Bike$$$$Star rating 4.5 of 5
GTM 26" 7-Speed Folding Mountain Bike$Star rating 3.5 of 5
Stowabike 26" Folding Mountain Bike$$$Star rating 3.5 of 5

Folding bikes are a comfortable solution for those living in a small apartment and for commuters. But many cycling enthusiasts are concerned about their performance.

Yet, most folding bikes on the market are engineered to deliver a grade of satisfaction comparable to the regular bikes.

Read this quick guide to learn more about these machines, then check out the specs and features of the best folding mountain bikes on the market.

Regular Vs. Folding Mountain Bike

There is a huge difference between a regular and a folding mountain bike from the first glance. The former is a traditional machine built for performance. The latter is a tinier vehicle built for practicality. But this doesn?t mean you can?t have fun on a folding bike.

Moreover, both bikes come with their own sets of advantages and flaws. Here?s how they compare.

Regular Mountain Bikes

Regular mountain bikes are designed to improve the riding experience on off-road trails but are often used for multiple purposes, including commuting. Here are their main advantages.

  • Cost: regular mountain bikes tend to have better prices than their folding counterparts. This is explained by the simpler manufacturing process.
  • Ride: regular bikes are typically faster than the folding bikes. It is also easier to find a bike that fits your body frame.
  • Comfort: regular bikes are way more comfortable than folding bikes.

On a downside, regular mountain bikes are large and heavy, near impossible to fit in a bus or subway, and difficult to store if you live in a small apartment or condo.

Folding Mountain Bikes

Folding mountain bikes don?t enjoy a great reputation, mainly due to the weight and complexity of the first models. But these bikes have evolved in the past decades and now they are renowned for their versatility.

  • Practicality: folding bikes are popular among those who live in the cities because they are practical. Folding to compact dimensions, these bikes are easy to store in your home or office and are easy to transport by bus or subway.
  • Weight: folding mountain bikes are lightweight, a nice feature if you have to carry the bike for a long time.
  • Value: folding bikes cost more than their regular counterparts, but maintain their value for longer. If you want to resell the bike, you?ll most likely get a better price for it.

The main disadvantage of the folding mountain bikes is the comfort. Most bikes come in standard dimensions and might not fit all body types.

How To Choose A Folding Mountain Bike

Folding Mechanism

The first and foremost important thing to consider when choosing a folding mountain bike is the folding mechanism. There are three main types to consider. The mid-horizontal fold is the most popular but many cyclists believe it puts stress on the frame.

The triangle hinge vertical fold variety eliminates the problem of frame stress and these bikes usually come with built-in suspensions.

Lastly, there are the swivel fold bikes which are easy to fold and require minimal disassembly. Apart from these types, you can also consider the break-away folding bikes and the compacter models that feature two different folds.

Weight

Buying a folding mountain bikes is often dictated by the need for riding a practical machine. And weight can make or break the deal.

A foldable bike has to be easy to lift and carry; our suggestion is to choose the most lightweight model you can afford.

Wheel Size

Folding bikes typically have small wheels, but the manufacturer tends to equip the newest models with larger wheels. Small wheels tend to be faster but less comfortable; since comfort is a more important characteristic, we suggest choosing a model that has large wheels.

Some folding mountain bikes even have regular size wheels which make the ride comfortable but the machine harder to carry around.

Suspensions

Another thing to consider is suspensions. Not all folding bikes have suspensions and this may not be an issue if you love hardtail machines anyway. But if you enjoy cushioned rides and the comfort of suspensions when hitting bumpy trails, you might have to invest in a specialty model.

There are great folding mountain bikes with suspensions to consider, but usually, they cost more.

Price

Lastly, you?ll also have to consider the price. There are plenty of options for all budgets and expectations. The low-end bikes will only cost you a few hundred bucks but more often than not, you?ll have to compromise on weight and folding mechanism.

High-end models feature the newest technologies; they are easy to fold and unfold, lightweight, and comfortable.

But in this case, you?re looking at prices that tend to go around or over a thousand bucks.

Best Folding Mountain Bike

1. ORKAN Aomais 26″ Folding Mountain Bike

ORKAN Aomais 26'' Folding Mountain Bike

One of the most popular folding bikes on the market ? and our favorite too, Aomais by ORKAN is a 26-inch mountain bike designed for easy riding and easy commuting. The product is lightweight and easy to carry, it folds up in half, and is easy to bring on a bus or train.A great quality and an excellent price make our top choice a splendid entry-level selection. The bike is unpretentious yet it is made of reinforced steel and it boasts selected components that guarantee durability and strength.

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For example, the Shimano derailleur ensures an easy shifting, guaranteeing smooth rides. But that?s not the only positive trait.

We also like the adjustable seat height, the full suspensions and the power V-brakes that ensure control and stability.

Things We Liked
  • Design:pleasant aesthetics and full-size wheels make this folding mountain bike attractive. The choice of colors is also amazing.
  • Weight capacity: just like regular bikes, this folding bike has a weight capacity of 220lbs; it is recommended for cyclists with a height between 5?1? and 5?9?.
  • Components: this bike is made with quality components, including a Shimano derailleur that ensures an easy shifting.
  • Suspensions:designed for smooth rides on road and on trails, this mountain bike comes with full fork suspensions.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The frame folds in half, which is quick and easy. But at the same time, this puts a stress on the frame.

2. Camp 26″ Alloy Folding Mountain Bike

Camp 26'' Alloy Folding Mountain Bike

Sleek and compact, the Camp folding mountain bike is another 26-inch machine to consider. Coming with 21-speed gears by Shimano and a dual suspension frame, this bike is built with comfort and durability in mind.A quick-release front wheel makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the bike whenever needed. Lightweight and compact, the bike is easy to transport by train or bus. Moreover, a generous weight capacity makes this bike perfect for most riders.

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90% factory assembled, the bike is also easy to put together. It also boasts an alloy disc brake and a double wall alloy CNC side rim.

Another thing we like is the color choice. This bike comes in four different colors which include white, red, blue and black.

Things We Liked
  • Compact:boasting a standard 26-inch mountain bike size when unfolded, the machine gets truly compact when not in use. The folded dimensions are 29x37x13 inches.
  • Easy to fold:with a quickly removable front handle stem and a folding latch, the bike is easy to fold for transport or storage.
  • Suitability:this bike is ideal for most riders. It fits cyclists with a height between 5?3? and 6?2? and a weight up to 250lbs.
  • Weight: this bike is lightweight and easy to carry. It only weighs 38lbs and is ideal for commuting, camping, or mountain riding.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The user manual is worthless and the manufacturer offers little customer support. Fortunately, the bike comes 90% assembled.

3. Kingttu G6 26? Folding Mountain Bike

Kingttu G6 26'' Folding Mountain Bike

Kingttu G6 is another folding mountain bike that impressed us. The unit comes with a 21-speed Shimano derailleur, a reliable Shimano shifter and other quality components that give this choice an exceptional value for the money.Like the models above, this bike boasts 26-inch wheels and folds to the size of a traditional mountain bike. This makes riding particularly pleasant, ensuring comfort.

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The free pedals and a comfortable seat boost the value of this bike. Made of aluminum, the bike is also fairly lightweight and easy to carry, although it is heavier than the Camp model above. In detail, this bike weighs 42lbs.

In terms of design, the bike presents an attractive aggressiveness; the unit is available in two color schemes. Like most 26-inch mountain bikes, this bike fits people with a height between 5?4? and 5?8?.

Things We Liked
  • Wheels: this foldable mountain bike comes with 26-inch 3-spoke fashion rims which are lightweight and easy to control.
  • Suspensions:coming with dual suspensions, the unit guarantees comfortable rides on all types of terrains.
  • Saddle:a soft mountain bike seat makes this bike comfortable to ride on. The seat is adjustable in height and easy to remove whenever needed.
  • Disc brake:providing a great stopping power, the disc brake guarantees safety on all terrains. This bike can easily withstand all challenges
Things We Didn’t Like
  • The handlebar doesn?t have a latch to fold to keep it secure when the bike is folded.

4. GTM 26″ 7-Speed Folding Mountain Bike

GTM 26'' 7-Speed Folding Mountain Bike

GMT is another 26-inch folding mountain bike that comes with a suspension steel fork and a high tensile frame designed to make commuting and trail riding more enjoyable.Delivered almost assembled, the bike is easy to fold in seconds and can be ridden on a variety of terrains. It boasts a responsive handling and extra-large tires that ensure stability and an athletic yet comfortable position.

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Durability is ensured by a sturdy steel frame which is surprisingly lightweight. In fact, the GMT only weighs 34.2lbs.

Folded, the bike occupies a really small space and is ideal for commuting to work. The folded dimensions are 48x36x18 inches; moreover, the unit comes 85% factory assembled and is really easy to put together.

Things We Liked
  • Sturdy construction: made of steel, this bike is designed to withstand most challenges on all types of terrains.
  • Lightweight: weighing only 34.2lbs, this mountain bike is one of the most lightweight on the market and it is very easy to carry.
  • Gears:the standard mountain crank set offers a wide gear range; the bike comes with a Shimano rear derailleur.
  • Adjustable:designed to fit people of various heights, the unit comes with an adjustable handlebar and an adjustable seat.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • Although it comes 85% factory assembled, the bike is quite hard to put together; the customer support is very unhelpful

5. Stowabike 26″ Folding Mountain Bike

Stowabike 26'' Folding Mountain Bike

Stowabike is another folding mountain bike we recommend. Like the other machines in this list, the Stowabike comes with a 26-inch steel folding frame and a suspension steel fork. The vehicle is easy to fold and transport, and a breeze to store.Quality components ensure reliability. At the same time, this folding bike is strong and durable. The folding mechanism puts minimal stress on the frame despite the design.

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Talking about the design, this bike comes in two attractive colors and is equipped with Wanda tires. It also has a steel disc V-brake.

An 18-speed derailleur ensures versatility and an easy riding on all types of terrains. in terms of weight, the bike weighs only 38.5lbs and withstands 177lbs.

Things We Liked
  • Suspensions:comfortable to ride on all types of terrains, this mountain bike comes with full fork suspensions.
  • Size: compact and easy to carry, the bike has the folded dimensions of 38.2×12.6×29.5 inches. Unfolded, the bike has the traditional size of a regular mountain bike.
  • Kickstand:the product comes with a steel kickstand.
  • Handlebar: this bike is equipped with a steel handlebar with steel stem and rubber grips; it is comfortable and adjustable.
Things We Didn’t Like
  • 177lbs is a quite low weight capacity.

Conclusion & Final Pick

Our favorite folding mountain bike is the Aomais by ORKAN. Unfolded, the bike has the same size as a regular 26-inch mountain bike, it suits most people, and is ideal to use on all types of terrains. Particularly suitable for commuters, the bike is also easy to transport and store.

Lightweight and compact, this bike also boasts quality components, including a Shimano shifter. Full fork suspensions guarantee smooth rides on all terrains.

Similar in many ways with the other bikes we proposed, Aomais also comes at a very affordable price. Undoubtedly, a folding mountain bike to consider if you?re on a tight budget but looking for a decent quality.

Fixed Gear Vs. Single Speed – A Quick Guide

Fixed Gear Vs. Single Speed - A Quick Guide

Owning a multi-speed bike makes cycling easier, but some enthusiasts argue it doesn?t deliver quite the pleasure of a bike with one gear. In this last category, there are harsh debates between fixed gear vs. single speed bikes.

But is there such a huge gap between the two models? And is this one better than the other?

I?ve tried to find the answer to these questions and this quick guide should help you decide which, if any, is the right one for you.

Fixed Gear Vs. Single Speed ? What?s The Difference?

Although they seem the same, there is a huge difference between the fixed gear and single speed bikes. But even if the difference is huge in terms of mechanics, in terms of looks it is so small that newbies find it hard to understand it.

The difference is in the rear hub, namely in how the rear cog connects to the rest of the drivetrain.

Single speed bikes come with a freewheel cog which rotates freely in one direction but locks when rotated in the other direction. The cog turns the rear wheel when you?re pedaling but if the wheel starts spinning faster than the cog, it will enter in the freewheel mode.

The mechanism is similar to those of the multi-geared bikes and the only difference between single speed and multi-speed is precisely the number of gears.

These bikes come with solid braking systems that allow you to stop the wheels from spinning at any given time.

Fixed gear bikes, on the other hand, don?t have a cog mechanism nor do they have a braking system. The cog is fixed to the hub and it turns the rear wheel together with the pedals. Stopping a fixed gear bike is harder, that?s why these machines are usually preferred by those who like to have full control of their bike.

Although this difference seems small, it really has a huge impact on the ride and control. To help you decide on a bike, read the next paragraphs to find out more about this difference.

Fixed Gear Bikes ? What To Expect?

Fixed gear bikes are perhaps the hardest to ride. Not only you won?t be able to shift gears and make a climb or descent easier, but you?ll also have to learn how to control and stop the bike.

Yet, fixed gear bikes have a wealth of admirers and by riding such a machine, you?ll become part of a trendy group.

The truth is that there is something special in riding a fixed gear bike. The fixed drivetrain creates a special experience by challenging your balance, control, and riding skills. It is also awesome to have full control of the bike.

On a fixed gear, how the bike moves is determined by how you pedal. Pedal forward and the wheels will spin forward. Pedal backward and the bike will go backward.

However, I wouldn?t recommend hopping on a fixed gear bike and hitting the road before you learn how to control the machine. Stopping a fixed gear is tricky and it takes a lot of practice to fully understand the mechanism.

Single Speed Bikes ?What To Expect?

Most fixed gear enthusiasts have a saying. For them a fixie = Zen, so a single speed is just plain boring. But things are not always black and white. Sometimes, there are some grey shades in the mix.

Not only a fixed gear requires a bunch of experience on the bike but the ride will always be engaging. And sometimes, you might just enjoy better a relaxing ride that doesn?t require your undivided attention.

You?ll still get to enjoy all the challenges of a single gear bike but the machine is easy to control. The freewheel cog allows you to coast instead of pedaling, riding on the downhill is a breeze and you?ll be able to easily stop whenever needed.

Undoubtedly, a single speed bike is a more appropriate choice for a newcomer as it is easier to ride and easier to control.

Flip-Flop Hub ? The Best Of Both Worlds

If you?re unsure where you stand in this debate, know that you can have the best of both worlds by simply investing in a hybrid machine. In fact, many fixed gear bikes come with a flipping hub that turns into a freewheel hub by simply turning it on the other side.

To switch between modes it?s enough to just flip the rear wheel over as shown in the video below.

Final Thoughts

Riding a bike with only one speed takes the whole biking experience to a whole new level, but there is a huge difference between fixed gear and single speed.

But what is the fixed gear vs. single speed outcome?

Well, you?ll have to figure out on your own which riding style you enjoy most. Do you like to have full control over the vehicle? Choose a fixed gear. Do you enjoy relaxed leisure rides and don?t want to be too involved? A single speed could be the bike you need.

Regardless of your choice, just follow the basic safety rules. Learn how your bike works and how to control it even in the most challenging situations. In the end, what matters is to have fun and ride safely on the bike of your choice.

What do you think? Have you ever tried riding a single gear bike? Do you like most the fixed gear or the single speed? Tell us in the comments below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Vuelta A Espa?a: Spain’s Iconic Bike Tour

Vuelta A Espa?a: Spain's Iconic Bike Tour

Vuelta a Espa?a, which literally translates to the Tour of Spain, is one of the most iconic men?s road cycling tours. It takes place every year between August and September and it lasts for three weeks.

But which are the origins of the Vuelta a Espa?a? Which are the shirts given to the riders during the race and what is their meaning?

Let?s discover the history and curiosities of this fantastic bike tour.

Vuelta a Espa?a – A Brief History

The Tour of Spain, or Vuelta, how the locals call it, was born in 1935 and is the youngest of the three iconic cycling tours in Europe.

Vuelta was, in fact, inspired by the Tour of France and Tour of Italy, and was born more or less in the same way as the other two tours. Juan Pujol, the chief editor at the newspaper l?Informaciones, stole the idea of the bike tour to promote and raise the sales of the newspaper.

The first edition of the race was dominated by the Belgian Gustaaf Deloor, who conquered the historic first seal.

The second edition of the race, held in 1936, was disputed in a Spain involved in social struggles; many thought that the race could serve to ease the tensions but the event didn?t succeed and the situation worsened, leading to the complete stop of all sporting events.

However, Deloor took home the second title, breaking a new record as far as the Vuelta is concerned.

But the strong tensions present in Spain soon spread throughout Europe, reaching their highest peak during the Second World War. By necessity, the Vuelta was not disputed between 1937 and 1940.

The race reassumed in 1941 and 1942, with both races being won by the Spaniard Juli?n Berrendero. But the upcoming events and the continuation of the war led again to the suspension of the Tour of Spain, which will only reassume in 1945 with the victory of Delio Rodriguez.

In the post-war period, the race continued to be disputed, albeit not constantly. In fact, from 1949 to 1955 was held a single edition in 1950.

The Tour of Spain registers an epochal change in 1955. From this year on, the Vuelta will be disputed every year uninterruptedly, entering the calendar of the three most important UCI World Tour races.

1995 marked another epochal turning point in the history of the race. From this edition on, Vuelta a Espa?a will take place in late summer or early fall instead of spring, to avoid the overlapping with Giro d?Italia. From the first edition and until the mid-90s, the race was disputed between April and June.

The Record Of Maertens

The first edition to enter in the history of the Tour of Spain was that of 1977, won by the Belgian Freddy Maertens. The cyclist dominated the race, winning 13 out of 20 stages. Moreover, the cyclist was a leader in the classification from start to finish.

But what made the Belgian?s success extraordinary ? beyond the obvious dominance of the race ? was the fact that he conquered the Vuelta as a world champion.

Maertens remained in the history of Vuelta a Espa?a as an authentic record and no one else have ever won 13 out of 20 stages. Moreover, nobody else kept the leading role from the beginning to the end.

In the same year, Maertens was involved in a terrible accident during Giro d?Italia, an accident that conditioned the continuation of his career in the following years.

Heras ? A Myth Of The Vuelta

Roberto Heras is the cyclist who has won the most editions of the race, with four active victories. Not only, but Heras also registered three consecutive victories in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 2002, the cyclist almost registered the victory but lost in front of Aitor Gonz?lez.

Due to a presumed positive anti-doping test, Heras was declassified as a winner for the race of 2005 but in 2012 he received the title back.

In the last decade, the only other cyclist who registered multiple victories was Alberto Contador who won the 2008 and 2014 editions.

Vuelta a Espa?a ? Ranking And Jerseys

Wondering how the racers gather points during the Vuelta a Espa?a? The system is very simple. 25 points are awarded to the winner of each stage, 20 points to the second arrived, 16 to the third place and 14 points to the fourth competitor.

The final ranking is calculated taking into account the general rankings of the race, as well as any bonus points received for the conquest of the summits. It wins the racer who gathers most points during the stages.

As all respectable road races, Vuelta a Espa?a has its own jerseys that designate the leaders and the winners.

Red Jersey

The red jersey was introduced in 2010 and is given to the leader of the general classification. The history of this jersey is troubled, and the color has undergone several changes over time.

In fact, the original color of the jersey was orange, then it changed to white, only to return to its original color.

Red was introduced for the first time in 1945, but the color was subsequently changed to white with a red stripe.

From 1955 to 1999, the jersey was yellow. But once this color identified with the Tour of France, the organizers of Vuelta changed it to gold. Since 2010, the jersey returned to red.

Blue And White Polka Dots Jersey

Reserved to the leader of the uphill stages, this jersey is one of the most acclaimed by the public. In fact, uphill stages give the most emotions to the watchers.

Green Jersey

The green jersey is assigned to the best sprinter. The athlete who receives this jersey has probably concentrated all his efforts during the final stages of the race, trying to win the first place of the stage with the help of team strategies.

White Jersey

The white jersey is assigned, since 2002, to the leader of the points classification.

Final Thoughts

Vuelta a Espa?a is an exciting race, the third most important road cycling race in the world. It has a troubled but beautiful history and each year, the stages take athletes and watchers through the mesmerizing landscape of Spain.

Undoubtedly, an event to attend at least once in the lifetime.

Best Single Speed Mountain Bike

Best Single Speed Mountain Bike

Most novice cyclists believe that a single speed mountain bike is outdated. They tend to invest their money in modern, multi-speed vehicles without having a second thought on why single speed bikes are still on the market.

Well, if you want to find out why single speed may be better than multi-speed, read on.

If you?re in a hurry but still want to check out specs and features of the best single speed bikes, click on the links in the table below.

ProductPriceRating
Gravity G29 FS 29er Single Speed Mountain Bike$$$$Star rating 5 of 5
Nashbar 29er Single-Speed Mountain Bike$$Star rating 4 of 5
Swobo Mutineer 27.5" SM 14" Single Speed MTB$$$Star rating 4.5 of 5
Mongoose Fireball Single Speed 26? Dirt Jump Bicycle$$$$$Star rating 4 of 5
Mongoose Legion L80 20" Wheel Freestyle Bike$Star rating 4 of 5

Single speed mountain bikes are a hot topic. You either love them or hate them. Most cyclists hate them. Indeed, a single speed mountain bike can be a terrible machine if you?re not a super-navigated rider.

But regardless of your level of fitness and experience, a single speed bike may be the right choice for you.

Wondering why to swim against the tide? Here are a few reasons why you should invest in a single speed mountain bike.

Why Invest In A Single Speed Mountain Bike

Despite the world having evolved and despite the market being full of multi-speed mountain bikes, a wealth of cyclists still prefer single speed machines. Then, there is a whole wealth of cyclists who claim that anyone who rides a single speed still lives in the nineteenth century.

So, why should you own and ride such a bike?

Experience

The first and foremost important reason is, undoubtedly, the experience. Riding a single speed mountain bike is challenging and fun at the same time. There are no gears to shift, which means more peace of mind. But there is also no optimization of your ride.

Whether you?re going uphill or downhill, you?ll have to struggle and make the most out of what you have.

In general terms, this means boosting your strength and fitness level, along with an improvement of your skills.

Yes, riding a single speed vehicle is hard and stressful but it can help you get better. And with a host of riders riding in the wrong gear anyway, a single speed might be better until you learn all the basics of biking.

Costs

A single speed mountain bike is low-cost, in all senses. Starting with its price, a single speed is way cheaper than a multi-speed bike of the same level. That?s because engineering a single-speed bike is simpler. This machine has fewer parts, which means fewer production costs.

In the same way, you?ll spend less to maintain your bike. There are fewer parts to break, thus fewer parts you?ll have to replace.

Maintenance

If you?re a student and have a low overall budget, investing in a bike that requires a low maintenance can save you lots of bucks.

Maintenance on a single speed mountain bike usually means inflating the tires and lubricating the chain. Periodic maintenance includes a checkup of the brake system and brake pads, of the pedal and handlebars, maybe a replacement of the saddle.

But all these cost less than the usual maintenance of a multi-speed bike.

To cut costs, even more, you?ll probably be able to do most of the required maintenance by yourself.

How To Choose A Single Speed Mountain Bike

By now, you may have decided whether to give single speed bikes a chance or not. If you?re still reading, you?re perhaps wondering how to choose one.

First, don?t make the mistake to believe all single speed bikes are the same ? they aren?t. There are different types of machines, various sizes, and a bunch of other things to consider.

Type

Just like multi-speed bikes, single speed comes as standard, BMX, or fat tire. Choosing the right one depends on your riding style. Which multi-speed bike do you prefer? If it?s a BMX, get a BMX. If it?s a standard, get a standard, and so on.

Preference apart, you should also consider where you ride the bike. If it?s mostly in parks and rarely on trails, a standard bike may perform better on the road back home. A specialty single speed mountain bike ? yes, they do exist? – may be more suitable if you mostly ride on trails.

Also, choose the tires according to the type of terrain you?re riding on.

Size

The size of the bike is an important thing to consider. We?ve explained already how to choose the right size, and the same guidelines apply to the single speed mountain bike too.

Frame

Single speed mountain bikes are hard to ride, that?s why choosing a lightweight frame is essential. Pushing the vehicle uphill or controlling it on muddy trails may easily turn into living hell if the bike is heavy. Most entry-level bikes are made of steel, but we truly recommend aluminum.

Carbon fiber is the lighter but also the costlier option ? and it?s certainly not worth the investment unless you?re a true fan of single-speed.

Best Single Speed Mountain Bike

1. Gravity G29 FS 29er Single Speed Mountain Bike

Gravity G29 FS 29er Single Speed Mountain Bike

Gravity G29 is an entry-level specialty single speed mountain bike for novice riders. It?s equipped with competition-ready components and has a trail-tested geometry which makes it an ideal choice for most gravity disciplines.The simple single speed handling makes the bike appealing to a lot of riders. Among the components, we can mention the SunTour 29er suspension fork with long travel. The suspension has a lockout function, therefore you?re free to use the bike in any configuration you like.

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Sturdy tires ensure smooth rides on all terrains while the WTB speed disc ensures a smooth operation. Lightweight yet resistant, the wheels boast anodized aluminum rims which have a minimal impact on the bike?s weight.

Interesting is also the powerful disc brakes which are way better than a v-break system; they not only provide an excellent control over the bike but potentially save your life by providing an efficient braking in case of emergency.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight: boasting an aluminum frame and aluminum rims, the bike is lighter than many in its price range.
  • Easy to handle: the bike is not only lightweight, it is also very responsive and easy to handle on all terrains. A great bike for challenging trails.
  • Suspension lockout: switching between hardtail and suspension is easy thanks to a suspension lockout function.
  • Tires: this bike comes equipped with WTB Prowler SL Race tires ideal to use on all terrains. The tires have a diameter of 29 inches and a width of 2.1 inches.

Things We Didn’t Like

2. Nashbar 29er Single-Speed Mountain Bike

Nashbar 29er Single-Speed Mountain Bike

The Nashbar 29er is one of the most popular single speed mountain bikes on the market. It comes with a double-butted Chromoly frame which ensures strength and durability, although the machine is somewhat heavier than the Gravity G29 above.This 29er has a rigid fork designed to reduce vibrations. The super-tough built improves handling and the Tektro linear pull brakes provide a decent braking power, although they are less performing than disc brakes.

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A thing we like is the tires. Equipped with 29-inch Kenda Nevegal tires, this bike is up to anything. It has an excellent stability and grip on all terrains, while the 2.2-inch width improves balance on challenging trails.

A thing we don?t like is the frame. It is made of steel, thus heavier than average. A heavy frame combined with the hassle of riding with only one speed can easily become overwhelming.

Things We Liked

  • Ride quality: Nashbar is the most famous single speed mountain bike for a reason. It impresses with the quality of the ride despite the rather heavy frame.
  • Durability: the Chromoly technology used for the frame and fork increases durability and strength, reducing the vibrations at the same time.
  • Tires: the thick tires improve adherence on slippery surfaces and make this bike perfect to ride on downhill trails.
  • Handle: this bike comes with a super-tough handle which improves control. This is particularly useful for challenging trails.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The bike is made of steel and it?s heavy. This may be an advantage on the downhill but overall, it makes it harder to ride the bike.

3. Swobo Mutineer 27.5″ SM 14″ Single Speed MTB

Swobo Mutineer 27.5'' SM 14'' Single Speed MTB

Ideal for women but also for men who don?t mind color codes and stereotypes, the Swobo Mutineer is an exceptional single speed mountain bike coming in either fixed gear or single speed freewheel versions. The bike is ideal for all trails and boasts a host of quality components.Starting with the wheels, this bike impresses with the 27.5 diameter which fits most riders regardless of gender and body type. The suspension has a corrected geometry and the machine is designed to overcome rough terrains and to roll securely on roads.

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The aluminum frame is sturdy yet fairly lightweight while the fork is made of resistant steel. This adds some overall weight but the number is negligible. The Tenge Terious HS tires are also designed to resist rough conditions and have a great grip on slippery terrains. Moreover, the Avid BB7 disc brakes ensure sufficient braking power in all circumstances.

Mutineer is delivered partly dismantled with some assembly required. Things are uncomplicated and a skillful rider could easily put the parts together. However, for warranty reasons, it is essential to have the bike assembled by a professional bike shop, and this adds up to the costs.

Things We Liked

  • Options: this bike comes either as a fixed gear or as a single speed freewheel bike. This makes it ideal to use the machine for a variety of disciplines.
  • Enhanced geometry: the Mutineer boasts a front suspension which has an enhanced geometry. This adds balance to the bike, making the ride more enjoyable.
  • BMX crankset: ideal to use for a variety of disciplines, this mountain bike comes with a BMX crankset and it?s an excellent entry-level BMX bike.
  • Frame: the frame is made of 6016 aluminum and is fairly lightweight. However, the steel fork adds some extra weight.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The bike is available in only one color, which is pink; professional assembly is required by the manufacturer.

4. Mongoose Fireball Single Speed 26? Dirt Jump Bicycle

Mongoose Fireball Single Speed 26'' Dirt Jump Bicycle

Mongoose is one of the big names on the market and impresses with its single speed mountain bike. This machine is expensive, but if you?re an enthusiast, it might be worth the investment.The bike comes with a Tectonic T1 aluminum dirt jump frame with horizontal dropouts and Manitou circus Comp 100mm travel fork. This lightweight and durable combo is ideal for ?novices and experienced riders alike.

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Another thing we like is the 25/8T drivetrain that features a 3-piece tubular crank with 175mm arms. The quality of the components offers top-notch durability, while the other parts also enhance the durability and resistance of the bike.

Mongoose Fireball is rugged and resistant. Built to withstand all terrains, this single speed mountain bike won?t disappoint.

Things We Liked

  • Dirt jump tires: built with durability and stability in mind, this single speed mountain bike comes with 26-inch dirt jump tires for added stability on landings.
  • Mechanical disc brakes: braking power is essential, and this bike has plenty. The machine is equipped with Tektro Novela disc brakes with 160mm rotors.
  • Handlebars: a sturdy double-butted aluminum 65mm rise handlebar enhances control on jumps and landings.
  • Design: built for performance, this bike has an ergonomic design ideated to improve performance on slopes.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The price is hardly justified if you?re not a true enthusiast of single speed.

5. Mongoose Legion L80 20″ Wheel Freestyle Bike

Mongoose Legion L80 20'' Wheel Freestyle Bike

At the low-end of Mongoose single speed mountain bikes, there is Legion L80, a 20-inch bike for freestyle riding. The bike is reasonably priced for beginners and is supplied with or without expert assembly; the expert assembly adds up to the costs, though.The bike is ideal for BMX and other freestyle disciplines. It is lightweight and incredibly durable, not to mention it comes in a universal size that fits most riders.

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Legion L80 boasts a 20.75-inch top tube and a tri-moly BMX frame with a semi-integrated headset. The rider-friendly geometry makes the machine ideal for a range of disciplines. Rear alloy u-brakes and alloy brake levers ensure a powerful braking in emergency situations.

We also like the high-volume 2.4-inch tires with a comfortable and lightweight saddle which completes the BMX experience.

Things We Liked

  • Threadless stem: the Legion L80 comes with an alloy 4-bolt threadless stem and a 2-piece bar for added strength.
  • Tires: the thick 2.4-inch tires are comfortable to use for all freestyle disciplines. This makes it ideal for both beginners and experienced riders.
  • Cranks: designed for pedaling ease, this bike comes with a 3-piece tubular 175mm cranks and a 25x9T gearing.
  • Alloy brakes: safe and secure to ride in all circumstances, this bike comes with rear alloy u-brakes and alloy brake levers.

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Purchasing the bike with professional assembly services is possible, but the cost of the assembly is not justified.

Conclusion & Final Pick

Choosing a single speed mountain bike is harder than it seems. These bikes are uncomplicated but difficult to ride, so investing in a high-quality unit is essential. Weight matters more than you think, and so does the price.

From all the bikes above, our favorite is the Gravity G29. In our opinion, this bike wins in front of the more popular Nashbar 29er due to its aluminum construction. The competition-ready components and the trail-tested geometry do nothing but add advantages to this bike.

The G29 comes with a SunTour suspension fork which is lockable, a WTB speed disc which ensures a smooth operation and a lightweight yet resistant frame. Powerful disc brakes also provide an excellent control over the bike and deliver a superior braking power whenever needed.

All these advantages make the Gravity G29 a great single speed mountain bike to consider for your upcoming rides.

Australia’s Santos Tour Down Under – All You Need To Know

Australia's Santos Tour Down Under - All You Need To Know

We all know Europe excels when it comes to cycling. The most important cycling tours are European and more often than not, when thinking about performance cycling we think about European cyclists. But Australia shows other continents can also excel in cycling thanks to the Santos Tour Down Under.

Santos Tour Down Under doesn?t enjoy the fame or popularity of Tour of France or Giro d?Italia.

Yet, it?s one of the most important road races in the world. And thousands of enthusiasts wait for this race to take place at the beginning of each year in Adelaide.

If you?ve never heard about this tour before, or if you have but want to learn more, here?s an insight on what you need to know.

What Is Santos Tour Down Under

Santos Tour Down Under is a stage road cycling race for men which takes place in Adelaide, in southern Australia. The competition is organized every year in January and it was held for the first time in 1999.

Santos Tour Down Under gets its name from its main sponsor, Santos, a gas company, and it?s the first race of the UCI Pro Tour circuit. It begins in the third Tuesday of January and lasts for nine days, during which the tour transforms into much more than a competition.

In fact, locals understand the Tour Down Under as a cycling festival. During the nine days, there are organized numerous events meant to bring awareness to the festival and to boost the region?s tourism. And the numbers speak for themselves.

Counting over 800.000 visitors in 2020 and generating an economic impact of over 60 million AUD, Santos Tour Down Under is one of the most important cycling events in Australia and the world.

The tour, which has replaced the Tour of Sardinia as the beginning of the season stage race, was included in the UCI Oceania Tour only in 2007 and was recognized by UCI Pro Tour a year later.

Santos Tour Down Under ? History

The race has been held for the first time in 1999 and since then, it has been directed by Mike Turtur. The race evolved as a local event until 2005 when it was promoted by the Union Cycliste Internationale to the 2HC category, the highest rank assigned to a race outside Europe.

This drew the attention of the big associations and in 2007 the UCI Oceania Tour, the continental correspondent in Oceania of the most famous UCI Pro Tour included the Tour Down Under in its calendar.

The race was included for the first time into the continental UCI Pro Tour?s calendar in 2008 and it was the first race outside of Europe to be included in the UCI calendar of the World Tours. Since then, Santos Tour Down Under has been the official beginning of the season stage race and succeeded to establish itself a name in the international cycling.

The first winner of the competition was Stuart O?Grady, Australian. However, the record of the most won races belongs to Simon Gerrans who crossed the finish line first for four times, in 2006, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Today, the Santos Tour Down Under is owned and managed by Events South Australia on behalf of the South Australian Government.

Santos Tour Down Under ? Jerseys

Any stage road race that respects itself come with various jersey for those racers who, in one way or another, stand out. Santos Tour Down Under has six of them. Let?s see which they are.

Ocher Leader?s Jersey

Is awarded to the rider who has the best cumulative time at the end of each stage, and to the final winner of the race. The color is associated with Australia and the Tour Down Under is the only race to have an ocher jersey as the hallmark of the leader. So, if you?re planning to compete, ocher should become your new favorite color.

Sprint Jersey

Or the blue jersey is awarded to the rider who wins the most points and time bonuses awarded to the first three racers who pass the corresponding milestones during the race. Along with the ocher jersey, this is one of the most desired jerseys.

King Of The Mountain Jersey

A beautiful name for a stylish jersey that perfectly encloses the Aussie spirit. This jersey is white with green polka dots and is awarded to the rider who registered the highest number of points awarded to the first five racers who conquer the peaks.

Young Rider Jersey

The young rider jersey is black and is awarded to the best under-25 rider who had the best cumulative time at the end of each stage and at the end of the race. The competition to get this jersey is fierce, so you should establish a good training plan if you?re younger than 25 and want to participate in the competition.

Most Competitive Rider Jersey

This green jersey is awarded to the rider who brings in the most attacks and fugues, and who helps the teammates to get the most advantages during each stage.

Winning Team Jersey

The winning team jersey is red and is assigned to all members of the team who had the lowest cumulative time in each stage. This isn?t exactly a jersey to aim for, so I suggest focusing on all other colors, even if red is your favorite shade.

Participating In The Santos Tour Down Under

Let?s admit it, whether you?re a pro or an enthusiast, participating in an international event is appealing. The Santos Tour Down Under is open to all professional cyclists but what to do if you?re not one?

Well, there?s good news. Aiming to make the tour more than a cycling competition, the organizers also propose a series of alternative tours for the less experienced riders. The most important is the Challenge Tour, an annual mass-participation ride which takes place just hours before the real tour begins.

Although it?s not quite the tour, this competition is still challenging and fun, giving you a feeling on how the pros compete.

The Mini Tour For Kids is an awesome opportunity for young riders to give the most out and challenge other riders of a similar age. The tour follows the original Santos Tour Down Under route and lasts for about 20 minutes.

Families can also enjoy this event by attending family laps on the route, only hours before the tour. Encouraging the participation of all families, these rides welcome cyclists with trailers and child seats attached to their vehicles.

Bottom Line

The Santos Tour Down Under is an awesome event to follow or attend. Taking place in the southern hemisphere in a month when the northern side of the globe is covered in a cold blanket of snow, the Tour Down Under proposes a breath of fresh air and the possibility to extend your usual cycling season.

Open to professional cyclists and amateurs alike, Santos Tour Down Under sets itself apart and shows the world that Europe is not the only place that promotes a healthy lifestyle. So, embark on this journey and attend a competition, at least as a viewer. I promise you won?t regret it!

Tour Of Flanders: Curiosities Of A Classic Bike Tour

Tour Of Flanders: Curiosities Of A Classic Bike Tour

The Tour of Flanders is a classic bike race considered by many enthusiasts the best of the cycling season. It?s often considered more exciting than the most famous Tour de France or Giro d?Italia, but why?

Well, the truth is that the Tour of Flanders is a very selective race that attracts only the best cyclists in the world.

But that?s not the only thing that makes it fascinating. There are essentially three factors that make this race different.

The first is the nature of the roads which are often narrow and, in many cases, cobbled. This makes the route particularly challenging ? and also discourages inexpert racers to attend. Second, there are demanding slopes with gradients that in some cases exceed 20%. Called ?the walls?, these challenging traits follow one another, not giving racers the possibility to catch their breath on a flat terrain.

Lastly, it?s the impressive popularity of the race that makes Tour de Flanders an expected national event in a land renowned for its passion for cycling.

Here are some curiosities about this awesome cycling tour that may just stimulate your interest in becoming one of the racers ? or at least a fan.

Paul Deman ? A Spy Champion

The Tour of Flanders was born in 1913 on the idea of Leon Van de Haute and Karel Van Wijnendaele, the editorial directors of Sportwereld magazine.

Inspired by the Roubaix competition, the first Tour of Flanders extended to roughly 330 kilometers and saw on the start line as many as 37 riders. The first winner of the race was Paul Deman who crossed the finish line on the outskirts of Ghent with a clear advantage in front of the competitors, beating fellow countrymen Joseph Van Daele and Victor Doms.

After winning yet another competition in France, Deman saw his career interrupted by the First World War during which he worked for the Belgian intelligence, hiding documents in his bike.

Deman was arrested by the Germans and only the armistice saved his life. After the war, Deman returned to his cycling career and in 1920 he also won the Paris-Roubaix becoming the first rider in history capable of scoring a double victory in two classic tours on cobblestoned roads.

1923 ? The First Foreign Victory

Foreign competitors attended the Tour of Flanders since the first editions, but all victories went to Belgium until 1923 when Swiss rider Heiri Suter claimed the first place.

From this victory and up to 1948, all victories were registered by Belgian riders. The second foreign competitor to win the tour was the Italian Fiorenzo Magni, the only rider who won Tour of Flanders for three times in a row, between 1949 and 1951.

A Competition For The World Champions

Tour of Flanders is a very demanding competition that requires a high level of physical fitness and mental preparation. Attracting only the best of the best, this cycling competition appeals even to the world champions.

There are four riders who conquered the Flanders wearing the world champion jersey. The first was the French Louison Bobet in 1955, followed by Belgian Rik Van Looy in 1961.

In 1974, Eddy Merckx claimed the gold medal in the Tour of Flanders after having previously won the World Championship. Lastly, Tom Boonen won the tour in 2006.

Besides attracting world champions, 10 of the best riders in the world attended the competition before becoming world champions.

Eternal Seconds

Three Tour of Flanders participants have almost won the first place for several times, but they got the second place each time.

These are Sean Kelly, from Ireland, who competed in 1984, 1986, and 1987, Johan Museeuw from Belgium in 1991, 1994, and 2002, and Leif Hoste, also from Belgium, who competed in 2004, 2006, and 2007.

Three-time Winners

Winning Tour of Flanders is a great achievement, but winning three cobblestone road competitions in the same year is near impossible. Yet, two myths have made it!

The Belgians Rik Van Looy and Tom Boonen have won in 1962 and 2012 respectively not only Tour of Flanders but also the Gand-Wevelgem and the Roubaix.

There are six other professional cyclists who have registered at least a victory in all three races, but none of them had made it in the same year.

The Fastest Rider Is Italian

Registering a good average speed in the Tour of Flanders is tricky, mainly due to the difficulty of the route. Yet, the Italian Gianluca Bortolami is known as the fastest rider in the history of the race.

He covered over 200 kilometers (124 miles) at an average speed of 43.589kph ? the equivalent of 27.08mph.

Doping Controversy

The 1977?s edition will remain forever in history as the only edition that doesn?t have a second and third place winner.

The race was won by Roger de Vlaeminck who succeeded to surpass his team-mate, Freddy Maertens. Maertens, who should have been the second, was disqualified for having changed a tire after a puncture outside of the designated areas.

The second and third places were therefore attributed to Walter Planckaert and Guy Sibille. Yet, a month later, both riders, along with seven others including Eddy Merckx, have been found positive at Stymul, a forbidden drug quite commonly used because it couldn?t be identified in the urine.

What followed was an automatic disqualification of all positive riders and the second and third place remained vacant.

Twenty-times Rider

Alberic Schotte is the only rider in the Tour of Flanders history to have participated for twenty times in a row.

Schotte rode the first race in 1940, registering the record of the youngest participant in the Tour. He attended every year until 1959 when he got the title of the oldest participant in the Tour.

During his career, Schotte won the Tour of Flanders for two times, in 1942 and in 1948. He also won to second places in 1944 and 1950, and was the third for four times, in 1940, 1946, 1949, and 1952.

Bottom Line

The Tour of Flanders is certainly one of the most engaging road cycling races in the world. Taking riders through mesmerizing landscapes and challenging them with steep slopes and cobbled streets, the race gathers new admirers each year.

What do you think? Would you participate in the Tour of Flanders? Do you know other curiosities about this race? I look forward to reading your comments.

7 Best-Ever Urban Cycling Tips You Should Know

7 Best-Ever Urban Cycling Tips You Should Know

Urban cycling is exciting but scaring to some extent. There are traffic and pedestrians to deal with, that?s why cycling is the city requires some precautions. Yet, there is no need to have fear. Here are 7 useful tips to urban cycling you should know.

1. Choose Your Bike Wisely

Urban bikes are trendy, but they are not suitable for everyone. When choosing the vehicle, make sure it fits your needs.

If you use the bike for some traits of the road and public transportation for others, choose a foldable bike.

Do you have to face long commutes on a daily basis but don?t like the idea to show up at work all sweaty? An e-bike may be a more appropriate vehicle.

City bikes are more suitable for those cycling for leisure during weekends, while a hybrid bike may be an excellent alternative if you want to ride on different trails.

2. Anti-Theft Systems

Whether you?re commuting to work or use the bike for grocery shopping, there may come the time when you?ll have to leave your bike unattended. And trust us, thieves are watching.

To keep your vehicle safe, it?s important to invest in a good anti-theft system. It is also essential to mark your bike in case it gets stolen anyway, to make identification easier.

There are also numerous bike anti-theft methods to use to keep your ride safe or to make it unappealing.

3. Establish Your Routes

Some cities are not exactly bike-friendly. Designated lanes may often lack and in this case, you?ll just have to ride on the road.

If you live in such a city, I recommend establishing cycling routes. Check the map and choose those roads that are less trafficked. Routes that go through parks and gardens are also an alternative to the main roads.

If you don?t know the city by bike, take the first rides during public holidays, when there is less traffic to worry about.

4. Use Sidewalks With Caution

It?s useless to be hypocrites, all urban cyclists use the sidewalks every now and then. Whether it?s to avoid high-density areas or to avoid taking a longer route, sidewalks are often exploited.

So, when using sidewalks, remember they are not designated for cycling. Make sure you apologize to pedestrians if they have to move away to let you pass.

5. Manage Road Riding

If there are no designated cycling lanes in your area, remember that roads are for all traffic participants, including cyclists.

This means you don?t have to feel guilty for keeping a safe distance from the parked cars or for cycling in the middle of the road when you have to change directions or lane. Yes, drivers can complain, but your safety comes first.

6. Safety

Cycling is risky, and you can lower or raise those risks. To avoid unpleasant surprises, check your bike regularly and fix any issues. The most important is to check the brakes and to make sure they work perfectly.

It is also essential to wear cycling equipment at all times. A helmet and a reflective jacket aren?t exactly fashionable, but they can keep you alive.

7. DIY Bike Maintenance

The bike, just like a car, needs regular maintenance to work well. You can either make periodical checks yourself or find a trusted bike shop to assist you.

However, in most cases, you can save money by learning how to replace a tube and adjust a break by yourself.

Bottom Line

These urban cycling tips should help you stay safe on the road, but there are many other things to consider when it comes to riding a bike in traffic.

Before hopping on the saddle, don?t forget to check the road regulations in your area and to follow any safety guidelines to prevent avoidable accidents.

If you have other urban cycling tips you?d like to share with us, I look forward to reading your comments.

Chain Length Calculator ? A Useful Cycling Tool

Chain Length Calculator ? A Useful Cycling Tool

Changing the chain on your bike is part of the regular maintenance, but knowing the right chain length is essential for the success of this operation.  You can either determine the value manually or use Chain Length Calculator, an app designed specifically for this purpose.

But how hard is it to calculate the chain length? Do you really need an app for it? Let?s have a look at the various methods in detail.

How To Calculate The Chain Length Manually

Calculating the chain length manually is not too complicated. But before describing the sizing process, perhaps we should have a word about the types of chains.

Single-speed bicycles usually use a master link chain. Multi-speed bikes can be equipped either with master link or special connecting rivet chains. Master link chains use two removable plates that connect the ends of the chain together whereas rivet chains use a rivet that connects the ends of the chain and require a special tool to mount or dismantle them.

To calculate the chain length manually, you can either size the new chain to the original chain or use the largest cog and the largest chain ring method.

The first method is the simplest. Just remove the old chain and lay it on a flat surface. Stretch the new chain along the old one to determine the exact length.

While this method is simple and accurate, there are situations when the old chain has an improper length. If you?re building a new bike, you may not even have an old chain at all.

In this case, you can use the largest cog and the largest chain ring method. This process is also fairly easy. Place the chain over the largest sprocket and over the larger chain ring, then bring the ends together. At this stage, don?t route the chain through the derailleur.

Count for more chain links to the length achieved and detach all other links. This method works well on all multi-speed bikes, including recumbent road bikes, mountain bikes or commuter?s vehicles.

While both methods above are simple, if you don?t feel like measuring manually, you can use Chain Length Calculator. Here?s everything you need to know about it.

Chain Length Calculator App

Chain Length Calculator is a simple app for mobile devices that works out the recommended length of the chain based on information provided by the user. The app expresses the chain length in number of links, making it easier to determine the right length if you don?t have a ruler or meter at hand.

The app allows users to input the chainstay length either in the metric or in the imperial system; this is useful for bikes manufactured in Europe, where the metric system is more popular.

Other data required is the number of teeth on the biggest front gear and the number of teeth on the biggest rear gear. Once all data is input, the app will return the suggested chain length in number of links.

Chain Length Calculator ? Pros

The main advantage of this app is its simplicity. All required data is easy to find either on the bike?s manual, on the manufacturer?s website or by counting the number of teeth on the gears. That beats the similar chain length calculators available either online or as apps.

Another great advantage is the size of the app. It occupies almost no space on the device and requires little resources.

By introducing accurate data, you?ll also get the ideal chain length for your bike. No misinterpretation and estimations. This is very helpful for those who are not confident enough on measuring the chain manually, making life easier.

Chain Length Calculator ? Cons

I would have loved to say this app has no cons. And it doesn?t. As long as you own an Android device. Sadly, this tool is not available for iPhone users, although there are similar apps for iOS devices.

Our Verdict

Chain Length Calculator is a simple, easy to use, and awesome app to consider. It helps you determine the chain length without fuss, for a quick and simple chain substitution.

What Is A Bike Chain?

If you?re new to cycling and just getting accustomed with the terms, a bike chain is the central element for propulsion. It consists of individual inner and outer plates held together by studs or bolds. There are various types of chains and what matters when choosing is the type of derailleur.

Multi-speed bikes come with 9, 10, or 11-speed derailleurs; the number indicates how many gears the derailleur can switch and it?s important because chains for 9-speed derailleurs may not fit on a 11-speed derailleur and vice versa. In fact, the chain may be wider or narrower depending on the type of the component.

Another thing to consider when choosing the chain is the type of bike. Mountain bike and road bike chains may differ in weight and stability. Some chains are even developed specifically for an improved switching performance on a determined type of bike.

Chainstay, Sprocket, Chain Ring ? Why Do They Matter?

Either manually or with the help of an app, calculating the chain length requires data about these components. But why?

To start with the chainstay, this element of a bike has various lengths and it makes sense that a longer chainstay needs a longer chain. The length of the chainstay can be found either in the bike?s manual or on the manufacturer?s website. Alternatively, just measure it.

The sprocket and chain ring also matter, but you?ll only have to count the number of teeth on the biggest front and rear components. Their size matters because this is the configuration in which the chain will be pulled the tightest.

Once you?ve got these measures, it?s easy to determine the right size of the chain, either in inches or in number of links.

Why Do You Have To Change The Chain?

If maintained and lubricated correctly, the chain can last for a long time. However, a worn chain can damage the sprocket and chain ring by slowing down gear shifting. Since it?s less expensive to change just the chain, it makes sense to substitute it frequently.

When changing the chain, it is essential to determine the right size. A too loose chain will hang on the gears, having a negative impact on gear switching. A too short chain can damage the derailleur but also the largest gears, due to too much tension.

That?s why it is important to determine the correct chain length before mounting the new component. When in doubt, just install Chain Length Calculator or a similar app to help you with your measurements.

How To Prevent And Treat Saddle Sores

How To Prevent And Treat Saddle Sores

Saddle sores happen even to the most experienced cyclists. Often, they are produced by the pressure exerted by the cycling shorts. In some cases, the pressure can be exerted by an unsuitable saddle. Although annoying, saddle sores can be easily prevented and treated, as long as you identify the right cause.

How To Prevent Saddle Sores

More often than not, saddle sores are caused by the pressure exerted by the padding in your chamois on the genital area. Inexpert cyclists can also get saddle sores from an incorrect posture or from an unsuitable saddle.

The first step to prevent saddle sores is to identify the right height of the seat. A bike seat positioned too high or too low will determine you to sit in an awkward position, which will eventually translate into saddle sores.

The next step is to identify the right saddle for you. Bikes usually come with standard saddles that aren?t exactly ergonomic. Fix this issue by investing in a saddle that makes you feel comfortable. Extra padding and maybe an aeration hole can reduce this annoying issue.

Lastly, make sure you always wear suitable equipment when cycling. Wearing fitting cycling shorts is a must. The shorts shouldn?t be too tight in the crotch area but at the same time shouldn?t be too loose either.

Sufficient padding in your genital area can reduce saddle sores. When choosing the shorts, make sure they are gender specific. Another mistake that can cause saddle sores is using underwear under the cycling shorts. The chamois is designed to be wear on bare skin, otherwise, it may irritate your genital area.

Saddle Sore: Other Causes

Dermatitis, often caused by the cycling wear, is one of the most frequent causes of saddle sores. The phenomena involve the most exposed parts of the skin and manifest clinically with redness, often associated with a burning feeling, or with the appearance of pustules.

Sometimes, the growth of hair in the genital area can also cause saddle sores, dermatitis, and pustules. This rash is characterized by an uncontrolled bacterial development that can lead to the formation of cysts due to the accumulation of sebum, a chemical produced by the hair glands.

All these conditions can develop into clinical complications that in some cases require surgical treatment.

To avoid these problems, the first precaution is maximum hygiene. Wash your cycling shorts after each training session with the right detergent and at the right temperature. Make sure the garment is fully dry before wearing it.

It is also absolutely necessary to conduct a thorough personal hygiene, by washing the sore areas thoroughly before and after the workout.

How To Treat Saddle Sores

Saddle sores are easy to treat as long as the condition doesn?t develop in an abscess or cyst. Besides the hygiene precautions reminded above, you should also make sure that you?re wearing proper equipment and ride on a proper saddle.

Sores can occur after long periods of inactivity, and in this case, the best thing to do is to take a day or two of rest, waiting for the sores to disappear.

Skin rashes can be treated with ointments and in some cases, you may need antibiotics if there is an infection going on.

When To See A Doctor?

Saddle sores should disappear on their own in a day or two. When they happen, check your chamois and saddle to make sure they are both comfortable and fitted. If you can?t link any of these objects to your sores, if you?re experiencing excruciating pain, or if your saddle sores get infected, it?s time to see a doctor.

Sometimes, saddle sores can even be caused by the sensitive skin coming in contact with the wrong material, while sometimes they can indicate an underlying condition.