September 29, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Congratulations! You’ve decided to compete in your first triathlon. If you’re a newbie to competitions or just want to make sure you’re as prepared as you think you are, you may want to know more than just how to swim, bike and run.
Triathlons come in a variety of durations, the longest being the Ironman — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Many seasoned triathletes can’t even imagine completing an Ironman, so don’t feel like you have to start at the top of the mountain.
Sprint triathlons — a 0.5-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, and a 3.1-mile run — serve as much friendlier introductions to the sport. Preparation for the shorter event is also less strenuous, which greatly reduces your risk of injury as you get used to the intensity. Start with a smaller race, evaluate your body’s response and only move up when you feel comfortable doing so.
Join the club.
If you don’t have previous experience in triathlons, fear not! Many cities have triathlon clubs that are more than happy to help beginners get started. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own, and because it’s your first time, you have a lot to learn. Don’t waste time focusing on things that won’t help you — let the people who’ve done it before show you the ropes.
Don’t forget the fourth sport.
Swim, bike, run — right? There’s a fourth “sport” that’s often ignored, even by regular triathletes: transitions.
Transitions make a big difference when it comes to finishing with the best possible time. Both transitions — from swimming to biking and from biking to running — require practice to get them right.
Ask a veteran triathlete for some pointers, and try to keep things as simple as possible. Bring and wear only what you need to eliminate time-consuming transition steps. Do a few practice transitions before the race so you don’t have to deal with unexpected complications on race day.
Get mentally geared up.
It sounds cliché, but don’t forget your purpose when you get to the starting line. Most people take several months to physically prepare for triathlons, but when the day comes, they’re filled with stress and anxiety.
At some point during your first race, you will have to deal with something you didn’t plan for. Don’t worry about it! You can swim, bike, run and practice transitions until you’re blue in the face, but an actual race will always throw a new dynamic at you. You might get kicked in the face while you’re swimming and break your goggles; you might get stuck in your wet suit; you might get a flat tire or a cramp; you might even lose a shoelace.
No matter how much you practice, your race will never go perfectly. The ability to stay calm and deal with issues as they crop up separates the good triathletes from the great. Mentally preparing for your race means staying calm when things go wrong, as they always do in some way or another. When you experience adversity, be prepared to refocus quickly and get back in the race.
Try not to set too many expectations for yourself, and focus on enjoying the event — and the free food at the end!
Preview and prepare.
While the unexpected does happen, you can plan ahead for the vast majority of your race’s challenges. You need to preview the entire course to know where its key turns and transitions are. In addition, each individual event has unique characteristics to watch for.
Pay attention to the position of the sun. If you’ll be swimming into the sun, then bring dark goggles to help you see. But, have a clear pair on hand in case the clouds roll in. You also need to find out if you will be swimming through the break or against the current. Then, consider how that might affect your swim.
When you finish your swim, you have to run barefoot to your bike. Is the ground rocky or otherwise treacherous? Take note so you can be careful to avoid injury during the transition.
Will you be able to wear a wet suit? The water temperature at your race determines this. Amateurs can wear a wet suit at 78 degrees and below. These suits make you faster, so wear one if allowed.
Pay attention to the starting gradient. Does the course start flat, uphill or downhill? Make sure your bike is in the appropriate gear to begin the race.
There are also “traffic” rules. Some races have no-passing zones in high-traffic areas or on steep descents. Learn where these are to avoid penalty or disqualification. Some races also enforce speed limits on steep descents. Like no-passing zones, learn their locations to avoid penalty.
Finally, most triathlons are not draft legal, meaning you have to stay a certain distance away from the bike ahead of you. Know that distance before the race begins.
Make sure your shoe selection is appropriate for the course. Even some on-road triathlons have a few off-road sections.
Once you get going, most triathlons provide aid stations during the final leg. These stations hand out drinks and food to keep you hydrated and energized for the home stretch. Some longer races also have aid stations during the bike leg.
As you preview the race portions of the course, check out the transition areas as well. Make note of the entrances and exits. You don’t want to be the athlete running to the bike exit only to find out the run course starts on the other side of the transition point.
Start before the starting line.
Some triathlons require entrants to check in a full day before the race begins and do not allow race day check-ins. Know the rules of your particular organizer so all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste. If you won’t be able to make a specific check-in, contact the race organizer to make special arrangements.
Bike check-ins have similar guidelines. Some races require all bikes to be stored in transition overnight, while others let you bring your bike on race day.
Getting your body ready for the big day is 90 percent of the battle, but minding the small details makes a good race day great. Know the rules and be prepared. Follow these pointers and train hard, and your first triathlon will be a guaranteed success.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments and questions below.
September 28, 2015
One of the most common questions we get at FLO has to do with wheel selection. It's a great question.
Wheel selection depends on a few things. For starters, what you intend to use the wheels for is important. Today, we'll consider picking wheels for triathletes.
I like to break the selection process down and look at each wheel separately. First we'll take a look at the front wheel, and then we'll take a look at the rear wheel.
Picking your Front Wheel as a Triathlete
Picking your front wheel can be a challenge. Most people who are racing try and find the fastest wheel possible. On paper, our front FLO 90 is the fastest front wheel we make. Naturally, many people believe that the front FLO 90 is the best front wheel for them, but that is not always the case. Here's why.
The front wheel is affected by the wind differently than the rear wheel since it has a steering axis (the front fork). When the wind hits the front wheel, it can twist the handle bars. We’ve designed our wheels to limit the amount of twist, but it still can happen in strong winds. The deeper the front wheel, the more this effect is magnified. Since a front FLO 90 is deeper than a front FLO 60, the front FLO 90 will be affected more by winds than the front FLO 60. The same goes for the front FLO 60 when compared to the front FLO 30. Since the front FLO 60 is deeper, it will be affected more by winds than the front FLO 30.
Knowing that the biggest drag component on your bike is your body, it's important for a triathlete to spend as much time in the aero bars as possible. This makes you faster because you are reducing the amount of drag your body produces. The front FLO 60 makes sense for most triathletes because it's fairly easy to control in winds, which allows most riders to stay in the aero bars. With a front FLO 90, more riders will need to come out of the aero bars to confidently handle there bike when the winds pick up. A small amount of time out of the aero bars on the front FLO 90 would cause you to lose more more time during the race, than if you were able to stay in the aero bars with a front FLO 60.
I don't say any of this to discredit the front FLO 90. If you are a very confident bike handler the front FLO 90 makes a great front wheel choice. I also think the front FLO 90 makes a great addition to the front FLO 60, if you have more than one front wheel. Having both wheels will give you a lot of versatility for any race course or condition.
A front FLO 30 makes a great front wheel for light riders or people who hate any type of wind. Female riders often choose a front FLO 60 but some prefer the front FLO 30 because of their size.
About 90% of triathletes using FLO wheels are using a front FLO 60. For a fast and versatile front wheel, the front FLO 60 makes the best choice for most triathletes.
Picking your Rear Wheel as Triathlete
The biggest difference between the front and rear wheel is that the rear wheel does not have a steering axis. Instead, the rear wheel is fixed in the rear triangle of the bike. As a result, your rear wheel will not be affected by the wind like the front wheel. Instead of a twist, you will experience more of a push feeling. While any unplanned movement from wind can be unpleasant, a push is a lot friendlier than a twisting of the handle bars. It's also known that the having a deeper rear wheel in relation to your front wheel moves your center of pressure towards the rear end of your bike. This shift in the center of pressure increases your stability in windy conditions and is the reason you'll almost never see a rider using a deeper front wheel than rear wheel. In the end, can choose a deep rear wheel without sacrificing stability. Since deeper wheels are faster, this is a good thing.
As a quick side note, we believe you should train and race on the same wheels. If you are spending the money to upgrade your wheels, you should enjoy them. Additionally, we feel you should be as familiar with your wheels on race day as possible. Logging thousands of training miles training on your wheels, will make you very familiar with them on race day.
On paper, the FLO DISC is the fastest rear wheel we make. For racing, it's a great choice but for everyday riding and training it's not a great option. It's more difficult to service and some people consider it a party foul to ride on a disc full time. There are also a number of races that do not allow disc wheels to be used. The Ironman World Championships in Kona is one of those races.
In my opinion, our most versatile rear wheel, is the rear FLO 90. It makes a great training and racing wheel. It's deeper profile reduces your drag and increases your speed. You can also pick up a wheel cover from someone like wheelbuilder.com for $99. A wheel cover attaches to your rear wheel and covers the spokes, giving you plenty of versatility and disc-like speed for a fraction of the cost. Wheelbuilder.com has a cover that is custom fit for all of our wheels. They are also a great company to deal with. I highly recommend them.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't buy a FLO DISC. Wheel covers can be a hassle to put on, and since they are not custom molded like our FLO DISC, there is a gap where the wheel cover and the FLO 90 meet. If you have the finances and also want a FLO DISC, you can't go wrong.
The rear FLO 60 makes a great rear wheel for light riders or people who hate any type of wind. It also make a great rear wheel for people who split there time between triathlon and criterium/road racing. You also have the option of using a wheel cover with a rear FLO 60 which gives you plenty of versatility.
Female riders pick a rear FLO 60 about 50% of the time. This makes a lot of sense for women who are lighter weight.
About 60% of triathletes using FLO wheels are using a rear FLO 90, 30% are using a FLO DISC, and the remaining 10% would be using a rear FLO 60. Very few people are using a rear FLO 30 for triathlon.
For a fast, versatile rear wheel, the rear FLO 90 is your go to wheel for most triathletes.
If you have any questions about wheel selection please feel free to contact us in the link at the top of the page.
September 25, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Friday, September 25, 2015
Wheels in Stock Now
We're happy to tell you that we have FLO Wheels in stock. FLO 30s, 60s, 90s and DISCs are in stock in most builds.
We are also extending our offer for free Silca valve extenders (FLO 60s and 90s) and Continental tubes (FLO 30s and DISCs) for all orders.
Thanks to everyone for your support. We hope you are enjoying your riding and racing season.
If you have questions about our products please let us know.
Jon - 702-529-4799, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris - 702-529-4744, email@example.com
Jon and Chris
September 22, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, September 22, 2015
How to Choose a Bike for Conditioning Workouts". Feel free to check it out here or read the full article below.
As an athlete, you don't want to buy just any old bike. You need to know which bike is best for you. Bikes come in many different shapes and sizes and are intended for many different purposes—from the beach cruiser designed for boardwalks in San Diego to full-suspension downhill machines for mountain biking maniacs.
That means you need to do your homework before putting money down on a bike that might meet everyone else's needs but yours.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the bike and features that will work best for you.
Have a budget
Bikes range in price from less than $100 to more than $15,000. High price tags don't always translate to better bikes. Figure out what you need and don't spend unnecessary money on features that won't benefit you.
Determine Your Intended Use
If you're racing on the road or in triathlons, pick a road- or triathlon-specific bike that can be used for training and racing. If you're mountain biking, choose a mountain bike. If you're going to ride leisurely around your community and possibly take the bike on some mild dirt trails, a hybrid bike is likely your best bet. If you have no idea what you need, visit your local bike shop to get advice from an expert.
Find the Right Fit
On top of picking the right style of bike, you also want to make sure to select the right size. The proper size helps you stay comfortable and injury-free, so be sure to ask for advice if you need it.
Get Several Opinions
Visit as many bike shops as you can, and talk to serious cyclists in your community. The more you can learn before spending your hard-earned dollars, the better. If you choose the right bike the first time and take care of it, it can last for many years.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should spend money on moving parts like derailleurs and shifters before spending money on nonmoving parts like handlebars. Typically, the moving parts suffer the most wear and tear and, as a result, are the first to need adjustments or break down. Spending a little more money on these parts helps keep your bike out of the shop and allows you to own it for much longer.
The Risks of Buying Bikes That Don't Meet Your Needs
A lot of negative things can come from buying a bike that isn't appropriate for your needs.
First, the wrong bike won't actually do what you want it to do. If you plan to fly down your local ski hill during the summer months, you need a mountain bike equipped to do that. Trying to ride a bike designed for pavement down this terrain will ruin it and put you at risk for serious injury.
Second, you'll be wasting your money. If you buy a bike that isn't designed to do what you need, you'll need to replace it sooner rather than later. New bikes, like new cars, lose a lot of their value as soon as they leave the showroom. Make sure to do your research before taking one home.
Finally, your performance could suffer. If you're a competitor, the right bike is especially important. Mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes and triathlon bikes can all be used to finish an on-road triathlon, but you'll be fastest on a triathlon bike. If performance is important to you, make sure you have the right tool for the job.
Figure out where and how you'll be riding. Do your research and ask around before making your purchase. When you get ready to spend the money you've budgeted, you should be paying for the features that will benefit you most—no matter where you ride.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments and questions below.
September 17, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Thursday, September 17, 2015
September 15, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, September 15, 2015
How To Pick the Right Cycling Wheels With So Many Hi-Tech Options". Feel free to check it out here or read the full article below.
As cycling’s popularity continues to skyrocket, so do cyclists’ options for wheels. With advantages and disadvantages to every type, it’s important to understand the basics about what makes a wheel great before changing up your ride.
Wheels generally fall into two categories: training wheels and race wheels. Training wheels (not the extra ones you put on the back as a kid) tend to be more durable than race wheels, with higher spoke counts, heavier weights, shallower rim depths, nonaerodynamic designs, and aluminum rims. Riders who want to put hundreds of miles on a pair of wheels for recreational riding or race training should look at options on this side of the spectrum.
Race wheels, on the other hand, are designed with speed in mind. These help cyclists lower race times through improved aerodynamics, deeper rim depths, and lighter weights — usually thanks to a partial, or full, carbon fiber build.
Within each category, wheels differ in several aspects. The three most prominent aspects are aerodynamics, crosswind stability, and ride characteristics.
Wheel designers continue to make adjustments to their wheels in search of the perfect aerodynamics. Aerodynamic drag is one of the biggest slowdown factors when riding, so minimal drag is extremely important on the racecourse where a few seconds make the difference between a championship and a middle-of-the-pack finish.
As rim depths increase, wheels become harder to control in strong wind conditions. Early aerodynamic wheels helped riders go faster, but they suffered greatly when the wind would pick up. As aerodynamic technology has improved across the board, wheel designers have shifted their focus toward creating a more stable ride for both racers and recreational riders.
No one likes a bumpy ride in the car, and cyclists are no different. In the past, manufacturers observed standard 19 millimeter-wide brake tracks, but lately, designers have begun to increase overall rim widths to improve rolling resistance, cornering, and stability. Fortunately, these wider rims make bikes more aerodynamic as well so riders don’t lose speed for the sake of comfort.
So, as you set out to buy your new set of wheels, how do you translate all of this information? It depends on what you want, but smart shopping and patience can help you get the right wheels at the right price.
First, determine what you need from your wheels. If you only ride recreationally, it doesn’t make much sense to purchase a $6,000 set of racing wheels. Casual riders should look for wheels that borrow technology from race wheels but come in a cost-effective, durable model. On the other side, racers should purchase the best wheel within budget. If the choice comes down to aerodynamics over weight, choose the more aerodynamic wheel for faster times.
Don’t assume the more expensive wheel is the better wheel. As more manufacturers skip middlemen to sell directly to consumers, options are more varied than ever in both price and quality. After determining which kind of wheel you want, see if the manufacturer sells directly to the public. Depending on what you want, you could save thousands.
However, be cautious. As great new technologies sprout up, so do copycat, insubstantial technologies driven more by marketing hype than usefulness. Research the data of any marketer’s claim before settling on a new set.
Most wheels today come with a manufacturer’s warranty. If you intend to use your wheels for long-term training, make sure to protect your purchase with an excellent warranty. Do your due diligence by comparing the customer service reviews of different companies; a business with a great warranty on paper that gives you the runaround when you need to use it can prove more troublesome than secure.
Your wheels should reflect how you want to ride. Do you want to fly or just know your wheels can withstand a year’s worth of leisurely cruises around town? No matter how you like to ride, it pays to shop around and do your research to ensure smooth cycling ahead.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments and questions below.
September 13, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Sunday, September 13, 2015
I was recently contacted by Illumiseen - a company that produces LED safety belts and dog collars/leads. They asked me to review one of their safety belts and I gladly obliged. I've been using the product for a while and I wanted to share my thoughts.
Let's start with a look at the product. The belt has an adjustable stretch band, a plastic buckle, and the LED material/controller. The stitching and fit and finish of the product is excellent.
The product is controlled via a small controller on the belt. The controller has a three position switch giving you three modes, off, blinking, and solid. The controller also features a Micro USB port for charging the device.
As I stated above, the battery is USB rechargeable and Illumiseen claims this model will hold it's charge for up to 36hrs! That's pretty amazing. I haven't used it that long yet, but have still haven't needed to charge my unit. Here's a picture of the unit charging.
I put together a quick video showing you what the modes look like at night.
Every once in a while you come across a product that simply makes sense, and the Illumiseen is one of those products. I really like this product and have no complaints whatsoever. I feel that the designers at Illumiseen focussed on creating a product that was both incredibly simple and effective and they did a great job. The goal of the product is to increase your visibility at night and it does this extremely well. On top of that, they added some really nice features like a USB rechargeable battery that lasts up to 36hrs, and an easily adjustable and comfortable waist band. The only thing I cannot comment on is long term durability, but at first glance I don't see this being an issue.
I personally hike and mountain bike with my dog up to 60 miles per week. Keeping her visibible is very important early in the mornings or near sunset. I've tried several different dog collar lights and I've been disappointed with all of them. Illumiseen also makes a dog collar version of this belt that holds a charge up to 10hrs and features the same USB rechargeable battery pack. Like the safety belt, the dog collar is one of those products that is both simple and effective. I'll be ordering one for sure!
If you are looking to increase both your visibility and your safety out there on the road/trails, be sure to pick up this product. It won't disappoint.