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Steamboat Magazine

Bike Tips from the Pros

04/01/2011 01:00AM ● By Anonymous

Bike Tips from the Pros

Maintenance tips from Kris Kater:A good tune up at the beginning of the biking season can save lots of problems later. If you only take your bike to the shop once a year, this is it. The mechanic will check your tires, brakes, bearings, wheels, tire pressure, gear shift and suspension. Less is more when it comes to cleaning your bike after a ride. Rinse it with trickling water and use a soft brush to remove mud. When you hear a metal to metal squeaking sound, your chain needs lubricating. Apply to wax, oil or synthetic lubricant, then spin the wheel through its gears and wipe the excess off with a soft cloth. You can over-lube a chain!  Before every ride, check you tire pressure. The recommended psi is on the side of the tire. Mid-season, get out your Allen wrenches and torque every bolt you see.

Commuter Tips from Murray Selleck:Try commuting once or twice a week to start. Then, when you’ve figured out logistics, add a day or two at a time until you are riding four or five times a week. After a while, you don’t mind going to work because you get to ride.Don’t choose your route solely based on the shortest distance between two points. Find trails or back roads that may add a little time but a ton of safety.A white front light and red flashing taillight are great defenses against potentially distracted drivers or wildlife.Ride with a bag like the Chrome Commuter Bag. It’s comfortable, rock-solid and holds a change of clothes, thermos, camera and rain gear. Or plan ahead and leave fresh clothes at the office.There’s no bad weather, just bad attitudes – EXCEPT for lightning. If it’s all around you, get away from your bike, find a low spot, squat down on the balls of your feet and lift your heels, making yourself as small as possible.

Mountain bike tips from Brock Webster:On a technical section of trail, be smooth. Enter with your feet level, elbows and knees bent, and arms loose. Prepare to absorb bumps and extend the compressions.Look ahead and concentrate on the line you need to take, not the scary obstacles in your path.Think of momentum as your friend. Going too slow is often a major cause of not clearing obstacles. Speed smoothes out the trail. Your wheels can go over amazingly difficult things if you have momentum.Avoid skidding the rear wheel, and practice utilizing the front brake as it actually offers more braking power.Always brake before a corner, drop off, rock or other obstacle, and then lay off the brakes when doing the move.Carry the bare essentials: inner tube, pump and tire levers.

Racer Tips from Katie Lindquist:For your first race, pick a small event. Take suggestions on the course and enjoy the camaraderie after the event.Start training now. Riding your bike is the best way to be fast. Focus each workout using online resources and books.Training is not the time to cut back on calories.You do not actually die from bonking or cramping. Keep moving.Make sure all the bike’s bolts and important parts are tightened.Get quality bike shorts with a padded liner. Make sure your jersey has sleeves to protect yourself in a crash, and back pockets to carry tools, food or water. Eyewear is essential for sun and debris. Wear a helmet that fits and can be snugged up comfortably.