Archive for May, 2013

You need Wheels

Friday, May 17th, 2013

The bicycle wheel has been one of the lightest and strongest structures in design and engineering for over a century. So it’s good to know, while bowling along on your bicycle, what experience and know-how has gone into this apparently simple device.

One of the strongest structures in engineering design

One of the strongest structures in engineering design

Your local bike shop will sell bikes with wheel sizes from 12″/300mm to 29″/700C depending on use. Children’s bikes sizes are defined by the size of the wheels. Adult bikes, whether extra-large or extra-small are limited to two or three standard sizes of wheels. It’s the frame size which makes the difference.

If you’re buying a new bike, is wheel size a consideration? Here’s a run down on wheel sizes and their applications:

12″ : Used on the smallest children’s bicycles and balance bikes.

Tire, Rim, Spokes and Hub

Tire, Rim, Spokes and Hub

16″ : Intermediate children’s bicycles bridging the gap between bicycles with training-wheels and free-riders.

20″ : For free-riding youngsters, although training-wheels can be fitted so some models. This wheel size is also used on some adult folding bicycles.

24″ : The largest wheel for children’s bicycles. Most 24″ wheels conform to a mountain bike type, that is, tires about 2″/50mm wide. Some very small adult cycles also use this wheel size.

26″ : The smallest true adult wheel size and originally developed for the first manufactured mountain bikes around 40 years ago. As well as mountain bikes this wheel can be found on some hybrid bicycles and cruisers. Most 26″ wheels are made for a tire width of around 2″/50mm+. If you want to adapt your old mountain bike for on-road/commuting use you can fit a slick tire less than 1.5″/35mm wide for less rolling resistance on the road.

The 26″ wheel has variations so that an old Schwinn 26″ wheel is a different size which can make for problems with replacement tires.

650 : Sometimes known as 27.5″ and originally a wheel designed for French utility and touring bicycles, there are 650A, -B and -C variations which have different rim diameters. This wheel – 650B – is at the forefront of a new generation of mountain bikes, bridging the gap between 26″ wheels and 29″ wheels. Expect to see bikes with this size wheel in the next year.

27″ : A once universal, but now obsolete wheel size, usually only found on classic ten-speeds and English three-speeds. A limited range of tires are still available.

Top quality wheels are the most effective upgrade you can make to your quality road or mountain bike

Top quality wheels are the most effective upgrade you can make to your quality road or mountain bike

700C : A virtually universal standard for lightweight road bikes, this wheel is also used by hybrids designed for predominately road use. These wheels have the least rolling resistance of any bicycle wheel.

29″ : A comparatively recent standard for mountain bike wheels, the rims were developed from 700C road wheels. This size wheel offers superior rolling ability over rough terrain.

Smaller riders may need to look at 26″ wheel mountain bikes for a good fit, although the introduction of the 650B will widen that choice.

There are one or two wheel sizes which are not standard. These include 14″ and 18″ wheels. These are found on big box store toy bicycles. Customers are often shocked by the price of wheels we supply to replace bent and broken children’s bike wheels, often because a properly manufactured and safe, quality wheel will cost more than the original toy bike.

We will only sell you a product we know will not fail.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Keeping Tracks

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

You’ve got the bike computer. Know how far you’ve been and how fast? And how many trees you’ve saved – the Cateye Commuter. But now you want a bit more detail; a record of the route, how much climbing? Your heart-rate? Power output? Race your imaginary friend in real time? Maybe even follow a planned route with directions? Or post progress reports to the interwebs …

CatEye Stealth 50 - GPS and ANT+ for $150

CatEye Stealth 50 – GPS and ANT+ for $150

The introduction of GPS Global Positioning System – capability to bicycle computers has transformed the market for bicycle electronics.

And just because you’re not a “racer“, it doesn’t mean that selective use of the déluge of information these devices provide isn’t useful to everyone, whether they’re mapophiles – I don’t know, I just made it up – or total fitness freaks, erm, I meant, keen recreational riders …

Garmin Edge 510 and Garmin Edge 810 - ANT+ and Bluetooth technology

Garmin Edge 510 and Garmin Edge 810 – ANT+ and Bluetooth technology

So, let’s look at a few features:

GPS – Any unit of this type makes use of the GPS to pinpoint its exact location on the Earth’s surface. This means making use of relativity and other out-there stuff from the realm of astrophysics.

A bicycle GPS unit saves a series of these points as you move from which it can calculate, speed, direction and other data, which is displayed in real-time on-screen and/or subsequently uploaded to a cycling GPS website and the route superimposed onto a map to provide a record of your ride. Most websites will also extrapolate speed, elevation and other data.

If you want to record heart-rate, cadence and real-time power-output you will need a GPS computer with ANT+.

Cue-sheet displayed on Garmin Edge 810

Cue-sheet displayed on Garmin Edge 810

ANT+ – is a standard which enables an enabled computer to interrogate and record data from third-party wireless devices and sensors. Typical for a cyclist might be sensors for heart-rate/zone-training, cadence/speed and power-meters. If you’re a keen winter trainer, the cadence/speed sensor is useful for recording stationary sessions.

BlueTooth – Another more recent development, for bicycle computers anyway, enables the device to pair with other BlueTooth devices, such as your smartphone. This has the possibility of recording your ride, position, performance indicators, etc, directly to the interwebs in real-time, so that friends on FaceBook, say, or Strava – see below – can view your progress while you’re on your ride …

Garmin Edge 810 with map on screen

Garmin Edge 810 with map on screen

So, what features do you require?

Basic GPS Computer : Records map of individual rides. Displays basic trip information such as speed, distance, average speed. Upload and save trip data via home computer to bike mapping site : Garmin Edge 200, Cateye Stealth 10

GPS Computer with ANT+ : As above, and depending on extra sensors, provides real-time data such as heart-rate, time-in-zone, etc,. Uploads to bike-mapping/traing website for analysis : Garmin Edge 510, Garmin Edge 810, Cateye Stealth 50

GPS Computer with BlueTooth : will combine with your smartphone to connect to social media and performance websites to track progress in real-time and interactive feed-back : Garmin Edge 510, Garmin Edge 810

Onscreen map display and cue-sheets : The Garmin Edge 810 can display a detailed progress map and a cue-sheet from downloaded routes giving written directions, “<<< Turn left onto Church Road in 200yds“. It can also sound an audible alarm as you approach route nodes.

Other facilities; return to start – good if you’re lost or forgotten where your car is, find – deli, coffee shop, address, etc …

It can also display maps from Garmin.com and OpenStreetMap.org.

The Garmin Edge 510 displays the bike’s track but no map. Downloaded routes/cuesheets are only displayed as line representing the twists and turns.

Useful bike mapping websites are:

RideWithGPS - other bicycle route mapping sites are available ...

RideWithGPS – other bicycle route mapping sites are available …

Halter’s currently stock; Cateye Stealth 50, Garmin Edge 200, 510 and 810. From $120 – basic – to $650 – heart-rate and cadence sensor kit, map and BlueTooth. Power-meters? Think $1500.

Alternatives? There are plenty of smartphone apps out there with impressive abilities but will be challenged in the run-time stakes. A dedicated GPS unit can run from 12-16hours. A phone will be pressed after 2-3hours.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Learning to ride a bike?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

It’s just like riding a bike … you never forget. Well that’s not always true …

It's not just children who want to learn to ride a bike ...

It’s not just children who want to learn to ride a bike …

Whether you just want your child to learn to ride in a structured setting or you’re an adult who never learned to ride a bike or just need a confidence boost, this could be for you:

http://wwbpa.org/2013/04/learn-to-bike-at-the-farmers-market-may-18/

 ... adults need a boost too

… adults need a boost too

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is dedicated to making our community and the surrounding area safer for bicyclists and walkers of all ages. Its trustees and members work to influence government officials to install more sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crossings.

The WWBPA funds Share the Road signs and bicycle racks, holds an annual community bike ride, and develops educational programs.

The WWBPA was established in January 2006 and is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. All memberships and contributions are tax-deductible.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Cateye Stealth50 GPS Computer- CC-GL50

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Designed for the committed cyclist, the Stealth 50 is GPS and ANT+ enabled, so it works with CatEye or third party ANT+ compatible power, heart rate, cadence and speed sensors.

Designed for the competitive cyclist, the Stealth 50 is GPS and ANT+ enabled, so it works with CatEye or third party ANT+ compatible power, heart rate, cadence and speed sensors.

Designed for the competitive cyclist, the Stealth 50 is GPS and ANT+ enabled, so it works with CatEye or third party ANT+ compatible power, heart rate, cadence and speed sensors.

Cateye have recently taken a step into the GPS enhanced bicycle computer market. First up is the GPS and ANT+ enabled Stealth50 computer, HRM belt and cadence sensor.

The Stealth 50 is a simple power meter that is ANT+ compatible, so it works with CatEye or third party ANT+ power, heart rate, cadence and speed sensors.

Track basic cycling data and combine with power, heart rate and cadence data to target and reach training goals.

Compatible with third party ANT+ devices

Compatible with third party ANT+ devices

Upload ride data to web-based training sites, such as CatEyeAtlas.com and TrainingPeaksTM, where you can visualize your activity, analyze performance and share your ride.

Other features include a full-time backlight, auto-stop/start and programmable odometer. The Stealth 50 is waterproof, USB rechargeable and can be used on multiple bikes, so you’ll always be ready to ride.
 
 
 
Cateye CC-GL50Stealth50 – $149.99
Cateye HR-11 ANT+ Heart Rate Sensor – $59.99
Cateye ISC-11 ANT+ Speed & Cadence sensor – $59.99


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


 
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