Posts Tagged ‘Giro’

Head Case

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when, if you don’t already have a bicycle helmet, you should be thinking of getting one. And even if you already have a helmet it might be time to think of getting a new one.

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

Helmets are the number one cycling accessory

All the gals and guys at Halter’s wear a helmet whenever riding a bike, no matter if on the road, on the trail, or just cruising around the neighborhood.

In fact, most of our customers think that way too, although, in New Jersey it’s not the law that you must wear a helmet when cycling.

However, it is the law in NJ that children must wear an appropriate helmet even if they’re just a passenger on a bicycle.

There is an argument that there is no need to wear a helmet, and indeed it is a personal choice.

It’s true that in more cycle friendly cultures very few people, even children, wear helmets and the accident/injury rate is lower than in most helmet wearing societies.

Unfortunately, this happy situation does not apply in the US, and on balance we strongly recommend every cyclist wears a helmet.

Helmets really do have a limited life in use. Any helmet that has already taken a hit in a crash should immediately be replaced.

Helmets that have been subject to sunshine, UV, sweat and extreme temperatures should be replaced every two or three years. If the adjustment pads are rotten or missing, you can replace them, but their condition is a good indicator of the state of the rest of the helmet.

Helmets are not just a chunk of poly-foam, but at the very least have an interior structure and reinforcements which can degrade over a period of time or can be disrupted and made less effective once it’s taken a hit and done its job.

Tripp's helmet after a trail fall

Tripp’s helmet after a trail fall

Halter’s wrench, Tripp, recently took a fall as his helmet shows here. His GPS showed an instant 21mph to zero and, typically for a mtb incident, the helmet protected Tripp from a strike to the back of his head.

Helmets designed for MTB use tend to give more protection to the back of the head for this reason. They also usually include a peak which provides some eye protection in the woods.

Road helmets tend to give more protection to the temples and don’t have a peak to make looking forward when on the drops easier, but riders who wear glasses may find a peak a benefit.

Regardless, most riders wear whichever helmet is most comfortable and suits their needs whether they’re on the road or the trail, or just around the neighborhood for that matter.

All helmets on sale at a quality independent bike store will usually comply to at least two out of three of the principal international standards whether they cost $40 or $400.

US, European and Australian certifications and requirements are slightly different, but in practice any helmet which meets any one of them promises the best protection available regardless of cost.

More expensive helmets will be sized for a better fit, be lighter, enable better air-flow, be available in more colors, and have many detail enhancements, which may or may not be important to you.

Halter’s sell helmets by Bell, Cannondale, Giro and Lazer.

Be sure you start the season with a safe helmet.

You know it makes sense …


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 | OldCranksCC Forum


Pedals … and shoes

Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Basic plastic pedal and quality quill pedal

Basic plastic pedal and quality quill pedal

Most lower priced bicycles come with pedals, but most higher end bikes don’t have pedals at all out of the box.

Most customers buying a higher end bike will already have a favorite pedaling system and new riders are best advised by their bike shop, so the bike manufacturers don’t guess what you might like. It’s up to you.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bike will be familiar with the basic platform pedal. Usually made from tough plastic and/or metal all you need to do is plant your sneakers on the pedals and cycle off.

In the past, people have made these pedals more secure by attaching straps and cages which wrap around the shoe. Indeed, some still prefer this method of locating their feet on the pedal.

These days anyone other than the most casual cyclist can make a choice from a number of clipless pedaling systems. That is where pedal and shoe locate and engage together to make a secure and efficient interface between your foot and the bike.

All clipless systems depend on a metal or plastic fixture known as a cleat, which is bolted onto the sole of the shoe. This cleat locates and engages into a mechanism on the pedal. The pedal holds the shoe firmly until the rider decides to disengage, usually by a deliberate twisting motion of the foot.

Although there are several manufacturers, each with their own system, clipless pedals fall into two categories.

Mountain bike pedals - some brands adjust release tension by means of a small screw

Mountain bike pedals – some brands adjust release tension by means of a small screw

Mountain bike pedals : This type of pedal/shoe combination is marked by a small metal cleat which is retained within the sole of the shoe and a double-sided pedal. This means that the shoe is easy to walk in and it’s easier to locate the cleat onto the pedal.

Even the most advanced mountain bike shoe with a carbon fiber sole is designed to flex to facilitate walking, so although this type of system was designed specifically for mountain bikes, many of its characteristics make it a favorite for many road and touring cyclists too, so the name is a bit of a misnomer.

Mountain bike shoe - Easier to walk in

Mountain bike shoe – Easier to walk in

We frequently sell “spinning” shoes to customers attending local gyms. A spinning shoe is a mountain bike cycling shoe.

So if you spin and become familiar with engaging and disengaging from the spin-bike pedals, consider having clipless pedals fitted to your regular bike.

The cleat is recessed into the sole of the shoe

In a mountain bike shoe the cleat is recessed into the sole of the shoe

A basic mountain bike shoe with velcro type fasteners, suitable for spinning too, will cost from around $100, and a high end shoe with light-weight carbon fiber sole and ratchet type fixings will be $200+.

Cleats cost around $22, depending on the brand, but are usually included with new pedals.

Road pedals - usually single-sided - also have adjustable release tension

Road pedals – usually single-sided – also have adjustable release tension

It’s worth noting that for Shimano pedals there are two types of cleat; black, which just hold your foot in one position, and silver which allow a little float so your foot can move around to a small degree on the pedal.

Some other brands also allow float by various means.

Road pedals : Usually consist of a large single-sided platform which engages with a plastic cleat which is bolted on the bottom of the sole of the shoe.

This means the cleat stands proud of the sole of the shoe which makes walking awkward and requires a little more attention to engage. At first you’ll only get it right 50% of the time.

Road cleats protrude from the sole of the shoe making walking uncomfortable

Road cleats protrude from the sole of the shoe making walking uncomfortable

The shoes usually have a smooth sole which is designed to be very stiff, making walking more difficult still.

So, why would anyone ever want to use road shoes and pedals when mountain bike systems are much more user friendly?

Road cleats are large and project from the sole of the shoe. Carbon fiber enables a very stiff foot-bed.

Road cleats are large and project from the sole of the shoe. Carbon fiber enables a very stiff foot-bed.

Well, road shoes are designed to give the maximum support to your foot and enable the most efficient transfer of power from your legs to the drive chain of the bike. They do this by providing an extremely stiff sole and comparatively large cleat to minimize flex in the shoe and pedal.

Imagine just sitting at home flexing a cycling shoe a few millimetres 120 times a minute as a pair of shoes might on a bicycle. Then consider the energy you’ve used to do this. That’s the amount of energy which could have been pushed out your back wheel.

Also, if you have foot issues, numbness, hot foot, pins and needles, etc, these can be alleviated by using a road shoe which will provide more support than a mountain bike shoe. If your left/right shoe size is radically different then we might still be able to help you.

Expect to pay $100-$120 for a basic road shoes. If you’re looking for a carbon sole, then expect to pay $200+. A high end road shoe will be up to $500.

Halter’s sell cycle shoes by Giro, Sidi, Shimano and other good makers.

We sell pedals by Crank Brothers, Look, Shimano and SpeedPlay as well as specialist pedals for downhill, BMX and other genres of cycling.

Cleat wedges may help align your knees

Cleat wedges may help align your knees

We stock shoe accessories such as adaptive insoles, arch extenders and cleat wedges to align your pedal stroke.

Consider buying appropriate shoes and pedals as part of a complete bike fit. This is free with the purchase of a road bike from Halter’s or available via appointment.

And don’t forget socks …

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


Helmets

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Most people will regard a helmet as the most essential accessory after buying their first bike. But why do some helmets cost less than $40 and some over $200? In fact, is it worthwhile wearing a cycle helmet at all?

Cycling in Copenhagen: Where bicycles are used for more than 30% of utility journeys injury rates fall regardless of helmet use.

Cycling in Copenhagen: Where bicycles are used for more than 30% of utility journeys injury rates fall regardless of helmet use.

Ask any serious, recreational or utility cyclist if they wear a helmet and the answer will almost invariably be yes. A few will quote their Second Amendment Right to free expression, or the fact that in bicycle friendly societies such as in the Nederlands or Denmark almost no one wears a helmet and death and injury rates are lower.

This is true, but in those countries cycling as a means of transport, that is, used for commuting, shopping and short journeys as well as for recreation, has reached at least 30% of all journeys and attained what has become known as Critical Mass, where cyclists have such a high profile on the road that virtually no motorist can be other than totally aware of cyclists, and indeed, quite likely will be a cyclist themselves, or whose spouse, family and friends will be cyclists too.

wearinghelmets

Most regular cyclists wear helmets.

It’s probably not controversial to say that New Jersey is not a bicycle friendly society. As for your right not to wear a helmet, you can consider that as you sip your Sunday dinner through a straw. However, in the State of New Jersey, children must wear a helmet – Title 39:4-10.1 – when cycling, in-line skating, roller-skating or skate-boarding.

So, why do some helmets cost $40 and some more than $200?


Any helmet you are likely to buy in your local bike shop will meet the minimum requirements of one or more major international standards agency at least. US, European and Australian standards are as good as they get. There are minor differences, but not ones which are likely to make any difference on the road or trail. So a less expensive helmet will be as safe as an expensive one, but a more expensive helmet will have more sophisticated features.

The Giro Indicator - for mountain-biking or hybrid cycling - about $40

The Giro Indicator – for mountain-biking or hybrid cycling – about $40

Some helmets are designed for a particular application. Mountain-bike helmets typically have a peak and slightly more protection to the back of the head. Road helmets lack the peak to enable better forward vision when on the drops. In practice there’s no problem using your helmet for whatever sort of riding you want. Some road riders feel that a peak keeps glare off their glasses. There are no rules. Buy a helmet you feel comfortable with.

A good basic helmet will only be available in one universal size. Most brands produce women specific models which may be a little smaller and have cradles which adapt to accommodate pony-tails.

Around the $80 mark, helmets become available in various sizes, usually, small/medium/large, and are starting to acquire more ventilation.

The Lazer Helium - a high end helmet. Very light, comfortable and adaptable retention system - around $200

The Lazer Helium – a high end helmet. Very light, comfortable and adaptable retention system – around $200

More expensive helmets will have compound internal structures which allow even better ventilation and lighter construction. The most expensive helmets will have more sophisticated and comfortable retention systems as well as accessories such as aero rain covers, visors and stowage bags. These are not characteristics which affect most cyclists, but it’s surprising how heavy your helmet can feel when riding a 12-hour or a Century event. You will know if it’s right for you to buy a $200 helmet.

As for that old helmet of your’s that’s been providing good service since 1990? All helmets degrade in sunlight, so after three or four years its capacity to protect will be severely compromised. If a helmet has already done its job and protected your head from a hit its internal structure, which is designed to absorb the shock, will not be effective again and should be replaced.

The Giro Venti - for people with a brain the size of a planet

The Giro Venti – for people with a brain the size of a planet

It’s your head … you decide … but we have many customers who tell us that while sliding along the road on their head, they have a very lucid thought; that the dollars they spent on their helmet were some of the best money they ever spent.


Halter’s stock helmets by: Bell, Cannondale, Giro and Lazer for everyone from toddlers to teenagers, casual riders to racers.


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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