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President's Day Special Offer at Yorktown Cycles

 

President's Day Special Offer at Yorktown Cycles

One of the many perks of shopping small is that the president...err, boss...is working right on site! In fact, our boss is just as likely to be helping you find that perfect bike - or accessory - as anybody else in the shop. Now that's the kind of service and personal connection we're all looking for! Having the boss on site also allows us to share special offers with you. This President's Day, February 19th, at Yorktown Cycles save 20% off any TWO cycling accessories of your choosing and come celebrate with us the privilege of shopping small. Simply mention this blog post when checking out!

How to choose the right bike light

How to choose the right bike light

How to Choose a Bike Light

Bike lights keep getting lighter and smaller while delivering brighter illumination for riding safety. However, the number of bike lights to choose from can be overwhelming. Yorktown Cycles is here to help you choose the right bike light.

When shopping for bike lights, you first need to ask yourself this: Do you want to see or be seen? Or both? This article will help you choose the right lighting for your cycling needs. Below are some helpful tips on how to choose a bike light.

Types of Bike Lights

A well-lit bike is equipped with front, side and rear lighting to ensure your visibility to motorists and pedestrians.

For commuting or riding after dark—especially on trail rides that are far from ambient light sources—your front light needs to be a high-output lighting system so you see well ahead of you.

High-output lighting systems: These usually are rechargeable light systems that offer maximum illumination. They are higher priced but much brighter than safety lights, and they help you see where you’re going on the trail or road in nearly all conditions.

Front, side and rear safety lights: These help motorists see you in dim light conditions. The brightest ones also improve your visibility in the daytime. However, they’re not bright enough to help you see where you’re going for most night riding. The main differences between safety light models are in mounting options, the number of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and whether they use rechargeable or disposable batteries.

Comparing Light Performance

All lights offered use durable housings sealed with weatherproof gaskets. Count on these lights to shine in any weather. What to consider:

LEDs: Energy efficiency and durability make LEDs the predominant light source used in bike lights. They come in a wide range of brightness levels.

Lumens: A lumen is a unit of measurement that quantifies the amount of light falling on the object you want illuminated. Measured at a uniform distance, a lumen describes the light intensity of each lighting unit. Most light manufacturers provide a lumen rating.

Beam pattern: If you commute on streets with streetlights, you may want to choose a front light with a narrow-focus beam. On darker roads or trails, you’ll want to go with a wide-focus beam for better peripheral vision. Beam patterns can be difficult for shoppers to compare; check online product descriptions or ask an  sales specialist for help.

As a general rule, higher price equals higher light output.

Rechargeable Lighting Systems

Rechargeable systems feature lithium ion batteries. They can be charged hundreds of times, making them an inexpensive and environmentally sound alternative to disposable batteries.

Unlike alkalines that dim slowly over battery life, most rechargeables deliver consistent light until their power is exhausted. Therefore, most rechargeable lights have a “fuel gauge” or low-battery warning. All rechargeables have a power light to indicate that power is available.

Lithium ion batteries offer excellent power for their weight, and they are characterized by their long run times. They are easy to keep charged because they suffer no “memory” effects from being fully discharged.

Maintaining Your Battery System

Most rechargeable batteries are capable of more than 500 charge/discharge cycles. Self-contained units can be charged via a power cord or USB charger.

When charging batteries, be sure you fully charge them, especially before storage, but do not overcharge them. Most systems come with smart chargers that automatically stop when the batteries are fully charged to prevent overcharging. Because inactive batteries lose their charge over time, plug in and charge your system before every use.

Run Time and Battery Life

Battery life depends on the light’s battery type, the power of the system and the kind of LEDs in the light.

A flashing light emits an eye-catching pulse (either steady or random) that uses less battery power than a steady beam. Most lights offer flashing and steady modes. It’s difficult to see well with a flashing headlight in the dark, so save the flash mode of your headlight for daytime use.

Most rechargeable units have multiple settings. This lets you switch between long-lasting, low-power light and bright, high-intensity light that drains battery power more quickly. Most systems let you select from a range of illumination levels.

Mounting Options

Headlights mount onto your handlebar, but many can mount onto your your helmet, too. For nighttime trail riding, you should consider using both types. Beams of helmet-mounted lights can be directed by just the turn of your head, so if you’re using only 1 light, you'll find a helmet-mounted light to be the most versatile.

Rear safety lights can be mounted on your pack, pocket or seatpost. Some can also be mounted on the back of rear bike racks.

Side safety lights usually mount on either spokes or frames.  Spoke mounted lights are especially visible because they clearly show your wheels in motion.

Battery packs for high-output lights can be attached to your bike or—since many have dramatically decreased in size and weight—stowed in a pack. Quick-release hardware lets you take your light with you when leaving your bike, especially when the battery and light are contained in a single unit.

Stop in today to check out Yorktown Cycle's great selection of bike lights!

Bike Back to School Checklist

Yorktown Cycles' Bike Back to School Checklist

It's that time of year - the air is filled with the scent of freshly sharpened pencils. At Yorktown Cycles we've got everything you need for heading back to school - by bike. From helmets, bells and lights to packs, racks and water bottles, we'll make sure you head back to the classroom safely and in style. At Yorktown Cycles we're all about encouraging commuting by two wheels instead of four, and our staff loves to share tips and experiences!

Not sure exactly what you need for your commute to school (or work!) - read on over for an exhaustive list!

Bike to School Checklist

Note: This list is intentionally extensive. Not every student will bring every item on every ride.

Step 1: The Two Essentials

  • Bike
  • Helmet

Step 2: Primary Options

(Base choices on individual needs and preferences)

Key transit items

  • Water (in bottles or hydration pack)
  • Eye protection (sunglasses or clear lenses)
  • Street map
  • Lock
  • Medical info/emergency contact card
  • First aid items

Core bike repair items

  • Spare tube or tubes (and/or patch kit)
  • Pump or CO2 inflator (with cartridge)
  • Tire levers
  • Multi Tool
  • Saddlebag to hold tools and spare tubes etc.
  • Bell
  • Mirror
  • Headlight

     

  • Taillight with blinking option

Storage/equipment options

  • Backpack, hydration pack or messenger (sling) bag
  • Handlebar bag
  • Cargo rack
  • Panniers

Fenders

  • Rack straps or bungee cords

Step 2: Primary Options (cont.)

Clothing options for variable weather

  • Rainwear or stowaway windbreaker
  • Insulation layer for cool air
  • Leg bands
  • Shoe covers
  • Visibility vest
  • Gloves
  • Cycling socks
  • Skullcap or headband
  • Padded shorts or tights
  • Wicking jersey or top
  • Gloves Cycling socks
  • Skullcap or headband

Personal

  • Chamois cream/skin lotion
  • Sunscreen

 

Step 3: Post-Ride Items

(Carry with you, or store in advance at destination)

  • Change of clothing
  • Off-bike footwear options
  • Toiletry kit
  • Towel/washcloth
  • Small, quick-dry towel (for cleanups)
  • Baby wipes (popular for cleanups)

 

Step 4: Other Possibilities

  • First-aid items
  • Lip balm
  • Cell phone
  • Cash/credit card/ID
  • Energy food/gels/drinks
  • Strips of duct tape (for repairs)

 

Cycling accessories to make riding more fun

Cycling accessories to make riding more fun

Riding season is in full swing and we have just the right cycling accessories to add just a bit more enjoyment to each of your rides. From the right clothing - well fit bike shorts to gel gloves for comfort to the right equipment - clipless pedals & shoes for going the distance and computers to track the distance - we've got everything you need in stock. And as the temperatures rise, don't forget to check out our insulated water bottles to keep you cool and hydrated.

Best Summer Cycling Accessories

  1. Jerseys with a high UPF rating. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which means your jersey protects you from harmful sun rays.
  2. Shorts built for the heat. Look for lighter materials and mesh leg grippers (as opposed to elastic) that will help keep you cool.
  3. Lightweight wind vest. Summer mornings can be cool - look for a vest that will keep your core warm in the early morning, but not add weight when you're carrying it later.
  4. Arm coolers. Protect your arms - look for high SPF/UPF ratings.
  5. Moisture wicking gloves. Nothing is worse than sticky, sweaty gloves. Look for summer gloves with materials that will wick away the moisture.
  6. Quality sunglasses. Protect your eyes on bright sunny summer days. Pay attention to the weight of the sunglasses!
  7. Lightweight & well ventilated helmet. Your head plays a big role in temperature regulation - make sure your helmet has adequate ventilation for the heat!
  8. Ultra-light riding cap. Once again, look for moisture wicking fabric here.
  9. Light & breathable shoes. Your winter cycling shoes won't cut it in summer. Look for mesh fabrics that allow your feet to breathe.
  10. Insulated water bottle. This one is a must when it comes to summer cycling accessories. Hydration is key and there's nothing better than cold hydration on a hot day!

Accessories to make riding more fun

Accessories to make riding fun

Riding season is in full swing and we have just the right accessories to add just a bit more enjoyment to each of your rides. From the right clothing - well fit bike shorts to gel gloves for comfort to the right equipment - clipless pedals & shoes for going the distance and computers to track the distance - we've got everything you need in stock. And as the temperatures rise, don't forget to check out our insulated water bottles to keep you cool and hydrated and sunglasses to protect your eyes.