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Layering up for fall cycling

Lengthen your cycling season with layering

Layering up for fall cycling

Tempted to hang up your bike already? Don't do it just yet! Whether you prefer the woods or the road, pedaling into fall gives you access to sights, smells, and sensations that fair-weather biking can't offer. Here are a few key changes to your cycling wardrobe that will keep you cranking while you wait for the first snowfall of winter.

#1: Cycling Jackets
Okay, the temperature is 40°F to 60°F and your first thought as you head out is to bundle up.  Beware!  After 10 minutes of hard riding, your body will start generating some serious heat. A lightweight, wind-resistant shell makes a great outer layer to cut the chill until you are up to speed.  Make sure the jacket has a full-zip front for venting, a drop tail for coverage in the back and can be compacted to stow in a jersey pocket.

#2: Biking Jerseys and Tops
Wearing multiple light layers of clothing helps trap insulating air between.  Start with a thin polyester base layer that will quickly wick moisture away from your skin to keep you dry. On colder days, add an easy-to-shed middle layer such as a synthetic long-sleeve shirt or bike jersey. A vest is another good option, as it warms your core while leaving your arms free to move.

#3: Cycling Pants & Tights
The rule of thumb is to keep the knees covered at 60°F or lower, so time to trade in your cycling shorts for pants, capris or add knee warmers.  If it's colder than pant weather, use full-length tights.  Breathable tights that have wind-resistant fronts are best but a bit hard to find.  If the tights you select don't have padded bottoms (they often don't), wear them over your bike shorts.

#4: Biking Headwear
The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the scorching summer months can become a problem when it gets cooler.  To prevent your forehead and ears from going numb, wear a thin synthetic headband under the helmet.  If it's especially cold, choose a skullcap with earflaps, or better yet, a skull cap that can cover your ears too.  Still cold?  Add a helmet cover to block off all the venting and keep the rain out.

#5: Biking Socks
Cycling socks with merino wool will add needed warmth.  Just be sure to pay close attention to how these thicker socks affect the fit of your shoes. Bike shoes tend to be snug anyway, and too many socks might cramp the fit.  Too tight a fit inhibits blood flow, which will cause your feet to get colder and numb.

#6: Bike Shoe Covers
Cycling shoe covers (or booties) cover the your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  Booties can be made from neoprene, Windtex or a variety of materials that block wind and water to keep your feet warm and dry.  Bring your riding shoes and be sure to buy something that fits well.  Other options include toe covers, and chemical heat pads.

#7: Arm & Leg Warmers
Mentioned earlier, arm and leg-warmers are perfect for not-too-cold or variable conditions.  Put them on for the start of a ride and peel them off as weather warms later in the day.  Arm and leg warmers provide lightweight insulation and can be removed and stowed in a jersey pocket without even stopping. 

#8: Bike Gloves
It's tough to shift and brake when your fingers are numb.  Leave the fingerless gloves at home and go for full-fingered gloves.  How heavy, warm or waterproof are really a matter of personal choice.  Even if not perfect, a lightweight, wind-resistant pair of gloves will come in handy on many fall and spring rides.

New Fall Bikes

The 2016 models have begun to roll into the store! We've got an exciting new stock of the latest and the greatest in the bike industry, including bikes perfect for fall riding. Whether you're looking for a cyclocross bike or a mountain bike to explore the colors of fall, we've got the perfect fit for you. Stop in and talk to one of our knowledgeable staff to hear all about the new features unique to this years' models.

Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 29 Specialized Fatboy SE Specialized Diverge Comp DSW
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert 29
Specialized Fatboy SE
Specialized Diverge Comp DSW

Shop Early Save Big

Shop Early Save Big - Get a head start on your holiday shopping

We have everything you need (and want) for the upcoming holidays! Our everyday low prices are better than ever - and won't last long. Stop on in to check out out the bargains we've not yet publicized! Prior year bikes are on sale, as well as plenty of Fall riding necessities and really cool gifts.

Disc Brakes. It's about Control. Not power.

giant disc brake bikes

Disc Brakes. It's About Control, Not Power.

Many cyclists assume the biggest reason to switch to disc brakes is to gain stopping power. While hydraulic disc brakes on a road bike would almost certainly be more powerful than existing rim brakes, the bigger benefit is actually that cyclists would get control over the available power.

Some tech talk

In its current form, a rim has many jobs. Not only is it the braking surface, but the rim also anchors the tire and helps support the rider. And, as a relatively large, rotating object, it can't be too heavy. To meet this requirement, rim manufacturers use materials that are strong and light, but don't offer ideal braking performance. By contrast, a disc rotor is small, so even if it's made from a relatively heavy material (most are stainless steel) it still winds up being fairly light—an average 160mm disc rotor weighs about 115 grams, while a standard aluminum box-section clincher rim weighs about 440. The greater degree of control comes as the result of a bit of counterintuitive physics. A disc rotor's smaller diameter compared with a rim's brake track means it has to work harder to stop a bike. But because it's working harder, you get better control (modulation), explains Wayne Lumpkin, founder of Avid Brakes and creator of the Ball Bearing mechanical and Juicy hydraulic disc brakes. How much harder does it have to work? According to Lumpkin, disc-brake pads must squeeze with about 1,000 pounds of force to achieve near-lockup, while a rim brake needs only 200 pounds for the same job. The larger span (0 to 1,000 pounds versus 0 to 200) is a bigger window in which to control braking force; hence, better modulation. Then there's the superior feel of a disc brake. The calipers found on most road bikes are relatively flexible and are mounted to a bicycle with a single small-diameter bolt. Their job is to squeeze rubbery pads against a compressible brake track. A disc, by contrast, uses a stiffer caliper and squeezes largely noncompressible pads against an incompressible rotor, giving you a solid, precise feel. Cyclists used to a road-bike caliper may find disc brakes grabby at first, until they adjust to the increased power and learn to take advantage of the precise control available.