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Learn your bike computer month

Learn your bike computer at Yorktown Cycles

We know, every month has some crazy theme, and at times it can get a bit excessive. However, when we heard it was "Learn your computer" month, we thought it would be an excellent occasion for us at Yorktown Cycles to help YOU learn all about your bike computer. So many of us are riding around, completely unaware of just how much our bike computers can do. So this October we encourage you to bring your computer in to Yorktown Cycles, and we'll help you learn just a little more about everything it can do. No charge, no gimmicks, just a simple lesson in hopes that it will help you improve your cycling. Still riding without a bike computer? You should stop in as well - we can help you find the right computer (from simple to advanced) for your riding style.

Want to learn a bit more about bike computers on your own? Take a quick look at our guide to bicycle computers for a good overview on features available. However, a bike computer is something you want to touch (and let's be honest, play around with) before you purchase it, so stop on in for a full guided tour of different models! You'll be surprised by how much you can improve your cycling with a simple tool like a bike computer.

10 Weird and Wonderful Bike Inventions

Yorktown Cycles 10 Weird and Wonderful Bike Inventions

Celebrating Bike Inventions

At Yorktown Cycles we're all about celebrating the creativity and ingenuity (and sometimes downright hilarity) of cyclists. You may find it hard to believe the following bike inventions exist (so did we) - and you might even be inspired to create your OWN bike inventions. Which one is your favorite? Which do you wish you had?

Rocking chair bike#1 The Rocking Chair Bike

Take the comfort of a rocking chair, and put it on wheels. Crazy or brilliant bike invention? I guess we'd have to try it out to know for sure, but something tells us this one might be a bit awkward to use. We'll stick to our standard selection of comfort bikes for now.

Bamboo Bike#2 The Bamboo Bike

Bamboo may seem like an unconventional material for a bike, but this creativity arose out of a charitable project in Ghana. The design has since been refined by Max Schay and now is sold as "My-boo" bikes. The bikes are still handmade in Ghana, and then finishing touches are added in Germany. Did you notice what's written on it? Hakuna Matata - it means no worries, friends.

plastic elastic forks#3 Plastic Elastic Forks

Plastic elastic front forks? Yep, we're shaking our heads too. Made by the Icelandic company, Lauf, these forks are an attempt to provide something lightweight for cross country and marathon riding, where heavy shock absorbers may be undesirable. If you would rather leave this bike invention in the weird category, go ahead and stop in to check out our wide selection of forks.

Pedal Handles#4 Pedal Handles

We've all seen bikes with pedal handles. And of course we've seen a bike with foot pedals. But a bike with hand AND foot pedals? Now that's an interesting idea. We're not quite sure how well steering would work on this bike invention. Can you imagine pedaling and steering with your hands at the same time? Yep, neither can we.

Triangle Bike#5 Triangle Bike

This triangle bike may look quite odd. In fact, you may be asking, what on earth would motivate that invention?Well, attempting to take a bike on the tube, apparently. British designers created this bike with the goal of making a small folding bike that could easily be taken on public transportation. But having a top tube sticking up between your legs? That would take some getting used to. For a more traditional framed bike that also folds well for public transportation, check out the Giant Expressway or a similar folding bike.

Bike Train#6 Bike Train

Here's an invention for you parents out there. Ever feel like you have a lot to carry with you? Enter the bike train to the rescue. Or for those of you who like to tour by bike. Now you finally have a way to pack up your hair dryer and your personal library and your...well, and whatever else you want to take with you. The bonus is the extra workout with all that weight you're pulling.

Mountain Tandem Bike#7 Mountain Tandem Bike

Tandem bikes are great for traveling down the boulevard with the one you love. However, with this bike apparently you could go ripping down a single track with the one you love. This tandem comes outfitted with disc brakes and front fork suspension to take you to places you never imagined you'd go in tandem. Good luck talking you wife into it.

Electric Chariot#8 The Electric Chariot

Now this is an invention we can get behind. This bike was designed in Taiwan to help those with disabilities to travel by bike. The bike can be pedaled by hand cranks, or be propelled by the powerful electric motor. Have you tried electric bikes yet? An electric bike might just turn your impossible commute into possible.

Bike Beer Holder#9 The Bike Beer Holder

We've got plenty of cages for water bottles. But a beer carrier? That's a dangerously brilliant idea. As long as said beer is to be enjoyed after the ride at one's destination, we're totally behind this bike invention.

bike wheel with springs inside#10 The Wheel with springs inside

Leave it to the British. The British developer Sam Pearce, after seeing a large stroller with industrial grade shock absorbers, had the grand idea to put suspension INSIDE the wheel. These shock absorbing wheels, called "loopwheels," are being used to give a smoother ride on wheelchairs and folding bikes. There are plans in the works to create a mountain bike wheel as well. Stop in to check out our wide selection (although not featuring the loopwheel YET) of wheels to find the perfect fit for your riding style.

Tri Harder - Apps to go the distance

Triathlon Training Apps

If you're looking for that extra nudge to get you off the couch and well on your way towards a triathlon, look no further. We have the perfect set of apps to help motivate and train you all the way to your goals.


First Time Triathlon

Clearly aimed at newbies to the sport, this app will generate a customized 12-week training plan to suit your ability – beginner or intermediate – for each discipline. It may look a little basic and dated, but the app is full of useful tips and definitely worth a look for those starting out.


Garmin Fit

Garmin Fit turns your smartphone into a mine of training stats with speed, distance, route and calories burned displayed for your cycling and running adventures. You can also pick a soundtrack to train to, upload to Garmin Connect and, if your phone is ANT+ enabled, see data from Garmin fitness sensors.


MapMyFitness

This app is another excellent GPS-based training app that will synchronize automatically with your online training log at MapMyFitness.com – an online community full of running and cycling routes. The app features ANT+ support for power and heart rate and Twitter integration and the ability to record indoor sessions for a full training diary.



If you are unsure about how to start training or need advice on what the right gear is for your budget just stop by our shop and we can help!

Fitness Apps to Stay in Shape

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="556"]Get smart about fitness with the right app Fitness apps[/caption]

RunKeeper by FitnessKeeper, Inc. (for iPhone and Android) Runkeeper is great for tracking all your fitness activities including running, walking, cycling, hiking, and more. The app dashboard shows your performance records including miles, time, speed and heart rate.

Mapmyride (for iPhone and Android) Every hardcore bicyclist should have this GPS fitness tracking application, allowing you to make the most of your trips. Track your route, pace, speed, distance, elevation, calories burned, time, progress and improvement, all on an interactive map.

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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.