Safety for Mountain Biking

Top 6 Safety Accessories for Mountain Biking

By Lydia Quinn

Mountain biking can be a fun and exhilarating activity. However, in order to enjoy it, you must have all the proper safety accessories needed to protect you from falls, crashes and other unforeseen events that tend to be quite common when you’re racing through such rocky or treacherous terrain. Here are the top six safety accessories that every mountain biking enthusiast needs to have:


The top safety item is, of course, the helmet. In fact, you’ll want not just a helmet to protect your head, but a full-face helmet that will protect your entire face and head from falls or those random branches and foliage that may get in your way. Keep in mind that a mountain biking helmet is very different from a bicycle helmet, which only tends to cover the top of your head. A mountain biking helmet will look more like a motocross or dirt bike helmet. It will have vital face protection, while still allowing you to see and feel the wind in your face through a number of vents.

Eye Protection

Also critical is having proper eye protection. In this case, you want goggles, not sunglasses. A pair of goggles appropriate for mountain biking will look very much like a pair of ski goggles or dirt biking goggles. They will have a large surface to see through and also have a heavy duty strap which allows the goggles to stay on your face even over a full face helmet. You need goggles to protect you from the sun, glare, wind, dirt, dust, mud, leaves, foreign objects and whatever else you may run into.


Also important are gloves. Mountain biking gloves are much thinner and made from more flexible material that typical sports or work gloves. The flexibility is critical since mountain biking requires you to hold on to something constantly and have a strong grip. Mountain biking gloves will also have some sections of harder material on them, like rubberized or plastic areas for the back of the hand to protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.

Elbow Pads

Since you are sitting on a bike, having elbow pads is also vital. Elbow pads will protect your arms as you ride through dense areas of woods. They will also protect your arms in a crash or fall.

Shin Guards

Since you will likely be heading through dense brush, grasses or rocky trails, shin guards are another essential. Shin guards will protect your legs from all the dense underbrush, rocks, logs, branches, and everything else you roll over.

Mountain Bike Pants

You can buy pants specially made for mountain biking. It’s another critical clothing item to have if you’re out on the trails. They will feature extra durability and flexibility for someone riding a bike. In addition, waterproofing is also critical since you may need to go through a muddy path or a few inches of water. Extra padding would be found in the knees, as well as spandex or a similar fabric for maximum flexibility.

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Tips For Locking a Bike

Bicycle Maintenance – 6 Tips For Locking a Bike

Bicycle Maintenance – 6 Tips For Locking a Bike
By Dave D. Ethan

It can be a pretty debilitating feeling when a person is looking to cleanse away a long day at work with a bicycle commute home only to find out that a thief has already beat them to it. In fact the risk of having their bike stolen is one of the many reasons people use as an excuse not to pedal commute to work or school. The threats of bike theft are going to be prevalent regardless but there are things riders can do to either make the 2-wheeler harder to steal or ease the sting if it does get snagged.

Spend Money

It may not seem like a wise investment to spend $60 just to attempt to avoid a bicycle from being stolen, but if that money protects a $600 investment it’s not such a bad deal. The truth is the more a lock costs the more secure it will likely be. All locks do their part to deter crooks from simply hopping on a bike and pedaling away, but more prominent locks are easy to spot and will more often than not persuade the crooks to move on to an easier target.

Disable Quick Release Levers

Quick release levers are a convenient accessory for trail riders and those that have a secure storage facility on their property. Unfortunately for daily commuters the quick release lever is nothing more than a way for criminals to either steal the tires in a second or to disengage the rest of the bicycle frame from a lock. If a person needs to park and lock their bike in public for long periods at a time, they should ditch the quick release tires for the hex-nut screw in ones.

Lock the Rear Wheel and Frame

When locking a bike it’s important to secure it not only around the rear wheel but the frame as well. When the lock is threaded through both the frame and wheel it prevents taking apart the rims and stealing the frame or vice-versa.

Use a Stable Locking Base

Not only is how a person secures a bike important in through the rear wheel and frame at the same time, but also what they secure it to. Posts, wood fences, or small trees that can be removed or cut down are not very secure areas compared to metal fences or large trees.

Make the Bike Look Unique

A bright lime green bike or one with a huge basket or saddle bags is a theft deterrent because it presents a unique look. Once a person rides their unique bike often, people will associate it with them and will be able to tell when a different user is pedaling it. Most thieves are aware of this and will move on to a more discreet style frame.

Get An Insurance Policy

The final step in securing a bike is making sure it’s covered in any homeowner or renter’s insurance policy so that the depression and defeat of having the cycle lifted is at least recouped monetarily.

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Buying A Bike Rack

Buying a Bike Rack: Six Things to Consider

Buying a Bike Rack: Six Things to Consider

By Samuel Maina Kang’aru

1. How Many Bikes Need to be Transported?

There is a world of difference between a bachelor who plans to hit the trail every weekend and a businesswoman who has to transport a large number of bikes every day. The bachelor will probably be best served by a strap-on, trunk-mounted carrier, while the businesswoman will probably need a hitch-mounted rack or something more specialized.

2. Does the Rack Need to be Moved from One Vehicle to Another?

Certain carriers, such as roof-mounted types, are not suitable for situations where they have to be moved frequently from one vehicle to another. In such cases, hitch-mounted or strap-on racks are a much better choice.

3. How Secure is it?

A roof mounted carrier or one that can be locked in the trunk of a vehicle may be the best choice for those planning to travel to areas that are not secure.

4. How Much Are Buyers Willing to Spend?

Carrier prices can vary dramatically, from tens of dollars to several hundreds. This is the result of several factors, such as the number of bikes a rack can hold, whether the rack is meant to be attached to the roof or trunk, the quality of materials used to make a rack and extras such as padding, color and finish. Potential buyers should also consider other costs. For instance, a vehicle with a roof-mounted rack will use more gas because of poor aerodynamics and the resulting increased air resistance.

5. What Kind of Vehicle Does the Potential Buyer Have?

Certain racks are unsuitable for some types of vehicles. For instance, hitch-mounted carriers categorized as Class III can only be used with pickups and other large vehicles, while roof-mounted racks may not be a good choice for cars with a with a high center of gravity.

6. How High Can the Buyer Lift a Bike?

A roof-mounted rack is a bad choice for someone who cannot lift a bike very far from the ground, as they are not only likely to damage it, but also injure themselves in the process. In such cases, a trunk-mounted carrier would probably be a better option.

Buyers wading through the large variety of bike racks in many stores may have a hard time picking out the right one. However, they can solve this problem by asking themselves a few simple questions, and turn the process of selecting the right rack from a chore to a pleasure.

Article Source:’aru



Bike Rack Tips

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Main Types of Bike Racks in the Market


Advantages and Disadvantages of the Main Types of Bike Racks in the Market

By Samuel Maina Kang’aru

There are three main types of bike carriers; hitch mounted, strap on and roof mounted. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Hitch-mounted racks

These attach to a hitch at the back of the vehicle. There are two types.

• Class I carriers are compatible with a large number of cars and small Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Depending on the design, they can hold up to three bikes.

• Class III carriers are designed for use with pickups and large SUVs. They can hold a larger number of bikes than Class I racks. Unfortunately, they cannot be used on smaller vehicles without expensive modifications.

These carriers are extremely easy to install, and there is generally less chance of accidentally scratching the paint off a vehicle while mounting bikes.

However, without proper installation, they can block rear windows, increasing the possibility of causing accidents while reversing, or cover license plates, which is considered illegal in many jurisdictions.

Strap-on trunk-mounted racks

These carriers are attached with straps to the trunk, rear bumper or hatchback, and carry up to three bicycles. They come with padded or plastic-coated frame supports to protect the bicycles from scratches and other damage.

Strap on racks are cheap and easy to store when not in use. They are also versatile, and can be used on virtually any model, which makes them particularly suitable for leased vehicles.

Unfortunately, like hitch-mounted racks, they can block the rear window if installed poorly. They are also less secure, as it is possible for thieves to untie or cut straps attaching bike racks to the vehicle.

Roof-mounted racks

These are attached to the vehicle’s upper door frames or rain gutters, or where available, cross bars or roof racks, which is generally cheaper. Depending on the size of the vehicle, up to seven bicycles can be carried. A special case can be added if extra storage space for tools and other equipment is needed. When it is not being used for holding bikes, the rack can be also used for carrying canoes and skis.

While roof-mounted racks guarantee unobstructed view from the rear window, they are more difficult to install. Other disadvantages include increased air resistance, which can lead to increased fuel consumption and wind noise, and the increased likelihood of scratching paint as bikes are lifted onto the vehicle roof.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of bike racks on the market can make it easier to figure out which one to pick.

Article Source:’aru