Monday, January 16, 2012

Set Goals to Become a Stronger Mountain Biker

With the objective to become stronger and more confident on my bike. I have set 4 mountain bike-specific goals that I feel certain I can attain throughout the year.

1. Keep strong in the off-season. I realize now that I need to change my way of thinking if I want to feel strong on my bike come spring. I’ve started an early-morning fitness routine at Raw Crossfit that I hope to continue until the snow melts and beyond.

2. Master a challenging section of trail. I’ve talked about becoming proficient in this area for years. This is the year I’m going to follow through with it. This year I will actually attempt the rock drop! You can hold me to it.

3. Take part in an event. This year, I’ve set my sights on a first time local event and put it on the calendar already. Myself and 4 other brave CTS members are going to attempt the Tough Mudder. I'm looking forward to testing my strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.

4. Show my local trails some love. I ride my local trails a lot, and far too infrequently I take part in trail work to maintain their glory. I plan on staying on track with the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative to make sure we are able to ride it's amazing trails for years to come.

What are your mountain bike goals for this year?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gorilla Approved

The full strength of the gorilla has never been measured. It should be sufficient to say and history shows the ability to bend and snap objects such as steel frames and giant aluminium crank arms suggests that the Gorilla On A Bike has the muscle power of between 8-15 men and possibly more. Few products have been able to withstand the pressure of the Gorilla On A Bike.
Starting in 2012 the gorilla will be turning up the pressure and putting in the miles, using whatever methods he can to bring you the very best in MTB product testing and review. Together we will see what equipment holds-up or shatters. Only products worthy will receive the "Gorilla Approved" Seal. Have a product you want to put to the test? Contact me at: greg@ctsbikeclub.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grind My Gears

6 Steps to Smooth Shifting. Once a rider figures out which lever makes pedalling harder and which makes pedalling easier, they know how to shift, right? Maybe. Finding the right gear takes practice and timing. Know what you're doing when you shift and you'll ride faster and extend the life of your drivetrain.

1. CROSS CHAIN: Rubs You the Wrong Way... The conventional wisdom is that cross chaining riding in a combination of the big chainring and big cog, or the small ring/small cog is wrong. It at times can provide the ideal gear, though it can also lead to clumsy shifts and eventually do damage to your chain and rear derailleur. If you're on the inner chainring in the front and the small cog in the back, chances are if you shift into the big ring the chain will fall off. Stay away from the 2 rear cogs that are opposite the front chain ring.

2. KEEP YOUR SPEED: Keeping your cadence a tad on the high side you ensure you always have enough RPM to make a smooth shift. Caught in too high a gear with too low of a cadence on an unexpected rise. Your only choice is get off the saddle and try to muscle up the climb on your bars or do an ugly dismount and hick-a-bike.

3. THINK AHEAD: Anticipate what gear you need and when to accelerate. Shifting after the terrain changes slows you down and robs you of energy. Look ahead and be in the right gear before you get there.

4. USE YOUR FEET: When you want to get a jump on the trail during a group ride don't grind your shifters, use your feet to unload the drivetrain, so you can butter up into the gear you need. This decreases your power for just a moment, so you can smoothly shift into your attacking gear.

5. BE THE CHAIN: If your chain is shot, shifting suffers. Change the chain more frequently, and you won't have to replace your cogs and rings as often. If your chain is in good condition, and a cable adjustment doesn't fix your shifting issues, inspect your chainrings and cassette for burrs and nicks.

6. FEEL THE LOVE: On long rides be a bit more gentle. Slamming shifts and stand on the gears hard will lead to you breaking something and throwing away an epic CTS ride. If you love your bike it'll love you back.

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