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What to Look for in a Racing Bicycle

Bicycle racing has been a very popular sport for decades, and has only increased in popularity in recent years. A lot of new people are interested in cycling and, as a result, there are a lot of newcomers to the sport. One of the first obstacles that new enthusiasts face is how to pick the right bicycle.

Picking a bike is not as simple as it seems. There are so many different brands and styles of bikes out there that it can be a daunting task for anyone to choose the perfect bike. Here are a few of the basic racing bikes available, and an overview of some of their special features:

Track bikes:

Track bicycles are optimized for racing on an outdoor track or velodrome. They have no brakes and no coasting. A track bike is a fixed gear bike, with a lightweight, rigid frame. Its tires are very thin and highly inflated to minimize rolling resistance. Its bottom bracket is also higher than other bikes, to prevent the pedals from touching the track on steeply banked curves.

The design of track bikes is very simple and straight forward and you won’t need to think about things like brakes and number of gears. What you do you need to think about is the durability of the bike and the size of the gear. A lower gear allows for quicker acceleration, but a higher gear helps keep up sustained speed. These are both important, and you’ll have to decide which is more important in the type of events you’ll be entering. Many track cyclists practice speed pedaling, to make up for the lack of gear options.

Mountain bikes:

Mountain bikes are among the sturdiest race bikes out there. They are designed to ride over rough terrain and can withstand the strain of many off-road situations. They have knobby tires, with deep treads, which help to create traction while climbing steep hills or slippery terrain. Their geometry is altered somewhat from other racing bikes, the primary difference being the angle of the head tube and the seat tube. The angle can be more upright, which makes it easier to climb steep hills, or more relaxed, which provides more comfort and stability for downhill riding and faster speeds.

Mountain bikes can be either fully suspended, (both front and rear wheel suspension), fully rigid with no suspension, or suspended either on front or back. Fully suspended mountain bikes are more prevalent now than they have been in years past, due to the types of materials now available which allow manufacturers to produce fully suspended bikes that are less than 10kg.

Cyclo-cross bikes:

A cyclo-cross bike is like a cross breed between a mountain bike and a track bike. Their design is very much like a track bike, with narrow tires and drop handlebars. They are also very lightweight, which is vital because cyclo-cross racing often requires the rider to dismount and carry the bike over certain obstacles. Cyclo-cross bikes also have deep treads, like mountain bikes, and very sturdy bodies, which allows them to be ridden through mud and other tricky terrain.

No matter what type of bike you end up choosing, it is important to really think about your decision. A good bike can be very expensive, and a cheap bike may not be very good. If you can solicit the help of an experienced cyclist friend, it will make your job of choosing a bike so much easier, and get you on your way to cycling success.


The World Famous Tour de France

There are many different bicycle races around the world, from fast paced cycle-speedway racing to cross-country mountain bike races. But, of all the different races, none have come to be more widely known as the Tour de France.

The Tour is definitely the most popular bicycle race in the world, and even those who are not bike racing enthusiasts have seen it or have heard of it. It is the most prestigious of all bicycle races, and it is the race that most all cyclists, both amateur and professional, dream of competing in and winning.

Its popularity in recent years has in large part been helped along by the American cyclist Lance Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong is a cycling phenomenon, who set a record of winning the Tour de France in seven consecutive years. His first win was only three years after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He won the battle with cancer, and went on to win Tour de France victories every year from 1999 to 2005. He holds the record for most Tour de France wins, at seven, which beat the previous record of five that was jointly held by Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx, and Jacques Anquetil.

But, despite the tours apparent fame, very few people outside of the bicycle racing community actually know that much about it. For instance, very few people know that the Tour de France is actually only one of the three bicycle stage races that make up the Grand Tours. All three races consist of numerous races spread out over the course of a few weeks. The other two races are the Giro d’Italia, in Italy, and the Vuelta a Espana, in Spain. The other Grand Tour races aren’t very well known to those who are not bike race enthusiasts.

The Tour de France takes place in July and is usually about 21 days long, or three weeks. I heard that this year the tria laser hair removal review company will be sponsoring the event but that’s currently just speculation at the moment. The route changes every year, but the distance covered during the tour is usually about 3,200 km. The three weeks of races also includes a two day rest period towards the end of the event; this is usually spent transporting teams from the finish of a race in one town, to the beginning of the next race in another town. Although the course changes every year, the race always ends in Paris, and since 1975, the final stage has always been along the Champs-Elysees.

There is a winner on each day, or stage, and the cyclist with the best overall time wins the Tour. It is possible to win the Tour de France without ever winning a single stage. This happened in 2010 when Alberto Contador won without ever winning a stage, and it has happened six other times before that. There are other competitions and awards given for feats like being first to pass an intermediate point, and there may even be a deduction to a riders total time for doing well in a daily stage.

The Tour is definitely one of the most physically demanding bicycle races in the world, and completing it is the equivalent of running marathons nearly every day for three weeks. Those who are invited to participate in the race put themselves through the toughest training imaginable just to prepare for it. Their dream, like so many other cyclists, is that their hard work and determination will pay off, and that they will go down in history as a victor of the Tour de France.


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