Mountain Bike Training Myths

Mountain bike training has a lot of “trail myths” surrounding it. When someone decides that they want to get better on the trail they are usually told things like “work on your cardio”, “ride your bike more” and “get a bike fit”…but there is more to each of those pieces of advice.

– “Work on your cardio”: While cardio is important, the real key to riding faster and longer is to achieve better efficiency on the trail. Cardio is like the size of your gas tank and your efficiency is like the mile-per-gallon. You can get more by working on both than simply shoving a bigger gas tank in.

Efficiency comes from working on mobility and strength in the gym and on your skills off the trail. Increased mobility and strength will result in less wasted energy on the bike as your body is better able to achieve and maintain optimal alignment and movement. Increased technical skills will result in less wasted speed and momentum on the trail which means less overall “effort” to achieve the same speed.

Add it all up and you are able to go faster while pedaling less, which means better use of the cardio capacity you already have. For most riders starting out with a mountain bike training program, this is the first place to start. Increased “cardio” is nice but if you’re wasting a ton of energy on the trail it is like pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it- it will never get full until you plug the leak!

– “Ride you bike more”: When new riders first start every time they go out for a ride they feel like they are improving. However, this honeymoon period soon ends and riders are left trying to figure out how to continue improving. The advice from most veteran riders is that since riding helped in the beginning, then riding more must be the answer, right?

Not so fast, my friend. Riding your bike is the best way to learn how to apply your current fitness and skill levels to the trail. After a year or so of riding most people have maxed out their current fitness and skill levels, which is why they stop improving. While riding more can improve those things, you eventually run into the ugly truth – you hit the point of diminishing returns and an extra couple hours of riding each week doesn’t really improve your overall performance.

Strength and conditioning is one of the most efficient uses of your mountain bike training time and can dramatically raise your performance potential. When done right, it can improve fitness and skill levels as you develop better body awareness, strength, power and mobility. That way, when you hit the trail you are learning to apply those new levels, resulting in an increase in performance without a large increase in riding time.

– “Get a bike fit”: Bike fits are great – if you’re a roadie. On the trail they are very limited when the perfect world of the roadie meets the chaos of the trail. Mountain biking carries a very high technical skill element and you want your bike set up to best fit this need, not to work around your mobility and movement deficits.

Most bike fits looks to change how the bike is set up around you regardless of how those changes affect the balance and handling on the trail. Some of the most common bike fit “fixes”, such as changing stem length, will negatively affect your ability to corner and handle your bike. Mountain bikers need to pick the weapon that will give them the best balance and position and then work on fitting their body into that set up. It is rarely the fit that is holding a rider back; it is more often the tight and weak rider that is holding the bike back.

While working on your cardio, riding more and getting a bike fit can be helpful and result in some progress, they are not the most efficient and effective ways to transform your trail riding. The foundational movement and strength levels of the rider determine their true potential and by working on these things you can ride faster, longer and with more confidence no matter what bike you’re riding or trail you’re on. Strength and mobility training deserves an important spot in your mountain bike training program if you really want to stop riding at the same level year after year.

-James Wilson-

The Hitch Mount Bike Rack – Why is it So Popular?

Can you imagine being able to get your bikes loaded and unloaded in less than 2 minutes? No more taking off the front wheel when trying to squash it into the back of you car. No more hassling to put the wheel back before you ride. A hitch mount bike rack will be the time saving solution. This article will explain why its the top selling bike rack on the market.

So why choose the hitch mount bike rack and not the trunk mount, roof top or spare tire mount carrier?

Well first off for security. It’s easy to lock your bicycles onto the carrier and the rack to the car. Although a determined thief would be able to steal the bike if they really wanted to, it certainly prevents just any passerby from taking your bikes are riding away with them!

Secondly the rack is separate from the actual car. No more scratches or smudges on the body of the vehicle.

Yes, all bike racks come with padding and they say that there is no way that your vehicle will get damaged, but I’m not so sure. I have often noticed cars with ugly marks on them left by a trunk mount or roof mount. I for one had to treat the roof of my car for rust damage after using roof racks for just a year.

Thirdly, is the fact of being able to get into the trunk of your vehicle whether the bikes are loaded or not.

There is no way that you will pull that off with a trunk mount bicycle carrier.

Don’t even think about it!

Some hitch mounts do prevent you from opening the hatch completely but there are some models that have been developed which swing away or fold up, while still attached to the back of the car. These models are a bit more expensive, but they save you a lot of trouble in the long run, because you make up time by not having to unload your bikes and the rack, when you want to get into the trunk.

Lastly, the hitch mount seems to come out tops when it comes to stability. I find this to be the more highly rated feature of this particular rack.

If you are going to be traveling over rough terrain, you don’t want your bikes rattling on the back of your car. Can you imagine the damage to the paint work of your bikes? There is one model in particular that stands out for stability. It supports both the back and front tires, holding them firmly in place.

Have You Considered a Giant Mountain Bike?

It is always a great question which bike to buy for the first time. You are not sure what you actually should expect from your bike and which bike will perform as per your wishes.

This actually depends on what you want to do with your bike. Free riding or speeding down the slope or just paddle away in the wilderness. But one thing is common in all the requirements. All your biking needs can be fulfilled with a Giant mountain bike.

What You Need In a Bike

When you are considering getting yourself a bike there are a few aspects that have to be kept in mind which are:

o Reliability: Your bike should be a reliable one which you can take everywhere without having a doubt that it will not breakdown during your activity.

o Comfort: In most of the cases you will be riding your bike for extended durations. Any bike which you do not find comfortable will be a waste of your money, as you will not be able to give your best as it will tire you out sooner than what you would be able to achieve on a comfortable bike.

o Well balanced: A mountain bike is always expected to be well balanced as that will enhance your performance while ascending and descending. This aspect makes the biggest difference because as a biker your safety lies in your bike’s balance and center of gravity. A bike which is not well balanced will always be hard to paddle up the hill and difficult to handle down the hill.

o Great Looks: when it comes to begin a selection, the first thing that matters is the looks. A bike which is not attractive will not get even to the first base with a buyer. At least I will not even ask about the specifications of the quality of an ugly looking bike at the dealer’s.

With all the above aspects in mind what I feel is that a giant mountain bike is worth a consideration as it possesses all the qualities which anyone can desire in a bike. If you are considering a purchase, do consider giant Mountain Bike.

Naming a Business – The Good, Bad & the Ugly

The last post 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming A Business provided the mistakes to avoid however the post failed to provide the good (as there are sometimes that brands can make these work), bad and the ugly of each mistake. Feedback received and some research revealed that there are a LOT of blogs about what not to do and what to do but not many had examples of such. As this blog is tools, resources, tips, ways, etc of what the agency has experienced and seen around, a secondary post is warranted with some examples. There are many, many ways to name a business and making a name “your own”, combining that with your branding message and marketing materials is something to be proud of. However, there are some names that tend to stand out – whether they be good, bad or just ugly.

Referring back to the list of the previous post:

1. Too Generic. Names that start off with a very generic term need a describer word or words or a tag line to have people know what you do.

Good: One Hour (service industry for repairs of air, heating, etc). Creative, Bike World

Bad: American, Corporate, Ideal, Expert, A1

Ugly: Save Air, Gold Metal

2. Obscure. Again, while after saying the name over and over to yourself it starts to sink in but many times it is a head scratcher.

Good:???

Bad: Ash Wipes (chimney sweep) Virus Woman,

Ugly: Hung Far Low (Chinese restaurant), Zyklon (cyanide-based pesticide that Natzi’s used to kill millions in WWII.

3. Awkward misspellings. They may look cool in the logo design and on the business cards but for small businesses in particular it is best to go back to the drawing board.

Good: Qwest, Krispy Kreme, Pick up Stix, Reebok (derived from rhebok, an african antelope).

Bad: Automattic, Reddi Rooter, Krazy Klothes,

Ugly: Justus Boyz, EZ-On, Digi-Trax, Purrfect Auto Services, EyeCon

4. Overused. Many times these fall into too generic as well. These are so overused across many industries where a simple search for a company can yield 10 different businesses in different industries who also though to use it.

Good: Town & Country, Pit Stop, Cards, Hair

Bad: Full Service, Universal, Statewide

Ugly: Letter A first: A Best Bailbonds, Millennium

5. Location Naming. Location naming is problematic for expansion. There are some that do work when the city is known for a certain food and they go outside their city.

Good: NY Bagels, Chicago Pizza, Philly Cheese Steaks

Bad: Desert, Red Rock, Beach, Mountain

Ugly: Streets: East Charleston & Lamb, Bay

6. Word Combination.

Good: Cabvertising, Lexmark (Lexington Marketing), Comcast (communication & broadcast)

Bad: VidiArt, Acceler8, UpperMost

Ugly: Dynalectric, Technovation,

7. Too Long. Long name are very difficult for people to remember and generally they shorten them for you.

Good: The Resort at Mount Charleston, Dental Resources Staffing

Bad: Nice & Clean Environmental Services, David Family Liquidators, Dee’s Doggie Deli & Tasha’s Grooming

Ugly: Blue Diamond Air Conditioning & Heating Company, Delmar Gardens of Green Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

There are so many more but these are a few examples to see what to avoid and in some cases where it is not the end of the business if you do go with a name that is not necessarily recommended. It has to work for you and the company. The worst case scenario is to have a business that people cannot remember, pronounce or shorten to their liking as they will do all that they can to avoid saying it… trust me.