It occured to me as I was talking to a few friends of mine that over the last few years of riding bikes and also getting into racing, I’ve learned quite a lot about bikes, riding them properly, exercise, racing and otherwise having a blast on 2 wheels. There are quite a few things that I would have been better off if I had known about them when I got started, or at least before I stared getting “more serious” about biking. They would have saved some rides, prevented injuries, and saved me some money, so I figured I should share them (in no particular order) and hopefully provide some advice to others. As always, I’m open to comments or additions, or arguments, so if you have any please feel free to share below.
1) If you are ANY sort of mechanically inclined, learn how to work on your own bicycle. You don’t have to do the things that require very special tools, but spend $250 on basic bike specific tools, a cheap repair stand, open youtube and get cracking. If you have to get your headset pressed in, destroyed one of your shifters, or need a wheel dished, absolutely take your bike into the LBS, support them, and get some work done, but for things such as cleaning/lubing, derailleur adjustments, simple wheel/rotor truing, re-cabling, part swapping/upgrading and basic fork/shock maintenance, you’ll be able to get by a youtube video. Not only will you save money in the long term, but almost more importantly, you’ll know what to do when you are 20 miles away from the car and you can’t get your bike to stop ghost shifting.
You don’t have to be a full mechanic, but learning the simple stuff will go a long way
2) When you go on “epic” rides, carry spares and a basic first aid kit. I know that inside we are all weight weenies and we want the lightest setup possible, but if you are going out for a big day on the bike, especially if you are riding with a group, it’s going to pay off to have some very simple spares. Things you wouldn’t normally think about carrying, but they can absolutely save you or your buddies day. I’m not talking about the basics like a tube and pump, but here some of the items I now take with me and boy have they helped:
- Extra derailleur hanger
- Derailleur cable (it weighs almost nothing and can save you or a friend’s day)
- 2 SRAM quick links (carry one extra, they weigh nothing)
- One extra bolt of each kind (3,4,5mm, cleat bolt, stem bolt, seat post bolt, etc)
- Electrical tape, Duct tape, White Athletic Tape (2-3 ft of each wrapped around my pump)
- Along with your regular tire pump, carry a shock pump, especially if you ride a full suspension bike
If it’s an epic ride, carry your spares, it will be worth it!
3) Get a basic bike fit and cross train. Especially when you up your mileage and start riding more than a couple of times a week, make sure that you aren’t going to cause yourself any injuries. If you have the money and desire, a Professional Fit like 55 Nine Performance is absolutely awesome, but if you don’t, at least spend a few minutes measuring yourself and make sure your seat and bars are close to being in the correct spot. Competitive Cyclist has a great free fit calculator that is easy to use. Also, don’t just bike. Make sure you prepare your body for mountain biking, especially for longer rides. There are great exercises you can do to make sure that you are using all of your leg muscles (I’ve detailed them in the past here) and also, core work is very important. Again, you can spend some money and do structured programs that are intended for people that at more serious, but you can just hit some squats, lunges, push ups, planks, and pull ups on a regular basis and you’ll be much better off than not doing anything.
4) Ride TO the trail. I know that this will really depend on how far away you live from the trail and how much riding you want to get in, but this has been a big eye opener for me in the last few months. I’ve been struggling to get enough ride time in for training purposes and was crying the blues about spending time in the car to go mountain biking. Then I realized that I’ve got trails 15 miles from my door. Add into that 10-12 miles or riding on the trail itself, and I just rocked out a great 40-45 mile 3-4 hour day and I was able to leave from my front door. No wasted time! Just grab a blinkie to throw on the back of your bike, and enjoy not only getting more exercise, but also doing some “rambling” while you are out and about. Hit a few pieces of dirt, go down that stair case, jump off some of those curbs on the way. It’s way more awesome than sitting on traffic on the way to the trail.
5) I really struggle with this one, as I have a BAD case of “shiny new thing” syndrome, but be happy with the bike that you have and ride the hell out of it. When stuff breaks, upgrade. The bike companies are in the business of making you want that new part. But don’t waste your time and money upgrading that 1×10 setup to 1×11. Sure it’s going to be nice and shiny, but as much as you think you will, you won’t get that much money out of your used part on the open market. And that 1×10 works awesome, and it’s going to continue being awesome. Just wait until it’s time to replace those worn out parts and then, yup, then go blow your hard earned money on that shiny new smelling 1×11, oh I want it!!!!
This Turner is now 4 years old, but still a BLAST to ride!
I’m not sure how the guys at Anthill Films feel about this re-edit of their film, but it does make for a very cool sequence. Mark Minton is a fan of the Anthill Films and he created this re-edit to pay homage to the best in the business when it comes to mountain biking cinematography and film making.
At Bike198, we are not fans of taking someone else’s work and creating your own video for promotional purposes (of course we are feeding it by publishing it here). At least Mark didn’t take credit for what wasn’t his. What do you guys think?
Homage to ‘Follow Me’ by Anthill Films, one of the best mountain bike freeride films of a generation. Title track by Paul Barnes (PB101) – “My Eyes have seen the Glory”.
A week ago yesterday, I headed out for our regular Tuesday night “Dirt and Taco’s” at our local mountain bike trail.
As part of the evenings festivities, we typically head back to a small DH/FR area and session for most of the night. We get in some great climbing while getting the added benefit of a big payoff on the way down. After about a dozen or so runs (the DH run only takes 43 seconds if you are pinning it), we finish out the XC loops and head to a great Mexican restaurant afterwards.
Last Tuesday, I decided I was going to go for broke. Thanks to Strava, we have a segment on the gully run of the downhill, so it is always a battle for the top spot. I held it for a long time but a friend of mine came back and dropped me by a second. It was time to drop the hammer and put down a hot run to reclaim the top spot.
The bike felt great on the climb up so I decided to make the first run of the day my Strava segment crusher. Those of you that have been riding for more than 5 minutes already know that the first or last run of the day is the last run you ever want to make a balls out timed hammer. I went against my better judgement and came manualing across the start line at full tilt ready to show everyone how incredibly awesome I am after my upload and subsequent post to Facebook that night.
The first turn hit and it was much looser than previous days. The hot days of Atlanta have settled in a grip was at a minimum. The front end of the bike completely left me and it was yard sale city. When the dust settled, I had a completely road rashed arm, chunk out of my hip, bruised up legs and a broken brake lever on the bike. My night was over before it even started and I officially had my first SIW (Strava Induced Wreck). I packed up my ego and headed home with mangled bike and body.
So…instead of resting like I should, I decided to grab another bike and head out to Stanley Gap on Saturday for a ride we had planned for awhile. I wasn’t quite 100% yet obviously but what the hell…I wasn’t missing out on my favorite area to ride in GA. The day started off badly. An unknown mechanical wasted half of my energy up the first climb and I was quickly realizing that my body might not be ready for several thousand feet of elevation gain on the day.
I ended up cutting most of the ride short in preparation for the last downhill to try to at least salvage something out of the day. The last 7+ minute downhill finally came and again I was ready to hit it at full tilt. My legs were trashed but I was still managing to keep some speed down the hill and through the technical sections.
About 3/4 of the way down the hill…it happened…
Right calf cramp in an off camber, washed out corner, at speed. I hit the ground fast. When the dust finally settled on that wreck, I was left with a broken rear spoke and saddle but I appeared to be fine other than my glasses and helmet visor far away from me. Then I finally got home and realized that my elbow was sollen up and my face had bruises. Both sides of my body were beat but no hospital trips so that is a win (funny how we try to make wrecks positive…that means I can ride right?!)!
Now…with two broken bikes and some time off the bike…that 5 day stretch is leaving me feeling like I just went rounds with Tyson. For some odd reason, my brain is actually telling me it is ok to ride even though commonsense is stepping in with the reality that if I push myself now…the 3rd one is going to be a hospital trip.
Why do wrecks come in series?
For as long as I can remember riding (seriously riding since the early 90′s), my wrecks have always come in series. I’ll have months of worry free shredding to come across a week or several weeks of doing nothing but hitting the ground. Sometimes they are bad and end up in hospital visits. Other times it is just an annoying set of seemingly lost rhythm that can not be shaken. Either way, it ends up coming then going away with no real reason why.
Does the first wreck start a mental breakdown that causes the second? Is my body just not ready and I push it too hard? Is there an uncontrollable force in the biking world that creates this phenomenon? Have I lost “the force”?
At first, I thought it was just me, but if you ask riders across the world, they will tell you the same thing. Wrecks breed wrecks and it takes several solid, wreck free runs to get out of the cycle.
Whatever causes it, I am in the uphill battle of getting out of the rut and getting the focus to clean runs that keep the rubber side down. That might require me to slow down a bit which is my hardest hurdle in life. Either way…I have to quit hitting dirt.
Over the past couple of weeks, my back has been feeling great. I am not getting any pain at home and I am able to hit the road and trail when I have time. Life is good on the road back to the bike during my recovery.
However, I find myself in a place in my riding that I have not been in for a long while (almost since I started riding seriously back in the 90′s) – working back up my mileage endurance to handle multi hour rides on weekends.
Last weekend, we headed up to a southeast US favorite – Raccoon Mountain. This 18 mile or so loop is atop a ridge in the Tennessee canyons outside of Chattanooga and they hold some of the best single track the area has to offer. Additionally, there are built in tech sections that are great for sessioning and tuning in your technical riding ability. About 12 miles in, my legs decided they were done and I bonked. It was almost as if you could hear them go BOOM through the woods and it was the first time I have bonked in 12 miles in longer than I can remember.
Working Up To Longer Miles
New riders and riders coming back from injury run into an interesting predicament. You love riding, you want to more of it, but you do not have the endurance for several hour long hammers in on the road or trail. For riders coming back off of injury, you have memories of those days but no ability to make it happen at this time.
So what do we have to do?
We need to start conditioning our bodies to get to handle longer times in the saddle. It is an incremental change that is fueled by two key ingredients.
The Will To Not Get Frustrated
The only thing that will get you riding longer miles is stretching what you consider normal and doing that consistently. Whether it is hitting shorter rides harder or slowly extending your mileage when you can, you (talking to myself here as well) need to start extending your riding to push your threshold farther. While I wish there was a magic bullet or some super secret underground method for doing it quickly, the reality is that you have to work to get your body to create a new “normal”.
For most riders, this is not an easy thing to accomplish given other life obligations. Some of us have families, jobs and other outside factors that make getting in more longer rides difficult. But – as I mentioned earlier – the key is to stretch yourself. You need to hit that climb harder, bring your average speed up on the road and keep pushing your fitness to be better (within reason…don’t push to explosion). Even shorter distances with higher efforts will help your milage on the weekend.
For me, I have found that weekly rides that are on a certain day greatly help my endurance while being able to balance life’s obligations. If you have one or two rides after work that you can depend on, that will bring the consistency to your riding that is required to push the limit of your time wall.
But most importantly…
You have to remember not to get frustrated through the process…because it is a process. It is almost as if I am going through a mental battle on the trail. My mind remembers being able to push harder but my legs and body can’t get the job done. I want to be able to jump right back on an attack trails and road rides like I did at the injury point, but my endurance and strength is not even close. Somehow, I have to keep reminding myself on the trail that it is ok and it is better to be on the bike or off…this is just another stage in the process.
Some days it is easier said than done, but – for the most part – it is easy to get stoked when I get out of self loathing enough to turn my eyes up and see what is front of me. Single track ready to be ripped and fresh asphalt ready to be carved is the best therapy no matter my riding ability is at the time. When you keep that in focus, the rest comes with time.
Just when you think you have seen everything, a picture like this pops up on the web. I have heard of sticks getting caught in wheels, wild life taking out riders and even squirrels finding their way into brake rotors – but a snake around your bike has to be the wildest on trail animal encounter I have ever seen.
Can you seriously imagine a 15+ foot snake (guessing by the picture) taking ahold of your ride on the trail?! It also takes a serious pair to grab the snake and work it back off the bike. The entire scene is just mind boggling.
For those of us in the southeast US, this week is a pivotal point in our year. Daylight savings time hit and that sparks the beginning of our true riding season. After work rides without lights are now a reality and the weather is about to get warmer. For every rider, it is the beginning of the best riding part of the year.
About this time, I always look back on the previous years riding and what I want to do differently in the coming season. Obviously for me, it is going to be to keep the back healthy. Core workouts and adjusting my riding style are going to play a big part of that if I want to ride pain free and the reality is that big drops to flat and hard tail/rigid bikes are probably out of the equation now. The really sad part about that is now the Wolfhound is going to be a wall decoration in the house…sad day indeed…
Other than trying to keep healthy, there are a few other things I have been thinking about a lot lately that I want to change in my 2012 riding season. Most of this thinking was sparked from a Facebook post I started a couple of weeks ago asking what one word describing mountain biking for our Facebook followers. The responses that came back were great so I made the image above and starting thinking about what riding was to me and how I was going to let that effect my riding season this year.
So here are my 3 goals for the 2012 riding season…
More solo rides – While part of the best aspects of riding is the social atmosphere, I really want to get in some more solo rides this year. Solo riding – for me – is more about my personal journey and it gives me a chance to clear my head, work on my own riding skills and enjoy the outdoors. While you can do all of this on group rides, when you are out by yourself with your bike…you can do it in a stress free environment where you do not feel like you are holding anyone up if you want to stop, session or enjoy the surroundings.
Take More Pictures and Video – As I alluded to in a previous post this week, there are not enough AM styled mountain biking videos and pictures. When we get out on the trail, we are so concerned with getting from point A to point B that we often forget to capture the experience. Videos and photos are not just for DH and FR mountain bikers. We just have to make a conscious effort to capture our experiences and share our own riding with people around the world.
Focus More on the Riding I Truly Love – My favorite rides are big climbs to big descents. Whether I am riding 10 miles that day or 30, I want those big descents and I don’t care how long the ride is. There was a time in my life where I enjoyed the pain. I would do XC races and ride past my limits physically to challenge myself and what I considered to be a long ride. These days things have changed for me mentally. I want to extract as much enjoyment out of every ride that I can and that kind of pain is not what I am looking for anymore. I’ll use the road bike to increase endurance so I can use the mountain bike as my release. There is nothing wrong with wanting to extend miles and race XC courses. There are riders that prefer that end of the riding spectrum and love every second of it. It just isn’t what I am into anymore and I need to stop stressing my riding and my mind trying to do those activities on the bike.
It is going to be a great year of riding and I am really looking forward to getting focused on making it a successful year. The 5.Spot is ready to roll and we will be reviewing some other great bikes and components as the year gets going. Hopefully you guys see a great 2012 riding season that is filled with dirt and road time while staying healthy.
Long story short…it’s on.
Are you ready for 2012? What are you going to do differently?
Yesterday afternoon, I put together one of those social meme’s on mountain biking and how the world views us and how we see ourselves in our own minds. It caught on an as of this post less than 24 hours later, it has 146 likes and 67 shares on our Facebook page, so I figured we got it pretty close!
Here is the image for reference (if you click on it…you can get the full size image and share it where ever you want to).
These social illustrations and videos like the “Shit mountain bikers say” posted a couple of weeks ago, are hilarious because we get a chance to laugh at ourselves a little bit with those around us in the community.
While the point of these is to not really explain the images and let them do the talking themselves, I thought I would share where my head was while putting this together.
What my friends think I do: I just hang out with other guys in spandex and worry too much about stretching. I must look like Biker Fox on the trails.
What my parents think I do: They are still wondering how I get injured all the time when they picture riding a bike like that.
What society thinks I do: Let’s face it…if it has 2 wheels and cranks…it has to have something to do with Lance Armstrong.
What my wife thinks I do: How many of your wives think the post ride beer lasts longer than the ride?
What I think I do: I can ride as fast and fly as high as Thomas Vanderham.
What I really do: Stand around with friends and talk while holding a bike and riding it occasionally.
One of the things I love about mountain biking the most, you can not get from any other cycling discipline…the ability to completely escape the reality in which we live. When you get out into the deep woods, it is just you, the bike and nature as you try to conquer your assumptions of what you consider doable and normal. There is no traffic, no job, no lines to stand in, no people to worry about. Even if the trail is not far off from the road, just a simple wall of trees blocking the sound of busy life outside the forest can make it seem like you are in another world.
There is a calming effect that sets in with each pedal stroke as you plan the next attack on the trail. Nothing else matters. There are no distractions. There is only one goal. To extract the most you can out of the experience to keep the memory alive until the next ride.
A friend of mine sent over this link off of PinkBike of Stund Best of 2011.
Let’s face it. There are a lot of videos making it around the web of mountain biking in the same locations over and over again. You are either going to see a bigger budget production or a GoPro strapped to a helmet (both are good FWIW), but there is an entire scene in between of great videos supported by watchers and sponsors that are completely free to view. Stund is one of those series and they put out an incredible watch and you don’t have to pay for it.
This sequence is their best of 2011 and it shows off some incredible riding. The entire clip is about 30 minutes long and completely worth watching all the way through. It is raining here all week so what is there better to do than kick back and watch kick ass mountain biking videos?
For those of you who have been following STUND this year and the past 2 seasons you all know what this show is about. Mountain Biking Lifestyle. That says a lot actually. We live and breath what we do in our lives and when you give that much of your life to a sport in the way in which we do, it becomes your life. The Best Of STUND is a chapter in each of our lives. There’s no doubt that each year we leave a legacy behind with this show. The time, energy, sacrifice and finances that each member of our crew gives to make this show can not be fully understood by anyone. We do this for the love, and we think that’s why everyone should be in this industry.
The fat has been chewed and left nothing but the lean cuts for one last sender of an episode. Ladies and Gentlemen… The BEST OF STUND!
This morning, I awoke to carry out my usual routine. My alarm went off (baby crying) about 7am and I promptly hit the snooze button with a bottle. Once he was taken care of, the dogs and I took him downstairs so they could get in their morning sniff of the yard and I hit the brew button on the Keurig coffee maker.
After I got the little man settled in his chair on my desk, got in a couple of sips of hot coffee and clicked the mouse, I started my usual Monday morning catchup getting ready for the day. As part of my social routine, I clicked on the Bike198 Facebook page and found this. A post by Kevin Rightmeyer.
Maybe it was a release of endorphins today when I went riding, or maybe it was “nirvana” which is described as “freedom”
The dictionary describes nirvana as “In general terms nirvana is a state of transcendence involving the subjective experience of release from a prior state of bondage. This is the result of a natural re-ordering of the mind and body,”
I felt a euphoria that is both exciting and inspiring, all I did was let go of everything, and tried to “flow” with the trail and not hold back, giving everything as the trail demanded. I think I will try and ride tomorrow, even if my schedule does not agree.
What Keven is describing in this post on the wall is Flow in its purist sense. It isn’t about the bike, the trail or even the rider as each of these elements independently can not create this essence of flow. Flow comes when all reservations are let go in the pursuit of the perfect ride. All the elements and variables seem to effortlessly work together.
The mind is known to run into a state of peace as everything just seems to fall together. The trail is smoother, the tires have more grip, the rider seems to be unable to make a mistake and the legs do not want to stop churning out the power that propels the bike forward. In the world of mountain biking, this flow is where everything goes right.
It is the hole in one of golf. The perfect game in baseball. The half court shot made at the buzzer in basketball.
This flow is our pursuit. It is the feeling that creates and nurtures the addiction. Once it all comes together, even for a split second, you get the feeling of truly being free on the bike. All inhibitions, fears and negativity is gone. You and your bike can take on anything.
For us mountain bikers…true flow equals euphoria…and it is more addictive than crack. And that is what makes us want to sign up for more abuse even if our schedule doesn’t agree…
Mountain bike shops (often referred to LBS for short) have been around since the conception of mountain biking. What started off as road biking shops that carried a few fat tire options have now become full fledged bike shops with everything both skinny tires and fat tires have to offer.
In recent times, the local mountain bike shops have been coming across some stiff competition. In the past, a mountain bike shop moving in down the street carried with it some local competition. However, with the introduction of the Internet and national chains, today’s LBS is seeing much stiffer competition on pricing with these lower overhead, higher buying power, warehouse based shops and websites becoming more mainstream. This is a reality that we all now work in…so the question arises about how we can support our local mountain bike shop while also doing what is best for our wallets and convenience. While there will be differing options on this subject…this is how I see everything fitting in as a website owner.
Local Bikes Shops vs. The Web
It is no secret that Bike198 supports websites (ex. JensonUSA, Huck N Roll) as much as we support our local bike shops. In our opinion, there is space for both in the market and this leads to better pricing and better service for mountain bikers everywhere.
Big Web Stores and National Chains
The big web stores have a very positive purpose in cycling, they are able to provide parts for a great price. For a lot of mountain biking related parts and accessories, this may be all you need. You buy online knowing that the service end of the experience (outside of typical good online customer service) is going to be zero. You are not going to get the part installed, serviced or troubleshooted for you. You got the price you wanted and you got it shipped to your front doorstep. This also brings up another great positive with web stores in that they are able to provide parts and gear to those that might not have a local mountain bike shop close to them…or their local bike shop does not carry the brand/part they are looking for.
Basically, the web stores increase the spread of availability with convenience and low cost.
Local Bike Shops
Local mountain bike shops on the other hand have a tool in their arsenal that trumps the web stores…service. The local bike shop is able to not only provide you with the parts you need, but they can completely handle the entire transaction for you from advice to installation and future service. If the bike shop is doing business as they should, they have experienced techs on hand that have the expertise that is above what you would find at a big chain. This expertise should insure your service is above par and you are out riding your bike instead of trying to troubleshoot it on the side of the trail.
Local mountain bike shops are also able to carry brands that you are not able to buy online easily like Specialized and Trek. These larger brands tend to support their shop network by not allowing larger online retailers to carry their models further increasing competition outside of local areas that support their brands. These companies, especially Specialized, also carry branded accessories that are carried in the local mountain bike shops.
However, with increased overhead, smaller buying power and greater service also comes a slightly higher price in most cases. The owners of local bike shops have to keep the lights on and as any bike shop owner will tell you…do not get into the bike industry if you are looking to get rich. There isn’t a lot of money in bike shop ownership and it is a labor of love not monetarily driven.
Where do you fit into this equation with local mountain bike shops and online retailers?
The reality for most mountain bikes is that money is an issue. While we would like to think that we have no problem paying more for everything, that isn’t possible. If you live far away from any good local mountain bike shop, your choice is pretty easy…you pick up what you can from online retailers and do your best to learn how to work on your own bike (check out our maintenance section). That ends up being about your only option.
What if you do live next to a lot of local mountain bike shops?
Here is how I see it…and there will be those that argue this…but let’s see how it goes.
I try to support local bike shops every time I can. For items like tubes, nutrition and other small items, I have a hard time paying extra for those at a LBS when the big chains like Performance Bike have them on sale on a regular basis. There is zero service associated with those items and the selection is often much greater at those locations or online.
For component parts, if the pricing is close between the online retailer and the local bike shop, I will try to buy at the local bike shop. If the pricing is drastically different, the lack of tax and small shipping charge (sometimes free) shifts me back to the online retailers. However, this does mean that if there is an issue with this part that I can not fix, I can not expect the same pricing/service out of the mountain bike shop if something goes wrong. Part of the service end that bike shops factor into their overall costs is the support they give their customers. If you buy a part online, install it incorrectly and then take it into the shop, you are more than likely going to get charged the full shop rate where you might have gotten a discount if you bought all of the parts there. This is just part of good customer service and you can not expect otherwise.
However, there have been cases when local bikes shops have given customers a hard time for buying online and then bringing the part in. I believe this is wrong and a chance to build a relationship with a customer instead of trying to make them feel guilty. While I do not believe they should discount service on these parts, I do think it is an opportunity to build a relationship with that customer that may make them buy from the LBS the next time around if that is the kind of service they require.
If you are one of those customers who require a lot of service and do not like working on your own bike, you need to shop at a local bike shop as much as you can. Building that relationship with the employees and owner will be greatly beneficial down the road and worth the extra cost. Also, local mountain bike shops do a lot more than just sell bikes and gear. They support your local mountain bike trail efforts and provide support for mountain bike races and other events. The support you show them will pay dividends in your area that you may not be able to see.
Bottom line…we try to spread the love as much as we can. There is a space for all aspects of bike retail in the market and they all fill a specific need. Understanding the setup and where you fit into the equation is crucial to getting the best price and best service for your mountain biking needs.
First, thank you for the continued support of Bike198 and the content we publish here. We greatly appreciate it and your spreading of our content on the web allows us to continue with the site. Without you guys…Bike198 is nothing but words on a screen.
To make things more organized…there have been some big changes made to the Bike198 family of websites over the weekend. Now…mountain, road and commuter sites are all on Bike198.com instead of having their own separate subdomains. This does several things for you guys…
Makes things easier to find and search across all disciplines.
Creates a combined feed for those that want to keep track of everything going on at Bike198.
It also makes our life much easier by bringing everything to a single site with a single login to update everything we have going on in the cycling world.
If you are already signed up for one of the newsletters or RSS feeds, nothing changes for you there. You are still subscribed the same way you were before (mountain, road or urban). If you would like to sign up for the combined RSS feed or one of the other feeds, the links are below.
You will also notice that we started to style the Bike198 forums to match the rest of the site. This will continue to be integrated more for a seamless experience between the two.
The forums have gotten off to a great start…but we need your help. We want to have a growing community centered around Bike198 and the dedication to all things biking, so we need you to register for the forums…if you haven’t already…and tell your riding friends about it as well on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, local forums or where ever else you hangout online.
Thank you for the continued support! Tell your friends about the new forum…let’s get this thing really rolling!