Beginners’ Guide To Electric Bicycles

Are you looking to learn about electric bikes? This beginner’s guide will introduce you to electric bikes so that you will understand what they are, what they are good for, and lots of other handy information. Let’s get started.

What is an Electric Bike?

An electric bike is sometimes referred to as an e-bike. The basic difference between an electric bike and a run-of-the-mill bicycle is that an e-bike has an electric motor attached to it. Of course, this motor aids the cyclist by making pedaling more efficient, and the motor will also help provide the cyclist with more power. An electric bike will, therefore, make your riding much smoother, and it will also make it far easier to cycle uphill or against a headwind.

There are broadly two different categories that electric bikes will fall into depending on the systems that they use. These are a pedal-assist system and a power-on-demand system.

If the electric bike uses a pedal-assist system, then it means that pedaling will regulate the motor. The cyclist’s efforts are therefore augmented by the motor during riding. There are two types of pedal-assist systems. The first is a Pedelecs system which has a motor that is no bigger than 250 watts. The second system is an S-Pedelecs system, which has a motor that is larger than 250 watts and will give you a much higher top speed.

A power-on-demand system is slightly different. With this sort of electric bike, there will be a throttle that can be switched on with a button. This type of electric bike will go far quicker than a pedal-assist e-bike. It will, however, often be regarded as a moped or scooter in the eyes of the law. An S-Pedelecs system will also be categorized as a moped or scooter. But an electric bike that uses a Pedelecs, pedal-assist system is put in the same category as a normal bicycle.

Electric bikes will tend to use one of these systems, or, in some cases, they will use both.

What Are the Advantages of Using an Electric Bike?

Black Electric Bike

The number one advantage to using an electric bike is the assistance that the motor will give you when cycling. This means that you will be able to cycle in terrain that you might previously have found difficult. It also means that you can conserve your energy when you’re cycling. There is no need to gas out or exhaust yourself, which makes cycling far more pleasant.

Another key advantage to the electric bike is speed. You can quite comfortable cycle at 28mph on an electric bike, but without all the energy that you’d require if you were riding a normal bike.

Thanks to the ability to conserve energy and the speeds that you can get on an electric bike, then you will be able to traverse much longer distances, and you also might find that cycling becomes more pleasurable, as you won’t tire yourself out on your bike rides.

An electric bike is also a good alternative to driving a car. In the modern world, people are more conscious of the pollution that car exhausts pump into the environment. If you’re looking for a green alternative to a car for your commutes to work, then an electric bike is an excellent option.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using an Electric Bike?

Bike Pedal

Electric bikes rely upon batteries to power their motors. This means that the battery must be charged regularly. This can be an inconvenience. There is also the issue of battery life. Some batteries will only give you about 35 miles of usage before you need to recharge. Then again, because the electric bike market is booming at the moment, new batteries are being designed for them all the time. If you choose the right electric bike, then you could get 100 miles or more from your battery.

Electric bikes are much heavier and sturdier than regular bikes. This makes them more difficult to store. If, for example, you live in a walk-up, and you have to carry your bike up the stairs to your apartment every day, then this will require a lot of strength. If you have somewhere to lock up your electric bike though, then the size and weight of it shouldn’t matter at all.

Another disadvantage of electric bikes is their cost. They will set you back a lot more than a regular bike might. It is worth the investment, though. Especially if you’re looking for an electric bike to replace your car for commutes. The electric bike will quickly pay for itself because of the money saved on gas.

Who Are Electric Bikes Good For?

Electric bikes are popular with cyclists of all ages and body types, but their ability to allow for efficient pedaling, as well as allowing the cyclist to conserve energy, means that older cyclists or cyclists with health issues might find them particularly useful.

Commuters also are attracted to the benefits of electric bikes. Investing in an electric bike will mean that you won’t turn up at work out of breath or sweaty, and, what’s more, you’ll have saved yourself the public transport fare or gas money.

These bikes are such a dream to ride that anyone who tries one out will be converted to their benefits. Pedaling is a breeze and you don’t tire yourself out, so you can just enjoy your bike ride.

Riding on an electric bike is still exercise, though. And if you’re looking to get healthy and lose some weight, but you aren’t quite ready for the effort of a regular bike, then an electric bike is the best choice for getting back on the saddle.

Can You Convert a Regular Bike into an Electric Bike?

Yes, this is possible. There are loads of conversion kits on the market that will allow you to turn your favorite bicycle into an electric bike. This is a cheaper option than investing in a brand-new electric bike.

Should You Buy an Electric Bike?

Of course! Electric bikes are an excellent investment. They will save you money on your commutes to work, help you exercise and lose weight, conserve your energy so you can ride further, and the motor will also increase your speed, so you can get to where you want to go much quicker than on a regular bike.

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The Benefits Of Owning Single Speed Bikes

If you’re looking to find out the benefits of owning a single speed bicycle, then you’re most likely either looking for a new bike, or you are perhaps wondering what it is that makes owners of single speed bike so happy. There are some excellent advantages to owning a single speed bicycle, instead of another type of bike, such as a multi-speed bicycle. But before we get onto the benefits, there’s something that we need to understand.

What is a Single Speed Bicycle?

To use the simplest terms available, a single speed bicycle is a bike that has a single gear ratio. This means that they do not have any components for altering the gear ratio. Unlike a multi-speed bicycle, a single speed bike won’t have hub gearing or derailleur gears. Single speed bicycles will usually have a freewheel mechanism. This offers you the ability to coast.

Single speed bicycles are a large umbrella that includes several types of bicycles, such as commuter bikes, BMXs, Fixie bikes, cruiser bikes, and often bikes that are used on tracks will be single speed bicycles too.

What are the Biggest Benefits of Owning a Single Speed Bike?

Black Single Speed Bike

Single speed bicycles have no shortage of fans. Here are some of the main benefits of owning a single speed bicycle:

They Don’t Require Much Maintenance

Not everyone wants to be constantly fiddling around with their bike. Unlike a multi-speed bicycle, there isn’t a lot on a single speed bike that you need to keep an eye on. There are no derailleurs. In fact, all you need to do is make sure your tires are pumped up, that your brakes are in good condition and adjusted correctly, and finally that the chain is taut. That’s it.

No Chain Rub

Chain rub is a common issue with bicycles that have a front derailleur. As a single speed bicycle doesn’t have one of these, and the chain goes from the chainring to the sprocket at an angle, then you won’t encounter this problem.

Silent and Efficient to Ride

A single speed bicycle will always give you a beautiful, smooth ride. These are lighter bikes than those with derailleurs. You are also more connected with the terrain you’re cycling on because you don’t have gears to deal with every inconsistency in the road. It is only you and the bicycle, your exertion produces the results, rather than the gears.

Better and Easier Braking

Person riding on a bike

The speed at which you go on a single speed bicycle will be dependent on the speed at which you are pedaling. But this also means that the more resistance that the single speed cyclist uses against the pedal motion means that the speed will reduce. This allows for a braking system that resembles that of a car. This isn’t possible on a multi-gear bicycle.

Affordability

Since single speed bicycles are a lot simpler than geared bicycles, then they lack all the extras that will cost you more dollars. But it isn’t just the money that you pay upfront for a single speed bicycle that is low. There isn’t a lot to go wrong on a single speed bike, so you’re not going to need to replace parts all the time. The ease of maintenance also translates into affordability.

It’s Better for Your Fitness Levels

If you don’t have any gears, then you’ve got to rely on yourself to do everything. Of course, the more exertion that you put into your pedals, then the fitter you will become. A single speed bicycle can help you burn calories while getting you from A to B.

There Are Fewer Distractions

One of the biggest problems people have when they are riding a multi-gear bicycle is that they are constantly thinking about the gears if they should change gears, if they are in the right gear, and so on. It is a distraction that you will not have if you are cycling on a single speed bicycle.

What Type of Terrain is a Single Speed Bike Suited To?

Of course, if you’re looking for a bike to go riding trails, then you’re probably not going to choose a single speed bicycle. This type of bike is better suited to roads or only slightly undulating terrain. Then again, a single speed bicycle can get you up to a hill. You just need to build up some momentum as you approach it, then, as long as you pedal hard, you’ll get up the hill with a lot less effort than you would imagine.

Should You Buy a Single Speed Bicycle?

If you’re looking for a versatile bicycle that comes at a low price, then a single speed bicycle is a solid investment. There is a multitude of types of single speed bicycles, so it won’t be hard to find one that suits your needs. Cyclists who live in cities or who do short journeys on relatively flat terrain will be more than happy with a single speed bicycle. Casual cyclists don’t need a host of fancy extras on their bikes.

The more parts to your bicycle, then the more maintenance and upkeep costs that come with them. A single speed bicycle will suit the vast majority of cyclists. If you buy one, then you’ll very quickly understand just how many benefits of owning a single speed bicycle there are.

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Second-Hand Bicycle Buying Guide

There’s no need to spend a load of cash on a brand-new bicycle, as there are so many good used ones around, but before you start searching for one, you need to know what to look for when buying a second-hand bike.

If you keep your eye out for these following things, then you’ll choose a second-hand bike that will not only last for a long time but will also be high-quality, and as good as a new bicycle, without the huge price tag.

Before You Start Looking

Before you start looking for a second-hand bike, make sure you do the following:

• Decide what you are willing to pay for your bike. It will be much easier to choose a bike once you know what your budget is.

• Choose the style or model of bike you want. Do you want a mountain bike? Or a road bike? How about a commuter bike? Once you know what you want, then you’ll know what you’re looking for.

• You also need to research bike shops in your area that specialize in second-hand bikes, as well as familiarize yourself with the online second-hand bike marketplaces.

What You Should Look for When Inspecting the Bike

Now that you know what sort of second-hand bike you want, you can start looking for your perfect bike. There are a number of things that you must examine before buying the second-hand bike. Here they are:

Wheel Spoke Tension

This can be done quite easily. You simply need to give the spokes a squeeze. The tighter they are, the better. If, however, there is a lot of giving, then they will need to be adjusted.

Frame and Fork Condition

You might want to use a torch for this. You’re checking to see whether there is any damage. If you notice any cracks, then the bike will cause you nothing but trouble. Other issues you might notice are dents, rusting, and little bubbles under the finish which suggest corrosion. You should also check that the tubing is straight and without bends, as this will completely ruin the alignment. This is the most important thing to look for when buying a second-hand bike.

Brake Leakage and Good Engagement

Brakes can be expensive to replace. You also need to be certain that the brakes on the second-hand bike will ensure your safety. If the brakes stick or don’t engage properly, then you’re in for trouble. This is the same if you can see some leakage too.

Suspension Damage

If you check the shock shaft and the fork stanchions for any scratches or marks, then this is a good indicator for the condition of the suspension. Any obvious damage suggests you’ll have problems.

Drivetrain

First, you should check the chain. If you see that the chain is in bad condition, then it means there’s a decent chance the whole drivetrain is worn and will have to be completely replaced. Once you’ve checked the chain, they also have a look at the front and rear derailleurs.

Bottom Brackets

The bottom bracket can cost a lot to replace, so you must make sure that it is fully functional when inspecting the second-hand bike. You can do this quite easily. You just need to take hold of one of the crank arms, then move it side-to-side. If you notice that there’s a lot of movement or a banging sound, then there’s a good chance the bracket is worn and needs to be replaced.

Steerer Corrosion

This only needs to be checked if the steerer is made from carbon. If you lift the bike by holding the front wheel, then let the handlebars move from side-to-side. They should sway from left-to-right and back again. But if they stay completely still, then it looks like there is corrosion.

Bonding of the Joints

You should check every joint where carbon and aluminum are bonded. There is a chance of galvanic corrosion. The main thing to look out for is bubbling under the paint finish, that means corrosion.

Worn Tires

Tires aren’t the most expensive part of a second-hand bike to replace, but checking whether they are worn, or if they have any bulges, or cracks, or even gashes in them is a good idea, as to fix or replace bike tires will cost you extra cash.

Saddle Quality

You need to be comfy, so don’t forget to check that the saddle is in good condition and that it is made from a material that you like the feel of.

The Most Important Thing to do Before Buying a Second-Hand Bike

Now that you’ve given the bike a good inspection, there’s one last thing that you must do before you hand over your hard-earned dollars. Ask to take it for a test ride. That’s the only way you can decide whether this is a second-hand bike you want to buy or not. But if it looks in good shape, and you like how it rides, then once you get back from your test ride, start haggling, and negotiate yourself a great deal.

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A Guide to Cleaning Your Bike

If you’re searching for a guide to clean your bike, then there’s a good chance you know that a dirty bike can affect performance, and even put you in danger. Giving your bike a good clean isn’t difficult, but there are great benefits to doing it. This guide will show you the four key steps to turning your dirt bike into a shiny, clean one.

What You Need to Clean Your Bike

 

Before you can start cleaning your bike, you need to gather together the tools and materials that you will use for cleaning. These are what you’ll need for cleaning your bike:

• A sponge or a cleaning brush.
• Clean rags. These can be old clothes or sheets that you’re happy to get filthy.
• A drying cloth. Preferably a chamois leather or a vegan alternative.
• A degreaser. A spray degreaser is easier to apply than a fluid degreaser, but both do the job.
Chain lubricant or oil.
• Bike polish
• A bucket full of warm water mixed with liquid soap or bike wash fluid.
• A hosepipe.

What You Must Do Before You Can Start Cleaning

Now that you’ve got everything you need for cleaning your bike, you’ve got to get yourself ready too. There’s a good chance you’re going to get dirty, as the muck from the bike is going to end up somewhere. Put on some old clothes and clear your schedule for thirty minutes. Now you’re ready to go.

How to Clean Your Bike

Man cleaning a bike

It’s time to clean your bike. Follow these steps in order and your bike will be shimmering in no time at all:

• If you have a stand for your bicycle, then now is the time to use it. If you don’t, then just find a way of propping the bike up, perhaps against a wall. The most important thing is that the bike is stable.

• Apply the degreaser to the chain, chainrings, cogs, gear cassette, and also to the jockey wheels, if you have them on your bicycle. You might need to use your brush to get into all the crevices if you’re using a liquid degreaser. Also, if your bike has gears, then you should change them while you are applying the degreaser, as this will allow you access to different elements of the cogs, so you can clean them too.

• Once the degreaser has been applied, check if the packaging recommends an amount of time to leave it to work. If so, then wait until this time has passed.

• Rinse off the degreaser using the hosepipe. You should now find that the dirtiest parts of the bicycle are much cleaner. But you’re not done yet.

• Take the sponge, dunk it into the water that’s been mixed with either soap or bike wash, and start going at the frame of your bike with the sponge. Make sure you really put your elbow into it, so that there is no trace of dirt left on the frame of the bike.

• If you’re satisfied you’ve got rid of all the muck on the frame, then get the hosepipe, and start rinsing off all the soapy water.

• A warning: When you’re rinsing your bike, try to make sure that the water doesn’t get into the brakes or gears too much, as this may damage their functionality, as they only require a little bit of grease.

• Give the bike a bit of a bounce to remove some of the water that has lodged itself in certain crevices.

• Time to get the drying cloth and get to work on removing all the water from the bicycle. You might want to use the rags first, then move onto the drying cloth, as sometimes chamois leathers work best when there is only minimal fluid that needs to be dried.

• When you’re drying off your bike, it is an ideal opportunity to check that everything is in order with it. Do your brake pads need changing? Are your tires looking worn and in need of replacement?

• If you’ve got some bike polish, then now is the time to apply it. This is a great product that will really get your bicycle gleaming and looking like it did when you bought it.

What to Do Once You’ve Cleaned Your Bike

Your bike is clean. Well done! But you’re not finished yet. Before you can get on the sparkly bike, there are a few more steps you need to follow. Here they are:

• Oil the chain. You should carefully apply the lubricant or bike oil that you have purchased to the bike chain. To do this, as you start to oil the chain, you should turn the wheel, so that the chain goes around, and then when you’ve reached the spot you started with, you can stop. You should make sure that the oil doesn’t get onto your brake pads or the rims of your wheels. If there is any excess lubricant or oil, then use one of the rags to wipe it away.

• The chainrings, cogs, gear cassette, and jockey wheels should also be carefully lubricated. Once again, make sure that you don’t get the oil on the brake pads, as it could ruin them.

That’s it. You’re all done. If you have followed this guide to cleaning your bike, then there’s a good chance your bike looks as pristine and shiny as it did on the day you bought it. Try to clean your bike as often as possible to keep it in working order.

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In the battle of single speed versus geared bikes, cyclists will be firmly behind one or the other. There are advantages to each of them, and, of course, there are disadvantages too. Before we get to the pros and cons of single-speed bikes and geared bikes, let’s understand what the key differences between the two types are.

What Is the Difference Between a Single-Speed Bike and a Geared Bike?

Gears are the difference. A single-speed bike only has a single gear ratio. The two most common gear ratios on single speed bikes are 44/16 and 46/16, this means that they will have either 44 or 46 teeth in the chainring, and then 16 teeth on the rear cog.

A geared bike will feature a gearing system. This will usually be either derailleur gears or a gearing hub. It is possible to have two gear changing mechanisms on a geared bike. For example, a geared bike might have both rear and front derailleur gears. The type of derailleur used will also affect the number of chainrings on the bike. The number of possible gear ratios available on the geared bike will depend on the number of chainrings and also the number of sprockets in the cog set.

Pros and Cons of Single Speed Bikes

Man riding in single speed bikePros

+ Single-speed bikes are very low maintenance. They don’t have the same number of components as a geared bike, as they don’t have derailleurs or a gearing hub. Because there isn’t an abundance of moving parts, then you don’t have to worry about parts needing to be realigned or getting things snagged in the moving parts.

There really isn’t a lot that you have to think about when you own a single-speed bike. Of course, you’ve got to keep an eye on your tires, check your brakes occasionally, and make sure that the chain hasn’t become loose, and that’s it.

+ Price is another thing in favor of single-speed bikes. Because there are fewer parts, then you can purchase a single-speed bike for less money than a geared bike. Also, there aren’t as many parts on a single-speed bike as there are on a geared bike, so there isn’t a lot that can break, so you’ll spend less on replacement parts.

+ Single-speed bikes are harder to ride, as you don’t have all the help of multiple gears to get you easily up hills or over rough terrain. This is a pro because it means you must cycle harder. As a result, you’ll find yourself becoming much fitter than you would be if you rode a geared bike.

+ Single-speed bikes are also much lighter than geared bikes, for the simple reason that there’s nowhere near the same amount of parts on them. If your bike is lightweight, then it is easier to ride and maneuver, and it’s also just more practical and portable too.

Cons

– The lack of gearing means that you are severely limited in what you can do on a single-speed bike. While it is possible to climb hills, especially if you get up some momentum as you approach it, this type of cycling is better suited to a geared bike, as it will require a lot less exertion.

Then again, a benefit of a single-speed bike is when you go down the hill, you can coast, thanks to the freewheel mechanism, and you don’t have to worry about spinning out.

– Top speeds are limited on a single-speed bike. This is because the cyclist’s cadence will top out at some point, whereas when you can change gears then more revolutions per minute are possible.

There is, however, a lot of debate in the cycling community about whether a single-speed bike or a geared bike can get faster speeds, but it tends to depend on the terrain and whether the bike is going uphill or downhill.

Pros and Cons of Geared Bikes

Geared Bike

Pros

+ The biggest advantage to a geared bike is that the inclusion of a derailleur or a gearing hub mean that hills or undulating terrains are far easier and efficient to cycle on. There isn’t any need for tremendous amounts of exertion when going uphill. As a result, you don’t need to be in incredible physical shape to ride a geared bike.

+ A geared bike is generally more efficient to cycle. To reach high speeds on flat surfaces, then nowhere near the same power is required in comparison to a single-speed bike.

+ Some geared bikes can have up to thirty gears on them. That, of course, means that these bikes are extremely versatile. There is a gear for every speed, every terrain, and every purpose you want out of your bike.

Cons

– A geared bike will almost always be louder than a single-speed bike to ride, especially as the single-speed bike has a freewheel mechanism so that you can coast. Then again, owners of geared bikes will tell you that if you keep the gear train well-maintained, then the bike should be silent.

– A geared bike has a lot more on it than a single-speed bike. That means it will be heavier and more cumbersome. This is a matter of taste, however, as some cyclists prefer the sturdiness of a geared bike, and the benefits that the multiple gears give you has to come at a cost.

Is a Geared Bike Faster Than a Single-Speed Bike?

There is a lot of disagreement about this in the cycling community. A geared bike doesn’t have the same limitations as a single-speed bike. It is also better suited to going uphill. But riders of single-speed bikes will tell you that because they don’t have to rely on the gearing mechanisms then they are able to reach higher top speed.

Also, when going downhill or on flat surfaces, then the lightness of a single-speed bike comes into its own. The one thing that all cyclists agree on, though, is that a fast rider will be fast whether they are on a single-speed bike or a geared bike.

Who Should Buy a Single-Speed Bike?

There are several types of bikes that are part of the single-speed category. Each of these will be better suited to different cyclists. For example, a commuter will love a single-speed commuter or road bike because of its simplicity.

While you’re weaving your way through busy roads, full of cars that are stopping and starting, then you won’t need to worry about changing gears all the time or trying to figure out if you’re in the wrong gear. A BMX is a single-speed bicycle too, so if you’re into off-road biking and doing tricks and stunts, then you’ll want a single-speed BMX bike.

Who Should Buy a Geared Bike?

Geared bikes appeal to cyclists who want to ride on hilly terrain or want to do mountain biking. They are also ideal for cyclists who wish to minimize exertion and instead use a more efficient bicycle that won’t kill you every time you have climb a hill.

If you don’t mind spending the extra cash on a geared bike and also don’t mind the higher-maintenance that is required, then a geared bike is a solid investment, as it is far more versatile than a single-speed bike, and is better suited to a variety of terrains.

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Guide To Skate Park Etiquette in 2020

When you first start visiting skate parks, you might feel a little bit out of place. There are so many unspoken rules that most people already know. How are you supposed to get up to speed? With this guide on skate park etiquette, you’ll be at home at any park you decide to visit in no time. It’s all about being aware of your surroundings, showing respect to other skaters, and knowing what to do and where not to do it.

We all love a good skating session, but the skate park isn’t the place where you need to try out every single one of the new tricks you’ve learned. You should head into it with a fair amount of knowledge on the stunts you’ll try out, but keep in mind that fun is the name of the game. Keep up with what’s going on, but don’t forget to have a blast while doing so.

Respect Other Skaters

Group of skaters

The skate park is owned by none of the skaters who attend. However, it’s a home for anyone and everyone who shares the same passion for this wonderful sport that we all love! Showing respect to both the people who show up as well as the park itself will grant you some serious respect back. Other than the obvious tips of ‘be nice’ and ‘don’t trash up the place’, we have a few bits of advice that might help you feel right where you belong.

For starters, you should never take too long with a trick. Don’t take up several minutes with a line of people behind you, and don’t try to make everyone watch as you do it. They’re all there for the fun of it, so everyone needs to have their own rotation. On that note, you should never try to wax the rails or ramps to increase your speed. That stuff is slippery which can cause accidents. It’s also considered vandalism and it can get stuck to everyone’s board!

Finally, you should do your best to avoid staying in the bowl for too long. Skip out of trying to do stationary tricks in there since it can end up causing you or someone else major injuries. Not only that, but nobody should have to work with other people. We’re all there to have a good time, so sharing and being mindful of other people is the best tip of the guide!

Understand the Rules of the Skate Park

There are two sets of rules for every skate park. The first set of rules is the actual sign that you’ll most likely find right when you walk in. Be safe, be courteous, don’t litter, and so on. Some parks don’t even allow bicycles, so always make sure you look out for the sign before you get started. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

The second set of rules is the unspoken known. These rules include most of the tips previously mentioned in the prior section, but there’s one big point that you should make note of; The skate park is not a place to hang out and sit around with some friends.

You’ll see this time and time again, but people always seem to go to the skate park and sit around. Unfortunately, this slows everyone else down and it even sometimes makes others uncomfortable. If you’re at the skate park, make sure you’re skating!

NEVER Do These Things…

When you’re figuring out a skate park, you need to avoid doing any of the activities mentioned in this section. Not only will you give yourself some clout, but it’ll make it a whole lot easier for you and your friends to have a good time. Now without further ado, let’s get on with it!

Starting off, you should always wait your turn. Everyone has the same rights to the public skate park, so don’t cut in front of people. This helps you avoid confrontation, but you could also get kicked out or banned from a number of local parks for acting out of line. Why not just wait a couple of minutes and have fun?

Another big point to mention is to always let everyone know if your skateboard comes out from under you and wheels away. A stray board can cause serious accidents, especially with a skate park full of people moving upwards of 15 to 20 miles per hour. When you lose your equipment, call it out! Nobody will judge you for looking out for them.

One of the most annoying problems that you’ll inevitably encounter at a skate park is the beginner practicing their tricks in everyone’s path. If you’re not a decent skater, you need to practice on your street or at a friend’s house. It doesn’t hurt to put together a couple of ramps and get the hang of it all before you try out the skate park.

Beginners are always welcome at skate parks but stay in the beginner area. You’ll notice it immediately because everyone in it will be trying to figure out how to do basic tricks. There’s nothing wrong with learning the ropes! Most of the beginner areas will be flat since it’s nearly impossible to start out on a bowl or a ramp.

Remember that the biggest rules of skate park etiquette are to show respect to other skaters and the park, don’t litter or loiter, and most importantly, have a good time!

REFERENCES:

https://www.the-house.com/portal/9-things-not-skatepark/
https://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/the-absolutely-essential-guide-to-skatepark-etiquette/

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Fixie Bike Guide

Fixie bikes have been a popular means of cycling for a long time. However, they’ve been even more widespread through recent years. Whether it’s for easier and fewer repairs, health purposes, or quick acceleration, fixie bicycles aren’t something you’re going to want to pass on anytime soon.

If you’re a well-experienced cyclist, then you already know some of the numerous benefits that come with owning one of these bikes. Beginners will definitely enjoy all of the reasons why everyone should try out a fixed gear bicycle at least once. For more details on what a fixie bike is, why you need to ride one, and how they’re used, read on below!

What is Fixie Bike?

Fixie Bike on the wall

Unlike any other type of bicycle in the world, fixie bikes have their cog connected to the pedals to directly correspond with your movements. It might sound confusing at first, but it’s actually the simplest method around. You have the pedals, the chain, and the cog that’s attached to the back wheel.

When the pedals start to rotate forward, it moves the wheel in the back instantly. There’s no sort of barrier feature, and cruising isn’t an option like you might have with other types of bicycles. That being said, there are all sorts of unique benefits that we will get into in a little bit here.

Pedaling forward makes you go on ahead while pedaling backward makes you reverse. It’s as simple as that! This is one of the many reasons that so many cyclists love fixie bikes. They’re also great because braking can be done by stopping the motion of the pedals.

You’ve probably noticed that when you’re moving fast, you can’t suddenly come to a complete stop by dealing the opposite direction on a typical bike. This is because they’re made to coast. Fixie bikes let you stay 100% in charge of every move that you do, regardless of how fast or slow you’re moving.

How to Ride a Fixie Bike

Woman riding on a bike

We’ve covered most of the way you use a fixie bike, but there are still a couple of extra tips to learn. The first tip is that you should never try to slow down for a turn by reversing too hard. Ease into it just as you would if you were driving a car. While it might not mess up the pedals the first time, it could slowly wear them down after a bit.

You might notice that a lot of fixie bikes don’t have brakes on them, which might seem insane. Well, you’d be right! Many people feel that since they can push or resist the forward motion by reversing their pedaling that they don’t need brakes anymore. While it might work for some cyclists, it’s always better to use the built-in brakes that come with the bike.

Not only are most of us more accustomed to them, but they’re also much more efficient in how quickly they can slow you down for emergency situation. It doesn’t hurt to lower your speed a little for a turn, but overall you should try to depend on the trustworthy brakes!

The Benefits of Riding a Fixie Bike

Riding a fixie bike has a wide variety of benefits that everyone can enjoy. While they might not be the most well-known choice, you’ll begin to notice why tons of people are making the switch. Whether it’s for health purposes, ease of use, or durable construction, fixed gear bicycles is worth looking into for anyone.

One of the biggest benefits of these bikes is that they’re incredibly lightweight, yet equally durable. Most of us usually assume that durability means the bike must be heavier, or that if it’s lightweight it has to be fragile. Regardless of the materials that the frame is made out of, fixed gear bikes generally have a much lower weight due to the fact that they don’t have nearly as many parts.

Reduced parts not only mean less weight, but it also means fewer mechanical problems. The more moving mechanisms that any piece of equipment has, the more issues that you could potentially encounter. The simplistic, straight to the point nature of fixed gear bikes make them contain hardly any possible problems at all!

Finally, fixie bikes present even more health benefits that typical bicycles. This is because you have to pedal everywhere you go. You can’t use downhill speed, natural momentum from pedaling and coasting, or any other form of assistance other than your own two legs to propel you wherever you go.

We’ve all had that cheat day when you take the easy route, or you use all the declines to get more speed. Fixie bikes put the pressure on you, letting you stay on top of the plentiful health benefits of cycling!

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How To Go Hiking On A Budget

Hiking is an activity that ought to be enjoyed by all. There is a wide range of available products on the market for both the budget conscious and the affluent. But just because you don’t want to allocate your monthly rent payment towards the best backpacking gear shouldn’t mean you can’t experience the joys of the great outdoors. There are plenty of options for you if you want to have a little bit of money when you’re planning your hiking adventures.

In this guide, we will be outlining some of the ways you can get out on the trail without spending too much money. From giving you gear selection tips, you trail hunting, everything is possible and you will hit the trails in no time.

Gear

One of the most expensive parts of hiking is the gear you will be using. Luckily, there are plenty of options that you can outfit yourself with, without breaking the bank. For budget-conscious hikers, we recommend that you do not buy new gear. Although new gear may be higher quality and may last longer, it will also cost much more.

For your hiking apparel including hiking boots, pants, jackets, and anything else you’ll wear check out thrift stores and second-hand outdoor shops. They usually have really high-end gear from a few years ago that somebody has upgraded from. this means you’ll be getting what you need in terms of durability, support, and comfort, at a discounted price.

Sometimes this can even work in your favor if the boots are already broken in and the waterproofing has already been tested. Just be sure to inspect things carefully if you’re going this route.

Borrowing is another popular option among hikers and campers. Especially when it comes to things like tents, air-mattresses, and hammocks. Ask around to your friends and family to see if they have any hiking gear they would be willing to lend you for the weekend. It can save you a lot of money if you don’t need to buy your own gaiters, trekking poles, or other additional items that you may only use one or twice.

Deciding to go for a hike without appropriate gear is also possible. You can always go hiking in your regular sneakers, wearing jeans, and sporting a backpack designed for urban use. The only thing is that you will have to put up with the lack of comfort, durability, and versatility you get. Hiking gear is much better suited to handle the elements and keep you comfortable and safe. Sacrificing some comfort is always an option if you want to save a few bucks here and there.

Finding Your Trails

Another expensive aspect of hiking is getting to and from the trails. You may already have a trip booked ahead of time and you’re just looking to trim a little bit of the expenses that can add up.

When possible, always try to use public forms of transportation to and from your hiking destinations. Going private always costs more. If you can find a group of people who are hiking the same trail as you, it is possible that you can hitch a ride and save some of that extra money.

You may not have to go super far away from home in order to get to your favorite hiking trail. There are many trail maps available online, and you may be surprised how close trails may be to your house.

The most popular hiking trails will likely be close enough to public transportation hubs where you can easily access the trailhead. Additionally, depending on how far away your trail actually is, you may just be able to take the shoelace express and walk to your destination.

Food

Hiking Food

Food is a pretty important part of a hikers packing list. You can find high nutrient food that is designed for hiking that is high-cost, but you can also find good food that is budget friendly. With hiking food, you want to make sure that you are getting high-calorie dense foods. This will allow you to fill up with less consumption, and likely less money spent.

For example, a handful of nuts may cost more per pound than a chocolate bar, but the energy you will get from a healthy source of fats like peanuts, or almonds will be much better than a cheaper source.

Also, you may find yourself needing to buy more of the low-quality food in order to equal the nutritional benefits of your high-quality. Don’t be afraid to pay a little more for food that you will not have to consume quite as much of.

For some of your larger meals, pasta and rice are excellent options. They fill you up well and they are quite inexpensive. Feel free to add in your own additions or spices to enhance the taste a little bit. But remember, every addition is extra money spent.

You have a lot of leeways when it comes to the food budget. You don’t need to spend exta cash on hi-tech freeze dried meals. They are a great option if you have room in your budget, but otherwise, keep it simple and you will be fine.

Split Costs

Another great way to save money on a hike is to go in a group or with a friend. This way you bundle together some of your larger costs for transportation and food. Splitting up these costs will take some of the burdens off of you, and you can mutually benefit each other. Buying things in bulk and pre-booking transportation for numerous people will help you save money, and will also deepen your bond with your hiking mates in the process.

Go Hardcore

This last tip is for people who want to push their limits. Some hikers like to extend their comfort zone by sleeping without a tent, or hiking quickly to cut down on food costs. If you don’t need to pay extra money for a tent, air bed, trekking poles, and other things that make your life a little more comfortable, you can go more “caveman” style and try to face the elements.

Cooking food over an open fire instead of using a propane stove can be an exhilarating experience. Going without a guide and navigating trails on your own will certainly cut down on the cost. Choosing to sleep in a hammock instead of sleeping in a tent can give you a little more budget wiggle room too. You can always try hammock tents as a combination!

If you’re the type of person who wants to push the limits, you can use your imagination to figure out how a minimalist hiking trip could seriously save you some money.

Conclusion

Hiking on a budget can be just as much fun as hiking with the best gear money can buy. Even though you may end up having to sacrifice some comfort, you will surely be able to find the options that work best for you. Exercise your ability to come up with ways to get yourself to your destination and support yourself without spending too much money.

You may find that you enjoy the process of figuring out the best way to do things while also keeping your budget low. Don’t let a smaller budget discourage you, and get out there and enjoy the beautiful wilderness.

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How To Ride Bicycles Safely On The Road

This is a guide to riding bicycles safely on the road, and it will be especially useful to new cyclists, or to cyclists who have no previous experience of riding their bikes on the road. Even experienced cyclists might need a refresher too. Whatever level you are as a cyclist, make sure you follow this guide to ensure that you stay safe while riding your bicycle on the road.

Dress Right

A helmet is the most essential piece of equipment to assure safety while riding your road bike. Actually, this should be worn wherever you’re cycling. But besides a helmet, make sure that your attire is suitable for cycling too.

This means that you should be wearing comfortable road cycling shoes that will aid pedaling, you should make sure that your trouser cuffs are tied back, if they are loose, so that they don’t get caught in the spokes, and make sure all your clothes are secured to your body.

The number one element to keeping safe is making yourself as visible to drivers as possible, so fluorescent, bright, or reflective clothing and bibs are recommended too.

Know the Laws

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are riding your bicycle, there will be specific laws to keep you safe, and also to keep those around you safe. In some places, for example, you will have permission to cycle on the sidewalk, and in other places, you won’t be required to wear a helmet – although, you should, regardless of the law. To keep yourself safe, make sure you’re following the rules of the road.

Signal Clearly

Even if you know you want to turn left or right, the drivers around you won’t have this knowledge. Whenever you turn you must clearly signal with the suitable arm. Don’t do this quickly or half-heartedly, keep your arm stiff, and don’t let it drop until you have started to turn. If you cycle the same way to work or home every day, you might forget to do this, as the route is so well-known to you, but forgetting to signal clearly could put you in danger.

Stay Away from the Kerb

Group of people biking

No one wants to find themselves in the gutter. You need to keep this in mind while cycling. Keeping away from the curb makes you more visible to other road users. The closer you are to the curb, the more chance of an accident, as there are drains and potholes that could cause you to come off your bike.

The gutter is also where water will collect, sometimes it will be dirty and slimy too, so it heightens the chance of skidding and falling from your bike. Stay safe by staying out of the gutter.

Be Vigilant for Car Doors

There are many city cyclists with tales to tell about how they cycled into an open door and went flying from their bike. When you’re cycling on the road, there’s a good chance that cars will be lining the pavement. And, actually, even if you’re cycling on a bike lane, you could also have the same problem. Watch out for car doors, they open in a moment, and if you’re not vigilant, then you could cycle straight into them.

Keep Your Ears Open

It can be tempting to put your headphones on while you’re riding your bicycle on the road, but if you’re listening to your favorite song, then you won’t be listening to the sounds around you. To ride your bike safely on the road, you must be able to hear everything that’s going on, including car horns, emergency vehicle sirens, and bells from other cyclists.

Use Bike Lanes

Wherever it is possible to use a bike lane instead of the road, then choose this option. You will be much safer on these lanes, but remember, they are not without risks too. Bike lanes often run parallel to roads, and often cars will ignore them when they are merging or turning. As ever, to keep safe, then keep your eyes and ears out for what the cars are doing around you.

Choose the Right Bike

Some bicycles are better suited to riding on the road than others. The last thing you want to be riding on the road is something large and unwieldy. You need a bicycle that has been designed for cycling on the road, such as a commuter bike or a road bicycle.

Be Visible

Making yourself visible is rule number one when it comes to riding bicycles safely on the road. Lights for the front and back of your bicycle are absolutely necessary, and you should be able to illuminate yourself whether it is night or day.

Weather conditions can quickly change, and when the dark clouds come over, then you will remain safe with lights on your bicycle. Clip-on lights are recommended, as you can remove them when you lock up your bike, which will reduce the chances of them getting stolen.

Always be Ready to Brake

There are so many unknowns when you are cycling on the road. Drivers and other cyclists can be unpredictable. Cars might pop out of places you wouldn’t expect. To ensure safety, then have your hands in a good position to brake at all times.

Keep Calm

Cycling on the road is a high-pressure situation with danger around every corner. It’s natural to be worked up, and if someone cuts you off, forcing you to come to a sudden standstill, then you might be tempted to flip them the bird or give them a piece of your mind. But this will just put you in unnecessary danger. Take a deep breath and keep cycling. This is the best way to stay safe on the road.

Items to Keep You Safe

The following items should be with you at all times to keep you safe on the road:

• A patch kit, in case of punctures.
Bicycle pump, in case the pressure on the tires go.
• A tire lever, in case you need to remove the tire.
• A multi-functional bike tool that includes a wrench, for all those roadside emergencies.

There you have it. If you follow this guide to riding bicycles safely on the road, then you’ll have no injuries or issues, and you can just get on with the pleasure that cycling on the road can give you.

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