Cycling is a great way to get in shape, make new friends and, most importantly, have more fun! Here are some woman-to-woman tips to make your cycling adventures fun and successful.
Get the Right Bicycle
Having the right bike makes riding even better! We have many styles to choose from and are happy to point out the differences so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect. First, it will help if you think about how you plan to ride your new bike. Do you want to cruise the bike paths for a little exercise? Are you signed up for a local charity ride? Are you looking to trade your commute by car for one by bike? Knowing the answers to these questions makes finding the right bicycle much easier.
We can help you with the next important question, too, which is what size bike you should get. Just swing by the shop in some comfortable clothes (since you’ll sit on some bikes), and we’ll take a look and help you find the right fit. Keep in mind that while many manufacturers now make bikes specifically for women, not all women require these models and you may fit a standard one just fine. This is because the parts, such as the saddle and handlebars, can be easily adjusted or changed if needed (we’ll help you with that, too). Once you hit the road on the right, perfectly fitted bike you’ll be amazed at how comfortable and in control you are and how much more fun riding is.
It’s also a great idea to not ride in regular shorts, but to wear a good pair of cycling shorts instead. This is because basic cut-offs or gym shorts have seams inside that can cause chafing and numbness. True cycling shorts (available in different styles from baggy to spandex) breathe to keep you dry, offer padding for comfort and are seam-free so there’s no chafing.
Equally important for comfort is riding on a saddle that fits your anatomy correctly. Sometimes the seat on your new bike will fit perfectly, sometimes not. When a seat doesn’t feel right you should try a new one. Keep in mind that most women’s saddles are designed to fit a wider pelvis, so if you have slim hips, you may want to consider different men’s saddles, which are narrower. It takes a while to get used to new saddles so try it for a few rides before deciding if it’s right.
Other important accessories include cycling gloves, which have padded palms for additional comfort and protection, cycling eyewear that blocks glare, UV rays and airborne debris and cycling jerseys that wick and breathe to keep you dry and comfortable plus usually include pockets for carrying essentials like your I.D., energy bars and cell phone, and all in an easily accessed location.
As you ride more, you may also want to consider cycling shoes. Unlike running shoes, these have stiff soles to keep your arches from collapsing when pedaling, which keeps your feet from getting sore and tired. We have a great selection of women’s clothing and accessories and are happy to help you find just the right gear.
Practice Makes Perfect
Next, we recommend setting up a mini obstacle course you can ride around avoiding the hazards, working on your slow-riding balance and control, then gaining speed and stopping short to work on your emergency stopping, too. These are essential skills no matter where you ride. Practice riding in a straight line while glancing over your left shoulder as if you’re looking for traffic, too (try not to swerve off your line when you look back). Another good drill is to put your water bottle on the ground and then try to pick it up as you slowly ride past without getting off your bike or putting a foot down. Drills like this will help you develop better handling skills and riding near traffic and flying down hills will feel natural and safe.
Know the Rules of the Road
Be sure to ride predictably and defensively, signal your intentions and give yourself plenty of time and space to maneuver, too. Pay attention to your surroundings and you won’t be caught off guard. For example, if you’re aware that a car is passing you’ll be ready should they suddenly turn right in front of you cutting you off.
Some riders like to use a mirror to keep track of things behind, but even if you use one you should also always look and listen for cars. Sometimes you’ll need to take over the middle of the lane, such as when you approach a stop sign or make a left-hand turn at an intersection, so give yourself room and be assertive!
A great tip when you want to explore unfamiliar roads, is to drive them first to see what kind of traffic they have and use the car’s odometer to find out how far you’ll be riding. And, if you see other cyclists on those roads, it’s a good sign that you’ve found a popular and safe cycling route you’ll enjoy.
Another important part of enjoying rides is eating and drinking enough so you don’t run out of energy (cycling burns calories quickly). Even on short rides it’s important to stay hydrated, so bring a bottle filled with water or sports drink if you prefer. On longer rides you should carry water and/or a sports drink and gels, fruit, your favorite snacks and/or energy bars for refueling.
Other things we recommend include your I.D. in case of emergencies, and a little cash or a credit card for those coffee or ice-cream emergencies. A small lock is another handy item. It won’t offer high security but will safeguard your bike while you go in to use a restroom or pickup a drink. Carrying a cell phone is important, too. If you encounter something unexpected, like an afternoon rainstorm you’ll be able to call for a ride home. And, if you’re going out near dusk or dawn, be sure to have a front and rear light for safety. It’s also the law so it could save you a ticket.
Lastly, eventually you’ll get a flat tire, so always carry a pump, spare tube and tire levers on every ride. Some riders find it helpful to write down instructions for fixing a flat to carry with them when they ride. If you’re not sure how to do it, we’re happy to explain and set you up with the correct pump and tube for your bike. And, it’s an excellent idea to practice flat fixing at home so you can do on the road when the time comes. It’s easy once you know how.
Ride with a Group
We hope these tips and suggestions help you enjoy cycling and achieve your goals. And, remember that there’s no such thing as a silly question! Please feel free to contact us anytime you have a question and we’ll be happy to help!
Mountain biking is a great way to get in shape, make new friends and, most importantly, escape the urban landscape and have fun! Here are some woman-to-woman tips to make your mountain biking adventures fun and successful.
|What can you Expect Riding Off Road?
Well, just about anything! You’ll find basic dirt roads like what you drive on sometimes, and more rugged roads—essentially just two tracks side by side with a strip of grass or gravel in the middle called double-tracks (formed by the rare trucks that travel the road) .And, then, there’s every mountain biker’s favorite, the singletrack trail, which is just wide enough for a single rider and usually as fun as riding a roller coaster because it zigs and zags, goes up and down and can include whoop-de-doos, drop-offs, berms and all manner of obstacles.
Of course, you’re usually in a somewhat remote location and should expect all terrain, too, from hardpacked dirt, to gravel, sand and mud, to even some pavement patches. And, you’ll find many challenges, which can include very steep hills you’ll have to walk up (and down!), streams or even rivers crossing the trail that you might or might not be able to ride through, ruts or washouts to watch out for, downed trees and even the occasional wild animal.
All of which is why we recommend you start at your own pace and pick trails that suit you and your abilities. Just ask and we’ll gladly point you to trails that match your riding ability so that you have as much fun as possible.
Get the Right Mountain Bike
1. Where will you ride?
One detail that’s key to riding comfortably is having the right seat, one that fits nicely, supports you well and feels great throughout your rides. Most new bicycles today come with nicely designed seats, even women’s-specific models, however, you’ll want to try the seat for a while and make sure it’s right. If not, we can help you find a seat that is. Keep in mind that just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you necessarily need a women’s saddle. Most women’s saddles are designed to fit a wider pelvis, so if you have slim hips, you may want to consider a narrower men’s model, for example. Also, note that mountain-bike saddles are generally designed to allow you to quickly change position so you want to find one that’s easy to slide off the back of and stand up from, too.
When you visit you can take test rides to feel for yourself how different bicycles and seats feel, too. You’ll see that we have a wide variety of off-road bicycles and there are interesting differences in the features and how they ride. In fact, a lot of people get so into mountain biking that over time they purchase several different bikes so that they always have the ideal bike no matter what or where they’re riding. That’s part of the fun.
Dress Right for the Trail
Consider cycling eyewear, too, because it wraps around your face to protect your eyes from airborne debris, branches, and also from UV rays and glare. Some lens tints, such as orange and brown are even designed to enhance your vision so you can see variations in the terrain better. These lenses also work well when riding in and out of trees, which shade the trail and can make it hard to see obstacles in your path. Some eyeglasses have vented lenses to prevent fogging, too.
Be sure to wear full gloves, too, for comfort and protection. Mountain-bike gloves have light padding to provide an optimum grip and excellent control, and they’re typically reinforced on the backs and feature terry panels for wiping your face. They breathe well, too, even on hot summer days.
You’ll want a nice pair of mountain-bike shorts, which also provide comfort and protection. Plus, they’ll make you feel and look as good on the bike as when you’re getting that post-ride burrito! These usually feature a baggy outer short or skirt made of a tough fabric to protect you from bushes and branches out on the trail, and a liner short with padding. Quality cycling shorts wick and breathe to keep you dry and comfortable and they are usually seam-free to prevent chafing and often include handy pockets, too. Some models have zip vents, mesh panels to enhance ventilation and other features.
Keep in mind that because you shift your weight on a mountain bike much more that you do on a road bike, many mountain-bike shorts have less padding than their road counterparts. We recommend finding a pair where the padded liner short fits like a second skin and remember that your skin is the only thing you wear under the liner. Another option is to buy just the liner short, which some brands sell separately, and wear your own shorts over them. If you go this route, be sure to wear shorts that wick and are roomy enough to maximize your freedom of movement, and that don’t include seams that can chafe and cut off circulation.
A lot of people start biking in a basic T-shirt. We think you’ll find a cycling jersey much more comfortable, safe and convenient. Cycling jerseys or camis not only flatter your figure, but wick and breathe to keep you dry and comfortable all ride long, too. They often feature pockets in the rear for carrying essentials along, such as your cell phone or car keys.
Finally, we recommend mountain-biking shoes, which are stiff enough in the soles to enhance your pedaling and protect you from getting sore feet from pedaling. These shoes have treaded soles for excellent traction off road, too. And, you may want to consider clipless-compatible shoes for use with clipless pedals.
We have a great selection of women’s clothing and accessories and are always happy to answer questions and make recommendations.
1. While moving in a straight line and standing up out of the saddle, move your weight and hips forward toward your handlebars and then back behind your rear tire. This stretches your muscles and gets you comfortable moving around above your bike. Also, practice moving side to side while pushing your bike in the opposite direction. Keep your bicycle traveling in a straight line while practicing these moves.
2. While using your front and rear brakes equally, practice stopping quickly. The harder you brake the more you’ll have to push your weight behind the saddle to oppose the braking forces, which try to throw you forward. Start slowly and gradually work up to the point where you can stop really quickly, remain balanced and in control, and not skid your rear tire at all.
3. Have a slow race with friends. In other words, see who can be the last to the finish line. This drill forces you to go as slowly as you can, even balance in one spot if you can. If you go backwards, though, you lose. You’ll find that the slower you go, the more it helps to get up out of the saddle, relax and balance your weight equally on your hands and the balls of your feet.
4. Set up cones or rocks or maybe water bottles and practice riding figure eights. Try to make your corners smooth and be sure to look up towards the exit of the turns. Practice entering the corners at different angles and speeds, too.
5.Master shifting. Become familiar with your rear shifter (located on the right with the rear brake lever). This shifter controls the smaller more incremental shifts. Use this when the climbs/descents become slightly more or less steep. The front shifter (located on the left)controls larger changes. Use this when you need to make it a lot harder or easier to pedal, such as when you go from a flat stretch to a steep climb. You can’t hurt your bicycle by shifting it and it’s important to shift often so that you are always in a comfortable and easy-to-pedal gear. So, it’s important to practice and get confident so you hit the right gear when you need it every time. Be sure to ask if you have any questions or need a demonstration.
6. Practice going down and up curbs. First practice pulling up on the front end of the bike to get a feel for the timing and effort needed to lift the front wheel off the ground. Don’t jerk on the handlebars. Instead, lean back slightly to move your weight off the front of the bike and at the same time gently pull upward on the handlebars. Stay relaxed and balanced. Once you can lift the front wheel, you’re ready to try riding off a curb. To do this lean slightly back and hold onto your bars and the bike will roll right off the curb. It’s essentially the same move to ride up a curb but you need to time the front wheel lift to clear the curb and stay up off the seat and relaxed so that when your rear wheel strikes the curb it doesn’t surprise you or hit too hard and damage the wheel. With practice you can shift your weight to the rear as you approach the curb, raise the front wheel and then move forward and lift the rear wheel, too.
7. If you decide to use clipless pedals be sure to practice getting in and out of them repeatedly. Do this on grass. Straddle the bike and click your right foot into and out of the right pedal about 100 times (seriously). Repeat with your left foot. This fun little exercise may entertain your neighbors but it’s important because it trains your muscle memory so your feet will do the right thing when needed. Translation: you won’t crash because your feet were stuck in the pedals.
Know and Follow the Rules of the Trail
As a mountain biker, it’s your duty to yield the trail to all other users. Ring a bell or give a friendly greeting to let others know you’re there as you slow down to walking pace—or stop completely. Be extra careful around horses so you don’t spook them. Give them extra room and follow the instructions of the horseback rider. By being socially and environmentally responsible like this, you’ll make a good name for mountain bikers everywhere and help to keep the trails open.
Since you’ll be out in the wild, you’ll need to carry some food and water. Most mountain bikers prefer to use a hydration pack instead of bottles because the latter can get dirty from the dirt and mud coming off the front wheel. Packs are also handy for carrying extra clothing and gear.
Hydration packs come in many sizes, based on the volume of liquid and gear they can hold and the size of person that will wear them. While many packs come in sizes and styles for women, depending on your build, you may not need a women’s-specific model. Make sure that the pack sits comfortably on your back when you’re seated on your bike and the waist belt doesn’t sit too high or too low.
Because hydration packs come in several bladder sizes, decide how much liquid you’ll need on your longest, hottest rides and how much extra gear, such as a rain jacket, you may want to carry.
On rides over 90 minutes long you should carry water and/or a sports drink and gels, fruit, your favorite snacks and/or energy bars for refueling. Since there’s no convenience stores on the trails it’s wise to bring a little more food and water than you think you’ll need just in case you decide to do the extended loop! Don’t forget to leave room for tools, car keys, an I.D. and a cell phone, too.
A flat tire is always a possibility, too, so be sure to carry a pump, spare tube, patch kit and tire levers along with you on every ride. Some riders find it helpful to write down instructions for fixing a flat to carry with them when they ride as well. If you’re not sure how to do it, we’re happy to explain it and set you up with the correct pump and tube for your bike. Keep in mind that if you ride with friends someone will usually know how to fix a flat and be able to help you should you get one.
If you plan on exploring new terrain, it’s a good idea to bring a map so you’ll know where you are, how far you’re going, and how to get back. A small first-aid kit can be handy, too. Again, if you ride with friends you’ll probably be more prepared than riding alone because everyone can carry certain essentials to take care of whatever happens on the ride.
Check your Bike
Make sure your wheel quick-releases are tight and that your wheels are still round and true. Then check that your brakes are working correctly. And, then go over your bike with Allen wrenches checking that there aren’t any loose bolts on the stem, brake and shift levers, seatpost, derailleurs, pedals, crankset, etc. Just put a wrench on the bolts and see if they turn if you try to tighten them. If everything feels tight, no worries. If some bolts turn it means they were loosening and should be good now. Remember that If you’re uncertain about something on your bike, you can always swing by our shop before you hit the trails and we can take a look and make sure your bike is safe and ready to go.
Ride with Friends
There you have it. The only thing left to do is to go have fun and ride!
Welcome to a world where the choice is yours! With Trek’s WSD line-up (WSD stands for Women’s Specific Design), you have a complete selection of bicycles, components and apparel engineered and dialed in just for you!
WSD considers your bike as a complete system, from the frame geometry and gearing, to the contact points that determine the fit and feel of every ride. It’s Trek’s approach to making the perfect fitting and riding bike right from your very first spin.
Where you see the difference
While every WSD bike is masterfully designed and built to provide the ultimate cycling experience, there are six key design factors that are noteworthy and customizable as follows:
- Seat comfort is of extreme importance and Tre has put extensive engineering into WSD saddle designs. Exclusive technologies like their Zone Density foam, a women’s Contour Relief Zone and Size Specific Curvature keep you comfortable and supported for outstanding comfort on all your rides.
- Trek WSD bikes come in a wide range of frame sizes so that we can give you a perfect fit for maximum comfort, control and pedaling efficiency.
- They also feature the optimal frame geometry for each rider, which results in excellent handling and a natural reach to the pedals and handlebars, plus the ideal hand position for comfort and control.
- A natural and comfortable posture is essential for cycling, which is why our Trek WSD models also boast WSD components like stems and seatposts that are spec’d and sized to fit perfectly and complement the bicycle’s fine fit.
- Likewise, these bikes sport Trek WSD handlebars, which are sized to your upper body for added comfort and control.
- You also get the perfect gearing on WSD bikes, whether you need lower gears for hitting the hills, high gears for maximum speed or an all-around compact gearing setup. And all the bikes shift with ease.
- Last but not least, Trek also realizes that the look of a bike is important and offers WSD styling options, such as colors, finishes and details just for you!
The bike for you
Choosing a new bike is a wonderful experience and having a bicycle made for you is something special. To find the bike that’s right for you, start by asking yourself these two questions:
- Where do I plan to ride?
- How will I use the bike?
Your first answer tells if you’ll be riding a road, mountain or commuter bicycle. Within those three categories there’s a range of WSD bikes that will be ideal. Then, the second question helps narrow down your selection to a more specific bike.
There are Trek WSD bikes designed for the elite-level racer, the enthusiast road rider, the commuter and the casual rider. You’ll find bikes in the middle too for multiple types of riding and budgets. So whether you’re a weekend warrior or just enjoy pedaling around the park, we’ll gladly help you find the WSD bike that’s perfect for you.
The importance of fit
Making sure your bike fits properly and that you have a seat that’s comfortable make all the difference for enjoying cycling. A natural and comfortable fit allows you to ride longer, safer and more efficiently. Of course, if you buy a new bicycle we’ll make sure you’re on the right size bike and a comfy seat from the start.
However, if you’re fitting an older bike, we encourage you to come into the shop for a proper fitting. If you can’t do that, we recommend considering a WSD saddle as a way to improve on a lesser model.
WSD inForm saddles
Trek knows the importance of a comfortable saddle and that’s why WSD bikes are spec’d with Bontrager inForm WSD seats. They are sized and shaped specifically for the unique anatomical needs of women. They also provide the advanced support, padding and pressure relief that results in sweet comfort mile after mile.
Not all women are built the same so WSD seats come in three different widths. Stop by the shop and we’ll do a quick measurement. Whether you sit in an aggressive race position or in a more relaxed upright stance, Bontrager’s Posture Specific Design system makes it easy to find the inForm saddle that’s ideally suited for the way you ride.
We also recommend trying on some WSD cycling shorts. Unlike regular gym shorts and cut-offs, cycling shorts are seam-free, breathable and have plenty of support and stretch for comfortable pedaling.
Cycling shorts also feature padding for maximum comfort sitting on a seat. And our Trek WSD shorts come in difference styles so you can find the fit and style that appeals to you.
We carry a selection of WSD helmets, too. If you haven’t tried on a new bike helmet in a while we’re sure you’ll be impressed with how stylish, light and nicely ventilated the new lids are. A lot of riders tell us they hardly know they even have them on! Make sure you wear your helmet properly. And if you have any questions on helmet fit, come by the shop and we’ll be happy to help you.
For further information concerning Trek WSD bicycles, check out their women’s specific webpage at http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/collections/womens
I had the true privilege to know and work with Johnny Roy Bottema. One time famous wrench for Intense Factory Racing, Johnny passed away this past week after a long battle with cancer & other medical complications. Johnny was not only the best mechanic I ever had the pleasure to learn mechanical skills from, he also taught me to be a better person each day we spent together at work.
I still remember the day Johnny approached me looking for a job. I could not believe that the famous Johnny Bottema would even consider working for Jax Bicycle Center. He had so many years experience working for professional racing teams, I could hardly believe he was standing in front of me wanting to work alongside our team! If you haven’t guessed by now, Johnny was gladly hired to work in our service department….and did he work! Johnny was always busy, always helpful, and always sharing his extensive knowledge with staff and clients alike.
I could go on for days about his mechanical expertise, but I really would like to touch on the real man who I am proud to have known. Johnny was a kind-hearted person. He would always see the good in everything and everyone, and never speak poorly of others. His generosity was one of his many positive traits that can not go unmentioned. He would give you the shirt off his back, or his last dollar to help you out. His selfless actions were truly amazing, there was never any end to what he would give. I remember many times when he would treat his co-workers to mid afternoon snacks. He loved sweats, and would always have candy around.
Of all his positive attributes that I remember, I still cherish our conversations we had as car-pool buddies the most. Johnny led such an interesting and full life from the time he was young. His brother and him started Bottema Forks in the earlier days of BMX racing. He also was a professional mountain bike race team mechanic. As fascinating as all his adventures were, I really appreciated the conversations of life we would have. He always offered me a relaxed insight to work, relationships, and life.
I will forever forget Johnny Roy Bottema! He did so much for myself, Jax Bicycle Center, friends, family, and for anyone who truly had the amazing experience to know him. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace my friend! – Pat DeVries –
We always get excited when the Trek Factory Demo truck comes to town! Not only do we get to invite riders to come try out their latest bikes, but we take advantage of the riding time as well.
We can’t think of a better way to spend your Saturday, than with Trek and Jax and demo bike! We are fortunate to have both the men’s and ladies Demo trucks out at the same time for this event. Trek will have something for everyone.
When: Saturday January 26th, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Aliso and Woods Canyons – 28373 Alicia Parkway Laguna Niguel CA, 92677
– Team Kasel Cycling will be on site to meet and ride with!
– HDX Hydration Mix will be on site with free samples and to fill up your waterbottle
– ALL DEMO riders receive a 15% off coupon towards the purchase of a TREK mountain or road bike.
– ALL DEMO riders receive a FREE BBQ lunch up the street at our new Laguna Niquel JAX.
Come on out and play with Jax at this FREE event. Ride some bikes, meet and ride with Kasel Racing, have some FREE HDX Hydration Mix, and enjoy a FREE lunch at our NEW Laguna Niquel shop.
Hope to see everyone Saturday!
Jax is proud to announce our second annual Road Bike Event! ALL road bikes are on sale from BH and Trek. We figure, why limit you to only certain models being on sale! Choose from instock, special order, and even Trek Project One custom bikes at great sale pricing. We want you to get fit for the new year, what better way can we inspire you to ride than give great deals on road bikes. Check out our website for pricing at http://jaxbicycles.com/about/whats-on-sale-pg511.htm