Training Your Core Can be Just As Important As Your Legs
You know how important it is to have strong leg muscles when cycling, because they provide the most tangible source of power. If you have strong leg muscles, this is how you are able to start every ride strong and get up to a nice riding speed. Soon though, you find yourself getting back aches, and feeling tired in the saddle.
The problem is, "You can have all the leg-strength in the world, but without a stable core you won't be able to use it efficiently," says Graeme Street, founder of Cyclo-CORE, and a personal trainer in Essex, Connecticut.
Your abs and lower back are the vital foundation from which all movement, including your pedal stroke, stems. What's more, a solid core will help eliminate unecessary upper-body movement, so all the energy you produce is delivered into a smooth pedal stroke.
It only takes about 10 minutes to complete this intense routine designed by Street.
Dimity McDowell of Bicycling.com and Street say that if you do this routine, in this order, three times a week you will create a core that lets you ride faster, longer, more powerfully - and finish stronger than ever.
1. Boxer Ball Crunch What It Works: Transverse abdominus, obliques, lower back
A. Lie with the middle of your back on a stability ball, your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, but don't pull on your neck.
B. Squeezing your belly button toward your spine, lift your upper back off the ball. Keeping your shoulders off the ball, trace a clockwise oval with your torso. Apply pressure with your lower back to keep the ball still through the entire motion. After 15 clockwise ovals, trace 15 counterclockwise.
Why It Works: Despite the straightforward motion of the bike, your body moves in three directions: forward as you head down the road, vertically as your legs pedal up and down, and laterally as your hips and upper body rock side to side. "This fluid, circular exercise builds control," says Street, and that helps you minimize lateral torsion and wasted motion.
2.Power Bridge What It Works: Hip flexors, glutes, lower back
A. Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your heels near your glutes. Arms are at your sides, palms down.
B. In one smooth motion, squeeze your glutes, raise your hips off the floor and push up from your heels to form a straight line from shoulders to knees; toes come off the floor slightly. Hold for two seconds. Keeping your toes raised, lower yourself three-quarters of the way to complete one rep. Do 20 repetitions.
Why It Works: In addition to stretching the hip flexors, often extremely stiff in cyclists, the bridge strengthens the link between your lower back and glutes.
3.Hip extension What It Works: Lower back, hamstrings, glutes
A. Lying with your hips and stomach on the stability ball, put your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, and extend your legs with toes resting on the floor.
B. With a straight spine and shoulder blades back, as if you're trying to make them touch, lift both legs off the floor, keeping them straight. If possible, raise them slightly higher than parallel to the floor. Hold for two seconds and lower. Do 20 reps.
Why It Works: This movement builds backside strength, for added efficiency on the second half of the pedal stroke. 4. Plank What It Works: Transverse abdominus, upper and lower back A. Lying on your stomach, place your elbows under your shoulders with forearms and hands on the floor. B. Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back straight and abs tight, and rest on your toes. Aim for 60 seconds. Why It Works: The plank builds the strength and muscular endurance you need to ride powerfully in the drops or in an aero position long after others have surrendered to the top of the handlebar. 5. Transverse Plank What It Works: Transverse abdominus and obliques A. Lie on your right side, with your right elbow under your shoulder, forearm in front for stability, and stack your left foot on your right. Raise your left arm over your head. B. In one motion, lift your hips to create a straight line down your left side. Lower your hips a few inches off the floor; do 10 to 15 reps, then switch sides. Why It Works: Strong obliques improve your stability in the saddle, letting you take on hairpin corners with more control and speed. 6. Scissors Kick What It Works: Transverse abdominus, hip flexors, inner and outer thighs
A. Lying on your back with legs straight, place both hands palms down under your lower back.
B. Pushing your elbows down into the floor and pulling your belly button toward your spine, raise your shoulders off the floor and look toward the ceiling. Raise your leg 4 inches off the ground and scissor them: left leg over right, then right over left. That's one rep. Work up to 100. Why It Works: A comprehensive movement that connects key cycling muscles, the kick also builds inner-thigh muscles, which help you achieve hip, knee and forefoot alignment for a proper and efficient pedal stroke 7. Catapult What It Works: Entire core
A. Sitting with a slight bend in your knees, press your heels against the floor. Extend arms to the front at shoulder height, palms facing each other.
B. With a straight spine and upward gaze, inhale deeply, then exhale and slowly lower your torso to the floor over five counts as you inhale. Arms are overhead.
C. In one smooth movement, leading with the arms, exhale and explode back to the starting position. Do 20 reps. Why It Works: Contrary to its name, the catapult encourages supreme body control. 8. Boat Pose What It Works: Transverse abdominus, lower back
A. Sit, resting both hands lightly behind you, and lean back until your torso is at a 45-degree angle.
B. Keeping your legs together, lift them off the floor as you extend arms forward at shoulder height. Abs are tight, as thighs and torso form a 90 degree angle. If your hamstrings are tight, you'll need to bend your knees a little. Work up to holding for 60 seconds. Why It Works: As with the plank, this pose builds the lower-back stability and core strength needed to remain bent over the handlebar for hours, or to blast up hills without compromising power or speed
Following this regimen will give you some improvement in your core strength, riding ability and endurance. Stay Tuned to our blog for more cycling tips!
(Please note that due to the already low prices on our closeouts, discount coupons will not apply to this item.)
SRAM Force drivetrain
Highest Quality Carbon
Since 1987, Kestrel has been meticulously hand-building their carbon
frames using the tightest quality control standards in the industry.
Their goal - perfecting the science of speed. Kestrel was the first to
launch an all carbon bike and thus wrote the book on bicycle
performance: weight, stiffness, efficiency, and even the shape of the
bicycle itself. With over 20 years of carbon fiber experience under
their belts, Kestrel is a name you can feel confident in.
Kestrel's geometry has been painstakingly refined to maximize ride
comfort and handling grip. Every Kestrel frame comes with a matching,
frame-specific fork that's engineered and ride tuned for perfectly
balanced handling with a sensitive road feel and superb ride comfort.
The Kestrel has been said to have one of "the most aero frames you can
Just like the award winning RT700, the Talon uses Kestrel's unmatched
carbon fiber know-how for a superior riding experience. Superb
stiffness, superior strength, durability and Kestrel's legendary
aerodynamic geometry lend to a road-smoothing ride with precise handling
and efficient power transfer. Size-specific tuning optimizes the ride
for every size, so you get the same precise handling with a responsive
feel regardless of how big you are or where you ride.
This Kestrel is formed from a weight-shaving 700k Carbon fiber hybrid with a Modular monocoque aerodynamic frame design.
Constantly varying tube sections and optimized shapes throughout, for increased torsional rigidity and bottom bracket stiffness
Semi-sloping top tube for lower center of gravity and stiffer main triangle
Structurally optimized one-piece modular Monocoque main triangle
Size-specific, proportionally scaled tube and junction
profiles for consistent ride quality and superior stiffness in every
Aero-sculpted and sleek, for solo breakaways
Reinforced bottom bracket and chainstays for power transfer
Dedicated Kestrel EMS Carbon fork, co-engineered with the frame for balanced handling feel and precision
Full Internal cable routing
Semi-integrated headset for a low profile, optimal stiffness and full replaceability
Ultraclean rear brake cable exit integrated into seatpost binder
Proprietary, dropouts and fork
Replaceable derailleur hanger
Sculpted H-shape seatstays are tuned to damp vibration so less road buzz reaches the saddle
Precision-tuned fork for cutting fast downhill bends or criterium corners
Frame weight = 1.3kg* (approx avg.)
Frame - 700k Carbon Fiber - Structurally optimized
one-piece modular Monocoque main triangle, Reinforced bottom bracket and
chainstays for power transfer, 2xH2O bottle mounts, replaceable
derailleur hanger,Frame weight = 1.3kg
Fork - Kestrel Fluid Design Dedicated Carbon Fiber fork with
1.125 inch aluminum steerer tube, co-engineered with the frame for
balanced handling feel and precision
40 Prototypes and an Entire Year of Development Result In the Ideal Aerodynamic Shape
Scott's engineers have been working with sports engineers from the
Australian University of Aledaide with the primary objective of
significantly reducing drag. They have spent a year looking at the
difference in airflow around the helmet in different positions, from
cruising (head is more flat) to flat out sprinting (head more angled
"The challenge was to perfectly
match the ideal aerodynamic shape given by the wind tunnel study with
the manufacturing and the cooling requirements,” says Alexandre
Dimitriou, helmet engineer at SCOTT Sports, “while also keeping an
attractive and aggressive design.”
After testing many
of the iterations, they settled into a design: an attractive, aero round
cover with open notches at the rear and central vents with two 1.2mm
ribs running from front to back along the sides and three vents at the
front with inner cooling channels and exhaust ports around the back to
ensure a degree of ventilation.
Of course, many
other companies have been moving towards more aero helmets, but that's
why Scott partnered up with a renowned university in Australia to
provide a truly aero helmet, not just an "uncut standard shell on (the)
existing helmet" says John Thompson (Helmet Product Manager at Scott).
"As a result of this collaboration we are proud to offer our riders a
helmet with real advantage based on solid science."
It doesn't get much better than that.
Come down to either Gotta Ride Bikes Location TODAY to see our current selection of helmets, and be sure to Follow us on Facebook to stay updated with shop and brand news, video reviews, sales, and much much more.
"Scott introduced their Spark 29er last year, and the potentially ultra-light, remote lockout-equipped
machine only continued Scott’s deserved popularity among racers"
Ride & handling: Naturally fast and fun
a reasonable all-up weight and immediate shock lockout, the Spark spins
up fireroads and tarmac well and the ‘high’ chip position gives it a
more perched cross-country feel. The middle setting is essential for
stopping back-end bob and morale sapping suck-down in high torque/low
rev situations on rougher climbs, however, and that in turn makes it
more prone to spilling traction and momentum over the bigger lumps.
With the geometry chip in low and the shock
fully open, the Spark feels like a proper badass. The rollover effect of
the big volume tires offsets the twin chamber-compromised feel of the
rear shock, so while it doesn’t enhance the ride it doesn’t undermine it
too badly either.
Add impressive mainframe stiffness and that
smooth-riding Fox fork and the Spark’s downhill and tech trail attitude
is all about minimum braking and maximum speed. The downhill trails were
definitely the Scott’s time to shine.
The low center of gravity
and relaxed head encourages you to properly throw it through corners
too, though you may want to consider a tire upgrade to get the most out of this bike.
Frame & equipment: Decent kit on an excellent frame, shock aside
seriously light 930 is the cheapest carbon front/alloy rear Spark
frame. The skinny quick-release rear axle means some tracking flex, but
shifter and shock cables are internal and the bottom bracket is a very
stiff, light press-fit design. The neat bar lever toggles the twin
chamber shock from open to reduced volume to lockout, and tallies with
similar settings on the synced Fox fork.
The SRAM transmission is light, the Shimano Deore brakes are excellent and the Syncros finishing kit includes decent wheels and saddle, plus a well-shaped short-stem, mid-width flat bar cockpit
love the Scott’s mix of low weight and high stiffness, as it helps
create surprisingly playful and descent-dialled handling. The Spark’s
kit levels are good for the price too. But it’s the usual Scott story of
whether you like the idea of the remote shock switching – or not – that
will ultimately decide if the Spark ignites your riding enthusiasm.
article was originally published in What
Mountain Bike magazine
Come to Gotta Ride Bikes to find out more about the 2014 Scott Lineup as well as all the other great bikes, apparel and nutrition we have in store for you— PLUS SO MUCH MORE
The Solace is Scott's new comfort model, designed for sportives, rough roads and long distances. It takes over from the CR1, which continues in the range as an entry-level carbon fiber model.
(originally published on BikeRadar.com)
Four variants of the Solace will be available: the 30 (Shimano 105), 20 (Shimano Ultegra 11-speed), 10 (Dura-Ace 9000) and Premium (Dura-Ace Di2). BikeRadar tested the Solace 10 at Scott's international launch in the Swiss Alps.
See A More Race Oriented 2014 Scott Bike in the Scott Addict SL HERE
Ride & handling: Comfort and stability with undertones of raciness
Solace has a shorter top tube and taller head tube than Scott's race
models, as is the sportive bike convention. From the off you feel more
relaxed and ready to ride for a long time, not a fast time.
we were initially cynical about the frame's split Comfort and Power
Zones (see below), they are surprisingly tangible. Aiming the Solace
straight through broken sections of Switzerland's generally excellent
roads quickly established that it successfully reduces shocks and
vibration through the saddle.
out-of-the-saddle efforts and fast descending confirmed that the bottom
bracket and head tube rigidity aren't compromised. In fact, the power
transfer and steering accuracy is on par with that of many dedicated
race bikes. The more relaxed geometry makes the steering slower and
calmer but, because the precision is retained, cornering is still fun.
do have some reservations about Scott's approach to comfort, though.
Rather than focus on vibration damping, they've worked on increasing the
controlled flex at the saddle and front axle. This means they can
easily quantify the gains and claim, for instance, that the Solace is 42
percent more comfortable than the CR1.
Solace is light and responsive. Hard climbing is fun and rewarding; you
don't feel as though you're having to drag the bike up hills. Factor in
the ultra-compact gearing and it's a machine to help you conquer the
next challenging ride you think might be beyond you.
and more cossetting than a pure race bike, the Solace is still ready to
throw down when there's a town sign to sprint for or a demanding descent
to carve up.
If your sportive goals revolve around high placings
and gold-standard times, the Solace's compromises (small as they might
be) are probably more than you'll want to live with. The taller riding
position and fatter tires make it noticeably slower than the new Scott
Addict we rode back-to-back on the same roads (stay tuned for a first
ride review of that bike). If you're that speed focused then you should
be on a race bike. And probably in an actual race.
Frame & equipment: Split personality frame with Syncros and Shimano kit
are two versions of the Solace frame – the Premium uses Scott's higher
grade HMX Net carbon fiber for both the frame and fork (claimed to weigh
890g and 330g respectively in a 54cm size), while the standard model is
made from the more affordable HMF Net (950g frame, 380g fork; still
very light). Every frame has size-specific geometry and layup, including
the women's Contessa versions.
Scott began R&D for the Solace
by researching the role of each frame section in terms of ride comfort
and pedalling stiffness. They found that the strength of the head tube,
down tube, bottom bracket and chainstays are – as you'd expect –
essential to creating a laterally and torsionally stiff frame for
efficient power transfer.
Scott's engineers also found that the
seatstays, seat tube and top tube play a much lesser role in frame
performance but a far greater one in comfort. This led them to split the
frame into the Power Zone and Comfort Zone areas, optimizing the design
of each accordingly.
One of the first things you'll notice is
that the rear brake is mounted under the chainstays, behind the bottom
bracket. This is something you will see on many time trial bikes
but it isn't to make the Solace more aerodynamic. Rather, it relieves
the seatstays of braking duty, freeing them up to provide comfort.
The seatstays are very thin and there's no brake bridge, so you can
actually squeeze them together by as much as 10mm with one hand. At
their top ends, they join to the top tube more than the seat tube,
allowing each part to flex in a more natural direction to provide
The seatpost is another key element of the ride comfort –
it's a Syncros FL2.0 of 27.2mm diatameter; an 'Ergoptimized' carbon
layup means it's designed to flex backwards to take the sting out of
bumps, without wobbling back and forth. Clever stuff.
owned by Scott and their component range has had a huge makeover for
2014, so it's no surprise to see it all over the Solace 10 – saddle,
seatpost, stem, bar and wheels.
The saddle has chromoly rails and the cockpit is all aluminium. The
wheels are the OEM-only aluminium RP2.0 models, shod with 25mm Schwalbe
One V-Guard tires.
The Solace 10 has a complete Shimano Dura-Ace
9000 11-speed groupset, with a sportive friendly 50/34 crankset and
11-32 cassette combination.
Scott’s Plasma Premium tri bike was the fastest steed in this year’s Kona Ironman World Championship, when Sebastian Kienle powered his mount to a rookie win. The bike also set an Ironman world record last year with a super aero carbon frame that shaves weight where it isn’t necessary and reinforces key areas for maximum efficiency. We’re not saying you’ll win the next Kona, but you’ll break records—if only your own. Caveat: faster and lighter means an emptier pocket.
or, Check out ANOTHER Scott Bike that Made a "Top List" on BikeMagic HERE
Here are the features of this incredible bike:
Integrated Steering System:
Fully integrated frame and stem system, Toptube, and stem continuity. Fully integrated cable routing is compatible with Shimano Di-2
IMP Technology Twin Turbo
Scott's engineers have developed IMP, one of the newest technologies applied to carbon production. The toptubne, headtube, seat tube and down tube are produced in a single step using a top-secret process. Scott's proprietary process allows for lighter construction by removing 11% of the material from the headtube intersection while increasing strength by utilizing high modulus stressed fibers for more precise fiber placement in critical areas. To compliment the IMP process, the frames benefit from the Naked External Tubeset which eliminates the cosmetic carbon layer to shave precious grams.
The integrated seatclamp increases the bike's aerodynamic properties and reduces drag without sacrificing function.
Fork: Scott Plasma 3, 1" carbon, Integrated Headset: Ritchey WCS Integrated, 1" drop-in headset Rear Derailleur: Sram Red Carbon Ceramic, black Front Derailleur: Sram Red Carbon, black Shifters: Sram Red, R2C Carbon Shifter Brake Levers: Profile ABS Carbon Crankset: Sram Red Carbon black, 53 x 39 TT BB-Set: Sram INT BB Press Fit Handlebar: Profile Svet Stem: Profile Plasma 3, 1", 31.8mm Pedals: None included Seatpost: Plasma 3 with Ritchey WCS, adjustable head Seat: Fizik Arione Tri 2 Carbon Front Hub: Zipp Rear Hub: Zipp Chain: Sram Red PC-1091 Cassette: Sram Red, 10 speed, 11-25 Spokes: Zipp Rims: F: Zipp Carbon 404 Firecrest Tubular R: Zipp Carbon 808 Firecrest Tubular Tires: Continental Competition Tubular, 28"x 22 mm Weight: 7.50 kg / 16.52 lbs
If You Want To Keep Your Bike in Tip-Top Shape, You Should Follow This Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Maintenance Checklist
Perhaps you just bought a new bike. Or maybe you have been riding for quite some time now— either way it is important to make sure that your bike is operating properly all the time!
Of course, the type of riding, the frequency that you ride, and the terrain you ride on all play a role in determining your maintenance schedule. If you ride 150 miles a week through mud and rain, you will need to be much more vigilant about keeping your bike in good working order. Conversely, if you are a recreational rider that only rides a few days out of the week, you can be a little more relaxed in your routine. But don't get too relaxed!
BEFORE EVERY RIDE:
• Check tire air pressure
• Check brakes and cables
• Make sure your crank set is tight
• Make sure your quick release hubs are tight
AFTER EVERY RIDE:
• Inspect tires for glass, gravel shards, and cuts on tread and sidewall.
• Check your wheels to see if they are still true
• Clean the bike's mechanical parts as necessary. Once a week or every 200 miles. Lubricate chain (with dry lube; or every other week/400 miles with wet chain lube).
ONCE A MONTH:
• Completely clean the bike, including the drivetrain if necessary
• Inspect and lubricate brake levers, derailleurs, and all cables.
• Inspect pedals and lubricate SPD style cleats. Inspect tires for wear, rotate or replace if needed
• Inspect and check for looseness in the:
• Inspect frame and fork for paint cracks or bulges that may indicate frame or part damage; pay particular attention to all frame joints
• Visually inspect for bent components: seat rails, seat post, stem, handlebars, chainrings, crankarms, brake calipers and brake levers. EVERY SIX MONTHS:
• Inspect and readjust bearings in headset, hubs, pedals and bottom bracket (if possible; some sealed cartridge bearings cannot be adjusted, only replaced
• Disassemble and overhaul; replace all bearings (if possible); and remove and if necessary replace brake and shift cables. This should be performed at 6,000 miles if you ride more than that per year. If you often ride in the rain or mountains you may want to overhaul more often.
Visit Gotta Ride Bikes Today at Either of Our Great Locations!