Bells and Whistles for Better Rides

Bells and Whistles for Better Rides

Summer is here! Getting your riding calendar finalized? Making a list and checking it twice? While preparing to cycle your hearts out on the many pathways/trails across Colorado’s beautiful mountains, or wherever your heart desires, here are a few must haves to make your cycling adventures top notch.

Technology Must Have

With smartphones, many of us have done away with other technological devices (Garmins/Fitbits).  As a serious cyclists you really want to be able to track where, how far, how fast, how high/low and not worry about the dreaded cell phone battery life. This all adds up to a Cycling Computer for a must have.  As in all technology, the range of options seem limitless and cost from $75-$550.  Finding one that is waterproof and has a long battery life should be two priorities. Other bells and whistles include: streamlining, wind-tunnel design, cadence detection, heart rate recorder, direct download to smartphones, easy mounting, temperature and wind speed recordings, and LARGE display—the world is at your fingertips to be conquered.

Protecting Your Experience and Your Noggin

Helmets can make or break your ride. If it doesn’t fit, the ventilation is poor, or just too heavy and klutzy, your experience can be hindered.  Finding the right helmet isn’t quite as simple as Goldilocks’ search for the “just right” bed. Your helmet is the crème de la crème of your gear, and bares careful and continuous evaluation.  Business Insider and Consumer Report offer some great reviews of new helmet design advances and safety technology.  Make sure that your helmet has SPIN technology (Shearing Pads Inside) which helps to protect your head from oblique impacts. Helmets aren’t required to have this level of protection that is available in the Octal X Spin helmet, but when it comes to brain safety, more is better.

Safety and protection are number one, but we also understand ventilation, weight, adjustable retention, and aerodynamics are equally important.  20+ vents in newer models is something I’d consider paying for! Other models are adding more height-level adjustments to make the fit more comfortable for different riders.

Does your current helmet need a once over?  Check if it meets safety standards, especially if it is a couple years old or if you were originally using it for one type of cycling and now for another.  

Innovation That Makes You Sing

Every year Forbes publishes its “Best Road Cycling Innovations” which are worthy of perusal. Cool stuff to be had!!!  Waterproof booties which are basically scuba socks that go over your shoe and keep your feet dry and warm in a downpour (downpours happen and comfort is key).  Document your ride with a camera-the OPKIX One-makes the GoPro look like a mammoth. The innovation that most piqued my interest are new headphones from Sony. The Duo Ear headset is weird-looking but smart.  They allow you to listen to music while riding, which used to be taboo. Thanks to this “bone-conduction” technology, you get a little audio while still being able to hear ambient noises meaning riders around you, traffic, dangers, etc; they “…adjust to the noise around you.  If they detect there’s outside noise, they’ll lower the volume that’s fed to you so you can hear it.” The best of both worlds—a little music to fuel your rides and the sounds of your surroundings so you can stay safe—WIN/WIN!

Whether you add some bells and whistles, or stick with the oldies but goodies, it really doesn’t matter because cycling season is here!  Stay safe, enjoy life, ride hard.


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