How Bright Does a Bike Light Need To Be?

How do you choose a bike light?

1) Brightness.

The brightness of a light is measured in Lumens. To give a comparison figure a car light produces about 700 lumens. Bike lights can vary from say 15 to 1500 lumens or more depending on the light. So how do you choose the right light for your bike?

On Road Cycling

If a bike is used solely for on road cycling then the light does not need to be as bright as a bike that is used for off road cycling. Even so when riding on road you still need to be seen by all of the traffic that there is about. There can also be sections of a road which are not lit by street lights. All of these factors need to be borne in mind when selecting a bike light. For on road cycling where you might be just commuting from home to work you probably don’t need a front light to be brighter than 200 lumens. If there are dark stretches along the route then maybe 400 lumens might be needed. A rear light would need a lot fewer lumens as that is more about making sure that you are seen by traffic rather than illuminating your path.

Off Road Cycling

For off road cycling a much brighter light would be needed in order to be able to see what hazards there are ahead. It is likely that there won’t be any other form of lighting in the place where you are cycling and so the light that you have must provide all of the light to safely travel off road. Here you want to consider a light with a minimum of 600 Lumens but you might be safer going for 800 to 1000 lumens.

A compromise light might be one of the Lezyne lights which has a powerful “overdrive” facility which provides a very bright light for off road but has normal 200 to 600 for ordinary on road use. Such a light might be the Lezyne 600 LX Macro drive which can produce 15 – 600 Lumens for ordinary use and 900 Lumens for off road use.

Other aspects to consider in buying a bike light

2) Side on Visibility.

Another factor when travelling on roads is side on visibility. It is all well and good being very visible at the front and back but at junctions you need to be seen by traffic from the side.

Many bike lights have a “leakage” factor built in so that the light emits some light to the side of the light. It is even possible to buy lights that are specifically designed to shine to the side of the bike.

Alternatively you could rely on good bright reflective strips or lights that attach to the spokes of the bike to give high side on visibility.

3) Connecting to your bike.

Another factor to be considered is how easy or difficult it is to connect the light to a bike. Some lights have rigid fixings and some have very flexible ones. All of them will have to stand some vibration from the roads or tracks where the bike is travelling. This is especially true of off road riding. How easy or otherwise would it be to connect the light in the dark and in the cold, when you may be wearing gloves?

4) Battery Charge time.

Depending on the light that you get you will also need to consider how long it takes to charge up. If you are using a bike for a regular commute then it might be easy to charge the bike light whilst at work. Some lights can be charged in a couple of hours, but some take as long as 5 hours to charge.

5) Discharge time.

A bike light is only as good as the time that it is switched on so another factor to consider is how long the battery is going to last. It needs to last as long as the journey that you are doing, or you will need to carry a spare light or battery depending on your light.

6) How strong / robust is the light constructed?

A bike light needs to be strong and robust. Even if it is just for commuting it is quite possible for the bike to slip over in cold slippery weather and for the light to therefore impact on the ground. It is also possible that it might get dropped when putting a light on or taking it off a bike.

7) Waterproof or watertight construction.

A bike light is going to get wet whether it is used for commuting or for riding off road. Therefore you need to consider how waterproof a light is.

Conclusion

Ultimately the choice of light is determined by the use that you need to put it to, but it is good to get a light, or two, which suits the particular use that you need it for.



Source by Graham Peaden

Crossing California Mountains by Bike San Diego CA to Yuma AZ

There are only a couple of bike routes doable from San Diego CA to Yuma AZ and they are indeed challenging, especially consider the mountain pass. You go from Sea Level to just over 4,000 feet in elevation. It is a wicked ride with lots of hills and heat. Often there are severe crosswinds and you get rather sandblasted on a bicycle. The route is a little tricky for the first 22 miles, but may I suggest you start out at the Hotel Del Coronado to help work you into the route. The wind along the Pacific is brisk and always blowing.

Now then starting from the Hotel Del you travel down Hwy 75 south about 9-miles and a beautiful ride with the wind at your back. This will be the last of the beauty for a while, the warm-up will be nice considering the future that lies ahead. Once you hit Palm Ave. you are ready for your trek Eastward across the bottom of the state. Take Palm Ave to Beyer Blvd North to Orange Avenue East, which turns into Olympic Parkway. Turn left onto Hunter Parkway 1 mile to East Otay Lakes Rd and then 7 miles to Hwy 94, which you will endure.

You will then take Hwy 94 to I-8 about 50 miles of hard riding, dry, hot and long and just before you get there you will take Old Hwy 80 about 10 more miles, which then connects to I-8 for a bit for about 10 miles over the 4,000 foot pass, that is one heck of a climb indeed. Next you will get off on Hwy 98 and take that to Calexico about 38 miles, but it is most all down hill and refreshing, well considering the dusty desert and winds. But you are now on the flats and you can make a good clip across the desert.

After Calexico you ride another easy, but rather boring 20 more miles to Evan Hewes Hwy, which is like a frontage road for awhile and then you will come to the 186 Hwy and go North to Araz Junction and follow Araz Rd. to Yuma Crossing State Park, where you will ride into Yuma, AZ on Business 8 or Fifth Street. You made it 177 miles, not bad for 12-hour ride now may I suggest cruising through the town to Barnes and Noble, as it is a great pick-up point with an air-conditioned coffee shop, Meanwhile I will prepare myself for my second day of riding into Phoenix on my Ride Across America.



Source by Lance Winslow

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike – Is it Worth the Price?

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Exercise Bike is one of the two highest priced Schwinn recumbent bikes. Now these are still very much mid-price bikes. These two models are hundreds and even thousands of dollars less than some top-of-the-line bikes. But Schwinn has long been known for offering good value throughout their product line.

The 230 has most of the features you expect. You get a easy step through frame so anyone can easily get on. This model is especially noted for its comfortable seat. That seat plus the recumbent design make the bike much more comfortable than a typical upright bike.

The resistance is a magnetic system which is one reason why this bike is quiet, almost silent. The resistance is adjustable at 16 different levels. Plus you get programming for different workouts. There are 6 different preset programs plus 10 profile courses. The instrument panel is well designed and easy to read. The Schwinn 231 bike is just like the 230 except it has a cooling fan and more program features. The 231 has 23 programs. In either case you have enough programming functions to fight exercise boredom. Boredom stops many exercise bike plans.

Reviews of the bike are mostly very positive. The bike is solid, though it does wobble a bit under hard pedaling. The heart rate monitor is slow to display a stable reading. A Polar wrist watch monitor is much faster. Maybe a Polar telemetry option like on many gym machines could be a future feature.

The Model 230 like many other Schwinn exercise is a lot of machine for the money. It’s a good choice for a recumbent exercise bike.



Source by Al Bullington

History of Focus Bikes

INTRODUCTION:

Focus Bikes is a bicycle manufacturing firm in Germany. Racing Bicycles, Sports Bikes, Road Bikes and Mountain Bicycles are manufactured in the company. It was established in the year 1992 by the famous German biker Mike Kluge.

HISTORY OF FOCUS BIKES:

In the year 1992, Mike Kluge founded the firm Focus Bikes. He was himself a cyclocross ( a kind of bicycle racing) World Champion for three times. He kept the name of the company Focus as he wanted it to the focal point in the development of bicycles especially racing and sports varieties.

In the year 1993, the firm took a partnership with the bicycle manufacturer Derby Cycle Werke in order to improve the quality and production of their bicycles. In the same year, founder Mike Kluge became the German National Champion and also runner-up in World Cyclocross Championship. He rode a Focus bicycle in the championship.

In the year 1994, six varieties of Mountain Bikes were produced. They were all produced keeping both price and performance in mind. This “value for money” aspect in their bicycle production was one of the main reasons behind the massive success of their bicycles.

In the year 1995, the company expanded its production. They also expanded to the touring and road bikes in addition to the mountain range. Founder Mike Kluge also became the manager of the first ever German professional mountain bike team.

In the year 1996, Mike Kluge participated in the Olympic games in Atlanta on a Focus Bike model. His bike model was named Focus Raven.

In the year 1998, Jorg Arenz, the brand manager of Focus Bikes won the German cyclocross championship on a bicycle manufactured in the company.

In the year 2003, Jorg Arenz took over as the product manager. They also increased the number of bicycles in their racing line in the same year.

In the year 2005, Hanka Kupfernagel became the Cyclocross World Champion while racing on a Focus Bike. The bicycle used in the race was named Focus Mares Team Bike.

In the year 2006, the first bikes with Carbon fiber frames were produced. This Bike became very popular within a short span of time among the touring professionals and recreational riders. Due to the carbon frames, these were lightweight and easier and smoother to ride.

In the year 2007, Kupfernagel also became the World champion in the individual time trail while participating in the World Road Bike Championship.

In the year 2008, The production of the time-trail range of Focus bicycles were done jointly with the collaboration of Andreas Walser who specialized in time train research and testing. The fastest series of time trail bikes were launched by Focus bikes. Athletes riding Focus Bikes won four title during the 2008 German Cyclocross Championship. The four titles were: one in juniors category, one in women category, one in 23 and under category and one in elite category. The time trail series was also expanded to triathlon segment in the same year.

In the year 2009, Focus Bikes established partnership with the European racing team Team Milram. This sponsorship deal meant that the bikers in the team needs to ride Focus Bicycles while participating in important races around the world. In the same year the company began an advertising campaign throughout Europe in the Eurosport TV channel. In the same year, the company also established subsidiaries in the United States thereby entering directly into the North American markets. Their sponsorship of the US-based racing team Jelly Belly Cycling Team was announced to further their exposure in the United States.

In the Year 2010, a lot of new designs were introduced by the firm. Focus Bikes increased its sponsorships. Two more Italian teams of the European continent namely, Team van Vilet and Team Net App also started to ride Focus Bikes in races. Focus Bikes also entered a World Cup team. They sponsored Mountain Bike Teams like Team M.I.G (Made In Germany) and an Italian amateur team, Team Focus Italia. The firm became an official partner of the 2010 Tour de Suisse.

In the year 2011, it also started sponsoring the Russian road racing team “Team Katusha”. It is also continuing its sponsorship to Team Jelly Belly and Womens Team Vanderkitten. It also introduced several new Focus Bikes Project range of bicycles with massive expansion plans in 2012.

So, Focus Bikes have grown from a small firm started by a former racing champion to a massive bicycle company with subsidiaries and sponsorships around the world. In recent year, the company has been increasing both production and variety of the bicycle range and is gradually turning into one of the world’s top bicycle manufacturers especially for racing purposes.



Source by Waz Zaman

About Balance Bikes

Cycling can be a fun activity for both adults and children; however, one has to train first on how to maintain the balance while cycling. For kids, this is not that hard due to the availability of balance bikes, these helps train the toddlers as young as the age at which they learn to walk on their own. They normally come fitted with baby-friendly designs that help kids learn faster to be on their own as opposed to those that come fitted with training wheels.

A brief description of a balance bike

Balance bikes are designed for the small kids, they are small in that a kid can rid them and still be able to comfortably put their feet flat on the ground while still on their sitting on the saddle. They are also made of both metallic and wooden parts, to reduce their weight and lower the chances of injuring a kid. This also, makes them more stable and easy to balance for someone still learning to balance their own body. They can either be fitted with brakes or be without them since chances of wanting to break are very low.

The baby steps to learning with the balance bike.

Their size makes them ideal for these baby steps; the kid first learns to walk while standing over the saddle. This is more advantageous as they even hold on to the bike in case they feel like they are losing balance. Then the kid will learn to push the bike while sited on it but with the feet on the ground, this goes on until they are brave enough to scoot. The kids learn fast and they eventually become comfortable to lift their both feet off the ground and ride for shorter distances, then longer and with time they become better at it and the no longer feel afraid to cruise the bike around the compound without anyone’s supervision.

These bikes are the best in training the young ones and they are highly recommended for anyone with kids who wants to learn how to ride bicycles in the near future. This is because as discussed above kids learn to balance fast which is the essential bit in cycling. Tricycles can balance themselves thus they discourage the skill to learn how to do it by yourself.

Conclusion

Cycling is not only beneficial but it contributes a lot to the growth of a kid. To learn how to do it balance bikes have proved to be more effective and the best at teaching young kids.



Source by Idd Aziz

Bike Safety – Every Rider Must Read

Motorcycles have been growing in popularity as humans discover that they’re not for recreational (fun), but a great and a cheap way to travel from one place to another. Yes, motorcycle may be answer to your daily commute, but can be life threatening, if serious precautions are not taken before (or while) riding it.

Most on road bike injuries happen because of the biker’s fault, but the blame is always thrown on the drivers of heavy automobiles: the cars, the trucks, the buses, etc.

Basic road safety tips for bikers

Look straight

Don’t look here and there; pay attention to your driving and look straight to see the road ahead.

Avoid unnecessary riding over the puddles

Don’t ride your bike over the puddles, broken glasses, drainage grates, and gravel. They are can be dangerous as one cannot predict their depth while biking.

Keep a sufficient gap

Always keep a safe sufficient distance when passing through parked vehicles on the streets of your town, to avoid crashes when someone in the parked car unexpectedly opens its door and moreover, to avoid the touch and go accidents.

Obey traffic rules and regulations

Obey all the traffic rules of your country and town

Don’t rush

A Yellow Light does not mean to have to stop at once, but for bikers it would be a good idea to stop because rushing through a Yellow Light with big vehicles may be a dangerous thing to do on road.

Ride carefully through the intersection

Most biker’s bang onto the car or other heavy vehicles when they try to show their unique biking skills while passing through an intersection.

As you ride near an intersection, make sure to look over your left shoulder for any approaching traffic. If the road is clear, make a strong and a clear signal with the help of your arm that you are going to take a turn. Apart from hand signal you make eye-to-eye contact with other commuters.

Make use of the bike horn frequently

Yes, horns do cause massive noise pollution, but as you are riding the smallest machine on the road, but not the slowest, so make use of the warning device installed on your bike.

Installed effective lights on your bike

If you are a frequent biker rider during the odd hours (night or early morning), then you should install lights on your motorcycle with power of 10 watts or more. Reflectors can also be a great addition to your bike lights during night.



Source by Akshay Puri

How to Find Good Mountain Bikes

Selecting Good Mountain Bikes begins with selecting the right type of mountain bike (MTB) for you. Yes, it all comes back down to the type of riding you do.

My current bike is thirteen years old and still going strong. The questions I am about to share with you, are the ones I used when researching good mountain bikes for myself. Recently I used the same questions to find a good MTB for my nine year old son’s birthday. I began researching kids mountain bikes and applied the same questions to help select the right bike for him. I am pleased to say, the bike is a perfect fit for him and has renewed his love of bike riding.

So how do you go about choosing the right bike? Simply by asking a series of questions designed help you select the best bike for you.

  1. What is your riding experience?
  2. What is the age and height is the bike rider?
  3. Is the bike going to be used for commuting or cross-country riding?
  4. Is the bike going to be used for mountain cruising?
  5. Is the bike going to be used for rocky trails?
  6. Is the bike going to be used for rugged downhill tracks?
  7. Is the bike going to be used for jumping and aerial tricks?

The type of riding you intend to undertake will greatly influence the style and bike configuration. Although most mountain bikes look similar, there is a vast difference in frame types, steering geometry, suspension, gearing as well as the wheels, brakes and tyres.

As a rule of thumb, a beginner rider will best be served by a recreational cross country bike. If you intend to do a lot of riding on pavement and off-road, choose a model with good front suspension, no rear suspension (hardtail) as they have the best efficiency and comfort. If you intend to do more off-road riding, a full suspension frame is best.

If you intend to use it exclusively off-road and mostly over rough terrain look for a higher end full suspension model as these will have a greater range of suspension travel and a heavier more robust frame and brakes. This will help with the comfort and stability of your ride.

Downhill MTB’s must be very heavy duty in design and have lower, looser steering geometry. These design changes make the bike more responsive at fast speeds down steep slopes; these bikes are designed for the more experienced rider.

Depending on the type of riding you wish to undertake the following is a list of good MTB brands which I have found to be good quality and good value for money. They are Giant, Diamondback, Kona, Trek, Norco, Schwinn, Mongoose and GT brand bikes.

The last thing you need to decide is, do you want good, or do you want cheap. The words “good” and “cheap” are not synonymous, nor are good bikes generally found in discount department stores.

While researching Kids mountain bikes, I discover a renewed passion for the sport as both my sons now have mountain bikes. We purchased a 21 speed – 24 inch “GT Stomper” for my nine year old son while my eleven year old son rides a five year old, 7 speed – 20 inch Schwinn.

My eleven year old does well to keep up with us on our larger and faster bikes. His bike is much more agile over jumps and tight tracks. He now wants to upgrade to a larger 26″ bike. Due to his age and height, frame selection is critical as he is going through rapid growth spurts. He is currently just that little too short for a medium frame size. We are waiting until his next birthday before choosing a good mountain bike with a larger frame size that he will not outgrow too quickly.

I must commend my son as he has learnt that there is a difference between a cheap bike, a good bike and a reasonable bike. We said we would look at a GT aggressor, a reasonable bike, good for its price range; however, he has his eyes on the Mongoose Tyax Comp or if he can stretch his savings a GT Avalanche 1.



Source by Frederic Canal

A Schwinn Recumbent Bike Exercise Program – The Benefits For Parkinson’s Disease Patients

One of the areas that Parkinson’s Disease research is actively pursuing due to a huge body of anecdotal evidence is that regular exercise helps the Parkinson’s patient slow down the progress of symptoms or helps mask the symptoms. The number one recommendation from neurologists to their patients is to exercise. So looking at home exercise equipment like a Schwinn recumbent bike as well as walking, and getting involved in an exercise classes are all definitely something worthwhile for any Parkinson’s patient to look into. This article looks into some of the current research on the use of exercise bikes.

Parkinson’s Disease is often referred to as a movement disorder. It has no cure. It is a neurological condition that affects the dopamine your brain needs. It gradually breaks down and causes stiffness or a slowing down of what used to be easy normal every day activities. There are as many variations of the disease as there are people. Many develop tremors, most have a stooped over postures and shuffle like walk. Some will have their voice muscles gradually weaken. Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox are two well known patients who are pretty far along in the disease progression. The Michael J Fox Foundation is committed to funding all sorts of research in institutions all over the country. Substantiating the effects of exercise is one of many areas they currently fund.

In July of 2008, Dr. Jay Alberts, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, has published his findings on the advantages of tandem biking and Parkinson’s Disease. Initially they found that by riding for one hour a day on a tandem bike, three days a week the symptoms improved about 35%, and went away if the exercise stopped. What the tandem bike does is allow the non Parkinson’s rider to be in front and force the speed to be higher than the Parkinson’s patient would do on their own. A current study that Dr. Alberts and The Cleveland Clinic are involved in is using a motorized Theracycle.

So, how does this answer the question about whether a Parkinson’s patient should buy a Schwinn recumbent bike? Well, it tells us first that any exercise it good, but to make the symptoms improve at the 35% levels you have to get up to 80-90 RPMs. In the initial clinical trials it was harder for Parkinson’s patients to get up there on their own, and needed the second person on a tandem bike to drive up the RPMs. If you have an exercise bike that you can set it to move at the 80-90RPMs on its own, or with a second person there to urge you own, without you wanting to swat them one, then buying that bike whether it is upright or recumbent will help improve symptoms.

However, any exercise is better than no exercise for a Parkinson’s patient. Buying something like a Schwinn recumbent bike will give both the patient and caregiver a chance to get a good aerobic workout. Patients in the earlier stages where the symptoms are not so obvious may be able to get the RPMs up there. Meanwhile keep your eyes and ears open for the results of the motorized bike study, talk to your trainer at a gym and see what advice they have to help get those RPMs up to the optimal level.



Source by Susie F.

Mountain Bike Guide – Simple Beginner Skills To Learn

As a beginner you will be raring to get on your bike and take it for a spin which is fair enough however you might want to learn a few skills that will be able to teach you how to ride it properly. Riding a mountain bike is different to riding a normal bike in various ways, it’s like martial arts, different styles have similar techniques but some things have to be done differently to make sure that they help you properly. So even though you may be able to ride a bike there are skills you’ll need to change for when you convert to a mountain bike.

Where can I practice?

Anywhere you can find space, whether it be your garden, a park or if there is one nearby maybe even a hill to make it slightly more realistic for yourself for when it comes down to mountain biking.

The skills

So what skills will you have to learn and master to make sure you are ready for mountain biking?

Understanding the pedals

You may find that your mountain bike pedals are different to what you have on your bike. Some of you may have clipping pedals to make sure your foot doesn’t slip off when you’re travelling at high speeds up and down hills. You’re going to want to make sure that you get a feel for the pedals if this is a change. Practice taking your feet in and out and pedalling as this is going to help you learn understand them.

Coasting stance

With normal biking when you coast you usually sit down on the seat and enjoy it, however when it comes down to mountain biking the art of coasting requires you to stay standing on your pedals and not sitting down as this will give you more control of your bike. When coasting you need to make sure that you keep your body relaxed and that your arms and knees are slightly bent so that they can absorb any shock that you may encounter on your trail.

Gear Changes

You need to make sure that you understand how the gears work and which ones that you will have preference to. In biking the lower the gear the easier it is for you to pedal and this is normally used for when you are going up hills as it makes it easier for you to make quick pedals to push you up. The higher the gear you will find is slightly harder but you will gain more speed from less energy, this range of gears is used when going down hill so it this is something you are going to be doing make sure that you can use them properly.

Standing up and pedalling

We all used to stand up while pedalling on bikes but for some this might feel weird after having rode sitting down for a while. As mentioned above if you are standing up you have a lot more control of your bike especially for mountain biking so practice standing up and riding up and down hill.

Ride it around

The best way to practice is to just go around riding your bike and getting a feel for everything, if you have the chance practice on raised ground such as bridges and hills as you are going to have to get used to the incline and decline of the terrain.

As long as you learn a few skills before and get an understanding for your bike you will find yourself more than prepared to start going on trails to put what you have learned into play.



Source by James Pswarai

Cycling in the City – The Pros and Cons

With changing global circumstances such as increasing fuel costs, traffic and high fees for parking, there has been a change in how people get around, whether to work or appointments or even to grocery stores. One of the means of transport that has gained support is cycling. In many major cities and surrounding areas the push for cycling lanes and laws to protect bikers has grown in popularity and more and more people have taken to the streets with two wheels instead of four. There are however both pros and cons which all cyclists and drivers should consider.

Pros: Cycling is one of the best means of transit. Not only is it better for the environment, healthier for the rider and less costly than driving. Most buses are outfitted with bike racks and other modes of transportation such as subways generally allow a few bikes per car for those people commuting from longer distances. Cyclists are also seeing cities changing to accommodate their needs. Bike lanes and streets which are bike friendly are beginning to be a part of the city. As much as biking instead of driving is good for the environment it is even better for your health as it is recommended to get 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. One of the biggest benefits of cycling is the lower costs associated with it. Commuting to work saves money as you are not stuck in traffic burning fuel and also not paying high rates for parking.

Cons: In West Coast cities and those with milder temperatures, cycling is a year-round activity enjoyed by many, especially the hardy who bike in the winter months. Biking in the city can be a dangerous activity. Inadequate laws can be problematic to cyclists. Currently, other than owning a bike little else is required by law to outfit cyclists. Most states and provinces do not require helmets, reflective clothing and the knowledge of signals. Cars and other vehicles also do not require knowledge of bike signals either which can be confusing and dangerous for cyclists. Many people who ride bikes are very courteous and respect the rules of the road, especially in a city setting which can be very dangerous at rush hour. There are occasionally cyclists who disrespect the rules by taking non-cycling routes which can be deadly as narrow roads, dark conditions and lack of safety equipment can lead to accidents.

Cycling is a great activity. It is healthy, environmentally friendly, cost efficient and a great way to travel. As long as cyclists follow the rules of the road and are properly outfit in safety equipment such as reflective gear, both clothing and on the bike, and a helmet, cycling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and make a difference in the world.



Source by Rudi Kiya