Mud Tire Duel: Vittoria Cross XL vs. Clement PDX | Cyclocross Reviews

What's the Best Cyclocross Mud Tire?

Getting To Grips with the Vittoria Cross XL Pro and Clement PDX Clincher Tires in the Mud – A Review

If you’re racing cyclocross this winter there’s pretty much an assurance that you’re going to encounter some mud. Whether it’s the thick heavy stuff like riding through peanut-butter that severely slows you down or the ultra-soft watered down stuff that literally ends up everywhere, it’s tough to ride through. At some point during the season the hard-packed ground of early season will turn to a form of gloop and as a rider you need to be prepared.

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the conditions is picking up some mud-specific cyclocross tires.  Generally there are three kinds of cyclocross racing tires: dry conditions, all-around performance and mud-specific tires. It’s logical for a racer using clincher wheels to have a selection of tires at their disposal throughout the racing season.

 Two of the more recent additions to the clincher cyclocross tire market are Vittoria’s Cross XL Pro and the Clement PDX. Both tires aim to target the muddier end of the cx racing season but will they help you power your way to better performance or leave you sliding in the mud? To give you an idea of our comparison of these tires we’ve given a running scorecard for you to judge how each cyclocross tire performs.

Which of these two cyclocross mud racing tires is the best? Read on to find out.

8 of the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 | Commute Frugally

Affordable Hybrid Bikes Under $500

Finding a Road Worthy, Top Quality Hybrid Bike for Under 500 Bucks

Ah, the hybrid bike. It’s probably the best thing to happen to the cycling industry in 50 years. Nothing targets the casual / commuter rider quite like it.

And that’s for good reason. Hybrid bicycles (theoretically) offer a wonderful balance of capability.

Road, grass, trails, what’s your pleasure? The hybrid bike handles them all with ease. Right? Err… not exactly.

While there are some phenomenally great entrants into this category, they’re not all made equal.

The best hybrid bikes under $500 are a good blend of two styles of riding, capable (but not brilliant) at both styles. The worst hybrids out there aren’t really good at any type of riding.

So how does one find a stud in amongst all the duds?

I will be offering a few reviews of some affordable, top quality hybrid bikes below the $500 price point, explaining why each one made the cut, and what kind of riding it’s best suited towards.

Furthermore, I’ll offer a few tips on how to shop for them, and how to better understand hybrids and their various denominations. Let’s get started!

The $1000 Cyclocross Bike Review Showdown: 5 Best Options

Cyclocross Bike Race

Can You Get A Race Worthy Cyclocross Bike For $1000?

Cyclocross racing is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and across parts of Europe. Merging the speed of road racing with the handling technique of mountain biking, it offers an exhilarating way to spend fall and winter as the mercury starts to drop.

Cyclocross bikes are extremely versatile. Yes they can be used as a thoroughbred racing machine through winter but their adaptability means that you could fit some fenders and some road tires to use one for comfortable, quick commuting. Alternatively, you could fit a rack and head off touring with minimal additional investment.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best low-cost cyclocross bikes around the $1000 price mark which represents the lower end of the marketplace. With a selection of different options depending on rider preference and individual style it should be possible to pick up a bargain.

This review will focus on Raleigh’s Furley singlespeed cyclocross bike ($799) which features disc brakes for reliable stopping, Internet retailer Nashbar’s Steel cyclocross offering which features an impressive Shimano 105 groupset ($849 at time of review), Diamondback’s Haanjo ($900) featuring a flat bar and aluminum frame, Tommaso’s Bestia with Tiagra groupset and excellent price ($849), and the Redline Conquest ($1089) which features a performance orientated aluminium frameset.

This review will focus on whether the bikes are tailored towards cyclocross racing and if $1000 can buy you a race-worthy cyclocross bicycle for beginners or those on a budget.

Cycling Energy Gels & Chews: Rich Nutrition or Hype?

Cycling Energy Gel Reviews

Are Energy Gels for Cycling the Best Nutritional Choice?

Cycling is a demanding sport and a fantastic workout. Like with any other exercise, refuelling your body after your ride is essential for good health. But what about longer rides and races? When your energy level starts to sag, sometimes you need a boost.

Energy gels are heralded as a breakthrough for endurance athletes of all types. They provide a dense energy supply in an accessible form, and they’re supposed to be packed with exactly what your body needs on a ride: electrolytes and quick carbohydrates.

These little packs come in a handy flat tube that you can tear open and consume. They also come in ‘chew’ form.

But do they work?

You might be surprised at what’s in the average cycling energy gel pack. And what’s not.

Are energy gels for cycling the answer to your sagging energy levels after a long race? Read on to find out. 

Cycling with Suds: Bicycle Beer Holders & Carriers

Bicycling with Beer: Holders & Carriers

Nothing is better than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day! But if you don’t have a car, and your liquor store is miles away, chances are that frosty beverage will be pretty warm by the time you tote it home!

Let’s face it, bicycles weren’t built for carrying a 6 pack. Your options are limited. You can stuff a six pack awkwardly into your backpack. You can balance a plastic bag precariously over your handlebars.

Or, you can use a handy dandy bike beer holder to carry your frosty beverages on your bike! You’ll get to and from that store in a snap, and you’ll look great doing it too!

So, in order to facilitate frosty brew transportation, here are a few of the best bicycle beer holders and 6 pack carriers around today.

Cycling to Work? 3 of the Best Urban Bikes for Commuting

Finding a Good Urban Commuter Bike

3 of the Best Urban Commuter Bike Styles to Consider

Planning to start cycle commuting to work? Good choice! You’ll save money, and you might even arrive faster than by car. Not to mention you’ll skip the need for a cardio workout each day. Commuting to work by bicycle has so many upsides, and many employers are even incentivizing it.

But be careful! If you ride the wrong type of bike, your adventures in two-wheeled transportation will be short lived. Your rusty old beach cruiser or department store mountain bike will get pretty frustrating if you’re riding it five times per week!

Picking the best possible urban commuter bike is essential to sticking with it. Just as you’d invest in your car, you should invest in your bike. It will pay dividends!

So what’s the best bike for commuting anyway? That’s the question I’ll be tackling in this article. We’ll check out three great bicycle styles that are, in general, well suited to your daily commute.

Within each style, I’ll offer a review of a great commuter bike and brand to investigate.

What about bicycle styles to avoid? You bet! I’ll cover that too.

The $20 Cheap Road Tire Review: Schwalbe Lugano VS. Vittoria Zaffiro

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmaj7/4159000060/

Riding on the Cheap: $20 Road Bike Tire Comparison & Review

If you don’t have a ton to spend on rubber, don’t dismay: you still have options. So what are the best inexpensive road bike tires anyway? Today, we’ll be looking at two surprisingly viable options in the ~$20 range.

In the blue corner, weighing a respectable 255 grams and fighting out of Germany is the Schwalbe Lugano. In the red corner weighing a slightly more heavyweight 340 grams and rolling out of Thailand with an Italian passport is the Vittoria Zaffiro.

While this battle may not be Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed, it still has the potential to crown a worthy $20 road bike tire champion!

Vredestein Fortezza Senso All Weather – Road Bike Tire Review

Vredenstein Fortezza All Weather Tires

One set of tires for year round racing, training and commuting?

The Fortezza Tricomp tire has been around for years and I’m still as happy to race on them today as I was ten years ago. For many riders they’ve become a first choice road bike tire for winter training, fast commuting and racing where an all-weather competition tire is a requirement.  The Fortezza Senso is the latest 2014 development of the much admired Fortezza Tricomp and features the original tread pattern with an updated compound. The Vredestein Fortezza Senso reviews as one of the best road bike tires for riding year-round.

Schwalbe One Review: One of the Best Road Bike Tires for Training & Racing

Schwalbe One Road Racing Tire

Is The Schwalbe One Better Than The Almighty Ultremo ZX?

As a road racer I’m always on the lookout for something that’s going to give me a performance edge at a relatively low cost. Tires seem to be one of the options where spending an extra few dollars can make a significant difference in the grand scheme of things. Having just started racing on new Schwalbe One road bike tires it’s a great time to review their performance so far having previously loved their Ultremo ZX racing tires.

Top Three Vintage Retro Style Bicycles To Check Out

Vintage Style Bicycles: What's For Sale?

Affordable Vintage Style Bicycles: What’s for Sale Today?

There is nothing more satisfying that cruising on a beautifully restored vintage style bicycle. Your ride is completely unique and gets tons of looks. The only problem? A genuine vintage or antique bicycle sells for a ton of money these days!

If you’re a fan of vintage style bikes but you have a limited budget, your best bet is to check out the many beautiful new rides that are being build in this style.

Mimicking the lines and features of cycles from days gone by, old style bikes are making a real comeback. It makes sense: people long for a time when life was simple, when carbon fibre and cell phones didn’t exist, and when a bike frame had a classic geometry and minimalist good looks.

Here’s the problem though: because the retro style bicycle frame is so popular, everyone and their dog is jumping on the bandwagon, including big manufacturers.

The difference between a home run and a strike? It’s all in the details!

This article will be taking a close look at a handful of my favourite vintage style bicycles for sale today. Primarily, I want to point you to a ride that not only looks amazing, but functions beautifully too.