Sunday, June 16, 2019

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Single Speed

Over the last few years, biking to work and for leisure has become an important lifestyle for many people in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. It is a strategic way of avoiding traffic and also lowering carbon dioxide released by vehicles into the environment. Riding bikes to work is also very useful if you want to stay in shape. A study conducted in 2017 found that people who cycle to work burn the same amount of fat as those who spend 40 minutes in a gym five days a week.

However, when it comes time to choose your bike, many dedicated cyclists look down on single-speed bikes. Unlike bicycles with multiple gear settings, single speed bikes feature a single speed chainring that ensures the bike always accelerates at a constant pace. Many people believe that multi speed bikes are easier for going uphill, and others are simply wary of something they've never tried before. However, single speed fans often can't imagine riding on a bike without a single speed chainring.

There are multiple reasons why you too should try single speed bicycle.

1. It's a New Challenge

If you are dedicated to the sport of cycling, then think of single speed bikes as an exciting new challenge. While fixed gear bikes and multi gear bikes have plenty of fans, you may find that challenging yourself to adapt to a new style helps you develop new cycling skills.

2. Become a Stronger Rider

The difficulties experienced while riding single speed bikes come with benefits. It makes your legs stronger and enhances your stamina. You will climb up hills and go down hills with a single speed crank. This is obviously different from what you are already used to. You have to keep your legs working hard on the pedals, otherwise you will not make it up to the hill.

You will also become a more efficient bike rider. You will have to plan and make sure that you know the terrain and all the roads you will be using. Crank for single speed bikes needs a clear and precise understanding so that you know how to ride without making it difficult for yourself and depleting your energy.

3. There Are Fewer Things to Break

No cyclist wants to blow out a tire tube or pop a chain in the middle of a long ride. If you don't have the proper gear to fix your bike, you will have to walk and sometimes be forced to carry your bike home. Nobody wants that experience. However, and this is a major issue with all gear bikes, gears tend to break with ease, and the chain might break as well. When you are using single speed chainring, there are fewer components to worry about on long rides.

4. It's Lighter

Bicycle companies have been struggling to reduce the overall weight of the bicycle, but it has not been easy. Removing major components of the bike could have significant impacts on the overall usability of a bike, which has derailed these changes. However, we all know that those extra gears add a substantial amount of weight to a bike. Although riding a single crank bike is harder at first for some riders, you may enjoy a lighter, less complicated ride.

5. Quiet and Simple

With a single speed bike, you don't have to worry about when to change gears. All you have to do is pedal harder, which gives you ample time to think about the terrain, oncoming cars, and how to navigate steep ridges. It gives you a chance to listen to your body and your overall performance. Besides, you don't get those noises when changing gears.

Of course, when it comes to which bike is best for you, it's all about personal preference. While the fixed-gear, multi-gear, and single speed debate will never be definitively settled, many bicyclists never could have predicted how much they would come to love single speed bikes.

Monday, May 13, 2019

4 Maintenance Tips For The Start Of Biking Season

Spring is finally here again, meaning it's time to get your bike out of the garage in time for the warmer weather. However, if your bike has been sitting in storage for the long winter, it's probably not ready to ride right away, and will need a bit of work before you hop on. Here are the maintenance steps you should take before you get on your bike this year.

Clean It Up

Your bicycle has probably gotten a bit dusty and dirty while sitting around in the garage between the seasons. Take some time to properly clean up the frame and chain of your bike when you first break it out for the season. This will help it run more smoothly, while also giving you a nice clean bike to start out your rides.

Refill Your Tires

In between seasons, it's likely your bike's tires have at least partially deflated. The temperature change throughout the year affects the air pressure in your bike's tires, which means even if your tires are fine, they'll probably need some extra air. High pressure road bike tires should be pumped up at least once a week, hybrid tires every two weeks, and mountain bike tires at least every two to three weeks.

Make Some Repairs

If you haven't ridden your bike in a few months, there might be a few parts that don't work the way you remember them working. From aero brake levers to toe clips for bicycles, there are a lot of parts that might need repair or outright replacing. Take a good look before you ride for the first time this season to see if everything looks right, and if not, you'll want to stock up on all the right bike parts to get your bike in good condition.

Maintain Throughout The Season

When working on your maintenance for the beginning of the season, figure out a maintenance routine for the rest of the spring and summer. Stock up on the parts you'll need for repairs now so you're ready in case something breaks down.

If you need parts to get your bike ready for the warmer months of the year, including aero brake levers, toe clips, bike chains, and more, contact Ben's Cycle today.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Eight Key Points to Finding the Right Bike for You

What is one of your most thrilling memories of your childhood? If you’re like most kids, that thrill was getting on a bike and starting to ride, all by yourself! And now you are an adult, and there is still a world of freedom and fun out there in the world of cycling. One key factor in cycling is comfort. Here are eight key points to finding the right bike for you, from the various types of bikes to how to find the right frame.

1. Mountain Bikes

You can use a mountain bike on pavement, but they are built mainly for off-road use.

2. Hybrid Bikes

These bikes are good for commuting. They are cross between a mountain bike and a road bike, usually. They are sturdy, but not extremely rugged.

3. Road Bikes

Road bikes are built for speed. They do very well on pavement. Road bikes are excellent for city use.

4. Cruisers

These bikes are very casual, made for an enjoyable ride. They are not built for speed, competition, or rugged terrain. If you are looking for a pleasure cruise type of bike ride, this is the bicycle for you! Your local bicycle shop will have a great selection for you to look at.

5. Take Your Measurements

Now, to find the right bike frame. Measure your arms, legs, and torso. You may also want to consider having a professional bike fitter in one of your nearby bike shops assess your physique and match it to an appropriate frame.

6. Consult a Basic Formula

The most common formula is called stand-over height. This is your inseam plus one or two inches. (The additional one or two inches are called ‘clearance’.) Different bike styles have different requirements, so be sure to note that.

7. Refer to Size Charts

These are available free all over the Internet, or at your local bicycle shop. Basically they take your height and inseam length, and then they recommend a bike frame size. Again be sure to consult the chart that matches the type of bike you will be riding. Hybrid, mountain, and road bike sizes are all different. Be sure to ask about toe clips and toe clip pedals.

8. Remember the Saddle
A good seat, or saddle, is imperative as it will help relieve pain and pressure in the perineal area. Be sure to choose a comfortable bike seat among the many types of bike saddles that are available. Also, take the saddle height into consideration when you are selecting a frame.

Now that you have the factors to consider when selecting a bike and a bike frame, you’re on your way! Besides the health benefits and exhilaration of cycling, it is also eco-friendly, too. There are twice as many bicycles as there are cars in the world, totaling one billion bicycles. So, experienced cyclist or novice, you’re ready to visit your local bicycle shop, get some professional advice, and then recapture that fantastic feeling of your first, independent comfort, on a bike that fits you just right.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Which Bike Parts Do You Need?

There’s a lot more to bikes than just the handlebar, seat, and tires. Adding bike parts and accessories like bike bags, bicycle toe tips, long reach caliper brakes, and more can enhance your ride, no matter if you’re commuting to work or taking to the trails.

More and more people are choosing to use bikes as a form of transportation, especially in cities and urban areas. Whether it’s for monetary reasons, environmental factors, or to stay in shape, bicycles are more popular than ever. Especially when it comes to staying in shape: According to a 2017 study, those who biked to work burned as much fat as they would if they had gone to the gym five days a week. No matter your reason for biking, we have the parts you need!

Parts for Daily Commuters

If you are biking to work, you’re going to need certain parts or accessories to make your commute easier. Bike bags are a good addition for those who use their bike to go to and from the office every day, as it’s a convenient way to haul your essentials, without adding weight to yourself like wearing a backpack does.

Other convenient accessories for daily riders include things like nitto front rack or a nitto back rack, which are great for keeping bike bags in place or other items you may be traveling with.

Parts for Adventurers

If you’re one of those bicyclists that take to the outdoors every weekend to explore all that nature has to offer, you’re going to need different and more specific parts than the daily rider. Something you might need for more terrain trails is toe clips. Toe clips for bicycles will help keep your feet from slipping off of the pedals because of the straps that are connected to the clips.

Another thing you might need out on trails is brake levers. Having that extra set of brakes could come in handy with rocky trails or unexpected hills and dips within the terrain your riding.

No matter if you need bike bags or toe clips, our bike shop in Milwaukee can help you find the parts you need. You can order these parts mentioned above and more conveniently on our website.

Friday, March 29, 2019

3 Reasons to Commute by Bike


 It is estimated that there are currently about one billion bikes in the world, which is roughly double the number of existing cars. In addition, more than 100 million bikes are produced globally every year and bike shops everywhere offer a wide selection to choose from. As of 2017, 66.21 million individuals in the United States reported that within the previous year, they had gone bike riding.

Given the popularity of bicycles, It only seems natural that people would enjoy biking to work. If you aren't already doing so, here are three great reasons to visit one of your local bike shops, pick up some toe clips, some handy bike bags, a bike with a streamlined all city frame, and give commuting by bike a try.
1. It's Good For Your Health.

Engaging in some form of physical activity every day offers many health benefits, and riding a bicycle is no exception. According to Glenn Stewart's research at Brunel University in London, bike riding reduces premature mortality risk by as much as 30% and also lowers a person's risk of developing cardiorespiratory problems by approximately 40%. A study in 2017 also concluded that riding your bike to the office burns as much fat as working out at a gym for 40 minutes a day, five days per week.

By biking to work, your stress levels will also go down. Unlike being stuck in rush-hour traffic jams, bicycle riding lowers stress levels, as MapMyRun explains.

2. It's Kind to the Environment.

Bike riding is also much more environmentally-friendly than driving your car. Studies have shown that if the populations of Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, replaced just 20% of shorter car trips with bike trips, 57,405 fewer tons of carbon dioxide would be emitted. Bicycle riding saves more than 238 million gallons of gasoline yearly as well.

3. It's Economical.

Riding your bicycle saves you a significant amount of money. MapMyRun calculates that if you add up the cost of a brand new automobile, car insurance, gas money, and the price of maintaining a car, you probably spend about 8,469 a year to own and drive your car. In comparison, checking out bike shops in your area and purchasing a good quality bike along with the proper bike gear for your commute to work would cost you about $350-$500 annually.

Commuting by bike offers numerous health benefits. You'll also save a significant amount of money on car expenses while helping our environment in the process. These are three great reasons to consider ditching the morning drive in favor of becoming a bike commuter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Benefits of Biking: Easy Commutes, Improved Health, and More

Have you been thinking of investing in a new bike? Or maybe you would like to fix up the old one in your garage and give it a spin? Excellent. Biking is a great hobby that is sure to help you feel great, physically and mentally, and if you use it in your commute, it does the environment a favor, too.

Learn more about the benefits of biking today, and remember to visit your favorite bike shops to find the right parts for your needs. Finding the right bike frame, toe clips, and more will guarantee a better ride every time.

Your Body Will Thank You

Cycling is a great way to work out, without putting too much strain on your muscles. You can easily lose weight, improve strength, and keep your metabolism going, all while exploring new trails and taking in great sights.

Sick of your daily work out? One study done in 2017 revealed that by biking to work every day, instead of driving your car, you could burn as much fat as you would working out at the gym for 40 minutes five days a week.

Along with working out almost all of your muscle groups at once, riding a bike will also decrease your chances of experiencing various diseases, and it improves heart health, as well. Your risk of strokes, heart attacks, depression, diabetes, and some cancers will decrease significantly.

Finally, cycling has been known to help people live longer. Glenn Stewart at Brunel University did research on this very assumption and discovered that the risk of premature mortality could be reduced by 30% for those that make biking a part of their regular routine. Along with this, your chances of experiencing cardiorespiratory disease will lower, too.

Environmental Impacts

Now, there is no doubt that cars pump a lot of hazardous fumes into our air. Traveling by bike, instead, can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air significantly. Consider Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin. If just 20% of short car trips there were done with bicycles instead, we could stop over 57,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering our air.

Along with this, 238 million gallons of gas every year are saved by bicycle riders and, when it comes to energy and resources, we create 100 bicycles for every one car. If you are looking to improve your carbon footprint, cycling is definitely a great way to do it.

Visit Bike Shops Today to Find the Right Parts for Your Needs

Now, getting the most from your ride means visiting some bike shops to find the perfect parts for your unique riding style. A faulty seat, for example, could leave you hurting, and you need to establish a good form to get the most from your biking experience.

A reputable bicycle shop, like Ben’s Cycle, will have everything you need. From bike chains to bottom brackets to wheel builders and more, we can set you up right every single time. Visit us today, so you can get biking.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Top 3 Reasons to Hop on a Bike This Year

High on people's New Year's resolution lists is usually getting more exercise or becoming more fit. However, it can be difficult to carve out the time in your day to exercise -- if you're not a morning person, mornings can be difficult; evenings might be spent with your partner or kids or you're just too tired, and it's easy to work through the lunch hour (or perhaps there's not a way for you to get exercise during the lunch hour). But if you don't commute too far, there might be a single easy solution that involves a visit to a bicycle shop near you. Bicycling to and from work is an easy way to incorporate daily exercise into your routine, be environmentally friendly, and perhaps even cut through traffic, all at the same time.

Where Do I Find a Bike That Works For Me?

There are actually quite a few kinds of bikes. We're probably most familiar with hybrid bikes, which is fairly versatile and can do a little bit of everything. Though you wouldn't want to do any off-road mountain trails on them, they're usually okay on unpaved bike trails and have front suspension to cushion you from bumps, and also can be used on paved roads, and sport padded seats for comfort. They're a great errand or short commute bike, and good for everyday use.

Mountain bikes or trail bikes are probably what you want if you intend to take up biking in a bit more rugged of a fashion; you want the grip, low gear range, and good suspension.
If you plan on using your bike in the city or for commuting or long distances, touring bikes are a good fit. They're built for pavement, but can support long distances, and racks or fenders can easily be installed. A lower gear range means that you can carry things up steeper inclines and the bike frame and design allow for heavier loads to be managed well. Whether you're getting groceries or commuting to work, a touring bike is likely the right choice.

Why Bike?

This is perhaps the most compelling reason for some people to take up biking on a regular basis. It's aerobic, so it gets your heart pumping and your lungs going and increases blood flow. Better cardiovascular health is important all around, and it's likely that your calves, hamstrings, and legs will get stronger too. You might find that you have better endurance and lose weight, which is associated with other positive health benefits.

Environmental Reasons
Biking doesn't involve any carbon emissions -- it's just your own exertion and two wheels getting you places. On already clogged roads with too many cars on the road, choosing to bike can help with congestion and reduce emissions. Plus, bikes save almost 250 million gallons of gas every year!

You might be surprised at how much of your village, town, or city you can explore by biking. It might necessitate you taking a different way to work or school or the store, so you might get to know other parts of your neighborhood that you wouldn't have seen before.

How a Bicycle Shop Can Help?

A bicycle shop can just not help you find a bike, but also offer advice and expertise on being a bike owner. They might suggest certain pedals for bikes, whether or not you need toe clips, or suggest good bags for bikes if you're commuting. If something breaks, your bicycle shop can often conduct repairs or refer you to someone else who can.

Purchasing your bike from a local bike shop is always a good idea, because you also get their resources and assistance with the bike along with it, instead of having to battle a bigger chain's often frustrating customer service.

Make a change this year and commit to biking! Whether it's to work or school or just taking it to the store or getting out on the weekends, biking can exert positive change in your life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Make A Statement With These Eye-Catching Bike Upgrades

Even if you mainly just use your bike for getting from point A to point B, your mode of transportation says a lot about you. How you choose to get around makes a statement about your personality and your tastes. Over 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year, so if you want yours to stand out against the crowd, you'll want to upgrade a few key components. These upgrades will help guarantee that your bike turns heads next time you go out for a ride.

  • Handlebar end caps: This tiny detail can make a world of difference in how your bike looks. For a bolder look, pick bright colors that are sure to get noticed, or for something more subtle yet classy go with a metal finish. These more affordable switches are perfect for if you want to change things up without breaking the bank.
  • Storage systems: If you're riding your bike to any sort of store, to school, or to the office, you'll want a secure way to take your important items with you. Bike bags are a perfect addition for the practical biker who uses their bicycle as a primary form of transportation. Make sure you pick out bags for bikes that are both sturdy and good-looking to compliment your style.
  • Name brand bike frames: A brand name goes a long way in just about any form of self-expression, whether it's your fashion, your car, or yes, even your bike. Name brand bike frames show off your personal tastes, so make sure your bike frame is sporting a brand that expresses a bit about who you are.
  • Stylish new rims: Just as is the case with cars, a new set of rims for your bike can give your bike the eye-catching look you're going for. Look for ones in colors that compliment your bike's frame to make sure your bike doesn't end up clashing with itself.

If your bike is in need of an aesthetic upgrade to make it perfect for you, contact Ben's Cycle. Ben's Cycle has a wide variety of bike parts to help you upgrade your ride into a bike that's sure to catch the attention of anyone you ride past.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Top 3 Reasons You Should Consider Biking to Work in the New Year

Biking has become hip in recent years, with more bike stores popping up around the country. In a push to minimize emissions from the amount of cars on the road (and fossil fuels used), bikes have been popping up in many urban spaces, both individually and through bike-sharing programs like Citi Bike or Capital BikeShare. It does make a difference -- the energy and materials that would be used to make one car could make up to 100 bicycles and they save over 200 gallons of gas annually. However, if you're not so keen on using shared bikes (or don't want to have to keep paying for a membership), you could simply get your own bike! Even if you pay a little more upfront, it's ultimately less expensive than paying for a bikeshare membership every year, and certainly a more efficient way to get around a congested area.

The Popularity of a Bike Ride

Most people learn to start riding a bike young. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that most kids are ready to ride a bicycle by the time they're five. It's a common way for kids to get around a neighborhood and a first step towards independence.

Over 100 million bicycles are churned out every year around the world and there are around one billion bicycles cycling about globally. However, biking isn't just for little kids or cycling aficionados anymore. With a larger consciousness about greenhouse gases and finding more efficient ways to commute, bikes have become the new cool thing.

There are also plenty of advantages to hitting up your local bicycle shops and finding a bike that's best for your needs. Bike bags and baskets, rear racks, and other gear transform it into a commuting option that's perfect if you don't have far to go.

What are the Perks to Biking More?

If you're looking for reasons to go into some bicycle shops, consider this -- biking is not only an eco-friendly way to get to where you need to go, it can also help improve your health. Research done by Glenn Stewart at Brunel University showed that cycling reduced the risk of dying early by around 30%! And furthermore, one's chances of getting cardiorespiratory diseases goes down by about 40% with regular cycling.

If finding time to squeeze in workouts is hard, consider switching up the way you get to work. According to a 2017 study, simply biking to work can burn as much fat as if you were going to the gym five days a week for 40 minutes at a time. How's that for maximum efficiency?

You may also get to know your areas better -- cycling may take you a different route than you would take in a car. And it can be a great group activity on the weekends or off-time with family and friends. Often little buggies can be attached to bike frames, so you can even tote small children along for the ride!

And, of course, bicycling is better for the environment all around. Consider this -- if even just 20% of short car trips in Milwaukee and Madison were done via bike instead, we'd avoid emitting almost 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the environment.

What Should I Think About When Purchasing a Bike?

Shopping at your local bicycle shops is usually the way to go. If you have issues with the bike or need a part or a repair, they're easily on hand. Plus, your bicycle shops can help you with any customization you're looking for, whether it be longer reaching breaks or toe clips. Some bikes might even have electric-pedal assists, if you're going far, or the terrain is hilly, so be sure to tell the shop what you'll be using the bike for most. And do test ride! You want to see if you're comfortable on the bike and how it handles.

Reap the advantages of biking to work! You'll feel good about doing your part to save the environment, feel better from all the exercise, and have a spiffy new bike to show off.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Single Speed

Over the last few years, biking to work and for leisure has become an important lifestyle for many people in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis...