Friday, 05 April 2013 06:00

Are You Wasting Energy?

clip or no

Clipless or flat pedals?

Clipless pedals are actually the opposite of what you would think. They are pedals that have cleats which are attached to your shoes and attach (clip) directly to the pedal. Some people think you have more control and actually become one with the bike. I agree that you become one with the bike, I mean, come on... you're attached to the bicycle. To unclip you have to turn your foot about 15 degrees and the cleats unclip from the pedal. The term "clipless pedal" actually originated from flat pedals that had a leather strap that fit over your toes. They called these straps, clips. Once the manufactures came up with pedals where your feet were not attached to the peddal with the straps, "clips", they called them "clipless". I hope this clarifies the term.

Flat pedals are a bit more simple and a lot less intimidating. Flats are exactly what they sound like... pedals that are flat. You don't need any special shoes, no special cleats and no intimidating tip-over fear.

Now, the question at hand, are you wasting energy?

The debate over clipless vs. flats yeilds an enromous amount of vaired responses. Everyone has their opinion on why one is better than the other and there is no way you'll be able to change their mind. People say clipless allow you to apply power to the pedal during the whole stroke (circle) where flats only allow you to apply power on the down-stroke. My opinion (which might upset some of you) is that you can't pedal in a circle. Really, try it and think about pulling up on the pedal at the same time you're thinking about pushing down. Now, if you're really thinking about this you're probably doing one more than the other resulting in less power overall and less concentration... so you just crashed.

I'm not saying clipless pedals are bad. I use them and have for over 10 years on multiple bikes. I've raced against people who were using flats and you know what? They passed me. Obviously, I was outraged because I was a racer. Look at me, I have clipless pedals. I'm supposed to be fast. Wrong!

salsaI've been considering going back to flat pedals. I get made fun of all the time when I do because it's not the "normal" thing to do on the trail. People don't consider you a cyclist without clipless pedals. My opinion is that you'll probably become a better rider using flat pedals because you'll have to become one with the bike, not just be attached to it. It's really hard going from clipless to flats on a trail because you feel the bike move around beneath you where your feet bounce around and things just don't seem stable. But, once you've been riding with flats a while, it's magnificent how much control you can have and how much confidence you can build. It starts with the small things so if you're new to riding or if you've been riding with clipless pedals, switch them out for a nice set of flats and see how much it changes your riding style. I won't guarantee anything except that you'll have fun. How can you not? You're riding your bike.

Confidence. Starting out with the basics. These words all sound familiar. They are the reason why STRIDER bikes work. Kids start with the basics, balance, coordination and confidence. Once kids learn those foundational functions you will be amazed at what they can do just like you will.

So, what do you think? Flats or clipless? Why? Post to the comments.

Tip #7
If you're new to riding flats on a mountain bike trail, it might be a good idea to wear long pants or get some shin gaurds. If your foot falls off the pedal and it hits you right in the shin... well, just remember to.

See Tip #6

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts by joining the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall! Do you tweet? We Do!

Published in Stuff and Whatnot
Friday, 29 March 2013 06:00

It's the Stuff We Carry

 

What do you currently use your bike for? Now think, what would you like to use it for? I ask this because it can raise some interesting options regarding the type of bike you’ll want. If you want to be a hardcore racer, then you can probably skip this post. However, if you want to ride your bike for daily use like riding to the store, commuting to work or even taking a stroll with your STRIDER rider you are the perfect candidate for a cargo bike.

Cargo bikes are becoming more and more common here in the US. They’ve been common in other areas of the world where there is a higher percentage of people using bikes for daily use but I do see the trend on the rise here.

The idea behind a cargo bike isn’t very complicated. You can load up your bike and haul stuff.

 

There are many types of cargo bikes on the market today and you could probably convert your existing bike to a heavy hauler with a few simple pieces. A simple way to convert your bike to haul stuff would be to add a rack and some panniers (bags that attach to the rack, think saddle bags on a motorcycle). Depending upon the size of panniers, you could haul quite a load. I have 2 panniers on a bike and I could easily haul enough stuff for a weeklong trip yet they work great for commuting to work too. I can fit an extra set of clothes, food, shoes, a laptop and the kitchen sink if need be.

Acme strider cargoIf you’re idea is more of a trip to the bulk shopping center then you might want to look for a more specific bike. An actual cargo bike will allow you to haul a lot of stuff. Back in the day, I had a Kona Ute that allowed me to haul a 50 pound bag of dog food, 4 gallons of milk and multiple sacks of groceries. The coolest part is that I could have packed on more. I’ve even seen full house moving parties using these cargo bikes so the capabilities are limitless.

 

Our local STRIDER dealer, Acme Bicycles, uses a Civia Halsted cargo bike to deliver fun (picture on the right).

It doesn’t matter the type or size of your bike, chances are you can add a few bits and pieces to make it more useful. Most trips are under 2 miles anyway and you might find it’s faster to go by bike.

Tip #6 - Get a bell for that bike. It’s good to let people know when you’re coming around a blind corner or coming up behind someone. Safety first.

 

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts by joining the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall! Do you tweet? We Do!

Published in Stuff and Whatnot
Friday, 15 July 2011 22:37

Parents Are Talking!

We announced www.StriderLife.com about a month ago and have been having a great time with it ever since.  There is a lot of unique media being posted as well as interesting conversations between Strider parents from all over the world (Japan, UK, Canada, US)!

A lot of the forum threads have been sparking great conversations ranging from: tips/tricks on getting your child to ride, how old was your Strider rider when they got too fast for you to keep up,  and how do you stay cool on a hot summer day.

Have you registered yet? We'd love it if you would join the conversation!

Published in Parents Are Talking
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 21:25

So Much More

This weekend, as I watched 15 Strider riders racing around a grassy track a man caught my eye and said, "Those are pretty neat little toys." My first reaction was, "Yeah they are!"

While watching the kids (1.5 to 5 years old) rip around the track, balance on boards, and Stride over teeter-totters I thought to myself, "These are so much more than toys."

I was still thinking about it while getting into Strider Sports World Headquarters on Monday and plugged into "Social Media land" to find this great video of Strider racers in Maine from our new friends over at Thorfinn Expeditions.

As most of you know from watching the Strider riders in your life, the sense of accomplishment, fun, balance and the beginning of a love for all things two wheeled make Striders so much more than a toy!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ-IO8P62v0[/youtube]

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in Adventure Striding
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:15

Growing Up.

My daughter (Talia) is two. She is a precocious little thing and is already very opinionated. I have to raise the seat on her Strider at least once a week.  Last night she realized that she could outStride her Mother and I while cruising on her Strider! Is any of this sounding familiar?

I'm up to no good!

A couple things occurred to me as we were chasing her down the sidewalk, my wife with the dog and me pushing the stroller with our son:  1. I hope anybody backing out sees her (or us) coming.  2. Wow...she is really moving! 3. We're going to have to start riding our bikes just to keep up.

Upon further reflection I am reminded of how important it is to begin teaching basic bicycle safety to children.  When they are old enough to ride on their own the lessons that were taught to them while riding their Striders will be invaluable.

With that in mind, here is a list of 5 important Strider safety habits that should be started now!

1. ALWAYS wear a properly fitted helmet.

2. Look in ALL directions before crossing a road. (Turn this into a fun rule making sure they look up and down before checking the street)

3. Be Seen.  Wear bright clothing, especially when riding earlier or later in the day when the light is not as good.

4. Listen to your Parents! (this might be the toughest one!)

5. Ride under CONTROL.  It's always fun to go fast, but when you aren't in control it is unsafe and usually scary for everyone involved.

Head over to Strider Life and add your voice to the Strider safety discussion.  What basic rules do you enforce?

 

Published in Strider Education
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 19:41

George: Week 5

Progress on a Strider is different with every individual; Some kids jump right on and never look back, Others are very slow at getting the feel for it, while others may get right on and take off only to leave it alone for what seems like forever.

We get countless emails, facebook updates, Tweets, phone calls and Strider Life threads regarding Strider successes.  This YouTube video is a great example of the middle ground between a beginning rider and a more experienced rider.

George Strides around an old mini-golf course, Striding though narrow gaps, up and down small curbs and does it all with an adorable Scottish accent.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tATfq-nxCKM[/youtube]

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in Parents Are Talking
Friday, 01 July 2011 12:50

Happy Canada Day, Eh!

Our friends in the Great White North are celebrating Canada Day which commemorates: 1. The formation of Canada by the joining of three provinces in 1867 and 2. Canada's full independence from the United Kingdom in 1982! It looks like the snow has melted and Strider riding without mukluks and toques can commence.

From the country that brought us Rick Moranis, Gordon Lightfoot, Geddy Lee, and the pager (aka beeper) comes some great footage of  2 Strider riding brothers (4 1/2 and 2 years old, although I'm not sure how old that makes them with the exchange rate).  Have Fun, eh!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in69M8x4iWE[/youtube]

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in Around The World
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:59

Strider Twins!

Q: What is cuter than a child on a Strider?     A: Twins riding their Striders!

We found this great review from a Mother of twins.  Have you had similar experiences to Dolly?

"I bought two strider balance bikes for my boy/girl twins for their birthday. They loved them and it was great that they were able to hop right on and use them right away. It was nice that there was no frustration on getting them to work like they have had in the past with their tricycle. We had their birthday party at a park and the twins were able to ride their bikes all over the playground and park. They have progressed just like the toddlers in the online videos and within a week were balancing. I got the pink and green bikes and both are adorable. I decided to go with the Strider balance bike because it has one of the lowest seat settings."    ~Dolly

Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet www.StriderLife.com! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in Reviews
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 21:26

Strider Physics Department

 

If you understand that formula you can quit reading now...If you looked at that formula and scratched your head like we did then keep reading!

There is an old maxim in the biking world; "A pound off the wheels = 2 pounds off the frame". This is due in large part to the rotational weight of the tires and wheels and is especially important for the littlest riders. Weighing in at 1 lb 14.7 ounces for the pair, the Strider Ultralight wheels with durable EVA Poylmer tires on a Strider are the perfect combination of light weight, no hassle and long lasting.

When the EVA Polymer and plastic wheel is swapped out for metal rims and pneumatic tires the weight gain is almost double. This makes it harder to start and stop. The philosophy at Strider, since the beginning, has been to get the bike down to bare bones! Focus on balance and FUN! Older Strider riders will get used to the weight difference and will love having knobby tires, but for the littlest Strider rider EVA is the way to go!

[caption id="attachment_2024" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="What Fog? We didn't even notice! Off-roading on EVA!"][/caption]

Head over to our new centralized Strider forum (www.striderlife.com) to find new ways to share your photos, videos and Strider success stories with Strider family from around the world! Join the Strider Conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in STRIDER Tech
Saturday, 25 June 2011 12:00

Happy Striderday From Poland!

Mamy nadzieję, masz wielki Striderday!

We hope that you are having a great Striderday.  Hopefully (depending on when you're reading this) you've already spent most of the day outside or you are getting all of your gear together to head outside for some fun!

We found this really fun "old school" video on YouTube that we thought would be a great way to start or end your day.  We're pretty sure that there was some digital manipulation to this, but we can't be %100 positive.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoAEApeLJY4[/youtube]

Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall! Head over to our new/centralized social media site (www.StriderLife.com) and let us know your Strider success stories or upload videos, photos and more!

Published in Around The World
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