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St Pete Bicycle and Fitness
1205 4th St N     (727) 822-2453

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Mon-Fri 10AM-7PM
Sat-Sun 10AM-6PM

  

Your community bicycle store!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blog

5/26/2017

Cleat Wear
There are three main points of contact the body has with the bicycle: derriere to saddle, hands to handlebars, and cleats to pedals. While each point of contact presents special needs to enable the cyclist to perform well, it is the cleat to pedal interface that is most crucial, making the cleats and pedals very important pieces of equipment.
We'll look at two popular road racing designs, with regards to safety and exposure to overuse injuries.
Look and Shimano pedals use a plastic style cleat that engages into the pedal, with the pedal containing the mechanism. 

SpeedPlay pedals use a cleat plate mechanism which the pedal engages into, with the cleat containing the mechanism.
Each cleat style offers a certain level of adjustment to meet various degrees of rotation, and placement options to meet various anatomical needs. Irregular placement of a cleat to the shoe may create an injury. Have a qualified person help you position a cleat if you lack the experience to do it yourself.
When fastening the cleat to the shoe, I have heard of people using loctite, grease, or even varnish. I prefer anti-seize (ti-prep), because it will make it easier to remove the screws from your shoe when the time comes to change your cleats. Anti-seize won't wash away like grease will. For safety reasons, you should make frequent inspections of the screws to ensure their proper tensioning to the shoe.
Cleats will eventually wear, primarily due to too much walking in your cycling shoes. These interfaces are really meant to be used for dancing on the pedals, not the ground. Excessively worn cleats will put you at risk for several issues: including the inability to clip in/out of the pedal, and the potential of irregular pedaling mechanics creating an irregular tilt of the foot on the pedal. These issues could possibly lead to an injury such as tendinitis or iliotibial band friction syndrome.
Some manufacturers have wear indicators on the cleats. Others do not, but instead have accompanying wear guidelines. Some indicators of wear might include undue squeaking and excessive rocking of the foot on the pedal. Frequent inspection will reveal any irregular wear.
Keep in mind that cleats are to be replaced on a regular basis. People tend not to change them for fear of losing the original position, or out of neglect. Simply tracing the cleat position with a Sharpie marker will help ensure accurate positioning of the replacement cleat.
So what I'm getting at is... be aware that cleats wear down and could possibly detach from your shoe or pedal. Regular inspection will ensure proper function and limited exposure to injury or failure, leading to a crash. Don't be afraid to change them on a bi-annual basis. With proper care and maintenance, your cleats and pedals will help you ride farther, more efficiently, staying injury free.
...Or at least as far as your derriere can stand it.

2/9/2017

Thinking of getting a new bike?  What bike is right for you? A bicycle can be an investment and with all investments you will want to spend wisely.  

The list below, while certainly not complete as there are many different types of bicycles, will give you a good idea of what questions to ask in the store.  

Road Bikes

If you want to ride for fitness, commuting, long distance or events and touring/ racing, you will want to look for a road bike.  These are the bikes that have lighter weight, drop-bar handles that curve downward for an aerodynamic position.  This will allow for a greater number of riding and hand positions. There are often specialized categories for road bikes.

Racing Bikes

If speed is your goal, seek out these light and aerodynamic bikes built for going fast on flats and charging up hills during group rides or races. Frames are often made of carbon fiber or aluminum and have a sleek slim design intended to be light as possible.  They also usually have aggressive geometry with ‘steep’ angles to help them turn quickly.

Endurance Bikes

Endurance bikes have many features like racing bikes above but have frame geometry that allows for a more comfortable riding position.  This can include taller head tubes, lower angles and sloping top tubes designed to reduce stress on the back and neck from the long ride.  Other features can include the ability to have larger width tires for a softer ride and flat handlebars for a more heads up style for visibility.

Touring Bikes

Interested in a longer ride? These bikes have some differences from a regular road bike that make them better for long distance tours.  Frames are sturdy to carry heavy loads on racks in the front and rear and there are usually many places to attach racks, fenders, water bottles and other gear.  They often have a lower center of gravity for easier control due to a longer wheelbase and can use disc brakes for better stopping ability with those heavy loads.

Mountain Bikes

There are several categories of mountain bikes but most have shock absorbing features and better braking systems to handle trails and rocks as well as rooty bumps and ruts.  They also often have lower gears to handle steeper terrain.

Hybrid Bikes

These are exactly what they sound like, a mix of road, mountain and touring created to make a bike that can do everything.  Sometimes they will have skinny wheels and a comfortable saddle or a shock absorbent fork.  They usually offer a better view when riding and some come with disc brakes for better braking as well as racks, lighting systems and fenders.  

Cruiser Bikes

These bikes are made for riding around town and usually have wider tires with a comfortable seat.  Get your basket and cup holder and head about town. 

 


7/1/2016

Words of Wisdom

If you have been riding in this wet weather, pull your cranks and bottom bracket out regularly. Water will accumulate in that area and destroy the bearings quickly. That moisture can find it's way into any frame, and the first image shows what that can do to your bike. In addition, it is a good idea to have your drive train cleaned twice a year.  The second image shows what it looks like if this service is not performed while the final image demonstrates the same one cleaned up.  A little preventive maintenance can save you in the long run. Happy riding!

5/6/2016

Where There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way: Picking the right bike.

Bicycles are beautiful vehicles. With so many options in regards to manufacturers, materials, new technology, and even just pure aesthetics it can be difficult to choose the     perfect bike—especially for commuting. Having worked at St. Pete Bicycle and Fitness for just over a year now, I have had the pleasure of helping many of our customers find the best solutions to some very unique situations. I think that it is wonderful that so many locals are committed to commuting by bike here in St. Pete all year round. Between learning their perspectives and my own personal commuting experiences I have come to the conclusion that there are two basic types of commuters: short range and long range. I have picked out a few bikes that I think work really well for these folks.
Short range commuters are cyclists that use their bike more than their car to travel short distances frequently. I have found that road-style hybrids like the Giant Escape or the Giant Seek are perfect for those lucky locals that live close to work, school, the grocery store, etc. These bikes are quick, comfortable, and affordable. They can be turned into the ultimate commuter bikes by adding a rear rack, trunk bags, panniers, fenders, lights, bottle cages, a lock—the possibilities are endless.

The Seek is for the commuter that rides rain or shine! With disc brakes, this bike has reliable stopping power in any kind of weather.
Commuters can make them even more efficient by using Shimano PD-M324 pedals. These awesome pedals are SPD clipless pedals on one side and regular platform pedals on the other side. Pair them with a set of mountain bike shoes (these shoes have a tread on the bottom and recessed cleats that make them easy to walk in) like the Shimano SH-M077 and you’re all set!

I have found that for long range cyclists that want to commute by bike but have farther distances to go, a road bike makes the trip a lot easier. My two recommendations are the Giant Defy and the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Now, the Giant Defy series is perfect for someone that wants to do everything from daily commuting to riding with the group on Saturday morning. This is a true road bike with a comfortable geometry. Available in both aluminum and carbon fiber—not to mention everything from Shimano Sora to Dura-Ace—there is a Defy for every level of cyclist. 

How to use it as a commuter: store belongings in a water proof backpack or messenger bag such as the All City “Captain Phil” and Timbuk2 “Track II” backpacks or the Timbuk2 “Light Bright” messenger bag. In addition to keeping your things nice and dry, these different bags have a variety of compartments to take everything you need with you—from spare clothes to laptops to convenient exterior pockets for your bike lock. Not to mention they are pretty stylish as well.

The Surly Long Haul Trucker is a seriously cool bike. Designed for bicycle touring, this comfortable frame is pure Surly 4130 CroMoly steel. Built with commuting in mind—this bike accepts both front and rear racks! It even has a spot on the drive-side chain stay to hold two extra spokes for roadside repair. This is the bike for the self-reliant cyclist that wants to go far.

As always, if you have any questions about commuting or cycling in general, St. Pete Bicycle and Fitness has the friendliest staff in the city. Stop by either of our 4th St or Central Ave locations, Monday through Sunday—we’re always there! Remember, where there’s a wheel, there’s a way!
-Cate

4/7/2016

St Pete Bicycle and Fitness Welcomes Chad Baltozer

 

There is a new addition to the 4th St shop location, new manager Chad Baltozer.  Chad hails from State College, Pennsylvania but recently made the drive to our sunny clime to be a welcome member of our superb group of employees.  His most recent employment was with a store aptly named The Bicycle Shop in State College.  He spent his four years there in sales, some fitting and also some building. 

According to Chad his preferred type of ride is mountain biking, but we expect he will be quite happy with the local terrain.  He does have experience with road biking as well as he road at the collegiate level in both of these areas for Penn State.

Next time you stop into the store, say hello and welcome Chad to our happy cycling community!


3/26/16

Spring Clean Your Handlebars

Though it may sound strange, sometimes you are the most corrosive thing to touch your bike.  Well, not you exactly, but your sweat. And some people have more corrosive perspiration than others (no reflection on their personality!).  Better to change your tape at least once a season, taking care to examine and clean, will be helfpul in not having to purchase new a new bar and will save emergency costs should it break while you are riding.

Corrosion can set in quickly with our humid climate and eat handlebars up. 

Plus, fresh bar wrap always feels nice in your hands.


3/9/16

Bring on the Sun: Daylight Saving Time

It's very close to that time of year again, clocks advance forward one hour affording everyone a little extra vitamin D.  This idea seemed to start as a jibe to the French by America's favorite inventor, Benjamin Franklin. He might have been teasing but as he was always conscious of conservation and thrift, there may have been more to this than a jibe. Though there have been many different versions of this across the world (the Soviet Union's clocks were an hour off for 61 years!), to many it translates to more time outdoors and active.  The change to your circadian rhythm may have you feeling a bit off for a few days.  Give yourself a little extra time to rest and you will be enjoying the extra long days coming your way.  That 6:00 am Base Miles ride may seem a little brighter (pun intended) going into the next few months.  Whether you are riding solo or with a great group, starting March 13th, it will be time to shine.          

Image courtesy of Arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2/16/17

Eddy Merckx San Remo Review by Nathn Rogut

Nathan Rogut, a former U.S. National Team cyclist and owner of RM Performance Cycling, has partnered with St Petersburg Bicycling and Fitness to lead the Time Trial Series out of Fort DeSoto. Below please find his review for the Eddy Merckx San Remo.

I've been cycling since I was 8 years old and was a professional for almost 12 years. During that time I've ridden pretty much every bike known to man in all possible conditions and races. Recently I've come back into the sport of racing, and although things have changed a bit, some things are still very familiar. I had been using a particular brand of bikes and was very disappointed mostly due to the flex in the frame and poor craftsmanship. I realize that I am not the normal rider and that having a rider of my size going from 200 watts to 1600 plus in a few pedal strokes is not very easy on most brands. However, despite the disappointment in this brand I have found complete happiness in a new brand. I recently received a Eddy Merckx San Remo and raced it this past weekend in both the road race and criterium. This bike is far and above my expectations to say the least. Other than the custom, one-off carbon bikes I was given to R&D in my pro days, this is one of the best off-the-shelf bikes I've used. Whether I was taking a corner over rough bricks at 35mph or sprinting uphill in full race mode, this bike was spot on.

Thank you, Mark and St. Pete Bicycle and Fitness, for giving me a chance to race this bike. If anyone has any questions please send me a message and I will fill you in on all the little details of my experience with this bike.

 

St Pete Bicycle & Fitness

1205 4th St N
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701

(727) 822-2453

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