Design Your Own Schwinn Drawstring Bag: Contest

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All ages are invited to participate!

The first 6 entries will receive a Zazzle Schwinn iPhone 6 case!!

The submission period continues until September 24, 2014.

Step 1

Schwinn_RedS_iP6 CaseEntrants should submit originally designed artwork that is bicycle related in nature. It can be in traditional mediums such as oil, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink or modern digital graphics. No actual artwork needs to be submitted just a digital file or good quality photo of the artwork.

You may email your submissions directly to schwinnsocial@pacific-cycle.com or send them via Facebook Direct Messaging on Ride Schwinn’s Facebook page.

Please include a short description about your design.

Step 2

Wait for Schwinn to upload your artwork to Facebook (facebook.com/RideSchwinn) once uploaded invite your friends to “Like” your entry on the Design Your Own Schwinn Drawstring Bag Photo Gallery located here!

The first round of voting ends on September 24, 2014 where five (5) finalists will be chosen.

Step 3

The five (5) finalists will enter a “Final Voting Period” to determine which one will become the Grand Prize Winner!

The “Final Voting Period” ends on October 7, 2014

The winning design may be reworked by the Schwinn design team and may be available on Schwinn Shop Now for a limited time sale. You may have your artwork produced on Schwinn bags with your name credited as the artist. Be creative and have fun!

Prizes

The Grand Prize winner will win a Schwinn Bicycle from the Schwinn Shop Now website and the four finalists will each receive a $100 gift card from one of the following: Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, or Dicks Sporting Goods.

Get out and design!

-Samantha C.

For complete rules visit:http://www.schwinnbikes.com/usa/schwinn-bag-design-contest

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Top Ten: Energizing Snacks for Those “Longer” Rides

20140820_190742**If you stick around to the end of this article you are in for a Schwinn Social Secret**

There is no way around it, when you are working hard and extending the distance of your bike ride you are going to need to refuel. Proper nutrition and healthy snacks  are the key to maintaining energy during and after your long bicycle rides.

Not all snacks are made the same though. A proper snack for a cyclist should be simple and easy to carry with you and eat by bike, should serve to refuel you with the proper carbohydrates and nutrients your body needs, and should be able to make it longer than 5 minutes in the heat or in a cramped location like your jersey pocket or draw string bag.

Some people recommend eating and having a sip or two of water every 15, 20, or 30 minutes, but that just means you should do what feels right for you!

The following are ten of our favorite items to pack for those longer rides.

1. Bananas – A banana is the super food for every person who works out! As most people know bananas are chalk full of potassium, but they are also full of easily digestible carbohydrates. This combination is a one to punch for nerve function, muscle function, reducing muscle cramps and quick releasing fuel.

The best time to eat a banana would be right before your or early on in the ride in order to maximize on the fruits power supply.

2. Nut Butter – Peanut butter, almond butter,  sunflower butter, you name it! The muscle building protein of a nut butter combined with the carbs from the banana or next two items on our list will help keep you at a nice balance between energizing carbs and the healthy fats and proteins of the nut butter. Nut butters can help to slow the release of the carbohydrate you pair it with, but try to keep it as natural and unprocessed as possible to optimize its effect. One our favorite natural butters is the Cranberry Coconut Peanut Butter from YumButter located in our home town Madison WI. Check them out! http://yumbutter.com/

nutsAlmond butters also offer an added bonus of iron and calcium, so if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go!

Nut butters work best when paired with carbohydrates, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Nut butters are calorie dense so a little goes a long way!

3. Apple (with peanut butter) – For those who don’t like bananas, or are looking for something to put their peanut butter on an apple is the perfect fit. The apple may contain a sugar, but it also has filling fibers that slow the release of those sugars into the bloodstream for sustained energy. Plus it has antioxidants to fight off some of those free radicals!

The best time to crunch into this tasty snack is before or after a long ride when you have a little more time to enjoy this sweet treat.

4. Whole Grain Bagel – These portable morning carb loaded wonders are an excellent way to get your energy back up after a ride. Once again they are best when paired with a nut butter or even some lean meat for the added protein to carb balance.

Since whole grains take a bit longer to digest it is best to eat your bagel a half an hour before you go out or take your bagel with you for an end of the ride snack.

trail mix5. Trail Mix – Trail mix offers an easy and portable snack with a mix of dried fruits full and nuts packed with protein, carbohydrates, and good fats.

While trail mix can be a good option for those looking to gain a bit of muscle it also must be stressed that not all trail mixes are created equally so keep an eye out for mixes laden with candy and once again a little goes a long way. Nuts and dried fruit are extremely calorie dense so if you are looking to lose a little weight you may want to measure out a serving before diving in.

20140820_1904036. Energy bars – Energy bars such as Cliff, LUNA, Powerbar, and more offer a quick and easy way to fuel up on a lot of carbs and protein, and other necessary nutrients.

Always look at the package label to see how much sugar, protein and carbohydrates are actually in your energy or protein bar. Does it have at least 15 grams of protein? Keep in mind that an average adult is only recommended to have 25 grams of sugar a day some energy bars meet or exceed that number in one serving.

7. Sports Drink – One of the timeless questions for people who live an active lifestyle is whether water or a sports drink is the best option for those longer workout days. The fact of the matter is when we sweat and water is release from our body things such as sodium potassium and other electrolytes leave with it. Therefore it makes perfect sense to replace what was lost with a sports drink which offers the additional benefits that water cannot.

Remember whether you drink water or a sports drink it is important to keep hydrated before, during, and after a workout!

20140820_1904248. Energy Gels – Energy gels really fit into the same category as energy bars in my book and are something I would personally leave for the most intense or lengthy rides you have. Energy gels are meant to replace the glycogen that you use and can deplete in extra intense or long workouts while giving you a little extra boost of energy.

While you may receive that boost in energy mentally you may still run into basic muscle fatigue and soreness. Therefore these energy gels are really something that needs to be tried out on an individual basis to see if they work for you, when they will benefit you most during your workout, or if they are the best method to reenergize during your ride.

9. Granola – Granola bars or cereal mixed with some low-fat protein dense yogurt are especially great choices for after the ride. Granola offers protein, carbs and healthy fats to reenergize you and when paired with a yogurt the balance that we have seen before of carbohydrates to protein ratio will keep you moving for the rest of the day.

Check out the recipe at the end of this article for my go to post work out low calorie, nutrient dense snack.

10. Coffee – As a college once said to me, “nothing beats a cup of Joe after a long workout”. Which is why coffee made our list at number ten. While coffee may not seem like the most natural of choices coffee can serve a dual purpose of easing back into the day and catching up with a cycling buddy after a long and relaxing morning ride.

Do you have any go to snacks that we missed? Comment below and lets us know how you stay fueled on those longer bicycle rides!

 

Sam’s Post Workout Snack

This is one of my favorite post workout snacks because it is chalk full of protein, has potassium from the banana, some healthy fats, and a good dose of carbohydrates to keep me going.

Ingredients 

1 Dannon’s Vanilla Greek Yogurt (12 grams of protein!)

1/8 cup of oats

1/2 Banana sliced

1 Tsp of Peanut Butter

A sprinkling of granola

Directions

Put the yogurt into a cereal bowl and mix in approximately 1/8 cup of whole oats and 1 tsp of peanut butter into the yogurt. Top with one half of a sliced banana and a sprinkling of granola for an added crunch.

Total Protein: Aprox 25 grams

Calories: Aprox 250

20140820_185217**As promised if you made it to the end of the article I would let you in on a Schwinn social secret. If you liked the Schwinn drawstring bag featured in some of the images seen throughout this post and think that you could make something just as cool if not better than get ready to step it up! In September Schwinn will be hosting a design contest for all of our fans to create a new design for our next Schwinn bag.

The top 5 designs will be awarded prizes with the Grand Prize winner, decided by our fans, receiving a Schwinn bicycle of their choosing on Schwinn Shop Now!

So get your design on and keep an eye out for the official announcement coming soon!

Get out and Ride!

Samantha C.

From Mountain to Hybrid: “Whose Bike is that?”

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So you’re ready to switch to a new bike, huh? Well I’m in the same boat.  I’ve been riding around on the same mountain bike for far too many years now. It still rides great, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s time to upgrade this bad boy for a bike in a popular new segment that has been catching my eye.

In recent years, bicycle designers noticed a growing trend in the number of casual, recreational and commuter bicyclists. This is the category I would drop myself into and most of the riders these days. They also realized that these bicyclists have different desires for how they want their bicycles to look and perform. So what did the bicycle designers do? They created a cross functional bike called the “hybrid” bike. This bike is the best of all worlds. It is perfect for riding to work, leisurely roaming around scenic unpaved trails, or just causally rolling down the street.

After dragging alongside with all my friends and co-workers on my old mountain bike, trying to keep up to them and then seeing how much my bike weighed compared to their light commuter bikes, I realized I needed something new. My mountain bike had the tire size, tire threads, and frame weight that was perfect for when I was riding on mountain bike trails, but it lacked the comfort, ease of use, and style I was looking for when I found myself wanting to bike to work every day.

Along came the hybrid. As soon as I saw it I was attracted to it.Screen-Shot-2012-12-06-at-12.06.41-PM  A lot of people I work with have these superfast, lightweight, carbon-framed road bikes with the skinny ole’ tires, but I quickly realized that that was not my style. What the hybrid offered me that road bikes didn’t was what appeared to be, a hell of a lot more comfort. The saddles on those bikes were so small and with no cushion! Not only that but I would constantly have to scope out each trail trying to dodge every bump because of the lack of suspension in the front forks. Call me lazy for not wanting to avoid every pot hole and bump on my bike ride, but I enjoy the ease of bicycling.

After I found what style of bicycle I was looking for, the finer search began as I looked for what specific model would appeal to my desires the most. I quickly turned to the Schwinn Bikes website. There I found a wide range of bikes, each with their own unique features.  With prices varying from $210 – $980, I felt like I didn’t have to break open my piggy bank to find the perfect bike.

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So I stuck to the features I wanted to find in my bike. I wanted a comfy stature while riding, not leaning too forward and not so far back where I’d be sitting straight up. Then the suspension fork; got to have it. I’m not trying to get rattled to smithereens if I decide to take off road it and take the gravel trail home.  Of course I need 24-speeds for maximum comfort when riding any terrain, and up or down hill. Last on my need list was disc brakes. I didn’t want to be riding to work and NOT have the option to stop on a dime if a squirrel was to dart right in front of me. (You see, you always have to be thinking about others when you make your choices too; it’s not always about you.)

So with my wishes and the animal’s consideration in place, I narrowed it down to the perfect bike for a commuter/recreational style rider like me. The Schwinn Searcher 2.The features on this bicycle matched my description perfectly.S14_700M_Searcher2_SLV

  • Suspension fork: SR Suntour® NEX suspension fork with hydraulic lock-out create a smooth responsive ride. Check.
  • Stylish: this model comes in a sleek gray with black and red accents. Not too much flash but not dull either. Check.
  • 24 Speeds: Shimano Alivio®/Acera® components with 24-speeds and Shimano Acera Rapid Fire+® shifters for quick shifting. Check.
  • Disc brakes: Tektro Novella disc brakes for extra stopping power, CHECK!

My next step was to find the right size.  I’m an average height kind of guy coming in around 5’10, 5’11 on a good day, so I asked some of my friends who are avid bike riders and they suggested that a “medium” bike would fit me just fine. For all you taller folks out there, 6’0” is on average the cutoff where you would find yourself looking at a Large or X-Large bike size.

 

Finally, the purchase! That moment when all of your hard work searching for the right bike pays off! Now in my opinion, this is the most exciting phase of finding a bike, so hang on to your seats because your about to be riding around in a brand new bike that all your friends are going to be eyeing up.

Get out and ride!

– Aric

Just Biking in the Rain: Is Rain Interrupting Your Commute?

IMG_20140404_071430_017This week marks the first week of my commuting bicycle experience. Well that isn’t entirely true; I used to commute down State Street in Madison, WI, but that distance was walkable and closed off to traffic. My new 4.5 mile commute is a bit different and while I am slowly figuring out the little details of bicycle commuting, such as the necessity of my bringing clothes to change into (being sweaty at work is not fun), and finding out how to remedy the effects of helmet hair; there is one detail about bicycle commuting I forgot…the rain.

Me: Before and After Hypothermia

Me: Before and After Rain Induced Hypothermia

I don’t particularly enjoy the snow, but rain I am pretty terrified of. Perhaps this is because of an experience with rain induced hypothermia one summer canoe trip in the Boundary Waters where a sudden downpour of cold rain chilled me to the bone. Still, I don’t want a little rain to be the reason to give up, so I made a list of my biggest rainy weather fears and began to ask around for ways to beat them.

My Rainy Bicycle Fears:

  1. Getting soaked: See hypothermia caused by rain above, it can happen!
  2. Hydroplaning: This can happen with bikes right?
  3. Distracted Drivers: Texting, talking, driving, singing and then add weather to the mix, and drivers may be at multitask overload.
  4. Puddles: If potholes weren’t bad enough; rain can fill them in and make them look like innocent puddles.
  5. Crazy Hair: This one may be more geared to the ladies, but when rain and my hair meet crazy things happen. (picture Motley Crue).

The Solutions:

1. Dress to stay dry:

  • What to Wear:  There are many specialized clothes made for biking in the rain, but the most important thing is to make sure that your outer most layers, jacket, rain-pants, etc. are waterproof and your inside layers stay dry.
    •  Additional clothing items to aid in the fight to stay dry:
      • A base layer and sweater made of non-cotton material. Synthetic or wool works best at keeping sweat from sticking to you. After all you are trying to stay dry.
      • Waterproof shoes or boots to keep your feet dry. If you aren’t sure if your shoes are waterproof there are also shoe covers designed just for biking in the rain.
      • A lot of heat escapes from your hands so pick up some waterproof gloves to keep your hands warm and dry.
    • Waterproof bags: Use a waterproof bag, backpack, etc. in order to keep your items free of rain and insure dry clothes when you get to work.
    • Note! Waterproof versus Water-resistant: This is an often confusing difference and the one that led to my experience with hypothermia 2 years ago.
      • Waterproof means that the material can be completely submerged in water and everything will stay dry. You could take a waterproof bag with you snorkeling and hours later pull out a completely dry financial report for your 9 o’clock meeting.
      • Water-resistance on the other hand means that the fabric used is going to keep water out… to an extent. It works just fine if you are only encountering a light shower or will be out of the rain quite quickly, but if you get caught in anything a bit heavier, you’d be better off wearing a swimsuit.

2. Cautious Riding:

  • While hydroplaning on a bike is not likely to occur there are other cautions that you need to take when riding your bike in the rain.
    • Braking. Bike brakes are not as effective in the rain, so it important to take it slower than usual and allow yourself sufficient time to stop.
    • Slick surfaces. Cornering and traction are greatly reduced in the rain, especially on the road, because when the pavement gets wet the oil that cars drip mix with the water and make things super slick. So go slow!

3. Stay Visible:

  • Traffic is always something to be aware of while on your bike, but it is especially important to make sure you are highly visible when conditions are less than ideal.
    • Use rear and front lights. Just like cars use their headlights in the rain; it is a good practice to also utilize lights on your bike in conditions with reduced visibility.

4. Avoid the Puddles!:

  • There is not much you can do about sneaky potholes hiding in the middle of puddles. But they are dangerous and can cause flat tires or severe crashes. The best solution is simply to avoid them completely, if possible, and always wear a helmet.

The Stylish Sugoi Zap Helmet Cover

5. Helmet Covers (and maybe some product…):

  • A helmet cover is a great solution for not only saving your hair, but also for just keeping your head dry and warm.
  • For the ladies: it may be good practice to just bring a few products for defrizzing your mane once you arrive at work, this will help you avoid looking like Nikki Sixx all day.

There you have it. Now that the fears have been debunked, there really is no excuse for you to not..

Get Out and Ride!

Samantha

A Colorful Summer: Target Popcycles

This week I got together with two of my friends at the University of Wisconsin -Madison Terrace to catch up and also show off some of our latest Schwinn bicycles available exclusively at Target, the “Popcycles“.S14PH_12507Right away we all gravitated toward a color that seemed to fit our personality. Sammi, girly, kind, and a true sweetheart, picked the pink popcycle. Jozi who is a firecracker and is the warmest most optimistic person you’ll ever meet picked the vibrant orange popcycle. As for me, the powder blue popcycle just seemed to fit my personality, calm, creative and sensitive.

Mendota_Blue_chairs12_8802For us the bikes seemed like a perfect fit to the already colorful Terrace. For those of you who have never been to the UW-Madison Terrace, you should know that the colorful seats that occupy the waterfront space are something of an iconic image for the area. The opening of the Terrace, when they put out the chairs, is an official mark for students and alumni alike that Spring classes are ending and Summer is beginning. Sammi, Jozi, and I have all spent many summers at the Terrace hanging out with friends, grabbing a Babcock ice cream cone, or a frozen drink from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, or if we had to, study for an exam. If you ever come to Madison WI, in the summer it is undoubtedly a “must-see” spot!

The bicycles in the popcycle line are Hybrid bikes, which make them excellent bikes for getting around the campus area. Hybrids combine features of both road and mountain bike styles to optimize on comfort which make them a great go-to bike for both fitness and commuting needs. Or in our case an excellent choice for a casual ride that was in need of a stylish upgrade.

By the way, did you check out are headgear? While these fashion forward helmets aren’t available in store yet (wink), check out these similar urban style helmets that will keep your head safe without cramping your style!

Get out and Ride! (with a Friend…at the Terrace… on a Popcycle!)

Samantha

To see the full Popcycle line, head over to: Target Popcycles

Choosing the Right Bike

When I was younger shopping for bikes seemed much easier; I would pick a color I liked, green, a style I liked, the bigger the tires the better, and I would leave the store with a green mountain bike. I lived in the city and never took it off the paved sidewalks, but I didn’t know that they made bikes for different types of terrain and usage and that I was actually on the wrong bike. Nowadays although color still plays a significant role in the ultimate bicycle I will choose, it isn’t the deciding factor. I am much more concerned with whether or not it will fit my needs and the comfort of the bike.

With so many different types of bikes to choose from it can be hard to determine which bicycle would be best suited for you, but if you know a few basics about each type of bike it will be easier to zero in on the bicycle that will fit your lifestyle when you go to purchasing your next bicycle.

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Schwinn Cruiser

Cruiser Bicycle: These retro looking bikes have wide balloon tires, wide saddles, and keep you in an upright seated position. These bikes have a much simpler mechanical design with some versions having just a single-speed drivetrain (a single gear) and they are incredibly durable which makes them very easy to maintain.

Lifestyle of Cruiser Cyclist: A cruiser is a great choice for the casual and stylish cyclist who is looking for a stable bike. This cyclist is not concerned about how fast they get from point A to B, and will primarily be biking on flat terrain.

Mountain

Mountain Bike

Mountain Bikes: These durable bikes typically have wide knobby tires, a stout frame, shock-absorbers, and straight handlebars with a raised seat that keeps you in a more upright seated position then a road bike.  With stable wheels these bikes can handle the dirt, potholes, and gravel of off-road biking. As a caution, although sturdy features make this type of bicycle excellent for rough terrain the same features can also make a ride on the road heavy and slow.

Lifestyle of a Mountain Cyclist: A mountain bike is an ideal bike for cyclists who are looking to ride their bicycle off-road and on rough terrain.

Road

Road Bike

Road Bikes: These bikes have skinny tires, light frames, and a “hunched” riding position that allows a cyclist to go fast on pavement. Proper fit for road bikes is essential because a poor fit can make the ride uncomfortable while also reducing peddling efficiency. The road bike has two types of handlebars for the road cyclist various needs. Drop-bar handlebars are for the cyclist who wants to go faster. They are lightweight and create a more aerodynamic riding position, while also allowing you to better transfer your energy to moving the bike. However they may also put more strain on your back. The flat-bar handlebars allow you to sit up in a more upright position to reduce strain on your back, wrist and shoulders, but they are less efficient in speed than the drop-bar road bike is.

Lifestyle of a Road Cyclist: A road bike is ideal for cyclist who is looking to ride their bikes fast, on pavement, for lengthy distances, and long periods of time.

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Schwinn Hybrid

Hybrid: The Hybrid is an excellent in-between bike that optimizes on comfort and fitness. This bike combines features of both the road and mountain bike styles to create a perfect compromise. From the mountain bike the Hybrid receives skinnier tires and a lightness which allows it to go faster than the mountain bike. The mountain bike however, offers a seat and handlebar position that keeps you riding in an upright position and with a better comfort and stouter frame for better durability.

Lifestyle of the Hybrid Cyclist: The Hybrid is an ideal bike for the cyclist who wants a general-purpose bike that can handle multiple terrains and riding conditions.  Since this bicycle is not only durable and comfortable, but is also faster than an Urban or bike Path bike it is ideally suited for beginning cyclist or commuters who want a comfortable, fitness level and faster ride.

Urban

Urban Bike

Urban: These bikes are durable with strong frames to handle any possible hazards of the city road. Oftentimes this type of bike comes with fenders to keep the rider free from mud and water kicked back up at the rider. The handlebars on this bike allow you to sit upright for a comfortable ride.

Lifestyle of the Urban Cyclist: Urban bikes are ideal for the practical city dweller who wants to use their bike to get around quick while running errands or commuting to work.

Bike Path2

Schwinn Bike Path

Bike Path: These bikes keep riding simple and smooth. Features such as wide plush saddles, upright seating, plush suspension, and tires similar to those found on mountain bikes (but smoother) make riding a Bike Path bike extremely comfortable although less efficient then a Hybrid.

Lifestyle of the Bike Path Cyclist: The Bike Path bike is ideal for a casual cyclist who desires comfort and leisurely rides.

Final Tip:

It is also important to remember that even after you know what type of bike is best suited for you to also make sure it fits you properly. Make sure to get on the bicycle and actually ride it a bit. While testing the bike you should check the extension of your legs. When the pedal is at its lowest point your leg should be almost completely extended with just a slight bend in the knee. Your feet should also not be able to touch the ground while you are seated on the saddle. Most importantly, make sure that you are comfortable with how you are seated and how the ride feels; after all biking should be an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

Get Out and Ride!

Samantha

You are Here: Introducing the Schwinn CycleNav

You may have heard about the Schwinn CycleNav by now; perhaps from the abundant reviews out of the CES show or perhaps just yesterday from Ride Schwinn on Facebook’s latest giveaway.

But what is the new Schwinn CycleNav exactly?

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CycleNav Smart Bike Navigation

Smart phones have become a consistent part of our lives and while our phones are offering us more new, exciting, and helpful tools every day, they also can pose a danger when paired with mobility. The dangers of using your phone while driving have become a bit of a no brainier, and often in the car the potential danger can be solved with a mounted GPS or Bluetooth headset. Now I am not saying that everyone is as bad as I am, who finds walking while on my phone to be a potentially hazardous event (I may have ran into a pole once or twice), but I do think that trying to pay attention to your bike, the road, your cellphone’s directions, and steering with only one hand on the handlebars may be a bit dangerous.

The CycleNav much like the GPS you have been using in your car takes your hands of the phone and puts them back on the handlebars. The device can be easily mounted to your handlebars and is connected to your phone via Bluetooth, which means you can store your phone in a safe place while you ride. An app which can be downloaded on both the App Store and Google Play not only provides directions, but also lets you track and store your distance traveled, time, speed, and calories burned. Then when your journey is done you have the opportunity to share your stats with friends or the community of app users.

Headlight Capabilities

Headlight Capabilities

The CycleNav also solves the problem that can occur with hearing the turn by turn directions that are spoken in Navigation apps. With the noise of the road and other distractions the audio is not always clear. The CycleNav has built in speakers to amplify the audio directions while lights indicate whether to go straight, turn left, or turn right, and if you didn’t hear it the first time, a central button makes the device repeat the last direction given. Conveniently the device also doubles as a bike headlight for added night time safety and with ten hours of battery-life before you have to recharge to ride on, you may just need it.

The device will be available in Walmart stores March 14th, 2014, for $59.99

Can’t wait for March 14th? Head over to Facebook and enter to win a CycleNav now!

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Check out these links for more reviews on the Schwinn CycleNav:

http://www.gizmag.com/schwinn-cyclenav-bicycle-navigation/30327/

http://www.techfaster.com/schwinn-cyclenav/

http://www.stuff.tv/schwinns-cyclenav-tells-you-where-ride/news

Get out and Ride!

Samantha

Is My Bike Snow Proof?: Winterized Biking 101

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The Winter Ride

Last week we talked about the proper clothing to wear as we gear up to take our bikes out in the winter. However, preparing our bikes for the cold is just as important as preparing ourselves. Winterizing your bikes and proper maintenance will not only help ensure the lasting quality of the bikes, but will also provide a safer ride in the winter.

Winterizing Your Bike:

  •   Bike Type:
    Schwinn MESA Mountain Bike

    Schwinn MESA Mountain Bike

    • Mountain bikes, hybrids, or single speed bikes often are the preferred type of bike for winter riding.
  • Tires:
    • Although some cyclist do not find it is necessary many winter riders will exchange their normal tires with a pair of studded tires which provide excellent traction on ice.
    • Another great option is to use wide tires. The larger surface area increases traction.
    • In winter it is also a good idea to reduce the air pressure of your tires. This allows more tire to be in contact with road and greater traction. The deeper the snow the less pressure you want in your tires, but make sure to stay within the tires recommended pressure range. This is located on the sidewall of the tire.
  • Fenders:
    • If you want to stay dry and slush free this seasons, fenders are a must. Fenders or Mud Guards are designed to protect you and the drivetrain from the debris on the road and will make your winter experience much more enjoyable. However, snow can also build up within the fenders and may increase resistance if they are not cleaned out.
  • Pedals:
    • If you ride with clipless pedals or toe straps during the summer you may want to consider swapping them out for platform pedals. These will work well with boots and be safer in the event that you need to put a foot down.
  • Headlights and Reflectors:
    Schwinn Headlight

    Schwinn Headlight

    • Since the sun rises later and sets earlier in the winter visibility becomes more difficult. Therefore, having proper front and rear lights as well as reflectors is essential to safe biking.

Maintenance:

  • Time for a tune up:
    • If you are uncertain that your bike is ready for winter bring it into a local bike shop for a tune up before you ride. The months of riding in snow, salt, sand and all the other nasty stuff that gets put on the road during winter will take its toll on all the bike’s parts, so it is better to be prepared before you start riding.
  • Clean and Dry:
    • Cleaning your bike after each use will dramatically reduce the amount of wear and tear that your bike will go through in the winter. It is also important to wipe the bike and chain dry after each use.
  • The Drivetrain:
    • It is important to clean and lubricated the chain, derailleurs and cassette/freewheel regularly. This will decrease corrosion and wear on the gears while also extending the drivetrains life.

Making sure your bike is properly maintained is important throughout the entire year, but it is even more critical for winter riding. A well maintained and winterized bike will provide an excellent and safe experience for any cyclist.

Get out and ride!

Samantha & Steve

Steve's Winterized Bike

Steve’s Winterized Bike

But Won’t I Freeze?: Winterized Biking 101

Can you be too prepared?

Can you be too prepared?

Most people store their bikes when the colder months of winter arrive and if you are anything like me the idea of leaving the house in the winter seems like a horrible idea. However, lately  the more I look outside my window and see the bike path that leads directly from my house to work the more I’ve wondered if taking my bike out of the shed a month or two early would be such a bad idea.

Whether you are biking for the joy of it, for exercise, or for commuting purposes riding your bike in winter does not have to be as difficult as many people assume it is. In fact, it can be a rather relaxing way to get out of the house, enjoy the brisk winter air, and increase your overall fitness and well-being.

In order to ensure a better winter biking experience this post will provide several tips and tricks on proper clothing, that will keep you comfortable and  help get all of us back on the bike before the snow melts.

Cycling in general causes a lot of heat to circulate throughout your body and the winter months are no exception. You can just as easily overheat in winter. That is why it is often more important to focus on preventing exposure of the skin to the wind, wet, and direct cold rather than focusing on the amount of layers you wear.

  1. Breathable Clothing
    • Light Weight Sugoi Icon Jacket

      Light Weight Sugoi Icon Jacket

      Materials like cotton tend to stay moist and can keep you too cold. Wool and synthetic materials are better to wear as an under layer, because they will keep your core both warm and dry. Fleece is also a great option, but is best saved for a particularly cold day when added warmth is needed.

    • Long underwear, leggings, and synthetic tights are great at keeping your legs warm.
  2. Outer Layers
    • Making sure your coat or outer most layers are waterproof and windproof will help keep heat contained while battling  the wind, snow, and rain.
  3. Footwear
    • A waterproof shoe or boot with enough room for thick socks is vital. Keeping your feet warm and dry is very important in the winter months, and again it is a great idea to avoid cotton which tends to keep your feet damp and cold.
  4. Gloves
    • Sugoi Subzero Lobster Gloves

      Sugoi Subzero Lobster Gloves

      Waterproof mittens or gloves will help keep your hands warm; however, many cyclists have found that lobster claw gloves, like the ones by Sugoi on the right, provide an excellent winter cycling option as well. The lobster claw splits your fingers in to two sections to provide better dexterity, but by keeping some fingers together they also provide the warmth of mittens.

  5. Headgear
    • Keeping your ears and head warm is incredibly important, if you do not have a winterized helmet that already covers your ears, be sure to wear either earmuffs or any other hat or headband under you helmet.
    • If you are wearing additional winter headgear underneath your helmet it is important to make sure that the helmet still fits properly. If the fit is an issue and you don’t want to buy a new helmet a helmet cover can also be a great option.
  6. Facemask
    • MidZero Balaclava by Sugoi

      MidZero Balaclava by Sugoi

      Some cyclists prefer to have their face and neck covered as well. There are many options to keep the winter chill off of these areas.

    • A balaclava (or ski mask) provides full head and face coverage, to keep out the cold and maintain heat. Some balaclavas have openings for the eyes; however, the one on the right by Sugoi is completely enclosed to better retain warmth.
    • Scarves are excellent ways to control the amount of wind that hits your face or neck and tinted goggles can keep your eyes both protected from the sun as well as the cold.

If you are looking to add some missing items to your winter biking outfit; Sugoi has an excellent clothing line for both male and female cyclist. They even have categorized their products into each season that the apparel is intended for.

http://www.sugoi.com/usa/bike.html

Finally, if jumping straight into winter cycling seems a bit daunting, don’t worry. You can get back into winter riding one step at a time with these quick tips:

  • Ride your bike just part of the way to your destination, then take the Metro Bus the rest of the way or park your car part of the way and ride your bike for the rest of the distance.
  • Don’t feel bad about leaving your bike at home for those especially cold, icy, or snowy days.
  • Keep in mind that getting on the bike even just once a week is a great step towards getting in shape for spring!
  • Most of all, remember to have fun. Enjoy the winter scenery and fresh air as we move into spring.

What has been your experience with winter biking? What tips and tricks have you learned?

Get out and ride!

Samantha

Schwinn’s Love in Tandem Valentine’s Day Competition

Who wouldn’t want to win a Schwinn Tandem bike?S14_26U_TangoTandem_SLV

That is exactly what we thought!

The Schwinn Team insisted on doing something to celebrate that special day of the year that spreads joy, friendship, and love…just like our bikes do 😉

Thus is born the Schwinn “Love in Tandem” contest.

It is so easy to enter and super fun.  You simply need a Facebook account or Vine account.  Followers on Facebook need to post a picture of themselves and a loved one doing something in sync and use the #schwinnlove to tag the photo.  The content may or may not include a bike; just keep it clean!  The more unique and clever the better.

For Vine users, they are asked to create a unique Vine video of themselves and a loved one doing something together in sync and hashtag the video #schinnlove.

The idea is that if you can prove that you and a friend or sweetheart are able to do one thing in sync then you will also be  able to ride the prize, a new Schwinn Tandem bike.

Check out fan photos on our Ride Schwinn Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rideschwinnbikes?ref=br_tf .

You can see Vine videos at Ride Schwinn on Vine at https://vine.co/u/1034952722497351680 .

Oh, and If you haven’t had a chance to check out Schwinn on Pinterest, Schwinn Bikes http://www.pinterest.com/schwinnbikes/ released its Schwinn Love Valentine’s day board today, which is filled with Valentine’s Day inspired bikes, and lots of love!

S14_LoveInTandem_Facebook2

Let’s go for a ride!

Samantha and Milissa