Hiking is a challenging but gratifying activity that gives the body and the mind a total workout. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it sure is mine. So, if you’re planning to trek your first mountain, there are “ten essentials” for hiking you should know. These items are not only meant to make the hike go smoothly but aid in your survival in case things go wrong.
A Checklist of the ‘Ten Essentials’ Every Hiker Must Pack
Aside from getting your mind and body ready for the challenging trip, there are a number of things you must not forget to bring along. Mind you; these items could mean extending your life in the wilderness.
The ten crucial things to bring during any trek was laid by the Mountaineers, a Seattle-based group of mountaineers and hikers. The primary goal of having these kinds of stuff is for the survival in an emergency situation and occurrence that are apparently beyond the hiker’s control.
Now, it’s time I walk you through the real score. The following are the crucial ten.
Navigation. Being prepared for any hike means knowing which way is right. In this case, navigation tools are of great help. The current navigation gear includes a compass, altimeter watch, GPS Device, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), and map. I’ll go into a detailed explanation of each item.
Compass. A compass is an essential tool, especially when you find yourself in unfamiliar terrain. I highly advise that you bring a compass equipped with a map-reading capability. Well, it’s not impossible nowadays, since the majority of smartphones are already geared with e-compass and tracking utilities. Remember to stay on track and never veer away from your hiking buddies!
Altimeter Watch. This navigation tool is vital in giving information on elevation. With its barometric sensor, the altimeter watch will provide the actual air pressure of your location.
GPS Device. Finding your exact location in real time is not impossible if you have a GPS (Global Positioning System). As I’ve mentioned, most of the smartphones have this built-in function. However, do remember to keep your gadgets in a tight and secured case. Also, don’t forget the extra batteries.
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Also known as a satellite messenger, PLB will help you in the worst situations outdoor. Try to imagine being isolated, to the point that you can’t send even an emergency call. You can get through with any adversities if you have a PLB. Using both government and commercially-run satellites, the PLB will allow you to send a message even when you’re at the remotest places.
Map. The destination of your hike must be clear. Now, if in case you’re heading to an unfamiliar route, don’t forget a map. Just make sure that your map will not only show you the way to the peak but will provide details on the great escape in times of unforeseen events.
Headlamp. During night camp, a headlamp is the most comfortable way to shed light. Most hikers prefer using a headlamp because it’ll do the job and keep your hands busy on other tasks.
Sun Protection. For sun protection, I mean sunglasses, sun protection clothing, and sunscreen. These things aren’t only meant for the beach. Since you’ll be exposed to the elements for quite a while, sun protection is vital.
Sunglasses. A good sunglass for hiking protects you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunglasses used for hiking vary and it depends on the temperature and terrain. If you’re hiking in icy and cold areas, make sure to wear extra-dark glacier sunglasses.
Sunscreen. You wouldn’t want to look a year older after your next trip, right? Well, sunscreen can help you with that. Sunscreen will protect your skin from the damaging UV rays, and in the long turn, prevents the onslaught of skin cancer. In selecting the best skin shield, consider these: a formula that is capable of blocking UVB and UVA rays, and a formula with at least Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 (if on an extended trek, use SPF 30).
Sun Protection Clothing. Hiking clothes aren’t meant to make you look cool. Apparel for hikes has their use aside from protecting the wearer from the elements. Some hiking clothes also offer high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), which protects the wearer from the harsh UV rays. I would highly suggest investing in a hiking jacket that has UPF.
First Aid. There is no doubt that you would need this. It is a must to bring along a first aid kit. Generally, a first aid kit is equipped with adhesive bandages, gauze pads, blister patches, adhesive tape, OTC medicines, disinfecting ointment, paper, and pen. You must consider the length of your trek and the number of people involved to determine the specifications of your kit.
Knife. Whether for gear repair, food handling, emergency patching, and protection, a knife will always be there to help.
If you are hiking together with a pro, a basic knife with one foldout blade is more than enough. Meanwhile, if you are leading a bunch of inexperienced mountaineers, make sure to grab a multi-functional knife. The common add-ons include a can opener, scissors, and flathead screwdrivers.
Fire. In emergency situations, fire is of great help. A hiker must bring any material that will ignite a fire, such as butane lighter and matches. While lighters and matches work, I use a fire starter.
What’s a fire starter? Well, as the name implies, it is an element that will jump-start a fire and will work even in a wet environment. Common fire starters include dry tinder, plastic bag, primer paste, lint trappings, and candles. So, before you go out and stroll, make sure to bring the best pair for fire ignition. However, if your destination is somewhere down in Alaska where real dry wood is almost impossible to find, my next advice is to bring a stove.
Emergency Shelter. Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere is not impossible in the life of a hiker; thus, having an emergency shelter is a must. There are different emergency shelters one can use, such as a bivy sack, ultralight tarp, space blanket, and a big trash bag. Always remember to carry an emergency shelter for every hike to keep you warm and enclosed even in the middle of the unknown place.
Extra Food. Another best practice of a good hiker is the attitude of packing extra meals. I, for one, always end up hungry in the middle of a hike. So, bring along additional food packs that will last until the next day.
Extra Water. Complete your survival during unexpected scenarios. Extra water must be in your backpack. In determining the volume of the reservoir to fill, consider that a person will need a half liter per hour of moderate physical activities. You must also consider some factors like altitude, level of exertion, and temperature to know the appropriate amount of water needed.
Backpack. Now, all these items I’ve mentioned need a place to be kept in. So, the last thing on the list is a backpack. However, the usual backpacks aren’t cut out for hikes. I would suggest you select a backpack that’s meant for hiking, and consider your height, your weight, and the hiking trip you’ll be going on. Also, select a backpack that’s made of durable materials. Plus, one with additional features like a rain cover is highly advisable, especially for hikes where the weather can be unpredictable.
These are the must-have for all the hikers out there. Whether you’re a pro or just a beginner, never afford to forget even one of the ten essentials. I highly suggest that you always make it a point to research the mountain you plan to hike. Also, check the weather conditions on the day of the hike. Take note: it pays to be well prepared.
It is essential to know what to wear while hiking. Even though walking through the trails is a fun hobby, it could also be a dangerous activity if you are not appropriately dressed. Before talking on the importance of wearing the proper hiking gear, let me first go through some of its benefits.
Some Amazing Benefits of Hiking and Going out in nature hiking has always been one of the most popular and enjoyable pastimes known to man. People are naturally drawn to the beauty of nature, and hiking is one way to immerse in that.
If you are trying to find alternative ways to do cardio and strength training, hiking provides a taste of both workouts while also giving you the opportunity to spend time out in the open.
Aside from allowing you to re-immerse yourself in nature and giving yourself a full-body workout, hiking has so many other benefits. Some of them are the following: It saves you from having a sedentary lifestyle. It improves overall health, both physically and mentally. It promotes social interaction with hiking buddies. It provides you with new life perspectives. It does not need too much to get into the hobby.
These are just some of the benefits of hiking, and there are many more to discover as you go through the hobby. While it is quite easy to start, you should know that there are a few things you need to prepare. However, before giving you a list of those few things, I’ll explain why it is crucial for you to know what to wear while hiking.
Why It Is Important to Wear Proper Hiking Gear
Knowing the essential gear to wear while hiking makes any trip safer and more enjoyable. If you have not yet realized, there are so many hazards to this kind of activity. The risk of meeting these potential dangers increases the longer you stay out in the open.
Wearing the proper clothes and bringing the right gear allows you to become more prepared for any unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances that could be unfavorable to yourself and your companions. In the outdoors, one usually does not have control over most of these situations, but being prepared can lessen the risk of the inevitable. Also, wearing the right attire would make you feel more comfortable staying in areas with harsh conditions.
The first thing you have to manage when hiking is the temperature and weather conditions. Conditions could be hot and cold or a combination of both in a single day. That is why you should be ready for both types of situations.
Other things to deal with are insects and wild animals. So, aside from wearing proper attire, you should also bring a few other tools to repel them. Lastly, there are times when accidents may happen while hiking. It does not matter how minor they may be, but during these times you have to be prepared to at least give first aid.
Below, I have listed down the things that I usually wear while hiking plus some gear that I bring to have a safer and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Here is a list of things that I bring when going out for a hike:
Hiking shoes, boots, or sandals – Perhaps the most critical gear I have on my list. Hiking is all about walking and moving from one place to another. That is why it takes a significant toll on the feet every time. A great pair of hiking footwear could provide your feet with sufficient protection.
Hiking socks – A nice pair of hiking socks is also needed for additional foot protection. Hiking socks are not like your average, everyday athletic or dress socks. They are thicker, breathable, and more durable. They also provide more cushioning and support to parts of the feet that need them the most.
Hiking trousers – These types of pants are typically lightweight, weatherproof, and made of extremely durable materials. They are also quite flexible and comfortable to wear, allowing you to bend, stretch, and crouch without worrying that your pants may rip. Mine has multiple pockets to store gear while it can also convert into a pair of shorts.
Hiking shirt – Hiking shirts are made of light materials that keeps sweat and moisture away from the skin. They can be long-sleeved or short-sleeved, or you may want to have both in one shirt. The same as with my trousers, my hiking shirt has zippers to remove the sleeves to make them shorter.
Waterproof jacket – This is essential apparel during rainy or cold weather. The ideal hiking jacket should be waterproof, lightweight, and easy to pack. This is because you don’t need to wear it all the time and it is mainly for emergency purposes. I usually keep mine inside my backpack.
Hat – A good, reliable cap is another necessary gear to wear during hiking trips. It is used to protect your head during both hot and wet weather conditions. I use a lightweight, breathable nylon hat that has a wide brim which I can easily store in a small pouch.
Sunglasses – Sunglasses are another essential gear for eye protection. Aside from protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare, eyeglasses may also act as goggles to shield your eyes from dust or dirt. I use a pair of ordinary sports sunglasses that protects even the sides of my eyes.
Backpack – A reliable and ultra-durable bag is one of the most important things to bring when hiking because it would carry all your water, food, and other gear. I have a medium-sized pack with lots of pockets and compartments. I don’t like to bring a massive backpack so that I could move more freely and would also be forced to carry only the essentials.
Other Gear and Equipment to Bring for a Safe Hiking Trip
Communication equipment – Don’t forget to bring your cell phone or a ham radio so you can communicate in case of emergencies. Smartphones could also be used as a compass, alarm, or GPS tracker if needed.
Tip: always tell someone where you are going, whether alone or with a group, during hiking trips.
Hiking poles – Hiking or trekking poles are good to use when treading any tough terrain. I used to think that they are only for the elderly. However, when I decided to try a pair a few years back, I could never go out to the trail again without them.
Flashlights – Quite handy to have in case you end up getting stranded and the sun has started to set, or you have to spend the night out in the woods. I need to use both of my hands, I bring a headlamp.
First aid kit – Always a vital part of my gear on any hiking trip. Aside from the usual first aid items such as bandages, plasters, gauze dressings, scissors, disinfectants, and medicines, I also include some duct tape, a whistle, and fire-starting materials.
Sunscreen, bug spray, and wild animal repellent – I also bring a few chemicals to help protect my skin from the sun and insects. Also, I carry a bear spray whenever I hike in a bear country.
Hygiene kit – This should be a necessary inclusion every time you go on a trip. The basic stuff includes soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, and some toilet papers.
Camera – A great addition to your hiking gear is a reliable camera. Use it to document your expedition by taking photos and shooting videos. I always bring a DSLR camera with a tripod when hiking.
Hiking should be safe and satisfying as long as you bring the right gear with you. Now that you know what to wear while hiking, it is time to spend some time outdoors on the weekend.
All the moving mechanical parts and components of your bicycle needs regular maintenance and care, and for that, you will also need the best lubricant for a bicycle chain.
Taking care and providing timely maintenance to the bike chain is important to achieve a smooth riding experience, improve the longevity of the bike components, and save you money from needing to change chains constantly.
However, the number of options for lubricants for bicycle chains available in stores is quite massive. It can be a bit confusing and intimidating to choose the best one especially for someone who has just started to get around biking or has just recently bought a bike.
To help make a good and easy choice in buying bike chain lubes, here’s an article specifically on how to choose the best chain lubricant.
3 Types of Lubricant for Bicycle Chain
When selecting the best lubricant for a bicycle chain, the very first thing you have to consider is the chain lube type to get. There are three chain lubes you can choose from, and this will mainly depend on the weather, terrain, and the riding you do.
Dry Chain Lubricant
The dry chain lubricants are thin-bodied and will attract very little grit and dust which can leave your chains as clean and dry as possible. However, since it is thin-bodied, you will most likely need to apply it regularly to the bike chains.
This kind of chain lubricant would be great for keeping your chains clean all throughout a day of bicycle touring.
Wet Chain Lubricant
As what its name implies, this type of chain lubricant is the total opposite of dry chain lubricant. It is a lube that attaches a film on the bike chain and because of its wetness, it can easily attract dirt and grit which can make your bike chains a bit nasty after a drive.
However, using a wet chain lubricant has also a big advantage. Unlike dry chain lubricant, this type of chain lube can last a bit longer, usually at least 1500 kilometres even in rain and mud. The only drawback would be cleaning the chain afterwards.
The wax chain lubricants work quite similarly with the dry chain lubricants and more. It dries up after being applied to the bike chains and because of that, it will attract little to no grit and grime all throughout the drive. However, the best feature of this type of chain lube is that it can significantly decrease friction.
The major downside, however, is you will most probably need to apply the lube more regularly than other lubricant types. Also, it won’t last that long when used in wet conditions.
Key Features to Consider When Buying Bike Chain Lube
Aside from the types of chain lubes, you might also want to consider other features that come with it.
Here are some best bike chain lube features you should keep an eye out for.
A bike chain lubricant that can repel dirt and grime will always be an advantage especially if you tend to ride across a dirty and muddy terrain. At the end of the bike ride, cleaning the chain can prove to be hard and tedious.
In these cases, a wax-based lube that dries up and turns to a dirt-repelling film can help.
If you are more of an eco-friendly person, like bike riders should be, you might want to consider getting a chain lubricant with an eco-friendly feature.
Most of the bike chain lubricants are made from petroleum, but not all of them are. You can find other chain lube options and alternatives that are made from biodegradable vegetable oil instead.
It is the eco-friendly version of bike chain lubes. This type of chain lube is non-toxic and is, therefore, a far better option for the environment.
A lot of the available bike chain lubricants contain a chemical called PTFE in their ingredients. This is most popularly known as the chemical Teflon. With this as an integral part of the chain lube, it can significantly help in lowering the friction in the chains. In turn, lesser friction can help in turning the cranks easier.
Which Type and Feature of Lube Are Best for You?
Again, some factors should be considered when you choose the best lubricant for your bike chain. The key is to match the chain lube to your bike’s use.
If you tend to go riding for long distances or in wet weather, you will need to use lubricants that will not easily get washed off and can withstand the common elements you face in nature.
In such cases, wet lubricants will work best. The only disadvantage is that it can attract a lot of grime and dirt. For that, you can always use a degreaser, and it will work like magic.
Riding in usually dirty conditions calls for a self-cleaning or wax-based chain lubricant. Its main advantage is to lessen the dirt and grime that sticks to the chains throughout the ride with its self-cleaning properties which will work best in this terrain condition. You’ll just need extra time to reapply the lube whenever necessary.
With some advancements in biking equipment these days, you might find a special “all condition” chain lubricant. It is a fairly thin chain lube in fluid form which can make running the lubrication to the bike chain a whole lot easier and quicker. It’s the best of both worlds since it won’t attract dirt and grit a lot, but also doesn’t need to be applied as often as the other lube types.
However, if you can’t find this kind of all-around chain lubricant, it is always best to consider the usual terrain you go for when riding and matching that to the best lubricant for a bicycle chain.
Keeping the bike chains clean regularly and applying the chain lube the right way will also make a difference. The best lubricant for a bicycle chain will also be as effective when you apply it right on a clean and already degreased bike chain.
If you have been bike riding for quite some time or have been learning more about your bike tires, you’ve probably learned or heard about carbon clincher wheels.
There are two types of bike tires, the clincher and tubular tires. The clinchers are considered as the standard, typical, and most common type of bike tires. It is the most widely used type for children and is used on bikes for mountain and BMX racing.
Clincher bike wheels have an outer carcass, and as what its name implies, the tires clinch to the wheel’s rim. Similar to the tires of cars, clinchers also have an open bottom, and it needs to have an inner tube to operate. Such a tube is what is holding the air, creating a solid pressure that goes against the tire.
The first ever fully carbon clincher was introduced in 1998 to create a bike tire that offers the same aerodynamic features and weight savings that a carbon tubular wheel can offer, but with the versatility and ease of a clincher.
Since then, the carbon clincher technology has only grown, offering a lightweight, stiff, aerodynamic, versatile, and also fashionable bike wheels.
Why Use Carbon Clinchers?
There are several reasons why you should choose carbon clinchers instead of its tubular counterpart.
It’s Way Cheaper
Compared to carbon tubular wheels, carbon clinchers are way cheaper. If you think that it is less expensive because it compromises the quality of the wheels, you’re definitely wrong.
The main reason why carbon clinchers are a bit less expensive is that when the wheel gets flat, you will only need to change the tube. Unlike when a carbon tubular gets flat, you will most likely have to change the whole tire.
It’s Easy to Use and Change
Since clincher tires are fairly common, most cyclists already know how to work on and with them. The opposite case goes with using tubular tires which is rather tedious to work with.
It requires to be glued to the rim and if you’re using it for the first time, learning how to change a carbon tubular can take some time.
It Makes Road Fixes Easy and Quick
When it comes to road fixes, carbon clinchers with its simplicity and familiarity with the design is a far better choice. Fixing a clincher is easier and quicker whereas fixing a tubular takes some patience and time.
It’s Readily Available
Since the carbon clincher is relatively common, you can mostly find an available clincher wheel for whatever bike tire model you are looking for. Whether you have a mountain bike, a bike trainer or a tri bike, carbon clinchers are widely available.
4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Carbon Clinchers
What things matter most when choosing the best carbon clincher wheels?
Choosing a carbon clincher is like any big investment. There are a lot of different factors you should consider depending on who you ask or talk to. It will also depend on what bike riding you usually do.
There are four basic factors you should consider when buying carbon clinchers. While some factors are better than the others, these four should never be taken for granted or sacrificed for the other.
The performance of a carbon clincher wheel considers and measures a lot of things such as its versatility, stiffness, comfort, aerodynamics, braking, handling, and acceleration.
The best carbon clincher should be able to offer versatility that allows it to be ridden in different terrain types from flats, corners, hills, mountains, windy roads, downhills, and others. It should offer excellent performance in whichever of these cases without compromise.
Acceleration is also an important matter in choosing a carbon clincher wheel. It should be able to offer great responsiveness whenever you spin or engage the pedals when going faster or harder.
When taking turns or getting the bikes where you want them to go, stiffer carbon clinchers will work best. The stiffness of the wheels will determine how precisely they follow the move you want to make.
When it comes to the performance of clincher wheels, braking is among the critical criterion. You’ll also want an all throughout comfort even on long rides or rides across uneven surfaces with the best carbon clinchers.
The design of the carbon clincher defines how well the wheelset performs. The criteria when it comes to carbon clincher design involves its wheel material and weight, profile and width, depth of the rim, spoke and hub selection, wheel finish, and the brake track.
The best carbon clincher well will most likely be one of the lightest there is as it can allow quick accelerations whenever you have to shift gears, head up to a climb, or increase your cadence. The depth of the rim will most likely determine the weight of the carbon clincher.
Also, the rim finish might be another thing you want to consider. While it won’t directly affect the performance of the carbon clincher, it’s a factor that affects the overall look of the clincher if that matters to you.
The quality of the carbon clincher wheel will determine its durability and the overall quality of the wheelset. The durability of the rim, hub, and spoke are among the most important. Most of the hubs in carbon clinchers are of high-quality and very durable, and most of the spokes are inexpensive and easy to replace.
Moderns carbon rims have also become more durable than before and are far better when it comes to durability compared to alloy rims.
In the end, the quality of the rim of a carbon clincher will depend on how high-quality the manufacturing company makes its products. In this case, you’ll also want to consider buying a carbon clincher wheelset that has at least two years’ warranty.
Compared to other wheels and wheel types, carbon clinchers tend to be a bit more expensive. This usually differs depending on the brand name and some other features. The key is to find the best carbon clincher that fits your budget.
Carbon clinchers are fairly common and widely used in most bikes, and because they are widely available, choosing the best for your bike can be tedious.
If you are trying to start with cycling, you might have heard about cadence a lot. If you are a cycling fan and have watched professional cyclists, you might have been awed at how smooth and efficient they ride. They create such fluid movements whether they are riding on flat terrain or steep inclines. That is all because of cadence.
So, what is a cadence? Is it essential for cycling?
This article will help you understand more about cycling cadence and its importance. Plus, some tips on how you can improve your cycling cadence.
What Is Cycling Cadence?
Cycling cadence, simply put, is the number of revolution a cyclist makes for every minute. It is the cyclist’s pedaling rate which is also directly proportional to the bike wheel’s speed.
Every cyclist has their comfortable cadence while they are riding and it changes with gearing. Depending on how many gears a bike has, cyclists preferred cadence can be achieved at different speeds.
Why Is Cycling Cadence Important?
There are several reasons why cycling cadence is important, but the best reason would be that it can naturally enhance your cycling performance. Choosing a cadence when riding helps you in minimizing fatigue without needing to reduce your metabolic demand.
With your preferred cadence, you can pedal faster while exerting less strain on your muscles for every stroke and crank. Once you have achieved the best cycling cadence, you will be able to ride through the lower gear and use your slow-twitch muscles.
In turn, you can burn fat as fuel, recover quicker during rest, and become more resistant to the fatigue.
Cycling cadence can be broken down into three basic components: exertion, power, and endurance. It’s the answer to how much exertion is required to obtain your maximum cycling power and how you can maintain being on that level.
What Is a Great Cycling Cadence?
There is simply no single “ideal” cadence that works for all cyclists. It mainly depends on you and what type of cyclist you are.
Cycling cadence can be differentiated into two: fast cadence or spinning, and slow cadence or mashing. The main difference between fast and slow cycling cadence is the type of muscles each cadence type uses. Fast cadence will require the use of slow-stitching muscles while slow cadence relies on fast-twitching muscles.
Studies show that with a higher cadence, the blood flow to your muscles will increase and you can also get an increase in your aerobic performance. With a higher cadence, you will most likely get greater power output which can give you lots of benefits when cycling either on or off-road surfaces.
That is because, with a high cycling cadence, the stress and strain in your leg muscles are reduced, allowing you to ride for a long time without developing fatigue.
If you are usually taking part in several simultaneous days of cycling events, cycling in a higher cadence can help you save energy for the last part of the event. It saves energy while also keeping the legs less fatigued.
Another benefit of riding at a fast cadence is that instead of putting the stress in your legs, it puts the strain on the cardiovascular system instead which is great for your overall fitness.
At low cadence, you are most likely to use higher gear which demands higher oxygen and blood to your muscles. In this case, you will be forced to use your fast-twitching muscles, burning glycogen for fuel instead of fat. It will also take you a long time to recover and experience fatigue far quicker.
You can either choose to have a 60 to 70 rpm cycling cadence or go as much as 85 rpm. It mainly depends on what you prefer and what you can do.
Simply put, a good cycling cadence would be the rate that allows you to improve your efficiency when cycling as well as to increase your speed and allows you to pedal faster for a much longer time with less fatigue.
Why Get a Cadence Sensor
There are ways you can improve your cycling cadence. For every cycling beginner and those who are trying new techniques in cycling, a cadence sensor will significantly help. It’s a must for cyclists and bikers as it allows you to measure your energy output.
Getting a cadence or cycling sensor offers a wide range of information you need to maximize your workout results. The information you get will mainly depend on what sensor you have.
This device determines the distance and speed of your ride based on the circumference of the wheel of the bike.
This sensor only detects the rotations of the crank arm for every minute.
Speed and Cadence Sensor
This is the most popular cycling sensor there is which is a single but a combination of sensors for every cyclist. It can detect and give information on both speed and cadence of the cyclist.
While there are a lot of separate cadence sensors you can get from a lot of bicycle shops; some bikes already have a built-in frame-integrated sensor.
Improving Cycling Cadence Tips
Do you want to enhance your cycling cadence? These are some helpful tips you can try.
Listen to Music
Listening to music when riding can help improve your cadence. However, it will depend on the music you are listening to. If it’s a something with a faster beat, it can help you pedal faster without even noticing. Find music that has a rhythm that matches your preferred cadence or one that will make you go a bit faster.
Select the Proper Gear
Selecting proper gear when riding can be very important in improving your cadence. Your choice of gear will mainly depend on the terrain you are riding, whether it is a flat stretch or a hill. Slip into an appropriate gear that makes riding as comfortable and as efficient as possible.
Cycling cadence is important especially if you are training for longs rides. Cadence can differ for every cyclist, but you can definitely improve yours.
However, you first have to understand why is cadence important in cycling – it allows you to pedal faster and for a long time without experiencing a lot of fatigue.
The power to weight ratio or PWR is a frequently quoted phrase when it comes to cycling, especially for bikers and cyclists who are usually struggling when riding on steep terrains. It is also one of the most important formulas for a lot of cycling contenders.
Furthermore, the PWR is also considered a great level when it comes to cycling. It is a measurement that allows a comparison between the abilities of cyclists that varies in size.
Simply put, the power to weight ratio is a way to compare two cyclists of different size or weight, and predict which one is more likely to go uphill at a faster rate.
Cyclists and riders that have a higher PWR value will have a more significant advantage when it comes to riding on a steep and mountainous terrain.
PWR is a critical performance marker and here are the things you need to know about it.
Cycling 101: Calculate Your Power to Weight Ratio
Calculating the power to weight ratio is easy.
You simply get your average power for a given time and divide it by your weight in kilograms. That will provide you with the PWR for that given duration.
What Makes a Good Power to Weight Ratio?
What constitutes a good PWR?
One of the common questions when it comes to getting the good PWR is “is lighter always better?”
Generally, a lighter rider would be better. However, a cyclist can also be too light which won’t be good at all.
A good PWR will mainly depend on the period as well as the level, or the type of cyclist you are. Professional cyclists and riders tend to have superior PWR value regardless of the period. That is because pro cyclists tend to ride at their near maximum capacity with a much lesser build-up of metabolites that causes muscle fatigue compared to amateur and recreational cyclists.
Cyclists that are bigger and larger have more muscles and can most likely provide a greater power output. Yet, that also means they have more mass that can drag them when riding uphill.
On the other hand, riders with a smaller build have a lesser mass to accelerate that can take them down with gravity. However, they carry less muscle which means they create a slightly lower power output.
The PWR value makes the biggest difference whenever you need to climb a slope. Bike climbers usually tend to find their PWR of most use at most crucial climbs which are at the steepest part of the hill.
A high PWR allows you to accelerate sharply whenever the grade becomes too steep. Essentially, the hillier the terrain is, the PWR value becomes more important.
PWR also makes the biggest difference whenever you need to accelerate which is why a lot of sprinters also try to keep themselves lean and achieve a high PWR ratio.
3 Ways to Increase Power to Weight Ratio
The PWR will only be affected by two factors, your weight, and your power output. There are three ways you can improve and increase your PWR value by only altering these two.
Increase Power Output While Maintaining Your Weight: If you try to increase your power output even without losing some of your weight, your PWR value will still increase significantly.
Maintain Power Output While Decreasing Your Weight: If you can only maintain your power output, but you can find ways to decrease your weight, the PWR value you get afterwards will still increase a bit.
Increase Power Output While Simultaneously Decreasing Your Weight: The best way for you to increase your PWR value is to alter both weight and power output factors the best way. You can increase your power output while also decreasing your weight and the PWR value that will result will be significantly doubled compared to when you are only going to alter one factor at a time.
In addition, if you increase your power output but your weight also increases at the same rate, your PWR value will not improve and will stay the same. The same goes for riders who lose a significant amount of weight but also experience a drop in their maximum power output.
Tips to Improve Power to Weight Ratio
Increasing power, reducing your body weight, or a combination of both can significantly increase your PWR value. So, how can you achieve these things the best way?
Improving and increasing your PWR value will mainly depend on your riding background.
Ride More Miles: If you are a beginner or a novice in cycling, you can improve your PWR value by simply riding more miles. Aside from it can boost your aerobic fitness or the level of power output you can sustain, it can also help you lose a significant amount of body fat.This way, you get the best of both worlds – increasing your power output and decreasing your body weight.
Do Some Specific Training for Better Power Output: However, for more experienced cyclists, merely increasing the miles you are going for will not significantly increase the PWR value. Adding more miles to your already very long rides might help burn extra fat, but it will also give you an increased risk of muscle fatigue and burnout.In addition, trying to reduce weight if you already have low body-fat levels can lead to a loss of muscle mass. This might end up with reduced power since your muscles mainly generate it.A better option for increasing the PWR value for experienced and fitter riders is to do specific training to boost power output. It can include intervals, threshold rides, and hill repeats.
Regular Weight Training: Regular weight training can also help more experienced riders to improve PWR value. It helps boost muscle efficiency as well as helping prevent muscle power loss during weight loss periods or high-volume training.
Nutrition: Whatever riding capacity you have, nutrition is still a key to improve PWR value significantly. Consuming a well-balanced diet that has little amounts of fats, sugar, and processed foods will be a huge part of increasing power but decreasing your weight.
Plentiful protein intake will also be necessary for repair and recovery after your training.
For the elite cyclist, the main rule is to be as strong but as light as possible. That is the same principle you should follow if you want to increase your power to weight ratio.