Cycling, whether stationary or mobile, is a great way to relieve stress, tone your muscles, and find a fun way to get some personal time in. In order to fully understand and appreciate it however, you must first understand the various parts of your bike and how they work together.
The first bicycles were developed early in the 19th century, fashioned with a wooden frame and without pedals. It was more of a “pushbike,” than anything like modern day bicycles.
The next phase involved wheels of different sizes, and balance troubles. Today’s bicycles are engineered depending on the purpose for their intended use.
Cycling has become hugely popular over the last few decades, with more attention drawn to health and fitness. Competitions take place all over the world with people of all backgrounds and abilities participating.
When it comes to your bike, an integral development in modern design was the chain drive. Older forms of bicycles warranted the rider to be above a large wheel in order for the bicycle to mobilize.
With the invention of the chain and gears, the rider could now be placed between two equally sized wheels enabling more efficient pedaling. The implementation of gears is especially beneficial for uphill cycling.
Anyone with the prior experience of standing up on the pedals to generate more power has an idea of why there is a need for gears. Gears allow the rider to pedal at a level rate without intense strain dedicated to particular portions of the ride.
Within the last two decades, manufacturers have paid close attention to the materials that make a bicycle. Believe it or not, earlier bikes were composed of cast iron and wood which greatly limited durability and speed.
Today’s bicycles are structured from titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber. They are now made lighter, stronger, and more conducive to the ride than ever before.
Any regular rider will tell you that the engineering of the cycle is not the only issue in riding, but outside factors play a part in the ride as well. Wind resistance plays a major factor in the ease of a rider’s pace.
Manufacturers have been playing close attention to improve the state of aerodynamics for both the rider and the cycle. The more wind a rider encounters, the more strenuous the ride becomes to counter the resistance they are met with.
Manufacturers with optimal aerodynamics in mind, ideally seek to “streamline” the shape of the rider and cycle in order for them to more easily “cut” through the wind. Scientists pledge that though great power disturbs the wind’s limitations, aerodynamic efficiency will become a bigger advantage to a rider.
Cycling enthusiasts need to keep themselves in proper shape, eat right, and stay hydrated during the course of their cycling careers. They need to keep a balance of water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
You should always take a few drinks before embarking on a ride, to stay regularly hydrated throughout the process. If a cyclist loses as little as 2% of body fluids due to sweating, it can be harmful to their health.
Major helpers in the cycling process are the thighbones and shinbones. The thighbone generates much of the propulsion and will be advantageous if longer than the shinbone.
Cyclists become concerned with their heart rates, because it has a direct affect on their health and conditioning. The components of the circulatory system are the heart, the arteries, the capillaries, and the veins.
With every contraction of the heart, blood is being pushed through a person’s system. The frequency of the contractions is equal to the heart rate.
The amount of blood moved to the cells of the body per minute is the product of the heart rate and the amount of blood being pumped by the heart. Physical activity causes the need for more oxygen, so the circulatory system will produce more output.
The amount of blood pumped per heartbeat increases and the efficiency of the exchange process at the capillary level improves. The benefits of a solid cardiovascular workout include a lower resting heart rate, and the increased capacity at your maximum.
With the right bike and the right attitude, you can become a master of the road. Talk to a professional shop today about your goals, and get fitted with the right equipment to begin!
Jack R. Landry has been writing about the exercise and health industry for years. He recommends using exercise bikes to stay healthy and fit.
Jack R. Landry