The Defy series of bikes are considered "endurance" or "fondo" geometry. This geometry affects both the rider's position and the behavior of the bike. Basically these bikes can be set up with higher handlebars and less reach from seat to handlebars to offer a more welcoming, comfortable fit. The bike's "feel" is more forgiving and absorbs more road vibration. These bikes work well for people who are new to road riding, less flexible, or less aggressive. Don't be fooled though. Defy models are used at the top level of pro cycling for races that take place on rougher roads (think John Degenkolb winning Paris-Roubaix in 2015 on a Defy) and still have the ability to fit more aggressively than most riders would ever want.
In addition to the bike's geometry, componentry is adjusted for Defy bikes. Most notable are; disc brakes, slightly wider tires which are more comfortable and less prone to flats, gearing - with a broader range of gears to help on the hills and lastly seatposts designed to reduce shock & vibration for more rider comfort.
This is a category that Giant dominates for a number of reasons. The level of components, quality of carbon and ride quality are all standouts. Once price is considered, the bikes are just an obvious choice.
Ladies models typically have adjusted geometry to fit a "stereotypical" lady: meaning longer legs, shorter torso, short arms and narrower shoulders than a same-sized male.
Some ladies don't have the proportions that make sense of a lady's fit. Be open to the idea of a unisex (mens) bike if that is the case...
The Liv/Giant Avail series of bikes is one of the most popular lines of road bikes designed for the ladies. With category leading ride quality and carbon technology it is a bit amazing that these bikes are "best in class" value as well.
Avail bikes are designed to be comfortable yet they have enough flexibility to fit quite aggressively too. We love this feature because we can initially fit the bike quite comfortably then adjust as the riders fitness, core-strength and flexibility start to suit a more aggressive set up.
2017 Giant/Liv Avail Advanced 2
22 Speed Shimano 105 groupo
34/50T Cranks & 11-32 cassette
Hydraulic Shimano disc brakes for increased power, especially in wet
Giant PR-2 Rims
2017 Giant/Liv Avail Advanced 1
22 Speed Shimano Ultegra groupo
34/50T Cranks & 11-32 cassette
Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes for increased power, especially in wet
Cyclocross bikes have become very popular. The idea of a bike that appears at a glance to be a road bike but has a bad attitude and yearning for the rough stuff pretty much sums up a cyclocross bike.
These bikes are used to race, commute, tour and road ride. So versatile, so sexy. These can be fabulous commuter bikes! Fast meets Efficient meets Tough.
You don't want fabric flapping in the breeze - wind is the enemy.
Pedal at a cadence of 90 rpm for 3 hours. Loose fabric will rub exposed skin over 16,000 times.
The chamois (ass padding) needs to be held firmly in place or it too will rub your ass or inner thighs 16,000 times.
At the end of the season you can see how good the season was by looking at the perfectly defined tan line on your thighs.
Seeing your leg muscles develop is awesome incentive and reward for riding lots.
Non-cyclists look at you funny when you wear your spandex. Cyclists (other roadies at least) look at you funny if you aren't wearing spandex (during a ride).
There are no reasons to wear spandex if you aren't cycling. None. (Unless you're dressing as Axel Rose for Halloween).
Why Bright Jerseys?
Because that is just what you do.
Being seen by motorists is safe.
Our bikes don't have motors. We can't make obnoxious noises like the Harley guys to be noticed by motorists. We have to wear noise.
Easier to find in the drawer full of free white T-shirts from every event, run, charity and work picnic you've attended.
Why the funny shoes?
Cycling shoes have rigid soles which transfer energy best
Foot cramps: would be brutal trying to ride for a few hours in regular shoes
Clipping into your pedals allows you to push and pull and prevents feet from slipping all over the pedals
A secret yearning to sound like Sammy Davis Jr. (think tap-shoes) when you walk into a cafe
When you walk into the cafe, other cyclists will know you are hardcore
Carbon is aweseme
The more carbon on your bike, the more carbon it will feel and sound
A well made carbon frame or structural part (fork, handlebar, stem, crank, seatpost) results in an undescribable feel. Less vibration, more mmmmmmmmm.
Carbon is LIGHT.
Why the slim/unpadded seats?
It proves you're hardcore
Anything that feels soft and cushy on a 15 minute ride, will feel aweful on a 150 km ride
a Wide seat would rub you in the wrong places 16,000 times in 3 hours
If you're positioned correctly and ride lots, a good, slim/unpadded saddle is the most comfortable choice.
Why Shaved Legs?
Tradition. It has always been done by roadies and always will
Massage. In an ideal world, every ride over 100km is followed by a leg massage which just doesn't feel as good with hairy legs
Hair Shorts. This is when your leg-hair passes through your spandex. Looks like yuk and and feels not much better.
Easier to get bandages to stick to smooth skin and clean thoroughly
Cyclists legs are like hot-rod engines - clean and polished is the way to treat a quality machine
Helps to show muscle definition - a great motivator for serious cyclists
You aren't a hypocrite when bugging your wife/girl-friend about keeping their legs nice and smooth
Psychological: smooth legs are like the tour athlete's, so they must be faster
Easier to get a perfectly defined tan line.
If your life revolves around road bikes; shaving the legs is a must; back to #1 - Tradition.
9 Random Road Bike Thoughts
Forget your modesty. Spandex is frightening in regular life but serves a purpose on a road bike. You'll cut through the wind, reduce abrasion on your private parts and look funny in the mirror. The ass-padding is crucial for riding comfort! Life is cruel to some of us.
Pain? Your ass will hurt at first. No matter how good or expensive your saddle, the first rides of the season will cause discomfort. Suck it up. If you don't find relief after your third ride, buy a better saddle.
Straight legs are for tables. Your legs should not straighten completely at the bottom of the pedal stroke - go directly to Bike Bros, get fitted, quit wrecking your knees.
Pump up your tires. 100 psi is great for most riders on most road bikes. Do Not exceed the tires recommended maximum pressure but for tires with a max pressure of 160psi (for example) that is
and indication of how much pressure the tire can handle, not a recommendation for riding pressure.
Take plenty of water, a small tool kit, small pump, wind vest and a credit card. The water should be sipped regularly. The other stuff will just sit there and do nothing. On the other hand, if you don't have it, that'll be the ride your derailleur will get tweaked, you'll pop a tire and get the urge for a coffee at your destination.
Think posture. Try to keep your upper body relaxed. Keep arms and shoulders loose or you'll waste valuable energy looking like a statue.
Be a geek. A bike computer is your friend. Get one with cadence so you can be sure you're pedalling in the zone - the zone ranges from 80-100+ rpm - this is where you get max output from min input.
Wear a helmet. Riding a wheelchair is way less fun than riding a bike.
Learn to ride in a group. Start with 1 or 2 friends. See how it feels to draft behind a friend, take turns pulling (guy at the front).
I'm writing this while there is a foot of snow on the ground and the temperature is -20. Please mama, take me some place warm. I need to ride.
Road Bikes: an introduction.
New road bikes are expensive. Old road bikes suck. Hence the need for a new bike.
Here are some tips
Road Bikes start at $800 and sky is the limit for price after that.
$800 bikes weigh 23-24lbs. $6000 bikes weigh 15lbs. Part of what you pay for is saving weight.
From cheapest to expensive, Shimano components groups are; Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and finally Dura Ace.
Campagnolo (Campy) cheapest to most expensive is Veloce, Centaur, Athena, Chorus, Record, Super Record. You won't see many bikes around with less than Chorus - Chorus bikes start at about $5500.
Sram cheapest to pricey are: Apex, Rival, Force, Red
Wheels: Every bit as important as the quality of the components. Saving weight on wheels and getting smoother rolling hubs may be more important than stepping up to the next level gruppo on your bike.
In General: as prices increase, weight goes down, tollerences are tighter (better fit and finish), performance goes up.
There are cases where spending more money will result in a bike less suitable for a novice rider. Between how a bike "feels" and how it is geared, some ultra expensive bikes may be very light - but be less fun to ride for beginners.
Carbon is awesome. Get as much carbon fiber on your bike as possible. There is something magical about .
Road Bikes are not touring bikes. Don't load road bikes with bulky, heavy paniers. You will experience endless flats, be uncomfortable and potentially damage your bike. We can get you into a touring bike if that is your goal!
Road Bike Technology
Gears: Road Bikes need gears - lotsa them. This is the key to keeping your cadence (pedalling speed) in
that max output/min input mode. If you are new to road riding, bike companies are doing a much better job of catering to your needs with
enough gears and broad enough range of gears that hills will be doable and perhaps ever fun.
Modern road bikes have either 20 or 22 speeds. The shifting is indexed,
meaning your shifter clicks into each gear - when adjusted correctly (we are the only shop in the world
that can do this) the shifting will be smooth, quiet and quick. These days, if you hear "10 speed", that refers to the number
of sprockets on the rear wheel - resulting in up to 30 speeds (10X3). 11 Speed is becoming the new standard so most new bikes are 22 speeds (2x11).
Frames & Forks: Carbon is light, strong and absorbs vibration. Carbon has become so popular that we seldom sell non-carbon road bikes. Even for cyclists who claim, "I'm not that serious", once they try a carbon bike they can't imagine buying anything else.
Road Race Terminology
A sudden attempt to get away from another rider
When a rider tries to get in the way of other riders, usually done as part of a team strategy to slow down the main field when other team members are ahead in a breakaway
Known as "hitting ht wall" in marathon running, this is when a rider completely runs out of energy
If you're lucky, you get this from your partner (and a massage) following each ride. If you're unlucky, you can't do this because you have been riding a bad saddle for too long.
When a rider or group of riders gets off the front of the main pack.
A classic cycling movie
Bridge the Gap
When a rider or group of riders is attempting to reach a group farther ahead
Riders who are attempting to "bridge the gap" to catch the lead group. Can also refer to whatever follows cheap tequila.
Cranks with only two, smaller sprockets than traditional. They provide a wider range of gears, especially lower gears.
A multi-lap event on a course usually a mile or less in length and of medium total distance, usually 25-75 miles
The mechanism that moves the chain from one gear to another
Pronounced "Director sporteef" this is the manager of the team
A rider who sacrifices any individual honors to the team leader who is in contention to win
Riding closely behind another rider, which creates a slipstream, or air pocket. The lead rider expends up to 30 percent more energy than the following rider does
To leave another rider or riders behind by attacking. Losing contact with the group in which they are riding will drop fatigued riders
In strong side-winds, echelons form. Instead of riders all being one behind the other, the group is angled off to the side away from the wind.
At some point during a long road race it is necessary for riders to replace expended energy. Riders are given a "musette," a small cloth bag, containing food and water bottles. Riders grab the bag from the team support personnel, remove the contents and put them in the pockets of their jerseys to eat when most convenient. They generally prefer high-energy foods that break down quickly.
The main group of riders, also known as the "pack," "peloton," or "bunch". If you are riding in Banff and you pass Field you have gone too far.
The final sprint between a group of riders, not necessarily for first place
Force the Pace
When one rider or team goes harder than the pack to increase the tempo
The distance between individuals or groups. The place you'd find clothing absolutely not suited for riding a road bike.
Very steady, strenuous pedaling usually done with baggy -80s style pants, as in Hammer Time. Also called "jamming"
Barely keeping contact at the back of the pack
When one rider, either on purpose or by accident, uses his/her rear wheel to hit the front wheel of the rider behind him/her.
Informed me my definitions for echelon and breakaway were screwey so I promptly fixed.
A sudden acceleration, often at the start of the sprint. Or a Van Halen tune, often at the front of 1984 album, as in hide - your buddies are coming over.
The final burst of speed in a sprint. If someone has "kick" it typically means they can accellerate where other riders are topped out for speed.
An intentional and often sacrificial move where one rider begins a sprint to give a head start to another rider (usually a teammate) on his rear wheel, who then comes around at an even faster speed to take the win.
Musette The flimsy bag given to riders at feed stations. Often filled with bananas, water bottles, flat coke.... Also a cafe in Vancouver catering to cyclists.
Cycling's term for a rookie at the professional level
Pronounced "preem." A race-within-a-race where riders sprint for prizes on a designated lap or at a certain point in a race, i.e., the "sponsor" Teamwork Challenge. Also known as a the stupidest thing you will ever do for a free water bottle.
To take a turn at the front and break the wind for the other riders in the pack.
To move to one side so that another rider can take a turn at the front.
Move to the front of a pace line, from second spot, after the lead riders swings off to the front.
Someone who rides a road bike. Also someone who is good with duct tape.
A term for the scabs and marks caused by a crash. Ouch!
When one rider refuses to take a pull and break the wind for the group in which he/she is riding. A derogatory term is "Wheel Sucker"
The pocket of air created by a moving rider, just as in automobile or motorcycle racing. See "drafting". Also see what is in your parent's driveway - the silver thing.
Pronounced "Swa-neur" Comparable to a trainer in other sports, this person gives massages and watches the physical health of the riders along with the team doctors
Pedalling at a high cadence.
A sudden burst of speed for the finish of a race involving more than one rider. Also a 1000-meter event on a bicycle track called a "velodrome."
A series of individual races- time trials, road races, circuit races or criteriums - grouped into one event that lasts several days. The rider who has the lowest accumulated time for all stages determines the winner. The most famous stage race in the world is the Tour de France, which spans 2,500 miles in 21 or 22 days.
Take a Flyer
When one rider goes off the front of the pack, usually alone.
An individual race against the clock, often called the "race of truth."
A bike specifically designed for triathalon racing. Has steeper seat-tube and aero bars. These designs are forbidden in road racing because they do not follow the guidelines established to control bike design. The price tag will ensure you don't confuse with tri-cycle.
A bike designed for Velodrome racing. True track bikes have one fixed gear, are very light, have short cranks (so the pedals don't hit the steeply banked velodrome corners.)
A term for cranks with 3 gears or what you order after a bad race.
An oval banked track, usually 333.33 meters in length. In general, track riders and road riders compete in separate kinds of events. The difference in training and ability is similar to the difference between sprinters and long-distance runners.
A derogatory term, referring to a rider who always sits in and never expends any energy by taking a pull at the front.
We're hearing of more and more people who are looking to explore a little further, get away from traffic and get out for an epic ride - and for them Gravel Roads are a treat. South of the border
this has increased in popularity so much that gravel racing is becoming its own sport. Key features for a gravel bike: tires with a bit more volume than traditional road tires, slightley relaxed frame geometry
and the use of cromolly in the frame. Disc brakes are common too. Get yourself a Raleigh Tamland and see how far you can go...