Knee pain from cycling?

Just like everything else, the bicycle has to fit the rider’s anatomy. If we ride without adjusting the bicycle to our needs, it could result in knee pain, which is a common issue with riders.knee_pain_man_holding1

The 4 most common causes of knee pains are due to improper saddle height or position, have a crank that is too long for the rider, rider pushing excessively high gears, or poor foot alignment.

Here are a few things you can try out before heading to the doctor’s.
If the pain is in the front of the knee (Anterior Pain):

Pushing too high gears          ->              Lower gear, and increase cadenceknee-anatomy-diagram

Saddle too low or far forward             ->              Raise seat or move seat back

Foot too far forward on the pedal              ->           Move foot back to have toes in line with the pedal

Crank arms too long         ->             Shorten crank arms by 2.5 cm
If the pain is in the back of the knee (Posterior Pain):

Saddle too high or far back          ->          Lower seat, or move seat forward

Too much pedal float             ->           Limit float to 6 – 8 degrees
If the pain is in the inner side of the knee (Medial Pain):

Incorrect foot position on pedal (toes pointed out)          ->             Narrow foot position by adjusting foot parallel to bicycle

Too little pedal float          ->              Limit float to 6 – 8 degrees

If the pain is in the outer side of the knee (Lateral Pain):

Incorrect foot position on pedal (toes pointed in)          ->              Widen foot position by adjusting foot parallel to bicycle
Too little pedal float           ->             Limit float to 6 – 8 degrees

If all else fails, you might just need supplements to aid you. Consider Jointplex Pro. We sell  them and many experience its efficacy.

Keen to try for 5 days? Contact us and we will arrange for you to collect at either store:

 

LifeGlider – mobility device that assists you to walk

Singapore like many Asian countries is aging fast. With it we have a growing population faced with illnesses that comes with the aging population. Of course diet, exercise and Senior people walking outdoorsgood management of lifestyles goes a long way to have a better retirement life.

But what happens when tragedy strikes and you suffer a stroke or lost your ability to walk independently? The rehabilitation regime is always a walking aid. But most walking aids require you to hold on to it and your posture is often not ideal.  They are not on wheels (therefore mobility is slow) and you will need your hand(s) to operate.

walking aids 2

 

Enter the LifeGlider™. It is a new mobility device that permits upright, hands-free mobility.

It is designed to reduce the fear of falling and the fatigue sometimes associated with struggling to walk.

lg users

The patented LifeGlider represents an evolution in assistive mobility devices, and is

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unique in the way it secures the user’s center of gravity. This enables upright posture, balance, and greater confidence as the fear of falling is minimized. Securing the body’s center frees the hands, since gripping the device is not necessary. (No need to hold the device – the device holds you.)

 

THE KEY TO STABILITY: SECURING THE CENTER OF GRAVITY

posture LG

BUILT-IN SEAT: FOR FULL OR PARTIAL WEIGHT ALLEVIATION

The LifeGlider’s built-in seat is positioned to support the pelvis at the seat bones, and may be used to alleviate all, some, or no weight, as needed. When walking, the seat provides extra security and stability, enabling even those with limited leg strength to enjoy mobility and conduct daily activities

 

LG to change the world

 

Not convinced? Come to My Bike Shop Stores to trial the LifeGlider.

Rides with friends of MBS/BRU – which ride should I join?

Covid 19 Phase 2 UPDATE: We are observing recommendations and ride groups must stick to the 5 pax 1 m recommendations

Our rides attendance is steadily growing and often we get responses from people why 458b3c45-4350-4905-93e4-9dc60145379ethey do not join mostly centering around  a few reasons:

“You guys are too fast”

“I do not like riding on the road”

“I do not ride at night”

We FULLY understand. but we have a growing number of riders AND we observe a few things:

  1. We ride at speeds we are comfortable
  2. We advocate safety (Helmets, lights and observation of traffic rules)
  3. We wait for each other and especially newbies

If you look at our photos shared, a number of our riders are women and young adults and our rider ages have a wide range from 16 to 60 years. We typically split into 2 groups: the regulars and the noobs.

Routes on Fridays are the Western side of Singapore, at that time of the evening, traffic thins after 9pm.

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With the new rules and speed limits on PCNs, the newbie rides for Saturday mornings have to be at locations where the roads are quiter and so far, we have identified Seletar Aerospace Hub as a good route. We will be encouraging riders to ride the “horseshoe circuit” on the road as it is 10km each time. Also it allows riders to build up confidence while on the road.

For those who are thinking of joining us, below is a guide

Ride guide

Last but not least the Monday night rides:

3-4 loops around Seletar Aerospace hub at night. This one is just sustained rides at the average 28-30km/h pace. We have strong riders who pull the rest and it is a ride regime that allows you to train up your stamina.

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See you soon!

Hold on to your MBS Tune up cards – you get 10% off your 2nd purchase for bikes and Free return delivery for full serviced folding bikes

  • 10% discount on 2nd bike purchases*
  • Free return transport for Folding bikes sent for FULL service**
  • Applicable from 1 October 2017

MBS Card 1 Oct

Cardholders can get 10% discount for their 2nd purchases and help their friends enjoy these discounts too. Discounts cannot be combined with promotional and clearance items.

Terms and conditions are as follows:

* Cash terms and not applicable on promotional and clearance items

Image result for 10% discount

* Inner tube replacement is no longer extended

* Not applicable for Clearance or bikes on Sale and limited to 3 bikes per purchase

* Owner of original card MUST be present

When you book your bikes for FULL service (Folding bikes ONLY), it now comes with free delivery back to your home or office.

Terms and conditions are as follows:

** Service must be paid in full when folding bike is deposited

** Delivery within Singapore and delivery between 10am to 4pm. ADD S$10 for after 4pm requests

Diabetes – a concern for Singaporeans

A silent killer especially Type 2 Diabetes. we should watch this very carefully. This blog entry is adapted from Texas Diabetes Council. Some hard facts that will make one sit up. That by 2050, 1 million Singaporeans could be affected by diabetes. But diabetes has other longer term complications that makes this disease so dreadful.

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In 2005 when we decided with a goal to make exercise convenient but avoid the membership gyms was our goal. Hence the notion of a pair of inline skates, folding bike or that you could unpack  anywhere an exercise you reach home from the office came about.

Many people have diabetes and don’t know it because they don’t have any symptoms. Diabetes causes your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) to be too high. Because the cells in your body can’t turn the blood sugar into energy, the sugar builds up and can damage many parts of your body, such as your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Over time, diabetes can cause stroke, heart attack, or coma.

Some helpful Myth busters

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In so many years, exercise is one thing but we believe that diet remains the key – what we ingest from carbo and liquids makes that difference! Go for low GI rice – basmati rice, drink alkaline, high oxygen water and take your slow release Vitamin C.

Go for low GI rice – basmati rice, drink alkaline, high oxygen water and take your slow release Vitamin C AND complement that with regular exercise. Those who are high risk to diabetes or already diagnosed with Prediabetic, you can manage this dreaded disease.

There are 3 types of diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?

Watch video »

Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-Dependent Diabetes)

  • The body’s own immune system fights the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
  • Sometimes called juvenile diabetes, but it can affect people at any age.
  • Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, dehydration, blurred vision, and weight loss.
  • No cure, but patients can control their blood sugar with daily insulin shots.
  • Not preventable.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Watch video »

Type 2 Diabetes (Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes)

  • The body doesn’t make enough insulin, or it can’t use the insulin correctly, so the cells can’t process blood sugar correctly.
  • Most common type of diabetes.
  • Often has no symptoms.
  • Family history can increase risk.
  • Being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, and having high blood pressure increase risk.
  • Can be prevented with healthy eating and physical activity.

What is gestational diabetes?

Watch video »

Gestational Diabetes

  • Affects some women during pregnancy.
  • Family history can increase risk.
  • Being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, and having high blood pressure increase risk.
  • Often prevented with healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Increases risk of problems during pregnancy.
  • Usually disappears after pregnancy, but mom has increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Babies are more likely to be obese and have diabetes.

Taking a few simple steps can help you reduce your risk and prevent type 2 diabetes.

Set a weight loss goal.

If you’re overweight, the key to preventing diabetes is to lose weight. The most successful plans use a combination of eating healthy foods that are lower in fat and calories, and being physically active. Set a goal that you can achieve. A loss of five to seven percent (3 to 5 kgs for a 75kg person) can have a big impact on lowering your risk of diabetes.

Eat healthy foods.

Choosing to eat healthy foods will help you reach your weight loss goal. Figure out how many calories and fat grams you should have per day. Set a goal for losing one to two pounds each week.

Move more. Walk, Run or Cycle!

Image result for walk run cycle

Spokes – Spoken or Silent?

Why Spokes Break

Bike spokes are a pretty simple part of your bike. They support your weight and transfer power from the hub to the wheel. Problems with spokes are pretty infrequent, but still do happen from time to time. The most common problem a cyclist will have with their spokes is the occasional broken spoke. This happened to me with some regularity as I’m what they used to call in boys’ jeans sizes, “husky.” You’ll just be going down the road and suddenly hear a noise like TWANGGG! (and it does sound like that). Even if you don’t hear the spoke break, you’ll likely feel it, because the your wheel will usually go all wobbly.

Sometimes if you mash down particularly hard on the pedals or hit a pothole it can spur spoke breakage too, but usually it just kinda happens. Spokes break most frequently where the head of the spoke laces into the hub, because the curved head of the spoke is the weakest part and yet still has to bears a lot of the weight and force of power transfer. If you have this happen, stop, get off your bike and inspect your wheel. You want to make sure your spoke isn’t flopping around to where it can get entangled with your frame or chain as your wheel turns. To keep it secure, you can tape it to a neighbor or unscrew it from the nipple and remove it completely. You’re okay to ride it a bit longer if necessary to get home, but you don’t want another forty miles or continue riding days and days with a broken spoke if you can help it. It puts additional stress and strain on your other spokes (which can then cause them to break prematurely at some point down the road too) and can make your wheel go out of tru

How Spokes work?

How the spokes accomplish these terrific and heroic feats? First, spokes don’t push outward, holding the rim at bay, like it might seem. Rather, the rim is evenly pulled inward by spokes that are laced through the hub, the center part of the wheel that rotates around the axle, which makes it extraordinarily strong. These spokes coming from the hub then radiate outward to the rim, where they attach to nipples, which are almost like little nuts resting in the rim. The nipples can be screwed down onto threaded tips of the spokes, which increases tension on the rim, and also pulls it slightly to the left or right.

When are wheels not true?

No, its not when they’re lying to you… its when they’re not straight. A true wheel is rounder, centered, easier to pedal and they wobble less.

Thus knowing how to make a wheel perfectly round, replacing broken spokes and damaged nipples and fixing damaged rims can be quite important for keeping a bicycle in tip-top shape.

 

A lot of the tasks required to true a wheel require tools only found in a well-equipped bicycle shop (like a truing stand), so you will likely need to contact a local bicycle mechanic.

The information are taken from About.com and the Bike Mechanic

Cycling Myth Buster #6 Crank lengths – is longer better?

LoL don’t worry, this is not a R(A) article about length but about crank arms of what you are riding.  We came across several Bike fitting sites, books and they offer some information on Hip Angles and Knee Angles. Thanks to all the articles that cover this.

Most crank lengths are available in 170 and 175mm lengths. This is fine if your inside-leg measurements is on  the long side of average, otherwise it can reduce pedalling efficiency.

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Cranks that are too short do not allow the full leverage of the legs to be used, those that are too long force the knee, hip and ankle to bend more often resulting in slow cadence.

 Extracted from Bike Dynamics  & The Racing Guide by Haynes

Indicators your cranks are too long.

You are the first to get out of the saddle when climbing in a group.
You feel your upper body bobbing?vertically when spinning fast and lightly loaded.
Your transmission occasionally clangs?as you hit a dead spot at the top of the stroke.
Your knees / hips hurt.
Your knees come uncomfortably close to your chest when on the drops or tri bars.

Indicators your cranks are too short.

You feel strong on hills but seem to struggle on the flats.

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A good guide is to apply 20-21% of your inside-leg measurement but bear in mind your saddle height plays a role.  As a guide:

Inside leg measurement(cm)           Crank length(mm)

72-75                                                         155 – 160

76-79                                                         160-165

80-83                                                         165-170

84-87                                                         170-175

88-91                                                          175- 180

92- 95                                                         180-185

After that, adjust your saddle position and see if you can get into the “zone”. Minimum knee angles should exceed 70° to avoid any discomfort issues. It has been captured over time and measurements that  really fast, powerful people have tended to be in a range around 75°.  So anything within the “zone” 74°-77° is ideal.

So for those who want to get optimum knee angles for power, shorter cranks may be the answer to help you achieve that ideal angle but not too short or you lose the leverage on straights… Still with me?

How to Choose Crank Length? Various authorities on this:

So, what crank length is right for you? Just like everything else with bike fitting, some general guidelines exist, but they won’t work for everyone. Formulas for computing crank length (in mm) from height, inseam measurement (in cm), and femur height (in cm, measured from the floor to the top of the femur bone) include:

  • Graeme Obree method: crank length = 0.95 * height
  • “Machine” method: crank length = 1.25 * inseam + 65
  • Lennard Zinn method, upper end: crank length = 2.16 * inseam
  • Lennard Zinn method, lower end: crank length = 2.10 * inseam
  • Bill Boston method: crank length = 1.85 * femur height

 

Cycling Myth Buster #5 Gear range – how does that really work?

A gear range is a set of figures that allows you to caculate the combined effect of a given cassette cog, chainring and wheelsize. This calculation was based on the Penny Farthing bike  where one measured the length of 1 revolution of the front wheel  (see below) and provide a length called X inches of development. Mind you that the Farthing Penny Bikes were very unstable due to the short wheel base and the rider sometimes sitting at a abnormally high position and the your legs peddling forward that actually reduces leverage…hmm reminds you of the A bikes and A design frames with small wheels.

So often for the misinformed,  when they see us on our Minivelos, comments usually are said like  “are you sure you can keep up?” and “don’t you cycle like a hamster?” , “Small kids bike” then have their expression in disbelief when we overtake them with ease.

So how do we do it? In the laws of physics, it is  true, a smaller wheel means you need to peddle more and faster BUT with folding bikes that we range, a bigger chainring ( not to to point where you need tremendous leg power to drive a 75T chainring) gives you the necessary range. You can still get your speed up and peddle at a comfortable pace BUT you need the right combinations.

Let’s do a few baseline understanding.

Gear size (inches)

<40         Mountain and touring bikes

41-50      Hill Climbing

51-60      Lowest gears for flattish course

61- 70     Lowest gears for flat time trials

71-100    Normal gears

>100        Flat out gears

Some Maths formulae.

Chainring size (no of teeth) xwheel diameter(inches)/cassette cog x tread to tread

e.g. (52×26.4 inches) (aka 700C)/14 = 98 inches

So for a Dahon MuEX where they use the top of the  line SRAM Red cassettes, the max range is 55Tx20 inch/11 = 100 inches so now you understand why the MuEX can attain such high velocities.

Even if you take a standard Vitesse D7 or Boardwalk D7 52X20/13 = 80 inches. Most entry level MTBs are using 44T , (44X26/13=88 inches). So you NOW understand why most D7 series bikes actually overtake these MTBs without seeing the rider huffing and puffing away.

Depending on the terrain, but for Singapore where there are  gradual hills and Beginners/Training is usually the initial goal, a gear range from 45 – 114 inches is what you need. ( 52/39 x 12-23). So when you do the specs, you understand why these Flamingos HSF1 and MuP24s can really give you  that mileage.

OK with the ideal gear range…you still need TWO Ls – strong LUNGS and LEGS or all the gear ranges in the world mean nothing.

Cycling Myth Buster #4 Chainring size – is bigger better?

Basics about Chain Rings

Ranges are measured in the number of teeth. For road bikes, the larger sizes are around 52T/53T, going as small as 39T for hilly rides or a 42T in flatter terrains.If you’re riding a mountain bike, you’ll want a slightly different range, of 24T-28T teeth for hill climbing and a larger ring of 46T-50T teeth for use on faster courses. Mountain bikes nearly always have a triple set of chain rings up front; road riders can consider this, too, if their rides tend to be hilly.

Mini Velos or Folding bikes by virtue of the smaller tires compensate gearing range by the use of bigger chainrings so it is no surprise that you will find 53T or 55T chainrings configured on folding bikes.  The bigger chainring actually helps small wheeled bikes attain the same speed without the need to peddle like a “hamster” or “lab mice”. On the contrary,  smaller wheels have the advantage of faster pick up.

Some of the stronger riders have actually configured a 57T or 60T chainring but this is where bigger does not mean better as we are relying on muscle and stamina to drive the transmission, NOT a foot pedal  that feeds fuel to a engine in a car.  You really got have the legs to power such a large chainring.

For those who can settle for a 53T 130 BCD, we have Ovalised Chainrings. Oval-shaped chainrings may not be a new invention, but these days they’re proving more effective than they ever did in the past. Advocates include the 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, and the UK’s Bradley Wiggins who finished fourth in 2009. They’re designed to eliminate something known as the dead spot when you pedal.

BMC UK Racing Team’s training bikes are already being equipped with Rotor’s Q Rings to enable team riders to gain the benefit of the rings when training.

General rule

Long rides  and hills – smaller chainring

Acceleration on flats – bigger chainring

Transmission efficiency is also affected by the wheel hubs and BB.

Buying chainrings

Before you go rush out and buy that 55T or 60T chainring. Make sure you check the BCD – bolt-circle diameter It si the Diameter of the bolts that hold the chainring to our crank. It is typically 130 mm or 110 mm

Cycling Myth Busters #3 – Balls of ceramic are better than balls of steel?

This blog is really about Steel ball bearings versus Ceramic ball bearings. Enough has written about this subject but I thought I put together the topics the guys are pre-occupied with. But for those who already burn their wallets swapping out all their existing ball bearings to ceramic based ones – the answer is Yes.

First principles:

Metal balls are rolling, spherical elements that are used in check and ball valves, bearings, and other mechanical devices that provide rotary or linear motion.  For us bikers, it means Headsets, Bottom Bracket, Hubs and Cranks .  Surface Roughness measures the irregularities that form on the surface, but are not significant deviations. Basic diameter Tolerance is the maximum allowable deviation average diameter from the diameter specified.   

Ceramic balls are made from inorganic, nonmetallic materials that are processed at high temperatures. Many ceramic balls are capable of achieving an extremely smooth surface finish to a high degree of tolerance. As a result Ceramic Balls have an extremely low coefficient of friction as compared to Metal Balls. Grinding removes cuts, scratches, scuffs, and other irregularities. Many ceramic balls exhibit much greater hardness than steel balls, resulting in longer life and improved reliability. Ceramic balls can also provide high stiffness, low thermal expansion, light weight, increased corrosion resistance, and electrical resistance. A wide assortment of Silicon Nitride Ceramic Balls, Alumina Oxide Ceramic Balls and Zirconia Ceramic Balls are now available.

Ceramic bearings benefits

35% less Thermal Expansion:
Think of putting a coke in the freezer. You have to allow for its expansion or you’ll blow the tin. Steel bearings are like the tin of pop. Ceramics on the other hand change size significantly less then steel with a given shift in temperature, thus raceways, rings and seals from a typical bearing can be made to much greater tolerances. They can even be fabricated with a smoother finish so vibration goes down and stability goes up.

50% less Conductivity:
Ceramics are electrically NON-conductive, and chemically inert, thus do not suffer from oxidation and the rust that degrades the surface of a traditional steel ball bearing. They suffer less heat damage since they don’t heat up as easily. This helps to maintain the spherical geometry of the ball bearings and significantly reduces your repair time.

60% less Weight:
Since silicon nitride is only about 40% of the weight of bearing steel the savings are obvious. Think about tying a heavy rock to the end of a rope. Its hard to get in motion and hard to stop. The lighter the rock the easier it is.

The issue of bearing weight is the same story. The heavier they are the more effort it takes to get them rolling and stopping. Thus ceramic bearings, with less then half the weight, and thus less rotating mass, will be much more responsive in acceleration and deceleration, with much less effort.

50% Higher Modulus of Elasticity:
that’s just a fancy way to test how easy it is to deform something. Ceramic has a 50% higher modulus of elasticity, so it takes a lot of work to alter its original shape. That gives you a much longer life expectancy in a hard wear zone like a bicycle’s bottom bracket.

Cold Welding:
Steel on steel has a nasty habit of welding itself together, that’s why you use anti-seize on some fittings. In a bearing the lubricate helps to prevent this but when bearings sit over the winter this can happen. Ceramic is NOT able to weld itself to steel. Steel and Ceramic are incompatible in that respect so cold welding is another difficulty you can avoid with ceramic ball bearings.

Research suggests that Bottom brackets equipped with ceramic bearings have a 5-10 times longer life. Industrial literature might suggest ceramics add 3-5 times the life expectancy. Either way we know they’ll be there longer than their carbon steel cousin.

Equally exciting, in tests with Olympic and professional racers and in controlled lab tests with wheels, ceramic bearings repeatedly show significantly less friction, making for faster speeds, acceleration and deceleration with less force.

So whats not to like? Only the price. Ceramic Bearings are easy to justify with longer life, less vibration, more speed but at maybe 5 times the price of traditional bearings the questions still remains as to whether you can justify the added cost?

Approximate values: Silicon Nitride Zirconium Oxide Steel
Density .11 lb/in3 .21 lb/in3 .28 lb/in3
Hardness (Vickers Hardness Scale) 1580 kg/mm2 1300 kg/mm2 700 kg/mm2
Maximum Use Temperature 1000C 1500 C 300F
Corrosion Resistance Excellent
-Chemically inert
  Poor

 

Adapted from various articles from ezinesarticles.com and mywheelsandmore.com