Thursday, September 7, 2017

6 Tips on Bike Maintenance

So you got all your gear for your triathlon training and racing ready. You got your triathlon suit, goggles, swim cap, wetsuit, bike shoes, running shoes, helmet, singlet, and what else? Yes, your bike. This is basically the only machine you need to rely on in getting good training sessions and probably a strong finish during the actual race. You forget to take care of it and this could very well mean not performing during all your triathlon-related activities. Sure you will not have a problem swimming and running, but triathlon does not go without biking.  

This gives you more of a reason to take care of your bike through proper maintenance. This avoids unnecessary hassles during your training days as well as the race proper. You do not want, of course, to make your training days perennial disrupted due to a broken chain, faulty brakes, or even worn brake pads, for example. You want your training days spent on the road and not sitting most of the time waiting for a bike repair to save you. As they say: Take care of your bike and it will take care of you.

Let’s then discuss then the basic proper maintenance of your bike:

Removing Dirt and Rust on Typical Areas

Your triathlon training will sometimes make you cycle on wet roads and coastal areas. This makes dust and salty beach air contribute to the accumulation of dirt and rust in your bike. Moreover, your usual aero position when training can make your sweat drip on the handlebar thus the possibility of your bike developing rust becomes greater.

The usual places where rust and dirt can develop and accumulate are bottom bracket tube and spindle, rear freewheel or cassette, brakes (including the calipers and pad), derailleur, and front fork. You can use a clean rag or WD40 as a light lubricant to take out dirt and grime. You can then finish it off with a normal lubricant to better protect your bike.

Maintaining the Drivetrain

Your bike’s drivetrain includes the chain, freewheel, derailleur’s jockey, cassette, and chainrings. As much as possible you want to maintain your drivetrain clean of grime and grit. This mechanical system dictates or influences whether you can bike smoothly or not. When this part of the bike accumulates lots of grime, this also can result in more friction that can wear out your bike components. It is a common observation that when your drivetrain is gritty due lack of regular proper cleaning, the chain does not last long. Though chains are not expensive, it can be a drag to your triathlon training as you spend your time repairing your bike.  

To prevent this from happening, you can clean your drivetrain by using a rag to wipe away dirt on your chain rings. You can also spray, or apply through brush with stiff bristles, degreaser on the chain, chainrings, and derailleurs. After you do this, you can finish it off with a bike cleaner before finally rinsing off. You can also apply this same procedure to the cassette by applying degreaser and using a rag to clean the space between the sprockets. If the cassette has accumulated a lot of dirt, then you may need to remove it so you can clean it thoroughly.

After you have done this, it is good to lube the chain considering it can get dry due to too much exposure from elements when you train.

Checking the Tires

This is probably one of the common maintenance you will do for your bike. Check your tires regularly for any kind of damages, bulges, sidewall cracks, and worn tread. This will save you time from experiencing flat tires when they can be avoided only if you’ve done this regularly. Take note of any spot wherein the tube is showing, due to cuts for example. This means you need to replace your tire. Take note also of threats to your tires like embedded tiny objects such as nails or shard of glass. Most of the times, if you found them embedded in your tires and attempt to take them out, you will find a leak on your tire.  

Checking the Brake Pad

This very important, though small, part of your bike, sometimes gets little attention even if you check your bike regularly. You know when it is time to replace it when the grooves or teeth in the rubber are gone. This makes it unresponsive when you pull for a break, usually pressing too hard until you touch the handlebar. If the grooves or teeth are still distinct but the rim brake is unresponsive, you may probably just need adjusting your brakes.        

Maintaining Bar Tape

Maintaining your bar tape is easy as you only need to look at it and check whether it starts to loosen or unravel. If you see it in this state, you definitely need to replace it. When you let it stay this way, salt and sweat can seep through it and damage your bike components.

If it’s still okay, the proper way to make it clean is scrubbing it with oven cleaner or even toothpaste, especially for white-colored bar tapes.     

Tightening the Headset

Usually, you will need to recheck or tighten your headset when if you notice or feel some delay when you put on brakes in your front wheel or there is a clunking in your headset when braking. A good way to check whether your headset is properly tightened is to stand before your bike and try to push it forward or backward. If there’s some movement in the fork, then you need to tighten the headset. 

These are just some of the basic maintenance checklist that you have to observe in keeping your bike in good condition. Remember, your ability to train well and actually perform stronger in the actual triathlon race can be affected by your bike’s condition. Failure to do this simple, basic maintenance can greatly limit how you can effectively train to develop your strength and endurance. For better race results then, keep it clean and well-maintained. 

Sign Up for Singapore Duathlon Now!

To call triathlon a challenging sport is stating the obvious. Right after you sign up, you are expected to ready yourself on the date of the race. You will either get yourself running or biking or doing both the next day or get the help of coaching services to prepare your mind and body for it. This usually takes months of conditioning and strengthening your body. You improve your skills in the three sports -swimming, biking, running - and aim to secure a strong finish. Somehow, engaging in other sports is too much or out of the question. Your plate is already full with workouts leaving no room to try anything else.

However, common expert advice during off season encourages you to engage in some cross-training. Get into other sports so as to also develop your strength in triathlon sports as a result. What if you do that (engaging in other sports) during the season and even take it as your ultimate workout, doing it once just to see how far your body (and legs) can go. You probably by now know where I'm heading - yes, why not try duathlon to improve on your triathlon skills, in particular, your skills in cycling and running.

This sport has always been treated as a lower multi-sports race compared with triathlon as many consider it fairly easier considering it only engages two sports (cycling and running). But this assumption proves to be wrong, especially if we are going to base it from triathlete’s testimonies who have tried duathlon once. They say duathlon proves to be harder and a more challenging sport than triathlon due to the fact sandwiching cycling between two running session makes a heavy toll on the legs. You are either dehydrated or your legs lack glycogen (‘fuel’) that they become heavy and fatigue when you reach the last running phase – yes we know, you also experience it in triathlon but duathlon is harder since there are two running segments.

A Little History

Duathlon is a multi-sport distance racing involving, cycling and running. The race is typically segmented where you need to run, then cycle and run again. This sports fairly gained popularity during the 70’s when it was developed and this continued until the 80’s. It has produced for example two world champions like Ai Ueda of Japan and Rob Woestenborghs of Belgium.

But the during the 90’s, it failed to continue its rise in popularity to stand side by side with triathlon, which then had been gaining followers all over the world. This was mainly due to lack of sponsorship. Sports buff could hardly see and even catch it on TV – another reason why it lost steam in gaining more enthusiasts.

Yet, as of recent development, there is a rebirth of duathlon in the 2000’s thanks to the effort of USA Triathlon, the U.S. multisport racing national governing body. Because of these, there are now many duathlon races being held in the state, and the world is also catching up in this resurgence.

Duathlon is a Fantastic Sports for Triathlon

Considering duathlon only engages two sports, cycling and running, this can greatly improve your triathlon goals in many aspects. Duathlon can teach you how to zone in on your cycling and running exclusively, and this can prove even harder since your legs in the last running segment will encounter lots of issues. Besides this, duathlon can help you in perfecting your transition (which many considered as the Fourth Event) and lastly, getting an ultimate brick workout to benefit you triathlon aspirations.

Addressing the Bike-Run Transition. This is probably one of the hardest segments of duathlon that can greatly influence how you perform in your next triathlon race. By the time you reach the third segment, you will experience the challenge of bike-run transition. This is the time when it is hard to run since by this time your body is already glycogen-depleted thus making your legs unresponsive or heavy. This is the time when there are no more ‘fuel’ in your body to make you run fast. Another thing is hydration may have set in that it is already making a toll on you. Lastly, the adjustment you need to do from biking to running takes time for your neuromuscular coordination to catch up. You want to run but your legs still have its mode to cycle. All of these can be addressed by engaging in a duathlon since your body will get familiar with this experience.

Ultimate Brick Workout. As triathlon training usually entails you to do a brick workout, duathlon can be the perfect real-race workout for you. You will engage yourself in a long duration of cycling and run that can test your actual endurance. Here you will definitely learn why doing a brick workout is called as such as the ultimate way. In the process, the recovery time for you to adjust from biking to running will shorten – though you also have to be careful as cramps normally happen during this stage so listen to how your body works.     

Perfecting the Transition. Every duathlon or triathlon involves several events, but those who try this race agree that the transition between each segment is the Fourth Event. You fail on this transition phase and you lose valuable time clock in the race. At the same time, succeeding in mastering and perfecting this stage shaves off a lot of time in your race. When running in duathlon, you get to practice in an actual race, this important phase to the smallest detail.

Conclusion

As we are thinking about other sports that can benefit your triathlon goals as a result, joining a duathlon comes to mind. This multi-sports race involving cycling and running may look easier compared with triathlon, however, testimonials from veteran and seasoned triathletes state otherwise. You may even develop yourself in the end as a stronger triathlete when you put yourself in actual duathlon race - what with mastering the bike-run transition, getting the ultimate brick workout, and perfecting the transition phases.

So start signing up for the next Singapore Duathlon now!  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Life Hacking Online Magazine

Living today in this modern world is full of challenges and troubles. You have to attend to a lot of things besides knowing how to make a living. Sometimes, life is just too complicated and complex that it is difficult to keep pace with what is going on in your life. Sometimes, you think that if you only have a ‘cheat guide’ by which all your doing in a daily basis is guided. By this guide cheat, you know how to handle difficult people, nosy neighbors, or probably know how to meditate and keep your mind clear when trouble sets in. You also think that you should know how to write well or even attend to small domestic matters. You think of some guide on how to hack life.

With the development of the Internet, information about how to do things, no matter what they are made available on the net. And during these past years, there are now a lot of life hacking online sites that teaches a lot about almost everything that you have trouble with in attending to your daily life. Yet, sometimes, these sites are not easily knowable. The Internet is vast that finding these sites are sometimes difficult.


Yet, there is one site that you can turn to whenever you are having trouble with doing your daily living. This site is www.lifeninjas.net. In this site, you can find all the information that you want to know so you can live like a ninja battling the daily challenges of life. Here you can get tips on how to develop your writing ability, how to write a resume, a cover letter. You can even know how to develop perseverance which you think you badly need. With this site you can have access to all the knowledge and information that can make you competitive and abreast with modern life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mountain Dwellings: Architectural Housing Development Innovation in Style


Plush residential housing come in huge numbers, you can spot and live in them everywhere. They are usually buildings that speak of nothing but houses boxed literally in concrete and glass. There is nothing new and original about this and this is the reason why any mediocre architectural firm can copy them. But the ones that give extensive grit and passion for superb, unique and innovative architectural design fit for suburban living, which is aimed for tranquil and comfortable living, is rare. And they are hard to replicate in terms of originality and creativity.

One of these rare housing development rendered in classy style is Mountain Dwelling. Completed in 2008, Mountain Dwellings was built on a 33,000 sq/m sprawling land in Orestad, Denmark. This housing development was the second of its generation of so-called VM Houses. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) was the architectural firm that worked with this project for Hopfner, a Danish oil company. Since its completion, the residential building was the focus of architectural-award-giving bodies and has actual won many awards for its innovative design.

The Inspiration to the Classy Architectural Innovation

What is unique and innovative in terms of architectural design with Mountain Dwellings is the inspiration for its design. The shape and thematic rendering on how this residential house should look were pulled from the idea of a Mt. Everest settled amidst an urban setting. Mountain Dwelling is one exquisite, classy 80 housing apartments built on top of each other in a terraced-manner from the 11th floor to the ground floor.

The materials used for its north and west facades were perforated aluminum plates, materials that allow air to pass in and out to the parking area. The designed holes in the fa├žade give an impression of the building as a replica of Mt. Everest. The effect of this design makes the holes in the aluminum plates black during the day, impressing a rough rasterized photo. But during the night, these holes will be of different colors according to the floor they are located (each floor has unique lighting colors as part of the design).

The Unique Parking Lot Design: Inner Essence of Mountain Dwellings

If there is something that Mountain Dwelling’s architectural design can boast of, it is its innovative rendition of how the parking lot will serve as part of the whole concept of the building. Mountain Dwelling can be considered 2/3 parking lots and 1/3 residential houses. One of the challenges faced by BIG when conceptualizing Mountain Dwelling was how to converge the parking lots and the residential houses in one novel approach.

The result is the reality of homeowner’s ability to park their cars just outside of their apartments. This gigantic parking lot, which can park as many as 480 cars, is complimented by sloping elevator built-in in the building’s inner walls. BIG also created and designed these parking lots with high ceilings to give a cathedral-looking atmosphere and veer away from the traditional impression that parking lots are spooky and gray space.

Roof Garden

Another innovative and classical yet modern in rendition in Mountain Dwellings is the roof garden built-in with each terraced apartments. The architectural firm BIG choose for this plan plants that can change character in accordance with the changing season. This, in a way, gives the 80 apartments a unique look but embracing nature’s climate cycle. Residents are also assured of complete maintenance of these roof gardens with a huge watering system.

To add value and utilize these roof gardens for an effective tranquil and refreshing atmosphere for the residents, the apartments and gardens are only separated by glass walls and sliding doors. This design makes for good sunlight and fresh air.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Discover the Pleasures of Burgundy


There are only two possibilities when visiting Burgundy.  You either discover Burgundy’s wine and gastronomical treasures or savour the majestic cultural heritage of the region through the medieval castles that speckle its flat pristine country side.  Either way, it is best to find holiday properties in Burgundy and from there enjoy the pleasures inherent in this exotic region.

Go for gourmet and wine tour on Route des Grands Crus for this will reveal Burgundy’s unique regional gustatory flavor. This trip boasts of an unadulterated view of the vast flat and sloping vineyards where you can feast on the famed Burgundian cuisine. During Autumn, you can enjoy Noyer-sur-Serein’s Truffle Market where you can get the rarest and some of the most expensive truffles ever to be dug up. Burgundy’s truffles are world-renowned for their characteristic to spice up any dish you can cook at home. The Chablis Wine Festival held annually every October should also be your priority when in the region.

Discover Burgundian religious heritage by visiting the abbey church of Pontigny in Auxerre or Notre-Dame Quincy abbey in the Tonnerois. These abbeys are just one of the best examples of Burgundy’s Cistercian Art. The Basilica of Vezelay near Avallon gives you a glimpse of the Romanesque architecture-inspired influence of the city. It is a good strategy to find Holiday rentals in Burgundy to get the most out of the region.  You can reach Burgundy through Dijon Burgundy Airport which is served by local flights to and from other French cities.

Monday, September 17, 2012

4 Ways to Fatten Up Your Affiliate Site

One of the ways to make money online is to build affiliate sites. This online scheme is the most used avenue to earn extra cash if not make it a full-time venture that can pay your bills and send you into a vacation once in a while. The structure of affiliate marketing is the simple use of your site to refer or promote products and services being sold by other online businesses.

Here are 4 tips on how to fatten up your affiliate site:

Choose a Particular Niche. Successful affiliate sites are usually expert promoters of a particular niche. Just two of most popular niches are weight loss and dating affiliate sites. Here, you make your affiliate marketing strategy concentrated on these topics alone. You are expected to focus on this subject as your site will look convoluted and in disarray if you insert promotional pitch for products not related to your topic.

Pick Products that are Being Bought Online. There are millions of physical and digital products you can pick from any affiliate network, but be wary that all of these do not have the potential to be sold on the Internet. Be intelligent to ask yourself whether a product you are planning to sell on your affiliate site has consumers who are willing to buy it online. The rule is if these items can be best bought through a brick and mortar store do not hesitate anymore to force to sell it online.

Create Unique, In-depth Review. The typical way to make online consumers buy through your affiliate site is by creating a review of a particular product. You can exploit this by providing excellent content, giving more in-depth information they cannot find anywhere else about the product.

Format Your Posts that Encourages Readers to Buy. This can be done by a call to action from your potential buyer. The most used strategy in this case is putting a Buy Button on your post.  

Remember these tips to a successful affiliate marketing promotion and you are sure to make easy money online.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Which is the Best Electric Shaver in the Industry: Philips SensoTouch 3D or Braun Series 7?


If you are on the look-out for the best electric shaver in town, only two competing brands can answer your question. These are Philips Norelco and Braun. Their best products that you can find in the market are Philips SensoTouch 3D and Braun Series 7 – 790cc Pulsonic Technology Shaver respectively. Now, to the question of which is better, probably it can be best answered by tracing back where in first place these brands two went head-to-head in terms of being the best electric shavers in the industry.

It has been quite a long time that there has been a debate over which shaving technology delivers the best close shave. These technologies are the rotating blade system and the tin foil shaving technology. This issue has been the content of many discussions, debates and almost tiffs among shaving products critics. Yet, the answer to the question is left hanging – as you can see, the question is really tough to give an answer. And in this respect, we can relate the issue as to which is better between Philips SensoTouch 3D and Braun Series 7.

These two, respectively, hold the image of what these two shaving technologies boast; Philips SensoTouch 3D for rotating blades, while Braun Series 7 for tin foil shaving system. These two brands of electric shaver basically revived the issue between rotating blades and tin foil shaving system. If you are going to search Google regarding the comparison between the two, articles and web content written about it are fueled with the undercurrent of mutual feud between the said body grooming products.

Philips SensoTouch 3D brags about its GyroFlex shaving system, where the rotating blades when pressed on your facial skin, has the ability to pivot around, tilt inward and flex outward. This shaving technology is even supplemented by Cut&Lift dual blade system and UlraTrack system that makes for an efficient neat, close shave. Add Jet Clean System, which allows for automatic cleaning and washing, you got already the perfect electric shaver.

But Braun Series 7, on the other hand, boast itself of its Pulsonic Technology. This technology makes for an optimal close shave what with the shaver micro vibrating 10,000 times every second to capture every shortest and stubborn hair in your face. This shaving technology is complimented by Patented ActiveLift and OptiFoil sytem. With this array of shaving technologies and innovations, you can never fail to have a smooth, close shave.

So which is better? Which electric shaver can be placed on the pedestal and say it is the leader of the pack – the best electric shaver in the industry. Philips SensoTouch 3D or Braun Series 7?

The answer to the question rests in your hands. Really. If you happen to buy any of these two brands, you already have the best electric shaver in the industry.