Upcoming Women’s Cycling and Multisport Events at Gear West Bike

Just a reminder of the two upcoming Women’s Tube/Tire Change Clinics at Gear West Bike.  RSVP for the Clinics to hannah@gearwestbike.com so we can make sure we have space for all participants.  These are the last two clinics until August so join us for one if you want to learn to change a tube in time for early season riding!

Thursday 5/10 at 6pm at Gear West Bike & Triathlon, co-sponsored by YWCA Triathlon (but you don’t need to be participating in that race to join us.)
Saturday 5/12 at 9am at Gear West Bike & Triathlon, co-sponsored by Minneapolis Luna Chix

Women’s Ride Saturday at 10am, leaving from Gear West Bike & Triathlon, lead by Minneapolis Luna Chix.

Workout Favorites: Cycling

February marks the end of relaxed training for many of us. Race season is right around the corner. So, what boosts  cycling fitness more than anything? Personally, we love doing 30, 30’s. What is this you ask? Well, after a 10 minute warm-up on your cycling trainer of choice, do a 30 second max effort followed by a 30 second break. Pace yourself however as you have 30 reps of this workout. If you happen to be training with power, try to finish your 30 second intervals within 45 watts of your starting effort. Don’t push hard and blow up half way through this workout. Trust us, 30 second intervals will add up as you get towards the end. Cool down with a 10 minute light spin after you are done. Good luck!

Basic Mechanics Class this Saturday @ 8:30am


Spring riding is here and now is the time to learn how to address minor mechanical issues on the fly so that you can maximize your time riding outside. Whether you have just picked up a new bike from us or have an “old trusty” from years back, this class will help you learn how to tackle basic mechanical issues.  Our mechanics will be covering tube changes, shifting adjustments, safety checks, and anything else you may have questions about. Here are the details.

Where: Gear West Bike and Triathlon

When: 8:30 – 9:45am THIS Saturday!

Cost: $ 20

Don’t miss your chance to attend this class. You can register online via Gearwestbike.com

If you cannot attend this weekend, don’t worry. We will also be holding classes on Saturday May 21st and Saturday June 18th.

Your Checklist for a Worry Free Spring Ride

Finally, we have some nicer weather coming this way over the weekend and through next week. With that said, many of you will probably be itching to get out on the roads soon. Here is a checklist to ensure that your first ride is worry free and mechanically sound.

Correct Tire Pressure?

Every set of tires has the recommended tire pressure range stamped or printed on the side wall. If you are a smaller or lighter weight rider, it is recommended that you stay in the lower recommended range for tire pressure. If you are slightly heavier, you will want to ride the tires on the upper end of that recommended range. To ensure that your tires are properly inflated, use a pump that displays the tire pressure (psi) clearly. If you don’t have a pump, stop in and check out some of the easy-to-use and super reliable options that we have in-stock from Bontrager and Blackburn

Drivetrain Lubed?

After a couple of months on the trainer or in storage, your chain may need to be cleaned and lubed before you head outside. Some good indicators of this may be squeaky gears, a dry chain, or an extremely dirty drivetrain. The best way to address these problems is to use citrus solvent to remove dirt and grime from the drivetrain components. Then, use a lube that is appropriate for the riding conditions. For chain lube, we would recommend White Lightning Clean Ride or some of the other light lubes in the shop.  Apply a thin-film along the entire chain and then shift through all the gears to spread the lube evenly throughout the entire drivetrain.

Tires Ready to Roll?

After a good season of riding last year or a little storage time, you may be due for a new set of tires. A couple of indicators of this would be cracks along the sidewall (commonly referred to as dry rot), slashes or bubbles in the tire, or flat spots. We have tires to match all types of riding needs and styles, so stop in and reduce your risk of getting a flat on your first ride.

Correctly Adjusted Skewers and Headset

Before going out the door, take a couple of seconds and ensure that your bike is safe and ready to ride. Open and close both the front and rear skewers, ensuring that they are properly tightened to hold the wheels in place as you are rolling down the road. They do not need to be torqued, but they should offer resistance as you are closing them. Additionally, make sure that the bolts holding your seat post and handlebars are securely tightened. Both of these steps only take a few seconds and will save you any worries as you are blazing down that first hill in the sun!

Any other mechanical needs? Please stop in and allow our mechanics to inspect your bike. As the spring weather becomes more consistent, our mechanics will be swamped with tune-ups. Save yourself the wait now and come in with you bike for maintenance and a full inspection. Our full tune-ups start at $60. Read more about our repair services at Gear West Bike.

Questions – Please call us at (952) 473-0093 to speak with a mechanic.

Four New Books to Jump Start the New Year

Now that the holiday rush is over and it is the start of a new year, we wish you all the best from the Gear West Bike and Triathlon staff. Let this be the time to reflect, set new goals, and prepare to have a successful and prosperous year in all of your pursuits. As triathlon, cycling, and running event registrations begin to open, allow us to help you move towards and achieve your multisport goals. Whether you want to break into triathlon or road cycling this year, reach a new personal record, or just enjoy Minnesota’s vast variety of trails, come see what we have to offer and recommend.

Appropriately timed to address all of those new year’s resolutions, we recently received a shipment of newly published books from Velo Press. Below, I have highlighted some of our new arrivals which may align perfectly with your goals.

  1. Balancing your busy life with your triathlon ambitionsThe Time Crunched Triathlete, written by Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg, addresses an issue we all deal with, balancing life with training. This book delivers a new approach that shows how to build fitness in all three sports, develop the speed and endurance needed to be competitive, and reach a new level of fitness in only eight hours per week. This book comes complete with training plans, nutritional guidelines, and case studies, making it a must read for busy professionals, parents, or time crunched triathletes!
  2. Learning to run without pain Natural Running is not just another book addressing the growing topic of barefoot running for better health. Danny Abshire and Brian Metzler, longtime running form and injury experts, co-authored this book to help teach natural running technique, think about injuries as symptoms of poor running form, and arm you with an 8 week transition plan of strength and form drills to bring your running to an entirely new injury free level. This book doesn’t blindly promote barefoot running, but rather breaks down the evolution of running techniques that have been distorted by modern running shoes. This book is worth reading if you need your feet, knees, and legs to feel better in 2011 to maintain health!
  3. Maintain a healthy weight to maximize multisport performance – Matt Fitzgerald, the author of Racing Weight, has written a quick-start guide that is a great companion to this best-selling book. It provides high intensity workouts and strength training along with meal recommendations, menus, and sport specific plans that will help you reach and maintain your goal weight for racing this year. Low and high volume plans will also guide you through each part of the season whether you’re a cyclist, triathlete or runner. Don’t take a guess this year and impede top performances, use this as a guide to slim down and build the right ratio of lean muscle mass for this year’s triathlon season.
  4. Race at an entirely new level – If you have been racing for multiple years, you may be looking for new training techniques that will spice up this season. Your Best Triathlon is aimed at veteran triathletes in pursuit of that breakout performance. This book will deliver training plans for all distances, arming each reader with a kit of proven workouts, isolating and developing each of the three disciplines of triathlon. If you’re a time crunched athlete, don’t worry. Each plan comes with tips on how to modify and manage training while improving performance.