Volume 1 / Issue 015
The newsletter for active cycling lifestyles
Volume 1, Issue 15 / ISSN 1945-1776
A Note from Kevin
We have had so much news about the economy, I decided that I had enough. My article this issue deals with my observation that so many of my client friends are using cycling to get in the game and improve their game. Because of this, KGS Bikes is working with you to lead the recovery!
The next Fitting Trip is scheduled for April 3rd-6th in Dallas, at the Cooper Fitness Center cycling studio. The following trip is scheduled for April 17th-20th in Dallas, depending on demand. Let me know if you need help with fittings or planning your next dream bike. The best suggestion is to email me so we can make an appointment. The Cooper Fitness Center is at 12200 Preston Road in Dallas. It is at the back of the Cooper Aerobics Center complex. The cycling studio is the first thing you see when you enter the Fitness Center. They will provide locker facilities and I promise an awesome experience.
In our Q&A section we have two questions. One defines the three main positions we all use on drop handlebars and the other talks about the new advances in bicycle frame technology.
Cynthia Heinz will add her woman’s perspective as a new cyclist, discussing transforming your body with cycling.
Don’t forget to visit our blog as new stuff is posted there almost daily. It is easy to subscribe to the blog so you can get updates sent to you.
Thanks again for letting me share with you a little about cycling. I respect your time and will strive to continue to make it worth it.
Our every other weekend trips to Dallas are getting back on schedule. If you want me to come to your city and do fittings for you and your colleagues, contact me and we can arrange it.
Dallas Fitting Trip, April 3rd – 6th. Fittings will be held in the Cooper Fitness Center in the spin classroom.
Dallas Fitting Trip, April 17th – 20th. Fittings will be held in the Cooper Fitness Center in the spin classroom.
I consider your work as the best out there! Every single Bike from your store is unique…it has soul, it has identity! I want something made for myself…I have this dream bike in my head and I think you can help me build this masterpiece!
Something that I can build with you guys and that I can take care to my kids as an heritage…
Thanks Paulo. I appreciate your observations. I work very hard to make each bike and each friendship unique and special.
Note: Paulo did in fact fly to the US to get fitted for a new Parlee Z1 and I am going to write about it soon. Stay tuned…
Feature Article – Leading the Recovery
I originally wanted to entitle this article, “I choose not to participate in the recession” after reading a cool article by Doug Fleener, a retail consultant that I follow on the internet. His article suggested the change from negative to positive and I ran with it. Here is the premise. I think that if cycling can be the Fountain of Youth, why can’t it be a fundamental part of getting “back in the game” to work one’s self out of this global mess, one person at a time?
I have had many businesses and careers prior to starting KGS Bikes; some were great successes and some were like the Titanic. What I learned over the years is, tough times hit us all and we have just as many opportunities as difficulties during these periods of upheaval. On a local level, I saw business dry up last year, just like all my colleagues. I decided to reach out and meet people around the world. I started this ezine. I built a blog. I got my de-trained butt on a Tacx virtual reality trainer (and rollers) and started cycling again right at the time that the stresses of work were tempting me to get more sedentary.
This realization that the world is changing and if I get back in the game I can not only adapt with it, but lead the change, gave me focus and has been great for business. The neat thing is, I am meeting people all over the world who are going through the same upheavals with their country. These folks are figuring out ways to recast themselves, rechart their path and reinvent themselves, so they are in a better place when the economic cycle reverses itself. Their common denominator is cycling. All my friends who are taking the bull by the horns are using their strengths derived from fitness. Not only are they “in the game,” they are rewriting the rules for their personal game.
The situation we are in today is not unlike a big pack of riders who face a cross wind from the left (or the right, if you live in a country who drives on the left side of the road). With a crosswind like this, the first few people can work together because they are at the front and there is room to spread out across the road and create a wind shadow to the right and behind. The fifth or sixth rider, however, will be at the far right side of the road and all the rest will line up behind him or her. This term is called “guttering” in bicycle racing and it is so pertinent to today’s situation.
The first few people are relatively unaffected by the change in wind. The people in the very back are hurting and in the back anyway, so they are not hurting any more than before. The folks in the middle, however, are all exposed to the wind! There is no shelter whatsoever. Here is where the person who is “in the game” can make a difference. He or she can start a new echelon and inspire a small group of people to work together. He can also be a “sheep” and just ride the gutter, becoming victim to whatever happens, which is going to be the inevitable event called “getting dropped.”
I encourage each and every one of you to consider how you can lead yourself to recovery. KGS Bikes is leading the recovery, one person at a time. I hope you can help me spread the word because like “Rosie the Riveter” said, “We can Do It!” If I can help you make a difference in your cycling life and use that as a bridge to your own personal success, I am here for you.
Until next time,
Cynthia Speaks for Women – Women that Cycle are more Successful
Why should you cycle? This is our topic for the day. Let me give you a little history and see if you can relate.
Growing up I was not athletic. I couldn’t catch a ball to save my life, so sports were out of the question. I remember dreading the mile run in school because I felt like my lungs were going to collapse at the tender age of 9! Then in high school, things changed for me. I discovered the Cindy Crawford & Jane Fonda aerobics tapes. Those two tapes changed my life forever. I did them daily in combination with my parents Nordic Trac and somehow turned into a ‘hot’ lifeguard by the age of 16. It was my first glimpse at popularity and beauty and I loved it. Then college happened and the Freshman 15 was more like the Freshman 30 for me. I ate poorly, didn’t work out regularly, and it showed. Post college, however, I moved to California. Everyone there was fit, beautiful, blonde, and had great breasts! Within 6 months I was back on track and had it all (including the breasts). My legs looked amazing, everything on me was tight, and I glistened in the spotlight during athletic competitions, television shows, and bikini contests. I was living the life.
Well, as we all know, there’s a far cry between 9 & 16, 16 & 21, 21 & 30, and 30 & beyond. Our bodies don’t respond near as fast as they used to. Sometimes it feels like at our age we have to eat like mice and work out like horses to accomplish anything! Through my 30s I tried running. I ran, and ran, and ran. I loved it and ended up running 5 miles about 3 times a week, and then 7 – 10 miles every weekend. I lifted weights, did aerobics classes at the gym, and considered myself ‘athletic.’ But somehow, that scale gradually gave me worse and worse news…and my bathroom mirror wasn’t any friendlier.
Last summer I remember putting on my swimsuit and catching a glimpse of my rear. I thought “Is that my rear I just saw?” In total horror, I grabbed the mirror that I use to look at the back of my hair and…well…lowered it to get a better view of my not-so-fine derrière. I really was horrified. No woman who worked out as often as I did should have what I saw in that mirror. But what was I going to do?
It was shortly thereafter (about 6 months ago), that I started cycling. Kevin with KGS Bikes was the one who finally convinced me to do it, and I did it kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to spend the money, I was scared to death, and quite frankly, I didn’t want to get up at 5.15a to go cycling with them like they wanted me to. But I did it anyway. I had tried everything else and spent more money than he was asking me to spend, so why not try cycling?
Well, as you know by reading some of my other entries, cycling has changed my life in more ways than one. I love it and somehow actually look forward to waking up at the crack of dawn every day. I have lost inches off my outer thighs and my legs are tighter than they’ve ever been. Moreover, and here’s the best part, I recently ran into this ‘really hot lifeguard’ that I dated back when I was a ‘hot’ lifeguard myself at the age of 16. It’s always fun to reconnect with someone from your childhood, especially when they look even better now than they did back then! He and I were talking again yesterday so I asked him, “What was it that attracted you to me physically in the first place?” (Because I’m sure if I didn’t say ‘physically’ he would have commented on my brains, right? Jeje.) And do you know his answer? He said, “Cynthia, when you were 16, you had the finest butt I had ever seen. I’ve been alive a lot longer now and seen a few more butts than I had back then, and you still have the most amazing legs and backside I’ve seen in my life.”
Girls, this made me feel like a million bucks and I wasn’t about to tell him how ridiculous my ‘backside’ looked just 6 months ago. I haven’t ever found a sport or a workout or a machine that has done more for my legs, my butt, and most importantly, my thighs, than cycling. I’ve always had ‘athletic looking’ legs, which basically means I have naturally good calves, but my thighs kept growing and growing and growing. Not anymore. I am seriously excited about putting on that bikini this summer. And for any of you guys that are reading this, we just may do a photo shoot, so stay tuned…
Here’s to your success!
Feel free to drop me a line anytime or send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q & A with Kevin
I don’t really know the right place to put my hands on my road bike. I see people riding with their hands all over the place and wonder what the reason for the curved bars are in the first place as mountain bikes don’t have them.
Thanks so much for asking. Drop handlebars have been on bicycles almost as long as bicycles have been in existence. The reason for them is to allow a more upright position when going slowly and a more crouched position when going faster. The faster you ride on a bike, your balance point changes, and moves forward. What this means is pretty simple. If you are riding say, 15 miles an hour on flat ground, you don’t need to be bent over with your hands in the drops.
I use three different terms when performing fittings for people, 1) the tops, or the part of the bars near the stem, 2) the hoods, 3) the drops. Put simply, the tops are for riding slowly or maybe hill climbing. As you speed up your center of gravity moves forward and you should be able to comfortably move out and forward on the handlebars. The hoods are designed to be comfortable when riding fairly quickly and still give you the ability to shift and brake.
The drops are for hard efforts. These are reserved for the times that you are at the front of a paceline or are having to bridge from one group to another. They are lower because you are more comfortable in that position when going all out.
All three positions should be comfortable and reachable without strain. If they are not, your bike is not set up properly for you.
I hope this is a start and please let me know if you have more in depth questions.
I ride a steel bike that I have had for 25 years. It worked great when I hung it up in the garage 20 years ago but the parts on it are rusted and I need some advice. I rode about 200 miles a week back then but since have gained 40 lbs and am starting over. Bikes have changed a whole lot and I feel a little like Rip Van Winkle when I venture into bike shops now. That steel bike was a high end machine back then but I need to know, are the new carbon fiber or titanium bikes really that much better? Part of me wants to put new parts on the old frame, but the other part of me wants to get a new bike. How are these new bikes better than the ones from my era?
I experienced this same feeling when I got back on the bike after many years off. I still coached and fitted people but had not personally felt the difference that technology made available. Let me break this suggestion down into a couple of components. First, your old bike has served you well and it owes you nothing. The parts on that bike are rusted so that tells me that they are not the absolute top of the line (or maybe your chain and the frame are rusted, who knows?) but usually I think the advances in technology warrant a new bike. I ask people one question: “What is worth more, you or the bike?” When I was a young bike racer, the bike was worth more than me, at least in my mind. I had an emotional attachment and my time wasn’t worth much, frankly. Now that I am older, I ride for the love of cycling, but also to stay young. The bike is my servant now. It is a tool and I want good tools to help me on my trek. From that perspective, the nicest bike available is still worth less than me. We don’t need to debate the current economy here, but I think you get my drift!
The second part of the equation is frame material. Carbon fiber has surpassed titanium as the exotic “gotta have” frame material. Both are far stronger and lighter than steel. Carbon is so popular that it has depressed the titanium market which is less “in style” now, along with magnesium and aluminum. Steel has some die-hard followers and some of the most beautiful custom bikes still available are made from steel. There is a small, cult like following of steel frames. My only advice with carbon fiber, is to make sure that you get high quality frames and components. You can get a $400 carbon fiber bike from Walmart, for example, and it is not comparable in any way to one of my Parlee, Serotta or Guru carbon bike frames. It’s a long story and I will write about it soon. Just do it right.
The third part of the equation is the most important. The traditional approach is to “fit” you to the bike. I believe that this is fundamentally wrong. The technology exists to fit a bike to you and I know what a difference it makes. In fact, so few people have ever ridden a bike that really fitted them that they don’t even know what they are missing. This is similar to the 9 year old girl in school who misses words written on the blackboard and after she gets glasses for the first time discovers what it is like to see!
The nicer bikes that are built today have very steep seat angles and as such, you are typically sitting too far forward to stay on balance. This results in saddle discomfort, back pain, numb hands and lots of other totally unnecessary issues. Please consider bike fit at the top of your list. You are the most important part of the equation and if you do it right, you will make an investment in your life that will pay huge dividends and give you incredible value.
Cooper Complete – We have arranged for 10% off anything you buy from Cooper Complete if you put “KGS” in the coupon link and then “recalculate”.
Cooper Clinic - The world renowned Cooper Clinic is starting to create medical exams and services aimed at professional adults who ride bicycles.
Cooper Fitness Center – The Cooper Fitness Center has a special strength training introductory program for cyclists.
These links are to our frame builders and other providers that make KGS Bikes the premiere fitting studio and cycling boutique in the world:
Co-Motion Cycles – We’ve long enjoyed a reputation for building tandems that simply handle better.
Guru Bikes – Our approach is based on combining the best of both worlds: cutting edge technology delivered by hand and with an old school attention-to-detail.
Lew Racing – Lew Racing has achieved a following among racing cyclists because of the wheel’s tremendously high strength, low weight and the meticulous attention to engineered performance inherent in its design.
Parlee Cycles – Simply put, PARLEE frames are the best built and best riding carbon fiber frames available today, at any price. They are functional works of art.
Rocket 7 – Since 1999, Rocket7 has been handcrafting cycling shoes in the USA with the finest materials available.
Sem Custom Paint – Dave Sem is the best extreme detail painter in the world.
Serotta – Only Serottas have the extensive engineering of our proprietary Colorado Concept tubing design. It’s the foundation behind the unique ride of each and every Serotta.
Source Endurance – They are teaming with us to provide physiological testing, data analysis, training consultation and long-term coaching. They have two state-of-the art labs, one in Austin and one in San Marcus. We are proud to recommend them and invite you to check them out.
Storck Bicycles – Numerous innovations in frame and component design that are standard in the industry today were developed, patented, and introduced by Storck Bicycle.
Tacx – Home of the Fortius Virtual Reality trainer. This is the trainer component of our “Ultimate Spin Bike”. Tacx also makes many other fine products. KGS Bikes is an Authorized Tacx Testing Center.
Topolino Technology – Our wheels embody this ethic: A fundamental redesign of wheel construction to take advantage of extraordinary materials with amazing properties, yielding a wheelset that performs like no other.
Zinn Cycles – For more than a quarter of a century, Zinn Cycles have been working to make cycling more enjoyable for customers, and that commitment remains at the heart of everything they do.
About KGS Bikes and Kevin
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