By Stan Purdum Assuming you’re talking about a bicycle with the gear mechanisms out in plain sight, which is the most common way bicycles are geared, the hardest (highest) gear is when the chain is on the biggest toothed ring by the pedals (called the “front” in shifting jargon, even though the pedals are in the middle of the bike) and the smallest toothed ring on the rear … [Read more...] about Which Bicycle Gear Is the Hardest and the Easiest?
by Stan Purdum Note: This is excerpted from Stan Purdum’ book Roll Around Heaven All Day: A Piecemeal Journey Across America by Bicycle. Bicycling eastbound in central Kansas on my ride across America, I rolled into tiny Rush Center. In a grocery store, I grabbed an early supper. The sun, which had been shining merrily all day, continued to gleam. Assuming that promised a … [Read more...] about Taken by Storm
by Stan Purdum Ever wondered how far cyclists go in a typical road bike race? It depends a lot on the exact type of race. There are several types of road bicycle races, including criteriums, traditional road races, time trials, stage races, gravel races, gran fondos and even cyclocross races. The distances really depend on the type of race and which category of bicycle … [Read more...] about How long is a typical road bike race?
by Stan Purdum I recently rode a new route, which started at the trailhead of a long, paved bicycle path I’ve ridden many times. But the new route didn’t use the path; it was on the nearby crossroad, with the trailhead simply providing a good place to leave my car. From the map, I’d estimated my intended route as being about 22 miles, a shorter distance than I normally … [Read more...] about How a Ride Becomes a “Thing”
by Stan Purdum If you ride a recent model mountain bike or gravel bike, you've probably already dealt with tubeless tires. Road tubeless wheels and tires are also making inroads. Once you make the switch to tubeless tires on any of your bikes, you'll discover that mounting them using just the floor pump you used for regular tires with tubes is not easy and often … [Read more...] about These Floor Pumps Let You Mount Tubeless Tires
By Stan Purdum In 2011, while living in Ohio, I cowrote a book with Murray Fishel titled Pedaling on the North Coast: Biking the Streets of Greater Cleveland. It’s a narrated guide to 18 bicycle rides in the greater Cleveland area, published by the University of Akron Press. The collaboration with Murray was the result of a chance meeting on a group ride. We didn’t know … [Read more...] about Electrifying Murray Brings Back the Joy of Cycling
By Stan Purdum Most cyclists need a floor pump. If you have an air compressor with the proper adapter, it can be effective and useful for putting on tubeless road or tubeless mountain bike tires and seating them on the rim. But for day to day usage, a floor pump is essential for filling and topping off the air pressure in your tires. It's much easier than attempting to use a … [Read more...] about Road Bike Floor Pumps: RBR Editor Round Up
By Stan Purdum I noticed three things almost simultaneously about the mountain bicycle leaning against the earthen bank: It was a Cannondale, it was an adult-sized bike and it had a sign on it reading “FREE.” I’m primarily a road cyclist and have all the bikes I need for that pursuit, but I’ve been looking for a mountain bike to use on the 70-mile-long Delaware and … [Read more...] about Another Sort of Bicycle Adventure
By Stan Purdum Looking for a good, cheap road bike? If you’re new to road cycling you may not be willing to spend thousands of dollars to get a good bicycle -- and there’s no reason you have to. Almost all the major bicycle brands offer one or more road bicycle models for less than $1,000. … [Read more...] about RBR Editor Picks: Best Cheap Road Bikes
by Stan Purdum “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes Perhaps you’ve been thinking about taking up road cycling, but you’re already … [Read more...] about Road Biking 101: A Beginner’s Guide
By Stan Purdum During the year leading up to my 1995 trip on two wheels across America, I read every narrative I could find of other people’s tours, as much to quell my impatience as to prepare me for the road. I was glad to find that a considerable body of first-person literature about such trips existed, and I’ve enjoyed reading other accounts that came along after my … [Read more...] about This Eclectic List of Bicycle Touring Books Will Have You Itching to Hit the Road
By Stan Purdum When Road Bike Rider published its List of Bike Brands from A to Z, we invited readers to use the comments section to add any brands not included in the list. And readers did, which was reminder of how wide the field of bicycle makers is. One reader’s suggestion was a surprise: “Buffalo bikes. Made for African backwoods.” And that prompted another reader to … [Read more...] about This Sturdy, $147 Bicycle Has Changed the Lives of More Than 420,000 People
by Stan Purdum eTap is the name of SRAM’s proprietary electronic drivetrain for bicycles — the first truly wireless electronic shifting system and the heart of its RED eTap road group. Shift signals are transmitted and received via SRAM’s fully wireless protocol known as Airea. The system, brought to market by SRAM in 2015 and used in a stage win that year in the Tour de … [Read more...] about 7 Great SRAM Red eTap Road Bikes
by Stan Purdum There was a day when buying bicycle helmet was primarily a matter of picking one you liked, fit you well and met your budget. And to a degree, that’s still true. All helmets sold in the United States are required by law to meet certain minimum safety standards, and in a crash, any helmet is better than none. I personally have had my head saved from injury four … [Read more...] about Best of the Best: These Bicycle Helmets Tested Safest at Multiple Labs
By Stan Purdum My father died in 2013 while I was on a six-day bicycle ride with Adventure Cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I got the call from my brother Scott the evening of the third day, after a challenging ride that included several long climbs and ended with a glorious and breathtaking 14-mile downhill plunge. The news wasn’t really a surprise, because Dad had … [Read more...] about A Bicycle is for Grieving