ADD A LITTLE CUSHION
On a 100-percent human-powered
bicycle, your pedaling actually lifts your
weight off the saddle slightly. The harder
you push on the pedals, the more your
weight is lifted. Now, enter the world of
pedal assist. Since the motor is doing
70 percent or more of the work, you
stay firmly planted in the saddle. On a
short ride, that’s no big deal. After 25
minutes, you will begin to feel a bit of
discomfort, as most of your weight is
concentrated on the saddle.
A suspension seatpost will take a lot of
this discomfort away and may even eliminate it. These products give suspension
travel to your saddle. The Cane Creek
Thudbuster seatpost has been around for
a long time and works beautifully.
A smartphone is a vital tool for your
e-excursions. We use the Cyclemeter
app for our riding. It is a simple app
that keeps track of things like mileage,
elevation climbed, average speed and
top speed. If you have ever found yourself miles from home and out of juice,
you already understand what a lifesaver
using an app like Cyclemeter can be.
Although not yet available, companies
like Easy Motion will have apps that tap
into their bike’s electrical system for
even more accurate reporting.
Did you know that a dry chain could
inflict damage on other components? It
also robs your bike of power. You need
a bottle of chain lube in the garage for
periodically lubricating your bike’s chain.
The best time to apply the stuff is the
night before your ride, and then wipe off
the excess lube the morning before you
TAKE IT WITH YOU
While there are hundreds of bike
racks to choose from, we would steer
you toward carrying your cargo on your
person. Any weight you add to the
bike’s frame is going to have a detrimental effect on your bike’s balance
and handling. Fill a rear-mounted basket
with 15 pounds of books, a computer
and lunch and you will be facing a
totally new experience once underway.
The front end will feel too light, you will
wobble more in corners, and shifts in
cargo weight will be a challenge to your
FITS LIKE A GLOVE
While your handlebar grips may be
soft and comfy, you do not want your
bare hands exposed to the wind and dirt
from the road. Gloves will also give you
a better feel of the controls, both brake
levers and shifting triggers. Our advice
is to choose a glove with a thin palm
and full fingers. Nothing is more bothersome than a padded glove palm that
bunches up between the handlebar grip
and your palm. Remember, you are sitting more upright than on a conventional
bicycle, so you won’t have as much
pressure against the handlebar grips.
You shouldn’t need all that padding.