Red Bull is well known for its sponsorship, and great news for all fans of extreme cycling is you’re your sport is included. Red Bull is now synonymous as being affiliated with Extreme Sports. The cash injection from sponsorship allows great cyclists to show off their skills to an audience that would otherwise be unaware of how great cycling can really be. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has also confirmed that Red Bull Media House is the new official media partner of the Rocky Roads UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano. This means that live streams of the sport will now be streamed at www.redbull.tv as well as offering HD TV production, webcasting and content syndication, expanding the audience base further.
It can also inspire the younger generation to participate as taking up cycling can be pretty much done at any time. The Red Bull site is currently showing some jaw dropping cycling shorts videos featuring many of today’s upcoming extreme cycling stars. Danny MacAskill features in the video “Way Back Home” which follows Danny as he travels from Edinburgh to his hometown Dunvegam on the Isle of Skye. Along the way Danny embarks on some jaw dropping cycling skills in some of the tourist hotspots, including Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Bridge.
You can also see where the Red Bull cash injection has benefited Danny as now all his amazing work is captured with superb cinematography courtesy of his friend, Dave Sowerby, who is also a film maker. What's great about the video is not only does it show someone's passion in what they love doing, the scenery in which it is performed is equally part of the show.
Trial biker Petr Klaus also offers some skills as he visits Guatemala to hop, bounce and ride his way through some of Guatemala’s more natural habitat, including that of the Pacaya volcano. Petr can also be seen hopping down some dangerous, wet rocks as he goes riding in the caves with no name; and to most people remain unknown. The pleasure in watching Petr is that he makes everything looks so easy and his passion just oozes as he talks about his love of Extreme Cycling.
A nice sunny day is a great excuse to dust off the bike, dig out the cycling clothing and head outdoors for a long ride. The bad side of the sun shining brightly can be that your view is obscured, making it harder to enjoy your ride, and that's before mentioning the traffic and other obstacles that greet you on your journey. However, you can deter both the sun and the bugs from hindering your vision thanks to the many products available on the market to cater towards both your requirements and your budget. The pros of budget sunglasses is that if they are lost you can simply purchase another pair, that said, the budget sunglasses may not offer all, if any, of the features you may be seeking. As every person is unique, so would be the product you need to purchase; for example if you were a heavy mountain bike user, then a full face mask with ventilation may be a good idea.
All the stops, starts and speed ups can cause your glasses to steam up which will put you in the same predicament as before if the right product is not purchased. If you happen to be a long distance cyclist, then weight and comfort is essential here, there is nothing worse than travelling for miles on end only to be irritated by your glasses due to the toll they would burden you with if they were too heavy or sat uncomfortably whilst wearing them.
Another thing to consider when purchasing cycling sunglasses is the lenses themselves. You can have polarized lenses which can help deter glare from the sun and surfaces such as a flat road. Adapatalite sunglasses allow the lenses to adapt to the varying UV light levels around you giving you a clearer outlook when cycling. If you happen to cycle throughout the seasons then an interchangeable set of sunglasses may be the answer. Interchangeable sunglasses means you can simply covert your eyewear to contend with the relevant elements, ensuring you are prepared for all weather conditions. Interchangeable sunglasses can also be purchased at a reasonably fair price, such as Global Vision's shatterproof cycling glasses, complete with interchangeable lenses; ideal for newer cyclists who are just trying out, or for those on a tight budget.
So in conclusion the right choice for you will match your activities; everyone has their own requirements and needs and a little homework when purchasing sunglasses will mean you won't go far wrong.
Most cyclists would agree that your gloves are just as important as any other aspect of cycle clothing; they aren't worn just for comfort, but also protection. So what should you be aware of when purchasing gloves for cycling? Well one of the main factors is comfort and support; cyclists should be ensure that the gloves feel snug and comfortable whilst still allowing for a firm grip to be made on the bike grips. It is also important to ensure they have a gel based padding which will help absorb the jolts and shocks when riding, and may otherwise be transferred to your elbows and shoulders - not the nicest feeling.
Something else worth noting is to ensure that the cycling gloves have a fleece lining on the back of the thumb, this helps you wipe your nose when riding; a great inconvenience if you need to stop when you’re in motion. If you feel your hands get too heated when wearing gloves for cycling then the way forward may be to purchase the fingerless variety. You will then have the benefit of padding without your hands getting too hot. These are ideal for road cyclists however downhill cyclists and mountain bike enthusiasts may want to invest in the full finger variety. These will offer protection from the debris the rocky terrain can throw at you, as well as offering warmth and comfort in the colder climates. However some brands on the market do allow for cooling during the hot summer months, such as the “Planet Bike” Orion Full Finger Cycling Gloves.
Generally there are different gloves for the different seasons, so a visit to your local cycle shop will be able to advise you on what would suit you best. There are all season gloves on the market, for example the “Sealskinz” All Season High-Viz Cycling Gloves, but as these are full finger, some cyclists may still find them too hot for the summer periods. The best way to see if a certain brand of gloves is for you is too simply try them on, this in itself will give you a hint as to whether they will benefit you and your cycling.
Another recent addition to the cycle glove family is the “Lobster Glove”, acting as half glove, half mitten hybrid. These function by placing two fingers in each of the two slots, which in turn allows some dexterity in the use of the bicycles brakes.
In the British weather you can’t be sure about anything but one thing you have to be ready for at all times is a sudden cold snap. Unfortunately, dressing in cycle wear for every possibility that the weather can deliver isn’t really possible if you need to stay lean and sleek – you would end up with so many layers on you would be hardly able to pedal. Arm warmers and leg warmers are the answer and they are certainly worth taking with you whenever you go out training because they fold up small enough to go into a pocket and yet will keep you warm if the weather turns.
Some people economise on cycling clothing by buying short sleeved cycling tops for all year and finishing them off for colder weather with arm warmers and a gilet. This is a very good plan if you need to keep the costs of your cycling equipment down as you are still covered for every eventuality. Arm and leg warmers are usually made from a mixture of nylon and spandex, to give excellent warmth and also guaranteeing a tight fit. They spring back into shape once they have been washed and dry almost instantly, so you don’t really need more than one pair.
Arm and leg warmers come in a whole host of primary colours and if you are running a team on a budget, the use of the warmers in the team livery would be a good way of co-ordinating your team. You can get all different sizes from extra small on up and so even the slimmest person can have a good tight fitting arm or leg warmer. A good close fit is part of how arm and leg warmers work, so measure carefully before ordering; although not as expensive as buying a whole garment, they are still not cheap and they are – quite rightly – non returnable once they have been worn. Some people have found that arm and leg warmers are a good thing to wear before setting out on a ride and popping on as soon as it finishes. This is good practice if the weather is cold and you have just warmed up with exercise, because it can stop cramps and chilling, perhaps even having an effect as much as 24 hours later with reduced aches and pains, especially at the start of the season.
Cycling clothing can be expensive so cyclists and others involved in serious exercise are often undecided about the advantages of cycling in compression clothing. There is only a small amount of research material available on the tests which have been carried out on the various compression garments on the market and by and large it all seems to come down to a matter of personal opinion. One thing that does seem certain though, is that keeping the garments on after the exercise has ended is rather more important than wearing it for the exercise itself. This is even more the case with cycling, which is non weight bearing (known as concentric). Compression clothing has been shown to have a small effect on recovery times during and after eccentric (weight bearing) exercise specifically.
Compression clothing of a quality which may do some good tends to be rather expensive and for this reason, apart from Lycra or Xpandx cycling shorts and cycling tights, is not worn routinely by most cyclists. Some people who have a problem with chafing, especially in cold weather, find that compression tights, shorts and leggings are very helpful but not so many people are so keen on tops as they can feel restrictive. The science behind the idea has more gravitas when considered re the leg muscles anyway as the reduction in lactic acid production is the main argument for the wearing of compression clothing.
Like many other aids to performance, compression clothing is a matter of personal choice. If as a cyclist you feel that wearing it makes a difference and you don’t have a problem with the cost, then it is certainly worthwhile. However, if you are the kind of person who likes to have a lot of scientific proof before following a trend, then you are unlikely to be splashing out on compression clothing anytime soon, because almost all of the evidence is anecdotal at best.
All cyclists know that it is important to keep warm when exercising, that warm ups and cool down time is essential and knowing your own body and its needs and limits is half the battle when it comes to keeping fit and not losing any days through muscle strain or chills. If wearing compression clothing whilst cycling enables you to exercise more effectively and you can afford it, then go right ahead – there is certainly plenty on the market to choose from.