CYCLING TO WORK: COMMUTER PROFILE – GANAPATHY SUBRAMANIAN

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November 22, 2016 by Archana Seshagiri

We love bicycles, and at BUMSONTHESADDLE we aim to share this passion with as many people as possible. Biking to Work can be one of the simplest things most Bangaloreans can do to kick off a fantastic day. The BOTS “Wheels of Change” project aims to get more people biking to work via corporate workshops, partnerships, events and simply sharing the joy of cycling to work!

Want to be a part of the Wheels of Change team? Shoot us an email – support@bumsonthesaddle.com


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There are commuters and then there are the zippy commuters. Ganapathy Subramanian has been zipping his way to work through the busy streets of Bangalore on his Silver Shadow (Polygon Zenith single speed bike) since January 2015. And loving it!

Ganapathy commutes 55km every day to work and back and uses this distance and time as a form of training coupled with his commute. These training rides build an overall sense of preparedness for the endurance riding that he loves. Talk about multi tasking – saving time, money, commuting green and having a blast. All at the same time!

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He loves riding at 25-30kph in service lanes while most of the traffic is at a standstill (silkboard as an example). Simple pleasures in life :wink: There are times when he’s forced to take his motorbike to work and those are the lethargic super-long-never-ending days that he hates. Riding a bike brings immense energy which allows him to stay energised and super-productive.

There are lot of welcome distractions through his commutes. He’s had motor-bikers cheer him when he overtakes and autos giving a smile to egg him on. Lately, even the BMTC Volvo buses seem to be bike friendly, he adds. The journey from starting out as a curious commuter with a lot of ‘what if’s’ to now a seasoned zippy commuter, Ganapathy has inspired many of his teammates at Hewlett Packard to bike to work and has contributed to the growth of the commuter’s tribe at HP.

His advice to fellow commuters – “Don’t let traffic bother you. Anticipate the speed and flow of motorized transport and enjoy the commute by looking at the travel time differently – enjoy chasing flyover climbs, glide thru greener traffic by-lanes and wizz past slow moving traffic in most parts of the city”

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Ganapathy is also an endurance athlete. He is one of the very few randonneurs in India to have completed the toughest brevet – a 1200km ride in Karnataka – aptly named “Bliss in the hills”. You can also spot him racing for the Cleated Warriers team in various races across Bangalore city.

Thanks for being awesome, Ganapathy.

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CYCLING TO WORK IN BANGALORE: NITIN KATAGERI

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November 13, 2016 by Archana Seshagiri

We love bicycles, and at BUMSONTHESADDLE we aim to share this passion with as many people as possible. Biking to Work can be one of the simplest things most Bangaloreans can do to kick off a fantastic day. The BOTS “Wheels of Change” project aims to get more people biking to work via corporate workshops, partnerships, events and simply sharing the joy of cycling to work!

Want to be a part of the Wheels of Change team? Shoot us an email – support@bumsonthesaddle.com


Have you ever come across a rider who has been commuting to work for over 8 years now and has never had any bad incidents to speak about?

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Nitin in commuter mode!

Meet Nitin Katageri, one of our most positive commuters in Bangalore! He started biking to work as a time-saving-healthy option, which has now become an addiction for him. He now rides his bicycle to be happy. Simple!

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Nitin has also supported a lot of people to take up cycling as a means of commuting in the city. He feels this is his way of giving back to the city and to their health. The most exciting part of Nitin’s commutes are the curious kids en-route. He thoroughly enjoys engaging with them and inspires them to stick to cycling as long as possible.

What has kept him so positive on road is his attitude of never claiming his right on road, instead his willingness to share the space. He believes that for a place like Bangalore, sharing space is a better way than dedicated lanes infrastructure at the moment. Whenever he gets frustrated by a vehicle slowing him down, he puts on this attitude.

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The Fleet. Cyclists are great role models for kids!

Nitin rides a Surly Cross Check and a Specialized Pitch Comp and commutes 26km everyday.

Thanks Nitin for being simply awesome!

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Cyclists always, ALWAYS, live life large!


SPECIALIZED DIVERGE A1 REVIEW

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November 9, 2016 by Suraj LN Swamy

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Disclaimer!

This review has been written keeping in mind our Indian context — the roads we ride on, erratic drivers, animals & pedestrians walking on road, etc…

“Let us begin”

Specialized has always designed fantastic bikes for rough-er roads — perfect for the tarmac that most of us ride on a daily basis. It has designed and build several incarnations of the Roubaix, built to take on the teeth-rattling cobbles of Northern France at the Paris-Roubaix race. It also offers a great choice of performance cyclo-cross bikes in the Crux range.

The Specialized Diverge sits somewhere between the two; an adventure road bike designed for all-day rides — commute to work, weekend rides into the country side, occasional racing, cyclocross, etc. The bike is built to tackle any surface it encounters.

FRAMESET

Specialized has been building its aluminum bikes out of two different proprietary aluminum — Specialized A1 Aluminium for its entry-level and mid-range bikes and Specialized E5 Aluminium for the premium, race-orientated models. The Diverge is built from A1 Aluminium. (read more: – http://bit.ly/2do4i0b)

The beefy Specialized FACT carbon fork comes with an alloy crown and allow steerer and features the same Zertz inserts (high frequency shock absorbers) as found on the Specialized Roubaix. While the Zerts absorb high frequency vibrations the carbon fork on the other hand takes care of the low frequency but bigger bumps to give the rider a super smooth and comfortable ride.

The attractive frame, the stealthiest of the range, has a tough anodized black finish, except for a silver Specialized logotype along the bottom of the down tube and a red detail at the bottom of the fork. The cabling is mostly external except for the rear brake cable that routes internally through the down tube. To top things off, the bike comes with a brazed-on mech hanger.

The versatile Diverge has plenty of clearance for wider tires. It comes kitted with 30C (can be taken up to 38C for a smoother/comfortable ride), and has well placed and super useful mudguard and rack fittings.

It’s interesting to see how the Diverge relates to its stablemates in terms of geometry. The wheelbase is longer than the Roubaix — making it an even more stable ride, but is shorter than the cross-specific Crux. Curiously, the bottom bracket on the Diverge is set higher — giving it higher ground clearance and different handling dynamics — than on that all-out ‘cross bike.

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COMPONENTS

The Specialized Diverge uses a Shimano Claris 8-speed gearset. There is a long cage derailleur to handle the combination of compact 50/34T chainset and 11-32T cassette that should get you over most hills, whatever the surface. Shifting quality of the Claris has improved drastically over the years with Shimano trickling down high end group-set technology into the Claris. The only area I found a shift delay was in the front derailleur moving the chain from 1st to 2nd chainring, not a biggie on longer endurace rides. The rear mech performced exceedingly well at most speeds/slopes I threw at it. The shift experience was almost as good as a Tiagra derailleur on my other bike! Excellant. 

The bike was beautifully finished with components from the Specialized stable – a Toupe Sport Body Geometry saddle and matt black Roubaix bar tape with Gel inserts beneath the tape. Super comfortable.

In the past year we have seen the introduction of disc brakes on road bikes to improve braking in two ways

  • Disc brakes by themselves are well know to brake in the worst of conditions
  • Wider tires allow for better grip on road when the brake are applied.

The Diverge uses Tektro TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes with dual pivots (both pads move independently to grip the disc).

WHEELS

The Diverge comes equipped with slick looking disc-specific road wheels – the Axis Classic – which come with an aero profile and relatively low spoke count. The silver spokes are a nice touch too, giving the wheels a distinctive look. The Diverge runs the Specialized Espoir Sport tiers – 30mm tires designed for high mileage training, Gripton rubber compound, 60TPI casing, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection. A perfect recipe for the ride experience this bike was built for.

Read more about the Specialized Gripton compound – http://bit.ly/1PwCfuh

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RIDING

On the road the Diverge rides like a road bike.

It may not be the lightest model on offer, but it’s no heavyweight either — it’s responsive, handles with confidence in the corners and the wheels maintain their speed well. It climbs pretty well too, although the combination of the all-up weight and wide, grippy tires means you push at pretty much the same intensity all the way up the hill, never quite gaining the upper hand. The Diverge offers a good riding position, with the front end not feeling too high off the ground, which can often be the case with some endurance bikes.

But how does it perform when the tarmac ends? Well, those road-based Espoir tyres are never really going to offer much grip on slush and grass but on broken roads, dirt tracks and gravel they perform well. By altering tire pressure that fits you best, one can get achieve a much smoother ride.

The ride quality of the Diverge itself is really interesting and engaging. The damping effect of the front fork with Zerts keeps the worst of the bumps from reaching your hands without any loss of control and the rear wheel stays planted firmly on the ground. The saddle is comfortable too, adding to the fun of riding hard on bad roads. Handle bar equipped with gel insert beneath the bar tape, makes for an exciting ride — no matter where you’re going.

The brakes were undeniably very sound mechanically, but took some time to sharpen up, with the front still noticeably outperforming the rear by the end of my 5 days of test. I have often found that similar brakes can take a long time to bed in, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Without question, the Diverge A1 is the road bike made for Indian conditions.

Advice: shoes and pedals

Although the Diverge is predominantly a road bike, its capacity to leave the tarmac means you may find yourself in a situation where you have to walk some unrideable trail or cross on obstacle. It’s therefore worth investing in some mountain bike shoes with their tougher, walking-friendly soles and recessed cleats. I am keeping in mind the brevet riders when I talk about the type of shoes & pedals

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You’ll need pedals to match; Shimano’s SPD system is ideal with a broad range that offers some excellent pedals. Alternatives such as Crank Brothers’ Egg Beaters.

Click below for pedals and shoes:

Pedals – http://bit.ly/shimano_pedals

Shoes – http://bit.ly/mtb_shoes

Verdict

Without question, the Specialized Diverge A1 is a perfect road bike for Indian road condition. With the introduction of disc brakes on road bikes, braking in any given condition is a confidence booster. The high tire clearance in the fork & seat-stay means you can add chunky tires and mudguards to battle the worst of winter. An all round good choice when looking for a road bike that can do it all.

You can also read some of the other reviews by clicking on any other links below:

Click here to ride home The Diverge – http://bit.ly/specialized_diverge


INDTRODUCING: BUMSONTHESADDLE PERFORMANCE ROAD COACHING PROGRAM

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October 13, 2016 by Suraj LN Swamy

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If you have been riding your bicycle for over a year, we are sure your thought will be at getting into training or coaching to improve your cadence / average speed / climb timings on our pilgrimage Nandi hills or the deadly kalhatti climb / ability to sprint faster — If have you not been thinking so, probably it is time to step up your cycling goals. The year 2017 will be filled with events for you to take part in. To name a few popular ones, as below:

The event listed above need solid preparation and attempting any of these without a structured plan is surely not a good idea. Some of the common pitfalls for riders have been: fatigue at the early stages of the event and/or injury to muscles & ligaments.

Preparing for the event involves the following:

  1. Understanding your current fitness level by either getting a FTP (Functional Threshold Power) / FTH(Functional Threshold Heart rate) / RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) test
  2. Designing a training program taking into account your current ability with fitness, over all muscle flexibility & goals you want to reach
  3. Complimenting the program with adequate & proper nutrition, rest & equipment
  4. Evaluating the progress of your training as the event you have been training for is inching closer (a month before)

With a growing number of rider in Bangalore & across India taking part in various events in India & abroad, we have made it our goal to help all of you achieve better results and stay injury free. Our partnership with Yoska performance coaching has enabled us to design coaching plans for various type of cycling goals. Here is a intro into the program:

  • Personalized cycling program which caters to people of all fitness levels (newbie to seasoned cyclists) and for anyone above 14 years
  • Detailed workout instructions would be delivered via an online platform with weekly virtual information, clarification sessions along with instructions on available training routes
  • Focus on all facets of Cycling – Workouts, Nutrition, Rest, Equipment
  • Provide detailed instructions for everyday and workouts ranging from endurance rides, intervals, hill repeats, recovery rides, etc
  • Caters to Power Based Training or Non Power Based Training depending on your bike having a power meter or not

Now talking about the benefits of having a training program. To name a few, as below:

  • Structured Training and Workouts focussing on the key areas for building endurance and strength for meeting your goal
  • Overall development with improvement on core and conditioning to avoid injuries
  • Guidance on Pre, Post and Training Nutrition including race specific information
  • Guidance on bike equipment, accessories and access to experts over group interactions

The thought about: “I Need a power meter / Heart rate Monitor (HRM), before I begin”

We definitely agree to that trend of training using a Power meter and HRM has picked up and that your ride buddy / someone in your community has already purchased one.

Here is something you need to know if you worried about that thought. Power meter & HRM deliver metrics during your training and surely aid you in getting accurate data points. But you can still train on basic time and RPE (rate of perceived exertion). Our training plan and the workouts are defined to handle those scenarios also.

Here is our program especially for the upcoming Nandi race on 19th November:

You can call us on 080 4150 5583 for details on how you can conquer Nandi / Kalhatti.

#BOTSCoaching #bumsonthesaddle #coaching #training #BBCh#NandiEpic #roadracing


TOP BICYCLE MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR A BETTER RIDE ON RACE / EVENT DAY

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October 11, 2016 by Suraj LN Swamy

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With over a year of experience in providing Start Line Support at races & brevets, we at BOTS Tech have complied a list of top bicycle maintenance tips to ready your bicycle for the day of the event. Below are our recommendations in the order of M-check:

Quick release & hubs: Make sure your hub has bearing that are in working condition. Old bearings & stale grease can create a lot friction causing you to loose speed and having to put out more effort to go up the climb. Quick release (QR) will need to be able to lock when put in place. If your QR is not able to lock, it is best you get a new pair to avoid mis-haps during the race

Wheels: The wheel has spokes, nipple & rim put together. AVOID racing on a bicycle with dented / wobbly rim, loose / broken / rusted spoke & nipple

Tires: This is the one thing (actually 2 things) that allows you to accelerate, corner, brake during the entire duration of the race. Make sure the tire has sufficient button / knob on it to be able to do all of that. AVOID have bald tires during race day — it will even lead to punctures

Suspension fork & rear shock: A properly working fork allows the wheel to stay in contact with the ground below. AVOID having suspension that is jammed / rusted / broken internal parts. If your bike comes with a fork with air, then make sure to top up to correct PSI. AVOID having too little / too much of air

Head set: A perfectly fitted headset will hold everything in place and allow you to steer the bicycle in the correct direction. AVOID racing your bicycle with lose headset, as this may lead to accidents during the race

Brakes: The braking system (mechanical / hydraulic) is composed of: Levers, housing, cable, calipers, brake pads. AVOID having jammed levers, bent / rusted housing & cable, jammed / rusted calipers & lastly worn out brake pads — failure in either of this will lead to insufficient braking when you want to

Drivetrain: The drive train is composed of: shifters, crank, bottom bracket (BB), chain, cassette, rear derailleur (you love this part of the bike — don’t you??), hanger & front derailleur. AVOID having jammed shifters, worn out crank tooth / wobbly crank, rusted BB, twisted links / rusted / stretched chain, slipping cassette teeth / rusted cassette, twisted rear & front derailleur, bent hanger. Any of these problems will lead to poor shifting when you want to either accelerate / climb

Saddle: AVOID having a bent saddle to keep up pain the lower back

If you see that your bicycle has any of these issues, then it is best to take it to your local bike shop to get it serviced. Remember! You want to enjoy you day the race venue and not curse your bicycle for the mishap.

Our tech services are available at Jayanagar & Infantry road stores to prepare your bicycle for the event you have been waiting to ride. Contact us on support@bumsonthesaddle.com or call on 080 – 4150 5583 / 4114 3064 to book an appointment.

Are you running a event and would like us to provide Start Line Support? Get in touch with us on the above email / phone #.


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