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This shortened wheel base provided for smaller, stiffer frames that handled more responsively—think of it as the comparison between the long body of a cruising Cadillac versus the short body of a Porsche. Recently, with the advent of stiffer materials, the necessity for the shortened wheel base has been diminished. This has resulted in stiffer racing bikes without sacrificing comfort or responsiveness. Most Gearing Up ● race frames have a wheel base between 97 and 101 centimeters, but again, you may find touring bikes with similar wheel bases.

Gloves absorb road shock through the handlebar. They also allow for a more secure grip on the handlebar when sweating, provide a place to wipe your lip or brow under heavy exercise, and protect your hands from road rash in the event of a crash. Sunglasses protect your eyes from insects, the sun, and flying road debris kicked up by other cyclists and cars. In addition, sunglasses add some protection for your eyes in the event of a crash. Helmets Helmets are approved either by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) or by the Snell Memorial Foundation.

A great advantage of steel is its wide availability and ease of shaping. Thus, if you need to have a custom-built bike because standard frames do not fit your body well, steel can be a great, inexpensive alternative. Keep in mind that it’s better to be on a bike that fits you than on a bike made of the latest, fashionable materials. Wheels As a beginning racer, you may not be too concerned about wheels at first; you will likely use whatever wheels come with your racing frame. , criteriums, road races, time trials).

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