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Cycling will help you keep your ski legs

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Did you know that Greg Lemond was once a competitive skier that got into cycling to train in the off season for skiing? The rest is USA cycling history as he was a naturally dominant rider in cycling competition. There is no better exercise for quads and core strength than cycling and top athletes have utilized this cross training method to be sure when the flakes fly again their legs are also ready to fly too.

Looking at new gear can be a bit of sticker shock. Keep in mind for a road bike or a mountain bike, economical options can be found in used bikes. Most especially road bikes as they see less damage from ordinary use. Typically damage to a road bike is more likely from transporting the bike or storing it where it can take a fall rather than from crashes. As you probably have surmised or accomplished, mountain bikers crash. Even good mountain bikers crash, so there is cause for inspection when making these purchases. Many bike shops sell used gear as well which is good to know as there is the added security that it will be in good working order. Of course the appeal of shiny new gear is undeniable and rightfully so. All carbon frames, carbon rear derailleurs, a 29er? It's almost as fun as looking for a new ski gear!

How do I know I will like my bike?

Test ride! Many bike shops offer free demos of various kinds of bikes periodically throughout the year. If you are seriously considering a bike, a test ride is a necessity to give you opportunity to try before you buy. Talk with your shop and find out where and when you can do that.

Decide if you are committed to your cause.

It always helps to have motivation to complete your workouts. Not only to just get out and do it, but truly enjoy what you are doing. Some are so devoted to their sport and can't keep away from the bike and some are semi committed when they purchase a new ride, only to have it collect dust. If you have no serious desire to ride, then having a shiny new bike isn't going to motivate and may just be a waste of money.

Get fitted!

A good bike shop should spend ample time preparing your new bike to be a perfect fit for you. They will ensure your pedal cleats are seated in the proper spot, the seat height is not too high or too low, taking your preferences into account while advising you on standard bike ergonomics. Ignoring ergonomics can cause injury from repeated use such as always riding with a seat too low, a classic way to injure a knee. Nothing will put an end to an exercise program more quickly than a nagging injury due to improper use. One to also look out for is the trend to have overly wide handlebars. This could hyperextend your elbow and cause injury. No handlebar should be wider than your shoulder span. Many small and extra small frames then to have extra wide handlebars lately, opening opportunity for injury. Talk to your bike shop about these concerns if you notice this on a model that interests you. It is very simple to cut the bars down to size to ensure the right set up.

Decide if you are committed to your cause.

It always helps to have motivation to complete your workouts, not only to get out and do it, but to truly enjoy it. Some are devoted to their sport and can't keep away from the bike and some are semi committed when they purchase a new bike, only to have it collect dust. If you have no serious desire to ride, then having a shiny new bike isn't going to motivate and may just be a poor waste of your money.

Get out and ride, you will be stronger and leaner when the lifts start spinning again making the most of your off season.

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