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  • Cycle Tribe: A complete guide for cycling bib shorts

    Looking to buy the perfect pair of cycling bib shorts? Here at Cycle Tribe we've produced a comprehensive guide to help you with your decision.

    While those just starting off or cycling as a hobby may opt for simpler or more traditional shorts, for those who are cycling competitively or enjoy undertaking longer journeys on their bike, bib shorts are almost always an essential item in the cycling wardrobe.

    Bib shorts are specially designed to provide comfort and security, while reducing some of the pressures that the saddle generally provides on longer bike rides.

    With that information in mind, let's take a closer look at some of the key considerations you should keep in mind before purchasing your next (or your first) pair of bib shorts.

    Fit

    Fit is essential for both comfort and performance with any piece of cycling clothing, but it's even more important when it comes to bib shorts.

    Bib shorts are designed to take away much of the discomfort and pressure that comes with long journeys in the saddle, but they can't do so if they're poorly fitting.

    The bibs or shoulder straps should be fixed firmly, but not so tight as to cause discomfort on the shoulder area over the course of your cycle.

    The overall fit of the material should be close to skintight to eliminate the possibility of other materials coming between the skin and the shorts and causing irritation.

    There's another area where fit must be considered...

    Seatpad

    It's also vital that the seatpad offers a comfortable fit as this is the main reason for opting for bib shorts.

    Bib shorts contain a pad or insert that is designed to shape to your body and provide cushioning and much needed comfort in the areas that make closest contact with the saddle.

    Before picking your shorts, take note of any details in regard to the amount of padding in the insert,which will generally be provided on the websites of manufacturers or retailers.

    Fabric

    While the type of fabric that's used in the shorts may not be all that important in making a decision -- in fact it may often be similar from brand to brand -- how the different strands are stitched together is important.

    The closer to seamless the stitching in your shorts is, the less chance you have of suffering from any kind of irritation or chafing.

    Style

    Last, but by no means least, it's crucial that you pick a pair of shorts that fit your personal style and personality.

    That's by no means the reason why any cyclist purchases bib shorts, but if you're hoping to get the full benefit of your seatpad, it certainly doesn't hurt to feel happy and confident with the design of the shorts themselves.

    CycleTribe recommends

    Castelli Premio Bib Shorts

    Castelli Premio Bib Shorts
    RRP: €209.99
    CycleTribe Special: €149.99
    Details: Combining all of the latest in bib shorts technology, these Castelli cycling shorts contain a seatpad designed for maximum comfort, minimal skin irritation and a highly breathable effect overall.

    Ale Bib Shorts

    Ale Graphics PRR Camo Bib Shorts
    RRP: €129.99
    Available for pre-order.
    Details: These Ale bib shorts don't just come equipped with a stylish and vibrant design to make you stand out on the road, but also with a seat pad that provides supreme comfort and shock absorption to relieve pressure on long rides.

    Sportful Total Comfort Bib Shorts

     

    Sportful Total Comfort Bib Shorts
    RRP: €159.99
    CycleTribe Special: €127.99
    Details: With three layers of foam designed for ultimate comfort and providing up to 18mm of padding, these Sportful bib shorts are some of the best available for cyclists who often undertake long rides in the saddle.

    To view the full range of cycling shorts available at Cycle Tribe, click here.

    *Prices are subject to change, all prices are accurate as of time of posting.

  • Cycle Tribe: What to look for when buying a cycling jacket

    A cycling jacket is one of the most important items in any cyclist's wardrobe, but what should you consider before buying your next jacket?

    When building up a range of cycling clothing to turn to in your wardrobe, it's important to buy the right kind of jacket. If your budget and purpose for cycling allow for it, it may even be wise to have multiple options tailored to different kinds of conditions.

    Still, like with most other cycling items, there's such a wide range of options to choose from. The increasing influence of clothing technologies doesn't make it any easier to identify which jacket best suits your needs either.

    With all of that in mind, let's take a look at some of the key considerations you should keep in mind for when you're purchasing your next cycling jacket!

    Fit

    Just like with any item of clothing, many elements of choosing the right fit for your cycling jacket will come down to comfort and personal preference.

    In saying that, there are some important performance considerations to keep in mind when choosing your cycling jacket.

    For those placing an emphasis on speed and high end performance, tighter fitted jackets can produce increased aerodynamics, offering the kind of marginal gains that competitive cyclists are always looking for. Those who cycle to commute, or as a hobby, may also be content with jackets that prioritize comfort.

    Regardless of what type of cyclist you are, remember to keep in mind that your cycling jacket needs to allow free movement and meet your needs while active as well as when you're stationary.

    Waterproof/Windproof

    The primary function of a cycling jacket is to protect the rider from the elements, but that doesn't necessarily mean that every jacket is best designed to suit all adverse conditions.

    Soft shell jackets can provide excellent protection from the wind while not being fully waterproof, providing greater versatility and an option that can be worn throughout a wider range of conditions and a longer spell in the year.

    On the other hand, if you want to be prepared for the worst possible riding conditions, a hard shell jacket is a valuable piece of clothing to have in your wardrobe. This kind of jacket will provide total protection from wind and rain, but will also allow less opportunity for you to manage your temperature as you cycle.

    Breathability

    Speaking of which, a consideration that can often be overlooked when buying a cycling jacket is its breathability. When buying a jacket for everyday use, the focus is solely centred on retaining warmth, but that can be problematic while cycling.

    While exercising it's vital to stay cool and comfortable, no matter what the conditions are, and as such certain jackets will provide ventilation to keep down your temperature and also help to move sweat away from the body.

    Style

    Just like with any other item of clothing you own, if you're going to buy a cycling jacket, it makes sense that you choose one which suits your own sense of style, allowing you to feel good while wearing it.

    Who says cycling clothing can't be both stylish and useful?

    CycleTribe recommends

    cycling jacket

    Castelli Espresso 4 Jacket
    RRP: €269
    CycleTribe Special: €249
    Details: This Castelli jacket offers all of the trappings of a hard shell, coming fully wind and water proof, but also includes a handy ventilation zip on the chest to help reduce temperature while you cycle.

    cycling jacket

     

    Altura Womens NightVision Evo3 Waterproof Jacket
    RRP: €124.99
    CycleTribe Special: €99.99
    Details: Not only does this Altura jacket offer a specially tailored fit designed for women, but it also comes fully waterproof and yet still breathable thanks to Altura's Shield EVO technology. On top of that, the Darkproof technology maximises visibility in the dark with specially placed reflector panels.

    cycling jacket

    Funkier Tornado TPU Thermal Jacket
    RRP: €79.99
    CycleTribe Special: €69.99
    Details: With water resistant material that's designed to eliminate wind chill, a variety of zipped vents that offer breathability, and a stylish design that looks the part, this Funkier jacket is an excellent cycling jacket at an affordable price.

    To view the full range of cycling jackets available at Cycle Tribe, click here.

    *Prices are subject to change, all prices are accurate as of time of posting.

  • Cycle Tribe: Everything you need to know before buying bike lights

    Looking to buy bike lights but unsure of where to start?

    This detailed Cycle Tribe guide will help to point you in the right direction.

    With winter well underway, all cyclists are faced with a significant change in conditions. Although there are a variety of considerations and precautions that need to be taken before you get on your bike in the winter months, one stands out as the most obvious of them all.

    As daylight is at a premium, cycling in the dark becomes a much more common occurrence than it would be throughout the rest of the year. As a result, bike lights become essential.

    With such a wide range of bike lights available on the market, the decision of which lights to buy can be a daunting one. Price will be a leading factor in making a decision for many, but there are other important details to keep in mind when getting your bike ready for winter.

    So, before you make any final decisions about the bike lights that will work best for you, allow us at CycleTribe to help you make an informed decision!

    Types

    Before breaking down some of the features that differentiate different models of lights, there are two primary types of bike lights to discuss: High output lights and safety lights.

    The more expensive lights on the market generally fall under the category of high output lights, and for good reason too. These are more powerful lights designed to maximise visibility, regardless of the terrain. Usually powered by a rechargeable battery of some sort, these lights will most often be mounted on the handlebar, or occasionally the rider’s helmet, to provide a clear view of the path ahead.

    Safety lights will be comparatively inexpensive, but are no less important. Their function is less about illuminating the bike’s path, and more focused on ensuring that vehicles, pedestrians and fellow cyclists can see you. Although safety lights can be used at the front of the bike, they are generally best suited to the back and sides, leaving more powerful lights on the front.

    Performance

    In comparing lights, brightness, beam patterns, battery life and weight are some of the key differentiating factors to look out for. These will also be the most important elements when it comes to judging a light’s performance.

    The brightness of a light is recorded by a measure known as lumens. Very simply, the higher the number of lumens is for a light, the greater the intensity of the light’s beam will be. For cyclists who spend most of their time on routes that are poorly lit, it’s vital to have a light that’s strong enough to compensate for the surrounding darkness.

    Buying a light with the right beam patterns isn’t just important for ensuring that it performs as you need it to, but it also makes for a necessary consideration depending on the routes you generally cycle on.

    Cycling in urban, well-lit areas will generally only require a narrow beam, while a wide focus would be a requirement for darker, more rural tracks. If you’ve ever been blinded by a fellow cyclist’s light, you may also want to consider a light with a cut-off beam which will stop you from similarly dazzling fellow cyclists or vehicles.

    It goes without saying that a light is only useful as long as it’s running, and that makes the battery life and run time of bike lights particularly important. Many of the higher end lights are now rechargeable, while some still run on standard batteries.

    Regardless of the type of light you choose to purchase, you need to know how often a battery will be required to be charged or replaced. This isn’t always a black and white issue, as most lights have adjustable brightness and therefore the running time will be dependent on how many lumens are being used on average.

    In other words, if you want a light that will last as long as possible for you, make sure to keep in mind just how bright your light will need to be in the first place.

    Last but by no means least, don’t forget to factor in the weight of a given light. For some who are using a bike for commuting or leisure purposes it may be largely insignificant, but for those approaching cycling from more of a high performance or competitive perspective, it can be advantageous for the light to weigh as little as possible.

    Lights to suit you

    Taking into account all of those different factors before purchasing lights, the most important thing is that you buy the lights best suited to your cycling habits.

    The most expensive lights aren’t necessarily always going to be the ones best suited to your needs, just as more inexpensive lights won’t automatically make a good fit for you either.

    Take some time to decide what selection of lights will work best for you, while remembering that your decision should reflect your safety, the safety of others, and your performance requirements.

    CycleTribe recommends

    Ravemen PR 600 Front Light

     

    Ravemen PR600 Front Light
    RRP: €84.99
    CycleTribe Special: €77.99
    Details: A powerful front light that can deliver up to 600 lumens, the PR600 also comes equipped with a cut-off beam to avoid causing glare to other road users. Made mostly of aluminium, the PR600 weighs in at just 165g.

    Smart Touch 700 USB Front Light

    Smart Touch 700 USB Front Light
    RRP: €84.99
    CycleTribe Special: €69.99
    Details: A great front light that is both compact and powerful. The Smart Touch 700 can offer up to 700 lumens, and is simple to use with a swipe of your finger controlling the light, much like it would a smart phone. Another bonus is its 144g weight.

    Lezyne Light Drive 700

    Lezyne Light Drive 700 Front Light
    RRP: €69.99
    CycleTribe Special: €64.99
    Details: One of the smartest lights on the market, the Lezyne Light Drive 700 includes eight different modes, and offers a maximum output of 700 lumens. It also comes equipped with high-speed charging capabilities, and weighs only 144g.

    Lezyne Strip Drive Rear Light

    Lezyne Strip Drive Rear Light
    RRP: €41.99
    CycleTribe Special: €33.99
    Details: A compact, sleek rear safety light that includes a memory mode which returns to the selected mode after being turned off, the Lezyne Strip Drive Rear Light provides 25 lumens and weighs only 69g.

    Cateye Omni 3 Rear/Front Bike Lights Set

    Cateye Omni 3 Front/Rear Light Set
    RRP: €26.99
    CycleTribe Special: €23.99
    Details: Powered by AAA batteries, this Cateye Omni 3 set offers great versatility and is compact and light enough at 41.6 grams that they can easily be clipped onto clothing for added visibility. Designed for safety first and foremost, this set comes equipped with constant, flashing and rapid modes.

    Cateye Orb Bike Light Set
    RRP: €23.99
    CycleTribe Special €21.99
    Details: The Cateye orbs are perfect for the cyclist who wants to be able to store their lights discreetly in a bag or pocket, as this compact design sees these safety lights weigh in at just 20g each. Powered by lithium batteries, you get 10 lumens for the front and 5 lumens for the back.

    To view the full range of bike lights available at Cycle Tribe, click here.

    *Prices are subject to change, all prices are accurate as of time of posting.

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