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STOKED! on cycling

Do you remember when cycling was exciting and new? When you got that little rush of excitement when you were gearing up and heading out to tackle a ride?  Getting stoked on cycling is as easy as trying something new, and these days there is no shortage of new stuff to get excited about.  The gear, the clothing, the electronics, the disc brakes, the fat bikes, the gravel.  There are hundreds of splinter-cell cool things going on in cycling right now besides the traditional Road, Mountain, Cyclocross and Track, so pick one and get after it!  You don’t have to race, you can just try out something new. 

You have to be stoked and a little “in love” with the whole thing or it won’t keep you working. That is what keeps me coming back and finding fresh excitement for something I have done non-stop since 1985.   I have been through 3 year obsessive phases in road racing, mountain bike racing and cyclocross racing, and that only got me to 1997.  If you are starting off this season and not feeling the “Stoke” then you need to mix it up.  Show up to a new ride, sign up for a new event, or try a different kind of cycling to keep it fresh and challenging.  The cool thing is that when you come back to what you first loved, in my case Road cycling, it is fresh once again years later like returning from a long around the world trip to your home.  Get out there and get stoked!!! –  Check out Meet Up to find new things, here is our page to get you started that lists all our rides and clinics for the summer:  Meet Up-Find cool groups or events to try near you

 

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Product Spotlight: Garmin 500

January 6, 2011

by Coach Lang Reynolds

 

Garmin 500

One of the biggest cycling innovations of 2010 was the expansion of GPS-based cycling computers by industry giant Garmin. After releasing the game-changing Edge 705 in 2007, Garmin upped the ante in 2010 with the release of the Edge 500 and 800 computers, which built on the strengths of the 705 to offer GPS-enabled computers in more compact packages. With the ability to receive ANT+ standard power meter data transmission, Garmin now clearly leads the pack in cycling computer technology.

After six months of using the Edge 500, I can say with confidence that it is hands-down the best cycling computer I’ve ever used. As a power meter head unit, it stands head and shoulders above the other offerings thanks to its (relative) affordability, compact size, functionality, customizability, and ease of use. At $250 MSRP, it comes in much cheaper than other ANT+ head units such as the PowerTap Joule and SRM PowerControl.

While the tradeoff for the Edge 500’s compact size is that it does not display a map of your location or allow you to follow a pre-programmed route like the 705 and 800 (it simply records the GPS data of your route), it does display pretty much all other data you could imagine. With three fully-customizable data screens and up to eight data fields per screen, the user can configure the Edge 500 to show any and all pertinent data, and nothing the user doesn’t want to see. From power metrics to altitude data to the traditional speed, distance, and cadence, the 500 can display anything you want. With climbing data such as current altitude, total climbing altitude, and vertical ascent speed, the 500 is a must-have for any climbing aficionado.

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Most importantly, the Edge 500 is incredibly easy to use. It’s intuitive interface is completely plug and play and I have yet to use the instruction manual. It synchronyzes with your power meter immediately and without a lengthy search or calibration process, and can switch between two different power meters (a PowerTap or an SRM, for example) in a matter of seconds, which makes it especially useful for cyclists with multiple wireless power meters. All of the power meter’s functionality is maintained and the 500 picks up the data with identical accuracy as the stock company’s head unit.

As with any GPS computer, the on-bike functionality barely scratches the surface of the 500’s total functionality. Downloading the files to a computer opens up a whole new universe of possibility in data analysis and training archiving. Garmin offers a free web-based training resource, Garmin Connect, where you can upload and view all your files and keep a full training history. Like everything Garmin does, Garmin Connect is easy to use and incredibly useful. If you want more in-depth analysis you can also view the files in third-party software. Some of these third-party applications, such as web-based Strava, allow riders to upload and compare rides and performances on local climbs, adding a whole new dimension of virtual competition to every training ride.

In short, the Edge 500 is good. Real good. It’s so good, it inspired me to switch back to my PowerTap wheel from the wired SRM I was using earlier this summer, because, being already fully addicted to power data, after getting a taste of the GPS AND power data combined, I just couldn’t go back to plain old power data. Your results may vary.

 

 

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