Essential Mobile Apps For Moutain Bikers

For athletes that take up mountain biking, the obvious first things that are needed are a bike, and the can-do attitude that’s required for such an adrenaline fuelled activity. However, once you have got the hang of it, there are relevant apps that can be downloaded on your mobile device to ensure you reach your full potential.


This particular app is dedicated to helping riders find the best possible route, while also taking into consideration the climbs, and allowing for interactivity. You can search maps from over 95 countries; with fellow bikers leaving reviews on the routes that they have done, ensuring that you don’t waste a day with a direction that is too easy.

You can also get GPS tracking, trail conditions and a compass. It is full proof and has every base covered; it is essential for mountain bikers. It is also equally as good for beginners as it’s for experienced riders; as the app offers navigation trail networks to ensure that you don’t get lost.

On the app, they already claim to have 160,379 trails to explore across 95 countries, and also provide over 300,000 pictures to get you in the mood for the route you’re about to do.


Social media is a popular commodity nowadays, and most riders like to catch their ride by video so they can play it back and watch it and share it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. GoPro allows riders to record the entirety of their journey by using a small video camera that is connected to your phone and place on your helmet. It is the perfect way to relive the adventure that you have made.

It could also make for a new hobby, as you can spend time editing and adding sound and music clips to your videos to produce a short film.


This app is perfect for all athletes, as it can track your heartbeat, how far you have ridden, and how much power you have exceeded. Strava is the ideal application for monitoring your performance, and it is simple. It can be connected to your phone or GPS watch, and then it can begin to keep records of your performance metrics.

Not only that but the app works perfectly as another social media channel as you can connect with friends to show them how you’re performing and the routes you’re taking. You can post status updates, pictures and videos on your channel. There are also security advantages as family members can see where you are when you’re exercising should you allow them access to your location. This app is now used by thousands of clubs and organisations around the world as a way to track performance levels.


Let’s face it; weather plays a significant role in whether you can ride and how far you can go. This is one of the most reliable apps, with up-to-the-minute updates. It is also perfect for telling you the correct temperature as well as the temperature that it actually feels like. This means that you will be able to dress either warmer or cooler depending on the weather.

Four ways Mountain Biking can support mental health

Biking is by far the most popular sport in the US in present day. It is more important to Americans than soccer, baseball, and even basketball. And that is not a hyperbole considering the 40 million participants in cycling events every year.

There are many good reasons the American people love mountain biking. Apart from the countless great outdoors that provide a natural terrain for the adrenalin-fueled activity, the health benefits of mountain biking are far from simple.

Mountain biking is a sport that literally engages all your muscles, thereby inducing a full body work out. Your lower limbs grind while going uphill while you put your abdomen, back, arms, chest, and shoulders to use on a descent.

But are the benefits of MTB only for physical health? Majority of the leisure riders think, and some pros, sadly so. MTB does far more than keeping unwanted fat at bay. Here are 4 mental benefits you can get from frequently hitting the trails.

1.     Endorphins

Endorphins are not what you gain directly from riding your bicycle. They are feel-good hormones: chemicals your body releases during a workout regimen. But I’ll spare you all the scientific jargons and cut to the chase about how it works.

These feel-good hormones significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. We all know how these bad guys can work us over, and how beautiful our lives could be without any of them.

2.     Nirvana

Meditation is good for the mind. It also has its physical benefits. I remember my lessons in ancient Indian philosophy, about the interconnectedness of everything that exists. But you do not need special yoga sessions to attain to oneness with nature.

You can connect with nature, eyes wide open, by hitting the great outdoors. This is called ecotherapy. Recent findings from research prove that ecotherapy specifically targets depression.

3.     Focus

If you have an uncanny ability to work productively for long hours or see your projects to a desired end, thank God for you. Ask people with ADD/ADHD how much they’ll be willing to spend if they could buy ‘focus.’ A lot of things go on in people’s minds and you don’t need any effort to lose focus.

Riding alone in that mighty forest can remind you that all the problems in the world are not only yours. There are many awe-inspiring views in America that will make you appreciate other things in life. So, ride on… and keep your head straight!

4.     Confidence

If you think confidence is all about good looks and a charming smile, then this post is definitely for you. Knowing that you can go out in the world and achieve something has more to do with your mental health than a muscular body, or even an impeccable CV. Love can leave you broken and failures can work you over.

What if I tell you, that some of these fears you can conquer right on the trail? When finally you beat that difficult trail feature, achieve that new jump, or make that monstrous climb that has felt impossible to do for months, there’s a sense of achievement you’ll feel. The lessons learnt are not only handy for stunting between the trees. They also reflect significantly in the way you handle many other situations in your life.

The first World Cup event of 2019 in almost here

The stars of the Downhill mountain biking will gather in Maribor, Slovenia at the end of the month for the first of eleven events spread across the three disciplines of Cross Country Olympic XCO, Downhill (DH) and Cross-Country Short Circuit (XCC).

The UCI have been an organised bunch over the last 12 months and have even released the calendar for 2020 due to it being an Olympic year.

However, back to 2019 as the action promises to be full of thrills and spills and plenty of intense action as the worlds best commence battle.

If 2018 is anything to go by, then we are in for a real treat after Switzerland’s Nino Schurter took the crown in the men’s Cross Country, and Frenchman Amaury Pierron took the top prize in the Downhill discipline.

For British fans, Rachel Atherton came out on top in a gruelling contest with fellow Brit Tahnée Seagrave to claim the Downhill title and the 31-year-old is once again the favourite and well worth keeping tabs on in the live betting at sites such as for ongoing value throughout the year.

Maribor – Slovenia

The Downhill season gets under way in Europe in the city of Maribor.

It will be the first time the city has hosted a World Cup event since 2010 although the circuit has been lauded as one of the very best with plenty of intense action set to ensue.

The Riders

Amaury Pierron is the man to beat in the man’s category after sweeping to the title in 2018.

The Frenchman defeated Britain’s Danny Hart by294 points to sweep to his maiden downhill title and he will be eager to repeat that feat in 2019.

The British siblings of Gee Atherton (competing in the men’s downhill) and Rachel Atherton has made the bold move of moving from Trek Factory racing to racing on bikes developed under their own brand – Atherton Bikes.

34-year-old Gee Atherton had a torrid time in 2018 finishing down in ninth place but the 5-time former World Cup winner and two-time downhill world champion looks to bring in a new era for the Atherton’s on their own equipment.

His sister Rachel is looking to capitalise on a truly remarkable 2018 where she claimed her sixth downhill World Cup success and also stormed to downhill victory at the World Championships for her fifth title.

The likes of Tahnée Seagrave will be attempting to get the better of her countrywomen in what promises to be a thrilling tournament for the women.

Where Next?

After Slovenia, it will be the turn of the Cross-Country disciplines as the World Cup moves to Albstadt in Germany before a trip to the Czech Republic.

The next downhill event after Maribor does not take place until the beginning of June when the series heads to Fort William in Scotland and by then we will have a clearer picture of who is on form and who needs to do what in an action packed year of mountain bike action.

2019 Tour de Flanders Preview (Men’s)

Vlaanderen’s Mooiste and the Tour de Flanders 2019 is back this April 7th in Belgium.

Sure it’s outshined by the Tour de France and other mainstream public events. But for legitimate cyclists, the Tour de Flanders is marked on the calendar in bold red. The 266-kilometer all-terrain race has a rich history stretching back over 100 different iterations is a true test of endurance and cycling technique.

Let’s look at the circuit and peek at the betting odds from top sites. As always, if you plan on taking action on your favorite riders do your due diligence and check this review to compare outlets.

The Course and its Stages

There are 17 hills in this brutal circuit, spanning from slight to a leg burning 22% grade. In the near 267 kilometers, there are five paved sections but the star of this circuit is the infamous Belgian cobble.

The first 80 or so kilometers are fairly bland and we will mostly see a lot of pace setting and riders settling into the initial phases of their strategy. But after 80 kilometers it gets interesting. The first patches of cobbles hits and gives the riders their first bite of this uniquely challenging course.

After around 40 kilometers of gut jarring cobble intermixed with asphalt, Oude Kwaremont appears in Kluisbergen. The cobbled climb has an average gradient of 4.2% and maxes out with parts that hit 11%. Oude Kwaremont is actually a misnomer, it not the name of the hill, but the road leading up to it. The first half kilometer of the cobbled section is the most difficult. The cobbling is uneven and jagged and this takes place during the steepest section of the climb. Flemish decree classified these cobbles as monuments back in the early 90s, so you don’t have to worry about any repaving here, this challenging section is here to stay.

Another 50 or so kilometers takes the cyclists through Korteeker, Wolvenberg and then finally hits the pave cobble section at Holleweg. After various short and arduous climbs, the 170-kilometer mark ends at Ten Bosse, leading to the Wall of Geraardsbergen. The Muur van Geraardsbergen is a little over a kilometer long of steep and narrow climb at a brutal average gradient of 9.3% and sections that reach into the 20% range.

This beloved hill has been a constant in the Tour de Flanders since the 1970s but was excluded due to the logistics of Bruges race starts. Now that the circuit starts in Antwerp, its summit marks the fact that the cyclists have just 95 more kilometers to go and the most exciting sections of the race.

The riders circle back for a second attack on the Oude Kwaremont and eventually the Paterberg with gradients over 20% and a mind-numbing (and leg-numbing) average of 12.9%. After this, it’s a race for the finish!

The Favorites

Last year’s edition was taken by Niki Terpstra caught the leading group in the final 28 km after a magnificent effort on the Kruisberg. The Dutchman pulled ahead and won the race. But surprisingly, he isn’t this year’s odds-on favorite.

Terpstra is sitting at a cool +1160 (23/2). Peter Sagan is the favorite at most betting sites. HIs average price is a just +270 (or a little less than 3/1). Let’s look at the average odds for the top-10 athletes:


  1. Peter Saga (2.7/1)
  2. Greg Van Avermaet (4.3/1)
  3. Philippe Gilbert (9/2)
  4. Zdenek Stybar (23/2)
  5. Niki Terpstra (23/2)
  6. Oliver Naesen (15/1)
  7. Tiesjj Benoot (19/1)
  8. Michael Kwiatkowski (21/1
  9. Michael Mathews (21/1)
  10. Mathieu Van Der Poel (21/1)


Peter Sagan finished 6th last year. But Philipe Gilbert made the podium at 3rd and Greg Van Avermaet was in the mix at 5th. So with this year’s route, it is anyone’s race to win.


How to customize your mountain bike

fat tire mountain bike single speed

Well there really isn’t a rule on how to do this. But if you’re happy with your component group, then start making some changes on how your bike looks. A lot of people will change out the color of their grips, bars, stem, seat and etc. Changing out those items is a sure fire way to give it a personal touch.

Personally I like to accentuate some of the subtle colors that the bike has. For example, if my frame is orange, but the graphics like the logos are white, then I’d go with a white saddle and grips. If the bars and stem are black, I’d keep it the way it is.

One of my bikes had a pretty blue frame with white letters. So I made sure I got white wheels and a white saddle as well as a white seat collar(eventually).

Titus Rockstar 29er

The Moe followed the same idea with one of his older bikes. At the time there was a tire company called Sweet Skinz that sold these colored tires. They had a variety of designs that could make your bike’s appearance pop.

My newest bike in the stable is all white with black logos. I decided to go with a USA theme with it. I ordered red bars, white grips, blue water bottle cage,  USA flag water bottle and a frame bag that is black and blue. I thought about getting star stickers to make it more patriotic, but I’ll probably do that later on.

Gravity Single Speed Fat Tire moutain bike
I decided to go with a red white and blue theme.
wake best bicycle handle bars
Wake Best Bicycle 780mm bar and short stem.
fat tire bike
White grips
gravity fat tire single speed mountain bike
Though my frame bag doesn’t match my cage…I’m ok with it because not every shade of black on this bike matches with each other…right? I’m going to put my snacks in there!
 Ahren's WiseCracker bottle opener
Last but not least, my Ahren’s WiseCracker bottle opener

So that’s about it…customizing your mountain bike can be as easy as changing out the colors of your accessories. Unless  you get your frame painted or Plasti-Dip it, then you’ll have to work with what you got, and that’s what makes it fun!

Don’t trust a fart when you’re over 40

don't trust a fart

We’ve all been there…you’re riding and you’ve got an urge to fart. Well if you’re over 40…don’t trust that fart! Why? Well for the simple reason of you being older. Your bung hole ins’t as tight as it was when you were younger. Plus you’re not as regular as you used to be. So that means you could still have some poop left over in your colon and when you fart…BOOM! It’s a SHART!

Nothing worse than having to clean out your riding shorts after trusting a fart…don’t even bother right? Just throw those $100 pair of shorts away. I’m sure you tried to hose off the skid marks..but sometimes those poop particles just stay within the padding.

Anyway, let’s get back to what we were talking about…farts at 40. Ya man, hold it in…or better yet, burp it out! I’m sure you know how to do that, right? What you do is this, when you feel the urge to fart, push it back in by doing a simple keigel exercise. This will allow your sphnicter to bounce the fart back up your intestines and you later burp it out. Try it…practice the keigel…did you burp?


Therapy on two wheels

The Moe and RL of

One of the benefits of riding with close friends is the talk time you get. I’ve called it Therapy on Two Wheels. I’m not sure about you, I tend to ride with some of my best friends. These are the people who know me and my story like the back of their hand. One of my riding partners is The Moe. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. Our friendship actually started from mountain biking.

Throughout the years we’ve both gone through some challenging times. The Moe had to deal with a divorce about 10 years ago, and recently I had to deal with divorce. Those two events in our lives were…to say the least tougher than anything we’ve had to deal with.

The Moe and RL
The day I was going to sign my divorce papers. I needed to go on a ride just tone down my anxiety.

Fortunately we had mountain biking to help us cope. The Moe and I would often schedule rides and for those two hours, we talk about all sorts of stuff. It starts off with the latest news with each other, new toys or gadgets we just bought. But a few more miles into it, the real stuff gets aired out.

What’s cool about Therapy on Two Wheels is that while you do get angry or frustration comes out about what you’re talking about. You can easly let out that energy to the pedals.  Sometimes I just zone out and let it all go as I roll through the trail

After all that purging, there’s usually a peace that comes over you and allows you to take stock of how good life is. While bombing down the hills, I am usually smiling ear to ear and quenching all that angst as the cool air hits my pretty face.

So the next time you’re feeling stuff, need to vent or get a different perspective, try mountain biking with a good friend. You’ll find that talking through life stuff while riding is definitely helpful.

When should you stop eating before a ride?

carb loading

For years I’ve heard of people “carb-loading” before a big ride and or a run. Not really sure if that’s really a thing or if it’s a myth. Personally, I use it as an excuse to eat a lot of spaghetti…which happens to be one of my favorite foods.  Some people say it works for them and others it doesn’t.

But if you’re anything like me, an average mountain biker who happens to be too short for my BMI, then let me share with you what I do. If you’re one of those super fit XC guys that loses weight when they sneeze or fart, then click on the back button or better yet, go for a ride.

Alright, now that it’s just us REAL Mountain Bikers, let’s get to it. For me, if I know I’m riding in the afternoon around 5pm, then I usually stop eating anything around 1:30pm. If I put anything in my stomach, even a drink after 3:30pm…then it just makes me feel sick when I’m riding. All that gloop is sloshing around in my belly and eventually, it will want to come back up…eew nasty. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of nausea when you’re riding…especially if you’re trying to climb a hill.

If for some reason I do get hungry before my ride, having a piece of fruit helps. I usually will chase it down with half of a Redbull. Anything more then I’ll be feeling it during my ride.

Ok so far we’ve learned that about 3.5 hours before a ride should be the cut off time for food. But if I get a little hungry, small fruit. Taking these precautionary steps helps me have a better time riding. That means I don’t have to carry any food on me just in case I bonk. All I have to do is bring a water bottle and myself. Here’s a pro-tip: carry some non-perishable candies in your saddle bag or hydration pack. Nothing crazy, or anything. But in the event you do hit the wall or bonk, you can easily consume some simple sugars to get you back on the bike.


I bought a new bike- Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

About a week ago, I got into a bidding war on eBay for a new Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike. Normally these sell on for about $299. Since I felt that I was getting a good deal, I kept bidding. I won the auction at $220 shipped.

The bike arrived at my doorstep in 6 days and  I was excited to put it together.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The bike was packaged nicely. Frame was protected by foam and other wrapping material.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Here it is on my stand. It also came with two different wheel tapes, the red one was already installed, then there was also a yellow set. I guess if I want to change things up a bit I could. Oh it also arrived with 2 rear cogs. The 22t was already on the wheel the there was a 18t in the box. I’m sticking with the 22t…I’m in no shape or form to try and pedal the 18t.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Tires were inflated to only 15psi and already it felt too much. I’m probably going to drop it down a few psi, let’s say around 12-13 and see how that feels. claims it can fit up to a 3.5 tire. Since tires of that size aren’t necessarily cheap, I’ll live with the 3.0 for as long as I can.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Equipped with mechanical Tektro Novela disc brakes. I actually love mechs over hydros, so much simpler.Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The no name bar and stem are going to be replaced soon. My T-Rex arms will need a 50-60mm stem and I usually go with wider bars, somewhere along the lines of 780mm-800mm. Besides having all that leverage will help with climbing on a single speed.  Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The color scheme on the Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike is a little too conservative for me. I may switch things up with different colored bars, grips and etc. I’m still trying to decide…once I get it installed, I’ll make sure I post an update. Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

I haven’t had a chance to get it on the trail yet since it’s been raining pretty good where I live. I probably will have an opportunity to try it out next weekend after it dries out. Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Spec sheet:

gravity deadeye single speed specs

It’s been years since I’ve ridden a single speed mountain bike, so I’m really looking forward to throwing up…oh yea that’s one of the side effects of single speeds…the hurling from all that exersion your put your body through. Fun times ahead!

How to strip paint off your bike-Revisited

how to strip paint off a bicycle frame

The original article was published back in 2007 when aluminum frames were more abundant than carbon frames, so that means you should only do this DIY on steel or alloy frames.  This process used a simple chemical spray remover that could be bought at Walmart. To learn how to strip paint off your bike frame, simply click on the link HERE!

how to strip bike paint

*Remember, don’t get this stuff on your skin, it burns!