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Get Ready For Summer Riding & Beat The Heat

Summer time is quickly approaching which means more time under the sun and higher temps, below are a few simple tips to keep in mind to help your Summer rides stay safe and enjoyable!

Water Water Water… Keep Hydrated!

If there is one thing to remember it’s to drink plenty of water well before, during, and after your rides. Our bodies are mostly water so we need to drink water to help our bodies function properly and to best regulate our built in cooling systems. Riding in hotter Summer temps means increased sweating and faster loss of fluids through respiration, a good rule of thumb is if you feel thirsty then you are probably already close to being dehydrated, if not already. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids even well before any rides as you don’t want to begin a ride already in a near dehydrated state. For rides longer than about 45-60 minutes it is a good idea to replenish your body’s sodium levels with your favorite electrolytic drink.

Sunscreen & Sunglasses

Need we say more? Sunscreen is imperative to protecting your skin against harmful UV exposure from the sun, even on cloudy days. Choose sunscreen with an appropriate SPF rating for the amount of time you plan to be exposed and remember to reapply when necessary. Equally important is protecting your eyes from reflected UV light bouncing off pavement and other surrounding environmental features by wearing UV rated sunglasses, preferably ones contoured to the face so light can not sneak in from the sides or bottoms of your glasses and into your eyes. Polarized sunglasses are a smart purchase and provide exceptional glare reduction and increased clarity of your surroundings which makes for safer riding.

Take Breaks, Stay Cool

Avoid pushing yourself too hard when it’s hot outside, pay attention to your body and how you are feeling. If you need to rest, do it! Don’t be ashamed to not perform as well on a 95 degree F day as you would on a 65 degree F day, and again, remember to stay hydrated and be constantly sipping water — chances are if you are thirsty then you are probably already dehydrated.

Smarter Clothing Choices

Evaporative cooling is extremely effective when it is hot and dry outside, take advantage of this and wear clothing appropriate for whatever type or style of riding you are planning. Pay attention to clothing construction and look for built in features that can enhance cooling and look for high performance sweat wicking materials with ventilation. Available from some brands today is clothing that can aid in sun protection by utilizing reflective cooling as well as additional SPF protection.

Snack Time

When it is hot outside you are not as likely to feel like eating, with this in mind it is important to actively remind yourself to refuel with some carbohydrate-rich snacks — it does not have to be much, a favorite snack bar or some nuts or banana can go a long way to helping your body stay happy in the heat.

Plan Your Ride

One of the easiest ways to stay cool on summer rides is to simply avoid riding during the hottest part of the day, stick to riding in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid the extreme heat. It is a good idea to become familiar with sunrise/sunset times for your location so you can best plan your ride, especially if you are vacationing and away from home in less familiar territory.

Keep Cool This Summer With Help From These Serfas® Products…

Bottle Cages
Short Finger Gloves
Ventilated Helmets
Performance Ventilated Cycling Footwear
Bar Mounted Beverage Cup Holder
Grippy Silicone Polka Dot Bar Tape
Stylish Single & Double Pannier Bags  For Somewhere To Stuff Those Oversized Beach Towels, Snacks, and Sunscreen!
CO2 Cartridges

 

Understanding IP Resistance Ratings

Understanding IP Resistance Ratings

IP stands for International Protection Marking, or also commonly referred to as Ingress Protection Marking. This classification rates the degree and effectiveness of protection against ingress of foreign matter (dust, solid objects, and moisture) into an enclosure or product housing.

Example Rating Breakdown:
The first digit after IP, 6, represents resistance to solid bodies. A level 6 means this product is protected from dust and is dust tight. The second digit after IP, 7, represents resistance to liquids and moisture. A level 7 means this product is protected from immersion in freshwater up to a depth of 1 meter, or 3 feet.

Solid Objects/Dust Protection Levels (1st digit after IP)

  • Level 0 – No Protection
  • Level 1 – Effective against >50mm – Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
  • Level 2 – Effective against >12.5mm – Fingers or similar objects
  • Level 3 – Effective against >2.5mm – Tools, thick wires, etc.
  • Level 4 – Effective against >1mm – Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
  • Level 5 – Dust Protected – Ingress of dust not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in a sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment
  • Level 6 – Dust Tight – No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (“dust tight”). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

Liquid/Moisture Ingress Protection Levels (2nd digit after IP)

  • Level 0 – No Protection
  • Level 1 – Effective against vertically falling water drops
  • Level 2 – Effective against dripping water when tilted at 15 degrees
  • Level 3 – Effective against spraying water at any angle up to 60 degrees from vertical
  • Level 4 – Effective against splashing of water at any direction
  • Level 5 – Effective against water jets from any direction
  • Level 6 – Effective against powerful water jets from any direction
  • Level 6K – Effective against water jets with increased pressure from any direction
  • Level 7 – Effective against immersion in freshwater up to 1m (3ft) depth
  • Level 8 – Effective against immersion in freshwater 1m (3ft) or more depth
  • Level 9K – Effective against powerful high temperature water jets from varying angles

Other Protections/Letter Info (3rd digit after IP)

  • f – Oil Resistant
  • H – High voltage device
  • M – Device moving during water test
  • S – Device stationary during water test
  • W – Weather conditions

Additional IP Rating Info

  • Water rating is achieved using freshwater only, ratings may not be upheld in other fluids such as ocean salt water or water containing oils.
  • An X is used to fill the digit between rating levels not tested for (Example: IPX7, the X in the first digit after IP means this product is not certifiably rated for objects or dust protection (although it can be argued that to achieve a water resistance rating level of 7, dust protection is very likely on a similarly capable level); the 7 after the X maintains a rating for protection against liquid, specifically protection effective against immersion in freshwater up to 1m (3ft) depth.

Serfas® Products

Serfas® offers a multitude of headlights and taillights with IP resistance ratings, below are a few of those models:

E-Lume 1600 (USL-1600) $140.00 MSRP – Headlight – IPX6
E-Lume 1200 (USL-1200) $110.00 MSRP – Headlight – IPX6
E-Lume 900 (USL-900) $80.00 MSRP – Headlight – IPX6
E-Lume 650 (USL-650) $60.00 MSRP – Headlight – IPX6
E-Lume 500 (USL-500) $45.00 MSRP – Headlight – IPX4
E-Lume 250 (USL-250) $27.50 MSRP – Headlight – IPX4

Flat Panel LED (UTL-9) $25.00 MSRP – Tail Light – IPX4
Cosmo 60 (UTL-60) $35.00 MSRP – Tail Light – IPX6
Cosmo 30 (UTL-30) $25.00 MSRP – Tail Light – IPX6
Cosmo 15 (UTL-15) $20.00 MSRP – Tail Light – IPX3
Pluto (TL-25) $20.00 MSRP – Tail Light – IPX4

Article References, Understanding IP Resistance Ratings, Serfas® Blog Post:

  1. Trusted Reviews; http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinion/what-is-ip68-ip-ratings-explained-2947135 – Date Accessed: 4/24/2018
  2. The Enclosure Company; http://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php – Date Accessed: 4/25/2018
  3. Wikipedia Article “IP Code;” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code#Second_digit:_Liquid_ingress_protection – Date Accessed: 4/24/2018
  4. Deggy; https://www.deggy.com/ip_ik_rating.html – Date Accessed: 4/25/2018

Tire Sealant Benefits

Serfas® Tire RX™ sealant can be used in either traditional tube or in tubeless tire setups as an extra layer of added flat protection. Tire RX™ is designed to coat the inside of the tire, or tube depending on setup, and in the event of a puncture or leak the sealant fills up these spaces (up to a 1/4 inch) and stops the escaping air so you can keep riding.

  • Tubeless setups utilize tire sealant and offer weight saving advantages over tubes eliminating the potential for pinch flats.
  • Compatible with both tube and tubeless setups.
  • Fewer flats! Tire RX™ keeps you riding in conditions that may have otherwise left you on the side of a trail replacing or patching tubes.
  • Tubeless tire setups with sealant offer improved handling, more grip, and smoother riding at high speeds.
  • Ability to run lower pressures with tubeless setups means more traction.

Ride Faster, Longer, and Lighter With Serfas® Tire RX™

MTB Trail Etiquette Basics

Follow these 5 basic trail etiquette guidelines to get the most out of your ride and to do your part to help make sure trails stay open and everyone can enjoy them equally.

1. Ride Open Trails

Abide all trail rules, regulations, and closures, and only ride open trails.
Don’t trespass over private property or ride on federal or state protected
lands, it’s against the law.

2. Leave No Trace

Wet muddy trails are prone to accelerated damage, pick your path and
ride where it’s most dry. Stick to existing trails and don’t cut switchbacks.

3. Control Your Bike

Avoid riding faster than what you are comfortable doing, stay within your
limits. Always be alert of your surroundings and anticipate obstacles and
be cautious of blind corners.

4. Share The Trail – Yielding

Everyone wants to have a good time out and enjoy the trail. Be a
courteous rider and yield appropriately to others. Alert non-riders with a
friendly greeting and speak your intentions indicating where you intend
to safely pass. Respect other riders and yield to anyone traveling uphill.

5. Respect The Environment

Pack in, pack out. Always pick up after yourself and take any trash with
you to dispose of later, there’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy a nice
trail littered with someone else’s trash blowing around. Enjoy all the wild-
life you can, but be respectful towards animals and plant life.

Springtime Pre-Ride Bike Checklist

1. Clean Your Bike

Start with a clean slate and get that bike clean! To get the most out of your components give them a bath using any of the available bike-safe cleaning solutions on the market or even simply a biodegradable dish washing soap mixed into a warm bucket of water. Get yourself a soft bike cleaning brush, or just grab an old toothbrush, and gently scrub away dirt and grease. *Be sure to include the bike frame, cassette, derailleurs, chain rings, chain, brakes, pedals, and saddle in this cleaning process.

*Make sure to refer to your particular bike manufacturer’s guidelines for what is safe to use on your bike to prevent damage to components or paint finishes.

2. Check Your Brakes

You know what’s exciting, squeezing your brakes to stop and then not stopping. Not really though. For your safety and for those around you it’s especially important to be sure your bike’s brakes function properly and do so predictably. Look over the parts of the braking system, look for any signs of damage, wear, or corrosion. Check the brake pads and make sure they are installed and seated properly against the rim and wearing down evenly with use. While stationary, check your brakes by squeezing the brake levers and watch to see how they operate and feel, if they feel too stiff or too loose the brake tension should be adjusted according to recommended manufacturer specifications for your bike. Ultimately, it’s crucial to make sure you have complete control of your bike and doing so requires your braking system to be in correct working order — if your brakes are not working properly we recommend you please do not ride and consult your bike manufacturer or local bike shop for service.

3. Inspect Wheels & Tires

Look at your bike wheels/rims and make sure they show no signs of impermissible damage. Cosmetic damage (dents, scrapes, small gouges, etc.) is expected with regular use over time and is okay so long as the wheels spin straight and freely without any side-to-side wobble. Inspect wheel spokes and make sure they are not loose, bent, or damaged. Spokes can be adjusted using a spoke wrench but need to be serviced correctly, it is recommended to have a local bike shop check them and take care of these adjustments for you if needed.

Tires are especially important, they’re what connect you to the surfaces you ride on. Inspect the tires on your bike and look for any holes, cracking, splits, or tears in the rubber — if any of these conditions exist you should replace the tire if it is beyond eligibility for repair. Also check the tread on your tires to be sure you have enough tread left to comfortably handle the surface conditions you plan to ride, not having enough tread will limit traction and can leave you spinning your wheels! Whether you run tubes or tubeless, make sure these systems are functioning properly, are in good shape, and are holding pressure with no leaks.

4. Check Over The Drivetrain

The drivetrain of your bike is like what a transmission is to a car, it converts energy from you (the cyclist) into power that transfers through the lower components and in turn drives the rear wheel. The chain, pedals, derailleur, cassette, chainring, etc… are all part of this drivetrain system, and being a system means all of the parts need to be working correctly in order for it to function as a whole. You will want to check to make sure shifting operations are smooth and performed with ease. If you find shifting is not smooth it commonly means the derailleur needs adjustment or repair, it is recommended to consult your local bike shop to service this for you as it may be difficult unless you know what and how to do this.

5. Inspect Your Cables

Cables are what control brake and shifting operations from the handlebar brake levers and shifters. Over time and regular use these cables will eventually stretch and get worn out depending on the amount and kind of riding you do. Generally cables should be replaced about every two to five years, or even yearly if you ride all year long. When inspecting your cables look for cracks in the cable housings, and rust, dirt, or crimps in the cable itself. Replacing cables is something you can do at home if you know what to do and have the time, they are inexpensive to replace but like any more involved bike maintenance or repairs we recommend having your local bike shop perform these services for you.

6. Lubricate Components

A bike’s chain and other drivetrain components need lubrication to function and last a long time without premature failure, much the same way that a car’s engine will not run without oil. Proper lubrication is essential to making sure a bike can operate smoothly and efficiently, it also protects its moving parts from dirt and other performance-robbing contaminants. After cleaning (refer to Step 1), a bicycle compatible and approved lubricant needs to be applied to the chain and any moving parts located on the derailleur and any exposed cabling. Most of us grew up with a neighborhood kid that had a bike you could hear from a mile away, don’t be that kid and make sure to keep your bike’s components properly lubricated to help ensure you get many enjoyable years of service from your bike.

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