Had an opportunity to take a walk through our local Canadian Tire Bike Dept. and what I found actually surprised me. It wasn’t what you think, their bikes are not getting better, but they are getting more expensive and when you compare to the offerings of an actual bike shop they are really expensive.

Here are a couple of examples that are in stock at CTC and what are our best sellers in that category. Keep in mind that CTC gives no after sale service, does not include FREE tune ups and does not have a Certified Bicycle Mechanic doing the assembly.

As cycling becomes a more integrated part of our life the genre of bike that best suits this new rider explosion has changed as well. Gone are the days that you would tough out a commute on a mountain bike that you have modified to ride on the street. Today there are much better choices that turn that commute into an enjoyable riding experience.

These bikes can be used through the week as your transportation back and forth to work or to get groceries and run errands. On the weekend they work just as well for that leisurely ride along your local rail trail or bike path or even a tour of wine country.

Good news! A good bike can be easy to find. A few simple, common sense things can make all the difference between fun and frustration. Many bicycle dealers are not offering their customers what we feel are "really useful bikes". Bikes that are built and equipped for the way most people really ride now or how they could ride in the future. Every bike has a purpose, and there is a place for road racers, downhill and mountain bikes. For the rest of us who don't compete however, it's hard to see past the marketing and hype to find the bicycle that's going to promise comfort, durability and stability on the roadways and paths where we enjoy riding.

What we'd like to show you and get you thinking about is how to keep your new bike from being a "one trick pony". Or shall we say "a one trip pony". It may even turn out that your current bike, with a few thoughtful tweaks, could become an even more perfect bicycle for you.

A quick check of your bike before riding can help prevent those long walks home. It only takes about two minutes. Make it a habit and your chances of a breakdown are greatly reduced.

Check the quick release levers -- Make sure that your quick release levers on your wheels are installed correctly and are properly tight. A runaway wheel is a nasty surprise.

Bounce the Bike -- Pick up your bike 4 or 5 inches off the ground and bounce it once or twice. Listen for unusual rattles, they can indicate loose parts about to fall off.

Check the Brakes -- Check the front and rear brakes separately. Give the levers a good squeeze to make sure they are tight and the cable is securely fastened.

Spinning is an indoor aerobic conditioning program utilizing stationary exercise bikes or your bike and a trainer. It is performed in a group setting with the help of an instructor and/or spinning DVD. During the class you vary your pace -- sometimes pedaling as fast as you can, other times cranking up the tension and pedaling slowly from a standing position. This helps you to focus inwardly and work on your mind as well as your body.

What are the specific benefits?

  • Increases aerobic capacity and endurance
  • Increases leg strength and protects against injury
  • Pedaling in smooth circles improves efficiency
  • Pedaling in smooth circles recruits and trains more muscle groups, not just the quads, improving muscular endurance
  • Increases suppleness or the ability to change cadence quickly and smoothly without changing gears
  • Keeps your butt "broken in"
  • The group setting improves individual motivation
  • The presence of the instructor ensures a properly performed and efficient workout
  • Instructor feedback wiil cure you of bad habits and improve your cycling technique

See all our Indoor Trainers & Accessories

Some foolproof advice on reducing the odds of theft -- or at least increasing your chances of getting your stolen bike back.


Before moving on to the next phase of the season now that we (finally?) have a good mileage base, it is time to have a look at a couple of basic concepts and how they relate to what we want to achieve, namely Power and Efficiency.


These days the focus of cycling training is power. Power meters everywhere and power seems to be the new buzzword. But what exactly is power? Very simply it is speed times strength. What does that mean in cycling terms for us? The best way to illustrate is to go back to one of the age old questions in cycling that keeps coming back: Is it better to push a big gear or spin a smaller one? My answer is always the same: Neither. You want to spin a big gear! That is cycling power.