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How to Buy Bike Parts

The components that you hang on a bike frame can be just as important as the frame itself. Forks, rims, wheels, lights, and other parts play a huge role in how the bike rides. Even an expensive ultralight frame can be weighed down with poorly designed components until it rides like an old, heavy bike. Alternately, an older frame can be revitalized with modern, lightweight upgrades.

Tires
Tires play a huge role in how a bike rides. For road bikes, wide tires can give the bike a comfortable feel but tend to roll slowly, while narrow race tires give the ride a harsh feel but offer very little rolling resistance to make the bike faster. In mountain bikes, large, knobby tires roll more slowly but provide better traction than smoother, skinnier tires. Shop Bike Tires
Related Content 25 vs. 23mm: Are Wider Tires Faster?
Pedals
There are two types of bike pedals. Clipless pedals require special, cleated shoes that allow the rider to clip into the pedal for greater pedaling power. Flats can be used with regular shoes and don’t connect the rider to the bike, which many downhill mountain bikers prefer because it allows them to get away from the bike quickly when necessary. Shop Bike Pedals
Forks
The fork that you choose should closely match the bicycle’s intended purpose. A rigid road bike fork is designed to absorb road vibration while remaining as light as possible. Mountain bikes usually utilize suspension forks, and the amount of travel depends heavily on the type of mountain bike the fork is mounted to. Shop Bike Forks
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How to Choose Gloves and Mittens

Protect Your Hands from the Weather
How to Choose Gloves & Mittens

From what you wear on your head to what covers your toes, every article of clothing has a particular purpose in the outdoors. Gloves protect your fingers and allow fine motor control while mittens offer extra warmth by allowing your fingers more skin-on-skin contact. Hybrid gloves (also called lobster mittens) offer the warmth of mittens and the dexterity of gloves. Consider the following aspects when shopping for hand protection: weather conditions, insulation, and design or shape.

Conditions:

For cold and wet weather, look for winter handwear with a waterproof coating (DWR) or waterproof shell fabric like Gore-Tex and plenty of insulation. Often, a waterproof breathable shell fabric will help to protect your hands from the warmth-robbing effects of wind.

Insulation:

For cold conditions or cold hands, insulated handwear is the only way to go. Synthetic insulations like PrimaLoft dry quickly and are less affected by moisture than down insulation. Down offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio.

Design:

A gauntlet-style cuff keeps wetness and cold air from creeping up the sleeve of your jacket. This design can feel bulky to some so if you want a sleeker fit look for a glove with a slim cuff that slips under your jacket cuff.