Tips and Tricks

Tubeless Tire Plugs To The Rescue!

See the little brown worm-like plugs coming from my tire? They saved my ride!

Do you ride tubeless? Then you must carry tire plugs in your repair kit.

These little ride saving strips are a must. A MUST!

Let me paint a picture for you:

You've just climbed a terribly steep trail and your legs (and mind) are tired. You've worked this hard to earn an incredible downhill section, because what goes up, must come down, right?!

You've taken some water and a bite to eat and you are ready to roll again. The fun is about to start. You point your bike downhill for what should be 4 non-stop miles of flowing trail. You cover the first mile with a big smile on your face and then all of a sudden you catch a sharp rock with your rear tire. Stans hits the back of your leg as you hear a sudden gush of air.

You bring your bike to a sudden stop and find the hole. It's big, a slit the size of the tip of your finger. Air is escaping quickly, so you stick your finger in the hole to save what air you can.

In this situation a tire plug is needed, actually quite a few tire plugs will be used. (Since the hole is a good size.) A tire plug is a rubbery strip. We sell and use a pack that comes with 5 strips and one applicator (looks like a mini screwdriver, with a fork on the end). 

You thread a strip on the end of the applicator and shove it into the hole in your tire. You don't insert the strip the entire way in, but over halfway. You need the ends to stick out so they can fill up the hole. 

The idea is that the strip will help collect the tubeless sealant and more quickly seal the hole. If the tire's hole is as big as I described above you'll need to put a few plugs in, so that the rubbery strips fill in the entire cut.

Once they are in, spin the tire and try to get the tubeless sealant to the area of the hole.

Now, start pumping. It is always nice to have a friend's help. If all goes as planned no air should be escaping through the cut in your tire. You may see some sealant bubbles, but eventually those too should go away.

Once your tire is holding air, rub some dirt on the ends of the tire plugs, so you take away their stickiness. This will help prevent them from ripping out if they catch onto something in the trail.

Now, you're off. You can enjoy the rest of your hard earn descent!

Shoe Hack Of The Day

Mountain bike rides or trail runs these days can leave your shoes caked with mud and soaking wet. To skip having an awkward change of shoes in your car, carry an extra floor mat in your trunk/backseat for standing on while you change into some fresh shoes.

This helps keep the mess out of your car and avoids the balancing act of taking off and putting on clean shoes outside of your car (all while trying to hold your balance and hoping not to put your sock down in the wet pavement or grass!)

Once you've made a successful shoe swap you can pick up the mat, shake off the dirt, and throw it back in your car. 

Shenandoah Mountain 100 Tip - Use Chamois Cream

The 100 is just around the corner and today we have a tip for anyone who plans to ride long and hard.

Use Chamois Cream.

The topic of chamois cream can be a little embarrassing, but we need to look past that and consider the benefits of riding with chamois cream versus without it.

First, what is chamois cream?

Chamois cream is used to help eliminate friction between your skin and the fabric of your shorts. It's designed to cut out chafing and even has anti-bacterial properties to further help fend off discomfort. It comes in a number of forms including balms, creams and even powder.

Why use chamois cream?

You've probably had a saddle sore or two from riding your bike and I bet you don't have fond memories of the feeling. Well chamois cream is designed to prevent those sores. By reducing friction and bacteria the cream keeps you feeling as good as possible during long stints in the saddle.

Every person who rides a bike can use chamois cream, but the cyclists that ride consistently and especially those who ride many miles on a frequent basis should use definitely use chamois cream. Simply put, the friction prevention and anti-bacteria properties will help anyone who sits on a bike seat!

Application

Use your hands or cloth to apply the cream to the areas that contact your saddle or, if you like, you can apply the cream directly to your chamois in the areas where you make contact with your saddle. How much chamois cream you use is ultimately your call, but you really only need a layer, so using a full tub or tube during one application would be extreme. Think in tablespoon quantities, not cups, if that helps.

Post Ride

Be sure to hop out of your shorts as fast as possible, so you're not subjecting your skin to wet clothes for an unnecessary amount of time, and remember to wash your shorts regularly.

PRONATION VS. SUPINATION

Does this sound like something which has happened to you recently? You went to your local running store in search of a good, basic running shoe. Nothing fancy. You looked at all the shoes on the shoe wall and were amazed at the number of great shoes.

 

Soon, a store associate asked if you needed help, and when you said yes, you were probably asked to take off your shoes and socks and walk or jog either around the store or on a treadmill. Your stride was closely scrutinized by one of the experts on the shoe floor who pronounced that you are either a pronator or a supinator.

 

I’m a what?

 

For crying out loud, you just wanted to get some shoes so you can begin running and now, before you even bought a pair of shoes, it appears that you have some mysterious, unknown condition, requiring extra attention and special shoes.

 

Don’t fear. You’re just fine.

 

We’re here for you. And what we’ll do is explain this pronation/supination quandary in clear, simple terms and set you up in the perfect Mizuno shoe.

 

Before we even get started, let’s set the record straight: Pronation is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, pronation is actually good, and it’s perfectly natural. It occurs when the foot contacts the ground. After that, the arch then collapses—pronates—and acts as your body’s shock absorber. Being a pronator does not make you a bad person, it doesn’t even make you a bad runner!

 

Nearly everyone pronates to some extent. However, all people are different, and therefore some folks pronate much more or much less than others. If your feet didn’t pronate at all, your body wouldn’t be able to absorb the shock of walking, running or jumping.

 

The opposite of pronation is supination. You will hear some runners who claim to be supinators, but that’s a misnomer. Just like pronation, everyone supinates to some degree. You must supinate in order for your feet to push off and move into the next step.

 

Without getting too technical, when you supinate, the bones in the foot form a rigid lever which is necessary to push off into the next step in the running or walking stride.

 

When we walk or run, we land in a supinated position and then move to a more pronated position to absorb the shock of contacting the ground. From there, the foot then moves into a final supinated phase which leads to the foot pushing off into the next stride.

 

So pronation and supination are not only good, both are absolutely necessary. What is not so good is when the foot pronates too much–or too little.

 

First, too much pronation is termed overpronation. This occurs when the arch collapses either at too great an angle or it stays collapsed too long through the gait cycle. Overpronation is common enough though, occurring in more than half of the running population.

 

But overpronation–the distinctive inward collapse of the arch–is hard to see with the untrained, naked eye at full speed. On video it’s very apparent. It’s impossible for you to see it in yourself without video. That’s why it’s especially important to have your running gait analyzed by an expert at your favorite running shoe.

 

The problem is when overpronation is left unchecked, energy is lost and even worse, torque is placed on the lower part of the body and transmitted right up the legs. Uncontrolled overpronation is most often associated with all sorts of lower leg injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring strains and hip pain. That’s why if you overpronate and wear the wrong type of shoe (i.e., an unsupportive one), there’s a strong possibility of injury.

 

Don’t despair. Many of today’s modern running shoes are designed to reduce the rate of overpronation while still allowing the feet to pronate adequately and work as shock absorbers.

 

These types of shoes are labeled as either support, stability or motion control shoes. Though the terms are different, the end result is the same: These shoes will reduce the degree of overpronation and thus, minimize the injuries associated with it.

 

Most running brands offer shoes that reduce overpronation by using various devices. Most common is two-density midsole which incorporates a firmer section of midsole foam on the medial (inner) side to reduce overpronation. Brands also use external and internal heel devices to stabilize the rearfoot at heel strike as well as crash pads in the heel to slow the rate of pronation.

 

At Mizuno, we attack overpronation in a completely different way. Rather than use   multi-density midsoles to reduce overpronation, all Mizuno running shoes use our exclusive Wave technology which cushions and stabilizes the foot. By using different Waves Plates (different sizes, shapes and materials), Mizuno running shoes are designed to accommodate different foot gaits, including overpronation, so the shoe adjusts to your specific foot and running style.

 

For example, our support shoes such as the Wave Inspire and Wave Paradox utilize a Wave plate—the Fan Wave–which stabilizes the foot and reduces the amount of overpronation to a safe, acceptable level.

 

At the opposite end of the spectrum from overpronation, is something which is typically called supination or oversupination. In actuality, this condition should be termed underpronation. This is when the foot is very rigid and stiff and doesn’t bend, flex or pronate enough.

 

Often, the runner who underpronates has a foot with a high arch (or no arch) which places more weight on the outer edge of the foot. Since the foot is often so rigid, it doesn’t absorb shock well. The runner tends to run on the outside edge of the foot (often on the midfoot or forefoot) and doesn’t roll inward enough (pronate) like a normal foot does to absorb shock. Injuries commonly associated with an underpronating foot are an exceptionally tight Achilles tendon, knee problems, ankle sprains, stress fractures and tight hip muscles.

 

True underpronation is much less common than overpronation (less than 10 percent of the running population). But getting the right shoe type is just as important. For a runner who underpronates, the shock absorption (i.e., cushioning) qualities of the shoe is critical since the foot doesn’t do a good enough job of absorbing that shock on its own.

 

The type of shoes that work best for this runner is often called a neutral, cushioned shoe. These shoes emphasize cushioning and flexibility without restricting the foot’s movement at all with external or internal devices. At Mizuno, our family of neutral shoes use the Parallel Wave which is an entirely different Wave shape than the support shoes. The Parallel Wave does add some inherent support, while encouraging natural foot movement.

 

Finally, the majority of runners have “normal” arches and pronate neither too much or too little. These runners are lucky because they can wear pretty much wear whatever shoe fits well and feels comfortable without any pronation concerns.

 

Are you an overpronator, underpronator or do you just have a normal foot type which pronates an acceptable amount? Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way for the average runner to determine this.

 

Contrary to popular belief, shoe wear is not a reliable indicator. The best way to determine your foot type/gait (and thus, the type of shoe you need) is to go to a specialty running store and have a shoe expert watch you run. Many stores offer a treadmill and will make a video of you while running. If you underpronate or overpronate or pronate normally, this will be immediately apparent (more so if a video is made) and the shoe expert will fit you in the proper type of shoe.

 

If you don’t know of a store, ask around! Most runners can easily recommend the best store with the top fitting experts that will get you on your way to safe and enjoyable running that is specific to you.

 

The key to determining your foot type is to go to a reputable running store with experts in fitting runners in the proper shoes. If you don’t know of a store, ask around. Most runners can easily recommend the best store with the top fit experts.

Maximum support with cushioning (overpronators) : Wave Paradox

Moderate support with cushioning (moderate overpronators) : Wave Inspire

Maximum cushioning (for underpronators needing extra cushion) : Wave Enigma, Wave Creation and Wave Prophecy

Moderate cushioning (for underpronators) : Wave Rider and Wave Sayonara

Lightweight with cushioning (for underpronators looking for a lighter option) : Wave Hitogami

Posted By: Mizuno USA