Remove Arm Warmers on the Fly
"First, peel them down to your wrists," says Todd Wells. "then take them off one at a time and put them in your jersey pocket. If you're not comfortable taking both hands off the bar, use your teeth to pull the warmers off your wrists."
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Descend with Confidence
Stay loose when plunging down a hill, says Chris Carmichael. "If you're stiff, you'll be rigid and skittish. Get your hands into the drops to lower your center of gravity and put weight on the front wheel. On downhill turns, focus your weight on your outside foot and inside hand. This will help you maintain an inside line."
"Never eat anything new on race day," says cross-country pro Heather Irmiger. "If you eat a bowl of cereal every morning, stick with it. experiment on training days."
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Your Preride Checklist
Do this quick exam before every ride, says former ProTour mechanic Daimeon Shanks, founder of The Service Course, in Boulder, Colorado.
They should spin straight and not rub the brakes. Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and no cuts or large nicks, and that they are properly inflated.
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Too much lube will attract dirt and grime, which wears out your drivetrain. A good test is to wipe your finger on your chain. It should come away with just a small amount of oil.
Check your headset by grabbing the front brake and rocking the handlebar back and forth. If you feel movement in your headset, loosen the stem's clamp bolts and tighten the top cap until there is no more movement. Don't forget to retighten the stem bolts before you ride.
More: 10 Things I Wish I Knew From the Start
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