Rollin’ by the River with Framed Bikes new Marquette Carbon 27.5+

IMG_0215Framed Bikes recently announced the release of their first plus-size mountain bike
– the Marquette Carbon 27.5+

The stock version comes with:

  • SRAM DB5 Hydraulic Brakes
  • Alex MD50 Alloy Double Wall Rims
  • RockShox Reba Fork
  • GX retail $1999
  • X1 retail $2199
  • BOOST Technology
  • 445mm chainstay length
  • Head tube angle of 69 degrees matched with a 120mm or 100mm travel fork.
  • High modulus carbon frame with SRAM dominated drivetrain and brakes
  • 12mm thru axle dropouts on the rear.
  • Framed describes it as “the Swiss Army knife in the company’s lineup.”

More details here: Framed Marquette 27.5+ at The House

Tech over.

First Rides –

When local bike company, Framed, invited me to check out their new Marquette 27.5+ bike I had no idea just how much fun it would be. Having a history of more than one broken bone from bike….uhhh…mishaps…I started out cautiously with a ride around South Minneapolis from the house, to Pat’s Tap. It was a fast, smooth ride to my bloody mary with no increased rolling resistance compared to my traditional 500 lb mountain bike circa 1993. No crashes. Easily maneuvered around the massive potholes. No broken bones. Success. Plus, it fits in the back of my Jeep. I’m ready for the river bottoms

The River BottomsI should’ve worn a helmet.

IMG_0188Like driving my Jeep to the kite launch on the beach in South Padre or snowy lake in MN, this bike plowed through everything I put in front of it- gravel, packed sand, deep sand, grass, big rocks, log piles, sticks, roots, mud, water. Overall the bike fit me very well when I was riding, though I found the standover height to be a little high #curseofthelongtorso.  Handlebar width was comfortable and I was able to maneuver through the trees on the single track without trouble. My feet stayed on the pedals when I needed them to. I found easy acceleration on flats – street, gravel, and dirt. The 27+ sized tires offered extra flotation through the deep sand and rough terrain and a ton of traction. I did slide out in some mud but that may have had more to do with my skill level than the tire (and by “may have” I mean it absolutely did). Frame geometry was comfortable, the adjustable RockShox Reba fork soaked up the bumps, and the Marquette was great fun to ride.

Forgiving of my many technical mistakes. I would’ve hit the ground many more times had I been on my own bike. As a beginner rider, this bike gave me confidence on more technical terrain. I found myself going faster and going over log piles I wouldn’t have tried this with my old bike.

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IMG_0220 Style points-

More than a few people commented on the look of the bike on the trails.

Nobody commented on my old 90’s Giant Acapulco…weird.

The mud contrasted nicely with the bright green frame.

Carbon frame at the price of other brand’s aluminum frames.

Final thoughts-

The Framed Marquette Carbon 27.5+ is a lightweight, agile trail bike offering stability, comfort, and confidence. The ride is smooth, nimble, and fun.

Terry, who is a more experienced cyclist, fat tire enthusiast, and triathlete, took the bike for a spin and was also impressed. He said it handled great and was a nice ride. I think the bike is great for the less technically skilled such as myself and I’m looking forward to reading some of the reviews of the pros. Dustin at Fat-Bike.com will have a review coming out soon. Stay tuned.

Now go out and monster truck over some stuff!

Play hard.

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How to Train for American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb

climb for airTrain for a Climb

A climb event is a great way to challenge yourself—whether your goal is just to reach the top or to be the first to cross the finish line—you will walk away with a newfound respect for your lungs!

Tip 1: Work on increasing your aerobic capacity.

The key to dominating all 30 floors is making sure your body is up for the task. Think of getting to the top being the same as running a mile and a half without stopping. If you’re currently able to last through a mile and a half of running, your body is capable of rocking it all the way to the top.

Tip 2: Strengthen your legs

Your legs are the primary movers for climbing the stairs? Glutes (yes, your butt), quads, and hamstrings. The stronger these three muscle groups are, the easier it will seem to fly up the stairs. How do you strengthen these? Squats, lunges, and leg extensions. This will strengthen these muscles, and help increase your aerobic capacity.

Tip 3: Climb stairs

Every building has stairs, so take advantage of it! Try going up and down a set of stairs (multiple floors or a single flight of stars) for 5 minutes straight. Rest 2-3 minutes, and go for it again. This will help your body adapt to the stair climbing movement and increase your aerobic capacity.

Cadence – more steps, less injury

MidwestEvents_GophertoBadger356
To understand why increased cadence could prevent running injury, let’s review running biomechanics. Running subjects the body to high-impact forces. With each foot-strike, forces 2 ½ times body weight travel from the feet and ankles through the body. These forces, combined with training errors, cause injury to the bones and soft tissues. Cadence is the number of steps taken per unit of time or distance. Whether we are short or tall, long- or short-legged, we tend to take 120-140 steps per minute when we run. The fewer steps we take, the longer the stride will need to be to run fast. The longer the stride, the more likely the heel will contact the ground first. If the stride is long and the heel contacts the ground far in front of the body, several negative things happen.
First, a spilt-second braking force occurs as the heel hits the ground. The forward momentum of the body moving over the contact leg is temporarily slowed. Next, a second impact force is generated as the rest of the foot contacts the ground. These forces are implicated in development of running injuries. Gait researchers have found when runners are retrained to land mid-foot instead on the heel, braking force is lessened and foot contact time is shortened. Force loading rates and impact peaks reduce up to 30%! But, when runners take a shorter stride landing mid-foot, they cover less distance and speed slows. To increase speed, cadence must increase.
Besides decreased force generation, increased cadence was found to be beneficial in unexpected ways. Decreased foot contact time improves running efficiency. This means less oxygen is required to power the body over the same distance. Mid-foot strike promotes better pelvic core muscle recruitment, meaning that the gluteals and other muscles supporting the hips and knees, contract stronger. In my clinic, many runners with knee pain have reported instant improvement just by increasing cadence during my treadmill gait evaluation.
So, increasing cadence seems to help reduce injury and improve performance, but, changing the way we run is difficult as it’s a fundamental motor skill. As I discussed in past articles, it takes time to adapt to new movement patterns. To avoid injury, cadence manipulation, like any other new technique, should be incorporated SLOWLY into a training program.
Cadence between 170-180 foot strikes per minute is the recommended target rate. Start by practicing increased cadence using an interval program in the middle of your regular run. An easy, safe way is to use cuing from a simple metronome app downloaded on a smart phone carried while you run. Run at your natural cadence for several minutes to warm up. Set the metronome for a rate between 170-180 and increase the steps you take using the beat as a cue. You will need to slow down a lot initially and it may seem like you are shuffling. Run at this increased cadence for 1 minute, then, go back to your natural cadence for 1 minute. Repeat this interval 5 times (a total of 10 minutes). Finish with several minutes running at natural cadence and a short walk to cool down. During the next run, do 6 intervals (12 minutes), the next run, 7 intervals (14 minutes) and so on for 1-2 weeks. Then, as it begins to feel more natural, run longer intervals at increased cadence and decreasing intervals at your natural cadence. In about 3-4 weeks, most runners can feel when they are running at increased cadence without the cue of the metronome and can complete training using increased cadence.

Marie-Christine Leisz, DO is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, with advanced training in the diagnosis and management of running and endurance sports injuries. She is medical director of the Running and Endurance Sports Injury Clinic at Courage Kenny Rehab Institute and collaborates with the Courage Kenny RunSmart PT Program. Learn more at http://www.allina.com/ahs/ski.nsf/page/running_endurance and http://www.allina.com/ahs/ski.nsf/page/Run_smart