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The different styles of BMX Bikes

Tuesday, 4 October 2016 11:06:58 Europe/London

In the 1980s BMX (short for Bicycle Motocross) bikes became a global phenomenon with their small, lightweight 20-inch wheel bike design. BMX bikes are the perfect choice for those wishing to perform stunts as they feature a small frame with a short wheelbase and a high-rise handlebar perfect for swinging around underneath the riders body during a trick. That said, BMX bikes do come in a number of styles designed to suit different riding styles.

Here is a brief run down of the different styles of BMX bike: 

  1. Race – With their lightweight aluminum alloy frames, larger diameter sprockets, smooth & narrow tyres, Race BMX’s are designed to be rode at speed around specially created circuits. Typically, they feature longer top tubes to make them more stable over long, fast jumps however they aren’t as tough as trick bikes and shouldn’t be ridden with stunt pegs or gyro headsets.

  2. Freestyle – The frames on freestyle BMX’s need to be strong enough to withstand the hard impacts of tricks and concrete landings so are almost always made from steel. A Freestyle bike will usually come fitted with stunt pegs and a gyro headset, which allow the handlebars to rotate 360° without tangling the brake cables. The tyres will be wider and the chain ring smaller than those on a race bike.

Within the Freestyle BMX range there are several sub-categories that the bikes can be split into to suit the riders own distinct types of riding. These are:

  • Park / Street – Need to be agile enough to complete complex manoeuvres and tricks but strong enough to withstand the punishing concrete landings. Key features tend to be smooth tyres, rear brake only and a gyro headset.
  • Vert (AKA Ramp, Half-pipe) – Similar to a Street Bike, Vert BMX’s feature stunt pegs, smooth tyres and a robust frame but will often be ridden without brakes and usually have a larger sprocket to help the rider build up more speed allowing them to lauch the bike as high as possible during a jump.
  • Dirt Jump – These bikes have strong, steel frames, tyres with a knobbly tread pattern, large chain rings and at least one brake fitted (usually the rear with an accompanying gyro headset).
  • Flatland – Characterised by steel constructed, short, solid frames made from steel, small sprockets, smooth tyres and typically front & rear stunt pegs. Depending on the rider’s personal preference. This is to help the riders balance which is an optimum requirement for this style of riding. 
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Posted By Total Sport Team

On yer bike for National Cycle to Work Day

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 16:01:41 Europe/London

Tomorrow is national Cycle to Work to Day, which is an annual campaign, with an aim to encourage everyone to leave their vehicles at home and hop on two wheels for one day to enjoy a leisurely cycle to work.

741,000 people in the UK cycle to work regularly, a number that is steadily growing according to the census data, but with the help of this national initiative organisers of Cycle to Work Day are hoping to get those figures up to one million people regularly cycling to work by 2021*.

 So now we know about the campaign lets talk about all the bonuses that cycle has to offer.

Aside from the obvious fitness benefits recent research highlighted that cycling also sharpens your thinking and can help reduce stress.

In a recent study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, scientists found that people scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning after 30 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike than they did before they rode. They also completed the tests faster after pedaling. 

Exercise releases natural endorphins and cycling in particular forces the nerve cells to fire up and intensify the creation of proteins, which can assist brain function. 

Another fantastic benefit to cycling is that it’s cheaper. Riding your bike to work requires no petrol, insurance or MOT plus you get free parking! It also gives out zero emissions so you can rest in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Stress levels will also be reduced as you dodge the traffic and instead enjoy your natural surroundings whilst breathing in some quality fresh air.

All you need is a comfortable well-serviced bicycle, a helmet and away you go. Although do remember that as we enter autumn dusk falls earlier so ensure you wear reflective riding attire and have lights fitted to your handle bars and the rear.

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Posted By Total Sport Team


Monday, 8 August 2016 15:41:53 Europe/London

Most riders replace their helmet after a crash or if its been dropped from a great height or at force. However, when should you really change it?


Every manufacturer has a recommended lifespan for their helmets, which usually range from 5 – 7 years but as a general rule of thumb we would recommend replacing your helmet every 5 years for ‘normal use’. We would however emphasise that the life of a helmet should really depend on how often it is being used.

A motocross helmet should always be replaced, regardless of its age, if it has been in an accident or has taken a forceful impact as its impossible to predict how much damage could have been caused just by looking at it. Although it may appear fine on the outside, the inner structure could have ruptured or cracked which will decrease the level of protection ones head is getting from the helmet.

The 5 most common reasons for replacing a helmet are as follows;

  1. It’s been dropped - The smallest of cracks can stop the helmet performing to its full ability.

  2. You have been in a crash - Whether it’s a minor or major accident, helmets are designed to take one impact only so even if you’ve experienced a minor incident the EPS liners will be compromised. If not replaced your head may not be so lucky next time.

  3. The Sun - UV rays can damage the outer shell of a helmet so it’s worth tracking the amount of miles you travel on your bike, in the sun, over a year. If you’re doing thousands of miles you will want to be upgrading your helmet more frequently.

  4. The straps or locks have failed prematurely - The chinstrap is vital in keeping the helmet securely in place on your head so if this has corroded then it’s time to get rid – even if the outer shell is still in good shape. Loose fitting helmets create a gap between your skull and the inner shell, which could result in a brain injury if you were to crash.

So if you any of these scenarios apply to you, it’s time to get a new helmet.

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Posted By Total Sport Team

Which Mountain Bike is right for you?

Monday, 25 July 2016 15:15:00 Europe/London

Which Mountain Bike is right for you?


Mountain biking is an exhilarating and enjoyable way to enjoy riding off-road, on a wide variety of terrain. It provides you with an opportunity to explore the natural world around you as a sole activity or with friends and family. It is also a fantastic way to keep fit and active.

There are then three main types of bicycles to choose between, as follows;

  • Rigid Bike – This is the most basic and has no suspension. 

  • Hardtail Bike – These bikes have a suspension fork at the front to provide cushioning from bumps and improve grip and handling. A Hardtail is therefore a great choice for beginners looking to venture off road but equally suitable for those who just want to enjoy a family bike ride. They're generally cheaper, due to the lack of rear suspension, and are lighter and easier to maintain. Hardtails have an advantage when it comes to pedaling, as the rigid rear end converts all of your energy into forward motion. The down side to riding a Hardtail Bike, due to lack of a shock absorber at the rear, is that more shocks are transmitted from the ground to you as you ride which can be tiring. The risk of puncturing your types is also increased as the bike may struggle to maintain grip on rough terrain.

  • Full Suspension Bike - Feature both front suspension forks and a rear shock absorber so are the most capable to tackle rough terrain with comfort and control. By using a suspension fork at the front of the bike and a shock absorber at the rear, the wheels can move up and over bumps, lumps, roots and rocks, smoothing out the trail ahead. Thanks to the additional stability and control from the suspension, full suspension mountain bikes can open the opportunity to explore more challenging terrain and obstacles.

All Mountain Bikes typically feature frames made from aluminum, steel or carbon fibre and all will have chunky tyres mounted onto robust wheels.

Ultimately the perfect Mountain Bike for you will depend upon the kind of riding you want to do and what you want to get out of your ride. Once this decision has been made you’ll be well on the way to purchasing your dream bike and then, the road is your oyster….



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  • Mountain Bikes
Posted By Total Sport Team

Top 5 Tips to a faster Kart ride

Monday, 11 July 2016 15:49:18 Europe/London

Top 5 Tips to a faster Kart ride...

  1. Relax and trust your cart 
    The kart chassis needs to be able to flex in order to handle well and this can’t happen if the driver in sat rigid. Relax your body; trust your car and your skill and the kart will grip better being you can push the throttle for a faster ride.

  2. Sit back 
    Car manufacturers spend a lot of money trying to design a car with the perfect balance so it can be handled effectively at speed. When a driver leans forward the centre of gravity is shifted which can result in the kart skidding or loosing speed. By sitting back in the seat the centre of gravity is where it should be meaning the kart can move around the track with ease. 

  3. Don’t lean in on the bends 
    Resist your natural urge to lean as this actually slows when you hit the corners and you will want to keep up your momentum during the whole race if you are to win. Karts have a solid rear axle meaning the back wheels are locked together. This is so that when they corner the karts geometry is set up to effectively lift one front wheel so the kart can lean onto the other front wheel and allow the inside back wheel to lift off the tarmac. By leaning, you actually counter the designed lift and thus make it more difficult to corner.

  4. Exit with power 
    The exit is more important that the entry so make sure you go at the corner with enough speed to get you round comfortably but add a little more power so you can exit quickly and onto the straight where you can speed along a feel the adrenaline rush.

  5. Change your style for wet driving 
    A kart finds it very difficult to corner in the wet so try to steer with the throttle and the back wheels will slide around the corner. The best way to achieve this is to brake in a straight line on the approach to the corner, use the steering wheel to put on plenty of lock – and don’t panic when the kart just keeps going straight on. As you enter the corner, gently ease the accelerator down and the rear wheels will start to loosen which enable the under-steering front wheels to turn the kart. This will take practice, as you need to find the perfect balance. Too much acceleration will result in a spin whereas too little will bring you to a halt or crash.

Before committing to purchasing your own kart then you may wish to try a kart at a commercially operated track as these will loan you the kart and all the equipment you need to get some practice in. Or if you are ready to treat yourself to your own cart we have a selection that you can view here. 

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Posted By Total Sport

The importance of your helmet

Monday, 27 June 2016 14:10:06 Europe/London


Quite simply, there’s no such thing as too much protection when it comes to your head – especially when you’re riding in an event. This is why we have a vast selection of helmets designed for the rigors of motocross that will appeal to everyone from professional racers to casual riders.

In case of an accident a helmet is designed to absorb the impact of a collision to protect your brain. With this in mind, is of paramount importance that the material of the helmet is lightweight, tough and made from crack resistant fibers.

Comfort if then another key element to consider as you will be wearing it the whole time that you are riding. It should feel soft on the inside where it touches your skull and full-face helmets are the safest however not always the most practical. Some riders prefer the half face option as they still offer great protection but give a fuller view of the track.

A good example of a full-face helmet is the UFO Interceptor Red Demon Helmet 2016 which has been constructed with a complex ventilation system, the Multi Vent System (M.V.S.) positioned towards the front are numerous air vents that direct fresh air to the head, the interior in EPS is canalized for a perfect distribution of the airflow. The heat inside the helmet is dissipated by 3 vents on the upper part of the helmet, which are capable of extraction even with a low flow of air, and by two large vents located towards the lower back of the helmet. This guarantees complete air circulation.

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Posted By Total Sport Team

How to avoid common ‘rookie’ mistakes when mastering the moves of a Dirt Bike

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 12:12:25 Europe/London

How to avoid common ‘rookie’ mistakes when mastering the moves of a Dirt Bike... 


You remember when you were 6 years old and how challenging it was to learn to ride a pushbike? Multiply that by a thousand and you’ll be close to the mark of how difficult it is to learn to ride a dirt bike. Understand that falling off the bike or even losing control is all part of the learning process. It doesn’t just happen over night and can take months of practice to master the skill and even then the odd crash, scrape or stall is almost inevitable. That said, a lot of first-time riders do tend to fall unnecessarily due to a number of avoidable mistakes. Here are some common errors that learners make and advice on how to get past them to help speed up the exhilarating fun of dirt bike riding.

  1. Balance: If you can ride a bicycle then you’re already one step ahead as you have mastered the skill to balance. A dirt bike is however much heavier and its weight combined with the speed is what throws people. Sitting down on the saddle is the position that most learners opt for as it is easier and it feels safer however if you can build up the confidence to stand up this will help with balancing. You can also feel the motion of the bike better, allowing the rider to work in unison with the bike rather than against it as a lot of the time with dirt bike riding you have to hand the control over to the bike.

  2. Throttle and Clutch Control: It takes patience and practice to figure out the throttle – how far to roll it? When to let it up? It is all about timing. Similarly with the clutch. You need to get used to them both individually before you start trying to use them simultaneously. Many beginners think they have this skill mastered too soon, which results in them, zooming off at a speed of knots and ending up in a heap on the floor. The old saying ‘don’t try to run before you can walk’ is very fitting here. Practice your technique slowly around the track, speeding up ever so slightly each time. Play around with the throttle at different speeds, the clutch at different speeds and then both together. Then come back the next day and do it all again pushing yourself a little bit more each time.

  3. Positioning: Where to position your body when taking jumps, cornering and hitting berms is of paramount importance to avoid losing control and hitting the dirt. Balance is key here as well as strength, judgment and respect for your bike. If you've watched Motocross for a season, you'll notice how the rider and bike are nearly parallel with the ground on sharp turns without the rider leaning in any direction. This comes with practice and good knowledge of your bike so spend time getting to know it and how it moves around the track.

  4. Memory: Dirt Bike riding is just as much about using the brain as it is about brute strength. Being able to memorise the winds and turns in the track will help you hugely when racing but also in the early stages when you’re learning. So be a quick thinker and take note of all elements of the track from the ground texture to the depth of the chicane. Mental coaching and foreseeing potential risks on the track will significantly reduce your chances of crashing whilst practicing your technique.

  5. Vision: Don’t look down, is the biggest tip we can give you! This is difficult as its natural to look at the object immediately in front of you. Instead you need to look ahead at all times, taking note of your whole perimeter so you know what's coming. Looking down prevents you from correctly adjusting your throttle and brake controls, balance and positioning and will result in you driving into the object you have been fixating on.

So there you have it! A few tips to help reduce the fear factor and the number of injuries you’ll suffer. Mistakes happen, that’s all part of the learning process of anything new we do. The important thing is to learn from them and use them to your advantage to succeed.

Enjoy the ride…

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Posted By Total Sport Team

Introducing the E-Bike...

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 11:44:00 Europe/London

What is an E-Bike?

An electric bike is a bicycle that uses an electric motor to help with propulsion providing a promising alternative form of urban transportation. Fundamentally, an e-bike is a regular bicycle with the addition of a battery pack and an electric motor to provide additional assistance. With zero emissions and freedom from gridlock they are ideal for people who live or work in a city, looking for an alternative mode of transport to driving or catching a bus or train. They provide all the advantages of a regular bike such as fun and exercise with the added bonus of being faster and cheaper than car or public transport.

Imagine pedaling up a hill as comfortably as riding down, that's what the e-bike experience is all about. You can pedal normally and just use the motor to ease the burden of up hill slopes and headwinds, or use the motor all the time just to make riding easier. You can recharge the battery pack at any time by plugging it into the mains.

A lot of E-bikes feature 3 modes;

  • Pedal only; same as a regular bike
  • Pedal-assisted; the rider pedals with the assistance of the motor.
  • Motor only; the bike does all the work

Some bike designs however are limited to providing powered assistance only when you're pedaling. In other words, you have to still put in some pedal power.

The UK Law on E-Bike Speed Limits

As with vehicle’s there is still a speed limit that e-bikes have to adhere to.  The law states that an electric bicycle has to reduce the power supplied by the motor as the bike's speed approaches 25km/hour (15mph). This doesn't mean that the bike can’t physically go any faster than this, but you will have to speed up under your own steam as the motor will stop helping you (switch off) once it hits the top legal speed it's allowed to operate at.

We stock a couple of top quality e-bikes from Orbea in the form of the Keram MTB 10 Plus and the slighter lower priced Keram 29 MTB 50. Discover the mythological creature that is Keram here….

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  • electric bikes
Posted By Total Sport Team

Protein Power...

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:23:34 Europe/London

Protein Power...

It seems that everywhere we look nowadays another fitness guru pops up on the internet or TV pushing their latest fitness regime and nutrition tips. Eat this! Don’t drink that! Work out 3 times a week! Cut down on carbs! Increase your protein levels! It can all seem a bit confusing and overwhelming knowing whose advice to follow. The bottom line is that the ideal way to keep fit and healthy is to eat a balancing diet combined with exercise but what if you are doing this and still not seeing the results you want when you look in the mirror? 

This is where Protein Powder or supplements can come in very handy although using them can can seem a bit daunting at first in fear of turning into the incredible hulk over night. Don’t worry – this won’t happen! However increasing your protein levels can help you get the most out of your workout and enhance your overall wellbeing.

It should be noted however, that a good source of protein can be found naturally in the foods that we consume every day and protein powder should be used in addition to these foods, not instead of.

So what is protein and why do we need it?

The word ‘protein’ refers to a type of molecule in food that can be broken down into amino acids and is one of the three vital macronutrients (the others are carbohydrates and fats) required to provide our body with all nutrients and calories it needs to work efficiently. Protein helps rebuild and repair muscle tissue and plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy and lean.

Natural proteins

Most food and drinks contain a level of protein however the following food types are protein rich;

  • Meat, in particular poultry. Lean cuts are best as they contain less saturated fat
  • Fish
  • Dairy products such as milk and natural yoghurts
  • Beans and Lentils
  • Nuts and Seeds

Protein powder benefits

As mentioned above, you should always try to get the majority of your protein from the foods that you eat as food burns fat quicker however its difficult to obtain the level required to notice muscle definition from foods alone. Protein powder therefore is a convenient way to increase the amount of protein your body is getting. It can help to boost your training performance as well and improve muscle tone.

When to take the supplement

The effect that protein has on your body depends on when you take it. For example, taking it first thing in the morning with your breakfast can help to replenish vital nutrients required after sleeping. When taking protein to aid your workouts, straight after you’ve completed your training session is the best time to take it as it helps your muscles to recover. If you opt to take your protein before a training session, leave a 30minute gap before you commence as this allows enough time to create an ‘anabolic window’ to decrease muscle damage during the workout.

To view our range of Protein Shake and Supplements, click here. 

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Posted By Total Sport Team


Wednesday, 6 April 2016 10:31:55 Europe/London



If you are looking for help in you 2016 season and you would be willing to run our Total Sport logo on you bike, Van and Race Shirts
please call us on 02392 449660 or email [email protected].

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Posted By Total Sport Team

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