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Tips on Buying Your First Bicycle
So, you're thinking about getting a bicycle and are wondering where
to start. This can be an overwhelming experience, but don't worry
we're here to help. Before you even step foot in a bike store read
through this article and then ponder some of the questions raised
about what kind of bike rider you think you'll be and what style of
bike you may want. We'll start with a few facts about cycling and
reasons why riding a bicycle is awesome.
|1. Its just plain fun,
if its not your probably doing it wrong.
2. Exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
bike as part of an exercise routine helps reduce the risk of
heart disease, stroke, and other life threatening illnesses.”
your health care costs, and improve your mental outlook and
quality of life.”
3. Cycling is an economical form of transportation. The average
gas, insurance and car payments is $7000 a year more when
solely using a bike for transportation, according to Bike
4. Riding a bike allows a person to enjoy camaraderie with other
or to go out alone enjoying the solitude that riding into the
5. Competition, whether it is organized racing or beating your
to the truck, bicycling is a good outlet for our desire to
6. Bicycles are also a good healthy hobby, especially for men
things to tinker with. A bike allows us to have something we are
something that may partially define who we are. And ladies,
thousands cheaper than that 1960’s muscle car your hubby wants
to put in
|Keeping those reasons in mind,
you must realistically ask yourself: what kind of riding will I
be doing? There are five main categories of biking. All of which
are built for different styles or types of riding; these are:
Mountain bikes, Road bikes, Hybrid/Comfort bikes, Recumbent
A mountain bike
is built for
riding off-road trails. They are tough burly dirt bikes without
motors- typically having, at least, a front shock and knobby
tires. Their purpose is for riding through the woods, but they
be very versatile and used for: transportation, exercise, and
weekend-warrior off-road outings.
Road bikes are the exact
opposite of mountain bikes. They are light weight, skinny tired,
street machines. They are efficient areo dynamic speedsters,
and are capable of being raced or ridden for long distances.
These are the kind of bikes Lance Armstrong rides.
Hybrid comfort bikes are a
compromise between the road and mountain style bikes. They allow
the rider to sit in a more upright position, have squishy seats,
most have suspension and all are intended to be comfortable.
Hybrid comfort bikes, in a sense, do it all. From long road
rides to light duty trails A hybrid bike has road wheels and
less aggressive tires. Works well for paved fitness/nature
trails.) (A comfort bike has mountain bike sized wheels with
more aggressive tires. Works well for gravel fitness/nature
A recumbent style bike is
unique in that it’s riding position is non-traditional. Picture
a lawn chair with pedals. These bikes can be ridden long
distances for exercise, some even off road. People with back
problems or individuals who dislike a traditional riding
position are drawn to these types of bicycles. A recumbent is
not a high performance race bike, but most use high-end quality
parts, are special ordered, and custom
built for the purchaser.
Cruisers are traditionally
single speed bikes with big swooping handlebars and a basket on
the front; however, a new trend in cruisers is taking the
country by storm. These bikes are more of an art form (of sorts)
are actually meant to be ridden. (I.e. chopper style) A
different side to this trend is manufacturers adding gears and
shifters to bikes that have been, traditionally, single speeds-
making them more peddler friendly.
with yourself about where and how you plan to ride a bicycle.
Don’t let a friends’ choice sway you. I’ve seen many customers
who were determined to have a bike “like their buddies” only to
end up with an
expensive uncomfortable race bike that they hated riding.
important consideration is picking the right bike shop.
Different shops have different styles.
a first time buyer might be intimidated by a shop that
specializes in high end road racing bikes. Typically, the
salesmen at such shops are advanced riders and have a hard time
talking in understandable terms. Finding a salesman who is
honest and speaks on your level is important. A salesman who
will tell you that a high-end ride is probably more bike than
you need- despite the fact that it will make him/her more
profit, is someone who is looking to make a long term customer.
They probably truly have your best interests in mind. Watch out for
deals that seem too good to be true. Be that on the internet
or from a discount store. I almost bought my first mountain bike
online, a closeout bike that was a 21”. Luckily, I stopped in my
local shop first. The owner sized me and it turns out, I ride a
16” bike…a small, not a large!! Discount store bikes are also an
expensive mistake that people make. The items lined in discount
stores are B.S.O.’s (Bike Shaped Objects). They mimic real
bikes. They can be ridden, just not very far, comfortably,
or safely. They are heavy, misassembled, and disposable. In most
cases, if a part breaks, it is cheaper to buy a whole new
“B.S.O” than to have it fixed. Even the cheapest bike in a bike
shop is of a quality far exceeding discount brands. Plus, a
purchase of a bike shop bike typically gets you valuable advice,
bike setup that caters to your body, some form of service deal,
and from most manufacturers, frame and parts warranties. Some
shops will even pay for a bike club membership which sets you up
and puts you in with group rides, professional advice, and even
discounts. A persons first bike purchase is important, because if
a bad decision is made, it can mean the difference between a
person who becomes a healthy, fit, energetic cyclist- or someone
who has an un-ridden bike hanging in their garage. Get as much
info as you can. Ask questions until you are
satisfied. Test-ride as many bikes as you can. And finally, make
choice and get started riding!!!
written by, Landon Monhollan