Cycling is a great way to enjoy the sunny outdoors while remaining active. It provides all sorts of health benefits while giving you a sense of freedom and enjoyment riding through the winds. No matter what your age or fitness level, you can have a quality, fun time riding a bike on the roads.
In this how to guide, we will share with you some tips to select the best bike based on your fitness goals and budget.
Step 1: Select the Right Type of Bike
The first step when selecting a bicycle is to determine what type of bicycle will suit you best. There are numerous types of bikes available in the market. Knowing about the different types of bikes will help you in homing in on the most suitable bike for you.
The problem is that companies use different brand names for the same type of bikes. This can create confusion while searching for a specific type of bike. In order to make it easier for you to decide what type of bike to buy, here are some descriptions of the most common types of bikes that you can buy in the market.
- Mountain bikes: Mountain bikes have usually flat handlebars and flat tires. These bikes are available in single suspension – known as hard tails – and in dual suspension models. The dual suspension models have suspension on both the rear and front wheels. Moreover, the wheel size of mountain bikes range from 26” to 29”. The bigger size wheels are mostly used for professional, sport riding. The price of mountain bikes starts at about $400.
- Road Bikes: Road bikes are a little more expensive than mountain bikes. These bikes were once called as racing or ten speed bikes. Distinguishing features of the bike include dropped down handlebars and skinny tires. The bikes are light and fast that makes them ideal to take on long routes. A road bike is the best choice if you want to take it on a long journey with the price starting at about $700.
- Flat Bar Road Bikes: Flat Bar Road Bikes are a recent innovation that seem like a combination of mountain bike and a road bike. These bikes have flat handlebars, and fit like a mountain bike when you lean over them. However, they handle and ride almost like a road bike with their narrow tires. You can also opt for flatter tires to ride as a commuter, city, or utility bike. Like road bikes, they are ideal to take on long tours. The price of this type of bike starts at about $600.
- Comfort Bikes: Comfort bikes are basically used for casual riding. Designed with upright riding position, these bikes are suitable for shorter routes. Usually the tires are wider in size that absorb bumps on the roads giving a smoother ride on unpaved and dirt roads. The price of these bikes starts from $400 and goes up to about $600.
- Townies: Townies are new type of bikes that were invented by Electra Bicycle Company. These bikes have “flat foot technology” that ensures proper perfect leg placement when riding the bike. The Townies have seats high enough to make it easier to pedal while also allowing you to keep both feet on the ground when in stationary position. The price of Townies starts at mid $400s.
Other types of bikes that you can find on the market include folding bikes, recumbents, single speed bikes, commuter bikes, touring bikes, and many others. You must ask your local bike shop sales person about the details about each of these bikes.
Step 2: Decide on your Budget
Note that bike prices differ considerably. The price of the bike is determined by the type and also the brand of the bike. A similar type of bike of two different brands may be priced differently. This price differential may either be due to different quality material or design of the bike or due to the brand value attached to the bike. You should keep this point in mind while making budget for the bike.
Step 3: Determine the Right Size of Bike for You
An important consideration when buying a bike is to determine the size that will fit you perfectly. Determining the right size of the bike is not that hard. Just sit on the bike and ensure that your feet comfortably touch the ground. Another way to determine the right size of the bike is “stand over height” method where you stand over the bike and ensure that you can clear the top by an inch or two.
Step 4: Determine Bicycles Accessories Required
Next, you must determine bicycles accessories required to ensure a comfortable and smooth ride while on the road. Some of the essential accessories that you must buy include safety gear and helmet, locks, bike pumps, and a repair kit. You should consider other items only if it falls within your budget and you think you might need them when riding the bike.
Note that when buying bike accessories, you must never go for the cheapest option. Also, remember that high cost does not always translate into high quality. Consider asking other riders you known personally or online about the best quality bike accessory. Low quality accessories usually do not last long and are not worth investing.
Step 5: Take a Test Ride
Finally, you must take a short test ride before selecting a bike. Taking a short test ride will allow you to assess the comfort and quality of the bike. Make sure to test the brakes and gears while taking the bike out for a short test ride. This will ensure that you buy the perfect bicycle that handles well on the road.
On a final note, you may have to spend a considerable sum on purchasing the bike and its accessories. So, it’s important that you take time in selecting the best bike that can serve you best for long.