Choosing the Perfect Bike for You
Whether you’re just riding occasionally, or you have decided to incorporate your cycling into your daily routine, you need to be using the right bike for you. If you have no idea what we’re referring to, here’s a little spoiler: bikes come in different sizes, prices, and are built for specific activities. So, the wrong bike can not only make you look comically big while riding it, but it can also make things harder if you’re not using it in the right terrain.
The good news is that figuring out exactly what you need, isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. Yes, there’s a bit of measuring and quite a bit of researching, but it really isn’t that complicated. In fact, most biking shops are more than happy to help out people who are just getting started in the cycling world. But, if you don’t want to walk into your local shop completely clueless, here’s what you need to know to be on the way to finding just the right bike:
Figure Out the Main Use
There’re four big types of bikes: mountain bikes, cruising bikes, road bikes, and hybrids. All made with a specific use on mind. Mountain bikes are generally heavier and designed to be used off-road. Cruising bikes are for, well, cruising; they didn’t really strain any muscles coming up for a name for this one. Road bikes are meant to be used in the city, they are mainly used for speed. Hybrid bikes are a mix of mountain and road bikes, they can easily be used off-road or on the pavement (though they aren’t as fast as road bikes).
Generally, try to learn what the bike you’ve been eyeing works for. On paper, you could use a mountain bike to ride around the city, and a road bike to go trailing, but really, it’s going to be really hard on you and your bike. Keep that in mind when shopping around.
Know Your Size
When it comes to fit, here’s what you need to know: when sitting on the bike, your feet should barely touch the ground and your knees should be only slightly bent when your leg is all the way down while pedaling. If your knee has a sharp bend, the seat is too low or the bike too small. If your leg is too straight, your seat is too high or the bike too big.
Keep that in mind when choosing your frame. And also take into account that the general rule of thumb is that the frame size is supposed to be around .65 times your inseam. If shopping at a brick and mortar store, staff will be more than qualify to help you figure out your size. But if you’re buying used or off the internet, you’re going to have to figure it out by yourself. Luckily you can find resources online that can help you calculate your size.
Set a Budget
Finally, once you have all of this down, is time to get realistic about your budget. Low range bikes can cost you anywhere between $80 and $400. Mid-range can set you back by $1,000 and anything above that will be considered high-end. Of course, if you’re just an occasional rider and aren’t planning on racing professionally, a low range bike will do. Just keep in mind that with bikes you get what you paid for, so if you want a good bike that’s going to last you for a while, be ready to invest a pretty penny.