Bicycles have come a long way in the past few years. There are a lot of reasons for this, including advancements in both technology and design. The downside to this is a dizzying selection of bikes on the market to choose from.
As a result, what is the average rider to do when it comes to selecting the bike that is just for them? What follows is a list of seven things to consider to choose the best bike for you.
When it comes to materials, especially in terms of durability and strength, steel frames win hands down. The primary downside of steel is weight.
If you want a lighter weight bike you should choose titanium, which is lighter by far. If you want a lighter bike but you don’t want to shovel out $8,000 for one, you might want to consider aluminum or carbon, both good alternatives.
2. Drive system
Besides your legs, the drive system is the engine of your bike. There are several different types of drive systems, each subject to your likes and dislikes.
The choice of wheels you have can make a huge difference in the price of your bike, not to mention the quality of your ride. Many bike manufacturers offer bikes that come with wheels that they either manufacture themselves or are made in partnership with other makers.
This has the net result of usually keeping the price lower, but sacrificing the quality of the bike. Good wheels can make your bike go faster because of better rotational weight, which is much more complicated than most other considerations with your bike.
If the bike you are considering doesn’t have wheels you like, you might do well to ask the salesperson if you can make a swap or buy an upgrade. It’s important to remember that a bike shop’s mission is to sell bikes, so if they think that a small sacrifice is going to help them sell a bike, they will probably do it. All you have to do is ask.
The number and type of gears that come on your bike can make a world of difference when making a selection. If you anticipate doing a lot of hillwork, chances are pretty good that you will want to buy a bike that has lots of gears, which will make hills a lot easier to handle.
There are two downsides to this, however. First, you will pay more for them. Second, they need to be taken care of. If you anticipate riding your bike on lots of flat land or on the beach, something very simple is probably more apropos.
There’s an old joke that the mind only absorbs as much as the a** can stand. It’s true for your bike as well. Put simply, make sure your seat is comfortable. This works closely with the length of your inseam, which is another important factor in relation to your seat, which can make things a lot more comfortable.
Be careful of some of the newest designs that, for example, only have pressure points for a seat. These might be very cool, but on longer rides, they can be very uncomfortable.
Handlebar designs is yet another important consideration when you buy a bike. Basically, there are two types, upright handlebars and road handlebars.
Uprights are what you will see on most garden-variety bikes. They are handy and easy to use. Road handlebars are what many people call road handlebars. These are the type that many racers use that have the handles under the crosspiece.
Last, but probably most important, is the overall fit of the bike. Everything else aside, you need to determine whether a bike is a comfortable fit for you and for what you plan on using your bike for.
Make sure that you get on your bike to make sure it is comfortable for you. If it’s not, try something else. You can rest assured that if a bike is uncomfortable in the store, you can bet that it will be much more uncomfortable many miles down the road. Be careful to make the right choice.