Whether you are a casual cycling enthusiast or a competitive racer, everyone should own a bike at Berea. Cycling is a great form of exercise, and it’s also fun to get around town on two wheels. Berea offers many miles of smooth, level bike paths, off-road trails and safe bike lanes.
However, not all bikes are equal. There are many different types of bikes, each with their own set of features that determine price, style and function.
Before you decide to buy your next bike, first answer these 10 questions:
1. What type of terrain will I be riding on?
If you plan to use your bike for recreational purposes, almost any type of bike is suitable. Mountain bikes work well on rough roads because their gears are suited for steep grades and they can handle uneven surfaces. Road bikes are lightweight to make them easier to pedal, but thin tires aren’t ideal for bumpy surfaces.
2. What riding style do I have?
A mountain bike would be useful if you frequently ride over hilly or rough terrain, as it is designed for this specific purpose. If you prefer a more relaxed biking experience, a road bike might be more appropriate.
3. How much money am I willing to spend on a bike?
The price of a bicycle is generally indicative of the quality and durability of its components. More expensive bikes usually have better performing parts that can withstand wear and tear from frequent use over time with little maintenance. You should also consider the additional costs of accessories for your new bike.
4. Where will I park my bike?
If you plan on locking your bike outside, it’s important to buy one with removable parts so a thief can’t easily steal it. A U-lock or cable lock is recommended as they are extremely difficult to break.
5. Do I need special equipment?
If you plan to use your bike for commuting, you might want to invest in a water bottle, backpack, or panniers (bags on either side of the rear wheel) to carry your stuff safely. If your bike does not have these features, you can also purchase them as accessories.
6. Do I want to wear cycling clothes?
Tight clothes and padded shorts made specifically for cycling can help absorb some of the road vibrations and provide comfort, but they may not be necessary if your bike has a comfortable saddle. Cycling shoes are also available that clip directly into the pedal, but these are generally only suitable for road cycling.
7. How far do I intend to travel?
Different types of bikes can generally be used for different purposes. If you plan to use your bike for daily commuting, a single gear will do quite well, as it is specifically designed for longer distances. However, if you want to cycle for your recreation in varied terrain, consider buying a mountain bike or a road bike. To ride long distances on paved roads, make sure your bike is equipped with high quality tires suitable for the terrain and load capacity.
8. Who will ride my bike?
If you plan on letting someone else use your bike, you might want to choose a model that’s easy to adjust between multiple users. Single-speed bikes can be adjusted by simply moving the seat and handlebars, while other types of bikes require more sophisticated adjustments such as gears and handbrakes.
9. How often will I cycle?
Fixing your bike from time to time is an integral part of owning a bike, but if you plan to ride frequently, it’s important to buy a bike that can withstand frequent use. More expensive bikes usually have durable parts that are less likely to fail or need repairs.
10. Where can I pick up my bike?
If you plan to take your bike for a long ride, it is very important to buy a bike suitable for the terrain. Especially when riding on unpaved roads, make sure your tires are strong enough to handle bumpy surfaces and have enough tread to grip. When riding in extreme conditions such as heat or high humidity, make sure your brakes can maintain stopping power even when wet.
If you’re looking for a bike to suit your specific needs, the best place to start is to ask yourself these 10 questions. The answers will help you find a more relaxed ride or a more capable ride depending on the type of driving experience you are looking for. If all of this information has been overwhelming and there’s still not enough clarity on which bike would be best for you, don’t hesitate to ask an expert like Mike Hale at Mike’s Hike and Bike in Richmond, KY http://www.mikeshikeandbike.com/ for personal assistance at any time!
*Note: Mike Hale is a friend of mine and he did not endorse this article, nor did I warn him that I was writing it or plugging it. Still, he’s the best I know in the business.