How to choose and use the right bike

Want to engage in a fun, fast-paced, freewheeling outdoor fitness activity? Visit your nearby bike shop or go online and buy a new or used bike, which can quickly burn calories and serve as a reliable means of transportation without fuel costs or pollution.

Dave Duecker, CEO of Bike.com in Dallas, says the benefits of riding a two-wheeler are many.

“Cycling is a great form of exercise because it provides a low-impact aerobic workout. It can also help develop and maintain stability and balance. And it’s a great way to get outside, enjoy nature and reduce stress. You may feel good doing it,” he says. “Cycling is an eco-friendly transportation option and most importantly, it makes you feel like a kid again.”

San Antonio-based Phil Kang, an experienced cyclist who has been on international bike rides and biked to raise money for charity, adds that cycling is a great hobby.

“Owning your own bike helps you measure progress over time through measurable improvement in speed and distance. Ownership also encourages deeper learning of mechanics and provides the hands-on satisfaction of fixing your own bike” , says Kang.

Almost everyone is a good prospect for cycling, assuming you are in good health and have normal mobility.

“At any stage of your life, you’re a great candidate to buy and ride a bike,” Duecker continues. “And with the advent of motor-equipped e-bikes, many of the perceived barriers to cycling are reduced. This includes negotiating difficult hills, managing headwinds, and following friends who might be more advanced cyclists. .”


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

Today’s bikes are relatively affordable, with prices on used or mass-market models starting around $150 per Duecker; bikes at specialty shops and independent bike dealers usually start around $500. Better-equipped e-bikes and performance bikes can be had from $1,000 and up.

The most popular types of bikes are road bikes designed for smooth pavement; hybrid/crossover bicycles designed for riding on mixed surfaces (pavement, grass, gravel, off-road trails); touring bikes specializing in long-distance riding; fitness bikes with a light frame and often flat handlebars; and mountain bikes designed for off-road and tougher riding.

“It’s so important to think about the type of riding you want to do. A bike designed for weekend riding on bumpy forest trails can slow you down on a six-mile commute to work on the pavement. If versatility is what you’re looking for, some bikes do both – but keep in mind that they won’t excel at either,” advises Erik Rolfsen, editor of Pedal Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. , Canada.

To help you find the right bike for your size, comfort and needs, the pros recommend visiting a local bike shop, which can offer good advice and will likely have new and used models for sale.

“Be aware that new bikes have been harder to come by during the pandemic. Part of that is due to increased demand, but the bigger factor has been supply chain issues,” Rolfsen says.

It should be noted that the prices of used bicycles have increased by around 40% over the past year, according to Gustave de Laureal, an expert in cycling in Atlanta.

“This is due to the increased demand and proliferation of bike fins during the pandemic,” he says.

If a local bike shop or online retailer doesn’t have what you want, you can shop for a bike on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or at nearby garage sales.

The most crucial features to prioritize on a bike are the components, “which are more important than the make or model,” Kang insists. “I favor Shimano, Sram, and Campagnolo. Each will be low, mid, or high bore. I recommend going mid-range, even for a starter bike; buy the best quality components possible for your budget, because buy a low end of the range the bike takes some fun out of the experience and can discourage the hobby.”

Once you have your bike in hand, try creating a bike fitness program that can help you lose weight and stay in shape.

“Incorporating a bike ride into your daily commute can turn something you need to do every day into a dependable fitness routine. And if you’re a goal-oriented person, consider setting a goal of going a century of 100 or 50 mile ride, which often takes place each summer in many regions, with participation by cyclists of all levels,” says Rolfsen.

Also consider joining a local cycling club.

“Mine met every Saturday morning, and it was a great function that forced me to stay active on my bike,” says Kang. “Having an appointment to meet cycling friends on a specific schedule got me out of bed and on the road every time and really got me in shape.”

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