Bicycle riding is one of the most healthy and enjoyable activity that is becoming increasing popular nowadays. The riding experience can be made more fun and comfortable if a conscious choice of the bicycle is made by keeping in various important factors in mind. Bicycle riding has taken many different forms, ranging from sports and adventurous travelling to a leisurely or urban commuting. For all of these purposes, specialized bicycles are available in the market, keeping in mind the separate safety and comfort needs for different forms of cycling. Listed below are useful points to consider when buying a bicycle.
Choose the right fit
When it comes to choosing a bicycle (for whatever purpose it may be), the comfort and ease it provides is extremely important to examine. How well the bicycle fits you, given your body proportions, is what ensures long lasting comfort when you are riding it. The fit for every bike is different, given the fact that they come in a variety of different frame sizes. To find a frame that fits you the best, a very basic test can be performed before making a purchase. This test involves a stand over exercise, which can be done by throwing your leg over the Bike’s top tube and then straddling it to check for stand over space available. Generally for the best fit, there must be a one-inch clearance for a road bike and about two inches more for a mountain bike. Recreation and comfort bicycles usually offer plenty of stand-over room.
The best fit also involves an ideal seat height given your body proportions. For a perfect seat height, your leg must have a slight bend when your pedal is at the lowest point in its rotation. However this can always be set right by making simple adjustments to the seat height. Finally, for the best ride on your bicycle, one should have a proper reach to the handlebars. The best distance to handlebars should not require you to fully extend your arms; in fact your elbows must be slightly bent for the best comfort.
Make arrangements to protect yourself and your bicycle
Riding a bike, in cases of both adventurous activities as well as when it comes to regular usage, is often accident prone. Accidents and rigorous activities, such as bicycle touring and mountain biking, may lead to extensive damage to your bicycles. The damages can result in broken frames, damaged tire rims and worn out brake pads. Understanding the possible risks involved and the expensive nature of most specialized bicycles nowadays, one is posed with the need of taking appropriate protective measures.
Bicycle insurance is one efficient measure to guard your investment that went into the purchase of your bicycle. At nominal monthly charges your bicycle insurance company provides you with basic coverage in cases of theft, accidental damage and vandalism. Added to these basic covers, bicycle insurance providers such as ‘Protect your Bubble’ (uk.protectyourbubble.com), may also provide you with the added option of international cover for bicycle touring. In all of the aforementioned cases where insurance coverage holds, greater ease is added to bicycle usage and one is effectively guarded against financial loss.
Another important form of protection that must be employed includes investing in the maintenance of your bicycle. Along with maintenance, making arrangements for protection accessories and safety gears is also a must. These abovementioned accessories must be added to your bicycle for greater safety when riding your bike. Finally, other protective accessories that must always be utilized by the rider include helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, padded bike gloves and padded shorts.
Understanding the Major Bicycle options available
The kind of usage that you will require from your bicycle entails the kind of bicycle purchase that you need to make. Ranging from certain sports activities to regular usage requirements, specialized bicycles for particular purposes are designed after keeping various crucial factors in mind. Some of the major Bicycle kinds are as listed below:
(i) Road Bicycles
These are usually lightweight bicycles and are typically used for fitness, long distance rides and often for touring and road races as well. Their usage is easy and can be utilized by riders ranging from beginners to professionals. When purchasing a road bike, careful attention must be paid on how well the bike fits you for a comfortable riding experience.
(ii) Mountain Bikes
This kind of bicycle is ideal for dirt or rocky trails and is often utilized for off the road excursions. Mountain bikes allow for shock absorbing features and better braking system that can handle the rough terrain often involved with mountain biking. Similarly, for steeper terrains lower gears are incorporated. The two major kinds of mountain bikes are the hard-tail bikes and the full-suspension bikes.
(iii) Hybrid Bikes
These are suitable for pavements as well as gravel or dirt roads. Such bikes come in the category of recreational bicycles and effectively incorporate comfort and ease of handling as their prime features. Bigger wheels are often incorporated in these for extra smooth rides along with front suspension forks.
(iv) Urban/ Commuting Bikes
This kind of bicycles is suitable for riding on pavements or some gravel roads. Given urban commuting conditions, these bicycles are usually rugged and sturdy with tough frames and stronger wheels. The seating is such on these bicycles to allow an upright position to better see and be better seen on busy roads and streets.