Cycling is undergoing resurgence in popularity and if you have now decided it is time to get on your bike, would you know what to look for when choosing a new bike? Our guide below should be able to help you with choosing the bike, making sure you look the part and can ride it properly.
What is the Bike for?
Before you even decide what bike you would like to buy, you need to consider what it is for. Most people who take up cycling do so as a means of getting and keeping fit, but how often you will use it and on what sort of ground will also be a consideration. Some people take up cycling as a weekend hobby and intend to put their bike on the back of their car and drive to the countryside to cycle on quiet cycle paths at the weekends. Other people might be using their bike every day to cycle on busy roads to their place of work or business. All of this is a consideration when you decide on the sort of bike you want and how much you want to spend, as bikes vary in price from $200 up to several thousand for the latest carbon fiber models.
The Features of the Bike
When you are going out looking at road bikes to buy, there are many things you will need to consider, from all the technical specifications right down to the color! The main thing is to ensure that the frame is the correct size for you and that the bike is set up correctly with the saddle in the right position for your height. The shop where you purchase your bike will be able to ensure that it is set up correctly for you. When you have made sure that you can ride the bike safely, you can decide on the other features. In terms of gears, most serious cyclists only have two rings on their bike, however most people prefer to have three so they can use the easiest gear for cycling uphill. Likewise, more serious cyclists will prefer to have clip less pedals, but the sort of pedals that you are probably used to would be fine at first. There is also no need to invest in a superlight carbon fiber frame unless you are planning to cycle great distances or participate in racing events. For most people who are cycling as a hobby, some of the cheaper, more solid frames are perfectly adequate.
What to Wear
If you are new to cycling or have not done any cycling since you were a child, then there is no need to invest in all the latest cycling gear. It is important when riding on road bikes to make sure you are comfortable and that you wear clothes that are breathable, otherwise you will find yourself being hot and sticky when you have barely started. It is also important to wear shorts or fitted trousers on your legs, as anything else risks getting caught in the chain of your bike. For safety, a helmet is the most essential item of bike wear you can own and it is also important to invest in a fluorescent jacket or accessories so you can be easily spotted if cycling at night.
Nobody is saying that as soon as you get on your bike you will be the next Bradley Wiggins or Victoria Pendleton, but with the right bike and the right clothing, you can get fit and have fun at the same time.
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Vickie Day writes on sport for a number of sporting websites and blogs. She has a keen interest in cycling, particularly road bikes.