The right bike can be the difference between a mediocre experience and an adventure of a lifetime. With so many choices available, how do you know which bike is for you? Let’s break down the process of choosing the right bike so that your bike choosing experience is a good one!
Where Are You Going?
The first step is asking yourself, “where will I be going?” Will you be riding to and from work? Biking paved trails around the neighborhood? Or maybe you want to carve your own path through the wilderness? With the number of bikes on the market, by answering this question, you will be able to narrow your search.
Types of Bikes
Depending on your answer, you can now start narrowing down your choices. While there are some specific specialty bikes, in general, there are four types of bikes that you should look at.
- Mountain– Used for uneven terrain and trails. Mountain bikes utilize shocks throughout the bike including around the seat post and fork to help smooth out the ride.
- Road– Road bikes are designed for speed. Their minimalist and aerodynamic design, paired with incredibly light materials, makes the road bike ideal for the open road and the commute.
- Hybrid– A hybrid bike is the jack of all trades. Taking features from multiple bikes, such as the lightweight frame of a road bike and the shock absorbers from a mountain bike, the hybrid is a good option for those long rides with a side of adventure.
- Cruiser– Cruiser bikes are great for the casual biking experience. Perfect for the neighborhood or college campus, these bikes usually sport a bright paint scheme and expressive frames.
The next step is for you to set the seat on the bike at the correct height. Proper saddle height is essential for many reasons. One reason is that the right height allows you to transfer the most amount of power from your legs to the bike itself. Another reason, and more importantly, is the proper saddle height can prevent injury from pedaling.
Many bike shops will help you do this, but it is good to know how to do it by yourself. There are many methods out there, but the most common one is the heel-to-pedal method. While carefully balancing yourself against a wall or holding yourself with a chair, mount the bike and get the pedals to the 12 and 6 o’ clock position. The leg on the 6 o’ clock position should be completely straight and not bent. Make adjustments to the saddle until you can do this.
Gear and More
The last step is accessorizing both you and the bike. While there are plenty of accessories to choose from, the most important is the bike helmet. Choose a bike helmet that is comfortable for you to stay safe while biking. Also consider accessories such as water bottle holders, reflectors or lights, and baskets.
Choosing the right bike can be a daunting task. However, by understanding your needs, the different types of bikes, and how to get the best fit, you can choose with confidence. From getting you to and from work, riding in the park, or traveling the mountain trails, you have a bike that fits your need and can take you on your next adventure.
Visit our online bike store, or check out one of our many locations to connect with our knowledgable bike techs.