According to VeloNews.com, nearly 104 million Americans ride bikes. This is a much larger number than many would think and it shows Americans are more active than we realized.
If you are an American that wants to join this huge "peloton" of U.S. cyclists, then the first order of the day is to find the best bicycle for your needs. You make this a long and arduous task or make it simple.
In this guide, we'll introduce you to the basics of bicycle shopping so that you don't waste countless minutes or even hours hopelessly looking for a bicycle that might work for you.
One consideration that people tend to bypass is whether they should get a new or used bike. The clear reasoning for getting a used bike is that you might be able to find one with similar features as a new one for cheaper.
However, if you choose to go down the used bike route, you need to know what questions to ask. You might want to ask some of these questions to a used bike seller before you think about buying the bike:
You might also want to ask more general like is there anything that doesn't function as it should? Or, is anything worn out and needs replacing?
One of the key areas you should look at on a bike is the drivetrain. On used bikes, you should make sure to inspect and test the drivetrain to see if it functions right and to your liking. Furthermore, you should inspect the brakes, suspension (if any), and wheels to make sure everything is in working order.
If you choose to get a new bike, many of the questions above may not be applicable. It's possible that the only serious question you could ask is if you can get a discount!
The size of your bike is important, especially if you are planning on riding a bike a lot. If the bike is too small or large, you won't sit right on the bike and it could cause you physical problems in the future.
You will find some types of bikes are more adaptable than others. For instance, you can adjust the handlebar height on some bikes while others have their handlebars in a set position. Learning how and where you can adjust a bike is crucial before you go out and choose one.
It's a good idea to take all your relevant body measurements so that you have a solid idea of the size bike you need. This is very important if you are ordering your bike online and won't be able to test it out before purchasing it.
There are various types of bikes to choose from for different purposes. Some of the main bike types include:
You can separate different bike types into more specialized categories too. For instance, downhill bikes, trail bikes, and trials bikes are all forms of mountain bikes.
If you want a general all-rounder, the best mountain bike to get might be an MTB with decent front suspension only. Rear suspension can weigh you down, meaning you won't be able to use the bike so easily for different terrain.
Electric bikes are becoming more popular. The best electric bike might be one that functions very well as an ordinary bike, but gives you the option of using the electric aspect if you are tired or want more pace. You can find great electric bikes from companies like electricbikeparadise.
Hybrid bikes are ones that you can use on less challenging off-road surfaces and low-quality roads as well as high-quality roads too. They are less prone to punctures and damage than your average road bike. But the trade-off is they will be heavier and won't be able to achieve the same sort of speeds that you can on a road bike.
If you know you will only be cycling on high-quality roads all the time, then it makes sense to get a road bike. With a road bike, you could be looking at hitting average speeds of around 14-18 mph on a flat surface.
Road bikes are fast, economical, and lightweight, but can damage easily on things like potholes. They can also be quite dangerous since you can ride at speed and they can be harder to maintain balance on than other types of bikes.
If you visit a city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen in Europe, you will see city bikes all over the place. They are designed for comfort over speed and are super-sturdy. The idea is you have a reliable and comfy bike to ride around the city on for practical purposes more so than recreational reasons.
Folding bikes are very popular with commuters who may have to take a train or a bus at some point on their journey to work. A person going to work might cycle to the train station then fold their bike up for their train journey and then unfold it for the final leg of their commute. Folding bikes are also useful for people going camping who don't have the space for standard bikes in or on their vehicles.
Before we end this article, we thought it important to mention that a bike accident can happen through no fault of your own in many cases. Thus, it's important to get all the right safety gear to reduce your chances of injury on the road or wherever else you plan to cycle.
If you do get into any trouble, here you can click for bicycle accident lawyer.
To find the best bicycle for your needs, think about how and where you will use it most.
If you live in an area with bumpy roads, a hybrid might be best. If there are super-smooth roads then you can opt for a road bike. Plus, ensure you get the right size and make sure to check out used bikes for any issues.
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