Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Six Biggest Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Bike

The wrong ride could leave you in pain (or worse)—avoid these cycling slip-ups when you’re choosing a bike.


Biking is booming, thanks in part to rising gas prices and more cycling-friendly cities. If you’re just getting on board with biking—or even an experienced cyclist looking for an upgrade, you know that choosing a bike can be overwhelming. Make it easy on yourself: These tips from cycling experts will help you avoid common mistakes when you’re choosing a bike so you can get the right fit for you.

As an independent bicycle shop, Indian Valley Bikeworks is more than simply a place to purchase a bike: Unlike many of the superstore chains, we also offer maintenance packages and a wide variety of mechanic-assembled bicycles. We also have a wonderful well-trained staff of professionals eager to offer one-on-one assistance. We even have a terrific cycling club, which can be a great way for a beginner to meet other cyclists.

Buying a bike for fashion, not function. 

Many people buy mountain bikes for their gnarly looks, but never take them off-road. But riding a bike in a different way than what it was designed for can damage the bike, and be uncomfortable for the rider.

When choosing a bike, start by considering the type of riding you want to do: Are you planning to conquer bumpy trails and hills? Then you’ll need a mountain bike. There are many options of mountain bikes depending on how aggressive of terrain you intend to ride. A full suspension bike has more shocks on the front and rear, giving you more control when the trail is difficult.

Are you thinking about taking on a long-distance road ride or getting into road racing or triathlons? Check out skinny-tired road bikes with drop-handles that are built for speed and distance. If your desires are more leisurely—or you’re unsure—you may be in the market for a more general-purpose hybrid bike.

Choosing a bike that doesn’t fit properly.

We can help you with proper bike fitting. While some muscle soreness should be expected when adjusting to a new bike, numbness in the hands, shoulders or saddle area, and knee and/or back pain are signs that a bicycle does not fit correctly.

Generally speaking, you want to have about an inch between the bike and your body when you stand over the top tube, and be able to comfortably reach the brake levers and shifters on the handlebars while positioned on the saddle.

Not trying before you buy.

Every bike fits and feels a little different, so test riding is crucial. We're happy to let you take a ride around to try it out. Once you find one you like, the necessary adjustments, like saddle height and position, can be made to perfect the fit.

Choosing the right frame generally begins with testing the stand-over height, but bike geometry varies by brand and style, so the best way to find the right bike is to try out a few different models and let us help you to find the best fit.

Settling too quickly.

Beginning bikers sometimes don’t take the time to shop around, often settling on a bicycle out of convenience. Then, you run the risk of ending up with a bike that doesn’t fit correctly or you’re simply unhappy with. While bike buying doesn’t need to be a long and stressful process, like anything else, it pays to be patient and do your research. Before you buy, conduct a bit of online research, and ask experienced cyclists for their advice and recommendations.

Cheating yourself by being cheap.

While you don’t necessarily need to buy a top-of-the-line model when you’re just starting out, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A good entry-level bicycle may run anywhere from $700 to $1,200. Remember that while a quality bike is an investment, it will run more smoothly and last far longer than a cheap one.

More expensive frame materials will be lighter, more responsive, more comfortable and more efficient. There are many wonderful entry-level models available in hybrid, road and mountain bikes. And as you move up in price, your ride quality will increase.

Accessorizing...

Along with the bike, you will need to purchase the necessary accessories like a helmet, spare tube and appropriate cycling apparel. Save some money for accessories as they can improve your cycling experience. A good pair of cycling shorts will make riding your bike much more enjoyable.

Adapted from: http://spryliving.com/articles/the-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-choosing-a-bike/#ixzz2UoMF6nCo

Call Indian Valley Bikeworks at 215-513-7550 to make an appointment for a bicycle fitting today!

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