Cycling is quickly becoming the most enjoyable way to burn fat and stay in shape. There’s an investment required to get going, but it can be cheaper than buying expensive gym equipment or surrendering yourself to a grueling year-long gym membership.
Biking offers you a private workout, and it’s also a fantastic method of transportation. You don’t need to worry about being surrounded by other sweaty folks that are pumping their muscles, and you’ll have a relaxing and money-saving method to get around town.
But how do you pick out a bike? Unless you’re an enthusiast, you won’t have a clue on all the different types of bikes or what makes one worth the money. To help enlighten you about the joys of cycling, here are some tips to consider when heading to a cycling store.
Know the Different Types of Bike
There are two main bike types that you need to learn when it comes to fitness. The untrained eye won’t see many differences when comparing them, but you definitely need to learn what those differences are before investing into a bike.
Mountain bikes (or MTB) are designed to be used in cross country environments. They don’t go very fast, but their frames and wheels are designed to take punishment in almost any terrain. Rocky roads, branches on the ground, boulders, and even grass surfaces are easy to handle with a mountain bike. Consider getting a mountain bike if you plan to cycle on off-road terrain.
Road bikes are the opposite. They’re designed to go fast on open roads, and don’t fare well on uneven terrain. They’re optimised for speed and acceleration, which makes them great to get around the city and travel to and from work. They’re lightweight which makes them easy to carry and store away, and they have plenty of speed settings to suit the rider. Purchase a road bike if you live in an urban environment and plan to cycle on roads and pavements.
Whatever bike you pick, make sure you get bicycle insurance—they’re big investments, and you want to make sure they last.
Understand the Perfect Fit
Much like a pair of pants, you want to make sure that your bike fits you comfortably in every aspect. If you skimp on trying bikes and making sure they fit your body, then you’re going to end up with muscle pains after each ride and you’ll regret your purchase. More importantly, you want to feel stable on a bike so that you don’t fall off or end up in an accident.
Mount the bike and make sure your leg is slightly bent when the pedal is near the ground. Remember that you can adjust the seat on almost every bike, so fiddle with the height to make sure your leg has room to stretch when pedaling. You don’t want your knees to be completely bent when cycling.
Your arms should be at a comfortable angle when gripping the handlebars. The shouldn’t be too stretched, but you shouldn’t be bending your elbows to fit your arms between you and the handlebars either.
Picking out a bike is a delicate task, so make sure you try each one and if possible, take them for a spin before you invest.