So you are considering a biking program. Good for you! Cycling offers a number of health benefits including improved cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Picking up the wheel habit can also help you manage weight and stress. If you have a tight schedule, cycling is one of the best ways to fit in exercise. Bike to work and avoid the hassle of traffic. Not only can you then skip an evening workout you can also save a few gas dollars. Many communities are adding bike lanes. That means cycling is increasingly a safe and easy way for the whole family to stay fit and active. Now all you have to do is get the best bike for you. Here is what to consider:
Decide how you will ride
There are many different types of bikes out there. Some are best for pavement, gravel, rocky trails or dirt roads. What you ride will depend largely on where you intend to ride. If you plan to bike around town to work or for errands and the like, your best option will be a road bike. Road bikes are comparatively light weight, can be built for speed and are ideal for around town travel. If there is a bike race or triathlon in your future, a road bike is a good choice. REI, the store for all things outdoors, advises riders to get fitted before buying a bike. Poor fit can make the ride that should be fun feel uncomfortable instead. Prices for new road bikes begin at around $350.00
Try before you buy
Just as with shoes, bike comfort and feel varies by user. Before you buy, try several models to determine which bike is best for you. You might prefer drop-bar handlebars while your brother likes flat-bar handlebars better. To know if you prefer the upright ride with a more relaxed riding position offered by flat-bars or the speed driving drop bars, take a few turns around the block. When you have decided on the best bike and model, have it fitted just for you so the bike is uniquely yours and uniquely suited to your needs.
With prices that can go to more than $2,000.00 a bike is a pretty big investment. Read reviews and talk with other riders to learn which bikes offer the best quality and craftsmanship.
When starting a bike program, buy with your future cycling goals in mind. Consider when and where you will ride, which bike feels most comfortable and offers the most bang for your buck. If at all possible try to buy close enough to home that you can return to the bike shop if you have problems or questions. You don’t want to let the bike languish in the garage if a simple adjustment can keep you on the road. Finally, be sure to save room in your budget for accessories. You will need to purchase things like a helmet, water bottle, bike lock and repair kit in case you have a flat. Be safe and have fun.