Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Bike?
Shopping for just any bike is a big no-no.
Choosing a bike doesn’t just involve going to a bike shop and picking a ride that looks nice. There are many different factors to consider when selecting a suitable bike for yourself or a loved one.
What Should You Look for in The Right Bike?
Choosing and assembling the “right” bike should be your first goal. So, what makes the right bike for a rider?
- Comfortable and safe rides: This is the most basic requirement for finding the right bike. The rider must be completely comfortable when using the bicycle. Safety is also a big factor to consider.
- Correct bike type: You must choose the bike type based on what you intend to use it for. Some examples of bike types are mountain bikes, road bikes, and cruiser bikes.
- Correct size and configuration for all the components involved: Picking the proper bike type isn’t enough – all the bike’s components should be a great fit.
What Happens If You Don’t Buy the Right Bike?
Cycling on an ill-fitting bike can be an unpleasant experience. Even if the rider can cycle somewhat properly, there’s a possibility that negative lasting effects can occur. Some of these effects, both short and long-term, include:
Adults that have tried riding children’s bikes before would know how uncomfortable an ill-fitting size is. While it’s a pretty extreme example, this shows the importance of a proper bike size. Without the correct frame size, a cyclist would be in for an uncomfortable ride. Long rides can even lead to pain, chafing, blisters and a higher risk of injuries.
Bikes work several muscle groups at once. However, since the muscles are continuously working during a ride, these can become strained if the bike isn’t a good fit. The back muscles and bones, in particular, are subject to a lot of activity during a bike ride. Therefore, proper posture is extremely important, and this is nearly impossible to achieve in an ill-fitting bike.
The legs are also subjected to much stress if the bike’s size isn’t a good fit. For example, if the bike’s frame is too large, the cyclist has to compensate to reach farther when pedalling. Small frames, on the other hand, can lead to inefficient movement and strained leg muscles.
As such, get the proper frame size to prevent leg pain. In addition, you must also take note of the correct saddling position to minimise the chances of a leg injury.
Pain and injury From Sustained Strain
It’s not just the legs and the back that are at risk with incorrect bike sizes or types. Sustained strain to other parts or the body, such as the neck, arms and wrists, can also be a problem.
Bikes that are either too large or too small are also quite hard to steer. Even if the handlebars or pedals can be adjusted, it will not fix an incorrect frame size. Of course, you should avoid poor control during rides at all costs. Poor control leads to a greater risk of injury both to the rider and the people around.
How to Choose the Right Bike Frame Size
The correct frame size is important to consider when ensuring a good bike fit. Make sure to take note of the following:
- Rider height: Those on the taller side would need a larger frame as frames that are too small can be painful to ride on. Those that are too large, on the other hand, can be unwieldy to use.
- Inseams: The length of the inner side of the leg, known as the inseams, is also important. Those with longer inseams will naturally need a larger bike frame.
- Torso and arm length: The length of the rider’s arms and torso also plays a role. It could also affect the saddle and handlebar settings.
Do take note that frame sizes can vary between the different types of bikes. Similarly, the size that applies to one bike type may not be the same for another bike type. If in doubt, ask a local bike shop.
How to Choose the Right Bike Type
Aside from bike size, the correct fit means that the bike type also fits the rider properly. With this in mind, knowing the different bike types is crucial to getting the correct bike. Here are the different types of bikes based on their use.
- For exercise: Those who want to purchase a bike for exercise would do well with a road bike, cruiser, or mountain bike.
- For travel: Road bikes and cruiser bikes are excellent options for those that want to cycle as a means of travel.
- For sightseeing and exploration: Those on the more adventurous side can go for a mountain bike, gravel bike, or touring bike.
- For racing and sports purposes: Those who want to perform stunts or go on races should go for a racing bike or a BMX.
Other Bike Components to Consider
There are other components that can affect how well a bike fits a rider. These include:
- Handlebars: The shape and height of the handlebars can significantly vary based on bike type or rider size. For example, cruiser bars are excellent for flat rides on road bikes but not for steep slopes. Naturally, larger bars are best for larger riders.
- Saddle: Saddle height, tilt, shape, and position can also greatly vary. For example, longer saddles are usually a good fit for those that want to ride fast. Racing bikes would benefit from these.
- Brake levers: The position and angles of the brake levers are mostly based on hand size. However, the bite point can vary from person to person. Riders must be sure to customise these properly for a great fit.
Choose a Bike Shop That Can Help You Find the Right Bike Today
Whether it’s a road bike, mountain bike, or any other type, picking the right one can be challenging. Be sure to get help from a professional bike shop if you’re in doubt. Luckily, Stead Cycles in Beresfield can help you choose a bike that fits you well.