How to Choose a Bicycle: 5 Tips for Buying the Perfect Bicycle

  • Reading time:7 mins read
  • Post category:Cycling

A bicycle is a piece of equipment that we can quite often be talked into buying a “flash and dash” style when what we really need is something dependable and safe.

baby and bicycle

Today Cassiopeia chats with Peter Intr to discuss what we need to consider when buying the perfect bike for ourselves or our children.

Bicycle riding is a great way to spend time with the family and to get exercise. Why doesn’t everyone ride a bicycle nowadays? For one, they are intimidated when it comes time to buy a bicycle. Here are five helpful tips for choosing the perfect bike for you.

Choosing the Bicycle

Once you learn how to choose a bike, buying subsequent bikes is a piece of cake. You can’t just see a bike that is shiny and new and say that it is for you. Most important of all is the fact that the shiny bike will stay in the garage until it tarnishes if you don’t like how it handles.

1. Where will you be riding your bike?
This question gets the ball rolling. There are bike shops, fitness stores and department stores carrying bikes but just a few main types of bikes: mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, cruising bikes and road bikes. How often you will ride and the route that you choose determines the best type of bicycle for you.

2. How tall are you?
This factor is important because a short person doesn’t want to have a bike that will cause them to hit the crossbar every time they try to stop the bike. Ouch! A bike that is the wrong size for you can mean cramped legs and sore knees or stretched muscles. For the answer to this question, you’ll actually have to sit on a bike or at least stand next to one.

3. Ride a bike.
Don’t let the first bike you ride be the one you purchase from the store. Ask a friend for their bike to “test drive” in advance.

4. Buy the best bike you can the first time.
In a recession especially, people have the tendency to stay on the cheap side. Listen; there are some things that don’t pair well with “cheap.” A bike and a car fall into that category. You will be riding this bike alone or with a carrier for your child. You want to know that you can depend on your bike to keep you safe while you ride. You don’t have to spend 300 bucks but get the features you need for the best price.

5. Visit a bike shop for advice.
When you want to know something you go to the experts. Those who sell bikes for a living know about bikes. Go here first to get sized for a bike, learn the type of bike you need and find out all the nuances of bike riding. You might decide not to buy a bike from a specialty shop because of the price but you will now be armed with the knowledge to choose a bike from another store without being taken for a ride.

Choosing a Bicycle Seat

Bike riding can be fun but that fun will become irrelevant if you are uncomfortable. The one part of the bicycle that riders complain about most is the seat. If the butt is not feeling good, nothing else matters.

When you buy a bicycle, the seat is not missing. You will get a seat but it won’t necessarily be the seat that is best for you. Don’t be afraid to replace it. In fact, if you don’t replace it, your bottom will pay the price.

1. Take a look at your bottom.
This is not a joke. Most bicycle seats are small and quite firm as a standard. Competitive cyclists like these seats because there is less movement as you pedal. Constant rubbing can cause chafing which is not good for long rides or any ride at all. If you are fuller in the rear, a wider or softer seat may be in order.

2. Examine the seat shape.
Most seats have the same basic shape but there are subtle differences that are important. Seats that slope down on the sides do not support larger bottoms. It is hard on the tail bone and your lower back. Some seats look more like butterfly wings and provide more support by sloping up slightly. Seats with a center channel helps to keep you stationary on your bike without a lot of movement from side to side.

3. Consider a gel seat.
Maybe a bigger seat is not the answer especially if speed is your choice. A larger seat makes it harder to pedal faster. Seats are narrow in front for that reason. If the seat fits your bottom and the shape is fine, adding a gel seat can keep your bottom cushioned on longer rides for greater comfort. Gel seats are a great way to stay comfortable when taking a spinning class as well or bouncing up and down on a mountain bike.

4. Learn to adjust your seat.
Sometimes the problem is the height of the seat. A seat that is too high means you are straining to reach the pedals. This downward pressure puts more pressure on your bottom on that seat. Can you imagine how much that would hurt? Adjust your bicycle seat so that you can touch the pedals and still maintain a ninety degree angle with your body as you pedal. If the seat is still too hard or it hurts, then look at other possible solutions.

5. What are your riding needs?
If you are just riding on occasional outings, a wider seat is acceptable. You aren’t trying to pick up speed or win a race. A narrower seat helps with maintaining speed in competition. A small hard seat can put bumps and bruises on your butt if you are riding over uneven terrain.

A properly fitted bicycle seat is important for all riders. Shop well now to avoid lots of pain later.

There is more to bike riding than just riding. That’s the easy part. Choose your bike wisely to get the best for your money.

About the Author

For more information on Best Mountain Bikes and Recumbent Exercise Bikes please visit our website.

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5 Tips For Buying the Perfect Bicycle


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