You've seen the increased popularity of cycling and want to join in. It's not much of a surprise considering current petrol prices and traffic congestion, along with the benefits to the environment and your health. There are lots of reasons to either take up or get back into cycling. Many people haven't ridden a bike since their school days. A lot may have changed since then but it is still just like riding a bike.
So where do I start?
Firstly you need to consider what style of cycling you would like to do. There are many styles of cycling and not all bikes a suitable for every style. The basic rule tends to be, the faster you want to go, the more fragile the bike will be. If you are interested in short commutes, rides to the shop and maybe a weekend ride down the bike path you would be best to consider a city hybrid bike. They are robust, comfortable and easy to ride as well as being affordable.
It is very easy to fit a basket or panniers bags making carrying luggage a breeze. They are not the fastest bikes but a very practical solution for anybody wanting to use a bike occasionally and enjoy a Sunday ride. If you fancy travelling a little faster, but not racing, a flat bar road bike would be more your style. They are not as robust as the city hybrid and due to the smaller wheels it is not advisable to weigh them down with extra luggage.
They are also comfortable to ride but are much quicker and will be suitable for somebody to commute to school or work on a regular basis and a go for a longer ride on the weekend. They have a lighter frame and thinner wheel, due to this you do need to be more careful when riding and avoid hitting bumps and curbs.
Faster again is a Road bike; the main difference between the Flat bar road bike and a Road bike is the shape of the handlebars. The Road bike had drop bars that lower the top half of your body and places you in a more aerodynamic position. They are not as comfortable to ride but with the bike correctly fitted to you by your Local Bike Store it is easy to adjust to the riding position.
Road bikes both flat bar and drop bar are made of several different materials. The most common types are Aluminium and carbon fibre. Less commonly the can also be steel or titanium. For a beginner rider aluminium is normally the best choice as it is less expensive, light and has a long life span.
A standard road bike would be good for somebody is looking to do a longer commute, greater than 30mins or considering riding with groups or starting out with club racing on the weekend. The last type of bike we are going to consider is a mountain bike. Mountain bikes (known as MTB) are the strongest of the 4 styles mentioned.
They are comfortable and easy to ride. They generally come in two styles, a hard tail that on have suspension on the front wheel and a dual suspension, which has suspension on both the front, and rear wheel. Like the road bikes they are made from a range of materials with aluminum and carbon fibre being the most common. Whether you go for a hard tail or a dual suspension is a personal choice as they both have pros and cons and it can come down to the personal decision of the rider.
With a MTB what you gain in strength you loose in speed. They will generally come standard with knobby tires, If you are planning on using this type of bike for town riding or a city commute changing to slick tires is well worth considering. A MTB would be suitable for somebody that want to treat the bike a bit harder, bunny hopping curbs and doing small jumps, also of course the best option if you want to get out and ride off road trails.
There are many other types of bikes I have not mentioned from recumbent to hand cycles and unicycles. I have given a very brief overview of the 4 most common styles of bikes available. The intention of this article is to give to give you some food for thought as to what type of bike that may suit you. Once you have decided the style you are interested in I recommend you do more research, speak to your local bike store and test ride a few different brands to help you make an informed decision.
As with many other purchases you make, with bikes you get what you pay for. Cheap bikes are cheaply built; they don't last and are not comfortable to ride. People who purchase cheaper bikes tend to ride them once or twice and then leave them in the shed to rust. If you are looking to purchase a bike to use on regularly on an on going basis it is well worth spending a little more and purchasing a reputable brand from a specialty bike store.
Mark Lander is experienced internet marketing consultant and writes articles on Bike Shop Worcester Park, Cycle Shop, Cycle Shop Worcester Park, Cycle shop Kingston Upon Thames, Cycle Shop Ewell, Cycle Scheme, Cycle To Work, Bike accessories, Bike helmet etc.
Considering Taking Up Cycling As a Hobby