Welcome to the Lee’s Cyclery Blog! In the coming weeks, we will share gems of wisdom about the bicycling community, bicycles, events, riding and training tips. I encourage readers to comment on blogs or send questions they wish answered and we will try to answer them in a timely manner.
The first tip is to see and be seen. No one, besides your mom, is more concerned about your safety than you. Be aware of your surroundings, watch for hazards and be prepared for surprises. Reflective clothes and lights both front and rear should be used in questionable daylight or at night.
We also encourage all riders to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road or mountain bike trail while on a bike. Each week we’ll share a riding tip to help make your riding experience enjoyable, safe and fun. So let’s get started!
Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean it’s not Spring. And what does Spring mean besides flowers? Bicycling! Let’s face it, the times you spent on your bike as a kid are some of the happiest times you’ve ever had in your life. It was how most of us truly broke away from our parents’ grasp for the first time. You may not live with your parents anymore (or maybe you do and you still need some space!), but we’re willing to bet you haven’t forgotten how to ride a bike. You know why? Because you loved it so much. Yes, that feeling is still there itching to get out and if you let it, you may just find the purest of all fountains of youth. But first, you may have to actually go out and purchase a new or used bike. This can be quite overwhelming!
If you haven’t been to a bike shop in a while you may be quite surprised by the number of different styles of bikes on the sales floor. There are cruisers, comfort, commuter, road, mountain, hybrid bikes (!) and even more. Some bikes look more suited to an art gallery than a bike shop. In proportion to the number of bike styles, there are an equal number of different price ranges to suit everyone’s needs. So here’s the skinny…or the phat….on bikes you may see around the bike rack.
The Cruiser – The name says it all. Designed for a very relaxed and laid back kind of ride along the bike trail or neighborhood street while on the way to the local coffee shop. Generally in the lowest of the price ranges. With a low wide seat, wide handle bar and wide tires, this bike is unmistakable.
The Comfort Bike – Generally these are for traveling shorter distances at lower speed and are well suited to a basket or rack for trips to Whole Foods or the local Farmers Market. They’re also designed to give the rider an upright comfortable riding position. The addition of gears makes these bikes just a tad higher in price than the cruiser.
The Commuter Bike– Getting people from point A to point B reliably and efficiently is the function of this bike. Geared or not, this bike is usually set up with fenders, narrower tires, a rear rack and straight handle bars. Many different bike types can be set up as “commuter” type bikes with today’s accessories and tire choices,giving you a lot of flexibility in designing what you need.
The Road Bike– With the multi-curved handle bar and skinny tires, these bikes are as
distinctive as the cruiser. Think Lance Armstrong. Road bikes are designed to cover some serious road miles efficiently. The curved handle bars allow the rider to use many different hand positions for comfort and aerodynamic positions. These bikes have many different price points depending on the frame material and component selection. Generally the lighter, the bike the more expensive it is. Fit and price are the main considerations when buying such a bike so take the time to have a trained technician fit the bike to you. This will put you in the proper body position and decrease the risk of injury and fatigue.
The Mountain Bike – Without a doubt, the mountain bike is the most versatile of all bike types. These bikes were developed primarily off road and were first conceived and built by Gary Fisher in Mount Tam, CA. Wider tires and many gears allow riders to climb very steep inclines over all types of terrain. But set up correctly with skinny tires they can also fit very easily into any social group ride on the road as well. 26 or 29 inch wheels are available options for mountain bikes these days and the jury is still out as to which one is better. It seems to depend on the rider.
So there you have it, the lowdown on bikes. There’s a bike for everyone, so as you get ready to ride, think about what kinds of things you want to do with your bike and what you want your bike to do for you. I promise you, you will not be disappointed!
Ride on and catch you next week with another amazing installment on Spring riding!