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Basic Bike Info!

Posted Apr 19 2010 10:20am
Cycling is a very practical way to get exercise. It gets you from point A to point B without worrying about finding a parking place or paying for gas. Cycling works muscles differently than walking or running, is considered low impact, and is great at improving aerobic endurance.

Most cities have well-planned bike routes that you can tour to check out the sights, go to the grocery store, or get to class.

Buying a bike is a wise investment. To avoid buying a new bike every year, you really should investigate and decide what type of bike is best for you and your activity level. You need to think about where you will be riding, how competitive you want to be, and the comfort level you're looking for. Below are descriptions of the most common bike types. Visit a bike shop and they can educate you about key features such as what size bike is right for you, how many gears you should have, and types of wheels, handlebars, shifters, and pedals. Good bike shops allow you to test drive as many bikes as you like to make sure that the bike you're getting is right for you.


This is one of the most popular bikes today, especially among college students. Mountain bikes, or Fat Tires, are designed specifically for off-road biking on trails around the city, campus and in more rugged areas. Equipped with shock absorbers, a sturdy frame, wide knobby tires and powerful brakes, these bikes let you ride over hills, rocks and logs. A mountain bike will do just fine on paved roads as well, but you can't use it for long distance. Many times you'll have to change a tire or other equipment on long rides on this bike. These bikes are coveted and often stolen, so make sure to always lock yours up!

Interested in a comfortable bike perfect for cruising around town or campus? Comfort bikes are designed for just that and they often have a cool retro look to them. They are similar to both mountain bikes but you sit more upright. The seats are usually soft saddles and the bikes have wide pedals. They are designed primarily for the road and sometimes have suspension to absorb any shock. These bikes are not made for fast riding and are not really ideal for long distances.

This is the Lance Armstrong style. Road bikes are built for the paved road and are aerodynamic for speed. They have very narrow tires and skinny seats. The frame is lightweight and the handlebars are turned down. These bikes are designed for long distance riders and are great for racing. They are designed for high-performance climbing and descending. They can go really fast so be careful! They tend to have lots of flat tires, so go prepared with patches and spare tubes.

A Sport Road Bike is very similar to the road bike but is a bit more comfortable and slower. It's a heavy bike; it goes up hills slower but the descent is more stable. The wheelbase is longer which provides a more comfortable ride by absorbing the road. The seat is more padded and is angled to be more upright.

Play it safe! Using a helmet when on a bike is a definite necessity, especially if you're riding near traffic. It may even be the law in your area. A helmet can make a big difference in protecting you from head injuries. And don't go cheap; we're talking about your life. A good helmet shouldn't be heavy; it should have a hard outer shell and foam inside. You can find a helmet at any store that sells bicycles. Use the store staff to help you find the right one for you.

Biking works as transportation or recreation around town. Get a bike, get on it, and get going!
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