Complete Cycling Guide with Bike Reviews
Are you serious to cycle for the first time? Are you a seasoned roadie? No matter what biking & cycling you’re interested in we’ve got you covered. Start here with the Ultimate Guide, as this will become your novice home in finding out how.
Why You Should Cycle ?
It doesn’t matter whether you like to wander through the park or enjoy riding, hard – everybody benefits from cycling. WHY?
Go GREEN as biking compared to driving or using public transport helps reduce Carbon Dioxide also known as Co2. Further, it helps remove the use of fossil fuels.
Cycling strengthens your abs, calves, gluteus muscles, quads, and your upper body leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Do you suffer from tiredness? Studies have proven that when you take up biking it helps increase energy up to 20% and decreases your fatigue level up to 65% – so get on your bicycle and work out your muscles while lessening that tired feeling you have.
Compared to cardio cycling in the park or on the road gives you less deterioration on your joints.
Most important, it is a great way to work out and helps you to get to where you need to be in no time. It is a great way to enjoy a workout before you work.
What is the Best Bike for you ?
Buying the best bike depends on your needs! There are different types of bicycles available. Each one offers you different uses. Here are the different types of bicycles you can buy:
With the Road Bikes, you can ride on the pavement also referred to as racers or speed machines. These bicycles have unique designs and can take you as far as your legs can. The name originates from the terrain you can use it. Yes, you guessed right for using on the tarmac.
The frame is made of aluminum or sometimes carbon. In the niche models, you can find manufacturers using steel and titanium as well. The frame has a flat top tube and the seat post is shorter while newer models have a compact sloping top tube making it lightweight and smaller.
The bike wheels narrower and have fewer spokes while the rims deeper. The tires 23-25mm wide and have a slick center stripe. The reason for this is to make sure the bike runs smoothly over the road and pavement. Further, they have a set of two chain rings with a compact setup to help with the gearing and climbing.
The gears made from carbon fiber, steel, titanium or aluminum. The great thing is the bikes built for speed as the gears tightly packed to help you paddle at the ideal speed. The majority of these bicycles have eleven sprockets. You can buy the Road Bike with two different types of handlebars the drop-bar and flat-bar.
For a faster and lightweight feeling while, cycling the drop-bar structure makes the bike aerodynamic. The flat handlebar, allows you cycle in an upright position. This is a great feature to have as it helps to reduce the strain on your hands, wrists, and shoulders.
This is a great bike for using on the road and racing. This type of road bike is perfect for beginners and suitable for any casual to serious racer.
The Mountain Bikes have unique design best suited for dirt and rocky trails and made for “off road” riding. They offer you an upright frame with high clearance making it able to travel over rocks, logs and more. With the design, you can still enjoy a comfortable ride as the bike can handle loads of abuse.
The tires wide with knobs on them for the best traction to ride over different surfaces and the tire pressures less compared to road bikes. Even the spokes made stronger to handle tough terrains. The important characteristic of this bike is the shock-absorbing features.
You can break better and it has lower gears to handle any steep terrain. In the Hardtail Bike, there is no rear suspension and it has a lighter frame. The entry-level mountain bike is normally made of steel but manufacturers do use an advanced material as well such as aluminum and carbon fiber.
The bike is perfect for both pavement and trail use. While the Full-Suspension Bike is heavier and more expensive. This Mountain bike is perfect for backcountry cycling, single-track biking, and great for jumps and drops.
The Fixed-Gear Bikes also known as the “Fixie” is perfect for the hipster, urban cyclist, and track cyclist. Compared to the Road Bike this model is perfect for pavement riding and has road bike tires with only one gear. For low maintenance and simplicity, this is the best bicycle to own.
The difference with this bike compared to others is it is brakeless and uses direct feedback from the pedals for speed adjustments and great to use on wet roads. Once you start peddling and the wheels rotate the only way to stop is with a forward motion of using the pedals.
The Hybrids made to ride on any type of surface from the grass, pavement to packed trails. They have a flat handlebar and allows for an upright position when cycling. The tires thinner compared to the Mountain Bike but thicker than a Road Bike with more tread. The seats comfortable and you sit in an upright position with some suspension.
You can buy them with mudguards and pannier racks. Some hybrid bikes have eyelets for customizing the bike according to your needs. If you commute to work, enjoy leisure rides or is a beach bum the Hybrid is perfect.
This bike is for the serious athlete and made for cycling on pavements. The bike has skinny smooth tires that are lightweight and similar to a road bike. The seats designed to prepare your hamstrings for running and braking with these bikes difficult. Further, it has aero bars with specially designed frame tubing and wheels. This helps prevent drag while you increase speed.
Yes, you can buy an Electric Bicycles also known as the E-bikes and no it is not a scooter or motorcycle. The difference is it is a traditional bike with electric components added. The bicycle has a motor, battery, and controller and you handle them as a regular bike. You can paddle with it and it uses similar parts found in a traditional bicycle.
The only difference is the electric components help enhance the power you use but does not replace it completely. This is great for traveling up hills or cycling in headwinds making it more manageable to travel further. You can buy them with different motors from the front hub, rear hub, to a mid-drive one.
With a single battery charge, you can reach between 20 – 60 miles and depends on how you use it. You can use it for pedaling only, pedal assist, and electric only. The only advantage is they are great to use for short distance riding. The downside is they are heavy and required more maintenance.
Are You Ready to Buy?
Do not just buy your bike at any chain store! The best way to make sure you are buying the right bike is to visit a bike shop and take it for a test drive. At the bike shop, you get the best advice or you can check bicycle reviews online.
What do you expect to pay?
Entry-Level: These bikes made from basic steel, traditional wheels, and can have an aluminum frame. Price starts from $200 – $500.
Mid-Level: This type of bikes made off mid-quality steel or can have an aluminum frame. You can find carbon fiber used in the structure as well. The bicycle lighter and has stronger wheels. Prices start from $500 – $1,000.
Upper-Level: Here the manufacturer uses a higher-quality steel such as aluminum or carbon to make the frame. The bicycle has light wheels and suitable for serious athletes. Prices start from $1,000 – $3,000.
Electric Bike: Depending on the type of motor, you buy the hub motor or mid-drive motor and vary from 250 watts to 750 watts power the price can start from $1,000 – $10,000.
Gear-Up with the Essentials
Once you have decided on the perfect bike to enjoy the outdoors and improving your lifestyle you need to gear-up with the essentials:
- Choose the right LOCK to keep your investment safe
- Buy LIGHTS & REFLECTORS making sure you are seen on the road
- Protect your noggin with the best cycling helmet as this is important – wearing a helmet helps reduce head injuries by 63% – 88%. Your helmet should fit level on the head and be 1-inch above the eyebrows. Choose your adjustable one right here with us.
- Get a SADDLEBAG to carry all the important items needed for a Co2 canister, cash, cell phone, a multi-tool and spare tube
- A water bottle to keep you hydrated on warm days
- SUNGLASSES to protect your eyes from the sun
- A GPS device or WATCH if trailing in the mountains
- The best GLOVES for the best handle grip
What Should You Wear
For cycling, you can wear anything, however, if you are taking the sports serious workout wear is the best. Prevent wearing open shoes, buy a pair of spandex shorts, and consider investing in a fine pair of biking shorts with added padding. Wear a lightweight jersey with pockets to keep your keys and snacks safely secure.
Think About Safety
Learn your state’s traffic rules as each country has their own set of rules and best to learn them. Use the following tips to keep you safe on the road:
- Always ride with the traffic and not against it
- Respect those traffic lights and stop signs they are there for a reason and keep you safe
- Not every county has bike lanes – make sure to stay as far to the right when there are no bike lanes
- Avoid cycling on sidewalks and stay on the road
- Keep your bike maintained and make sure to check the breaks before every ride
- Look out for obstacles in the roads from gravel to potholes as they are hazards that can make you fall
- Wear bright clothing and make sure your bicycle has reflectors on them
- Do not assume that anyone watches out for you and think like a driver
Now you have all the basics about which bike to buy and what to wear – the other important thing is bike maintenance. If you do not keep, your bicycle maintained you would not be cycling anywhere. Make sure to oil the chain every 100 miles and more often during wet weather.
Check the bike before every cycle by doing checkpoints on the brakes, chain, tires, and wheel release. Most importantly tune your bike at least once a year by taking it to a bike shop. They will ensure that the chains replaced and lubed, adjust the gears cable tension, grease the gears, and check the bearings on the tires.
No matter what your level of experience is when cycling it is important to stay safe. Make sure to check in as often as you can, as you will find the best bike helmets and accessories reviewed here. Keep cycling save on the fuel bill and enjoy the outdoors while improving your body for a better lifestyle.