Seven Things to Do When Getting a New Bicycle
Riding a bike can be a great way to get exercise. It’s practical too. It can help you get from point A to point B faster than walking. Not to mention, it’s better for the environment to ride a bike than it is to drive a car.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean biking is completely safe. Over 850 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2018. There are many things you can do to stay safe on two wheels, but one of the most overlooked is carefully choosing your bike.
Here are seven things you should do when purchasing a new bicycle to ensure it is comfortable and it’s safe to ride.
Think About How and Where You Want to Ride Your Bike
A bicycle isn’t just a bicycle. There are many different kinds to choose from! If you go to the store and simply pick out the one that fits your budget, you could find yourself sorely disappointed, as some bikes are better for long distance riding, some are better for trail riding, and some are better for getting a good workout.
Before you commit to a bicycle, it’s important to think carefully about how and where you want to ride your bike. For example, if you want to ride on trails, you may want to consider a dirt bike, while a touring bicycle may be a better choice if you plan on taking long-distance trips on your bike.
Ride a Few Different Styles to See Which One You Like Best
Once you think you know what kind of bike you want, you should go ride a few different styles of that type of bike to see what you like the best. You may find that you prefer a different style of handle bar or a different kind of tire.
Trying a bike doesn’t necessarily mean you have to purchase the ones you’re trying at the shop. If you have your eyes on a bike that you found online, talk to a local bike shop about comparable models they have in the store. You can try riding something similar before you make your purchase. You may even discover that they can order your bike and tune it up for you when it comes in.
Let an Expert Pick the Right Size Bike for You
Speaking of going into a local bike shop, it’s a must if you want to make sure you choose a bike that fits you.
Although many bikes look the same on the surface, there are actually different bike sizes to choose from. If you choose a bike with a frame that suits your body size, you’ll find that you’re a lot more comfortable riding. You’ll put a lot less stress on your bike too.
That’s not all. You have to consider the height of the pedals, the height of the handle bars, and the height of the seat. It’s important to make sure each of these things can be adjusted to the proper height on the bike you want to buy. If they can’t be adjusted for your size, you should pick a different bike.
Make Sure You Have the Right Accessories
It’s important that you have the right accessories for your first ride. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need spandex pants either! A few basic accessories you’ll want to make sure you buy when you’re picking out a new bike include:
- Reflective gear, like wristbands and stickers
- Lights for riding at night
- Comfortable, snug helmet
- Water bottle and holder
- Bike tire pump
Practice Riding Somewhere Safe
Once you have purchased your bike and you’re ready to hop on the seat for the first time, it’s important that you choose a safe place to ride while you get acquainted with your bicycle.
Although all bikes are similar, they aren’t the same. Some bikes gain speed quickly, while others offer more resistance. Bikes can have gears of different kinds in different places, and the brakes may not be adjusted properly. Before you go all out and coast down the highway or glide on a trail through the trees, you should practice riding somewhere safe.
Get acquainted with your bicycle by riding on a neighborhood sidewalk or in an empty parking lot. Once you have figured out where everything is and have made the necessary adjustments, you can take it wherever you want.
Switch Out the Seat
Riding a bicycle shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get uncomfortable fast on a bicycle because they almost never come with a seat that will be comfortable for everyone.
There are many different kinds of bike saddles to choose from. It’s important to choose one that’s appropriate for the type of riding you want to do, but it’s also important to choose one that is comfortable. If you’re having a hard time deciding, or you aren’t sure which one would be the most comfortable without trying them out, visit your local bike shop.
Have a Plan for Maintaining Your Bike
Bikes can be expensive. Even if you choose an affordable model, you don’t want to throw your money down the drain. However, that’s exactly what you will be doing if you don’t properly maintain and repair your bike.
Make sure you have a plan for keeping your bike in good condition. That means knowing where you’re going to store it so it isn’t stuck outside in the rain and snow, as well as having repair kits on-hand if your tire is punctured. You may also want to schedule appointments with your local bike shop to have your bike tuned up on a regular basis.
Shopping for a new bike can be a lot of fun! Just don’t make the mistake of comparing bikes online and ordering one blindly. Doing your research, trying out a few bikes, and knowing how you’re going to take care of your new bike can go a long way towards making sure you will enjoy your bicycle for many years to come.