Why is cycling booming in the UK? Well the reasons are several, and we can talk about them for days. Cycling is faster than walking, and it is a free-of-charge exercise that can do enormous good to your physical fitness and health. Cycling 20 miles a week reduces the risk of heart disease by half and it is particularly beneficial for kids to grow up healthily. It is mentally beneficial too, since you will be relieved of the hassle of rush hour traffic. Both your mind and body will be refreshed as you pedal with the wind enjoying the beautiful scenery along the streets and roads. It is just like exploring a new world- a world you have never known to exist. Its fun and exciting, and it can make you happier, more satisfied and more content. It is totally environment-friendly. It is economical because not just your monthly expenditure on fuel will considerably be reduced, but also you will not have to pay heavy parking costs. And so far the weather has been good.
Therefore, it is not a surprise that the number of cyclists in the UK has drastically increased in the recent years. There are many others who are thinking of buying a cycle and joining this hot trend. For all those who are planning to buy a bicycle these days, be told that selecting a good, durable bicycle that fits all your desires and requirements is not as easy as pedaling it. There are several factors to consider, ignoring of which can lead you to land on a wrong choice and end up with dissatisfaction.
It is also true that you can pedal any bike you have as long as it is in good condition, yet since cycling has become a daily activity you engage in and your bike a part of your life, it is important to make sure that the bike you are going to buy is suitable to you in every aspect. Now particularly with this bike boom, the types of bikes available on the market, their sizes, retail prices as well as the number of manufactures have multiplied. The bike you are going to buy has to agree with your purpose of buying it, be it just going to work or losing excessive body fat, with the conditions under which you will be using it, and with your budget.
If you are a beginner, it is always advisable that you seek advice from somebody in the field before jumping into buying that bike you just came across in a shop window or on the internet. Below are some of the factors we have figured out with years of experience in this field, as important considerations before buying a bike.
The earliest thing you should do before you start looking for a bike is to identify your needs and set your goals. According to your goals, you can determine which type of bikes suits you best. For instance, if your ultimate purpose of buying a bike is just to commute to work, you will need a speedy one, which performs best on streets and roads. Although any bike would be great for this purpose, experienced bikers prefer tourers, which have a drop handle bar, mudguards, racks as well as somewhat wide tyres.
Mountain bikes are the ideal for off-road riding. However, off-road riding does not always mean touring in distant areas on difficult paths. It can simply be a shortcut across the garden that takes you to the office avoiding the traffic or to a nearby shop. If the amount of off-road cycling involved in your daily routine is high, it will be much better if you go for a mountain bike, which features wide tyres, front suspension, shock absorbing forks and advanced gear systems for better tension, stability and durability.
Road racing bikes and sportive bikes are specially designed for smoother surfaces. With thin tyres and lightweight, these bikes boast of their speed. The drop handle bars facilitate a variety of hand positions while sport bikes in particular will have more upright position as well as a range of gears. They can be great for a variety of purposes, including going to work, leisure riding, getting some exercises, or even taking your kids to school safely.
Another popular category of bikes would be the hybrid bikes, which combine the best features of both mountain bikes and road bikes. They have thinner tyres and slimmer frames like road bikes, and therefore they are faster on smooth surfaces. But at the same time, they are more comfortable and stable than road bikes.
Other types of bikes available on the market today include electric bike, folding bike as well as kids’ bikes. Electric bikes utilize battery and motor to assist you on difficult paths, while folding bikes can be great in terms of their convenience or ease of parking. Yet, they can be a bit heavier than the other types. Kids’ bikes are specially designed for kids, and are usually cheaper than the other types.
Second, you must set your budget. Bikes are available at many different prices, and if you have a previously set budget range, you can narrow down your search based on the affordability of the bikes. More often than not, the price of a bike can indicate its quality, and even though there are many bike brands which are cheaper, the durability of such bikes cannot be guaranteed. On the other hand, the buyer has to assemble some cheap bikes by himself, and the assembling process requires certain amount of knowledge to be safely and reliably carried out.
Third, decide where you buy your bike from. Partly due to the bike boom and the profitability of the business, the bike retailers have mushroomed everywhere, and it is not difficult to buy a bike even from your nearest supermarket. But it is advisable to go for the specialized bike shops rather than those supermarkets and general sports gear shops where you can find cheap bikes at much lower prices. You will be able to obtain the expert advice, replacement parts such as tyres, from specialized bike shops only. We’ve already done the hard work for you because almost all our bikes listed are from shops that only sell bikes and those listed that are not specialists have a history of great customer service.
Fourth, you must decide on the gears you will need. With a board range of gears you can comfortably ride on any surface, but not every rider wants such a broad range. It depends on the terrain where you will be using your bike, for instance, if your purpose is to just commute to the workplace along the pavements, you won’t need those gears that are intended to off-road riding.
Fifth, consider the right size. As you already know bikes come in many different frame sizes to match the length of your legs. When the frame size is too big or too small, pedaling can be awkward and painful. You should also consider the seat position, the position of the handle bars and the size of the wheels and pedals to avoid feeling uncomfortable while riding. The bike is in right size if you can stand over the frame, with both feet on the ground. There must be a few centimeters gap between the bike and your body, while your feet are flat on the ground. However, when it comes to different types of bikes such as mountain bikes, the gap has to be a little bit bigger than that.
Also consider what accessories you will need. Some accessories, such as helmets, basic safety, gears, mirrors, locks, lights and repair kits are so important to your bike that you may probably have to buy those at the same time when you buy you bike or before you start pedaling on the streets. You might even need somewhere to keep your bike safe and we list a large collection of secure bike sheds.
Last but not least is bicycle insurance. Check first to see if your new bike is covered under your household insurance as you might be lucky. If not we can help get your bike insured for peace of mind.
If you would like more information on bikes, we are more than happy to help you. Feel free to visit our store to get information and have a look at our collection of bikes.