With Robbie McEwen’s celebrated Gran Fondo coming up in October 2014, cyclists of all levels of expertise are getting ready for the ride of their lives in one of Robbie’s three challenging and exciting events; whether you’re looking forward to the challenge of the 135 km Gran Fondo, the 100km Sportive event or the 50 km Piccolo Fondo, cyclists everywhere are cruising the shops to find the perfect bike for their riding pleasure.
Like everything else, bikes have evolved over the years and these days, when faced with myriad choices, it can be tough to know which type to choose; from road bikes to mountain bikes, hybrids and touring bikes, depending on what you need in a bike, choosing the wrong one can be a big mistake.
While there are still those who believe that a bike is a bike is a bike, that’s simply not the case any longer and today’s bikes are built with specific purposes in mind, whether it be the light yet reliable finesse of a road bike, the sturdy durability of a mountain bike or the comfort of a new luxury bike.
From a quiet, relaxing ride on the trail to a bike to commute back and forth to work or even Robbie McEwen’s ambitious and scenic 135 km Gran Fondo, the best type of bike for you depends on the activities you have in mind.
We’ve put together a few tips for choosing a new bike for those beginner cyclists who would like to nurture their passion for riding:
Do your Research
As with anything, it helps to know a bit about the different types of equipment and having a basic understanding of the bike that will work best for you is an important step in finding the right one.
The following is a brief list of different types of bikes to give you an idea of which one might be a good fit for your needs:
Mountain Bikes: Sturdier than a road bike and able to handle all sorts of different terrain, the mountain bike is truly the best choice for the rough-and-tumble cyclist; also known as all-terrain bikes, these machines are a poor choice if speed is your priority and a great choice for more coarse and rugged terrain; if this sounds like your idea of a good time, the mountain bike is for you.
Road Bikes: Road bikes are an ideal choice for those who are already in prime shape and are often recommended to those who are coming to cycling from a different sport for one reason or another; if you’re already athletic and looking for something that’s built for speed, the road bike is the perfect choice.
Hybrids: the hybrid is a light machine that allows cyclists to travel far and wide with decent speed while keeping things comfortable; slightly more popular than the lifestyle bike, this is ideal for those who like to keep a straight posture and ride in style.
Lifestyle Bike: Lifestyle bikes come in a variety of shapes, speeds and sizes but they’re all able to boast one thing; a relaxing, luxurious cycling experience; comfort bikes can come with up to 21 gears, a wide tire and a snug, extra wide seat in order to treat you to the ride of your life.
Once you have an idea of the types of bikes on the market, you can start looking for the one that suits your situation best; two of the most important things you can do to help you search are:
Source out a Great Shop
The first step in finding a really great bike is getting professional help; sourcing out an honest and reliable shop where you can get experienced advice to help in your selection will go a long way toward helping you find the bike for you.
How do you know if a bike shop is reputable?
Check the Internet for local shops, attend sport shows in your area and above all, ask your friends and family where they deal; reliable referrals from the people you trust in your life are by far the best step in finding a dependable bike dealer you can trust.
Once you’ve found a bike dealer you like the look of, take the time to visit and talk to the staff about your needs; be sure to explain what you need in a bike and get help scoping out the best fit.
Have cyclist friends? Test ride some bikes before you get to the shop in order to see what feels best and take it from there; once you’ve found the right machine, go for a test ride and see how it feels, if it’s truly comfortable and the price tag is right you may have a winner, but be sure to clarify with the staff whether it’s the right long-term investment for you.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy those languid Sunday afternoon rides or gearing up to crush Robbie McEwen’s Gran Fondo, finding the right bike is essential and by following a few simple steps you can come up with the bike that will work best for you.