Choosing the Right Bike for You

There are lots of reasons to choose a bicycle as your primary means of transportation. There are a lot of reasons to ride a bicycle that have nothing to do with your preferred method of getting places. Lots of people go cycling as a form of exercise. Some choose to cycle because they are in competitions with cycling. Another group of individuals take pleasure in a simple, relaxed ride through their neighborhood. Regardless of your reason for needing to find a bicycle, you need to take some things into consideration when the time comes to choose the perfect bicycle for you. Here are some hints to help you make your choice.

You need to make sure you pick a bike that is the right size. For this you must calculate your inseam. Simply measure through your inner leg from your groin to the bottom of your foot to find out your inseam. You should be able to sit on your bike while keeping both feet flat on the ground. This is for safety more than anything else, if your brakes should fail you will not be able to easily stop the bike otherwise.

If you intend to get a road bike then take 9" away from your total inseam. The size of the tires a road bike uses are the reason for this. City riding is done with thin tires, designed to work perfectly with the smooth concrete roads and sidewalks you find in a city. For a mountain bike you will need to take 12" away from your total inseam. Again this is to account for the type of tires you will be using. These tires are designed to handle rocky and jagged terrain so are therefore thicker. You can use mountain bikes for city cycling, but the opposite is not true and they are nowhere near as good on city streets as road bikes.

Be sure to allow room between the crossbar and yourself. When choosing a bike move the seat so it is a couple of inches above the crossbar. Make sure you can place both feet on the ground if need be. Different bikes will need differing clearance amounts. A touring bike for example will require around 1", perhaps slightly more. With a mountain bike a clearance of 3" will be necessary. Several different factors play into how you are going to choose the right bicycle. Will this be an activity that you enjoy daily, or will you only be taking your bicycle out on special occasions? Which height of bike is the most comfortable fit check that for you? Would you rather have room between your feet and the ground or would you rather be able to touch the ground with your feet when you come to a stop? All of these factors will come into play as you make your choice.

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