Posted on: 7 July 2015
Although you can buy a bike in a discount store, a sporting goods store, or online, a bike shop is still your best choice for finding a bike that best meets your individual needs.
The main reasons to go to a bike shop are selection and service. A bike shop can match you with the correct style of bike for the type of riding that you intend to perform, and they can provide individual components to match your body type and performance needs.
All bikes are not created equal
There are four basic bike styles, with multiple options within each type. These are:
- Comfort bikes
- Road bikes
- Mountain bikes
Comfort bikes are made for the casual bike rider. This rider may take short trips to a local store, the park, or the beach. These bikes have wider tires for better handling for less experienced riders, and may be single speed or have limited gears to switch.
Road bikes are built for speed and distance, with thin tires for greater speed and down-turned handlebars for decreased wind resistance. These bikes are best for long distance riding, racing, or longer commutes.
Mountain bikes are designed for trail riding and off-road activities. They feature thick tires with knobby treads to grip uneven surfaces, sturdier frames, and shock absorbers for rough riding.
Hybrids combine features from road and mountain bikes, and can be used on or off paved surfaces. Of course, they are not as fast as road bikes or tough as mountain bikes, but they are flexible for riders who enjoy both types of riding.
All riders are also not created equal
Even though bikes are sold in styles that are designed for their intended use, they must also be fitted to the individual rider.
For example, bike frame sizes must be matched to the height, or leg length, of the rider. An experienced bike shop employee can fit the frame to the rider, and a bike shop will have a wider selection of frame sizes from which to choose.
The composition materials of a bike can vary according to performance needs. A serious mountain biker may require a frame with extra durability and an advanced suspension system for extreme off-road riding.
A racer or distance rider will need a lighter weight frame for improved speed and less exertion over long distances.
Individuals who have special needs can also depend upon a bike shop to adapt their bike to meet their needs. For example, riders with prostate issues may not be able to tolerate sitting on a standard narrow bike seat. A bike shop can provide adapted seat styles that distributes the rider's weight more evenly.
If you're serious about bike riding, a properly fitted bike is just as important as properly fitted shoes for better performance and less stress on the body.Share