Bicycles are freedom. They provide meditation, transportation, and exercise at once. Moreover, if you ride a bike to your work every day, you will leave less carbon footprint as you would not be consuming any fuel. Currently, the market is flooded with a variety of bikes which might confuse you. This is why it is advisable to consider the things mentioned below before you buy road bikes online or from a sports store.
What Will I Ride?
The first step is to know what type of riding you will be doing. On the basis of that, you can narrow the field down considerably. The distance, time, kind of surface (paved or natural) are some of the factors that affect your choice.
If you will ride only for exercise on a pavement, fitness bike or road bike would be a good bike. You can go for cruiser or comfort bikes if you need the bike for casual and short rides with the family. You should choose a city bike if you will be commuting by using a bike. A mountain bike would be the best choice if you will ride off-road whereas if you will ride on natural-surface trails and pavement, you should go for a gravel bike.
•Wheels – These are made up of the rim, rubber time, and the hub that connects to the rim via spokes.
•Frame – It is the heart of a bike. It can be made of metal (usually aluminum, sometimes steel, rarely titanium) or carbon fiber, which is lighter but more expensive. Additionally, a boke comes in varying sizes to fir the riders having different heights.
•Brakes – Brakes are of three types. Rim brakes are common and found in inexpensive city bikes as well as high-end road racers. Coaster hub brakes can be found on beach cruisers mostly. Disc crakes are hydraulic or cable-activated. Although disc brakes are heavier, they stop better in all conditions without a lot of force.
•Drivetrain – Usually 1-30 gears with 1-3 in front (chainrings) and up to 12 in the back (internal-gear hub or cassette). Most bikes use traditional chain but a few city bikes have belt drives.
•Suspension – Rear and front hydraulic shocks that smooths the jolts and bumps out. If the trail is rough, you will need a bike with more suspension. Expensive suspensions are more adjustable and lighter.
•Contact points – The handlebar and stem (drop, curved, or flat), the seat (or the saddle), and pedals (clipless, toe-clips, or flat).
The Bottom Line
Apart from the above, the most important thing to consider is your budget. An expensive bike might have more features but if you want to buy for mild exercising, a basic and inexpensive bike would do the job. In a $300-$500 bike, you should expect a basic front suspension, sturdy metal frame, cable-activated disc brakes or rim brakes, and a wide range drivetrain with 7-24 speeds.
In a bike that comes in a price bracket of $500-$1000, you can expect hydraulic disc brakes, better front suspension, as well as lighter tires and wheels. In more expensive bikes, expect lighter carbon or aluminum frames, hydraulic disc brakes, better suspension, and lighter tires and wheels.
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