If you’re NEW to Cycling , aren’t up to speed on the latest, or just don’t “know anything about bikes…
Here’s a little “Bike 101” on some of the basic things to consider, to help you find the right bike.
Whether you’re a Comfort, Casual or Commuter Cyclist, Denman Bike Shop has a variety of bike options for you.
What is the Right Frame Style for Me?
UP- Right and Comfortable, or Bent-Over Performance Position?
Riding in a bent-over performance position, is more aerodynamic, and allows you to use more of your core muscles and upper body power to pull on the handlebars; as if you were rowing. However, this position can be hard on the lower back, neck and wrists.
With the design of more upright city, comfort and commuter bikes, many people prefer the feeling of cycling in an upright position. You have better eye contact with drivers, your shoulders are relaxed, and you can maintain this position for a longer period.
The degree of upright-ness depends on the frame design and handlebars, and can even be customized to your preference!
Classic Frame or Step-Thru?
While traditional the step-thru bicycle has been associated with women’s frames, many men enjoy the comfort of a step-thru bike, and we have a number of options that allow a Gentlemen to ride a style appropriate step-thru bike.
Classic Frames are traditionally associate with Men’s bikes, but many women like the look and feel of the classic frame. Typically speaking this type of frame design provides more strength , and may be preferred by a taller woman, for example.
Steel Frame or Aluminum?
Your typical comfort-city, cruiser or urban performance bike may come n either a Hi-ten Steel, Aluminum or Chromoly frame.
Hi-Ten Steel Frame bikes are a little heavier, usually cheaper, but do offer more compliance in the frame and some people prefer the feel of real steel.
Aluminum frames are noticeably lighter, however stiffer. They now have a Life-Time Guarantee on the frame, and are rust-proof. (keep in mind your chain and other components won’t be)
Chromoly is a type of steel, that is stronger and lighter than Hi-Ten Steel. The discerning cyclist may say that Chromoly has a better feel. Sometimes, a bike may be Steel with a Chromoly fork.
What kind of gears and brakes do you need?
What kind of gears and brakes you need depends on your preferences, level of physical fitness, how heavy your bike is, how far you’ll be riding and how steep the hills are!
Gears – Internal Or External?
External gears are traditional gearing system with cogs (chain rings) and a derailleur which changes the gears by moving the chain from one cog to another, either increasing or decreasing the level of resistance.
This type of system is what you find on a mountain bike, for example. It’s also the type of system where your chain could fall off, if your bikes is not properly maintained or if you “down-shift” too fast,
This type of “drivetrain” can be lighter than internal gears. Quality levels for External gears vary dramatically.
In this type of gearing system, the gears are enclosed within the wheel’s hub. There is no derailleur. It is a very clean, very low maintenance type of system. The most common are either 3 speed, or 8 speed. It may not sound like a lot of gears, but the range is actually quite wide.
Some of the Internal Geared bikes, also feature a Coaster (or Pedal brake)
Brakes – Hand Brakes, Foot Brakes, Disc Brakes, Roller Brakes – Oh My?
Coaster Brakes (Foot Brakes)
Are so easy to use, that’s how they teach kids to ride a bike. Just pedal backwards and you will stop. This type of brake is normally found on an internally geared bike hub, but not always.
Rim Brakes (V or caliper)
Have Standard rubber brake pads, are easy to clean, and affordable. They do wear out faster, and are not as effective in the rain.
Are good for Commuters who ride year round, including in heavy rain. Though, more expensive initially, in the long run maintainance is generally less as the pads last a lot longer.
In some instances they can be a bit noisy in the rain, and are susceptible to “parking damage”.
Roller or Drum Brake (Hub Brakes)
The Brakes are contained within the wheel out of the way of dirt and damage.
Comparable in performance to Disc brakes, hub brakes offer Zero Maintenance, consistent stopping power and nicer “lines” on a fashionable bike . They also make a great upgrade on a bike that can’t accommodate a disc.
How Do you know which one is right for you?
The best way to choose a bike is to come in and test ride! And remember, almost everything on a bike can be customized or personalized to fit your function or your fashion!
“Experience is knowledge, the rest is just information.” ~ Albert Einstein