So you have taken an interest in biking. That’s great! Imagine all the places you can go and how beneficial the activity is for your physical health. It is exciting all right, but first and foremost, you need a bike that suits you.
Compared to cars, there are hundreds of bike brands to choose from, and that alone can be overwhelming to some. It is not like you can quickly go for either Toyota or Tesla, depending on your mood. With bikes, you ought to know what will fit your preference. From American brand Cannondale to Italy’s Trinx, bike brands can only go as far as to offer you assured quality. Still, the rest is up to you to customize.
For beginners, things are a little less complicated but are more delicate. This article will tell you the most important ground rules of building your beginner bike.
1. The Larger, the Better
Bikes are not like shoe sizes. With shoes, you need to find the perfect fit; with bikes, the larger the size, the better. Choosing a size too small for you because you are hesitant about riding is not a good choice. You’ll be restricting your body and your movements with a small bike build. A small bike build might be more stable for beginners, but it does not provide you with the reflexes you will need in the long run. These basic yet essential reflexes include dismounting off your seat, stopping on the road without your feet touching the ground, and being able to relax your body while riding.
A larger build is preferable, if not one that suits your height and body mass. It is an excellent investment to begin with, as it provides you with larger room to work with. A larger frame will allow you to maneuver more smoothly on the road without using too much energy. Larger wheels translate to faster acceleration, and more gears mean faster speed & better handling.
2. The Lighter, the Better
Has it ever occurred to you what would happen if you find yourself biking on a highway with no U-turns? You can either ride to the closest exit or take your bike up to a walk bridge and cross the highway. You cannot do the latter with a heavy bike.
An average bike weighs around 9–11 kilograms, but that is just the build itself. It does not include any tools you will have to bring with you, and you will need emergency tool kits.
A lighter bike build with a carbon fiber frame lessens the average weight. This allowance will provide you with extra room for your tools. A regular person can lift a 9 kg bike over their shoulder without problems. Compare that with a 14–15 kg steel-titanium bike over hundreds of stair steps. Titanium and steel are not bad materials, but they weigh a lot. That can even affect your overall speed and even cause you problems uphill.
3. The More Gears, the Better
Bikes have gears too, and they are called groupsets. These gears make mountain bikes and road bikes more flexible than your average bike. It is a hydraulic gear set controlled by the rider using two buttons in each bike handle—one for the front gears and the other for the rear.
A bike groupset includes gear plates, shifters, brake levers, front and rear brake, front and rear derailleurs, crankset, chain, and cassette. Shimano and SRAM are two leading manufacturers of bike groupsets. When it comes to the options riders have with their groupsets, the speed can range from 7–11 speeds, with seven being the slowest and eleven being the fastest. Beginners can start with 7 but can get overwhelmed once they upgrade their parts. It’s better if you start with at least a 9-speed groupset. Remember, the more gears, the better, as it will offer you flexibility and better control on the road.
Bonus Tip: Securing Your Bike
Cars are not the only rides that get stolen in the middle of the night. Bikes get stolen too, and you can never be too sure with chains and clamps. Anyone with a bolt cutter can undo those locks and take your bike with them. Fortunately, there are alarms that you can install on your bike. There are ones that shrill when someone moves or touches your bike and ones with trackers as well. However, nothing beats a good old fashion garage and aluminum gates to secure not just your bike but your whole house. So, if your garage is still non-existent, find a reliable service provider to help build you one.
Bikes might seem like an alternative for some people, but there is a lot more to it than just a ride. It is a sport for many, and even an extreme activity for some. But before you go there, having an excellent build to practice yourself is crucial. So follow these tips, and you will be good to go.