Well, last week we talked about buying camping equipment and today I’d like to talk to you about buying a bicycle. A simple enough exercise, you might imagine,but there are lots of things to look out for to make sure you get the best deal for your money.
Well, the range of bicycles is enormous — there are racing bikes, touring bikes,mountain bikes or just plain ordinary bikes for riding round town. They vary enormously in two basic ways: price and quality. This means that the choice you make will probably be determined by the amount of money you want to pay, your own personal needs, what is actually available or a compromise of all three things.
However, in broad terms you can spend anything from $50 to $2,000 on a bike so,you’ll need to know what you are looking for.
Single speed cycles — that is bikes with no gears, are really only suited to short,casual rides. Their attraction is their simplicity and reliability. After years of neglect they still manage to function, though not always too efficiently. If it’s basic transport you’re after then you can’t go wrong.
Three speed cycles on the other hand are all that is really necessary for most town riding,going to the shops and things like that. Like the single speed bike they are simple and reliable. If you are going to be going up and down lots of hills, then you’ll probably want something more efficient.
Five and ten speed bicycles are best suited to riding over long distances or hilly terrain and to serious touring, so if it’s serious touring you’re interested in, get a five or ten speed bike. However it’s worth remembering that the difference in price between a five and ten speed cycle is usually very little and so it’s well worth paying that little bit extra to get the ten speed one. So I would tend to recommend the ten speed bike as the price is similar — however you’ll be getting better quality components.
Now the next thing we need to look at is size. Buying a cycle is like buying clothes, first of all you find the right size and then you try it on to see if it fits. Contrary to what you might imagine, the size of the cycle is not determined by the size of the wheels (except in children’s cycles), but by the size of the frame. So you’ll need to measure the length of your legs and arms to get a frame that is the right size for you.
Well, that’s all from Helpful Hints for today …