Why do some first time riders become passionate cyclists whilst others abandon their bikes to gather dust in the shed? Maybe the answer is simple - find a bike that's right for you!
Being comfortable and feeling safe and in control of your bike is essential for any novice cyclist and even if you're not a beginner, these top tips will help you to find (or adjust) a bike that's right for you.
The fit of the bike is essential to consider. Different bikes have different dimensions for varying body types. Make sure the straddle height isn't too high for you. Mounting and dismounting should be comfortable and easy.
- Make sure you have a good reach to the handlebars. When gripping the handlebars, you want a slight bend in your elbow. You should be able to easily grip your handlebars without having to bend over too much, even on road or racing bikes. When riding you want to be able to keep your head up without straining your neck. If you’re reaching too far forward and looking at the ground, your handlebars are too far away from your seat.
- Frame size and seat height will affect comfort as well. Look for a bike that you can easily adjust the seat height on. You should be able to easily touch your feet on the ground and maintain control over your bike.
- While you can adjust most bikes, you want to look for one that provides you with a good saddle position. Your knee should be directly above the ball of your foot when your pedal is in the 3 o’clock position. This will provide consistent movement and make it easier on your knees.
- Check wheel size; bikes come equipped with tyres from 12" for children's bikes, up to a standard 26 or 28 inch (66.0 or 71.1 cm), for adults, and even higher for specialised racing bikes. Larger wheels may improve your speed, but if your wheels are too large for your body, riding will be more difficult.