There are lots of reasons to choose a bicycle as your primary means of transportation. Many of these reasons are not at all related with how you like to travel. Some people take up cycling in order to exercise. Some choose to cycle because they are in competitions with cycling. And some people decide that they want to take up cycling as a hobby with their family and friends. Regardless of why you are taking up cycling, you are going to have to consider a variety of things when choosing the bicycle that is a perfect fit for you. In order to assist you in your decision, we have put together a few tips.
It is important to know how your bike comes to a stop. Be sure you know how your brakes work and which type you will likely need. For light use you can get a bike with traditional brakes, ones which simply squeeze the tires with small pads. For more hardcore cycling on tough terrain you may want some better brakes. For such cycling you should look to disc brakes, these are located within the wheel itself and are less likely to be weakened over time or worse, fail.
You should always make sure to give the bike a test run before committing to buying it, though. Don't just jump on and jump off though, take a nice little ride for at least a few minutes. It's the same concept as buying a used car, there's no way you would take it without testing it.
So why wouldn't this apply to buying a bicycle? This is especially important if you are going to be spending large sums of money for a bicycle that you are going to be riding a lot. You need to make sure the bike is a perfect fit. Not only should it be the correct size for you, but it should be easily adaptable to your lifestyle, meaning your riding style. Why would you spend money on something that does not feel comfortable to ride?
Be sure to allow room between the crossbar and yourself. When you choose your bike, adjust the seat up a few inches from the crossbar and then sit on the bike. Your feet should still comfortably rest on the ground. Each type of bike will require differing clearance amounts. A touring bike for example will require around 1", perhaps slightly more. For mountain bikes you will require somewhere around 3 inches. There are many different factors to take into account when finding the right bicycle. Are you going to be riding your bicycle every day or riding it only when you feel the urge to? What seat height gives you the most comfortable ride? Would you rather be special info able to put your feet flat on the ground or would you rather have that few inches between your feet and the ground when you are sitting down? Think about all this when buying your bike, and you will make the right choice.