Healthy Abbotsford Blog

4 Tips to Buying a Bike you Love!

The vast majority of us can remember our first time learning to ride a 2 wheeler. If it was anything like my memory it was an overwhelming sense of freedom! I can’t remember a day of my childhood that didn’t involve cycling around the neighborhood, biking to school or hitting some trails. But like many of us, the bike I had as a child soon had its fair share of use and abuse. Cycling with the old junker just wasn’t fun anymore.

Mountain Bikers

So here I am 31 years old and haven’t cycled in over 10 years. The technology has changed, there seems to be a style of bike for every conceivable type of riding and every rider I see is decked out as if they belong to a special club reserved only for the professionals.  So where do I start? I tried to find some info online and frankly the mass of information has sent my head for a spin. In an effort to figure this out I am connected with avid cyclist and owner of Life Cycles Bike Shop , Harvey Bergen

Harvey, an obvious fan of analogies, compares a bike to a pair of shoes. If you purchase a pair of shoes that don’t fit right or that aren’t designed for the activity you plan to participate in they will quickly end up in the back of your closet never to see the light of day. So when it comes to buying bikes, Harvey recommends that you consider the 4 F’s: Fit, Function, Fashion and Finance.

1 – Fit

Bikes come in many different sizes. We could get into the numbers, but generally these fall into small, medium and large frames. As well, you have bikes designed for women and those designed for men that take into account the anatomical differences between the genders. Harv’s advice is “try on” many different bikes to find the one that fits you best. Everybody has a different shape, size and proportions so one of the ways to know what fits you best is through trial and error. Help from an expert is also advisable.

2 – Function

This relates to the type of biking you plan on doing. Just like shoes are designed for different activities such as running and sports, bikes are designed for different terrains. So whether you are planning to commute to work on nicely paved roads or hit some rough trails, you want a bike that can perform well in your preferred conditions. Once you know the type of biking you want to do, go to your local bike store and explore the various options to suit your biking style.

3 – Fashion

We know now that buying a bike is about more then buying one that looks cool. However, once you know what fits well and is ideal for your intended uses you definitely want to find something you would be proud to ride down the street and show off to your friends. This helps to put you in the right head space and adds to the enjoyment of the ride.

4 – Finance

There are many different price ranges for bikes. Learn and explore your options in bikes before settling on a price range. This will help you get an idea of what your money can buy. If you purchase a bike only factoring in cost, it may not be the bike for you and will gather spider webs in no time. Harvey noted that a good purchase is one where you walk away thinking that that was the best money you ever spent! I’ll admit when I finally found the bike I felt met my cycling needs, I was pleasantly surprised at the price.

Now that you are equipped with the 4 F’s of buying a bike, get out there and rediscover your love of cycling!

Happy Pedaling!

Laura Loudon – Healthy Abbotsford Community Coordinator

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