Take a Ride

Despite the weather, cycling time is coming soon. Don’t miss out on showing off your prowess in riding. To make a ride satisfying and complete, a good bicycle is needed. There are a few things you should consider when buying one. Once you have found the perfect fit, nothing will stop you from slipping on, sitting tight and snug, and riding to your heart’s content day and night. 

Riding a bicycle is a satisfying way of covering distance with a smooth or rough ride. A good bicycle will help you getting just what you want. And cycling is something to enjoy with preteen boys and girls, as well as the teen and twink generation of the family. What should you be looking out for to guarantee full riding satisfaction?

First, new bicycles are not necessarily better than old ones. Contrariwise, old ones can be more resilient and of better quality than newer makes. It is at least worthwhile looking at old ones on offer before you decide; and then keep in mind where you intend to ride them. If you prefer rough rides over smooth ones, then a robust constitution of your bicycle is paramount to keep you happy.

Secondly, keep in mind what you can do yourself and how far you can stretch your mechanical prowess. When choosing your bicycle, fewer gadgets may mean you will be better able to fix problems without recourse to a professional mechanic. That saves a lot of money in the long run. And 27 gears don’t mean you sit more comfortably on the saddle, either.

Last but not least, the cheapest are not the best buys. Cheap old bicycles usually have considerable flaws, as do cheap new ones. When buying a bicycle, you intend to spend the time riding, not hunkered down on your knees mucking about with your tools.

Here is a check list to run through when buying a bicycle:

- An old quality bicycle made from quality materials will last longer than a flimsy but shiny new one.
- Color is cheap. Don’t be taken in by a beautiful exterior, it doesn't guarantee you a good ride. Quality is shown in the parts that need to move, not in a stiff but colorful frame.
- What do you intend to do with your bicycle? If you want to go on rough rides, it needs to be resilient to bumps and hits. Fewer gears can be an advantage in that case, and it is easier to fix outdoors, saving you many walks home with the bicycle riding you instead of the other way round.
- Check the length of the bicycle. Is the distance between handle bar and saddle convenient for your build?
- Is the saddle high enough? The saddle rod has to stay inside the pipe by at least a finger’s length to keep it stable.
- Does the saddle fit your crotch? Sitting uncomfortably is worse than not sitting at all, and you don’t intend to do everything standing up, do you?
- Do the handle bars fit your hands and does the bar have a comfortable spread compared to your reach?
- Are gear shift and brakes easy to reach? Do they run smoothly and are they easy to use?
- Do both brakes have enough grip and are the brake pads still fresh?
- Does the gear shift run through all gears effortlessly? Test all gears!
- Are all moving parts in good nick? Handle bar, saddle rod, gear shift, brakes, wheels, suspension, pedals, and cranks must all move easily and without a wobble.
- Do the lights work and are the reflectors secure and clear?
- Do the wheels run smooth and round without touching brake pads and fenders?
- Are the tires fresh, supple, fully pumped, without tears, not worn, and showing no cracks?
- Is it possible to adjust the spring elements (fork, shock absorber, saddle rod) to your body weight? Going on a rodeo, you don’t want your horse to collapse underneath you, do you?
- Do a test ride!

And then: Enjoy your ride!

Further reading:
Time for Inside Sports
Doping: At the Beginning There Were Bulls’ Testicles
Time to Plan for The Beach