Buy right ride for you
WHETHER your goal is fitness or pleasure, riding a bike can be a lot of fun.
It brings back childhood memories of adventures with friends, making your own way to school or even just filling in time.
If a new bike is on the cards, you need to first think about what kind of riding you want to do and what you need the bike to do before you rush out and buy one.
Once you have decided what style of bike you like ensure that you select the correct size.
This is imperative if you want the best out of your purchase and the experts at your bike store can help in this regard.
Your bike should be comfortable to ride and suit the age, height, gender and style of the owner.
These are designed for off-road use and have wide tyres, high handlebars and compact frames. Some are fitted with suspension and disc brakes and usually have a wide gear selection for easier riding (Cube Acid 29, $1499). They are not as fast as road bikes but are much more durable and comfortable.
Seating position is higher and more upright with straight handlebars and is often the better choice for people with back problems.
These are for the serious cyclist looking to use their bikes primarily for racing (Polygon Helios 500, $1698). They are generally lighter, have thinner tyres and are less rugged than mountain bikes.
A good quality racer featuring light-weight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium usually starts at a $1000 so make sure you chose carefully.
Multisport and triathlon bikes (Trek Speed Concept 7.0, $2352.84) are designed for speed with an extremely low riding position to reduce wind resistance.
Hybrid or fitness bikes
These are a compromise between road and mountain bikes and are the bike for you if you intend using bike paths, rail trails and city trails.
They are durable and versatile and are good for getting fit, commuting or touring. Hybrid bikes, like the Mongoose Crossway 100 (99 Bikes from $379), have flat handlebars, a wide range of gears, road-sized wheels and wider tyres.
Simple to ride usually with just one gear, cruisers work best on flat terrain and are suited to a rider who cares about comfort (Byron Men's Beach Cruiser, $249).
They have wide tyres and seats and upright handle bars.
Children are able to start riding at a young age, generally about two to three years old, provided they have the right sized bike and training wheels.
Look for wide tyres for extra grip, easy to use rear foot brakes and a seat with adjustable height settings.
Kids are also encouraged by bright cool-looking bikes (Girls Lil Goose, $149) and those sporting their favourite cartoon characters. A balance bike, a bike without pedals and training wheels, is also a good option to get your child started (Eurotrike Glide, $89).
Choosing the right helmet
Before you take your bike out for a ride make sure you have a helmet on.
- Choose a helmet that fits snugly on the head.
- Select only Australian Standards approved helmets.
- Close the buckle and adjust straps so helmet does not rotate forward, obstructing vision, or rearward exposing forehead.
- Replace helmets every three years or sooner if subjected to any impact.