Wondering what to do with the spare cash you’ve got stuffed into the mattress post Christmas?
Wanting to shift a few of those mince pie pounds? Then there is nothing better than doing a spot of cycling, and there are some great bike deals to be had out there.
There’s a massive amount of choice out there from web based companies to the trusty ol’ bike shop, but it really is best to try before you buy. Make sure you do a test ride before buying. Every person is different, so the fact that you are 5ft 5 doesn’t necessarily mean you need a small bike and to confuse matters, bike manufacturers have their own sizing system.
The golden rule is to keep an inch clearance between the bike’s top tube and your nether regions! And do remember the saddle position can be adjusted both forwards and back as well as up and down, and the height of the handlebars have some small possible adjustments too.
Nothing much has really altered over the last few years, so last year’s colour will probably have the same components as this year’s. If you aren’t too fussed with a exact colour match with your eyes (red included) then prices do alter vastly ¦in your favour!
There’s a million and one books out there stating that men are different to women (or should that be women are different to men?) and in the bike sense, its true. Bikes now tend to be gender-specific.
Traditionally, women’s bikes possessed a slanted top tube for those times when they wore ˜mustn’t show the ankle’ skirts, but nowadays the main difference is that the top tube is shorter in length because women tend to have a shorter reach. Also, with more expensive bikes, the suspension may be specially adjusted too.
Ensure you choose a saddle that matches your shape too as men and women have different shaped pelvises, even if this means changing the one that came with the bike. Women’s saddles are slightly wider and shorter and whilst you may think the biggest, most comfy saddle is the best, this is not always the case!
Decide what you’ll be doing mostly on your bike and buy accordingly and let the bike shop know as its no good getting a flash road bike if you simply fancy a tootle along the canalside on a Sunday. Similarly, if you fancy doing some off road riding then don’t get duped by a heavy full suspension bike, which will be great downhill, but a bugger to get up the hill in the first place.
With many employers utilising the cycle to work scheme for their employees, you can also get a bike at a reduced costs and pay your employer in installments too. So check if you company runs the scheme and if not, get them on board!
Getting a bike from an auction website is rarely a smart move! They are unseen/untried/on the cheap (they are never bargains) and may well have been stolen.
But if you are determined to buy one second-hand, check the bike’s frame number first to ensure it’s not stolen, which can done via www.immobilise.com
One great place to look however are local community projects such as Recyke Y’Bike “ www.recyke-y-bike.org who reclaim, reduce, refurbish, re-create, re-use and re-cycle local bikes as well as offering maintenance classes and training course too.
Finally, once you have your trusty steed, make sure you get a damn fine lock before your new pride and joy becomes someone else’s. Don’t forget lights and something bright to wear in these winter months¦fluorescent is back from the 80s with a bang, so you’ll not be out of fashion either.
Helmet wise (always!) whilst not a fashion item, is better than a hole in your bonce, so buy and check out that is still in date. Like that tin of pineapple chunks in the cupboard there’ll be a date stand inside the helmet so take a peek.
Don’t forget that there’s a bargain to be had and as they say in Newcastle ˜Shy bairns get nowt’, so even if you can’t strike a deal on the bike itself, most bike shops will thrown in some spares if you ask “ don’t be shy now.
Here’s to a fun-filled cycling 2010!!