Thursday, August 27, 2009

hey i want to ride a bike

1985 Cignal Talon

Recently we had a young chick email our cycling club, she is a recent college grad. She wants to take up bike riding as a sport and was looking for a used bike. The familiar complaint being I need a used bike as I have no money.

Biking is NOT a sport where getting an old used bike will somehow be ok. People say, "I will ride an old cheap bike and see if I really like biking."

Why does this bother me?? Well for many reasons but the biggest being your safety. I mean, if you take up golf and buy some old cheap clubs, no one is gonna get hurt when you slice and chip all over the course. Or if you take up tennis and get an old racket, again, no one is gonna get hurt. You may never get the ball over the net, but you can still play the game.

But with biking, an old used bike is just that, old and used. The bike will most likely not fit you. The bike will have old tires. The bike is being sold because the owner does not want it anymore. If the owner loved this bike, he would not be selling it. And if you are brand new to cycling, you really have no idea about bike equipment and what you should be looking for in a used bike. And you life depends on your bike and its stability on the road. On a downhill you can get up to speeds of 25 mph, and you had better be on a road worthy bike.

So that being said, what should you do to start road biking on a limited budget:

1. go to some bike stores and look at new bikes, do some research on components, gearing, derailleurs and tires and wheels

2. try to ride some new bikes at the bike store and figure out what size you need

3. get online, ebay is good for used bikes providing you have done some homework and research on what makes a bike good and what makes a bike bad

4. say you find a new bike in a store that you like, go to ebay and do a search for the brand and model and see what comes up

5. good used bikes can be found but not without doing some work and investigation, I rode with a fellow who found a great used bike and he is still riding the bike, but the bike costs over $1000 and it was used, so thinking a bike under $500 is somehow going to be a good bike is wishful thinking

Remember, biking is a great sport and hobby but your equipment should not be an after thought. Your life depends on the bike you are sitting on. Skimping on equipment is not a good idea.

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