They say biking is a natural reflex and that it is an advanced form of running. Technically, people can learn how to bike, especially those lucky to be taught by their dads. However, riding a bike to work is a different case. Popular movies make it seem easy, but it is more complicated and tricky than you might think.
Now, if you are completely new to riding a bike because you were a cool kid back in high school, here is a quick guide for you.
Bikes Have Different Sizes Based on Your Height
Just like shoes and clothes, bikes come in different sizes. Specifically, all bike parts have a range of sizes to suit the rider better. With the wrong sizes, you can suffer from a sore back. The most important thing to note is the bike frame. The large body of steel which makes up the whole bike has three different major sizes: 26er, 27er, and 29er. If you are 5’2 below, the 26er is best for you. If you stand over 5’3 to 5’8, you’re good with the 27er. However, if you are almost 6 feet or taller, go with the 29er.
Why? Because a perfect biking form allows you to pedal with straight legs and without touching the ground. A wrong size can cause strain in your legs, especially when dismounting, which might cause road accidents if you are not too careful.
Just like when learning how to waltz during your ballroom dance lessons, you need to improve your balance when biking, too. And the right frame size will help you achieve it quickly.
There Are Different Materials to Choose From
Another thing that newbies should learn about biking is that it is not always built with steel. Yes, steel is one of the most popular and common ones as it endures time itself. However, there are always pros and cons to each material. Today, bikes can be made from either steel, carbon, alloy, or even titanium.
Depending on your budget, you can choose from either of those. Carbon fiber is a lot lighter than steel and is most common with road bikers and racers to help them gain acceleration. However, it is not as durable as your regular heavy steel. Meanwhile, alloy steel is a bit of both worlds with a high price to pay. Lastly, you have titanium for premium bike brands such as Cannondale and Merida. Titanium bikes are perfect for riders who like to go on extreme adventures in the mountains and travel across the country.
Now, as a newbie, steel is the easy option. It is durable, cost-efficient, and most importantly, heavy to be stolen, which brings us to the next point.
You Need to Secure Your Bike
We have already mentioned costly bikes, and some bikes cost just as a car ride would. Now, you see people locking their bikes in poles. But what if someone were to cut the locks with a wire cutter? It would be easy as it would only take a few moments for the robber to take your bike.
If you happen to buy an expensive alloy bike, you also need to be ready to secure it. There are security devices and tools that can help prevent anyone from stealing your beautiful two-wheeled ride. First, you need a tire clamp that stops your wheels from moving. Yes, just like when you get too many road parking tickets. You can easily clip the mechanical disc of your tires and lock it. This way, even when your traditional chain locks have been cut off, the robber will not be able to get away with your bike. They will need to carry it off by the shoulder if they want to insist, which is why a heavy steel bike is better than lighter ones in this regard.
Lastly, arm your bike with an alarm system. Some products notify you the moment your bike has been moved, and there are ones that will not stop alarming until you disarm it. Indeed, this kind of protective measure will disinterest any robber. After all, who wants to ride a noisy stolen bike? They might as well ride straight to the nearest police station and surrender.
Now, there are other things a new rider needs to know when riding a bike. These things are just ones to prepare you for the whole bike commute experience. However, just as with everything else, it is best to learn to ride a bike on your own. At the end of the day, experience is always the best teacher.