Buying the right bike for yourself is important to your enjoyment, health and safety. The bike should meet your needs to make your ride more enjoyable. It is also important to pick the proper bike to maximize your workout and prevent injury.
The first thing you should decide is where you are going to ride. Road bikes have thinner tires and are designed to be used on the hard road surface. Mountain bikes are designed for the rough terrain of the mountain trails. Trail bikes are designed more for trail that are smoother but not paved. Also consider the weight as lighter bikes are better for the mountains and hills around Johnstown.
When you have decided on a style, make sure that you get the correct size. Check the stand over height by straddling the top tube of the frame. You should have a couple inches clearance when standing over the frame. Also make sure that the seat can be adjusted to the correct height. While sitting on the seat and the pedal at the bottom of its circle, your leg should be straight.
Look at the brakes and gears. You can choose lever brakes or disc brakes. Disc brakes provide better stopping ability, but are more expensive. Also make sure that you are comfortable with the shifting. Some bikes shift by twisting the grips while others have levers that you push. Choose what you feel most comfortable with.
Different models of bikes will have different suspension. Some will have shock absorbers on the front, or both the front and back. Other models will have no shock absorbers. If you are going to do a lot of mountain biking you may even want to consider a soft-tail bike.
Think about accessories. You may need a bike bag or two. For biking at night, make sure that you have reflectors and lights. Don’t forget an emergency repair kit. This should have tubes, a repair kit, some tape, and a bike multi-tool at a minimum. Consider a water bottle holder as you will need water while riding.
The most important item to buy is a helmet. In Pennsylvania helmet use is only required buy law for riders 12 and under. However, it is strongly recommended that you wear a helmet to protect yourself from head injuries. The helmet must fit properly and be worn correctly to be effective.
When buying a bike, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask the salesperson questions and advice.