If you’re thinking of investing in a new bike, congratulations.
You’re on the right path to a healthier mind and body, as well as a thrilling new hobby that you can enjoy with friends and loved ones.
Of course, just like any major investment, a bike is something that you should never rush into buying. Before you start spending your hard-earned cash, you need to make sure that you know exactly what you’re purchasing. That means coming to terms with the basics of bike anatomy.
Here are some of the things you need to know about your bike before you splash out!
Core Bike Components: What to Look At
Understanding the anatomy of a bike means that you’ll also know what your manufacturer’s instructions are saying when it comes to maintaining and prepping your purchase. At the same time, the more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel making a decision about what you should buy.
Let’s start by looking at some of the core components of your bike:
- Frame: The frame is the core of your bike. It’s where everything else is mounted, and it includes everything from the top seat, to the head, and even a chainstay (where your bike chain goes). The frame that you need will depend heavily on the kind of biking experience you’re looking for. You can get frames that are designed for durability, and excellent for riding on rough terrains. On the other hand, if you want something more lightweight and portable, you could opt for a folding bike.
- Wheels: The wheels are another core component of your bike and something you shouldn’t overlook. Wider and more durable wheels will be excellent for riding off the beaten track. However, if you’re looking for something quick and easy to maintain, then you might prefer the sleeker more slim-line wheels of a cruiser bike. Remember, you’ll need to keep your wheels properly pumped up to keep your bike in good condition.
- Suspension: Again, the amount of suspension you need will depend on what you’re going to be using your bike for. If you’re just riding to and from work, then you don’t need to spend a fortune on suspension. On the other hand, if you’re competing in biking competitions where you might need to perform tricks, suspension will be essential.
Other Features to Consider When Choosing Your Bike
Once you’ve got the suspension, frame, and wheels figured out, there are still a few more key elements that you want to check out before you hand over your cash. For instance, the handlebars need to be comfortable and offer plenty of good grip so you can use them well for steering. You’ll also need to think about the saddle or seat of your bike.
If you’re going to be using your bike regularly, then a comfortable seat that doesn’t cause you any discomfort after hours of riding will be a valuable investment. Other points to consider include:
- Drivetrain: A drivetrain is the part of the bike responsible for shifting gears. If you like a lot of control when you’re going up and down hill, and over different terrains, then you’ll need multiple gears. Some bikes can come with very advanced drivetrains ranging up to 30 gear options. However, if you need a more casual ride, then you might opt for less than 10 gears.
- Brakes: A bike wouldn’t be very safe or fun to ride if it didn’t have brakes. What most people are surprised to learn are that there are different kinds of brakes available on various bikes. Beach cruiser bikes usually come with coaster hub brakes, while rim brakes are found on many high-level city bikes and road racers. Disc brakes are hydraulic, or cable activated, and they’re a lot heavier. However, the heavier the brakes, the more control you have.
- Seat: We mentioned the seat above. It’s one of the components that can determine whether you look forward to spending time on your bike or prefer to avoid it completely. Different bikes come with different kinds of saddle. For instance, the saddle of a road bike is usually a lot harder and smaller than a mountain bike seat.
Getting to Know Your Bike
Understanding the different elements of your bike and how they contribute to a better riding experience will help you to make the best decisions when you’re investing in a new bicycle. Remember, every feature has a part to play. What are you looking for in your next ride?