Buying a Bike and Bike Upgrades During COVID19

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the ways in which we exercise, work, socialize, and live daily life. Because of stay safer at home orders, many have explored hiking, walking, and camping. Inspired by the desire to get outside and focus on health, many non-cyclists are now investing in bicycles. People are buying new bikes, fixing up old ones, and riding more than before.  If you find yourself in one of those camps, then you’ll enjoy our guide to get you riding and exploring the world from two wheels. Here’s what you need to know. 

 
First Time Bike Owners
Buying a new bike is exciting. While you may be inspired to buy a new road bike, mountain bike, or electric bike to help you manage through the pandemic, consider the fact that you may really enjoy cycling once you get into it. Begin your bike selection based on your current and future needs. You’ll want to start your purchasing decisions but building your bike profile. Decide what type of riding you will be doing, how often, and the types of terrain you plan to ride. Because there are so many bike parts to build a new mountain bike or road bike, it’s important to get clear on what you are looking to do.  Here are some questions you need to get you started:
  • What type of bicycle do I want?  Will I be mountain biking, road cycling, or is comfort my biggest factor in a bike?
  • Am I interested in casual riding? Entry-level competitive cycling? Full-on racing?
  • How many miles might I log per week or year?
  • What type of tires should my bike have?
  • What size bike do I need?
  • Do I want a bike with gears? If so, How many?
  • What kind of seat do I want?
  • Cycling accessories – what matters to me most: high-tech gadgets or are simpler designs?
  • What kind of handlebars do I want? Straight or curved?
  • Am I interested in the highest quality bike parts?  Or, can I get by with industry-standard bicycle accessories?
  • Most importantly, how much am I willing to spend on a bike? This will determine a lot of the questions asked above.
Next, consider the bike fit and how the bike feels when you ride it.  The following are the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride.
  • Get the correct bike for your needs.  Getting a bike whose frame matches your body is the most important part of bike fit . If the frame size is wrong, you probably won’t be able to adjust the seat and handlebars enough to compensate. Some adjustments can be made easier with the bike’s existing components (seat height, angle, etc.) and some may require swapping out a component (as in, a new stem can change the location of the handlebars for a more comfortable riding position).
  • Seat height. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your leg is straight (knee locked), your seat is too high. If your knee is very bent,  your seat is too low. Either problem can hurt your knees, and a seat height that’s too short robs you of power and makes it harder to ride.  To get the proper seat height, you want the saddle to be high enough that your heel barely touches the pedal at the bottom of the pedal rotation, but not so high that your heel comes above your toes at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
  • Seat position. Saddle setback another important measurement to get right. The front of your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you’re mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters dangle a piece of string with a small weight at the bottom (a plumb line) from the side of the rider’s kneecap to see if it lines up directly with the spindle—you may need to enlist a friend to help get this exactly right.
  • Reach to your handlebars.  Handlebar reach is simply the distance you reach from your saddle to your handlebars. Aim for a riding position that gives you a modest amount of shock-absorbing bend in your arms without forcing you to reach too far to apply the brakes.
  • Handlebar height. Your handlebars should be at least as high as your seat.
Existing Bike Owners
Like many existing bike owners, you may find yourself missing your group rides, events, and races. Perhaps you have turned to Swift as an alternative to get your competitive fix. Yet, there are additional ways to fuel your cycling inspiration.
  • Consider upgrading your bike or bike parts.  Sure, it may sound like an excuse to purchase much-desired bike parts or a new bike, but the truth is if new technology is available to support you riding faster and stronger, then isn’t it holding you back? 
  • If you are training consistently and putting forth the effort, then support your goals by having the cycling components you need. 
  • One component that is nearly always worth upgrading is the wheelset. Or, maybe upgrading your bike parts isn’t in the cards. 
  • Maybe you prefer to upgrade your cycling accessories or cycling apparel. Having a new jersey or new cycling shoes may be just what you need to bring a fresh approach and enthusiasm to the current challenges we are all facing.  
To make it easier on you, we have a Specialized Sale going on right now. Check out the sale items and get what you need to fuel your cycling goals.  Get ideas on bike upgrades in our post, The Best Bike Part Upgrades For a Better Ride.
Fortunately, now is the best time to shop for a new bike. There are so many options available today. Visit us at Peak Cycles in Golden or online at bikeparts.com.  We can help with your decision making and offer advice you need to get you rolling on your new bike just in time to enjoy the end of summer and early fall riding.

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