The Importance of Having the Right Bike Parts for Cycling

October 18, 2018

Cyclists generally subscribe to the idea that having more than one bike matters.  Who couldn’t agree with that?! But on the flip side, have you ever wondered if bike parts matter? Sure, bike parts make are part of a complete bicycle but does one particular bike part matter than another?  

When you think about it, bike parts do contribute to your riding comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable, safe, or in control of the bike you are riding, chances are you aren’t going to ride it very often.  Also, bike parts do make a difference in injury prevention.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is having a proper saddle with aligned seat position, height, and angle – not to mention a few other important factors like handlebarsstems, and the correct bike position.  All of these factor in to a comfortable riding position as well as a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. 

But what other bike parts are important?  First and foremost would be the bike frame itself.  Whether it is a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike, the frame provides strength and rigidity and largely determines the handling.  In fact, Triathlete magazine provided the following advice to one of its readers: “When it comes to how your bike fits, rides, handles and reacts, the frame is the most important physical part of the bike. The frame is also usually the most expensive part of the bike and the most involved to replace. Buying a bike with the right frame the first time can not only help you enjoy the benefits of a better riding and performing bike now, but can also save significant money down the road as you will only need to buy some new parts, instead of buying a whole new bike, to upgrade.”  At the end of the day, it all comes down to fit. The frame needs to be the right size for you. 

Following the frame, other considerations include bike components and wheels.  Regarding cycling components, we’re talking about the drivetrain, gearing, and braking systems.  Focus on getting bike parts of a level that are designed for your riding style and frequency.  And wheels – they matter! They can make a basic bike ride a lot better while sub-par wheels can make an otherwise exceptional bike feel mediocre.  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. While wheel options may seem overwhelming, it’s really straightforward. To make it easier to understand, check out our post and video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know

All in all, bike parts do matter. They keep you safe and comfortable and out riding your bike.  Fortunately, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike.  Stop in to see our road and mountain bikes. Check out any bike parts you want to upgrade or replace. Better yet, schedule a bike fit and dial in your optimum riding position.  Happy Riding! 

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Your Bike Fit Resource – Improving Cycling Comfort, Efficiency and Performance

March 17, 2016

Peak-cycles-fit-studio-1_tnWhen you get sized for a bike in a bike shop, most people generally think, “will I need a small, medium, or large frame?” But the reality is that there is much more to a bike fit than the size of a frame. Even if you have had your bike for a long time, you might not actually “fit” your bike.

Bikes come in all sizes and shapes, and are endless bike parts and cycling accessories that can be added or swapped to make bikes a better fit for you. When considering a bike that will actually fit you, most bike experts consider things like frame size, frame dimensions, saddle height, top tube and stem dimensions, knee and cleat position, handle bar size, crank length and body angle. While each of these things are important, they don’t cover a complete bike fit. 

At Peak Cycles, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike; each of these variables are important to the bike-fit process. 

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George Mullen runs our fit studio at Peak Cycles and, through his experience, he has learned that understanding the athlete’s needs are by far the most important component in the fit. With over fifteen years of fitting experience, over 3000 fits, certifications from Serotta Elements™ and Serotta Advanced Fit™ courses as well as Specialized™ Body Geometry fit school, George has learned that simple but significant questions like these drive a proper fit: 

  • What are your body’s dimensions? Are you long in the inseam or long in the torso?
  • What is your injury history?
  • What does your flexibility look like?
  • What is your sustainable core strength like?

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These questions help channel an understanding of your body type, experience, ability level, and past riding technique to inform a more complete fit using an eleven element functional movement screen. This 3-dimentional assessment  covers things like: 

  • Detailed personal profile interview (cycling history, injuries, nagging pains, goals, etc.)
  • Functional movement screen (in-depth body flexibility testing and assessment)
  • Pre-fit assessment of your current riding position on your bike
  • XYZ plane adjustments (X=horizontal/length reach adjustment, Y=vertical/height seat adjustment, Z=frontal area adjustment)
  • Pedal/cleat adjustment(includes verus/valgus cleat shimming as necessary for pedaling alignment)

We also have a new Chamois fit system, which matches the right chamois size with the right bib size (again small, medium, and large doesn’t usually cut it). If you would like to learn more about how you can get a complete and proper bike fit, please stop into Peak Cycles and ask.