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Things To Consider When Purchasing A Bicycle - Part 2

Updated on March 20, 2011

Fitness Bicycles

These bicycles combine the narrow seat, thin tires and light frame of a street bicycle with the straight handle-bars and more erect riding stance of a mountain bicycle. Fitness bicycles may be a great option for those that merely wish to burn some calories or enhance cardiovascular health or for regular commutes over short distances.

Got A Spare Part?


Some bicycles are available with multiple kinds of brakes. Linear-pull or v-brakes, cantilever brakes and caliper brakes are good for most bicycling. For typically high efficiency, choose disk brakes.  Disk brakes will save your tire rims from the damage caused by muddy braking. A store might be inclined to retrofit bicycles that come with caliper mounts for disks for around an extra hundred dollars.


A bike's chain runs through the crankset in the middle of the bicycle and the rearward cassette affixed to the back hub. Cranksets usually have doubles or triples (2 or 3 chain rings). Switching between chain rings supplies coarse gear changes, while shifts between the cogs in the rear cassette provide fine gear changes. The exact number of bike speeds is determined by the amount of chain rings times the amount of rear cassette sprockets. For instance, a bicycle with three chain rings in the front and a 9-sprocket rear cassette has twenty-seven speeds. Additional speeds typically mean more adaptability on different grades.


Elevated handle-bars allow you sit quite erect. The drop bars on usual street bicycles permit an aerodynamic, completely bent posture. Stems and handle-bars could be exchanged to enhance the riding stance. Different people have their own preferences. If you cannot get comfy, think about changing the stem or handle-bars with another kind.

Bicycle Seat

Some are slender and hard, other ones, broad and cushy. Some are equipped with a suspension seat post, other ones are attached rigidly. If you do not like the seat, purchase a differently shaped one with less or more cushioning, or cutouts or grooves to alleviate pressure.

The slender, hard seats on street bicycles and mountain bicycles supply more regulation and allow you to adjust your posture and pedal more effectively. However the broader, more padded seats on leisure bicycles and numerous crossed bikes are more comfy for the infrequent, casual cyclist.

Essential Biking Gear

Helmet - protect your head in a crash.

Footwear - cleats could increase your pedaling efficiency, but you may have to change the pedals to use them.

Gloves - shield your hands in the event of a spill and to absorb vibrations.

Sunglasses - protect your eyes from dirt, debris and flying insects.

Water bottle - vital for hydration on long, hot rides.

Back to Start

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