ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Getting Started in Bicycling

Updated on March 8, 2015
The author out on a bike tour
The author out on a bike tour

Cycling is an activity that people can do & enjoy from very early in life to very late in life. Several generations of a family can ride together. It’s a great way to increase your fitness & lose weight. If you are looking to meet new people, there are probably clubs & organized groups in your area that you can find with a little bit of searching on the Internet. I realize that getting started in cycling when you know very little about it can be a little intimidating. I remember when I decided to get into bicycle touring back in 1978. After going to a local bicycle store and looking at three different Fuji touring bicycles. I agonized over which one to buy before deciding to go all out & buy the top of the line Fuji America. It cost $429, which was a lot for a college student at that time. I have never regretted that purchase.

Most local bike shops are glad to help you get started in what will hopefully be a lifelong source of fun & enjoyment. They want to help find something that is right for the type of cycling you will be doing & that fits your budget. Before they can do that, you need to decide which of these types of riding you plan to do:

  1. I want to get into bicycle racing
  2. I just like to ride as fast as I can with my friends
  3. I want to ride my bike across America
  4. I want to ride / race off-road trails
  5. I want to get into BMX racing
  6. I want to ride on paved, bicycle-only trails
  7. I want to do short bike rides in my neighborhood

Author's Note: I am one of the owners of Circle City Bicycles in Indianapolis. The bikes I describe here will be ones that we carry, because those are the ones I am familiar with. Other brands have very similar bikes at similar prices.

1 & 2: Road Bikes

For those of you who want to race or go fast on roads & paved trails, road bikes are recommended. Knowing some folks are on tight budgets, most bike shops stock a wide range of bikes. The SE Royale 14 is an entry level road bike, priced at $579. As you go up in price, here’s what you get for your money:

  • Better frame material – Lower end bikes are usually aluminum or steel, while higher end bikes are typically carbon fiber composite
  • Better components
  • Better aerodynamics – such as aero shaped frame tubes or flat spokes to reduce drag

By moving up to the $759 Masi Inzio, you get an aluminum frame with a carbon fork. The carbon fork does a good job of damping out road shock. If you move all the way up to the $1,499 Scott CR-1, you can get a bike with a full carbon frame that weighs only 17.5 pounds.

The Scott CR-1 features a full carbon frame
The Scott CR-1 features a full carbon frame

3: Touring Bikes

If you want to get into bicycle touring, we recommend that you get a touring bike. Some features that you will find on a touring bike include:

  • Longer wheelbase - This allows you to put bags on the rear of the bicycle without hitting them with your heels. It also softens out the bumps a bit.
  • Wider tires – When you go touring, you will occasionally encounter gravel roads or unpaved bike trails. With the wider tire of a touring bike, these should not be a problem
  • Strong brakes – You may need these when you are going downhill with a loaded touring bike.
  • Very low gears – You will definitely need these going up steep hills. Touring bikes have triple front chainrings instead of double chainrings like you will find on most road bikes.
  • Braze-ons that allow front and rear racks to be mounted on the bike

The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the Fuji Touring bike is $739.

The Fuji Touring bike is designed for carrying camping gear when you go on trips
The Fuji Touring bike is designed for carrying camping gear when you go on trips

4: Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are designed for off-road riding. Full suspension mountain bikes have front & rear shocks, while hardtails have only a front shock. Mountain bikes also have powerful brakes, low gears & wide tires to deal with difficult terrain. They have slightly larger wheels than road bikes, either 27.5” or 29”. Hardtails are sufficient for most mountain bike riding In Indiana. If you go out west & ride on rock instead of dirt, you might want a full suspension mountain bike.

The Haro Flightline is an entry level mountain bike that sells for $369. For $599, you can move up to a Scott Aspect 950, which features a lockout (Turns off the front shock for road riding when it isn't needed) and a more powerful disc brake (The Haro Flightline has a V brake).

The Scott Aspect 950 mountain bike features disc brakes
The Scott Aspect 950 mountain bike features disc brakes

5: BMX Bikes

BMX bikes are single-speed bicycles that are intended for dirt riding. These are popular with kids, although some adults like them as well. The Haro Downtown is an entry level BMX bike, priced at $300.

BMX bicycles are single speed bikes designed for dirt riding
BMX bicycles are single speed bikes designed for dirt riding

6: Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bikes are a cross between road and mountain bikes. They are not as good as a road bike on paved surfaces, and not as good off-road as a mountain bike. Nevertheless, they are fine on roads if you don’t mind going a little slower. Hybrid bikes also make excellent commuter bikes. Hybrids usually have a front shock and a seatpost shock. Many people like them because they are designed for a less aggressive, more upright riding position. Prices start at $399 for the Del Sol 7.1.

The Del Sol LXI 7.1 has a front shock and seatpost shock
The Del Sol LXI 7.1 has a front shock and seatpost shock

7: Comfort Bikes

Comfort bikes are designed for relatively short, leisurely rides. They are very similar to hybrid bikes, but have slightly smaller diameter tires. Their tires are also a little wider than those on hybrids. The entry level Del Sol 6.1 sells for $399.

The Del Sol LXI 6.1 is very similar to the LXI 7.1 except for the tires
The Del Sol LXI 6.1 is very similar to the LXI 7.1 except for the tires

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)