Monday, July 1, 2013

Beginners Tips on purchasing a road bike

Along with my recent weight loss, I have been trying to become more active. I originally had a goal that I wanted to be able to run a ½ marathon before the age of 30. I am starting to think that is perhaps an unwise goal at this point in my life because I would need extreme training and would have to push myself to a higher level than ever before in my life and within a short time frame.

My first exercise venture was roller blades. I still have said roller blades, but I am certainly not steady in them and do not feel very comfortable using them. I have hopes that I will still be able to get used to them as I lose weight. Maybe it will get easier.

My husband and I started riding bikes together. This first sounds to be a good start to something I can stick to because it is not something I am doing alone. I grabbed a bike out of the garage and started to ride with him. A long, long time ago, he used to ride half-day rides. So, even though it has not been recently it is still something that was not too difficult for him to start again. I must clarify, he has not gone more than 10 miles in one trip at this point but you have to work up your endurance.

I started out going with him by riding on a mountain bike. I was able to keep up with him right from the get-go. In fact, I probably motivated him to go just a little bit further. Because of this, I naturally assumed that meant that I was in fact faster than he was. Here is my reasoning: I was on a mountain bike with bigger tires (equals more traction and friction on the road). So, my obvious instinct was to go ahead and get either a hybrid bike like he has, or a road bike so that I would have less friction and have an easier time biking.

I got a new Scattante road bike: 

This is a good time to note, that as I am writing this post I have only ridden on my road bike a handful of times. It has gotten easier and more comfortable as I have gone along, but there are certainly differences I wish to write about to help others before they decide whether or not they want to purchase a more expensive bike.

My first comparison: handle bars
There is a noticeable difference with the position of the handlebars from a mountain bike to a road bike. The mountain bike allows the rider to sit up a bit more but the reason for lower handles on a road bike is to make your body aerodynamic.The road bike handles are typically curved under and the mountain bike handles are typically straight across.

Second Comparison: Gears
I am still not yet comfortable at all with this feature. The gears on my new road bike have a part you push down with your thumb then to reverse the gear you flick the brake sideways instead of pulling back straight on it to break. Because I am still getting used to how the bike handles, I actually have not used the gearshift features but like anything else it will take some getting used to. It is slightly awkward to move your hand to anywhere other than the brake.

Third Comparison: Bike Weight
This is a simple and wonderful difference. A mountain bike has a lot more weight than a road bike. It is much easier to lift a road bike and also based on that means that

My new favorite motto about biking is: Real bikes don't have kick-stands.

This motto is funny to me because it makes storing the bike and stopping a bit more challenging! Best of luck in your quest to find a bike that is the right fit for you.

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