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How To Pick The Best Bike For You

So Many Choices

When trying to decide on the best type of bike, think about these questions:

- Who do you ride with?
- What do they ride?
- What have you had in the past that you liked?
- What have you had in the past that you disliked?
- What would you like to do with your new bike?
- How much money are you comfortable spending?

Examining The Questions

If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends—buy something similar to what they ride. You will not be able to keep up with road bikes if you are on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike cannot go on the dirt or the sand.

If you enjoyed a three speed as a child, you may find this a fun bike again. If you disliked the road bike you bought a few years ago—perhaps a mountain bike would be better.

The more you know about the type of cycling you want to pursue, the closer you will be to buying the right bike. If you are unsure about which type of bike is the best for your needs please come in and test ride all the different types of bikes available.

Getting To Know The Types Of Bikes Available

Road bikes are fast and easy to pedal on pavement. Road bikes have higher pressure tires, faster handling, and harder gearing compared to mountain bikes and hybrids. They are incapable of operating off of the road. Many people find the riding position difficult to maintain for a long time, so a good fit is crucial.

Cyclocross bikes are road bikes designed for riding off road. They have slightly slacker geometry, higher bottom brackets, mountain bike brakes, and slightly larger, knobbier tires. A great option for commuting or having a true cross bike.

Mountain bikes are harder to pedal and slower on pavement. Off of the road mountain bikes excell due to their lower gearing, better traction, and ability to absorb shock. Urban mountain bikes provide a cushy ride, an upright riding position, and can travel easily on a wide variety of surfaces.

Hybrid or cross bikes are almost as fast and easy to pedal as a road bike, while being almost as comfortable and versatile as a mountain bike. Some cross bikes have more of either a road or mountain bike disposition, they are not necessarily "middle of the road." (No pun intended).

Comfort bikes are just that—comfortable. They are less efficient, but sitting on one is much more comfortable. They feature smoother tires, accessories that suspend the rider, comfortable saddles, and adjustable, upright riding positions. They are available in 26" or 700c wheelsizes.

Cruisers are fun to look at and, when ridden at a relaxed pace, they are ideal for admiring the scenery, exploring the neighborhood or beach.

Recumbents are quite comfortable, very fast. They sit so low to the ground that visibility can be an issue, and they require some learning to be operated with maximum efficiency. A good choice for those who find a traditional bicycle uncomortable.

Understanding Bike Frame and Wheel Size

Just like people come in different sizes and proportions so do bicycles. Regardless of what you buy fit is crucial. All of the staff at Big Shark are trained to put you on the correctly sized bike. Special custom fitting is available by appointment.

It is important to us that every customer be satisfied with their position on their bikes, so please tell us if you have specific concerns.

Wheel size, unlike bicycle frame size, relates to how a bicycle is best used at any given activity. Tire size is also an important consideration when selecting a bike.

A quick rundown on wheel size and tire type can help narrow down your choices:

Road bike wheels are refered to as 700c wheels. They are bigger, and cover more ground per revolution than a smaller wheel. The larger wheels hangs on to its speed better than a smaller wheel, although they do sacrifice a bit of strength. Generally road bike rims are lighter weight and narrower than mountain bike rims.

Mountain bike wheels are referred to as 26" wheels. Smaller wheels accelerate quicker and slow down faster. Because they are more compact they are a bit stronger. Generally 26" wheels use tougher rims and a higher number of spokes than road wheels.

Tire size and type defines the purpose of the wheel regardless of size. The fatter the tire the more shock absorption and higher rolling resistance it has. Thinner tires have higher air pressure and are narrower, more aerodynamic, and have a much smaller footprint on the ground. The tread pattern of a tire is quite important as well. Smoother tires favor paved trails and roads, while knobbier treaded tires are designed for all of the different types of off-road trail conditions.