The Big Peach Ride + Run Podcast is hosted by Big Peach Running Co. Director of Marketing, Dave “D2” Martinez. With the warmer weather, more people will enjoy the outdoors and even consider buying a new bike.
Spring is here and the temps are starting to feel really nice to enjoy the outdoors. This is typically the time when people start thinking about buying a bike. So this episode is timed perfectly if you fit this description. This episode is specifically for the novice cyclist or someone that doesn’t really know what bike to buy or what questions to ask. First of all, visit your local bike shop like Big Peach Ride + Run. We’ll help guide you to buying a bike that suits your needs.
I’ll have a more in-depth blog post on all the various things that I covered in this episode. This is really just a start to get you comfortable with some of the terms and at least provide you with some basic understanding and what to expect when you visit us. As mentioned, there are several categories of bikes and even subcategories but I’ll keep it simple for now. These are the basic categories for bikes – Road, Mountain, Gravel, Commuting, Fitness, & e-Bike. Many of these bikes can serve other function as there can be an overlap but first you have to know how you intend on using the bike for us to guide you to the best option for you.
There are 4 basic types of frame material for bikes, aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, & titanium. These days, steel and titanium are more for the boutique bike company or custom frame builder which also means it’s a bit more expensive. In most bike shops there will be options for aluminum and carbon fiber with aluminum being the more budget friendly of the two. Even then, there may even be 2 levels of aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber will be more expensive but it’s typically lighter in weight, more responsive, and can be shaped with unique aerodynamic properties to improve cycling efficiency. The drawback to carbon fiber is that it’s more fragile than aluminum. Dropping a carbon fiber frame, a deep scratch, or a crash can make the carbon fiber unsafe to continue riding because the structural integrity may have been compromised. That being said, many carbon fiber bikes can take a good amount of abuse from off road riding.
Bike sizing/fit is the most important thing when purchasing a bike. A wrong fit can lead to an uncomfortable experience. Improper seat height and that could lead to knee pain. If the handlebars are too far forward, that could lead to lower back discomfort/pain and even numb hands. The most important part of sizing the bike is the frame, all other contact points have parts that can be adjusted or replaced.
There are 2 leading component manufacturers, Shimano & SRAM. There will also be some other brands that might be mixed in as well to help bring down the price. Each of these brands have several levels to their component groups. Component groups are what make up the drivetrain and brakes of the bike. So any shifting, gears, derailleur, cranks, brake lever, rotors, or calipers all make up this component group. They are all good quality and shift well but the higher priced ones will shift a bit smoother and be lighter. There are even electronic shifting that are at the premium level of all of these groups. This is why some bikes cost $1,000 and others go over $15,000!
Now that we’re talking bike prices, this is where you need to decide on your budget. Your budget shouldn’t include just the bike, it should also include additional items like a helmet, bike pump, lights, bike lock, and other items to help make your complete bike experience enjoyable. Items that will keep you from being stranded on the side of a road or trail are important. Eventually, you will get a flat tire so having a saddle bag with a spare tube, some tools, and compressed air, or even a mini bike pump will make sure you make it back home without having to call an Uber or a friend/family member. You also need to be safe, especially if you’re on the road. Having lights on the front and rear of your bike make you more visible to drivers. You should never ride without a helmet. Most organized rides won’t let you join the ride if you don’t have a helmet. A brain injury is not something you want to risk especially when sharing space with vehicles or even other cyclists. Accidents to happen.
I hope this episode has been informative and helpful. Feel free to visit either of our Big Peach Ride + Run locations if you have any questions or if you are buying a bike in the foreseeable future.
Whether you ride or run, there are plenty of distance options for you at the Move for Grady event on May 6th. This is an event that the whole family can enjoy while also supporting the Grady Health Foundation.
Until next time, keep running, keep riding, and keep believing in yourself.