Cycle-O-Pedia For Beginners-How To Choose A Multi Terrain Bike?
I want you meet my dear friend – Saugat Saha and his better half !
Saugat is one of the most fun loving person I have ever met ! As far as I know him, he has 3 loves in his life – his doting wifey, food and his cycle. I have heard a lot of stories from him about cycling. So thought why not request him to share a bit about cycling !
Over to Saugat !
The sport of cycling has fascinated every kid of the 90s since the day they saw Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar! While the film is still well ingrained in our minds, the sport itself has had to pedal hard to keep relevance! But over the past few years cycling has come up as a big fitness fad. And Bangalore like for many other things is also the cycling capital of the country. I leave that last statement open to debate but the trend is just too obvious for anyone to miss, and why not? It’s a rigorous workout, can be done by everyone from 6 to 60 years old and the best part it’s outdoor!
I am myself a novice cyclist, it’s only been a year since I bought myself a cycle and began riding but I can safely say what began as a work out plan to lose some extra kilos has become a passionate pursuit and even a lifestyle choice! I bought my cycle while I was in Gurgaon last year and that’s where the journey started. Today I am based out of Bangalore and in the last 2 months my cycle has been more than just a work out machine!
So I want to share my cycling journey with this little piece and help tip over some of you who are still pedaling with the idea.
The Starting Line
To begin with the first question that comes to mind is which cycle to buy? which is the right bike for you?
Well, amidst all the gyaan that is available on the internet I would like to add a few consumer friendly value-for-money advice.
If you think that cycling is an expensive proposition, well I won’t refute it! But there are ways to go around that! A good deal is sometimes just a click away! Sign up and join groups cycling groups on Facebook like Cyclop or any other that lists cycles on sale! There are always a dozen deals on bikes and accessories, people are always looking to upgrade and there are also those looking to get out of their investment! If you want to choose from something new, then try and haggle with the dealer and you are sure to get back 10-20% discount on the marked price. If he doesn’t offer a discount then ensure you at least get some freebies like the essential accessories on the bike for paying MRP.
Choose something that will last you the miles! Something that you are proud to show off among peers and at the same time something that inspires you to come back to ride.
Categorizing cycles available in the market, there are 3 types you could choose from.
- The MTB (mountain terrain bike)
- The Roadie (street bikes) and finally
- The Hybrid (as the name suggests something in the middle)
While the MTB is the heaviest and looks the most masculine of the lot it is also the toughest and will allow you to go off road and on trails; the Roadie on the other hand is the slickest and lightest and with its low profile wheels and thin tires they are strictly ridden on the road and would need a fair bit of skill and nimbleness to maneuver. The Hybrid does a bit of both but doesn’t really master either!
Though I predominantly ride on the roads I ended up choosing an entry level mid-range MTB for myself. Why did I do that? Well among the few factors I considered, it’s a much harder workout riding an MTB (which was primarily why I bought the cycle) and then keeping in mind my big body frame the suspensions on the bike are reassuring and comfortable.
The key points of Cycle O Pedia
Some other important pointers to keep in mind while buying the cycle are:
- the height of the bike, there are several illustrations available online that will tell you the right size of bike as per your height and body frame.
- other features like gears, brakes and suspensions will differ brand to brand and model to model. Without sounding too technical, go for anything between 21 and 24 gears for starters if you are looking to ride on road and distance and speed are going to be your primary targets.
- Regular pinch brakes do the job just as well as disc brakes and a front suspension is good enough to see you through bumpy roads and mild trails. Just a piece of advice while the dual suspension bikes (suspension springs both in front and back of the bike) look cooler they are heavier and need a lot more energy to ride. Not recommended for road rides.
Having said all that, the fundamental choice lies with you, ride the shortlisted bikes and feel it for its smoothness, comfort and just the sheer pleasure of ride. The moment you ride 2 different bikes you’ll understand what I mean!
More on cycling coming soon!
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