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    Cycling Information

    What Bike

    I started cycling in my late forties and have never looked back – I cycle to work when I can and enjoy many hours cycling around Scenic Perthshire – I decided to create this website as a way to log my cycling activities and to share some of the knowledge and information I have gathered on cycling.  Feel free to browse this site comments most welcome.

    Cycling is most definitely on the up, with increasing numbers of riders taking to the roads and trails all over the UK and here in Scotland. The success of Great Britain`s Olympic and Tour de France Cyclists, rising costs of fuel and public transport fares and the attractions of a simple way of keeping fit,  all contribute to the popularity of cycling.   Remember, cycling to work demands different skills and different equipment from riding in a time trial or Mountan Biking.

    If you are thinking of getting on two wheels, think carefully about what kind of cycling you will be doing, before you decide on a bike.  I have opted for the Hybrid bicycle as this allows me to have the best of both worlds, road and off road, which suits me down to the ground.  Take your time and dont rush into buying the first Bicycle you see, browse the shops and get a feel for the bicycle, remember you are the buyer and dont rush to buy because it looks good – is it practical?

     

    Road bikes are  lean, mean and  lightweight bikes equivalents of the sports car for the roads – they usually have drop handlebars,  multiple gears and very narrow tyres,  inflated  to extremely high pressures to decrease road resistance. These bikes are exceptionally light, with the most expensive versions made of carbon fibre.    Road bikes are designed to be ridden on well-surfaced roads and their riders tend to wear close-fitting lycra to decrease wind resistance and avoid the dangers of loose clothing snagging on moving parts.  The lighter the bicycle the more they cost – there are so many out there to choose from. Might also be worth checking the condition of the roads in your own area as pot holes can cause havoc on some bicycles.

     

    Mountain bikes are the two-wheeled equivalent of the 4 by 4.    They are designed to be ridden off-road, over rough terrain like rocks and tree roots and up and down steep, narrow slopes.   They have upright handlebars, wide, softer tyres with deep treads and disc brakes. Most will have front suspension and some are designed for really  rough and rocky terrain, have rear suspension as well. Because of these features, it is not as easy to ride the bikes quickly on tarmac roads and some people buy a bike with a full set of off-road features which they dont need.  That said the choice is always down to you and what you want,  but remember what do you need and where will you be cycling.

     

    Hybrid bikes are a much better option (in my opinion)  for people who want a bicycle for everyday use and have the option to do some light off road.   As their name suggests, they combine features from road and mountain bikes. They tend to use road wheel diameters for higher speeds, but with wider rims and tyres for increased strength. Hybrids copy the mountain bike`s crank and upright handlebars and different models offer a variety of linear pull and disc brakes options.  The tend to be heavier than the road bikes but the more you are prepared to spend the lighter the bike.  I purchased the Giant Roam 2 quite a heavy Bike but very good on the roads and light off road conditions.  I have it fitted with mud guards, lights front and rear and  pop out Mirrors on the handle bars, which are great for seeing behond you.

     

    Within the hybrid category there  are several  classes aimed at the more specific types of cycling. For example; a touring bike will contain features, such as mudguards, racks and a comfortable seat as this kind of bicycle is designed for longer distance.  Commuter and city bikes, designed for those who cycle to work,  in urban areas, tend to have sturdy frames and wheels, attachment points for panniers and front and rear lights.  Remember Safety should be paramount and no matter what bicycle you buy if you are going to be cycling in the dark you must buy lights – also wear reflective clothing where possible.

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