Bicycle (from Latin velox – fast and pes – foot, stop) – a vehicle driven by the muscular force of a person through foot pedals or (rarely) through hand levers. Most bicycles have two wheels, but there are three, four, and even single-wheeled bicycles.
It would seem that the fashion for the bike has irrevocably passed, but the city’s overcrowding with cars and the difficult ecological environment have revived the boom for this convenient mode of transportation. Today, people who want to buy a bicycle, do not particularly understand this issue, wanting to consult with someone.
Such assistants can become acquaintances who consider themselves to be experienced amateurs or the Internet with a bunch of thematic forums. The abundance of versatile information and leads to the appearance of myths about the choice of a bicycle, some of which we debunk in this article.
It is best to purchase a mountain bike, it is a universal solution, convenient for everyone.
This type of bicycle still applies to special, rather than universal. 80% of all motorists go mostly on the roads, so it is unreasonable to buy a bicycle that is designed for off-road. This purchase will significantly reduce the pleasure and efficiency of movement. Indeed, the universal choice can be considered a bicycle type “cross”, which is equally good on the roads and off-road. Of course, the choice of “mountain” bikes is much wider, it is dictated by the market, so it often becomes difficult to choose the right model.
A bicycle should be purchased with disc brakes, since they are the most effective.
Indeed, disc brakes are better than rim brakes, but is it worth it to overpay $ 70- $ 80 for this function, which professionals need more? In disc brakes, the working surfaces are less covered with dirt, so braking is more efficient. But this is important usually at competitive speeds, in normal life, the efficiency of conventional brakes is quite sufficient. Many say that the pads in the disc brakes last longer than in the rims, but the pads and in such devices will serve 4-5 thousand kilometers, besides they cost twice as cheap. Brake forces can be more precisely dosed with disc brakes, but again – such an opportunity is usually required in competitions, such bikes cost from $ 1000. The usual person does not notice the difference if he uses conventional rim brakes. One of the important advantages of disk brakes will be their work even with a strong bend of the rim, but one must try hard to twist the wheel into the “eight”. And after a severe accident you often have to get to your destination on another transport. Disc brake can also prevent the installation of the trunk, as the caliper closes the place for fastening. Installation of class brakes will lead to that it is necessary or to make an adapter for a luggage carrier, reducing its carrying capacity or to search for a special model. Thus, the choice of disc brakes is justified only in expensive models from $ 350, in cheaper models the quality of such brakes will be low. Among the budget disk hydraulic brakes, you can pay attention to Avid Juice 3, and from the disk mechanical – the model AVID BB5.
First of all, you need to pay attention to the speed switches, which must be high level.
In the course of the competition, the riders switch speeds several hundred times, so the ideal accuracy and speed of switching are important to them. In addition, switches of the competitive class make it much easier than usual, which naturally affects the price. The usual cyclist switches speeds several times a day, so you do not need to throw out money for high-level switches, as well as for other professional equipment. Usually other things are important to the consumer – the ease of planting, the protection of parts from moisture, the conformity of the device type to own purposes, aesthetic appearance, after all.Switches in this list are not at all the first place. Usually there are enough devices of the Shimano Alivio class, although cheaper models are quite acceptable.
It is better not to buy a bicycle with plastic pedals, metal ones are much better.
This myth owes its origin to the work of Soviet bicycle factories, which 20 years ago produced bicycles with extremely poor plastic pedals. Soon the market appeared a wave of cheap Chinese devices, the cost of which was below $ 10, but the quality was appropriate. All this entailed a mistrust of consumers to plastic pedals in bicycles at a price of up to $ 200. Modern bicycles of proven quality manufacturers are often equipped with plastic pedals, which do not fall apart, but successfully work for many years.
A quality bicycle costs at least 200 (300-400) dollars.
These figures, of course, vary. The origin of the myth is connected with the birth of the previous one. Of course, among low-cost models, the risk of falling into a fake is much higher, but it’s possible to buy an excellent walking bike for $ 150-200. However, we will make a reservation right away – this is a walking version, and there are no attempts of sports or tourist driving. Of course, it is possible to use such a device under different conditions, but such operation is fraught with premature failure of the apparatus and not because of poor assembly, but because of the owner’s fault. The optimal price for a multi-speed walking bicycle with a load of up to 80 kg is $ 250-300, but under heavy load the amount can increase to $ 300-400.
When buying, pay attention to the weight of the bike.
If you live on the fifth floor without an elevator and every day you raise and lower the bicycle, then every kilogram of weight will be particularly appreciated. But in normal conditions, with a working elevator or living on the ground floor or in normal physical form, does the extra kilogram weight of the bicycle matter? In the end – who on whom goes? Of course, weight is extremely important for a rider who spends much more energy. At your joint weight with a bicycle in 94 kg, an extra kilogram will only take 1% of weight, but you will have to pay a lot for its absence. So think about whether it is profitable to overpay for such a dignity of the bicycle?
Never buy a Chinese bicycle, choose an American or European manufacturer.
Recently, it was China, or rather Taiwan, that became one of the world’s technology centers, which allowed to move large production facilities, including bicycles. Today, 70% of all bicycles are manufactured in China, while European counterparts still use components of Asian origin. And not always a European bicycle is better than Chinese. So do not blindly trust the seller who claims that the device is manufactured in America or Europe. Of course, low-quality products are imported from China, but to give up the quality bike you like just because it is produced outside of Europe is not worth it.
Women need their own bicycle.
Today, almost all manufacturers declare a women’s line of models, thereby initiating heated debate about whether a special device is needed for women. In fact, trying to justify the need to develop a new model, developers can rely only on anatomical differences. It turns out that the length of the arms and legs of a man and a woman of the same height is approximately the same. On average, women are slightly lower, have narrower shoulders, smaller palms, a wider pelvis, less weight and physical strength. All this in fact does not require any special changes in the geometry of the classic bicycle, they have been fashioned for more than a hundred years! Today, women’s design bicycles have a shorter front triangle, a narrower steering wheel, a light weight and are equipped with a number of small advantages that are of a marketing nature.I must say that the announcement of the line of women’s bicycles has created a real boom for them, because enthusiastic women are willing to spend large sums of money on themselves. Super-expensive top models reached in value up to $ 7000.
When buying a bicycle, you should pay attention to the material of which the frame is made.
Many sources call attention to this issue, the iron frame is considered to be the heaviest and sloppy, the chromo-molybdenum is strong and reliable, but for entry-level bicycles, aluminum is strong and light and so on. In fact, do not pay much attention to this, because the frame of the same material can cost 100, and maybe 1000 $, differing only in weight. The most important thing is not what the frame is made of, but how. The features of their behavior are mostly understood only by professional athletes who can notice how titanium quenches microvibration. Therefore, choosing a bicycle, pay special attention to the reliability of the frame, its strength and weight.
Soviet bicycles (Kama, Salute) are the most reliable.
It is difficult to explain the appearance of this myth, which is cited as the superiority of a conventional bicycle over a mountain bike. In fact, the service life of the devices is approximately the same. In difficult conditions of impassability and bad weather, mountain bikes will prove much better. Yes, and can serve such bikes for 10-15 years, under conditions of good care for them. According to statistics, the breakdown of ordinary bicycles is much more serious than that of their mountain counterparts. But the maintainability of the same Soviet apparatus is much higher, although with time the spare parts for them are becoming more difficult to find.
Bike accessories cost the same as the bike itself.
It is often recommended to immediately increase the amount planned for purchase by half, since the accessories are quite expensive. In fact, not everything is so terrible, even a pump is not necessary – you can pump the wheel in a car repair shop or a pump from a car, and it’s quite possible to repair a bicycle in the workshop. Of course, it’s hard to get out of the way of cycling, getting more and more accessories, but that does not mean that such an approach will be mandatory for everyone.