Choosing the right bicycle for summer fun

Purchasing a new set of wheels for summer recreation can be a big decision. There are tons of bicycles to choose from, so finding the right fit can be a little tricky.

“I ride pretty much every day,” said consumer Marvin Pribble. “I go to the grocery store, go to the library, go to the hardware store. I just leave the car at home.”

Pribble has at least three bikes that he rides throughout the year.

“It’s really easier to get to the grocery store on a bicycle,” Pribble added. “It’s good exercise. You get outside. Less wear and tear on the car. A lot cheaper.”

Whether you’re looking for a road bike to ride fast on open roads, a mountain bike for off–road trails, or a hybrid bike to cruise around your neighborhood, it’s important to match the bike to your size and intended use.

“Getting fit for a bike is just like getting fit for a pair of shoes,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “You wouldn’t wear high heels to play a sport, so you should make sure you have the right bike for your type of riding. For example, if you’re going to be riding your bike mostly in the city, a mountain bike is not the bike for you.”

Angie’s List says a reputable bike shop can help determine the right type of bike for your needs and size you for the perfect fit.

“We are looking at the overall height of the bike to fit your inseam and then the length of the bike to fit your torso, so we’ve got to get a bike that’s going to fit both,” said Bike Shop Owner Scott Irons.

A pro will take into account several measurements, including your back angle, knee angle, and handlebar width.

“You typically are going to have your tip toes on the floor, and you’re going to have a nice comfortable bend in your back with a little bit of elbow bend,” Irons added. “This bike particularly is a little bit short for me. You can see how I’m kind of up close to myself. I would be a little more stretched out. The leg length is proper – a little tippy toes here – that way you can get full leg extension while you’re peddling.”

Angie’s List recommends factoring in maintenance when choosing a bike. A tune–up starts around $50, but can cost more depending on the type of bicycle. If you’re a casual rider, you only need a tune–up every other year or two.