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Purchase a New Bike

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					Considering a New Bike - Consider This.                                                     Presented by


A
         s you can imagine; there are a variety of factors                                                                                    WHEELS
         for consumers to consider as part of purchasing                                                                                         Wheels greatly influence the way a bike handles and rides.
         a satisfying bicycle. Some people research                                                                                           A soft, spongy wheel and a heavy wheel both require extra
manufacturers/retailers websites, visit local bike shops, talk                                                                                energy from you to get moving. A soft wheel acts as a better
with friends and competitors, and read reviews/test ride reports                                                                              shock absorber than a stiff wheel. A stiff wheel helps cornering
of others to get opinions as part of gathering information about                                                                              and robs less energy to start rolling. Total weight of a wheelset
which bicycle might be right for their particular needs. Some                                                                                 is also a factor in performance. Light weight wheels require
do little information gathering and ride as many different                                                                                    less effort to move. Each manufacturer selects a wheelset that
bicycles as they can for as long as they can to make a final                                                                                  is appropriate for the price point of the bike. If you wish to
bicycle purchase determination. The pitfalls to avoid are data          Serving you since 1962                                                upgrade to a more expensive wheelset, mention it before you
overload and paralysis through analysis. Excess time spent                                                                                    purchase the bike. Most local bike shops will work with you on
shopping is time not devoted to                                       #1 Voted Bike Shop in the USA in ‘06                                                             a trade out of wheels, as well as provide
pursuing goals.                                                                                                                                                        information about the ride quality of the
    Consider using the following steps                                                                                                                                 different wheelsets. This is one area
outlined below to help save time in                                                                                                                                    where you can benefit by reading the
arriving at a purchase decision. Some                                                                                                                                  published wheelset reviews.
of the considerations are logical;
others have an esoteric edge to them.                                                                                                                                 DRIVE TRAIN COMPONENTS
Use each one in accordance with your                                                                                                                                      Most bicycles are equipped with
own experiences and needs.                                                                                                                                            Shimano drive train components, that
                                                                                                                                                                      is: cranks, chain, shifters, cassette,
PRICE                                                                                                                                                                 front and rear derailleurs and brakes.
    One of the first considerations                                                                                                                                   This set of components is known as a
for any potential buyer is price; how                                                                                                                                 “group”. There are varying levels of
much do you have to spend and how                                                                                                                                     quality in the different groups offered by
much do you want to spend. A very                                                                                                                                     Shimano. The top of the line Shimano
serviceable new bicycle can be had                                                                                                                                    package is DuraAce, followed by
for less than $2,000. Set your budget                                                                                                                                 Ultegra and then 105, Tiagra and Sora.
early in the process. As you look                                                                                                                                     The price and quality of each group
at bicycles, by whatever means you                                                                                                                                    declines in the same order as listed.
choose, consider how often you are                                                                                                                                    Starting at 105, any of the groups listed
likely to ride and for how long each                                                                                                                                  above would be suitable for just about
time. This should help you determine                                                                                                                                  every rider, of course, the higher in
how much a part of you leisure life                                                                                                                                   the line you go the lighter the weight
riding is or will be and, hence, how                                                                                                                                  and higher the quality of the group.
big or small the budget. For example,                                                                                                                                 Campagnolo and SRAM are two other
                                                                      better idea was born in the mid-Seventies (borrowed from
riding 15 to 20 hours a week during the “good” weather                                                                                        manufacturers of road bike components; however, the majority
                                                                      the aerospace industry) and aluminum was introduced as a
months should justify a larger budget than say a two Saturday                                                                                 of major manufactures bicycles are equipped with Shimano
                                                                      frame material. It was lighter, less springy and just about as
a month rider.                                                                                                                                components. The advice here is to look for the bike that has
                                                                      inexpensive. It was harder to work than steel and it produced
    Consider the “hidden costs” such as pedals, shoes, car                                                                                    the best quality group in your price range.
                                                                      a harsher ride but it was so much lighter no one much cared.
racks, flat repair kits, pumps and clothing. Most bikes will fit      Aerospace technology marched on and titanium joined the
in the backseat of a car, if you have a backseat but a rack is        mix. Even harder to work, more expensive and lighter than               CONCLUSION
nice to keep your car nice and clean inside.                                                                                                     This article is intended an overview so make sure to check
                                                                      either predecessor, its claim to fame is that it is a natural spring
    Having the whole picture of the range of items you need will                                                                              with your friends and your local shop to find the bike right for
                                                                      similar to steel. Next, the aerospace industry gave us came
help in arriving at realistic budget amount; that is until you ride                                                                           you!
                                                                      carbon fiber as a frame material. It does not have a natural
the $10,000 wonder bike around the block and fall head over                                                                                      Gary Woolfolk is an employee at Richarson Bikemart and
                                                                      spring but it dampens vibration all the same. It is typically less
heals in love and have to have it, budget be damned.                                                                                          can be reached at gary@bikemart.com
                                                                      expensive than titanium on a commodity basis; it is fairly easy
                                                                      to work with and can be molded into some interesting shapes.               With any questions you have about purchasing your next
FRAME MATERIALS                                                          My advice here is to ride some of each and get a feel for the        bike from Richardson Bikemart.
  Dating back not that long ago, the majority of frames were          frame material. Make your choice based on feel, fit and the
made of steel. It is an easy material to work and join and            budget considerations above.
has “natural spring” property making it good for riding. A


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