Bike Fun

            Riding a bicycle is generally an enjoyable and healthy activity or form of transportation. However, if you are not comfortable on your bike or simply want to enhance your ride, there are steps you can take to accomplish both.

            First of all, you should make sure that the frame size of the bike you’re riding is the correct size for you. If it’s not, your ride could be uncomfortable or even dangerous. To find the correct size frame height, stand with both legs over the top of the bike’s frame. You should be able to stand comfortably over the bike without the frame touching your crotch area. There should be about an inch of free space between your crotch and the frame. This is a safety concern as well as making sure that the bike will not hurt your lower back or overstretch your arms to reach the bars. If you were to stop suddenly and slide off the seat over the frame, you don’t want to hit the frame so there must be that inch or so of space there to protect you from crotch injury.

            Once you’ve discerned the frame height, you should make sure the handlebars are comfortable for you to use. You should take a test ride and feel out the bars to make sure they feel comfortable and are at the right height for you. Also, are the grips comfortable enough? Do they pad your hands sufficiently over bumps? If not, you can replace the grips with more comfortable ones for a minimum of expense.

            The secret to ensuring a smooth and efficient ride is to make maximum use of the full length of the thigh muscle. If you are not extending the thigh muscles fully on each stroke of the pedal, you will tire more quickly and your muscles may become sore. So extending the leg correctly on each stroke is a high priority for a pleasant and efficient ride. To set the seat height correctly, you should set it so that your legs almost fully extend at the lowest point of the pedal stroke. There should be slight bend at the knee; Be careful not to set the seat so high that your leg over-extends at the knee. This can cause discomfort or injury to the knee joint.

            A good way to make long rides easier and more pleasant is by adding some toe clips your pedals. Toe clips will enhance your power and efficiency, making extended rides go more quickly and be less tiring. Toe clips can be added to your current pedals for an affordable cost or you can purchase new pedals with toe clips already installed on the them and install the new pedals on your bike’s cranks. Toe clips make your pedal strokes more efficient and powerful, and make full use of the crank rotations on each pedal stroke. They also can enhance your sureness of footing on the pedals so you won’t slip off and possibly injure yourself.

            A last minor enhancement you may want to consider is a rear fender or rack. A fender is most useful in the rainy season as it will keep the water and mud off your back when you ride in the rain. A rear rack will perform the same function as a fender in keeping you dry and clean, with the added benefit of acting as a “trunk” for your bike. With a rack installed, you’ll be able to carry more items on your bike than you can without one. Just remember to keep some bungee cords strapped to your rake if you get one! Thank you for reading.