We want to give you a wealth of information here, so with that in mind, please check back often to get lots of valuable information on what to look for when buying your first bike, how to keep your bike tuned, riding tips, techniques, demonstrations and product articles as well.

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We want to give you a wealth of information here, so with that in mind, please check back often to get lots of valuable information on what to look for when buying your first bike, how to keep your bike tuned, riding tips, techniques, demonstrations and product articles as well. 

Tips on Buying Your First Bicycle

So, you're thinking about getting a bicycle and are wondering where to start. This can be an overwhelming experience, but don't worry we're here to help. Before you even step foot in a bike store read through this article and then ponder some of the questions raised about what kind of bike rider you think you'll be and what style of bike you may want. We'll start with a few facts about cycling and reasons why riding a bicycle is awesome.
1. Its just plain fun, if its not your probably doing it wrong.

2. Exercise, according to the Centers for Disease Control. “Riding a bike as part of an exercise routine helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and other life threatening illnesses.” “You’ll lower your health care costs, and improve your mental outlook and overall
quality of life.”

3. Cycling is an economical form of transportation. The average cost of gas, insurance and car payments is $7000 a year more when compared to solely using a bike for transportation, according to Bike Magazine.

4. Riding a bike allows a person to enjoy camaraderie with other cyclists or to go out alone enjoying the solitude that riding into the sunset allows.

5. Competition, whether it is organized racing or beating your buddy back to the truck, bicycling is a good outlet for our desire to compete.

6. Bicycles are also a good healthy hobby, especially for men who need things to tinker with. A bike allows us to have something we are proud of, something that may partially define who we are. And ladies, bicycles are thousands cheaper than that 1960’s muscle car your hubby wants to put in the garage.
Keeping those reasons in mind, you must realistically ask yourself: what kind of riding will I be doing? There are five main categories of biking. All of which are built for different styles or types of riding; these are: Mountain bikes, Road bikes, Hybrid/Comfort bikes, Recumbent and Cruisers.

A mountain bike is built for riding off-road trails. They are tough burly dirt bikes without motors- typically having, at least, a front shock and knobby tires. Their purpose is for riding through the woods, but they can be very versatile and used for: transportation, exercise, and weekend-warrior off-road outings.

Road bikes are the exact opposite of mountain bikes. They are light weight, skinny tired, street machines. They are efficient areo dynamic speedsters, and are capable of being raced or ridden for long distances. These are the kind of bikes Lance Armstrong rides.

Hybrid comfort bikes are a compromise between the road and mountain style bikes. They allow the rider to sit in a more upright position, have squishy seats, most have suspension and all are intended to be comfortable. Hybrid comfort bikes, in a sense, do it all. From long road rides to light duty trails A hybrid bike has road wheels and less aggressive tires. Works well for paved fitness/nature trails.) (A comfort bike has mountain bike sized wheels with more aggressive tires. Works well for gravel fitness/nature trails.)

A recumbent style bike is unique in that it’s riding position is non-traditional. Picture a lawn chair with pedals. These bikes can be ridden long distances for exercise, some even off road. People with back problems or individuals who dislike a traditional riding position are drawn to these types of bicycles. A recumbent is not a high performance race bike, but most use high-end quality parts, are special ordered, and custom built for the purchaser.

Cruisers are traditionally single speed bikes with big swooping handlebars and a basket on the front; however, a new trend in cruisers is taking the country by storm. These bikes are more of an art form (of sorts) than they are actually meant to be ridden. (I.e. chopper style) A different side to this trend is manufacturers adding gears and shifters to bikes that have been, traditionally, single speeds- making them more peddler friendly.
Be honest with yourself about where and how you plan to ride a bicycle. Don’t let a friends’ choice sway you. I’ve seen many customers who were determined to have a bike “like their buddies” only to end up with an expensive uncomfortable race bike that they hated riding. Another important consideration is picking the right bike shop. Different shops have different styles.

For instance: a first time buyer might be intimidated by a shop that specializes in high end road racing bikes. Typically, the salesmen at such shops are advanced riders and have a hard time talking in understandable terms. Finding a salesman who is honest and speaks on your level is important. A salesman who will tell you that a high-end ride is probably more bike than you need- despite the fact that it will make him/her more profit, is someone who is looking to make a long term customer. They probably truly have your best interests in mind. Watch out for deals that seem too good to be true. Be that on the internet or from a discount store. I almost bought my first mountain bike online, a closeout bike that was a 21”. Luckily, I stopped in my local shop first. The owner sized me and it turns out, I ride a 16” bike…a small, not a large!! Discount store bikes are also an expensive mistake that people make. The items lined in discount stores are B.S.O.’s (Bike Shaped Objects). They mimic real bikes. They can be ridden, just not very far, comfortably, or safely. They are heavy, misassembled, and disposable. In most cases, if a part breaks, it is cheaper to buy a whole new “B.S.O” than to have it fixed. Even the cheapest bike in a bike shop is of a quality far exceeding discount brands. Plus, a purchase of a bike shop bike typically gets you valuable advice, bike setup that caters to your body, some form of service deal, and from most manufacturers, frame and parts warranties. Some shops will even pay for a bike club membership which sets you up and puts you in with group rides, professional advice, and even discounts. A persons first bike purchase is important, because if a bad decision is made, it can mean the difference between a person who becomes a healthy, fit, energetic cyclist- or someone who has an un-ridden bike hanging in their garage. Get as much info as you can. Ask questions until you are satisfied. Test-ride as many bikes as you can. And finally, make your choice and get started riding!!!

written by,
written by, Landon Monhollan

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Owner: Craig Erickson Downhill Bikes & Accessories Inc.

Address: 116 Flynn Road, Branson, MO 65616
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