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A bicycle (from Latin velox - fast and pes - leg, foot) is a vehicle set in motion by a person's muscular power through foot pedals or (rarely) through hand levers. Most bicycles have two wheels, but there are also three-, four-, and even unicycle.
It would seem that the fashion for a bicycle has irrevocably passed, but the oversaturation of the city with cars and a difficult environmental situation revived a boom in this convenient form of transportation. Today, people who want to buy a bicycle do not particularly understand this issue, wanting to consult with someone.
Such assistants can be acquaintances who consider themselves experienced cycling enthusiasts, or the Internet with a bunch of thematic forums. The abundance of versatile information leads to the emergence of myths about choosing a bike, some of which we will debunk in this article.
It is best to buy a mountain bike, it is a universal solution, convenient for everyone. This type of bike is still more special than universal. 80% of all motorists still drive primarily on the road, so it would be unwise to buy a bike that is designed for off-roading. Such a purchase will significantly reduce the pleasure and efficiency of movement. A really versatile choice is the cross bike, which is equally good both on and off the road. Of course, the choice of "mountain" bikes is much wider, this 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 ones. Indeed, disc brakes are better than rim brakes, but is it worth overpaying $ 70-80 for this feature, which is more needed by professionals? In disc brakes, the working surfaces are less covered with dirt, therefore, braking is more effective. But this is usually important at competitive speeds, in ordinary life, the effectiveness of conventional brakes is quite enough. Many people say that pads in disc brakes last longer than in rim brakes, however, pads in such devices will last 4-5 thousand kilometers, moreover, and are half the price. The braking effort can be more accurately metered with disc brakes, but again - this is usually required in competitions, such bicycles cost from $ 1000. The average person does not notice the difference if he uses conventional rim brakes. One of the important advantages of disc brakes will be that they work even with a strong bend of the rim, but you have to try hard to bend the wheel into a "eight". And even after a severe accident, you often have to get to your destination using another transport. The disc brake can also interfere with the installation of the trunk, since the caliper closes the mounting location. Installing cool brakes will lead to either making an adapter for the trunk, reducing its carrying capacity, or looking for a special model. Thus, the choice of disc brakes is justified only in expensive models from $ 350, while in cheaper models the quality of such brakes will be low. Among the budget hydraulic disc brakes, you can pay attention to the AVID Juice 3, and from the mechanical disc brakes - the AVID BB5 model.
First and foremost, you need to pay attention to the derailleurs, which must be high. During the course of the competition, riders change gears several hundred times, which is why they are important for perfect accuracy and speed of switching. In addition, competition-grade switches are made much lighter than conventional switches, which naturally affects the price. The average cyclist, on the other hand, changes gears several times a day, so you shouldn't waste money on high-level derailleurs like other professional equipment. Usually, other things are important to the consumer - ease of fit, protection of parts from moisture, conformity of the type of apparatus to its own purposes, aesthetic appearance, in the end. The switches are not in the first place in this list. Shimano Alivio class devices are usually sufficient, 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 the Soviet bicycle factories, which 20 years ago produced bicycles with extremely poor plastic pedals. Soon a wave of cheap Chinese devices appeared on the market, the cost of which was below $ 10, but the quality was also appropriate. All of this has led to consumer distrust of plastic pedals in bicycles under $ 200. Modern bicycles from proven high-quality manufacturers are often equipped with plastic pedals that do not fall apart, but work successfully for many years.
A quality bike costs at least 200 (300-400) dollars. These figures, of course, vary. The origin of the myth is associated with the birth of the previous one. Of course, among inexpensive models, the risk of getting a fake is much higher, but it is quite possible to buy an excellent walking bike for an amount of $ 150-200. However, let's make a reservation right away - this is a walking option, there is no talk of any attempts at sports or tourist driving. Of course, such a device can be used in different conditions, but such operation is fraught with premature breakdown of the device and not because of poor assembly, but precisely through the fault of the owner. The optimal price for a multi-speed walking bike with a load of up to 80 kg is $ 250-300, but with a heavy load, the amount can rise to $ 300-400.
When buying, pay attention to the weight of the bike. If you live on the fifth floor without an elevator and raise and lower your bike every day, then every kilogram of weight will be especially appreciated. But under normal conditions, with a working elevator or living on the ground floor or normal physical shape, does the extra kilogram of bike weight matter? After all, who drives whom? Of course, weight is extremely important for a rider who expends a lot more energy. With your combined weight of 94 kg with a bike, the extra kilogram will take only 1% of the weight, but you will have to pay a lot for its absence. So think about whether it is profitable to overpay for such a bicycle advantage?
Never buy a Chinese bike, choose an American or European manufacturer. Recently, it is China, or rather Taiwan, that has become one of the world's technological centers, which has made it possible to move large industries there, including bicycles. Today, 70% of all bicycles are made in China, while European counterparts still use components of Asian origin. And the European bike is not always of better quality than the Chinese one. So do not blindly trust the seller who claims that the device was made in America or Europe. Of course, low-quality products are also brought from China, but you should not refuse a high-quality bike you like just because it was made outside Europe.
Women need their own bike. Today, almost all manufacturers declare a women's line of models, thereby initiating a heated debate about whether women need a special device. In fact, when trying to justify the need to develop a new model, developers can only rely 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 shorter, have narrower shoulders, smaller palms, a wider pelvis, less weight and physical strength. All this really does not require any special changes in the geometry of the classic bicycle, they have been shaped by fashion for over a hundred years! Today's bicycles for women have a shorter front triangle, narrower handlebars, lighter weight, and a number of small marketing advantages. I must say that the announcement of the line of women's bicycles has generated a real boom in them, because enthusiastic women are ready to spend large sums of money on themselves. Ultra-expensive top-end models cost up to $ 7,000.
When buying a bike, you should pay attention to the material from which the frame is made. Many sources call for attention to this issue, the iron frame is considered the heaviest and most sloppy, the chrome-molybdenum frame is strong and reliable, but for entry-level bicycles, the aluminum frame is strong and lightweight, and so on. In fact, you shouldn't pay more attention to this at all, because a frame made of the same material can cost $ 100, or maybe $ 1000, differing only in weight. The most important thing is not what the frame is made of, but how. The peculiarities of their behavior are generally understood only by professional athletes, who can notice how titanium dampens microvibrations. Therefore, when choosing a bike, pay special attention to the reliability of the frame, its strength and weight.
Soviet bicycles (Kama, Salyut) are the most reliable. It is difficult to explain the appearance of this myth, which is cited as the superiority of an ordinary bicycle over a mountain bike. In fact, the service life of the devices is approximately the same. In difficult off-road conditions and bad weather, mountain bikes will perform much better. And such bicycles can serve for 10-15 years under the conditions of good care. According to statistics, breakdowns of ordinary bicycles are much more serious than those of their mountain counterparts. But the maintainability of the same Soviet devices is much higher, although over time it becomes more difficult to find spare parts for them.
Bicycle accessories cost the same as the bike itself. It is often recommended to immediately double the amount planned for the purchase, since the accessories are quite expensive. In fact, not everything is so scary, even a pump is optional - you can pump up a wheel in a car workshop or with a pump from a car, and it is quite possible to repair a bicycle in a workshop. Of course, it is difficult to get off the path of cycling fetishism, acquiring more and more accessories, but this does not mean that such an approach will be obligatory for everyone.