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Countless accessories are manufactured for bicycles and bicycle riders. When thinking about such products we often think of helmets, lights, water bottles, specialized clothing, speedometers, and racks. One important accessory your bike should never be without is a good locking system. Just because you live in a relatively safe neighborhood doesn't mean you have no need for a lock.
Bicycle theft is a growing crime throughout the United States, and it doesn't matter where you live. Bicycles are relatively easy to steal and easy to sell or get rid of. They're an easy target for dedicated criminals, opportunists, and bored teenagers. Unless you never intend to leave your bike untended, you should invest in some sort of locking system. Even if you're just leaving it outside a convenience store for a couple minutes so you can go inside real quick, that's all the time a thief needs to make off with your ride. Don't think that thieves won't steal a cheap bike, either. They'll take whatever they can get their hands on, whether it's a rusted old girl's bike with faded streams dangling from the handlebar grips and a torn-up banana seat or a sleek high-dollar professional mountain bike with full front and rear suspension.
There are basically two options when it comes to locking systems for bikes. The most popular is the chain or cable lock with either a separate padlock or combination lock or with the lock integrated into the chain or cable. If this is the type of lock you're looking into, make sure that it's long enough to wrap around both wheels and the frame. With this style of locking system, the best choice is a chain that's as thick as you can comfortably carry.
If you'd prefer a cable lock, again, make sure you purchase the thickest one possible. The thicker the chain or cable, the more of a deterrent it'll be for thieves and scoundrels. The downside, of course, is weight. Cables tend to be lighter than chains, but they also tend to be easier to cut. You have to consider the importance of weight relative to your bicycling activity.
An avid racer is extremely concerned with weight, but such a competitor isn't going to be leaving his/her bike just lying around, either. In all likelihood, weight is not a serious issue to you. One advantage chain/cable locks have over other varieties of locks is their ability to encompass oddly shaped shaped objects such as trees, bushes, etc.
The other popular bicycle locking system is the U-lock. As the name implies, such locks have a big bend in them and are essentially big padlocks. Some are only big enough to go around the back wheel and the bike rack. Others are big enough to go around the frame as well. These sorts of locks are nice because they're quick to employ and come with clips to hook onto the bike frame without scratching it.
Whatever kind of bike riding you intend to do, unless it's solely competitive racing, you should invest in a good bike lock. You should get the heaviest one you can. An important feature to look for is some sort of guarantee by the manufacturer. Good locks come with assurances that if used correctly, and your bike is stolen, the manufacturer will reimburse you for the cost of your bike.
Everyone knows what a bicycle is and how to use it, but you know that a BMX bicycle is not just your run of the mill bike. What makes a BMX bike different and special when compared to any other bike in the neighborhood?
The BMX bike is one of the fastest growing bikes on the market. In the 1960's, BMX bikes began as knock off versions of motocross motorcycles. BMX bikes were used to play in the dirt. Riders were seen jumping and racing around dirt tracks, as well as, around their neighborhoods on BMX bikes. Kids who were typically uninterested in motocross or racing wanted to get their hands on a BMX.
So, what is particularly different about the BMX that has taken the bicycle market by storm? You can identify a BMX bike from your average bike in a number of ways. Specific features of a BMX bike include standard 20 inch tires. The tread on a BMX tire is much different when compared to your average bicycle tire. A regular bike tire may have a few grooves or ridges, but a BMX tire tread has large knobs and crevices to help gain traction and maintain control in the dirt. Rough terrain would be too much to handle for an average bicycle tire, but BMX tread can get the job done.
An average bicycle frame is rather heavy when compared to the frame on a BMX bicycle. The lightweight frame sets BMX apart from other recreational bikes. The sturdy, yet lightweight, frame of the BMX can withstand shock well. The durability of the frame is necessary for riders who want to really play and the dirt.
How does BMX keep their frames so light and durable? An average bicycle frame may be made from stainless steel or another inexpensive metal. BMX frames are formed from aluminum or chrome steel. Aluminum will not rust and is extremely lightweight. These qualities help to make a BMX frame both durable and practical. This is especially important for youngsters interested in performing jumps and stunts on their bike.
BMX bicycles typically have only one gear. Unlike other sports and recreational bicycles, a single chain and no gear shift. This variation from the norm allows riders to pedal with ease in multiple directions. The ability to pedal both backwards and forwards on a BMX bike allows for easier stunts, tricks, and jumps. Can you pedal backwards up a hill on any other bike?
Padding is standard on a BMX bike. You may find padding in as many as three locations on a BMX. The crossbar between the handles, the gooseneck, and the straddle bar are common areas for BMX padding to be prevalent. Safety is of utmost concern when enjoying your BMX bike. The wide range of activities during BMX competition make the padding a necessity when it comes to safety.
Another unique safety feature found on a BMX bike is seen in the stem. Four large bolts help to increase durability and stability of the frame during rough landings. A rider may place their body weight on the handles during a stunt. For this reason, extra safety precautions must be in place.
BMX bikes are built differently from an average bicycle to meet the high demands of riders in competition. Lightweight frames and durable parts make BMX stand out from the rest. Safety features are extremely important to protect riders during stunts on uneven terrain. Noting such differences between a regular bike and a BMX, it is easy to see why BMX bikes are so popular.
When I was a kid, a long time ago, we didn't sit around playing video games. We all get together and play football or we would jump on our backs and go riding all over town. Even though it seems like a lifetime ago, I can still remember rushing home from school and pulling my bike out of the garage to go running around with my buddies. Since we were all in our early teens none of us had a driver's license so this was the only way for us to get away from it all. If mom or dad wanted something from the local mini-mart we volunteered to go get it just so we could get out and ride our bikes. Growing up on the beach in Florida my favorite bike was a "beach cruiser" which was a single speed bike that most of my fellow surfing friends and I chose. Can you remember what kind of bike you were riding back then?
Can you remember the brand of bike that you rode? We all were riding Schwinns and Huffy but I also had some friends that rode bikes made by Mongoose and Diamondback which were pretty much known as the premier bikes of the day. If you saw a kid riding one of these you knew that their family was well to do since they were the most expensive bikes around and they were also of the highest quality.
This is one of the first things that you should look at when you are shopping for a new bike, quality. You want a bike that is well constructed and sturdy but made with lightweight materials so that the bike isn't so heavy. If you choose a bike like this it will not only be more durable but it will also stand up to your freestyle antics and any other craziness you may try on your bike. A heavy bike can be a real drag and can keep you from being able to do all of the tricks that your friends can do. I can remember we used to go to this local lake and ride our bikes down a natural ramp and jump over a spillway into the lake, that was fun although sometimes we would have to dive down to the bottom to get it back.
These days with the internet we have world wide access to bicycle brands all over the world in order to find the perfect bike for us. There are literally thousands of bike styles that you can select from and with the ability to search on the internet you can shop prices and be sure you are getting the best price as well. This enables you to be able to find the best deal on whatever bicycle brand you choose. Many sites also offer reviews by professional bicycle experts that will also aid you in making your decisions so that you know which brands are really bad and which ones you should consider. Having all of this knowledge at your very fingertips via your computer keyboard there is no reason why you can't find the bike of your dreams or those of your children.
If you are in the market for a new bike, you have your work cut out for you. Selecting just the right bicycle can be a difficult decision. With the plethora of brands, sizes, and styles, how can you be sure you will find the right bike to suit your needs?
First, determine who will be riding the bicycle. With the purchase of a bike, size matters. For adults, you may want to select a bicycle that fits you comfortably based on your height and the size of the seat, for example. Children, in particular, are more susceptible to assorted size requirements. A bicycle that is too small will be uncomfortable. Selecting a bike that is too large, may allow room for growth, but lack of control will be an issue.
Another consideration when purchasing a bicycle is to think about the particular uses for the new bike. Will this bike be ridden in sports competitions or simply for recreation around the neighborhood? The answer will provide insight into the specific bike you will need to purchase. This will help you to narrow your search for the perfect bike.
Price range is important. The cost of a bicycle can range dramatically. Set a price range for your purchase and stick to it.
Quality is another factor when choosing your bike. You not only want a good price, but excellent quality. Durability is important. A bike that will show wear after the first trip around the block or from a single jump would not be the best bike to purchase. Consider buying a strong and lightweight bike that will last for years to come.
Take a look at reviews online about your prospective bicycle choices. Ask friends and relatives about their experiences with such brands and styles. Tapping into this knowledge base will give you further insight into your new bicycle purchase.
Safety is of utmost importance. Take a look at the safety features equipped on your potential bike. Are there plenty of adequate features such as padding and strong bolts?
The look of the bike is undoubtedly a major factor in the purchase of a new bicycle. You want your new ride to show off your personality and style. Although you can add specific customization to your bike, you want to make sure that it fits your personality. Do you like the style of the bike? What about the color? If the look of the bike does not please you, but the other features meet your specifications, it is advisable to hold off on the purchase. Wait until you locate the bike that matches your attitude. You will be much happier with such a purchase.
Despite the overwhelming number of bicycle varieties, styles, and price range, it is possible to find just the right bicycle for your next purchase. Keeping in mind factors such as size, weight, and durability, you should have no problem finding just what you are looking for in a bicycle. Considering reviews will also help you to make a decision. Finally, decide on the bike that matches your style and personality. Following these guidelines will help to ensure your satisfaction with the purchase.
Like all mechanical contraptions, your bicycle is vulnerable to wear and tear caused by regular use and exposure to the elements. Routine preventive maintenance will keep your bicycle in peak condition and safe for riding throughout the year. Although some bicycle repair and maintenance is best performed by a qualified bike mechanic, you should be able to do routine maintenance using a few basic tools. Here are some of the things you can do to keep your bike in perfect shape.
Check the pressure of your tires to make sure they are inflated to proper specifications. Consult the manual or the tire's sidewall for information on the range of acceptable pressures for your tire. Note any splits or fatigue marks in the sidewall or tread. Inspect the rim for dents, twists or kinks. Spin each wheel to make sure it is true and centered in the stays. If the wheel wobbles from side to side when spun, then it needs truing. Check if some spokes need to be replaced or tightened. If your bike is equipped with quick-release mechanisms, make sure they are securely fastened.
The handlebars, saddle and pedals must be securely attached. Check the height of the handlebar stem. Make sure that the handlebar stem and seatpost are fastened such that their minimum insertion marks are not exposed. Handlebars should be tight and in line with the front wheel. Check if handlebars and front fork are properly stabilized. You should be able to rotate the handlebar post freely in the front fork. Tighten the bolts that attach the pedal crank-arms to the front bearing. Pedals should be tight, with no binding. Check for looseness in front and headset bearings.
Squeeze both brake levers and try to roll the bike to check if the brakes are operating properly. If the bike moves while the brave levers are squeezed or if the brake levers touch the handlebar, then your brakes are too loose and need some adjusting. Make sure brake cables are taut. Check the brake cable for breaks or frayed ends; replace any worn or frayed brake cable. When brakes are applied, the brake pads (shoes) should contact squarely with the rim and should not touch the tire or the spokes.
Keep your bike's chain clean and properly lubricated. Use a rag soaked in de-greaser to remove dirt and grease buildup. Lubricate the chain after cleaning. Bike maintenance experts recommend using a web lube in wet environments and a dry lube in dry environments. Make sure that the chain moves smoothly without sticking or jumping.
Tools for basic bicycle maintenance
Proper inspection and maintenance of your bike requires a few basic tools.
A bicycle is your ticket to exercise, freedom, and fun. If you spend any amount of time riding a bike, you know just how important those two wheels can be. Your bike is a valuable part of your life. Treat your bike with care so that it lasts for many years to come. Normal wear and tear occurs on every bike. This is especially true in regards to your tires.
How do you know if you need to replace a bicycle tire? Frequently check your bike for signs of trouble. Assessing any issues with your bike quickly will ensure that the problem can be resolved before it gets worse, or becomes unsafe for the rider. Closely take a look at your tires. Do you denote any cracks or cuts in the tire. A small knick may not be anything to worry about, but it is something to keep an eye on for safety's sake. When your tires begin to show significant signs of wear and tear, it is time to purchase new tires. If you can see the cords of your tires, it is time to replace them immediately.
It is not uncommon to replace a single bike tire. Uneven wear on one tire more than another can lead to this situation. Another reason to replace only one bike tire may be due to a puncture. If you have accidentally run over a nail or other sharp object, it is possible to only need to purchase a single new tire at this time.
What if your bike keeps going flat? If your bicycle tire won't hold air, check for any holes in the tire. You may have punctured through the tire and into the tube resulting in a flat. If the tire looks fine, you simply may need to buy a new inner tube for your bike.
To determine whether you need a tube and a tire, or new inner tube only, you will need to take a serious look at the inside of the bicycle tire. If the inside of the tire looks fine, showing no signs of a puncture or rough area, then you will only need to invest in an inner tube.
Purchasing new bike tires can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be. When buying new tires for a bicycle, you need to know the size of the old tire. This information can be found on the side wall of the old tire.
Also, you will want to select a bike tire that is appropriate for your recreational or professional activity. Knobby tires, for example, are better suited to off road travel on rough terrain. The thin, skinny tires work well for road cycling. Finding the right size and style of tire is key to safety and comfort on your bike.
When it comes to filling your tires with air, it is important to use a tire gauge specifically suited to test pressure in bike tires. Air pressure will vary based on a number of factors. Monitor your bike tires regularly to make certain your bicycle tires aware carrying the right pressure. The proper minimum and maximum pressure amounts should be clearly marked on the tire.
Your bike tires will last for a long time with proper care and maintenance. Safety and comfort improve with proper tires for your bike. Enjoy the freedom and fun your bike gives you by taking care of your ride.
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