I recently realized that i need a bicycle. A vehicle that i would use travel to the gym and cycle for recreational purposes around the area the live at. I thought it would be a fairly easy decision to make; How much thought and planning would a buying a cycle take right?
So i go online, and find so many variants displayed that i get confused. After this i come across a few articles about different types of cycles offered and how to choose your cycle. I learn that there are majorly 5 types of bikes in the market .
1) Road /Racing bikes
2) Mountain bikes or MTBs
3) Hybrid bikes
Now, as mentioned earliers, i am not going to use my cycle for long distances. My work place is across the city and riding my cycle all the way till there would train me for a cross country cycle rally and would mean of lot of time spent on travelling, something that i do not intend for. I was leaning more towards a hybrid, because i haven't and do not really intend to do a lot of off- roading on hills or mountains. I have been told the the extra thick tires on the MTBs add to the weight and the road resistance which ultimately means more effort per unit distance. Then again, some people have told me that given the roads that we have in Mumbai, especially during raining seasons, one would need nothing less than a mountain bike to travel safely and comfortably.
If this is not confusing enough, i have read about so many company's offering bikes,each with their pros and cons. There seems to be no end to selection because the buyer, that is me, keeps having his budget increased, the more time he spends on cycle research. I suddenly feel the need for disc brakes, alloy structures, trigger shifting gears, dual rimmed tires and durable tires.
In retrospect, decision making for a cycle purchase used to be much easier about 10 years back. The options were very few and the main manufactures were the likes of Atlas, Avon and Hercules. However these days, with the presence of International brands like Btwin, Bianchi, Scott, Schwinn, Firefox and with so many factors to consider, buying a cycle has become even more challenge than buying a car.
I have read so many articles, which speak about cyclists who after much research and thought, select Bike A only to get replies from other cyclists and experts about why Bike B, Bike C and Bike D would have been a better option. In a way, this is quite sad, at least for the guy who has spent a huge sum on his bicycle.
On the other hand, i have become quite fond of the Firefox cruiser bike that i read about online. It the classic non geared, upright posture comfort bike with just one objective- to just relax, ride and enjoy the time spent on the bike. This is a new release by Firefox and after much research, i have finally found a store that has it on display, so i am going to visit that place this afternoon.
I guess at the end of the day, no matter how many brands there are or how many features and benefits they may offer, one must realize that it is just a bike. Something that helps us get from one place to another, on two wheels. Of course, selection of the right bike is important, but once that is done, we must focus on the good times we have on the bike and not on 'Bike B' that is a better buy according to the so called 'Bike experts'.