Despite being linked to a range of chronic health conditions, the sedentary lifestyle appears to be more and more widespread. Many jobs are sedentary with long hours sitting behind a desk. People often spend their leisure time sitting as well- using a computer, watching TV or playing video games. Plus, the way many get around involves sitting be it on buses, trains or cars. One way of getting in a bit of exercise while commuting is cycling.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. It also varies in intensity, which means it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You can use a bike for casual activities, as a mode of transport, or as an intense, competitive endeavour. Cycling improves the overall function in the lower body and strengthens the leg muscles without overstressing them. And if you’ve been looking for ways to improve blood circulation in legs, cycling is one of them. Cycling increases blood circulation not only in the legs but in the whole body, which helps increase the heart rate and pump output at the same time. This also helps reduce cholesterol, preventing hardening of the arteries.
As you can see, cycling comes with many benefits. To start reaping them, your best bet is investing in a bike. As soon as you start looking for bicycles online Australia retailers offer, you will realize there are different models suitable for different disciplines. This can make it confusing knowing which one to choose.
Your fitness level can be a crucial factor when picking the best bike for you. Do you have any mobility or joint problems that would hinder you from riding a mountain bike? Can you bend over into an aerodynamic position for a long time without having back problems? Cyclocross and road bikes require you to be quite flexible to reach the drop handlebars, while a mountain bike requires you to be quite fit and agile as they are heavy but also more durable. A classic hybrid bike with an upright riding position will be best in terms of comfort.
The type of riding you’ll be doing will also influence your buying decision.
Leisure riding can be short trips to the supermarket, meeting up with your friends at the park, etc. For this, you’ll want a versatile bike that can tackle a range of situations. A hybrid bike is perfect for leisure ride as it combines the efficiency of a lightweight road bike with the stability and durability of a mountain bike.
For daily rides of less than 10 kilometres, you’ll want a bike that is comfortable and that isn’t too heavy or hard to pedal. Hybrid, road or cyclocross bikes are great options. The upright position of hybrid bikes improves stability and makes you visible to the other road users. They are great for shorter commutes on light gravel. Road bikes feature lightweight frames that allow for fast commuting, fitness training and even racing. It is a great bike for getting to work fast or for long commutes on tarmac only. Cyclocross bikes are a blend of off-road and on-road performances. They are ideal for commuting through dirt, gravel and tarmac.
Road riding can involve races over short distances or long-distance endurance rides. For this type of cycling, you’ll need a road bike. Built for speed, these bikes feature lightweight, stiff and strong frames to maximize pedalling efficiency and energy transfer. Keep in mind that these bikes require a bent over, low-down position to improve aerodynamics.
If you are looking to cycle on forest tracks, smooth singletrack and trail centre loops, you need a mountain bike. These bikes are durable with an upright stable riding position. They have a suspension system and a fork that adds weight, so some strength and agility are required for some heavy off-roading. Hardtail mountain bikes are versatile bikes designed for dirt, gravel and trails. They feature a suspension up front that takes the sting out of rough conditions and also lets you climb uphill efficiently. Full suspension mountain bikes come with suspension on both ends. This makes them more capable than a hardtail to smooth out the roughest, rockiest terrain.
Choosing the Right Bike Frame Size
Your bike frame size has to be just right or you’ll be uncomfortable and it will be hard to control your moves. When shopping bicycles online Australia cycling experts recommend you to consider the type of bike you choose, your height and your inseam (the measurement from your crotch to the ground). A quick rule of thumb to use is: the frame size should be about .65 times your inseam. So, if you have a 60 centimetres inseam, you will need a bike with 40 centimetres frame.
Use the following frame sizing chart to help you pick the right bike frame.