Our Beginner's Guide to Bikes - Are Old Bicycles Safe to Ride?
Bicycles are starting to gain popularity again since the lockdown started last year, mainly because healthcare providers encourage outdoor activity to ensure that we stay healthy during these times.
Besides squeezing in some cardio in your daily activities, bikes have also impacted the environment in beneficial ways. With that, many are starting to dust off their old bikes, getting them ready for the road.
Even with the rise of cyclists, many are still wary about hopping onto their old bikes. This is quite understandable, seeing as they've been sleeping in your home for quite some time. In most cases, it's best to bring your old bike to professionals to see if it's still safe to ride.
On the other hand, some bikes need subtle repairs and replacements, such as a new bicycle seat or new headlights. But either way, taking your bike to professionals will help you get a sense of how safe your bike could be on the road.
How to Know If Your Old Bike is Safe to Ride
You need to consider several factors to ensure your safety if you want to start riding an old bike. Here's a list of things you need to consider:
Factor #1: Bike Fit
When you're finally ready to dust off your bike from the garage, it's best to determine whether the bike still fits you and if it's mechanically safe to ride. Sometimes, beginner bikers would go to professionals for a fitting session to see their bike's fit.
When it comes to your bike's fit, you also want to ensure that you cover your bike's stand-over height. All you need to do is stand in front of your saddle and straddle the frame with both feet flat on the ground. If your bike has a horizontal top tube, it should be placed 1-2 inches below your crotch.
Factor #2: Handlebar Position
Another thing you should mind is your handlebar position. When you're seated comfortably on your bike, hold on to the handlebars and ensure that your elbows have a slight bend.
Typically, you'll want the handlebars lower so that your upper body contracts the force of your bike's pedals. But for beginners, having a slightly higher handlebar is advised until you build strength in your neck and shoulders.
Factor #3: Leg Extension
When you're pedaling your bike, your legs shouldn't go completely straight, and instead, they should have a slight bend. Besides that, note that your knees shouldn't rise above your waist when you reach the top of the pedal stroke.
Fortunately, you can move your bike sadly up or down to make the right adjustments. But remember, you shouldn't be able to put your feet flat on the ground when you're seated on your saddle. At most, you can touch the ground with your tiptoes.
The Bottom Line: If Your Bike Fits You, It's Safe to Ride
One of the best ways to determine if a bike is safe to ride is if it fits you. The factors we mentioned above should help you determine if your bike is safe to ride on the road. In most cases, changing your bike saddle to help adjust your leg extension and bike height could be the only thing you need to change.
With that being said, it's best to have your bike examined by professionals, get the right fit, and buy the proper replacements, so you stay safe on the road.
How Can We Help You?
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Cushbike offers various high-quality bike products, from bike seats to bike lights, gloves to tool kits. Whatever you need for your bike, we've got you covered. Check out our products today!