Guide for Riders
There are few things in this world that compare to the sense of freedom and exhilaration of riding a bicycle. With over 4 billion bike trips taking place each year in the U.S. alone, more and more people are choosing bicycles as a serious means of transportation.
Owning and caring for a bicycle isn’t as simple as it may seem. Even more, buying a reliable, quality bicycle isn’t as simple as heading out to a department store or hitting up the For Sale section of Craigslist. That’s why Pedal Revolution put together this essential guide for bike riders of all ages and skill levels to make the most out of any bicycle.
Choosing the Right Bike
As important as it is to pick a bike that matches your personality and style, the first step in choosing the right bike is checking the fit. Remember, it doesn’t matter how cool a bike looks if you can’t ride it comfortably and safely.
Bike fit is determined by variables other than just height. Your inseam and torso length should be factored into the decision, as well as your preferred riding position. A good seat height should allow you to have a slight bend in your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different bikes to compare size and fit before committing to a purchase.
Essential Maintenance and Care Tips
Once you’ve found a bike that suits your needs, it’s essential that you take care of it. Just like a car, bikes require regular maintenance and a little TLC to ensure the best performance for years to come.
Here’s what our expert mechanics tell every customer about caring for a new or used bike:
- Perform a complete tire, chain and body inspection before each ride
- Check the air pressure in your tires and re-inflate every 2 weeks
- Lube the bike chain regularly (every week or two is ideal), after long rides and/or exposure to water
- Squeaking brakes don’t mean you need new ones; listen for scraping sounds instead. Either way you should check with a mechanic to find out what you need
- Make sure the brake pads have grooves and are not worn down smooth. If there is significant wear or debris embedded in pads, have them replaced
- When cleaning, use a bucket and brushes or wipe down with rags and cleaner. If using a hose, use a light spray only
- Avoid leaving your bike out in the rain or snow
Understanding Bike Safety
Here are some simple safety guidelines to help you stay safe no matter where you ride:
- Always wear a helmet that fits properly and secures under your chin. Replace a helmet if it is impacted or shows any damage
- Use headlights and taillights when riding at night or in low visibility
- Make use of bells to alert pedestrians and others on the road
- Signal when turning, and look before entering an intersection
- Obey traffic lights and signs
- Utilize both front and rear brakes when stopping
- Consider wearing reflective gear to make yourself more visible to drivers
How to Avoid Theft
Bicycle theft is a real issue no matter where you live, but there’s a lot you can do to keep your bike safe.
Follow these tips to decrease bike theft:
- Never leave your bike locked up outside overnight
- Consider investing in locking skewers to keep wheels and seats from being removed and stolen.
- Locking your bike to designated bike racks is your best option. City parking meters are a good alternative.
- Register your bike at sfsafe.org, or add it to a homeowner’s insurance agency
- A bike shop should provide you with your bike’s serial number. Keep it somewhere safe in case you need it to recover a stolen bike
Why Buy from a Bike Shop?
It can be tempting to buy a used bike off sites like Craigslist because of the low price, but these bikes can actually cost you much more in the long run. Buying a bike through a classified service means you have no real guarantee of quality or condition, and no way of getting your money back if you run into an issue.
Buying a bike from a shop like Pedal Revolution guarantees that you are going to find the right bike for your needs, with no hidden issues or setbacks. Let our knowledgeable staff help you select a bike that suits your riding style.
Here’s a few more things you get when you buy from Pedal Revolution:
- A guaranteed manufacturer’s warranty with new bikes
- The opportunity to test a large range of options
- A service plan with the best bike mechanics in the Bay
- Discounts on spare parts and accessories
- Peace of mind knowing that your purchase helps us provide opportunities to disconnected youth
Stop into our shop, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, and you’ll meet a group of passionate bike riders (and one dog) who want nothing more than to help you discover the joy of riding a bike.