Answers to your Questions
Follow these five steps to reduce your risk of bike theft:
- Make sure you aren’t parking or locking your bike up in a high risk area.
- Always lock up to a solid, grounded object, securing the frame and both wheels.
- Don’t forget to grab any accessories on your bike such as lights, computers, hand pumps, seat bags, etc.
- Never leave your bike locked up for long periods of time (e.g. overnight) or locked to the same bike rack everyday.
- When at home, keep your bikes inside. If bikes are kept in a garage, keep the doors closed, and bikes locked and out of view.
Most lights are easy to mount and remove, come with tons of power settings so you can manage the battery life, and are durable enough to withstand frequent use.
For short evening rides or commuting through the city, a simple battery powered headlight with a rear flasher ($25-$50) will provide enough illumination while also making you visible to other people on the road.
If you are looking for something brighter that lasts longer, there are rechargeable systems. These systems can cost quite a bit more than battery powered lights ($50-$400+), but they’re the best choices if you are a frequent rider, especially in low-light conditions. Always remember to follow the bylaws for your city regarding visibility, or you could be fined.
Bells and horns can be mounted to any bicycle. Some people prefer to use their voice instead of a bell, but depending on where you are riding, without a bell, you might be violating certain bylaws. If you are riding in the City of Toronto, there is a fine for not having a bell or a horn.
Bells/horns are inexpensive, easy to use, don’t weigh much, and most people will immediately recognize the chime, and know that a cyclist is about to pass.
Come into the store and look at a few. We’ve got tons of different bike models that can fit your needs. It helps if you can tell us what kind of riding you want to do, where you’re going to ride, and what your price range is. If you’re not sure, ask our staff. Consider where you live and what the conditions of your environment are like, and they can help you figure out what kind of bike will be best for you, as well as arrange a test ride.
Hybrid bikes combine the best of the two most popular bike types, mountain and road.
On a hybrid bike, you’ll get the flat handlebars that you’d find on a mountain bike and quick, lightweight wheels you would find on a road bike.
They are durable so you can take them off-road, but ideally they’re made for riding on smooth or dirt roads vs. rugged terrain. Some models include suspension for additional comfort, stability, and control.
All hybrid bike models will come with mounts to attach racks and other accessories so you can carry all your gear when commuting or touring.
A dual suspension bike isn’t totally necessary to ride off road, but if you are going to be doing a lot of trail riding, it will give you more control and comfort, since you can adjust the suspension systems to dial everything in the way you like. You’re also able to take on more of a technical terrain without tiring out as quickly, especially during longer rides.
Each material has different features, so what’s really important is finding a bike that fits you properly, rides and handles the way you want it to, and fits into your price range.
- Steel frames will give you a classic look, are durable and easy to repair, and are affordable. They can rust though, if not taken care of properly.
- Aluminum frames are more modern looking, lightweight, and corrosion resistant. They are usually more expensive than steel.
- Carbon is sleeker looking, and more streamlined. It is corrosion free and the most lightweight material on this list, but higher in price compared to steel or aluminum.
- Titanium is probably the most expensive frame material, but is corrosion free, lightweight and very durable.
You should get a bike that fits your body as well as the kind of riding you will be doing. The best way to figure this out is to come into the store, where we’ll have you sit and stand over a few bikes. We’ll figure out what size is best for you by checking:
- How much stand over space is between you and the bike
- How far you can reach and your flexibility
To find out the correct seat height we perform what is called a “heel test”.
When the rider is on a bike with their heels on the pedals, their legs should be fully extended when the pedals reach the bottom of the stroke. If there is any bend, the seat is too low. Any hip rocking, the seat is too high.
Riding with your seat too high or low can cause problems like knee pain and lower back pain, which is why it is important to make sure you are riding yours at the right height.
Most cyclists prefer the bar position to be about the same height, or slightly higher than their seat. When you are keeping up a faster pace and/or are more flexible, you would generally have your bar below the height of your seat. The correct handlebar height will give you a comfortable riding position, where your upper body and back are relaxed, so you aren’t in pain during your ride.
For more information, check out our Body Geometry Fit page.
When you’re figuring out what kind of helmet to buy, consider what kind of riding you will be doing. If you’re riding a road bike, you’ll probably prefer something that’s lightweight and well ventilated. You probably aren’t looking for something with a visor. If you’re on a bike with flat handlebars, a visor will definitely benefit you by keeping the sun out of your eyes.
Every helmet will offer you the same amount of protection, but remember that they don’t provide proper protection forever. Manufacturers recommend you replace your helmet every five years.
Definitely. They’re comfortable, they look good, and you can walk in them when you’re off your bike. If you start riding longer distances or riding more regularly, you’ll probably want to consider cycling shoes.
Cycling shoes are made to increase your efficiency when you pedal and prevent discomfort or painful conditions like hot foot. They’ll help you pedal better and faster by allowing you to put more power into the pedal stroke.
When purchasing cycling shoes, one thing to consider is the type of pedal you’re going to be using, to make sure your shoes are compatible with your cleats. We have a wide range of footwear and pedals in store that work for both road and off road use.
If you’re going to be riding for extended periods of time, cycling shorts can make a huge difference. Your everyday pants are designed more for fashion vs. function in this case, as the seams that hold the pants together will usually bunch up at the crotch, making it uncomfortable to sit on your saddle. Cycling shorts provide comfort that your everyday pants don’t. They are made with a seamless crotch, and a pad inside called a chamois, that helps to absorb shock and prevent friction.
Not all cycling shorts are skin tight. We have a good selection of loose fitting shorts, so you can still be comfortable.
Something to remember is that underwear is not worn under cycling shorts, as the seams in them will cause exactly the issue they are made to avoid.
Disc brakes offer better stopping power in all conditions. With rim brakes, when you grab the levers, the pads squeeze the rim to slow you down. If you’re riding in bad conditions (rain, snow, mud, etc.) the pads are more likely to slip on the rims, decreasing your stopping power. With disc brakes, the rotors are attached to the hubs and the calipers are on the frame. When you squeeze the levers the pads inside the calipers squeeze the rotors to stop the bike. This makes it so you can ride in all conditions without any concern.
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
You generally want to get new brake pads before your old ones wear out. If you don’t, you limit your stopping power which can lead to a crash.
To check your brake pads, just take a look at them. New brake pads will generally have grooves in them. They help to keep water off your rims in wet conditions, but also work as an indicator for wear. If the grooves aren’t there, it’s time to change your brake pads.
Disc brakes are a little different. The designs vary, so either check your bike’s manual or come into the shop and we’ll take a look for you.
After purchasing the right kind of chain lubricant, anytime you notice the chain starting to look dry, apply a drop to every link. If you hear squeaking, that means you’ve waited too long and the links have become dry. If this happens, it can accelerate chain, cassette, and chainring wear.
After applying the lube, leave it alone for a bit and wipe off any extra. If you use too much oil, your chain will pick up dirt that will build up in your chainring and derailleurs.
To clean your chain, depending on how dirty it is, wipe it down with a rag. Don’t forget to wipe the chainrings and derailleurs.
Since the number one cause for this is a worn chainring, the best thing to do is to replace it. An exception to this would be if there is built up dirt and grime on the chainring, causing your chain to jam. If that’s the case, just clean the chainrings. Something else that can cause the chain to jam is if you are pedaling too hard while shifting (e.g. while riding uphill).
If you think something else could be causing your issues, just bring your bike into the store and we’ll take a look for you.