How to choose a bike that you will be happy with

I am often asked, mostly by people who have never ridden a bike before, how to choose a bike. While there is no simple answer to this question, there are some basic things to keep in mind. 

Rather than writing everything that someone else has already said, it's easier to direct to another page, so if you are wondering how to choose a bike, here is some information: http://lifehacker.com/the-beginners-guide-to-picking-the-perfect-bicycle-1782443592 

Now that you've read that article, a few add-ons: I generally do not recommend anyone buy a bike from places like Canadian Tire, Walmart or Costco. These bikes, especially the kids bikes, are made with heavy steel frames (which will rust), cheap parts (shifters, brakes) and are really not worth the money. Bikes from sporting stores like SportChek are better, though some are still steel frames, as the people who assemble them are usually bike mechanics/technicians, but sometimes they cost more than they are worth and their parts may still be lower quality.
Also note that the prices in this article are American: if you are looking for a bike with an aluminum frame and good components, expect to pay at least $400 in Calgary, but keep in mind that with proper care, you shouldn't have to replace the most expensive part of the bike (the frame) ever and all the parts will work smoothly for many years. You may never have to buy another bike again (but do expect that parts, like the tires, chain and cables will wear out).  Our choices here in Canada are a little more limited, but there are still awesome bikes easily available. There are also options for buying used bikes that don't involve driving all over the city or interacting with strangers. 

Please carefully read the section on fitting: seat height in relation to the ground! I recently bought a new bike and though I went to 3 good bike shops and talked to owners of 2 of those shops, it was the 4th person, a regular employee, who actually properly fit me to a bike. One owner - I won't name the shop - actually told me that I need to have my feet on the ground, which is incorrect unless you're buying a "crank forward" bike, which I wasn't looking at. If you are just learning how to ride, you do need to be able to get your seat low enough to have your feet on the ground, preferably flat, but once you know how to ride, you will want to be most efficient and protect your knees from injury by having only a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is at the lowest point. It should be virtually impossible to touch when seated on bikes with the pedals almost directly below the seat. I would never recommend anyone buy a bike that will not allow them to have proper leg extension for long term!

If you would like specific assistance in choosing a bike, or recommendations on where to buy a bike - for yourself or your child, new or used - don't hesitate to send me a message

How to choose a bike that you will be happy with, when you're still growing

I am often asked, mostly by people who have never ridden a bike before, how to choose a bike. While there is no simple answer to this question, there are some basic things to keep in mind. 

Rather than writing everything that someone else has already said, it's easier to direct to another page, so if you are wondering how to choose a bike, here is some information: The Beginners Guide to Picking the Perfect Bicycle.  

Now that you've read that article, a few add-ons: I generally do not recommend anyone buy a bike from places like Canadian Tire, Walmart or Costco. These bikes, especially the kids bikes, are made with heavy steel frames (which will rust), cheap parts (shifters, brakes) and are really not worth the money. Bikes from sporting stores like SportChek are better, though some are still steel frames, as the people who assemble them are usually bike mechanics/technicians, but sometimes they cost more than they are worth and their parts may still be lower quality.
Also note that the prices in this article are American: if you are looking for a child's bike with an aluminum frame and good components, expect to pay at least $300 in Calgary, but keep in mind that with proper care, you shouldn't have to replace the most expensive part of the bike (the frame) ever and all the parts will work smoothly for many years. You may never have to buy another bike again (but do expect that parts, like the tires, chain and cables will wear out) and when it's outgrown, it can be passed down to younger siblings/cousins or sold - good bikes don't lose their value as quickly.  Our choices here in Canada are a little more limited, but there are still awesome bikes easily available. There are also options for buying used bikes that don't involve driving all over the city or interacting with strangers. 

That being said, there are fewer choices in style of bike for kids. If you are a younger CAN-BIKE participant, you may have limited options. Bikes with wheels under 24" diameter are pretty much the same. Once you get a little older, and bigger, more styles become available. 

When you have the choice of different styles, it's best to choose the style of bike that is designed for the kind of biking you're going to do most of. You don't want to choose a road racing bike if you want to go mountain biking, or a fat tire bike if you want to ride to school, work or just around the city. 
 
Once you've decided what style of bike you want (or what's available for your size), it is very important to find a bike that fits you! Riding a bike that's too big (that you can "grow into") can be very uncomfortable and dangerous, as can riding a bike that's too small for you. If the bike you are riding now feels uncomfortable in any way, perhaps you can identify what the problem is and change a small part of your bike without having to buy a whole different bike, but maybe not. This video (9.5min) has some information on how to tell if the bike is the right size for you and make some adjustments to a bike which is the right frame size: https://youtu.be/DeAGDfbkBNM Please note that every bike manufacturer shapes their bikes a little differently, so you may need to try a few different brands or sizes before you get the right fit. 
 
If you come to a course with a bike that is dangerous for you, I will try to help you with adjustments but if I can't make it safe, you won't be allowed to ride. If you need help, please contact me to help you! 

Welcome to Private Registration for 2017!

 

Please scroll through the list to find the course that you would like, and choose Register (individual) for one person or Register (group) for more than one person in the same course.

 

Level 1 (Child) 1pm-4pm

Fundamentals of Cycling, also known as Learn to Ride

 

Course objective:

For a person who has never ridden a bicycle to learn how to ride a bicycle. Note all participants must provide their own properly fitting bike and certified bike helmet.

 

Child course: for ages 4-13. Parent/guardian *MUST* stay on site for course. 

Maximum 4 participants. 

Event Properties

Event Date Sunday, 20 August 2017
Event End Date Sunday, 20 August 2017
Capacity 4
Registered 2
Available places 2
Cut off date Friday, 18 August 2017
Individual Price $80.00
Location
Haysboro Community Centre
1204 89 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2V 0W4 Canada
Haysboro Community Centre
We are no longer accepting registrations for this event
$80.00 2

 

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CAN-BIKE 1 & 2 course format and cost survey