Nick David Wright

Living well, laughing often, loving much.

Archive for the ‘Bicycles’ Category

Sizing a bike

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If you only want to ride a bike every so often around the neighborhood, then by all means go out and buy any bike you like. I recently purchased an old three speed from a garage sale for $5. I love it … for riding around the block.

But if you’re going to be serious about your riding, or think there’s even the slightest possibility you’ll want to get serious. I have one piece of advice for you: Spend the money to buy a bike that fits you.

When I got serious about bicycling I went to the local bike store and explained what I wanted and they helped me pick a bike. But I made a mistake. When I tried the bike on for size, the only measurement that I knew to check was the height of the top tube.

And from what I understand that will get a reasonable fit for folks with average body proportions. The problem is that I do not have average proportions.

I am relatively tall, measuring in right at 6-feet. But I have short legs. The only reason I buy 30-inch inseam pants is because most stores do not carry shorter lengths in my waist size.

So what I ended up with was a bike that was the right size for my legs, in other words I wouldn’t bust my balls if I slipped off the saddle; but did not fit my upper body at all.

Riding long distances on the thing was not as comfortable as it should have been. I was constantly playing with the handlebars trying to make for better posture for my back, but I never could find that Goldilocks “just right.” And the front wheel would often hit my foot while making a turn.

I’m not really certain what this means as far as my next “serious bike” is concerned. I’ve talked with some more folks and it seems to be the consensus that I need a frame with a longer top tube, to give my upper body more space to spread out in.

So when you’re out looking for a bike, please go to a real bike shop and ask all the questions you can think of. And get a bike that really fits you. It’ll really make all the difference in the world.

Written by Nick David Wright

January 22, 2010 at 5:00 am

Posted in Bicycles

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Bicycles

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I love bicycles.

I think that bicycles are a nearly perfect synthesis of human and machine. When I think of how to make our lives on this planet more ecologically sound, the bicycle is my mascot.

There exists no more efficient means to move people from one place to another than the bicycle.

I have to admit that I have not been riding my bike very much lately. That is due to the abnormal sub-freezing temperatures that we have been experiencing. Not that you can’t ride a bike in cold, icy weather; I was car-free all last winter, I assure you that it is possible. Even pretty nice when you do it right.

But I’m currently living outside of town, and an 8-mile ride through snow on these back country roads is not something I’m willing to risk my life for at this point in time. Not to mention that my current ride needs a bit of work before it’ll be running as smoothly as it should.

But as the weather warms up, you can expect to see more bicycle-related posts from me. And not just bicycles either, I’m a major fan of any human-powered tool.

Written by Nick David Wright

January 14, 2010 at 5:00 am