These days, men cycle more than women, while some women might think there are other ways to work and get in shape, biking is also a super fun way to get in shape as you'll sculpt your lower half and melt fat.
In Nigeria right now, more than 90 percent of bike owners age 28 to 45 men. These days, men cycle more than women, while some women might think there are other ways to work and get in shape, biking is also a super fun way to get in shape as you'll sculpt your lower half and melt fat. Cycling is a great low-impact aerobic activity, and you can build your cardio without the pounding. And if the new celeb-studded cycling studios are any clue, biking is the coolest, most female-friendly trend around. Come along for the ride!
Is It A Good Fit?
Ensuring you have a proper bike fit will help prevent injury, boost performance and improve your overall riding experience. You'll get a custom one if you shop at a bike store. Buying online? First head to a shop where you can get a professional consultation for a small fee. The basics:
Handlebar width: Your hands need to be aligned with the bony bumps on top of your shoulders. If your handlebar is too wide, it ups your risk of neck, shoulder, back and/or wrist issues.
Handlebar height: Depending on your flexibility, you want your back to be relatively flat. If you have to round it, raise the handlebars.
Reach: This is the distance between your seat and the handlebars. Sitting upright may seem more comfortable at first, but it actually increases the pressure on your back, making it harder to pedal. Leaning forward a little will engage glutes and create power. Your shoulders should form about a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and torso. Keep elbows slightly bent.
Saddle width: Match yours to the width of your pelvis/sit bones. You can have this measured with a saddle-fitting tool at a bike shop.
Seat height: You should have a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke, and when you fully extend your leg, with your knee locked out, your heel should dip to about 3/4 inch away from the ground.
Pick Your Perfect Ride
Looking for a set of wheels? Before you go shopping, consider how you plan to ride (for fitness, fun or racing). These suggestions will steer you toward your best match.
If you'll ride mostly on roads look for...
A drop handlebar: It offers more options on where to place your hands and keeps you comfy on longer rides.
Endurance road geometry: This form places your body in a higher (less aerodynamic) position that's best suited for long, steady rides.
An aluminum or carbon frame: It's responsive and light and can tackle both hilly and flat routes.
Plenty of gears: You can use hard or easy ones when riding downhill, uphill or on flats.
If you'll ride mostly on paths look for...
Rugged-tread 700c tires: Road tires are thin and smooth, while mountain ones are fat and bumpy -- you want something that's in between the two.
Disc brakes: They let you stop more quickly on dirt.
Either a drop or flat handlebar -- whichever feels better to you.
If you'll ride mostly on mountain trails look for...
Knobby, large tires (either 27 1/2- or 29-inch): These make it easier -- and more fun -- to roll over obstacles.
Suspension: It adds bounce and cushions impact. Hardtail bikes have only front suspension; full-suspension bikes provide more stability, but they're also more expensive.
Disc brakes: They offer more grip when braking