Well done for taking part in this amazing challenge to raise vital funds for NSPCC.
In this first blog we are going to explore the different bike choices and what will be best for completing the ride.
It may be some time since you last rode a bike and the thought of completing the challenge may seem daunting, but with some forward preparation the miles will fly by.
So which bike should I choose?
Firstly, on most of the days a mountain bike just isn’t going to be an efficient means of getting from A to B. The frame weight, geometry and the width and normal tread pattern of the tyres create far too much resistance and will severely hamper your speed and enjoyment.
We have experienced, very capable mountain bikers undertaking various road based routes/ challenges of the distances you will be undertaking and they have all been unable to complete the full ride.
So, that leaves hybrid or road bikes:
A hybrid gives you a lot of the benefits of a road bike (gearing, weight, wheel size) in a, usually, less prone position, so if you’re not a fan of road bike ‘drop’ handlebars, the straight handlebars of a hybrid may be for you.
One point to note is that, generally, hybrid tyres are normally a lit
tle wider (28-36mm) than equivalent road tyres (25-28mm) and generally have more tread, so one means of creating a more efficient ride is to invest in tyres with less tread (slicker), which will ensure a smoother, quicker ride. Less tread and slicker doesn’t mean less grip or more punctures, modern, quality tyres have excellent grip and puncture protection as standard – we will cover tyre choices and set up in a later post.
The are several advantages of a road bike. They are designed to cover great distances efficiently and are generally of a lighter design (frame, wheels etc). There are usually greater gearing options to cover all eventualities, and little fixes, such as changing handlebar tape to extra thick, which all adds up to a more comfortable overall experience.
Once set up correctly, a rider on a road bike should be able to cover many miles in comfort and with no pain – if you’ve been training!
Where to buy?
The internet is awash with cheap bikes, but, unless you already know the exact size you require it can be somewhat hit and miss.
Any reputable local bike shop, should be able to assess your needs and advise on the exact size of frame required and set you up on the bike to ensure you are in the most comfortable, efficient position and advise on accessories required to keep you cycling.