I encourage cyclists to find the best bike shop in the area and give them as much business as they can. I define best as the bike shop with employees who ride, who put on rides for all levels of riders, supports local bike clubs and racing teams, and promotes cycling in your area.
I will confess that I buy a few things mail order. Mainly consumables (tires, tubes and chains). There are things I prefer that no LBS carries so if they have to order them I don't see why I shouldn't just order them myself. I also buy some vintage parts from ebay but I spend the bulk of my cycling budget at my LBS.
I usually go to www.nashbar.com or www.performancebike.com. Nashbar is great in that if you are not satisfied with the product you can send it back within a year of purchase. I get all my bike clothes through Nashbar because I can't find what I need in a local bike shop.
I also like perusing the bike shops sometimes finding some good bargains.
I also have what I call "my" bike shop in town. Where I get service work/tune ups done on the bike, buy my tires and tubes and have built a good relationship with the owner and service people through the last several years. They are always a great help and answer to my questions.
Edited by: SIGLED at: 5/25/2010 (19:51)
Managing Diabetes! A way to live not die!
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I have used all those mentioned also and had good service from all of them. I love to stop by sports stores and just look at what they have available. I get wicking shirts for the mountain bike and save my nice jerseys for the road.
One Day at a Time: 1) walk/ride 30 minutes 2) organize something in my home 3) fruit or veggie with each meal 4) sew 1 bobbin full 5) do a good deed
February goals: 1) Organize/improve something in my home daily 2) Eat a fresh vegetable daily 3) Learn something new
There are several threads around here with all this information, so check some of them out as well.
But here's my 2 cents for getting started:
You have the bike. That's priority.
And a helmet (just remember to wear it, LOL!).
Do you have a method for carrying water with you? Cage and water bottle, camelbak, something like that. That's a big deal to keep hydrated.
For comfort, I'd invest in bike shorts (padded to take the pressure off, and wicking). They don't have to be top of the line, but they will be a *huge* improvement over jeans!
Also pick up a pair of cycling gloves--they'll help your hands immensely.
If you don't want to buy a cycling shirt right off the bat (although the pockets are very convenient), find a wicking shirt. It'll help keep you cool and comfortable.
For personal improvement, pick up a cycle computer. It can be low end to start--something that will tell you distance, speed and time to start. If you want more advanced (and expensive) you can also get one that tells cadence, heartrate, calories burned, all sorts of things.
I bought much of my first things at a cycling store, so I would know what I was getting. The past two years, I've "supplemented" my cycling wardrobe and accessories at a big bike swap (Stop Swap and Save) www.stopswapandsave.com/ Two locations here on the east coast and killer deals, once you know what you want/need.
I buy most of my accessories for my bike at my local bike shop (LBS), but you can check out www.nashbar.com or www.performancebike.com . I buy clothes online at either sports stores like REI or brand-specific sites like www.shebeest.com . www.teamestrogen.com also has women-specific bike clothes. I have bought jerseys on eBay, but won't buy bike shorts unless they are new.
I agree that you don't want to be riding a bike in jeans - that just sounds uncomfortable, especially in warm weather. And I don't think I have to remind you to please remember your helmet.
"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
I bought a bike last summer, barely used it, but am using it this summer to help me get in shape. I was curious though. Where do you buy your bike accessories? Do you go to any online stores? Are there any specifications I should keep in mind when looking for accessories, like type or model? What would you start of getting first, if you just bought a basic bike? What about clothes?
I want to get out there, and I am, but I'm looking for stuff that makes it more enjoyable and safer. Biking in 80+ weather in jeans was not fun today, and I forgot my helmet!
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