3 Tips for Finding Cycling Bikes for Sale

Spring is here at last, and summer is just around the corner.  Millions of Americans are taking advantage of the warm weather to enjoy outdoor activities, and many of them are searching for cycling bikes for sale.  If you’re one of them, here are some tips for picking the right model for your needs.

  1. Ask yourself what kind of riding you want to do.  If you’re new to cycling or haven’t been on a bike for a while, then you might want to consider a comfort bicycle.  These models have wider tires, higher handle bars, and more comfortable seats than other types.  They’re perfect for riding on paved trails, around town, or on the beach.  Many cyclists find that a good comfort bike is the only kind they ever need.
  2. Make sure the bike you’re considering is a good fit for you by comparing it to your body frame.  This earlier post explains how to do this, whether you’re an adult, child, or teen.  It’s impossible to over-emphasize how important this is.  An ill-fitting bicycle is not only unsafe, but riding it will also be more of a chore than anything else, which might turn you off to the hobby.  If you’re buying a bike for a young person, make sure to get one that fits them now, not one that you think they’ll grow into.  This will help to ensure that they get the most benefit from the activity.
  3. If at all possible, purchase your bicycle from a well-established bike shop.  Not only do they carry better-quality cycling bikes for sale, but they’re also usually staffed by long-time riders who can match you to the right model for your needs.  If you live in or near San Antonio, then we invite you to drop by and see our team at Alamo Bike Shop today.  We can get you off to a great start!

6 Checks to Perform Before Visiting Local Bicycle Repair Shops

With spring well on its way, cyclists across the country will be visiting their local bicycle repair shops to get their bikes in shape for the riding season.  Why not bring yours to Alamo Bike Shop here in San Antonio soon?  We’ll be happy to give it a complete inspection and tune-up.

Before you come in, though, here’s a series of six quick tests you can use to find out about any potential problems before they become serious.

  1. Pick your bike up about 4-5 inches above the ground, and then let it drop straight down on its wheels.  Listen for any rattles, creaks, popping noises, etc.; these could be signs of loose or damaged parts.
  2. Engage the brakes and let them go.  They should snap back into place immediately.  If they don’t, be sure to get them checked out before your next ride.
  3. Give the tires a close look-see.  Check for any tears, rips, or cuts.  Make sure they’re inflated to the recommended pressure and stay that way.
  4. Spin the wheels.  You should notice no wobbling, squeaking, or contact with the brake pads.
  5. Check the wheel’s quick release levers (they allow the wheels to be removed without using tools).  Make sure the levers are tight and functioning properly.
  6. Check the headset.  This is the tube that connects the frame and the front wheel forks.  Over time it can come loose.  Check for this by applying the front brakes while gently tilting the bike, so that the rear wheel raises up and goes back down to the ground.  If you hear any clicking, you may have headset problems.

Be sure to mention any problems you notice to the experts on our team here at Alamo Bike Shop.  Whether you live in the San Antonio area or will be visiting us in the future, drop by and see us!  We offer a full range of services for your cycling needs: rentals, secondhand bikes, tours of downtown, and repairs.

Secondhand Bikes: Buying Tips for Older Persons

More and more Americans are staying physically active well into their later years.  The benefits of lifelong exercise include better health and improved quality of life. Cycling is an especially good activity for older persons; it’s low-impact and has terrific cardiovascular benefits.  Many seniors are on tight budgets, however, and can benefit from the cost savings associated with secondhand bikes.  So here are some tips for choosing a great bike with the needs of mature persons in mind.

Get Comfortable

For most seniors, the best all-around choice will be a “comfort” or “cruiser” bike.  These models have features such as high handlebars, wide tires, and well-padded seats.  They also feature fewer gears for ease of riding and front- and rear-wheel suspension.

Saddle Up

Most seniors will be comfortable with saddles that are between 8-12 inches wide.  A layer of gel padding is a good idea as well.  It provides enhanced comfort and protects the coccyx and perineum.  Another important consideration is saddle design; horseshoe-shaped ones are especially comfortable and supportive, as are noseless ones or those with a deep indentation down the center.  Leather is a good exterior material, as are the various moisture-wicking fabrics.  They help to avoid chafing and keep the saddle dry.

Do a Test Run

Before buying any bike, take it for a short test ride in the parking lot.  The handlebars should be set at a comfortable height, the saddle should not put undue pressure on any part of the body, and the knees should have a slight bend as the pedal reaches the bottom of the down stroke.  A good bike shop will make sure that the cycle fits the rider comfortably.

If you’re an older person and live in or near San Antonio, then we encourage you to drop by Alamo Bike Shop soon.  We’ll be happy to match you with the perfect secondhand bike for your needs and your budget.

How to Choose a Bicycle Repair Store

A great bicycle repair store is a cyclist’s best friend.  It can be a source of invaluable advice and tips, great repair & maintenance services, and lasting friendships. Most shops are staffed by friendly, knowledgeable professionals, but here are a few things to look for before settling on your favorite bicycle repair store.

Attitude

People start businesses for two reasons.  One is that they are passionate about a product or service and want to provide it to others who will benefit from it.  Others, however, place money above all other concerns.  Which category your local bike shop fits into will become obvious once you visit it.  Ask the staff questions that may require a couple of minutes for them to answer (do this at a time when the shop isn’t especially busy).  Do they address your concerns in a friendly, professional manner, or are they rude or inattentive?  If they recommend a product, do they seem to be doing so with your best interests in mind, or is their goal simply to make a buck off of you?  Do they let you make decisions on your own, or do they try to pressure you?

Knowledge

No bike tech knows everything; avoid any that think they do.  But a capable one should be able to explain the reasons for a suggested repair, answer basic questions, and display a general understanding of the bike business.  He or she should also be courteous and take a moment to address your concerns.  Do the techs at the shop you’re visiting exhibit these qualities?

Appearance

Neatness counts when it comes to any business that’s open to the public.  Disorganized merchandise, dusty and dirty conditions, or just an overall slovenly atmosphere are warning signs.

In the interests of full disclosure, we’re sharing these tips not just to inform you, but also to toot our own horn a bit.  You see, we’re sure that once you visit Alamo Bike Shop, you’ll agree that we live up to the highest standards of honesty, customer service, and professionalism.  Come see us today and find out for yourself! We look forward to becoming your go-to bicycle repair store.

6 Tips for Buying Secondhand Bikes

With the economy still weak in many parts of the country, secondhand bikes are more popular than ever.  Buying one can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars off the cost of a new model.  However, as with any secondhand purchase, it pays to exercise a little extra caution when choosing one.  Some things to look for include:

 

  1. The frameset – Chipped paint and a few tiny oxidation spots are fine, but pass up any bike with dents in the frame, especially if it’s made of aluminum.  Look for cracks or bends where the wheel attaches to the frame (known as the “dropout”).  The front fork should have no play in it whatsoever.
  2. Saddle – Torn ones should have been replaced; avoid the “duct tape quick repair.”  Make sure there’s no play in the saddle; it should be parallel with a level floor.  Sit on it; your leg should slightly bend at the bottom of the down stroke.  Check the seal post clamp for cracks or other signs of wear.
  3. Brakes – Dried-out or worn brake pads are a huge safety risk.  The bike might still be a good deal, but be prepared to replace the pads ASAP.  Rusty or frayed cables, bent or cracked levers, or “mushy” braking are all signs the bike needs replacement parts.
  4. Drivetrain – There should be no play in the crankset.  If there is, the bike probably has worn bearings. Spin the flywheel; any chattering or knocking is a sign of bad bearings.  Shifting should be smooth and crisp in each gear; you’ll need to raise the rear wheel to check for this.
  5. Wheels – Check for side-to-side play.  If you notice any, then the hubs may be worn.  Squeeze the spokes; tension should be the same at every spot.  Loose or broken spokes are a huge red flag.  Tires with worn tread, dry rot, or damage to the sidewalls should be replaced.  Check the air pressure in the tires.  If they can’t hold the recommended level, then the bike has leakage problems.
  6. Bike shop check – if possible, have a local bike shop inspect the cycle before you purchase it.  Here at Alamo Bike Shop we’re happy to perform that service, but we also stock a number of secondhand bikes that are in excellent shape.  Come by and browse our selection soon!

3 Tips for Buying Discount Mountain Bikes

Discount mountain bikes are more popular than ever, thanks to the growing trend towards health-consciousness.  When you combine the fitness benefits of riding a bicycle with the challenge and scenic beauty of mountain biking, you get a one-of-a-kind experience that’s perfect for improving both body and mind.

As with any purchase, however, choosing a good mountain bike, whether new or pre-owned, involves knowing something about the product.  Here are some things to consider:

  1. Of all the bike’s components, the frame is the most important.  Pedals, brakes, etc., can be upgraded.  But if you’ve got a poor frame, then you’re out of luck.  Avoid ones made of high-tensile steel if possible, unless you don’t mind a very heavy bike.  Frames built from chromoly steel or aluminum offer a good balance between strength and weight, with chromoly being the more durable (and heavier) of the two.  If your budget permits it, then titanium and carbon fiber frames offer the best strength/weight ratio.
  2. Disc brakes are a must-have for mountain bikes, as traditional rim brakes are prone to slippage from mud and dirt—two things you’re likely to run into on the back roads.  Front-suspension bikes, known as “hard tails,” will protect your wrists and arms from the shock of rough downhill trails.  For maximum comfort, a full-suspension bike is best.
  3. Pre-owned mountain bikes can be a terrific bargain, but check one over thoroughly before buying.  Inspect the frame for cracks.  Make sure the wheels are true.  Inspect the cables for frayed or stretched points.  Check the suspension as well; it should be smooth, with no leaks or squeaks.  Check all fittings to make sure there is no unnecessary play, and give the tires a good look-over for any weather cracks.

There’s one way to make sure you get a great deal: buy your discount mountain bike from Alamo Bike Shop.  We thoroughly inspect all pre-owned bikes we sell, making sure they’re in premium shape.  We also sell new Jamis bikes, which are unsurpassed for quality.  Come by and browse our selection today!