An electric bike has a powerful, battery driven electric motor that drives either the rear or the front axle. The battery is usually mounted somewhere on the frame and is easily removed for charging or replacement.
Clearly, it is a good idea to carry a spare battery, as it doubles your range and eliminates the dreaded "range anxiety".
Your bike's groupset comprises everything that makes it go and stop.
It's important that all these components work together seamlessly. Here's a typical road bike groupset.
The individual components are:
1. The crankset comprises one, two or three chain rings. The chain ring provides the drive to the rear wheel via the chain connecting it to the cassette. The crankset is attached to levers to which the pedals are fastened. The chain rings typically comprises 1, 2 or 3 toothed gears which allow a major gear change. The more teeth, the higher the gear.
2. The rear cassette. The rear cassette has a larger number of cogs (usually 7 to 11) of different sizes and is connected to the rear axle. At any given time, one of the front chain rings is connected to one of the rear cogs via the chain, such that rotating the chain ring using the pedals rotates the rear cog at the same rate.
3. The chain. Connects the front chain ring to the rear cassette. The highest gear is when the largest chain ring is connected to the smallest cassette cog and conversely, the lowest gear is the smallest chain ring to the largest cassette cog.
It's important to choose the bike that's right for you. It depends on your fitness level and on where and how you'll be riding. This article looks at road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, kid's bikes and retro bikes. Future articles will look at electric bikes (e-bikes), tandems, recumbents and indoor exercise bikes.
A road (or racing) bike is, just like the name suggests, designed to go on the road or on a racing track.
You should chose a road bike if you're an adult or teenager and are intending to do your riding on a hard, paved surface such as a road.
Or if you are interested in competing.
Check out this definition from Wikipedia (click to access).
A road bike is characterized by a number of variables, starting with the frame. The frame's geometry lends itself to the rider's body being fully extended when their butt is on the saddle and their hands are on the drops (defined further down). Furthermore, the frame is light, to assist with sprinting (a high power to weight ratio) and hill climbing (lower weight) and rigid (to minimize power loss through flexion). To this end, serious road bike frames are made from carbon fiber.
As an exercise, cycling has a lot going for it. It's enjoyable, it provides a fresh-air aerobic workout and exercises both the upper and the lower body.
Cycling gets your heart rate up almost as much as running and burns a lot of calories, even more so if you're sprinting or hill climbing. Compared to most other sports, it's also gentle on your body. It doesn't put a lot of stress on your joints, which helps if you’re getting into shape or have joint problems.
Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. You can ride solo, giving you time to process worries or concerns or you can ride with a group which broadens your social circle.