Walking into a local bike shop can be quite a daunting experience. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with so many peculiar looking tools and objects, the vast amount of bicycles in all different shapes and sizes, and those tight tight clothes that you think must surely be sized incorrectly. Take solace in the fact that you are not alone in this experience. Here are some of the questions our employees get asked the most.
1. Do I need padded shorts? The easiest answer to this is yes. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the saddle, a pair of shorts with a decent Chamois pad is a must. They come in all shapes and sizes so make sure to try some on first to find the best fit. Resist any urge to wear underwear underneath your cycling shorts.
2. Do I need any accessories with my bike? The most important thing you should have along with your bike is a helmet. Like padded shorts, ensuring that a helmet fits you correctly is a must. They come in a huge range of designs and brands with the main difference between men’s and women’s helmets being the colour.
3. To go Clipless or not? For some, the idea of being attached to your pedals on a moving object and having to brake suddenly fills them with dread. Clipless pedals do take some time getting used to, however once it is mastered, you will quickly realise how beneficial they are, especially when climbing and also how more efficient it can make your pedal stroke. There are 2 main types of pedal/ shoe systems. Road bike systems use a stiff soled lightweight shoe with a protruding cleat. These can be tricky to walk in. MTB pedal/ shoe systems use a sole similar to a stiff hiking shoe, and have a recessed cleat and a rugged tread for grip on slippery surfaces.
4. How do I know what size bike to buy? The right sized bike will be more comfortable and efficient to pedal. It will also help prevent injuries and strains on your joints. Your bike shop should be able to provide you with advice on this one along with manufacturers’ guidelines. Always have a test ride at the store and where possible have a bike fit afterwards.
5. Are there any local tours or sportives I can take part in? Leisure tours take place all over the country most weekends mainly from March until October. There are usually varying lengths and distances covered to cater for all abilities with the most well known being the An Post Series and the Skoda Series. Keep an eye out on our website for upcoming events each month.