The right bike makes all the difference
|A good beginners bike costs around $400. This bike features front suspension with about four inches of travel, a solid aluminum frame, good aggressive tread tires and no plastic derailers. Nance says that trail biking takes a commitment, which in this case means spending about twice as much on a good entry level bike than on a bike that can be bought from a discount store. But also says the experience will double in pleasure as well.|
It's easy to get caught up in the cheap bicycle syndrome, but when it comes to mountain bikes, a low cost machine will end the fun soon.
Bicycles have come a long ways since the day of just being kids transportation. They are serious tools for those that know how to use them and few know better than Fuzzy Nance the owner of Bicycleworks in Price.
"Mountain bike is the generic term for a bike with knobby tires and multiple speeds," he said as he pressed a special tire for a customer onto a rim. "A lot of what is sold are actually just bike shaped objects."
Nance pulls no punches when he talks about bikes and the impact they can have a riders future. Actually, he says a first trail bike can make the difference between whether someone stays in the sport or not.
|Fuzzy Nance on his personally customized bike in front of his shop. Mountain biking is becoming more and more of a pass time in the area and the trails that are in place and being built are also attracting out of area riders as well. A new trail is also planned for the area near the new gun range in Wattis.|
"If someone buys a $80 .22 caliber rifle at a box store they usually use it a few times and then put it away because they can't hit anything with it," he said. "If they pay $800 for a similarly looking rifle, chances are they will use it again because it did shoot straight and it felt good to use. Bikes are exactly the same. A $150 bike will wear out a rider, hurt and make him sore and soon it is in the garage, maybe never to be used again. A good bike will bring a rider back to it."
Nance gave some parameters for a first mountain bike that every purchaser should follow.
A bike should have as little plastic on it as possible. Some go as far as having plastic brakes on them.
"Those kinds of bikes are made to be sold not ridden," he stated.
The bike that is bought needs to fit the person. Bikes are not a "one size fits all" affair.
"It is even more important for older riders and those that have back and knee problems to have a bike that fits them properly," he said.
A bike is like a suit. If it is to be bought and worn one time, then cheap is okay. But if a person wants to wear it again and again, be comfortable with it, and use it like it should be used then it needs to be fitted.
A bike that is purchased should be bought with the consideration of what kind of riding will be done. For instance, bigger, wider tires fit different terrain than those with thinner tires. There are many things to consider. A racing bike, despite its cost will not hold up when someone uses it for long periods of time across rough terrain.
"Never ride without a helmet, gloves and eye wear," says Nance. "Any time I have done that I get hurt." Nance even wears knee guards, which he says he feels naked without if goes on rides minus them.
So what kind of money can a person who wants a good quality mountain bike expect to spend?
Prices for good to super bikes range from $400 to $10,000.
"Prices are a shock to a lot of people, but the public needs to be educated about what they are getting," says Nance with a smile. "You get what you pay for."