The World's Most Efficient Vehicle
LOHAS: cycling contributes to a lifestyle of health and sustainability at any age (Photo: Bike by the Sea on flickr)
Are you a 'could-be' or 'would-be' cyclist but unsure of which bike is right for you? Are you uncomfortable with the prospect of going into a bike shop or not sure what to look for? Certainly, today's bicycles, especially city bikes, are a significant improvement from bikes sold just ten or fifteen years ago but in many ways the age old design hasn't changed all that much. Material and manufacturing advances simply make today's bicycles stronger, lighter, smoother and a lot more comfortable and pleasing to ride.
Of course, what we call bicycles come in many different shapes and sizes including two-, three- and four-wheeled designs increasingly available with power-assist to suit all sorts of purposes and accomodate all kinds of needs. The designs are variously optimized for commuting, shopping, load carrying, recreation or touring. The pages in this section should provide you with a good overview of the range of bicycles and human-powered vehicles, or HPVs for short, available on the market today but only you really know what you'll use your bike for most. That could be anything from commuting to work, bring the kids to school, running errands or all of these!
85 percent of all bikes sold in the US each year are purchased through mass merchant retailers. Purpose-built bicycles are usually only available through independent bicycle dealers (IBDs). Whether you buy new or used, make sure that the bike fits you to avoid injury. A good test ride is critical. In most cases, the IBD where you purchase a bike new will also act as your 'garage' for repairs for as long as the bike is under warranty but the great thing about bikes is that they are relatively easy to service and maintain.
Interestingly, some of today's most popular bicycles are actually quite old, that is, classics dating back three quarters of a century or more to a time when automobiles didn't dominate the landscape of cities and towns.
Of course, any type of pedal-powered transportation is worth taking for a ride.
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