Choosing a Road Bike, with Dave Kirk
What’s the saddest thing you can think of?
A lost puppy? Fallen ice cream cone? Empty coffee cup?
Dave Kirk, Cyclepath employee and bike enthusiast for over 25 years, believes the saddest thing he can think of is a bike, sitting in a garage with no one to ride it.
Unfortunately, too many people buy a bike – excited to hit the streets and self-power their way around town – but never give any experience to the excitement. Why?
“One of the reasons,” Dave said, “is they are uncomfortable on their bike and don’t do anything about it.”
Bike Comfort is Key
“Bike fit” is a common term in cycling circles and it refers to matching the right type of bike and the right sized bike with the rider’s riding style. Dave said he doesn’t mind if a customer brings their bike back into the shop a dozen times for adjustments if the end result is that they have a bike they love and are going to ride.
“I want customers to love their bike. If they love it, they’ll ride it.” Dave said picking things like the right color helps too! Thankfully there are many options to choose from.
The type of bike you select should match the kind of riding you plan to do. Gary Noel, a local biking enthusiast, put it this way, “the surface of your tire should match the surface you ride on.” Road bikes are the choice for pavement riding. They allow you to go faster, farther while pedaling more efficiently.
Road Biking in Kelowna
There has been an increase in the number of road riders who are 45 + in our area. People embrace the chance to ride their bikes to work and because people are staying healthier longer, road racing as a sport is attracting an older crowd. Dave said that he’s noticed an increase in retired people who are eager to find a road bike that they can use to keep their cardio and fitness levels strong.
As with other purchases, considerations in choosing a road bike are: your budget; your plans for riding (distance, surface, etc.); and your experience level. Dave walks people through the answers to those questions and then helps them choose the bike that fits.
The science behind the design of bikes is really quite sophisticated. Cyclepath employees stay current in their knowledge of manufacturers’ products and their application to different riding situations. Dave offers this formula for success:
Science + Common Sense + Ride Input = Happy Rider
Road biking offers the rider a chance to feel a connection to the road that you can’t get from any other vehicle. The rider and the bike feel like one machine – pushing forward, cutting through the air at awesome speeds.
Road safety is important for a cyclist. It is never too early to begin to teach kids about safety. Having the right supporting equipment is as important as choosing the right bike. A proper helmet, good clothing that is comfortable and suited for cycling, flat repair kit, floor pump and of course water bottles must be included.
And if you really get into it, Kelowna offers many opportunities throughout the summer months for competition for riders at all levels: road races, time trials and cycling criterium. www.CyclingBC.net is the provincial governing body for the sport of cycling here in BC, so check out their website for more information on competitions and other great news from the sport.
Dave said when he gets to be a part of transferring the joy of riding to someone else – it is an addictive feeling like no other! So feed Dave’s addiction and pop in to Cyclepath. Dave and the rest of the team are ready to help you find the bike you love for the type of riding you want to do.