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Bicycle Equipment

Having the right, properly fitted equipment is another important part of staying safe on the road.

Choosing a Bike

To choose the best bicycle for you, consider size, frame, and seat height, as well as the type of roads or trails you ride on.  Here are some guidelines:

Bicycle Size

To keep your family safe, choose bikes that are the right size right now for each person. In general, smaller bikes are easier to handle than larger bikes. It’s better to modify a small bike to fit correctly than ride one that is too big.

 

bike

Frame Height

To check if you and your children are riding bikes with the correct frame height, use the handy measuring guides below.  A safe frame height varies with the style of bike and the type of riding you do.

frame height

 

For a bicycle with ‘drop’ handlebars (touring or racing bikes):

When standing flat-footed over the bike, ensure there is between 2 and 5 cm of clearance between you and the top tube.

bicycle drop handle bars

For a bicycle with ‘flat’ handlebars (mountain bikes):

For on-road use:  When standing flat-footed over the bike, ensure there is between 2 and 5 cm of clearance between you and the top tube.

For off-road use:  When standing flat-footed over the bike, there should be between 7.5 and 10 cm of clearance between you and the top tube.

For all-around riding:  Guidelines fall between the other options, so there should be between 5 and 7.5 cm between you and top tube when you stand flat-footed over your bike.

seat height

Seat Height

Establish the correct seat height as follows:

1.Sit on your bike with the pedal at the lowest point.

place heel

2. Place your heel on the pedal of the bike.  Your leg should be fully extended  in this position.

bike leg

3. Test ride. If there is a slight bend in your knees when you ride with the balls of your feet on the pedals, you have a correct and safe seat height.

Bicycle Maintenance and Care

Before you ride your bike, make sure it functions properly. Remembering your ABCs will get you out on the road safely and confidently!

A is for Air

  • Check your tires to ensure they are properly inflated with air and that they are not worn, cracked, or gouged.
  • You can inflate your tires with an at-home or travel air pump, at a local gas station, or at any bicycle store.

B is for Brakes, Bar & Bell

  • Squeeze the brake levers of your handlebar brakes to make sure they are working. Check the brake pads for wear and tear.
  • Set your handlebar to the correct height. You should be able to ride comfortably without strain on your back, shoulders, or wrists.
  • Test your bell so you will be able to signal others easily.
  • If any of these things are not correctly set up, visit your local bicycle shop and they will help you set it up correctly.

C is for Chain & Crank

  • Ensure the chain is well oiled and secure so that it does not slip from the gears.
  • Test the crank of your bike by running it through its gears. Ensure you can shift gears easily and cleanly.
  • If any of these things are not correctly working, visit your local bicycle shop to have it fixed.

Safeguarding Your Bike

Now that you have a bike and gear that are the right fit for you, you’ll want to keep it all safe from theft. According to the Canadian Police Information Centre, every year, thousands of bicycles are stolen in Canada. Here are some tips that will help you keep your bike secure.

Lock Your Bike

  • If you leave your bike unattended, lock it up.
  • Purchase a good quality, heavy bike lock. The harder it looks to cut through, the more of a deterrent it is to thieves.
  • A D or U lock is a good choice. Use it to secure together the frame, wheel, and fixed object, such as a bike rack.
  • If your front wheel is detachable, secure it with a lock to the frame and fixed object, or remove it and take it with you.
  • Consider taking your seat and lights with you.
  • Lock your bicycle in strategic places – ones in high traffic areas or with great visibility.
  • If there are no bike racks available, find another secure object to lock to. Posts are a good choice, but make sure they are high so thieves can’t lift the bike above them.

Store Your Bike

  • Always store your bike in a secure location, such as a locked garage.
  • If avoidable, never leave your bike outside at night.

Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Ready

Being a proactive, prepared cyclists can help you stay safe on the road.  Take a look at our tips below.

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