Taking the time to select the right bike ensures that your investment yields the rewards you desire.
Step 1: Define your purpose Define whether your purpose in biking is for fitness, commuting, or recreation.
Step 2: Define your landscape Define where you want to ride -- city streets, paved or gravel roads, trails, or a combination of surfaces.
Step 3: Match goals to your bike type Match your goals to a bike type. Mountain bikes are for rough roads and trails, touring bikes for the open road, cruisers for city streets, and hybrids go anywhere.
TIP: Check out a tandem bike -- a bicycle built for two -- to ride with a companion.
Step 4: Measure for frame size Using a measuring tape, measure your inseam to your shoe soles. Bike frames are sized to this measurement.
TIP: Mountain bike frames are sized in inches and road bikes are sized in centimeters.
Step 5: Conduct a test drive Ask your dealer to allow you to test drive the models you like. Make sure your selection is comfortable and that you can operate it correctly.
Step 6: Break it in Break in your bike by riding a few miles to ensure all the equipment is operating properly. Wheel your way to health, happiness, and freedom.
FACT: 2,500 journalists, photographers, cameramen and consultants cover the Tour de France.