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HisCanberra: Bicycles, a Canberra Buyers’ Guide

Matt Harvey

 Move over. Two-wheelers are not to be reckoned with.

Dating back to the mid 1920s, cycling has permeated Canberra’s culture and has recently picked up momentum. Forging alliances with cafés, pubs, hipsters, MAMILs and Uni students, the wheels won’t be stopping anytime soon.

“Canberra is home to some of the best cycling in Australia, and maybe even the world,” according to The Cyclery‘s Jayson Clarke, a veteran of some of the finest riding spots in the world, including: the Pyrenees in France, Lake Tahoe in California and Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Jayson adds that Canberra is blessed with “the infrastructure for quality road and urban riding; and the beautiful mountains for cross-country riding such as Majura”.

OK, so you’re thinking about buying a bike – but you’re not quite sure where to start? The easiest way to begin is by asking yourself the golden question: ‘where do you think you’ll be riding and for what purpose?’.

 A SIMPLE GUIDE TO BICYCLE TYPES 

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MOUNTAIN (MTB)

If you’re a thrill-seeker wanting to experience some G’s carving out single-track in the mountains, not afraid of uphill challenges and enjoy soaking up rocks, ruts, and stumps, you’re going to want to consider a mountain bike.

ROAD

If you’re not afraid of long distances and want to get from A to B the fastest and most efficient way possible, the road bike might be your best option.

URBAN

If you’re surrounded by horizontal pavement and want to casually commute from cafés, work, school or your mate’s house, you might want to invest in a city bike.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

MTB

+ Thick tires and suspension will help you absorb uneven surfaces and keep you sticking to the trail.

With a heavier frame and suspension you’re going to lose efficiency and speed on even, paved surfaces and you’ll want to regularly maintain and clean your components from dirt and debris. 

ROAD 

+ You can pretend you’re in the Tour de France when you’re passing cars on your weekly circuit. It’s a fun way to get in shape and develop massive quads.

Generally with a road bike you’re going to need to plan your ride and buy specific shoes and lycra. Stay clear of gravel, large bumps and slippery slopes if you want to stay scrape free.

URBAN

+ Simplicity and style intertwined. There’s an array of options from cruisers (relaxed upright position) to single speeds (little maintenance) and hybrids (cross between a mountain and road bike).

Even though you can dabble outside of the city, you’ll find these bikes are best built for urban conditions rather than the mountains or long road rides.

SOME LOCAL OPTIONS

MTB/XC

  1. Giant Talon 27.5 3 – $791 @OnyaBike – Civic
  2. Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29 – $899 @The Cyclery – Fyshwick
  3. Trek Marlin 7 – $899 @ The Rideshop – Braddon

ROAD

  1. Specialized Allez – $949 @The Cyclery – Fyshwick
  2. Giant Defy 3 – $879 @OnyaBike – Civic
  3. Trek 1.1 – $949 @The Rideshop – Braddon

 

URBAN/SINGLE SPEEDS

  1. Electra Loft 1 – $540$- @ The Rideshop – Braddon
  2. Giant Cross City 2 – $584- @OnyaBike – Civic
  3. Giant Seek 1 – $1034 – @OnyaBike – Civic

THE FINISH LINE

So you’ve chosen one of the three types and have a better idea of what you want. Your next step is to head to a shop to get properly fitted and try out some bikes. The staff will help you narrow down what you want in your domain based on your preferences and budget.

Buying online is an option, however, the risk is getting a bike that is horribly uncomfortable, as different models have variable geometry that make it hard to guess. Buying local is the go!

 

the essentials

What: The Cyclery – Fyshwick

Where: 28, Pirie St, Fyshwick, ACT, 2609

When: Mon-Fri: 9am – 5:30pm, Sat: 9am – 4pm

Phone: 02 6173 5100

Web: http://thecyclery.net.au/

What: Onya Bike – Civic

Where:  8 Petrie Place Canberra City, ACT, 2601

When: Mon-Fri: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Sat: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Phone: 02 6230 6666

Web: http://onyabikecanberra.com.au/

What: The Rideshop – Braddon

Where: 2/4 Lonsdale St, Braddon, ACT, 2612

When: Mon-Fri: 8:30am – 6pm, Sat: 9am – 4pm, Sun: 11am – 4pm

Phone: 02 6162 1299

Web: http://www.rideshop.com.au/

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Matt Harvey

Matt is a Canadian born ice-hockey player, who originally found his way to Canberra to play for the CBR Brave. He is a published author and is currently finishing a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. When he’s not writing or playing hockey he enjoys cycling, playing tennis, watching Netflix, and checking out the nightlife in Canberra. On weekends he enjoys his coffee in Kingston and making pancakes with copious amounts of maple syrup. More about the Author

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