Whether for recreational purposes or as a professional sport, cycling’s popularity amongst Canadians is booming. In 2013/14 it was estimated that 12 million Canadians (41% of the population) older than 12 years of age reported that they had cycled during the previous year. Regardless of the fact that males were found to be more likely than females to have cycled in the past year regardless of age, income or level of education the prevalence of women cyclists has continued to increase.

Cycling is a fun way to not only improve your fitness and meet new like-minded people but, in the case with the Ride Don’t Hide cycle event in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association, can also be a tremendous way to raise funds and create awareness about a worthy cause. Apart from a desire to help those in need and a willingness to test your fitness for a noble purpose, you may want an actual bike to participate in the events with. While the market is inundated with different types of bicycles, you need to remain levelheaded, do some research and pick one that will suit you best. Two considerations, in particular, are of vital importance when choosing a bike.

Get the right size
Size is by far one of the most important considerations when choosing a new bicycle. If you attempt to ride a bike that is either too big or too small you will not only feel extremely uncomfortable on it but you also become more prone to falls. By taking the time to find a correctly sized bike you can reduce your risk of suffering from neck and back pain as well as overall stiffness. While many bikes offer adjustable handlebars you will need to opt for an exact fit when considering to buy a bike with a fixed design. Don’t despair if you don’t know how to pick a bike of the correct size. Any reputable bike shop will have knowledgeable staff on standby to assist you with your predicament.

Choose a bike that will last
As an avid cyclist, the last thing you want is to have to buy a new bike for every Ride Don’t Hide event. In order to be able to gauge the shelf life of your bike, you need to gain some knowledge as to the various types of frameworks available on the market. Common materials used in the production of a bicycle frame include carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, and titanium. Each material has its own set of pros and cons, necessitating you to make a decision based on not only your personal requirements but your budget as well. While you may dream of owning a state-of-the-art titanium bike, an aluminum bike will suffice just as well for the time being.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the options available to you when choosing a bike. For the job at hand, either a road bike or a cruiser will work equally well. You can even use a mountain bike if you feel more comfortable on one. The Ride Don’t Hide initiative is a noble one and you should give yourself a pat on the back for wanting to support such a worthy cause.

Article written by Jane Sandwood. Jane is a freelance writer and content editor. Working across a wide variety of fields, her main interest is exploring how people can improve their health and well being in their everyday life. When she is not writing, Jane can often be found with her nose in a good book, at the gym, or just spending quality time with her family.