Summer is upon us and here at Evans Cycles we think it’s the perfect time to rejoice in the wonders of cycling. Cycling is good for your body, your mind, your wallet, even the environment — as well as simply being great fun. So, whether you’re a leisure rider, commuter, roadie, mountain-biker, tourer, a bit of everything or not even a cyclist at all...yet, join us in our campaign to show the world why everyone can become Better by bike.
People often say that cycling makes them feel young again. Part of the reason for this is because hopping back on a bike conjures up memories of cycling as a child, recalling carefree days and the joy of early independence.But to say cycling makes you young again is (almost) literally true. Research has shown that people who cycle regularly in mid-adulthood typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger*. So, as well as feeling younger mentally, physically your body starts to behave like its more youthful self, too. It could be argued, that cyclists have a more positive outlook on life, too. Who would have thought a time machine could be pedal-powered? *Source: We Are Cycling UK
Cycling can help protect your finances. That might be already obvious, especially if you cycle commute because you’ll realise that you no longer face the daily financial burden of parking costs, or train or bus fares.Of course, you have to buy your bike in the first place but even that can be reduced by up to 42% by using Evans Cycles’ tax-saving Ride-to-Work scheme or other great initiatives such as The Great Evans Cycles Trade In. It’s not only personal finances that benefit from cycling; the country’s wider economy also receives a major dividend. In 2016 the NHS said they spent around £16 billion on the direct medical costs of diabetes and conditions related to being overweight or obese; this could be significantly reduced if more people cycled.
Cycling is fun. Actually, it’s more than that: cycling can be a supremely effectively agent in maintaining mental health. Aerobic exercise such as cycling has been shown to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and also combat depression.A study by the University of British Columbia has even found that regular aerobic exercise appears to enlarge the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning, which may play a vital part in the fight against dementia. How else does cycling benefit psychologically? Well, exercise such as cycling triggers a boost of endorphins in your brain to give you a natural high.
If you start cycling regularly, you will see your body shape change and become more toned. This is also great news in terms of long-term health and provides specific benefits, such as improved lung and heart function, strengthened bones, increased muscle form and better flexibility. A recent study by the University of Glasgow has even shown that cycling to work can cut the risk of heart disease by a staggering 46% and cancer by 45%.
Keeping in shape and using cycling as a mode of transport isn’t just beneficial to our health and wellbeing it’s good for the wider world. It helps to conserve the planet’s natural resources and maintain a clean environment.The fuel cyclists use is food, which doesn’t cause anywhere near as much environmental damage to produce as petrol or diesel. And of course, when cyclists burn that fuel through effort, it doesn’t create pollution: cycling six miles to work and back each day would save 1,500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
The benefits of cycling take effect as soon as you start riding a bike, so encouraging children to ride from a young age is a massively positive step. Not only will they enjoy all the instant, obvious boosts — the fun of being self-propelled, the early excitement of speed, even the pride of owning their own bike — but the psychological and developmental benefits are huge. From self-confidence, to independence, to self-esteem, to associating physical exercise and fresh air with unbridled joy, learning to cycle is a major life moment and vital life skill.
E-bikes — or electric pedal-assist bicycles, to give them their full title — are not cheating. The clue is in the name ‘pedal assist’. You cannot ride an e-bike with your legs in the air, expecting the motor to do all the work: you still have to pedal. It doesn’t matter what you want that help for — getting up hills, carrying heavy loads, covering big distances or simply to get out — it is there when you need it. Electric bikes allow people who might otherwise be put off cycling to enjoy all the same great benefits of cycling but we should also point out that e-bikes are exceptionally great fun to ride whether you’re a new rider or a more experienced cyclist.
Ready to start the journey to a better you? Depending on what kind of riding you intend to do, in addition to your bike you may require some specific kit to enjoy the experience to the maximum.
For road cycling we recommend a lightweight, drop bar bike; a helmet; saddle bag with multi tool and puncture repair kit; jersey, padded shorts; stiff soled cycling shoes; a lightweight and packable weatherproof jacket; cycling mitts; cycling socks; cycling glasses; water bottle and cage; clipless pedals and a cycle computer (as you progress).
For riding trails, we recommend a bike with suspension and knobbly tyres; a peaked helmet; baggy shorts; full finger gloves; tech tee; grippy cycling shoes; hydration pack; cycling glasses and essential tools.
For commuting we recommend a hybrid bike or (if you need to combine with other modes of transport) a folding bike; helmet; lights; lock; mudguards; saddle bag with multi-tool and puncture repair kit; reflective and weatherproof outer layer; grippy shoes; cycling rucksack or rear rack with pannier bags and cycling glasses.
For leisure cycling we recommend a versatile hybrid bike; a helmet; bottle cage and water bottle; saddle bag with multi-tool and puncture repair kit; tech tee or jersey; baggy shorts; jersey; reflective and weatherproof outer layer; grippy shoes.
For children, we recommend a lightweight, high-quality fitted children’s bike; a helmet; cycle gloves or mitts; water bottle and cage; padded shorts as rides start to get longer and a high-vis vest or jacket for venturing into traffic.
We offer a free 6-week check up with every new bike purchase and all our stores are equipped with workshops for when you require professional help. Our repair work is even ccovered by Evans Cycles’ unique Workmanship Guarantee, which guarantees all parts we fit for a year, while work such as brake or gear adjustment, puncture repairs and even wheel trueing is guaranteed for 30 days.
To continue enjoying carefree rides, it’s best to keep your bike in tip-top condition. We’d recommend to regularly give it a good clean and check-over. Not only will this keep it looking smart but it will also allow you to keep on top of maintenance issues.
We suggest the following regime:
• Clean your chain with degreaser.
• Clean your bike. Rinse down with water, then spray with a bike cleaner and use a brush or sponge to remove stubborn dirt or grease. Dry off.
• Relube chain and other moving parts (keep lube away from braking surfaces).
• Check brake pad wear and make sure no grit is embedded in brake pads.
• Check wheel rim wear and also check the wheels are running ‘tru’ or straight.
• Check all bolts are done up sufficiently tight.
• If anything has been niggling you on recent rides, investigate. If you can’t fix it yourself, talk to one of our qualified bike mechanics.
There's nothing like riding a bike in top condition. The silent wheels. The seamless gear shifts. But it takes a little love and maintenance to keep your ride in peak condition. That's why we've set up FIX IT Maintenance Classes. Book into one of our sessions and we'll give you all skills needed to carry out basic maintenance. You'll prolong your bike's life and you won't have to book it in for a professional service as regularly. Bingo
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