How to fit your bike properly and choose the right clothing for a safer summer on wheels
- Your helmet should be snug and level front to back. The front edge should be two finger widths above your brow.
- The helmet’s side straps should surround your ear in a V-shape. The chinstrap should be snug, with one finger of wiggle room.
- Equip your bike with a bell or horn to tell pedestrians you’re passing.
- Adjust the handlebar height so that your arms are slightly bent. For most casual riders, the back should be at a 45-degree angle to the hips.
- The law requires bikes to be equipped with headlights and tail lights at night. Choose a red blinker for the back and a bright white for the front, with steady and flashing modes.
- Your ideal frame size corresponds to your height and leg length. A 5’8″ adult generally needs a 54-cm frame; a 5’2″ adult a 52-cm frame. Ask for help with sizing when you buy.
- No flip-flops or sandals – stick to runners or cycling shoes.
- For straight-barred bikes, there should be 3-6 cm of clearance between your body and the top bar when you’re straddling the frame flat-footed.
- Adjust your seat’s height so that, with the balls of your feet on the pedals, there is always a slight bend in your knees (80-90 per cent of full leg extension).
- Choose light-coloured, fitted clothing and add reflectors, or a reflective vest, at night.
- Alberta law requires helmets for cyclists under age 18, but everyone needs one. Look for the Canadian Standards Association seal of approval.
Published in Westworld, Summer 2014