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How to find the right bike and equipment for youSubmitted: 07/24/2016

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RHINELANDER - The 103rd Tour de France concluded Sunday in Paris. The race takes 23 days to complete, consisting of 21 stages and 2 break days. The bikers cover 2,200 miles.

Andre Greipel won Sunday's individual stage but the overall victory went to Britian's Chris Froome. Froome has won 3 of the last 4 and is a member of Team Sky.The final time for him was 4 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. He finished in 89 hours, six minutes and 48 seconds.

Now to put that kind of race into Northwoods terms, that's like riding from Rhinelander to Los Angeles.

If you're wanting to get involved in biking but not too sure where to start, here are some tips from Mitch Mode at Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

The bikes in the Tour de France are a little different than what you'll need for riding in Wisconsin.

"Most of those riders are using a bike similar to this. Drop bars, race style. This, plus about 12,000 will buy you a tour bike. But the reality is that most of the riders around here are going for a little more comfortable, maybe a little more versatile. Something that we might look at over here. One with a slightly wider tire, which is great for the roads around here," said Mode.

The roads aren't perfect here so you'll want something that can handle them.

"A bike like this, more of a hybrid type bike is what most people around here are really comfortable with. It's well suited to these roads and well suited to the conditions we have up here. It's a great ride," said Mode.

Since each body is a little different, you need to find the right frame.

"Better bike design will offer 4 or 5 or 6 different frame sizes. We're talking frame size, basically the metal part here to accommodate different size riders. We also have a large selection of women specific bikes these days. It's not just a cosmetic change, it's a frame that's a little more compact, better suited to a smaller frame rider," said Mode.

If you're going down the block or you're going to Minocqua, you want to have a comfortable seat.

"A seat that feels really soft and comfortable, overtime is not because you start to bottom out on that. And instead of being on a nice soft seat, you're slamming against the frame of the seat, much less comfortable," said Mode.

Now that you have the bike, you need the right clothes like jerseys and bike shorts.

"It is more comfortable, more padded in the seat, so it's far more comfortable to sit on for long times. They're tight like this so they don't chafe your legs. A bike jersey is unique. It transfers moisture off your skin well. Key thing is, it has a few pockets on the back. Power gels, goo, tool kit fits in there and gives you a nice ride experience. Gloves are padded in the palm. A lot of people have sore hands when they ride because of the pressure. The extra padding here gives you some cushioning, makes a harsh ride, much more forgiving," said Mode.

And don't forget about the little accessories...

"One of the things people need to have in the hot weather is a water bottle. Most bikes come with a fitting and a little cage that you can put on that holds the bottle. But if you're riding in the heat, and this time of year, you're riding in the heat, carry water with you, it's really important," said Mode.

Make sure you grab a helmet too, safety is key.

"Bike lights will give you visibility in low light conditions. They have some bike lights now that are designed for use in day light. Very bright, very aggressive. Safety is always a concern. And finally, a bike computer that will give you pretty accurate descriptions of time and distance and average speeds," said Mode.

Now you're ready to strap on your shoes and go for a ride.




Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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