Bicycles, ever since their invention in the late 1800s, have become among the most widely used vehicles in the entire world, due to their low cost, low maintenance, and convenience, as in they do not require fuel and are very easy to carry and store. In some parts of the world, bike riding is the norm and takes the same transport niche as automobiles. In the United States, meanwhile, cars and trucks are firmly established as transport mainstays, but bicycles are still widespread as means of leisure, exercise, sports vehicles, and alternate ways to travel. Any bicycle owner should also maintain his or her bike and give it replacement parts as needed, and take it in for repairs if one does not have the expertise to do it alone. A bike chain, for example, may break and need replacement at bike shops, while bike pedals may break or fall off, or brake levers could wear out. A bike chain, new seats, and much more can be found at a bike shop.
The Popularity and Energy Savings of Bicycles
Bicycles are useful not only as exercise, but alternate means of transportation, and there are plenty of them to meet this demand. Every year, in fact, it is estimated that 100 million bicycles are manufactured, and around one billion of them exist worldwide, nearly double the number of automobiles. They require no fuel aside from the rider’s own exertion, meaning that every year, bicycles save an estimated 238 billion gallons of gasoline, and they are economical to make. It has been noted that the energy and resources needed to make just one car can be used to build 100 bicycles instead, and this means that many more people can get access to wheeled transportation than if one car is made.
Bicycles are good for health, too, and many American children to learn them by age five. A study conducted in 2017, for example, found that riding a bike to work can burn as many calories as going to the gym for 40 minutes, on average, and research carried out in the U.K. determined that bike riding can reduce the risk of developing cardio-respiratory diseases by around 40%. This is on top of working out many muscles, most in the leg, and improving balance and coordination and raising the heart rate.
Keeping Bikes in Good Shape
Like any vehicle or device, bicycles may get damaged or worn out over time, and any of a bike’s parts may need fixing or replacing. The tires may run out of air over time, and they will have to be re pumped to keep pressure high. And if the tires rupture, they will have to be replaced at a bicycle shop. The bike chain may slip or get caught in other components, requiring that it get unstuck, which may require tools. And if the bike chain breaks entirely, it will definitely have to be replaced, and a bicycle cannot function without it.
Bicycle companies should provide many different spare and replacement parts for their products, which should be carried at any dedicated bike shop for the right brand name. Often, going into one’s local bike store and asking the employees there for guidance is all that is needed to find spare parts and get the bike running again. Accessories may be found there too, from handlebar end caps to bags for bikes and toe clip pedals.