18th February 2022
Over lockdown, many of us felt inspired to explore the outdoors on a bike and now cycling is more popular than ever before. Jason Meaton, Showroom Assistant Manager at Ribble Cycles Mailbox, shares his best tips for both beginners and pros wanting to get the most out of their cycling experience.
What are the three main things you should consider when purchasing a new bike?
Firstly, what you want to use the bike for? This will help you to know whether you’re best suited to a road, MTB or gravel bike, and which frame and specification you want to look for.
Make sure you have a good idea on how much you’re willing to spend, as this will help us to find something that meets your needs without blowing the budget.
Finally, what size of bike do you need? The available sizing options can also impact your choice of bicycle.
What’s the difference between a mountain bike and a road bike?
Mountain bikes are made for off-road use – going up and down hill and riding rugged terrain, whereas a road bike is meant for riding on roads and smooth tarmac. This means that mountain bikes are made to be more able to cope with the demands of different surfaces and provide a more comfortable ride over a rougher terrain. There is also generally a wider and lower gear ratio to allow for peddling over this ground. A road bike provides for efficient pedalling on tarmacked roads with lighter and more aerodynamic construction to prioritise moving the furthest distance for the least effort by the rider.
What benefits does an electric bike offer?
An E-Bike is environmentally friendly – just like a normal bicycle – but offers the ability for people to go further and faster than they might otherwise be able to on a pedal bike.
Electricity doesn’t produce harmful emissions into the atmosphere like liquid fuel does, and E-Bikes are as quiet as regular bicycles, while offering the same health benefits. When you turn the pedals, it’s not only your legs that work, but your whole body – your arms, shoulders, core etc.
E-Bike can allow riders to go out and get a great experience in the outdoors and cover terrain, which they might not otherwise be able to do. They can also be very useful for commuting, providing people with increased range and a more relaxed ride. If you like to participate in sports events on a regular bicycle, you can also do it on an electric bike.
Ribble offers a very affordable range of E-bikes that will get you out and about.
What are the best ways to maintain a bike and keep it in good-as-new condition?
Ensure it is washed once a week, or every three or four rides, and make sure it is correctly lubricated – paying attention to the chain. A bicycle should also be serviced by a qualified mechanic at least once every two months, which can be done at your local bike shop. This would normally take the form of a minor service, where it would be inspected and checked to see if anything needs replacing. Just like a car, this means that problems can be caught early before becoming severe and costly to rectify.
Does Ribble offer any initiatives, such as the Cycle 2 Work scheme? If so, how can people benefit from this?
Yes, we accept all types of cycle to work schemes. The biggest benefit is a saving of up to 47% on new cycling equipment – these huge savings come from taking part in a government initiative meaning you don’t have to pay Tax or National Insurance on these products. This reduced cost will then be spread over 12 or 18 months.
We also offer 0% finance through V12, which provides you the option of being able to purchase a bike without a deposit and only start paying for the bike when you receive it. Through V12 you can also spread the cost of the bicycle over up to 36 months.
What do you love most about cycling?
I love the freedom you get, being out in nature and the fresh-air. I love that cycling keeps me fit and healthy, and teaches me mental resilience to handle the conditions, terrain, long distances and fatigue. Cycling gives you time to think, calms you down after a stressful day, and is just all round great for the mind and body!
Mailbox offers a great cycling route via the canals, where are your favourite places to go for a bike ride?
I love going out to Samwell Valley and Cannock Chase for a bit of MTB riding and then head out on the road bike to the Welsh hills to get some fast but great climbing done. Being in the centre of the country means that we are spoilt for choice for riding, and the canals are a great way of getting around without spending too much time on the busy roads.
What do you enjoy the most about the Ribble showroom at Mailbox?
Ribble at the Mailbox allows us to give the best possible service to complement our online offering. Being associated with a premium shopping destination also helps us to position our brand as a higher-end offering, while our dedicated showroom allows our clients to experience Ribble first hand. It gives us the ability to communicate the brand’s vision, allowing customers to touch and feel the products, and see the potential colours and componentry available. The showroom also creates the space for us to provide the best advice to customers to ensure that they come away with the bicycle that best fits their requirements.
Head to Ribble Cycles showroom on Level 2 at Mailbox for expert advice and a comprehensive range of services.