Get on your bike and enjoy spring!

Get on your bike and enjoy spring!


Although winter has been hanging on strong this year, the weather is finally getting warmer, inviting people to spend time outdoors. Walking, jogging and, of course, cycling are once again becoming a part of the lives of people who love to exercise. All you need for the first two are your legs and some enthusiasm, but if you want to go cycling you have to awaken your two-wheeled friend from hibernation and get it ready for the new season. Or if you don’t have a bike yet, you have to figure out how to choose one for yourself.


The cycling season starts in March and this is the right time to go and see what’s on offer, says Brand Manager at Sportland Dima Smirnov. Sportland offers bikes by two of the largest Italian manufacturers Bottecchia and Esperia. “The first of these two brands is generally more expensive and recognised among cyclists for its quality, but Esperia bikes are certainly more affordable,” says Smirnov, but he advises everyone to consider their own specific needs when choosing a bike. “Bottecchia bikes can easily costs as much as 10,000 euros. There is no point in buying an expensive bike if you’re not going to use its potential to the full.”


So, before you go to the shop, you have to figure out what kind of bike you need and leave the rest to the specialists. “A city bike is good for getting around, an MTB is for people who cycle more on terrain and take part in competitions. Or you could consider a hybrid, which is a good combination of both of the above. Especially if you love cycling to enjoy the landscapes and aren’t planning to be among the first to finish a race. At the end of the day, you can finish a marathon with any bike, as you can see at the Tartu road cycling race. Sweat, pain and comfort are another matter. The staff members at Sportland know the technical specifications of the bikes we sell and are always happy to give you their professional advice.”


A mountain bike usually comes without many accessories, but a city bike is equipped with lights, reflectors and some also with a practical and beautiful basket. “Those who need a serious racing bike must think about reliability and the speed of the gear change control, and the bike’s weight, which depends directly on the material of the frame, is also important. Lighter bikes weigh 8-9 kg and there are athletes for whom every gram matters. It is also possible to choose a bike with two rear shocks, which adds a lot to cycling comfort. Spring, oil and air shocks are all a different matter, and their prices vary greatly in addition to the technical differences. Saddles and handlebars also come in many shapes and sizes – then there are all the different brake systems, gear change controls and much more. The number of combinations really is endless!”


Dima Smirnov also emphasises the importance of safety. “A helmet is the cheapest life insurance you can get; please don’t think about saving money when it comes to this! It is compulsory for children up to the age of 15 and I think that it should be compulsory for everyone else as well. Discussions on this matter have been ongoing for a whole now. You never know when you might end up in an accident. People usually fall over because of some unexpected obstacle that appears on the road and it’s often the head that gets injured. A helmet is very important and it’s not difficult to put one on.”


A good relationship needs care and this is why you should regularly take your two-wheeled friend to a mechanic for a check-up. “Check that the chain is oiled and the inner tubes are full of air,” said Smirnov. “If you’re not interested in doing the oiling yourself, take your bike to a specialist. I also advise you to get any problems sorted straightaway, because fixing them later may turn out to be much more expensive than you expected. Professional athletes usually understand that the bike must be as good as new before every competition. As for amateurs, many who visit the bike maintenance partner before the start of a competition could have really gone to a mechanic earlier than that. Often, we don’t have the time to help everyone. Elementary maintenance should really become routine in the best sense of the word.”


You can buy a new bike or have your old one maintained at Sportland in Viimsi Keskus. Many surveys indicate that cycling is good for the body and also puts you in a good mood. Get (safely) on your bikes!