London loves cycling, now more than ever.
If there is one silver lining to the Covid-19 lockdowns, it has to be the incredible surge in cycling. People of all ages and walks of life have rediscovered their love of two wheels, attracted to their bike’s many benefits. After all, cycling allows you to avoid crowded trains and buses, get some exercise, and lower your carbon footprint. What’s not to love?
Wembley Park is a cyclist’s dream, with plenty of wide avenues and pleasant places to stop for a coffee and chat with friends. When you hop on your bike, you get some much-needed fresh air, explore new areas, and boost your mental health. We’re also lucky to be home to our very own Wembley Park bike shop, Twenty3C.
Twenty3C’s expert team loves helping cyclists just as much as they love getting out on the road and the trails themselves. They’re dedicated to providing biking equipment for everyone. Whether you’re planning to start cycling for practical reasons, health benefits, or for something fun to do on your own or with friends, check out everything you need to know before you set off.
Different styles of biking require different bikes
Did you know that there is no such thing as ‘one cycle fits all?’ The best cycle for your needs will almost entirely depend on where you plan to go for a ride.
- Cruisers – Cruisers are ideal for casual trips around parks and cycling trails. They feature an upright seat, balloon tired, and just a few speeds, offering a comfortable ride for flat terrain. Many cyclists like the ‘old school’ look of cruisers, complete with horns, baskets, and wide handlebars.
- Road Bikes – However, if you want to pick up some speed on paved roads and cycle in and out of traffic, a road bike is a better choice. Road bikes are suitable for commuting, racing, and long-distance journeys.
- City Bikes – If you’re planning to commute on your bike and you’re not a speed demon, a city bike might be an even better choice. They’re designed for regular, short journeys through flat paved terrain.
- Gravel bikes – Gravel bikes are designed for unpaved roads and gravel paths. They’re popular for ‘bikepacking’ trips (long-distance, multi-day backpacking trips on two wheels).
- Cyclocross – While very similar to gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes are well-suited for traversing grass, sand, mud, and scree.
- Mountain Bikes – Mountain bikes are durable and sturdy, perfect for cycling across off-road and rough terrain.
Biking for beginners
Are you getting back two wheels for the first time in ages? Or maybe you (or one of your children) are just learning how to ride a bike for the first time? If so, you need to seek out a bike well-suited to beginners.
- Terrain - Of course, your first consideration is detailed above – you must think about the terrain you will be cycling. Once you have decided whether you need a bike best suited for cycling paths, commuting on busy roads, or off-road trails, it’s time to think about your budget.
- Budget - If you are looking for an entry-level bike from a reputable bike shop, you can expect to pay around £300 for a sturdy metal frame, rim brakes, and basic front or rigid fork suspension, all necessary for a safe and smooth ride. If you are willing to double that budget, you’ll boost the range of speeds (usually between 7 and 24), and end up with lighter wheels, better front suspension, and hydraulic disc brakes.
- Test ride – Of course, the pandemic has made shopping in person more challenging. Thankfully, bike shops are essential services, so you can always go and speak to one of Twenty3C’s friendly and knowledgeable employees. When you go for a test ride, make sure you wear the clothing and shoes you plan to cycle in so you can really get a feel for the make and model.
Pro-biker accessories that will improve your ride
Maybe you’re not a beginner, and you want something a little more advanced? By now, you have everything you need, and it’s all about taking your cycling experience to the next level. These are just a few of the things you can add to your kit for the best experience.
One of your first upgrades should be wheels, which will transform your overall ride and boost your speed. According to the Twenty3C experts, Reynolds wheels are up there amongst the best. They also recommend compact daytime running lights, so that you can be seen regardless of the time of day. They’re a minimal weight addition to your bike, and they’ll grab the attention of other road users, keeping you safe.
We’ve all bought new kit because it looks cool or it’s the latest technology – there’s no shame in enjoying new gadgets that improve your cycling experience! The team at Twenty3C love a Garmin GPS watch to help them navigate new routes and ride into unknown areas.
Ensure your bike is in good order before you go for a ride
Your most important consideration should always be making sure that your bike is in good working order before taking off on a ride. It’s a good idea to have it serviced before you go, at least a month before your next big trip. That gives you time for your bike to be repaired, as there may be challenges with spare parts, especially at the moment with increased demand due to COVID and Brexit. Don’t add to pre-trip trip stress by leaving bike maintenance until the last minute.
The Twenty3C Workshop offers a few different servicing options, including a pre-event check, a standard service, and a full-service package. They’ll make sure your bike is in perfect working order so you can focus on the road.
Now’s the time to get ready for the cycling season ahead
It’s the perfect time to get ready for the warmer spring and summer cycling months ahead. Who knows – this time next year, you might be registering for your first long-distance cycling marathon.
If you're looking for things to do in Wembley Park, why not check out The Road to Wembley cycling route. Hitting all the hotspots around Wembley Park and Brent, The Road to Wembley cycling route has a distant football theme hitting all the footie grounds around the area including, you guessed it, Wembley Stadium. It's a cool 10 miles and you hit some epic places to visit in Wembley Park, including the Bobby Moore statue. Check it out here.
Twenty3c Wembley Park is located on Weaver Walk and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm.