Road Bike Reviews
3 Great Bikes For Any Budget
You've neglected your childhood chariot for too long. This summer, bring the bike back into your life and have fun getting fit
Image: Jeff Cricco
Get Back on the Chain Gang
That forlorn bike in your garage-tires deflated, chain drooping like an old sock-is a guilt trigger. You used to zip around everywhere as a kid. Now you commute by car, knowing deep down that your bike is one of the most useful and fun exercise tools you've ever owned. So what are you waiting for? It's time to hop back on.
Men's Health emergency-medicine advisor Travis Stork, M.D., did just that. He began bike-commuting to work two decades ago and has been in the saddle ever since. For him, it's a fun way to maintain cardiovascular health while blasting through a lower-body workout. "Everything about the bike is associated with joy," Dr. Stork says. "Twenty years ago, it was all about the gym. Now it's all about overall fitness." And that means mental health too. (Search: How can a bike help improve mental health?)
You can recapture that buzz-and reap the same benefits a rigid training plan would provide-with just three rides a week, says Kristen Dieffenbach, Ph.D., a cyclist who teaches coaching at West Virginia University. "This approach keeps things fun and flexible so you're more likely to follow through and reach your fitness goals." Whether you're starting slowly with an old bike or training for a race on new wheels, here's your guide.
Ride Your Way Lean! Here's how to turn your bike into a powerful weight loss tool!
Whatever bike you buy, have a pro help you find the right fit; proper alignment helps avoid injury. Fittings range from simple saddle and handlebar adjustments to a scientifically sound system like the one offered by Retul (for $350, and worth every cent).
Related: The Best Summer Bodies of 2012
FREE: Log every mile you ride and every calorie you burn with the Fitbie FitTracker tool.