Cycling is a minefield of opinions. Club runs and café stops up and down the country are filled with endless debates on everything from disc brakes to the important matter of leg hair.
Here are six topics of contention that rumble on with no end in sight!
Should you shave your legs?
Where else could we start?
It’s a topic that’s not only debated within cycling circles, but by the wider world too. Type ‘why do cyclists’ into Google and ‘shave their legs’ comes up as the first option.
Some cyclists shave their legs to make massages and treating road rash easier. Others do it for the aerodynamic gains. While for some of us, it’s simply to fit in with our riding buddies.
Should you join the club of smooth-legged riders? It’s completely up to you, and you should do whatever you feel comfortable with. Most of the benefits of shaving your legs are exclusive to the pros (how often do you benefit from a massage?), so don’t feel pressured into it if you don’t want to.
How much should you spend on cycling gear?
If there’s one thing cyclists love, it’s admiring other riders’ bikes and gear. It’s a hobby in itself! However, cyclists can be guilty of buying expensive gear for the sake of it, just to show it off to their friends. But do you really need to spend that much?
The simple answer is no! There are lots of brands available that offer clothing and accessories at affordable prices to help make cycling more accessible.
Take Boardman for example. Not only do they sell market-leading bikes for their price point, but they also have a range of high-quality clothing whose price won’t make your eyes water! Our favourites include the Boardman Men’s Thermal and the Boardman Women’s cycling jerseys.
Helmet or not?
There are still those who refuse to wear one but we’re firmly team helmet – wearing one can save your life!
When it comes to choosing a helmet, we’d recommend one with MIPs technology. MIPs (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is at the forefront of safety technology. By adding an extra low-friction layer into a helmet’s shell, MIPs helps to reduce the rotational forces exerted to the head during an accident.
Here at Halfords, we sell a wide range of helmets with MIPs technology and you can find the full range here.
Disc brakes v rim brakes
While discs brakes have been around for decades, they’ve only been used on road bikes in recent years and are now the preferred option for most brands.
Even so, you won’t struggle to find riders still loyal to rim brakes who will be quick to point out how they’ve never let them down. Their disc brake counterparts will argue that discs offer better performance in wet conditions and are harder to lock up.
This one is likely to rumble on for some time as the reality is both are great options! Here at Halfords, we stock a wide range of rim brake and disc brake bikes, and you can explore the full range here.
To use chamois cream or not?
Some riders swear by chamois cream while others don’t want anything to do with it.
Opinions on this matter tend to be guided by medical need. There are lucky riders among us who never experience chaffing or soreness, and it’s no surprise that they often see little need for it. Then there are those who suffer more discomfort and for whom chamois is all but a necessity.
Like lots of cycling’s biggest debates, it’s a matter of personal preference and need. There’s no denying that applying chamois cream is far from glamorous, but who cares if it keeps you comfortable while riding?
Are e-bikes cheating?
It’s a myth that’s common within cycling circles, but we’re here to set the record straight once and for all…e-bikes definitely aren’t cheating!
An e-bike’s motor is only there to provide assistance as you ride, however, you need to pedal to receive that assistance. So, it’s not powering you along for free and you’ll still be exercising. They’re a great option for those who struggle on longer rides, up hills or are put off cycling by their fitness level.
Anything that gets more people cycling and makes cycling more accessible is a winner in our book!
That’s just a few cycling debates that continue to rage on, but there are many more we could have included (we’ll save sock height for another day!).
Here at Halfords, we think you should simply do whatever you’re comfortable with (unless that involves not wearing a helmet – remember, they can save your life!). So, if you want to use chamois cream, go ahead. Or if you want to enjoy riding with an added boost, invest in an e-bike.
Whatever you decide, you can find all the bikes, e-bikes and cycling products you need over at Halfords.com.