Popular methods of transport have altered in recent times. Cars have long been the most likely mode of transport in developed countries, however bikes are beginning to rise in popularity. Perhaps the trend can be put down to 'green' thinking, or maybe just the prices of gas are starting to get to people. Either way there are now more bikes on the road then ever before. Maybe you have been pondering purchasing a bike? If you have then there are several things you should look at when you do.
The brakes on your bike are of utmost importance. You have to think about what you are most comfortable with along the lines of stopping your bicycle. If you are choosing a bicycle for sporadic hobby riding, you can get by with the brakes that are little more than pads that squeeze your tires to keep them from moving. For those who use their bike for serious riding and over heavy terrain better brakes may be needed. For such cycling you should look to disc brakes, these are located within the wheel itself and are less likely to be weakened over time or worse, fail. Believe it or not, your bicycle seat should not sit at its lowest setting, resting against the crossbar. Always consider that you are going to have to raise the seat up off the crossbar when you are shopping for your bike. When you bring the seat up a few inches, you are going to have more room between the crossbar and you, and this will make for a much more comfortable ride. The goal here is to create a height with your seat so that when your pedal is at its lowest position your leg should be almost (but not quite) fully extended.
You also want to make sure you leave some room between you and the crossbar of your bike. When browsing for a bike try some out, make sure the seat is a few inches above the crossbar. You should be able to still rest your feet flat on the floor. Each type of bike requires different clearances. A good example is a touring bike, with these bikes you will only need around 1" difference. For mountain bikes you will require somewhere around 3 inches.
When you get a bike your main goal should be to find one that physically suits you. If you intend to use your bike a lot, perhaps as your main method of transport, it is important you keep this in mind. Comfort and saftey are the two most important aspects of riding read the full info here a bike.