Finding The Right Bicycle Is Part Of Pelotonia Experience

UPDATED: Friday June 26, 2009 4:46 PM

In order to get ready for Pelotonia, some participants are going the extra mile to find the perfect bicycle.

The 180-mile bike ride is scheduled for Aug. 28-30, and is designed to raise awareness and money for cancer research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center and The James.

With the help of a high-tech body scan, Jessica Kinman was recently fitted for a bicycle at the Roll bicycle shop. The scan measured everything from height and torso to the length of her arms and legs.

In a matter of minutes, the machine calculated a custom fit.

"What we're looking at is how long should the bike be and how far are those handle bars," said Jake Scott, Roll's general manager. "We've all had those bikes that make you lean way over and they're uncomfortable."

Stewart Hunter, Roll's founder, said fit should be the most important thing when purchasing a bike, especially for an event like Pelotonia.

"Fit is the most important thing for people as they think about riding, whether it's short distances or some of the longer distances of the event," Hunter said. "Making sure that they're fit correctly on the bike (and) making sure that they're comfortable on the bike."

Next, is choosing the right type of bicycle, so buyers fill out a questionnaire on how and where they will ride.

"It's really important to get them in the right bike, not just for Pelotonia, but where is life going to take them after that," Stewart said, "because they're really going to have the bike for a long time. So that's really what we try and do first."

For serious distance riders, a traditional 10-speed road bicycle is best for the two-day, 180-mile Pelotonia route.

But another option to consider is a new breed of sport fitness hybrid.

"This is a bike that's really gained a lot in popularity over the last couple of years," Stewart said. "It's a bike that really is suitable, not only for the 25-50 (miles), but up to the 100-mile ride that a lot of people are looking for. For comfort as well as a bike that's going to take them some distance at some speed."

The hybrid is also a great cross trainer and commuter bike.

Stewart said that no matter what bicycle a person chooses, they should enjoy the journey.

"So it really isn't about the bike as much as it is about the sociability, and the exercise, and what and where the bike takes people," he said.

For people who purchase a new road bicycle at Roll, the store will offer a 10 percent discount off the price of the bike, and donate 10 percent of the cost to the rider's fundraising effort. The offer ends Aug. 28.

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May 26, 2009: Bike Tour Aims To Raise Millions For Cancer Research