FAQ Answers

1. What is the advantage of buying my new bike from a bike shop vs. a "Big Box" store?

The advantage of buying your new bike from a bike shop is that you'll get a higher quality bicycle and the expertise to go along with it. The bike will be assembled by an expert, will be more comfortable, ride better, last longer and require less maintenance. The Sioux Falls Bicycle Company staff will help you choose a bike that best meets your needs, fits you properly, and will show you how to operate it. 

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2. What accessories do I need with my new bike?

Plan on buying a helmet to protect your head in the event of a fall, a lock to keep the bad guys from stealing your new bike, a pump to keep your tires inflated, and a water bottle for staying hydrated. Consider these your first tier-accessories. 

If you do any night riding, you need front and back lights to ensure you can see and others can see you.  Many people add a computer to keep track of distance and speed and a cell phone holder to keep your phone handy while you ride.  If you need to carry anything with you, like groceries, work clothes or schoolbooks, you should consider a bag for the bike. 

It is a good idea to carry a few maintenance items in case of a breakdown such as flat tire provisions and chain lube.

Finally, you may want to add some apparel items such as cycling shorts and cycling gloves to keep you comfortable or winter cycling apparel to keep you warm year round.  

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3. How often does my bike need service?

In general, your bike should have some level of service once a year. Of course, what level of service it needs depends on how much you're riding it.  See the Bike Servicing Frequency Recommendations for more information.

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4. Free First Year Adjustments? Can you be more specific?

When we say we offer "free adjustments" to our customers for the first year after the purchase of a bike, here is exactly what we mean: If you have purchased a new bicycle from Sioux Falls Bicycle Company, you can bring it back to us at any time during the first year, and we will perform the following adjustments at no charge:

· Brake adjustments

· Gear adjustments

· Seat position and angle adjustments

· Cockpit angle adjustments

· Bolt tightening

· Chain lubrication

We do not replace parts (such as inner tubes, tires, cables, brake pads, chains, etc.) at no charge. If you need a part replaced, then you will be charged for the part and regular installation charges.

This offer applies only to the original purchaser of the bicycle. Bicycles with defaced serial numbers are not eligible for free adjustments.

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5. What is a women's specific bike?

Bicycle manufacturers have been making "women's" bikes for as long as they have been making bikes at all, but it's only since the 1980's that they have started to incorporate a deep knowledge of ergonomics and fit into the process. 

In the past a  "Women's" bike was just a "Step-Through" bike, meaning, a bike with a low top tube. The purpose of the low top tube is to allow the rider to wear a dress or a skirt without this piece of clothing getting pushed up immodestly by the bicycle top tube. That's it. So if you don't see yourself riding in a dress, or if you're willing to make minor wardrobe accommodations (e.g. leggings underneath the dress) then you don't need a step through bike. Conversely, if you're a man and you do want to ride in a dress, you might prefer a step through bike to protect your modesty. 

Since the 1980's, bicycle manufacturers have been making women's specific bikes that are not necessarily step through models. These bikes take into account that fact that women and men differ in more than just dress. They actually have different body shapes! If you take a man and a woman of the same height, most of the time, the woman will have several key differences, such as longer legs, a higher ratio of femur length to length, a shorter torso, shorter arms, narrower shoulders, smaller hands, and wider hips. These differences all effect bike fit and comfort. A Women's Specific Bike is built to accommodate these differences, offering a more comfortable and ergonomic fit to most women, right out of the box. 

That said, unless you are very petite, you probably don't need a woman's specific bicycle. If you purchase the proper size unisex bicycle, and work with a competent bicycle fitter to customize the components which have the greatest effect on fit, such as the stem, handlebars, cranks, and saddle, then you will be comfortable on that bike.

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6. What is your return policy?

Within 30 days of your purchase, if you are not completely satisfied with your new bicycle, let us know.  We can adjust, refit or exchange it at no cost to you, or give you your money back.  

All merchandise must be returned by the original purchaser to the retailer within 30 days. Returned items must be in original condition without damage or excessive wear and tear. All returns are subject to inspection.  Custom and special-order bikes do not apply.

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7. For what purpose are road bikes best suited?

Road bikes are best suited for racing and long-distance riding, but they also make excellent workout bikes for those that want to add cycling to their exercise program.

Road bikes have drop bars for three good reasons. First, they offer multiple hand positions. This enables you to change your body position on the bike, which is important for comfort on longer rides. Second, the leaned-over riding position they create makes it easier to breathe. Leaning over also facilitates the use of your quads and glutes where your power is. And third, the drop bars make you more aerodynamic for speed.

Road bikes have narrow seats to allow more freedom of movement when coming on and off the saddle. A more narrow saddle is also necessary for the leaned-over riding position of a road bike. If the seat is too wide, it will rub the inside of your thighs. A narrow saddle can be quite comfortable, however, when you find the one shaped just right for your particular anatomy.

Road bikes have narrow tires because they make the bike faster and more efficient. Narrower tires are lighter weight and have less rolling resistance, which makes for higher speed and quicker acceleration.

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8. For what type of riding are hybrids best suited?

A hybrid is best suited for more casual riding. It's a great bike for riding through the neighborhood, going out with the kids, pedaling through the park, or going for a cup of coffee with your friends. The upright riding position makes hybrids very comfortable and better for shorter distances. 

The main benefits of a hybrid are the comfortable riding position and the medium size tires. The medium size tires give the bike stability, but they are also good for negotiating the occasional rough spot in the road or cut across the grass. The upright riding position makes them very comfortable.

Hybrids make good commuter bikes. The medium size tire makes them rugged and reliable for riding on the streets. They are very comfortable bikes and they accommodate luggage racks, fenders lights, and all of  the gear you need for bike commuting.

Hybrid bikes can have suspension or rigid forks . A suspension fork lends a smoother, plusher feel to the ride of the bike. A ridged fork gives it a more responsive, but slightly bumpier feel.

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9. How do I know what size bike to buy my child?

Children's bikes are measured by their wheel diameter: 12, 16, 20, and 24 inch. 

You can pretty much go by your child's age to determine what size bike they need. (See Chart Below).  The other way to figure out which size to get is to simply have them stand over the bike. They should clear the top bar by at least an inch. Similarly, you can measure your child from crotch to floor with their shoes on, then compare that number with the "stand-over" height found in the specifications or "geometry" chart for the bike. Ideally, your number will be an inch larger than the stand-over height so that your child will have an inch clearance over the top bar.

Unless they are very tall (or not very tall) for their age, in general

  • 2 to 3 yr. old children will ride a 12" bike
  • 4 to 5 yr. old      16"
  • 6 to 7 yr. old      20"
  • 8 to 9 yr. old      24"

Kids out grow their bikes anywhere from one to two and a half years, depending on how fast they grow and at what point they get into a particular size bike.  We do not recommend purchasing a bike that is too large for your child to allow for growing room.  You want to be careful not to compromise your child's safety (nor their confidence) by putting them on a bike too big for them. Big bikes are hard to manage for little people. Plus, it's easier to learn how to ride on a smaller bike than it is on a larger one.

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10. Will my child be able to work a bike with gears?

Yes. We find that children have little problem with them. The shifter is part of the grip so that the gears are changed by a simple twist of the grip. That's a neat design because the rider doesn't have to take their hands of the bars to shift.

The main benefit of the gears is that they make the bike easier to pedal up hills, easier to ride longer distances, and easier to keep up with Mom or Dad.

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11. Will my child be able to use hand brakes?

Yes. We've found that children take to them quite naturally. Stopping with your hands seems to be intuitive. 

Are Coaster Brakes (foot brakes) better?  Not really. Hand brakes stop better since there's a brake for each wheel. Plus with hand brakes, you don't have to have your feet on the pedals, or in just the right position, to stop. 

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12. Can I trade in my old bike towards a new bike?

Yes you can! If you have a bike shop quality bike sitting at home that you don't ride, we'd gladly look it over and let you know what it'd be worth as a trade-in towards a new bicycle purchase.

The value of the trade in will be based on the value stated in the Bicycle Blue Book.  

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13. Do you sell used bikes?

Yes indeed! Check out our Used Bike page for used bicycles available.

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14. Are bicycle helmets required to meet minimum safety standards?

Yes. Helmets made to sell in the U.S. must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. You should see a CPSC or other sticker inside the helmet that tells you what standard is used. ASTM's standard is comparable. The Snell standards are tougher but seldom used.

  • The CPSC standard is a legal requirement for any helmet manufactured for the US market. It was adopted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and is mandatory for all helmets manufactured for sale in the U.S. after 1999. It was based on the ASTM and Snell standards below. It requires dropping the helmet 2 meters in the flat anvil test. 
  • ASTM is the American Society for Testing and Materials, a standards setting      organization. An ASTM sticker indicates an adequate helmet too. Some are certified by the Safety Equipment Institute, an independent non-profit, others only by the manufacturer. To meet ASTM a bicycle helmet also has to perform in a 2 meter drop on the flat anvil. 
  • The Snell Memorial Foundation sets a somewhat higher B-95 standard with a 2.2 meter drop, but most helmets with a Snell sticker meet only their earlier B-90 standard, with a 2 meter drop comparable to ASTM. Snell tests helmets independently to certify them and retests samples bought in stores. 

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15. When should I replace my helmet?

Bike helmets are designed to break apart upon impact in order to absorb the shock. 

However, damage is not always visible after an impact. So, it's a good idea to replace your helmet after a crash or big hit. 

Manufacturers also recommend that you replace your helmet every three to five years due to UV deterioration. 

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16. What is the purpose of cycling shoes?

The purpose of cycling shoes is to increase your efficiency by providing better power transfer to the pedals. That means you go faster with less energy. This is accomplished by using a stiff sole for less flex and by securing the shoes to the pedals for a faster, more even pedal stroke. 

Your shoes have to be compatible with your pedals. However, most shoes will work with most brands of pedals, so you can buy your shoes and pedals independently. You just need to decide whether you want Road or SPD type shoes first. Note: The cleats (the hardware that fastens the shoes to the pedals) will come with the pedals.  You can use the SPD type shoes with regular pedals. However, you can not use road shoes with them. You can only use road shoes with clipless pedals.

Your cycling shoes should fit pretty much like any shoe, not too tight, not too loose, but comfortably. If your shoes are too tight, toes may blister, go to sleep, or develop corns. If they're too loose, your feet will wallow around in them, loosing efficiency and defeating the benefit of using them.

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17. How do I know what kind of rack to get for my car?

What kind of  rack fits your car depends on the type of car you have and how many bikes you want to carry. You have to check with each rack manufacturer to determine which of their racks best fits your car. However, here's some general information to help you get started.

Bike carriers mount in one of three places on a vehicle: the trunk (or hatch), the roof, or trailer hitch. They carry from two to five bicycles depending on the type of rack and depending on what type racks fits your car. 

A Hitch Rack is a good solution, assuming, of course, that you have a hitch on your car.  The two main benefits of hitch racks are that it's a little easier to put your bikes on them, and that they are very easy to install on your car, usually with just one bolt. 

Hitches racks come in two sizes: an inch and a quarter and two inch, to fit their respective size hitches. The two inch hitches are more common and carry a bigger load, anywhere from two to five bikes. The inch and a quarter versions carry less weight, and thus, fewer bikes, usually three bikes max. Most hitch racks will pivot or retract in some fashion to allow access to your cargo space. 

Trunk-mount carriers are another option. The better trunk-mount racks are easy to install and fit a larger variety of cars. Access to the trunk is difficult with this type carrier, but it is the least expensive type of rack and fits the greatest number of cars.

You have to check three things to determine whether or not your car will accept a trunk rack.

First, does your car have a spoiler? Although many racks are designed to work around them, spoilers often interfere with the installation of a trunk rack. Sometimes the rack feet won't fit around them. Other times they obstruct the mounting straps. 

Second, will the trunk/hatch carry the load? Is the hatch, where the mounting hooks install, framed in metal, rather than glass or plastic? Will the weather stripping allow the mounting hooks to be inserted? Forcing them in could damage the weather stripping and cause a water leak. 

Third, will the rear panel, or bumper, where the bottom feet of the rack rest, support the load? The large rear panels on vans, for example, are very thin and will dimple in if too much weight is applied there. It is best to have the rack rest on the bumper in this case. However, bumpers too must be checked for strength as more and more plastic is used in them these days and they may not be strong enough to carry the load.

In addition to your rack, you may want to pick up a couple of other accessories. You might need a lock and cable to guard against theft when you travel with your bikes. A couple of bunji cords are always handy for tie-downs. If you have a ladies bike, or some other type of bike without a top bar, you may want to get a Boomer Bar, an accessory that creates a top bar by which to hang your bike on the rack.

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18. Can I test ride a bike at Sioux Falls Bicycle Company?

Yes. Of course! We encourage you to test ride as many bikes as it takes to make up your mind.  We have a large parking lot to test ride the bike or you can take it onto the Sioux Falls bike trail located nearby for a longer test ride. 

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19. Do you rent bikes?

Yes!  We offer rental bikes for daily and weekly use.  

We offer Electric Bikes, Cruiser Bikes, Hybrid Bikes and Mountain Bikes.

In addition we offer Bike Cargo Carrier rentals and Bicycle Trailers for children.

All bike rentals come with a helmet, lock and water bottle.  

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20. How often should I pump my tires?

How often you need to pump your tires depends on the size of the tire and how much pressure is required. High pressure road bike tires should be pumped up at least once a week, hybrid tires every two weeks, and mountain bike tires at least every two to three weeks.  Bike tires hold only a small amount of air, but under a great deal of pressure. Since air seeps naturally out, it doesn't take long to loose enough air to make the tires soft.

Look on the side of the tire to determine how much air to put in your tires. It will always tell you. Go ahead and put in the maximum amount listed (assuming your tires are in good condition). Mountain bikes usually take 65psi, hybrids 75psi, and road bikes 100psi. 

The reason it's so important to keep your tires properly inflated is because it guards against flat tires and rim damage, especially if you hit a curb or pothole. Moreover, properly inflated tires make your bike easier to pedal, and increases the life or your tires. 

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