What bike should you get for Iowa trails? What tires? What frame? Should you get an e-bike? How do you prevent a flat? Where are the famous bike hangouts? Why do people from out of state come to Iowa for RAGBRAI? Iowa bike icon Dan Koenig of Ichi Bike packs everything you need to know about Iowa biking into this 30 min interview.
For the uninitiated, biking in Iowa can be a bit intimidating. Most people know we have trails, and know biking is a great low impact activity and workout, but most people don’t know where to start. If that’s you, and you’re interested in biking this summer, this is your starting point.
What bike should you get?
Koenig explains there are many variations that a cyclist may want to consider, but overall it depends on what you want out of the biking experience: performance or comfort? If you want speed and desire to get every ounce of energy out of your bike, you sacrifice a lot of comfort. On the flip-side, if your goal is comfort and you want to take a relaxing ride, you sacrifice speed and performance. Hill climbing is also a factor.
The orientation and posture of the cyclist matters as well. If you want to climb hills, sitting forward on the bike makes climbing hills easier, but if you have a recumbent bike climbing hills is difficult. It’s for this reason many recumbent bikers avoid hills or use an eBike for hill climbing.
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How do eBikes work?
eBikes are becoming very popular in Iowa for good reason. eBikes allow people with mobility issues, or people who aren’t in great physical shape the opportunity to enjoy Iowa’s massive bike trail system.
eBikes can completely take over and power your ride, but many riders choose to use them to give them an extra burst of energy. In essence, an eAssist / eBike makes you feel like Superman. You’re doing the work, but the motor makes it feel easier.
Dan Koenig, Ichi Bike
Dan Koenig of Ichi Bike can be reached at his website.