If you haven't bicycled since your first driver's license arrived, you might be surprised by some of the following equipment advances.
Lightweight helmets: Still strong enough to provide protection, these more stylish and aerodynamically designed polystyrene lids have replaced the old "hair nets" and heavy plastic helmets. Most let cooling wind flow through as well.
Indexed shifting: No more fumbling with levers in an attempt to coax a road bike into gear. Today's equipment clicks effortlessly between gears.
Mountain bikes: Fat, knobby tires, upright handlebars, 18 to 21 gears and heavier construction make off-road riding a pleasure, and have led to a booming new sport. Hybrids, also known as "city bikes," feature upright handlebars but come with narrower tires in an attempt to combine off-road durability with road bike quickness.