Bicycles are one of the most exciting ways to improve the way that you travel, whether you’re looking for a way to commute to work, or an opportunity to get fit and healthy. Of course, before you can unlock the full benefits of bike riding, you need to commit yourself to buying a bike you can trust.
The unfortunate truth is that although many people today love the idea of owning their own perfect bike, they have no idea what they should be looking for when making their purchase. With that in mind, we’re going to give you a beginner’s guide to buying a bicycle, complete with tips on how to make sure you’re investing in the product that’s right for you.
Step 1: Decide How Often You’re Going to Ride
The first thing to consider is how frequently you’re going to be using your bike. The kind of performance you need from a bike that you’re going to use multiple times per day is very different to the kind of bike you need for a monthly ride with the kids.
Often, knowing how much time you’re going to dedicate to cycling will give you an insight into how much you should be spending on your bike, as well as how durable and comfortable you need it to be. You’ll also need to think about how familiar you are with cycling already.
Although most of us are already used to biking, and we know how to ride a bike, it’s easy to get confused if you’re a beginner, and you expose yourself to a lot of new features and capabilities. If you’re new to riding, keep it simple!
Step 2: Decide Where You’re Going to Ride
Another thing to keep in mind is where you’re going to be riding. For instance, if you’ve decided that you’re going to use your bike as an environmentally-friendly way to get to and from work every day, what route will you need to take to get there on time?
Are you going to be sticking mainly to pavements and main roads, which means that a basic city-friendly bike would be more than enough for you? Alternatively, are you likely to veer off the beaten track frequently, exploring less travelled roads along the way. If that’s the case, then you might need a mountain bike, or something with bigger wheels that can handle more terrains.
Cruiser bikes are generally a good choice if you’re not going to be spending a lot of time off the road or pavement. However, if you’re looking to go off-road, you’ll need something more durable.
Step 3: Where Are You Going to Shop?
In an ideal world, you’d always be able to test out a bike before you bought it. However, a lot of us don’t have bike retailers near by that will allow us to take our bicycle for a spin before we hand over cash. Because of this, it can be a lot easier to simply search for the bike that you want on the internet instead. The online world will make it easier to choose from a wide range of different bicycles, including everything from basic cruiser models, to electric bikes.
Another big bonus of buying bikes on the internet, is that you can usually save money on a range of products, while still getting your bicycle delivered straight to your door. On top of that, if you’re unsure about which bike you should try, you can always check out customer reviews from previous clients to guide you.
Our advice would be to avoid buying bikes second—hand as much as you can. This often leaves you taking chances with how good the condition of the bike will be when you actually receive it.
Step 4: What Can You Afford to Pay
The unfortunate truth is that usually when it comes to bikes, you do get what you pay for. This means that you’re probably not going to be able to get a great bike for less than £100. You could end up spending a couple of hundred pounds on even a basic model. With that in mind, it’s important to be realistic about your budget and what you expect to spend from day one.
Examine some of the top performing bikes in your area, and check out how much money they usually go for. When you’re exploring bike options, make a list of the features you can’t afford to miss out on, and base your budget on that.