Many people don’t know what to do when they are walking into a bike shop. The range of bike types, materials, component options and price can be bewildering and make it more difficult to decide which would be the best one. Some people even unwisely choose the bike just judging from the appearance.
In order to help you get the best possible deal, we have put together a comprehensive guide for you. Here are 10 key factors you need to consider before buying a bike.
What’s your goal?
Nowadays, bicycles are more than a means of transportation and its purposes are various, such as commuting, exercising, race and so on.so before you walking into the bike shop, be clear about your goal which will determine what kind of bike you get, and here is a general list:
If your goal is simply to ride to work, cruise around the park, replace the crush of public transport, traffic jam, you will prefer the wide tires for a smooth ride, the comfy bike seat, and the upright sitting position. With one-speed or multi-speed, comfort bikes are for the riders who want to well cruise.
Road bikes are synonymous with the term “lightness” which makes it be the best choice when you are riding on pavement for exercise, commuting or racing. They are perfect for long distance when you ride fast. Large-diameter and narrow wheels reduce the road resistance and increase your speed. There are 2 types of handlebars of road bikes. One is drop-bar which is curved and aerodynamic for you to lean farther forward to increase your speed. The other is flat-bar which goes straight across and puts your torso in a more upright position to increase comfort and allow you a better sight.
As the name suggests, mountain bikes are for woody or rocky trails. Disc brakes, rack wheels, high strength and full suspension build up confidence for many riders. All features of mountain bikes, such as fat knobby tires, flat bars, low gears are designed for mountain road and if your ambition is not to cross rocky trails, you’d better choose another kind of bike. There are hardtail models that offer only front suspension which is good when you ride on uneven terrain and pavement, and full-suspension models that offer both front and rear suspension which are best if you are sticking to the trails. Whether you need a suspension or not depends on how and where you will ride.
Hybrid bikes are a blend of mountain bikes and road bikes. With trodden tires which are narrower than mountain bikes tires, flat bars, higher gearing than mountain bikes, hybrid bikes offer a compromise which is good for riders who want to do a little of everything.
What’s your budget?
Along with your goal, one of the biggest factors you need to consider is your budget for it governs your final bike selection. You should buy it according to your favor, usage, budget and so on and there is no need to trouble yourself much to get high configuration. What is most important is that you must be honest with yourself about how much you are willing to pay for your bike. Bikes can be bought from 200$ to 10000$ and its price is various. Be realistic. If you buy cheap bikes, you may need to assemble it by yourself which requires a level of knowledge that is beyond most people. However, if you’re looking for a carbon-fibre road bike with Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and then set your budget at £400, you may feel disappointed. Besides, you need to budget for more than just the bike. No matter how much you have spent on your bike, you still need to spend extra money to buy some accessories, such as helmet, jersey, leg warmers, water bottle and other basic needs. As far as I am concerned, if you are a beginner, you’d better not buy a too expensive bike for your poor skills will cause your bike to get damaged easily.
Where to buy?
You will want to step into specialist bike shops, and such shops will offer various brands and price. Besides, the staff there will answer any kinds of question you have and help you get the perfect fit. The bike shop usually offers you warranty and after-sales service. Even though the internet has developed fast in recent years and it’s really a good way to buy books, clothes and all, I don’t recommend you to buy your bike online. A new bike is a very personal purchase which you need to take a test ride to find out which one are fit for you. Therefore, a brick- and -mortar store is the best choice for it offer you fit sessions, test rides, quality assembly and even free adjustments for a period of time.
How to get the right size?
The size of the bicycle is very important for a comfortable ride. You can ask the bicycle dealer for help to get the right size according to the kind of riding you’ll be doing. Bikes are generally measured and defined by the length of the seat tube. A bike that is too large will be dangerous, while you will not be able to get comfortable pedaling for the saddle is not high enough if the bike is too small. You should be able to stand over the frame of it with your feet ﬂat on the floor and a few clearance to enable you to hop off quickly. Don’t raise the saddle above its maximum safe extension or you need a larger frame. The reach to the bars is also critical for comfort. All in all, like a shirt, fit is important for security and comfort.
How to take a test ride?
In general, the bike shops will allow and suggest you take a test ride. So let’s make full use of the chance. Firstly, make sure you’re wearing clothes and shoes comfortable enough to get on the bike. Secondly, find out a big area for you to ride in. Then, make sure your ride includes inclines and declines as well as flat surfaces so you can try out the gears and get a feel of the differences between different bikes. Don't feel shy about asking to retry bikes, and even though you're eager to bring one home, you don't have to decide in a rash. Take your time to find the best one fit for you.
Don’t forget accessories
Do you take mudguards, helmet, clothing and other accessories into consideration? No matter for your bike or for yourself, it is worth purchasing the following accessories.
1.Bike helmet: bike helmet is very necessary to ensure your safety which costs $25 to $80-plus.
2.Bike lock: bike lock will enable you to leave your bike anywhere you like which costs 520 to $100-plus.
3.Fitted bike shirt: bright color fitted bike shirt which costs $35 to $75 will make you more visible and ensure your safety when you’re riding at night.
4.Padded bike shorts: padded bike shorts which cost $50 to $100 will increase comfort for long distance ride.
5.Gloves: gloves which cost $20 to $40 will ease blisters for long distance ride.
6.Zippered bags: zippered bags which cost $10 to $70 make you carry some staff.
7.Extra accessories: such as lights, new pedals, extra tire tubes are also necessary. Maybe you will feel a little fussy, nut your health and well-being are worth it.
Be sure to buy what you like
Like clothes purchases, bike purchases are often guided by passion. If you see a bike and fall in love with it, make sure you will enjoy owning it after the initial thrill fades. You should feel good about what you are buying, how it looks, and how it rides. I advise that if you feel hesitate, buy the slightly better one.
Consider joining the local cycling club
In general, the bike shops have their own cycling club which often organizes some activities and you can join it. Not only can you meet some friends, but also you can ask them for advice, such as quick-release operation, shifting, braking, maintenance, etc. Be sure to receive an owner's manual with the bicycle, and read it. Owner's manuals contain valuable information to help make your experience safer and more fun.
It’s time to make a decision and have fun
Purchasing a bicycle is the start of gaining health and happiness.Since you have known what you want and what you need, go for it now. And then enjoy your time.