There are so many kinds of bicycles these days, that even for experienced cyclists it can be hard to know how to choose the right bike. For beginners, it may seem impossible. But not to worry, we are here to help you consider all the factors so that you can find the right bicycle for you.
The first thing to consider when buying a bicycle is its use. Of course, there is the basic mountain bike / road bike distinction. But there’s more to it than that – do you want to do a long bicycle tour? Are you experienced and looking for a bike that can go really fast? Or do you primarily want it for commuting or recreation?
Many people feel tempted by sleek racing bikes, but unless you are a pro, these probably aren’t for you. They require a lot of training to learn how to ride properly and tend to have you leaning far over the bike, which is tough on the spine. Particularly if you want the bike for commuting or touring, you need something comfortable, stable and ergonomic.
The next thing to think about is how much you are willing to pay, and whether or not you have winnings to spend from when you play for real money. To get a good bicycle, you should expect to pay at least $600-$1500 for a mountain or city bike and $1000-$3000 for a road bike. If you are more serious about cycling and want something that will perform well for a long period of frequent use, you are looking more in the range of $1500-$4000 for mountain bikes and $3000-$6000 for road bikes. Unless you are a pro, it probably isn’t necessary to pay more than that. Of course, if you buy second-hand you can expect something a little cheaper, but you need to make sure the bike is still in good condition.
3. Size and Fit
Once you have figured all that out, it’s time to start trying out some bikes! At this point, the size and fit is crucial. If you get a bike that doesn’t fit right, it’s like wearing the wrong size shoes – not only will it be terribly uncomfortable, but it will completely hamper your speed and efficiency. The first thing to consider is height – with your foot as far down as the pedal will go, your leg should be basically straight with a slight bend in the knee.
But there is a lot more to consider, such as the saddle, the pedal position, and the handlebar height. Remember, comfort is key, so it’s important to test-ride the bike to check for any unwanted pressure on the wrists and knees or any discomfort in the spine.
4. Other Factors
There is a lot more to think about when buying a bicycle, such as modifiability (can you switch out the handlebars or saddle?), accessory compatibility (will it be easy to add panniers or bottle holders?) and quality of the frame, suspension system and more. Finding the right bicycle can seem overwhelming, but it’s worth taking your time and getting all the advice you can. It’s a big investment and getting stuck with the wrong bike is a recipe for unhappiness.