How To Buy A Bicycle

Update:21 Jan 2019

Buying a bicycle may seem like a simple task, but there […]

Buying a bicycle may seem like a simple task, but there is a significant amount of consideration that needs to go into your purchase. A bike must fit your needs, style and intentions.


First, understand what type of cycling you want to do and your expected experience. The more familiar you are with your cycling needs, the easier it will be to locate a dealer and bike that will suit it. You will also need to determine your budget.


After you figure out your cycling intentions, determine which style is best. There are a variety to choose from including the basics:


Mountain. These are rugged bikes for a variety of conditions. Mountain bikes feature fat, knobby tires for comfort and traction, wide-rise or flat handlebars for control, and easy gear shifting. Some mountain bikes also have suspension for increased shock absorption and improved handling. The rider is typically upright. This type of bike tends to be the most versatile, allowing you to travel anywhere; to and from work and off-road on the weekends. Think of this as the SUV of bikes.


Road. These are meant for pavement riding and are built for speed. They have narrower tires and drop bars for a more aerodynamic position. The rider is typically tilted forward to grip the handlebars. This bike is best for commuting but, like a car's, its thin tires do not handle potholes well. Think of this as the sports car of bikes.


Comfort. These are designed to give a smooth, comfortable and hassle-free ride. Generally they have wider tires, soft seats and an upright riding position. They offer a wide range of gears suitable for many types of terrain. Think of these bikes as the luxury sport sedan.


Just like you need to have enough leg room in your car you also need your bike to fit your frame for an enjoyable ride. Working with a retailer is the best way to choose the correct size bicycle. The length of your inseam determines the correct frame size, in terms of stand-over height.


Remember that it is critical to test ride a bike to see if it meets all your specifications and to find out if you are comfortable. Work with your bike retailer to find conditions for a test drive that most resemble how you plan to use the bike on a regular basis. This is your opportunity to ask questions about bike features that you might not be familiar with. Bike shop experts will match your particular needs to an appropriate bike.


Before you buy a bicycle, it's a good idea to determine how it will be used.