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How to buy a bike? A 5-point plan

Buying a bike is not a light decision. You have few parameters to consider. 

 

  • Different bikes for different activities:

 

    • Road Bike: You’ve plan to ride only on roads, you want speed and comfort, the road bike is probably a good choice for you. Especially if you plan to get serious into cycling and want to ramp-up kilometres.
    • Mountain Bike: they are great for every type of terrain. Wheels are bigger and most of them have suspension allowing you greater comfort on off-road trails. With mountain bikes, you will need to consider few extra features such as wheel size, level of suspension, frame geometry… Some frames are also very specific to the type of rides you plan to do (cross country vs trail vs enduro…)
    • Commuter bike: you can use any kind of bike as a commuter bike. Now, because of parking issues and space related issues, you may want to look at a folding bike. They are great bikes for a recreational use and can be folded to be carried on the train or in the booth of a car or kept under your desk at work
    • Single speed: they are a good option if you live in cities. Having only one speed means that most of the time, they are light and don’t require that much maintenance. Some more expensive single speed can be used as track bikes.
    • BMX: This bike is smaller due to its purpose: doing tricks and stunts. Its size makes it ideal to jump and is most of the time used in a street environment or a skatepark. BMX can also be used to do BMX races.
    • Cyclocross: If you plan to do a bit of road but also some off-road, a cyclocross bike could be your best option. You will be able to ride on grass, woodland trails, pavement, mud and sand. They look like road bikes but they have few differences such as frame geometry, tyres and frame material.

 

 

  • Set a budget

 

You will find quite a big gap in terms of price ranges for a bike. Depending on what kind of bike you want, new vs second hand, and materials, you could go from £50 to £15.000

 

Try to aim for a price that suits you and your skills. Buying a full carbon bike if you’re a beginner is probably not the best choice. On the other hand, buying a very cheap bike could be counterproductive if you plan to be serious in cycling.  Don’t hesitate to seek advices on online communities or from friends that are already cyclists. Don’t forget also that you may need to buy extra accessories for you ride such as helmet, clothing, lights, locks which can be quite pricey.

 

  • Choose where to buy your bike

 

Depending on what you want and the price, you may buy your bike on platforms like Gumtree, big retailers or small independent shops. We recommend doing a bit of research, seek for prices from different shops to make sure you will get the best price for your bike. If you’re buying online, be suspicious of everything as you may end up buying a stolen bike especially on Gumtree.

 

  • Get the right size

 

Make sure you’re buying the right size for you. Else you may regret it as it will most likely result in injuries.

 

  • Test it

 

Always test your bike. Make sure everything works and that there is no damage especially if you buy a second-hand bike. You may also want to check that the bike is comfortable enough for you.


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