Tips for buying a bike
Finding the right bike to spend your hard earned money on can be a helpless task, but one that certainly cannot be compromised. What’s worse than that is making the wrong decision and investing in a bike that doesn’t last, which provides you with only more headaches and expenses further down the road! Getting the bike right first time round will set you up for a much more pleasurable and rewarding cycling experience.
One of the hardest stages of bike buying is when you’re a beginner, as the world of cycling can certainly be intimidating with all the terminology and different price points. It is recommended that when looking to get into cycling, that you invest in a basic-range brand new bike at around the £250 mark. At that price you can walk into any store and work with a good budget to assess and try out a good selection of bikes; you should definitely look into giving any bikes you have in mind a test ride as a lot of stores will allow you to loan the bike for a set period of time to let you get used to the bike and help you make a purchasing decision.
Or if you’re willing to spend more time shopping around for a bargain, look into second hand bikes at this price range. It’s a strong possibility that you will find some higher quality bikes at this price point due to their pre-owned discount, but make sure you always visit the bike first before making a decision - you certainly don’t want to commit to buying a second hand bike and finding out that it hasn’t been looked after very well!
You’ve got your early-cycling stage out of the way and you’re now ready to move up, but where do you now go? Well you take a look at how far your cycling has come and you treat yourself to an upgrade obviously! While your £250 bike has served you well in your early cycling years, you can’t expect to spend the rest of your life on it as your needs and bicycle knowledge improve over time and you’ll have started to understand bicycle terminology and piece together your own idea of what you want out of your bicycle.
Moving up to around the £400 mark will certainly give you a more streamlined and comfortable riding experience. If you’re looking to use your bike often then you’ll definitely want to invest in paying a premium for comfort levels, which will save you a lot of health issues and disappointment in the future! A less comfortable riding experience will lead to your cycling interest levels taking a hit, so you’ll definitely want to invest in staying as happy and committed as possible!
You went through the pain of finding your first bike, you’ve had your intermediate stage and now you’re well on your way to being cycling mad! But surely the trusty £400 bike that you’ve had for the past few years is still perfectly good enough for everyday use? Well yes and no; the chances are this bike is still going strong and will be fine to continue using, but if you can then you should still upgrade. Think of it like shoes - you’ve had your favourite pair for a while now and they’re still serviceable, but the cracks are starting to show and the leather is splitting! You could continue wearing them into the ground, or you could cash in now and get a brand new pair that are comfier and will last you for the foreseeable future!
In regards to the price point here, you really can go as high as your budget allows you to. At this point you’ll be experienced enough to know what’s good value for your money so you can use your knowledge to find yourself your next great bike. With these bikes you can find superior levels of suspension, brakes and comfort, allowing yourself to assess which areas you value most and invest for a premium quality.
When deciding what style of bike you’re looking for, evaluate what you’re going to be using the bike for. If you’re going to be using it on the weekends where you’re going to be taking it to the park and through woodland areas, then perhaps weigh up the benefits of mountain bikes and their thicker tyres which, for quality of life purposes, would be more worthwhile investing in compared to a road bike. Take your time to learn all the different features that make certain bike styles more expensive than others so you know what you need to look for and what you can compromise on to save yourself a few extra pounds.
Of course different styles of bike warrant different levels of prices; mountain bikes, for example, cost a lot more than basic leisure bicycles due to their high quality tyres and suspension. Make sure to understand what type of cycling you’re going to predominantly be doing so you know what to look out for and what you’re spending your money on. For example if you’re cycling to work everyday then you don’t need to look into spending mountain bike type of money, as you won’t be needing the features such as premium grippy tyres or suspension.
Reviews and recommendations
Before taking the plunge and making an investment on a bike, always do your research! What do the people who own the bike you’re interested in have to say? What do they use the bike for? Has their bike suffered with any issues? Have they needed to make any repairs or replacements to the bike? Asking these types of questions on forums will allow you to make an informed decision based on what actual owners have said regarding the bike as opposed to just people who are paid to write reviews!
Look into joining cycling groups on social media as these types of communities are usually well experienced with all kinds of bikes, and there is a good chance that someone in the group will have some sort of input in helping you find a new bike or chime in with opinions on certain bikes! Not only this, but you can make some great friends through online spaces, particularly local groups who you can then meet up with and share your cycling enjoyment! Even if you don’t need help with buying a bike, look into joining a local Facebook cycling group anyway.
Buying your next bike can be a very time consuming and confusing process. With the sheer amount of options and terminology it can be easy to lose track of what bike you need and how much is a good price for it. For beginners it is recommended starting at a £250 price point and looking into second hand bikes, before moving up to £400 and finally even higher prices for the premium quality bikes. The important part is that you don’t need to be a bicycle expert immediately, just as long as you understand the basics at first to start you off, and you’ll soon find yourself picking up additional knowledge to aid you with future purchases.