There are many bike purists out in the world with no idea of what they would consider if they went to purchase a bike. Some people wake up from an age stupor and realize that they have been riding the same bike bought for them during their 10th birthday. Well, when the time to upgrade finally arrives, you realize that the market is flooded with bikes, and you have entirely no idea of what the best bike should have. As the world around you starts feeling alien because you have very little knowledge about it, you should not panic because we have got you covered. You don’t have to know everything; otherwise, what are friends for? In this article, there is a complete guide to buying a bicycle.
The Essence of Buying the Bicycle
Before you purchase a bicycle, you need first to know where you want to be riding your bike. A bike can be ridden in different places, but having a rough idea of whether you will be riding it on a beach, canal paths, or city streets is very vital. Also, consider the bike maintenance skills that you possess. If you go for an expensive bike, be prepared for a series of gears and a high running cost. However, you can lower the price if you will be doing the maintenance.
On the contrary, you can choose a single-speed bike that requires minimal maintenance due to fewer moving parts. Besides, it is good to consider your plans for the future. If your future involves riding for miles and getting fitter, you will need a more expensive bike than if you only need a bike to take you to the shop and back
Setting a Budget
Bicycles, just like any other item, need you to set a budget. After carefully considering why you need a bike, it is time to know your choice and the much it will cost you. It is also essential to consider additional costs such as gloves, bottle cages, and helmet if they are not offered together with the bike. If you don’t find the kind of bike that you want in the market near you, a secondhand bike might be a good option if you can be happy to wait until the right commodity arrives in your location. When you have settled for the right price, plan the time it will take to reach the target. The prices of bikes, unlike those of houses, do not fluctuate very much; thus, you should stick to your savings plan. Also, you can save for a bike whose grades are slightly lower and then purpose to replace the individual parts with time and save the cost. For example, the quality of the frame in 105 groupsets and Shimano Tiagra is over £150.
Type and Styles
There is a reason why different bikes are designed for specific tasks. There are many types of bikes out there, and settling for a particular kind of bike is the most excellent decision you will be required to make. Consider the type that fits your purpose and makes you happy when driving. A road bike is soft and sporty. It is light, quick, and the best for normal roads. Its racing background makes it stiff and aggressive. Unfortunately, it has poor off-road performance because it can easily slip around and land you in trouble.
In contrast, a mountain bike is an off-road companion with 4*4 characteristics. With its excellent suspension mechanism and big tires, it can take you through mountain terrains and mud. If the two do not satisfy you, consider purchasing a hybrid. A hybrid is made for both road and off-road riding. Even though it can struggle a bit in a race or muddy hills, it is still a good option. It can as well give you happy moments on the road. Besides, a hybrid is cheaper than a road bike and mountain bike. There are numerous subcategories of the individual types. Based on mountain bikes, there is a jump bike, fat bike, and downhill. Based on road bikes, there is a time trial, gravel, and cyclocross bikes. Other types of bikes include folding, recumbent, BMX, city, and electric.
Additionally, you should consider if you want a fixie, fixer gear or single speed. Fix gear and single speed bikes are variations for different bike types. The frame for hybrid and mountain bikes is different. They have no gears. However, a fixed gear bike is set in motion by peddling, while a single-speed has free-wheel. They help save money due to fewer moving parts and have a low maintenance cost.
It is imperative to know the kind of materials making a bike before you can purchase it. Steel bikes are the cheapest, and their comfort may be higher than that of aluminum if well designed. Steel can also last longer than carbon fiber. However, carbon fiber is lighter, and its aerodynamics characteristics are higher. However, it is weak compared to aluminum. Price is a crucial factor when materials are concerned.
The size of the bike is essential to consider because if it is too small or too big, it might be uncomfortable or cause an accident. Ensure that the seller measures you before you buy a bike. The length of your inside leg and height are the key measurements.
Components are an essential part of a bike. They range from saddles, chain type, handlebars to the seat. When you are choosing the gears, make sure that you have a gear that is small enough to get you up a hill and one that is big enough to help you reach maximum speed. You should consider the smallest cog at the back and the largest front ring and ensure that their ratios are balanced. However, gears are mostly limited to the type of bike by the manufacturer. Brakes should not confuse you either. Brakes can either be in the form of disk or rim. Disk brakes have not yet been approved for racing by the UCL; thus, it is good to go for rim breaks because they are lighter and readily available. When purchasing wheels, different bikes are fitted with different types of wheels. However, the choice of gears and breaks determine the nature of wheels. Clincher and disk brakes need different tires. Ten or 11-speed gears might also require different types of wheels. However, you should not worry about the saddle because it might take longer than you expect to settle for the right one. The pedals should no worry you either because there are many options of peddles that you can choose from. Color should also be the last thing to worry about because it does not add anything to a bike. It is only for aesthetics purposes.
Take a Test Ride
It is critical to test a bike before you purchase it to ensure that all the essential aspects are taken care of. There are demo days in most shops, and you can get an opportunity to test most of the bikes. However, when testing the bike, the seller will ask for some collateral or proof of identity, such as a credit card or any other thing that can prove your identity.
When purchasing a bike, you need to consider the reason why you need it, where you will be riding it, your plans, and the bike maintenance skills that you possess. Nonetheless, other essential factors, such as the budget, type, and style, material, size, and components such as the gears, peddles, brakes, and wheels, should be keenly observed. The saddles, pedals, and color should not worry you much.