Things to Consider When Buying a Bike

Date Posted:30 April 2018 

Before purchasing a bike, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you want. Whether you’re buying your first or the one for your tenth century run, it’s easy to get lost with options for bike products if you haven’t decided what you prefer exactly. We’ve come up with the things you should think over to end up with the best bike for you.

Your personal preferences:

  • Your cycling goals. Why are you getting a new bike? Having clear goals gives you a fair image of what bike would best take you there. There are many kinds of bicycles that cater to specific cycling purposes. Do you want to race? Is the bike for commuting or running errands? Assess yourself, identify your goals, and determine how realistic they are. Many other decisions after buying your bike will strongly depend on them.

  • What kind of bike you’re trying to get. Depending on your goals, decide among the different kinds of bikes you’re going to get. Basic types include mountain bikes for off-road terrains, road bikes for smooth roads and speed, hybrids (of mountain and road bikes), and cruisers (for casual commute). The other bike types are derivative of these basics with features further specified.

  • Budget. Cycling isn’t cheap. Not that it’s highly expensive, but it can be, and in most cases, you get what you pay for. The ideal budget should depend on the price range of the brand you want to sport and your cycling goals. You don’t want to spend too little for a bike that won’t make you happy or spend too much for one you don’t really need.

    If it’s going to be your first bike, keep in mind that you also have to invest in accessories like helmets and pumps.

Bike Features:

  • Frame materials. Bike frames come in different materials and prices. They also differ in weight and durability therefore affect maneuverability and service life of the frame.

    • Steel is highly durable but also very heavy. Steel was used for the early bikes and not much anymore for the latest bikes as steel frames are difficult to control as compared to the other material frames.

    • Aluminum is common among modern bicycles for its lightness, strength, and affordability.

    • Titanium is pretty much the ideal frame if it weren’t for the price. It’s very durable and close to aluminum in terms of weight but because it’s difficult to manufacture, it’s also very expensive.

    • Carbon Fiber has a growing popularity these past few years and like titanium, it’s durable, light, and pricey. The material can also be molded to almost any shape, which can be an advantage for aerodynamics. If you want to go for carbon fiber, keep an eye out for high modulus for quality.

  • Drivetrain. Drivetrain components include pedals, chain, chainrings, cogs (sprockets), and derailleur--the parts that make the bicycle move when you pedal. Most stores have drivetrains pre-assembled, mostly for customers who are not really too specific about the drivetrain components and whose bike needs are not for competition. But if you are, you can always ask for replacement of particular components, as you need, and negotiate the price differences, if there are any.

  • Wheels. The aspects to consider for wheels will depend on your cycling goals and personal preferences. Wheels come in different width, weight, material, and make. And you also have the rims that support the tires. These aspects affect rolling resistance, aerodynamics, drag, maintenance, and overall maneuverability of the bicycle.

  • Brakes. Regardless of your cycling goals, make sure you have a good brake set up and that your bike can stop when it has to. You may choose rim brake or either manual or hydraulic disc brakes.

  • Fit. Riding a bike that doesn’t fit properly may not show immediate effects but in the long run, it may cause serious troubles and worse, acquired injury. Some bicycle retailers have fitting services and they make adjustments for the seat, saddle, handlebar, and reach.

Now go get that bike! For more detailed tips, product reviews, and everything bike, check some online bicycle retailers and organisations near you.

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