Let us guide you through buying the perfect bike, from finding the right machine for your goals, setting a budget and choosing a shop, to selecting components, getting the right size and taking a test ride.
Broadly speaking, you have the following main options when it comes to deciding on the best bike for your needs: a road bike, mountain bike, hybrid bike, gravel bike, folding bike, city bike or singlespeed/fixie.
If you are focused on performance, and are confident a racier position will work for you, the latest aero road bikes are designed for all-out speed, while climbing bikes place more focus on low weight.
They have drop bars, but chunky gravel bike tyres with plenty of grip, so you can tackle tow paths and other unmetalled surfaces such as gravel tracks and bridleways, but still ride reasonably fast on roads.
Not conﬁdent of your ﬁtness or want a little help getting up the hills Take a look at an electric bike. The latest advances in battery and motor design mean that electric bikes offer a genuine advantage, especially when it comes to tackling hills and zipping away from the lights.
As well as expert advice, a bike shop should make sure the bike is put together properly. Bikes come from the factory in varying states of disassembly, depending on the manufacturer, and the right tools and knowledge are important to make sure the bike is fully safe and roadworthy.
A good bike shop will also offer a post-delivery check-up, typically after a month or two, so they can make sure everything has bedded in properly and is still working well. As bikes need maintenance and replacement parts such as tyres and inner tubes, buying a bike can be the start of a long relationship.
Most bikes should be specced with a groupset that matches its intended use, but there can be significant variability from one bike to the next, so make sure your potential purchase has appropriate gearing for the riding you have planned.
If you choose a geared bike (by far the most likely option) and are unfamiliar with the system, see if the bike shop can show you how to use the gears, and then take the time to get familiar with them.
When it comes to testing your potential purchase out, even a spin round the block or car park can help you get a feel for the ﬁt and handling of your potential new bike. Expect to leave cast-iron security with the shop: most commonly a credit card and proof of identity.
Start by asking yourself where you plan to ride: on streets, bike paths, unpaved roads and trails or some combination of those places Below is a simple chart with basic bike category options based on the surface(s) each is built for:
Many bike types now include electric bike options, so take a few minutes to decide if an e-bike makes sense for you. Generally, an e-bike with a pedal-assist motor will greatly expand your riding possibilities. While these bikes come with a higher price tag, they allow you to zip up hills with less effort, as well as ride farther and faster.
Road bikes are good for fitness riding, commuting, event rides, touring and racing. Most have a drop-bar handlebar (curling down and toward the rear of the bike), which puts the rider in an aerodynamic position. This bent-forward riding posture can take a little getting used to.
Touring bikes: Touring bikes differ from traditional road bikes in that they are built for riding loaded up with gear over long distances. They have sturdy frames to support heavy loads and have attachment points that let you add racks, fenders, water bottles, pumps, lights and more. A long wheelbase (the distance between the wheel hubs) helps make them easier to control when you have a heavy load.
Designed with shock-absorbing features and sturdy builds, mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps and ruts that make them so fun. Mountain bikes have lower gears than road bikes so you can ride up steeper terrain.
Trail bikes: This is the style most new mountain bikers will get. If social trail riding with friends on beginner-friendly trails and dirt roads is your goal, then this is your bike. Bikes in this category place equal emphasis on fun and efficiency.
All-mountain bikes: These bikes are a good option as you progress to riding on more technical terrain. All-mountain bikes are well-rounded performers: joyful on steep and flowing descents, while also being capable climbers. Their geometry balances the need for both uphill power and downhill stability, so all-mountain bikes can handle a variety of technical features along the trail.
Fat-tire bikes: Recognizable because of their oversize tires, these bikes offer outsize traction that makes it possible for you to ride them on sand or snow. The ultra-wide tires are also reassuringly forgiving on all sorts of rough terrain.
If you want something that performs well on the street but can also handle some unpaved terrain, this is your bike. You might also see hybrid bikes referred to as \"fitness bikes\" because their comfort and versatility appeal to riders motivated primarily by the exercise benefits of riding. Hybrid bikes generally have a more upright riding position than their road bike counterparts. Most have large-diameter road wheels for speed, paired with wider tires for off-road traction.
Cargo bikes: Featuring beefy builds so you can haul lots of gear and handle tons of weight, cargo bikes are ideal for running errands and transporting kids. Neither speedy nor nimble, these are highly utilitarian bikes.
Getting the right frame size is the first step. Fortunately, most bike manufacturers have size charts that list your frame size based on your height. The most important aspects of bike fit, standover height (the distance between your body and the top tube when you straddle the bike) and reach (the distance from seat to handlebar) can then be fine-tuned with some minor adjustments.
This article was co-authored by Jonas Jackel and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure. Jonas Jackel is the Owner of Huckleberry Bicycles, a bicycle retail store based in San Francisco, California. Jonas has over 20 years of experience managing bicycle retail stores and has operated Huckleberry Bicycles since 2011. Huckleberry Bicycles specializes in servicing, repairing, and custom building road, cross, gravel, touring, folding, and e-bikes. Jonas was also previously sat on the Board of Directors for Bike East Bay, a bicycle-advocacy non-profit organization based in Oakland, California.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 566,059 times.
Last but not least: accessories, which help keep riding safe, comfortable, and fun. The most vital one is a helmet to protect you from head injuries in the event of a fall. You can buy one from a bike shop or online, but a helmet is one item you should avoid buying used. An older helmet may not be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to the latest standards, and even if it is, it may not show damage from a previous impact, even the most minor of hits can make the helmet less effective, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute When you buy a helmet, look for one with vents to keep your head cool, a visor to guard your eyes from the sun, and a clear size guide to ensure proper fit.
So, your child is interested in bikes - time to welcome your little one into the sport you love! Whether your child is just three years old and ready for their first bike, or they're ready to explore roads or trails, we have put together a few tips to make buying your child a bike a little less confusing.
Training Wheels: An add-on part that can be attached to a two-wheeled bike. For a lot of parents, this is how you learned to ride a bike. Training wheels sound like a great deal because the child can learn to ride with the training wheels on and when the time comes to pop the training wheels off, you have a regular bike. The downside of training wheels is that the child does not learn to balance, but instead relies on those extra wheels like a crutch. Training wheels can also be a bit unstable for young riders.
Balance Bikes: With only two wheels and no pedals, these bikes require the child to sit on the saddle, scoot, and balance. Many resources say balance is the hardest part of learning to ride, so transferring to a pedal bike is easier for children that start out on a balance bike.
Alright, you are armed with tons of knowledge about kids' bikes and now you are ready to go buy them one to put under the tree this holiday or tie up with a bow for their birthday! Right Well, maybe not quite yet.
When your child is old enough, it's important for your they are involved in the bike-buying process. Taking your kid to the bike shop for a test ride is a great way to find out what fits best and what kind of riding they are most interested in doing. The employees at your local bike shop are experts on how your child should fit on a bike, what kind of bike they will need for the riding they will be doing, and they can save you tons of time scouring the internet for answers.
However you decide to give your kid a bike, make sure you plan ahead for this purchase. Some bike shops may not have the exact bike you are looking for in stock, but they can definitely order it if you give them enough time.
Expensive bikes have expensive running costs, which is fine if you plan on doing it yourself, but can be a costly investment if not. On the flip side, something like a single speed bike has far fewer moving parts and will need much less maintenance
A hybrid bike is exactly what the name suggest, a meeting of the two worlds of cycling. Hybrid bikes are built on a spectrum with some much closer to road bikes and others much closer to mountain bikes. They take elements of each to make a bike that can take on many different situations. 59ce067264