A Guide to Buying a Bike in 2021
Find the perfect bike for you this 2021.
There is no better time to buy a bike than right now. But there is more to it than you might first think. Doing some research before walking into a bike shop can save you time, energy and money, but also it could land you with the perfect bicycle.
5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Bike
Ready to start the search for your perfect bike? Here are five questions to ask yourself when deciding:
1. What will you use your bike for?
Your answer to this important question will dictate what type of bicycle will suit you best. Among the most common reasons why people buy bikes are the following.
If you want to bike for exercise, then any type of bike would do. However, you have to consider where you live. For example, cruiser bikes and road bikes are great for cities.
If you want to use your bike to get around, then a road bike is more suitable for you. These are ideal for paved roads and can get you from point A to B reliably.
For exploring nature
A mountain bike or a touring bike would work if you want to explore nature. If you’re into leisurely rides in terrains that aren’t too rough, a hybrid bike could work, too. This is where a bike with 18 or 21 gears would be useful, so you can negotiate steep or rocky areas with more ease.
Bikes for sport are either BMX bikes, cyclocross bikes, or race bikes. Ensure that you’ve decided on what sport you want to pursue before you make the big purchase.
Take note that these bike types aren’t rigid — there are mixes of types that can fit multiple uses well. For example, some sport bikes are excellent for travel. Ask your local bicycle shop for more details.
2. What size should you buy?
Your height, weight, and general build are some of the most important things to consider when selecting a bike frame size. There is no single factor that decides the size of the frame that’s perfect for you, but you may want to think of the following things to help you determine the perfect size:
Perhaps the most basic factor to consider, your height determines how large the frame should be. As common-sense dictates, taller people need taller frames. Getting the incorrect frame size for your height can result in uncomfortable rides, aching joints or injury.
The use of your bike is an essential determining factor in frame size. For example, mountain bike frames are generally smaller than road bike frames for someone of the same height.
The length of your legs, specifically your inseams, should also be considered. Longer inseams need larger frames for a more comfortable ride.
3. How much are you willing to spend?
A quick look at your local bicycle shop can give you an idea of bike price ranges. An inexpensive bike that you assemble yourself would cost you an adult around $150, which is okay if you only want to travel short distances or take a leisurely bike trip around the local area.
However, special-purpose bikes like BMXs or mountain bikes will definitely cost you more. Top-quality bikes, which are the ones you should go for, may cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, due to the technology they have on them and the materials used in their construction.
The key things are not to overspend or underspend – don’t sacrifice quality for what you think will be savings because your safety and comfort are potentially at risk, but it would also be unwise to splurge unnecessarily on an expensive bike with features you don’t need, use or know about.
4. Which customisable parts do you want to include?
Choosing bike parts does not need to be a problem, there are standards included with all bikes. Some parts are customisable, though, such as:
Getting the correct type of handlebar for your bike is vital for grip, control and comfort, so you really need to consider what you’ll be using your bike for.
Each specific bike purpose has a handlebar that is designed specifically for it. For example, a flat bar is versatile but not suitable for performing tricks. You’d want a BMX handlebar if you want to do tricks. Each handlebar type has its own pros and cons, so make sure you consider these when you buy.
- Rise bars give you great control but can be heavy, making them harder to climb with.
- Bullhorns are fast and great for climbing but can be harder to control because they are shorter in width.
- Cruiser bars are excellent for leisurely rides but can be hard to use when climbing steep slopes.
The gears that you pick affect the power output of your bike, which then affects how fast you can go. Pick the correct gear ratio to give you the best rides possible. The right amount of gears and gear change levers vary from person to person. The general rule is that the stronger you are, the more suited you are to larger gears, which require more power to turn.
You also have to consider where you want to ride. Smaller gears, for example, are suited for uphill rides. Larger gears, on the other hand, will let you ride faster on flat terrain.
Choosing the right brakes is the most important safety aspect of your bike, except for your helmet, of course. Mountain bikes work well with disk brakes, whereas touring and road bikes are great with rim brakes.
5. What accessories would you like to add?
Buying a bike doesn’t end with purchasing the unit itself; consider what accessories will also make your ride more enjoyable, comfortable, practical and safe, such as:
- Helmets and pads
- Bells, lights, and reflectors
- Baskets and bike bags
- Tool kits
- Seating accessories
- Bike Locks
These are available in most local bicycle shops. Of course, safety equipment, lights, bells, and reflectors are a must. Other accessories like baskets and bike bags are additional options.
Get the Best Bike to Suit Your Needs
Buying a bike that fits your budget and needs is a big decision, so don’t just go for any old bicycle shop — go for one that has great stock, great service and can offer you a complete experience.
BMX, Mountain or Road Stead Cycles Beresfield (near Newcastle, NSW) has a bicycle for you. We’ve also got an experienced, friendly team who can help you work through the selection. Learn more about us at steadcycles.com.au or contact us on (02) 4966 2141 for enquiries.
Beginner’s guide: how to choose the right gear ratios for your road bike https://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/technique/beginners-guide-choose-right-gear-ratios-road-bike.html
A Quick Guide to Sizing Your Bike Frame https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a20047780/find-right-bike-size/
Bicycle handlebar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_handlebar
The Beginner’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Bicycle https://lifehacker.com/the-beginners-guide-to-picking-the-perfect-bicycle-1782443592