Picking your first bike: how to choose the right bicycle
By Kailyn Beatty
December 12, 2022
Picking the perfect bicycle can be a daunting task, especially with so many different types and styles to choose from. But fear not – with a bit of research and consideration, you can find the perfect bike for your needs. Here are some tips to help you get started.
What kind of rider are you?
First, consider what type of riding you’ll be doing. Different bicycles are designed for different types of terrain and activities, so it’s important to choose a bike that’s well-suited to the type of riding you’ll be doing. For example, road bikes are designed for speed and efficiency on paved roads, while mountain bikes are built for rugged off-road trails. Hybrid bikes, as the name suggests, are a mix of road and mountain bikes and are great for a wide range of uses, such as commuting.
On the deep end there are other, more peculiar bikes, such as cargo bikes for hauling big cargo, or tandem bikes for riding around with a partner (or an entire family!) Consider the type of use your bike will get and work your way from there.
Which features do you need?
Next, think about the features that are important to you. Do you want a bike with lots of gears for tackling steep hills? Or a lightweight frame for easy maneuverability? Do you need a comfortable seat for long rides, or sturdy brakes for safe stopping? Make a list of the features that are most important to you, and use that list to help narrow down your options. Of course, when it comes to bike parts, compatibility of parts will also be an issue. If you plan to build a bike from scratch, consider taking a trip to your local bike shop and talk to the mechanics to help you make your choice.
Does your bike fit?
Another important factor to consider is the fit of the bike. A bike that’s too small or too large can be uncomfortable to ride and can even be dangerous. To find the right fit, stand over the bike and make sure there’s a couple of inches of clearance between your body and the top tube. You should also be able to easily reach the handlebars and pedals, and the saddle should be at a comfortable height.
If you don’t feel like fitting your bike by yourself, you can always enlist the help of a professional bike fitter. These people are trained and certified to make sure that the person fits the bike they want. However, their services tend to be on the pricier side.
Have you done a test ride?
Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on type, features, and fit, it’s time to test ride the bikes on your shortlist. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the bike and see how it handles. Pay attention to the bike’s responsiveness, comfort, and stability, and take it on different types of terrain to see how it performs. Ask your local bike shop if they have loaner bikes that they’d be willing to lend so you can try them out for yourself.
What’s your budget?
Finally, don’t forget to consider your budget. Bicycles can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s important to have a budget in mind and stick to it. If you’re not sure how much to spend, consider how often you’ll be using the bike and what you’ll be using it for. For example, if you’re a serious rider who plans to use the bike regularly, it may be worth investing in a high-quality model.
Key takeaway: Finding the perfect bike is easy!
In conclusion, picking the perfect bicycle involves considering the type of riding you’ll be doing, the features you want, the fit of the bike, and your budget. Take your time and do your research, and you’ll be sure to find a bike that’s perfect for you. Happy riding!
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