Buying a bike is exciting, and nerve racking, confusing and a thousand other things! Here are some quick tips to may it a little less mystifying:
- Find a shop you like. There are hundreds of bike shops out there and they all basically do the same thing – sell and fix bikes. So what makes the difference? The people. Find a shop where you feel valued and welcome. Go to a few shops before you pick one. Need suggestions? Check out our list of Official Outfitters.
- Educate yourself. While it seems as if there are thousands of variations, you really only need to make a three decisions to get started; new or used, hybrid or road, and steel, aluminum or carbon fiber. That will focus your search a lot!
- Find a bike that fits your wallet. If you are considering a used bike, keep in mind that you still need a relationship with a bike shop and will need to pay for a fitting and probably a tune-up (and some parts?) which would be included if you bought a bike through a shop. So unless you are saving a couple hundred bucks lean towards a new bike or a used bike through a shop.
- Find a bike that fits your body. If you are too stretched out or scrunched up it will never be a comfortable ride and can even lead to injuries. If you buy a bike through a shop a basic fit should be included. A good shop will swap out parts if needed to make the bike fit properly.
- Get it back to the shop. While you pout the first couple hundred miles on your bike cables will stretch and shifting will get sloppy. Get the bike back to the shop. It’s a quick fix.
- Want to save money in the long run? Talk to your shop about the best way to maintain your bike (and be ready for upcoming blog posts). Simply keeping your bike clean will help keep it running smoothly and will make parts last longer.
- Ask questions! Lots of questions. Ask me. Ask your fellow riders. Ask people on the Facebook Family Page. Ask your bikes shop. The more you know ;-)
- Breathe easy - Assuming you are not going with a full custom built one of a kind steed, almost all of the bikes out there come out of the same factories and are made from the same materials. Different shops will try to sell you on different brands because those are what they carry. When that happens re-read tips #3 and #4. Find a bike that fits your body and your wallet.
Always feel free to come to me with questions.
—Blake, Training and Fundraising Coach