Find the Right Bike and Save Money with These Bike Buying Tips
Buying a new or used bike presents a dizzying selection of brands, models, types, and price options. There are bikes for to satisfy virtually everyone's needs whether you are interested in competitive cycling, fitness training, recreational cycling with family and friends, commuting or riding around the world. Use this site to learn what kind of bike you should buy, the best places to buy your bike, what other items are essential to get the most out of your cycling, and how to save money on your purchases.
Quick Overview - Bike Buying Options
The most common places to buy a new bike are in specialty retail bike shops, quality sporting goods retailers, discount retailers and online. While many well known brands are available in those locations, beginners would do well to begin and perhaps end their search in either a quality local bike shop or a sporting goods retailer such as Dick's Sporting Goods or REI.
Bicycle shops are often, but not always staffed with very knowledgeable employees with years of experience who can give you the information you need to make your best purchasing decision. They will also almost always offer skilled bicycle repair services.
Specialty sporting goods stores may not always be able to match the expertise found in a dedicated bike shop, but they can sometimes have pricing advantages, gift card availability, easy return policies, and extended shopping hours.
The low price business model of discount retailers makes it difficult at best to find a quality bike. While the bicycle brands found at the mega-mart stores are sometimes well known, these bikes are generally sourced at the absolute lowest possible prices. These bikes are typically heavier, use cheaper components, are more difficult to operate, and poorly assembled.
Purchasing a bike online can be way to get great prices on quality products. However, it is best left to knowledgeable buyers who know exactly what they want, know how to detect fraudulent reviews from real reviews, and are willing to repack, reship and return a bad purchase. Purchasing a bike online generally means you will have to at least partially assemble the bike yourself or perhaps pay your local bike shop to do an expert job.
Quick Overview - Common Types of Bicycles
One of the first things to consider when buying a bike is what kind of bike will suit your riding needs. Bike companies tend to focus on building and selling four basic categories of bikes. Road bikes are the ones built with light weight components, thin wheels and tires, narrow seats and downturned handlebars. Mountain bikes are the bikes that have wide wheels and knobby treaded tires, and straight bar handlebars. Mountain bikes often have front and / or rear shocks and disc brakes for better off road handling. Hybrid bikes are a little bit road bike and little bit mountain bike. They typically have wheels and tires that are wider and more stable than road bike wheels, but are narrow and smoother rolling than mountain bike wheels. Some hybrids also make an attempt to be comfortable with wider, softer seats, higher handlebars, and front shocks to lessen road impact on the upper body. Cruiser Bikes are all about comfort. They use wide "balloon" type tires combined with the widest seats and upright handlebars that sweep back towards the rider.
|Road Bike||Mountain Bike|
|Hybrid Bike||Cruiser Bike|
Not So Common, But Still Cool to Ride and Own Bicycles
|Tricycle||Balance Bike - Eco Friendly Wooden Bike|
Quick Overview - Cycling Clothing Essentials
Accessories make cycling more fun, fashionable, and safe. People used to look at helmeted cyclists like they were weird or out of place. But that notion has evolved. Now, in some cycling communities, people will look at you weird if you are NOT wearing a helmet. You should have one. Gloves are more than just comfort items, they are skin savers. If you crash, you will instinctively put your hands out to protect yourself. Without gloves you could get some ugly scrapes and cuts all over your palms. Padded cycle shorts will keep your butt and other parts from getting sore. There are even organic clothes and socks for cyclists who want reduce chemical exposure on their skin.
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