Step 2 – Buy a Bike

 

So you took a trip to you local bike shop to inquire about the range of bikes they have and 10 minutes later you were wondering if the sales person actually spoke English at all. Cycling jargon can be very confusing and you pick up this language surprisingly quickly but right now you probably have no idea what to buy.

Before you even go into a bike shop you need to have an idea of what your budget is and try to stick within that budget if possible. Most bike shops are very helpful and will offer good advice but there are those that aim to make the sale as big as possible and there is also a world of accessories that you will need to buy when you purchase the bike so that needs to be accounted for. The accessories shopping list will be covered in the next article.

If you intend to ride recreationally with the occasional race then you definitely won’t need a top of the range feather-light machine that will cost the same as your average family sedan. You will be able to pick up a really good entry level bicycle from around $750 upwards but this being your first bicycle I would suggest not spending more than $3000.

The type of bike that you should look at is categorized in the “ride” line of the models and the geometry will be more relaxed and upright in comparison to that of serious racing bikes. It takes time to get used to the riding position on a bike so getting straight onto a “race” line bike which has a more aggressive geometry will cause some discomfort, for some time at least.

Road Bike shopYou may find yourself with a choice of a carbon or aluminum frame and each have their benefits. Aluminum frames offer a softer ride and are normally slightly cheaper in price. The carbon equivalent while a tad more expensive has a much stiffer feel, is lighter and the power transfer from the crankset is greater but unless you start racing regularly this should not be a factor to influence you right now.

Components on the bike include, the STI’s (gear shifters and brake levers), the derailleurs, brake calipers and the drive-train (cluster, crankset and chain) will have a dramatic effect on the price of the bike but also on the performance. These components will be lighter, more responsive and precise as the specification and price goes higher, the good news is that the manufacturers use trickle down technology so what was top of the range a few seasons ago will now be on cheaper bikes with a different model number on it.

Once you have decided on the bike the next step is to get a proper bike setup done, most bike shops offer a basic fitting and setup service free of charge when purchasing a new bicycle. This service is invaluable and will have a direct influence on the comfort and enjoyment of your ride. An incorrect bike setup will result in poor form on the bike and lead to pain and injury.

Cleats! You have probably witnessed some Lycra clad individuals clip-clopping in an awkward duck walk on a side walk near a coffee shop somewhere along the line. The reason for this is cleats, these are pedals that will clip directly onto the cycling shoe and fix the shoe to the pedal. This lets cyclists get more power and efficiency from each pedal stroke. Warning, it does take some getting used to.

Saddles are a sore point quite literally and this is a matter of process to find which saddle works with your bum. You might be lucky and the saddle that comes with your bike just works for you but for others it is trial and error to find the perfect fit.

With all these options buying a bike can be quite confusing. You need to educate yourself on the subject and read as much as you can before visiting the bike shop. It will definitely help with all the jargon and options that the sales assistant is going to throw at you.

Enjoy the Ride.

Step 1 - Find a Reason to Ride
Step 3 – Get the Basic Equipment

25 Responses to “Step 2 – Buy a Bike”

  1. Hatti N

    Sep 26. 2014

    I would like to recommend that if you can afford a slightly more expensive groupset on a bike then aim for the likes of a Shimano 105 upwards, these will last for ages.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Raoul A

    Sep 29. 2014

    Thanks for the article as it has cleared up a few things for me to choose a bike, would be cool to see some bike reviews or recommendations.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Craig

    Sep 30. 2014

    Wow, bikes have come a long way, I last rode a bike almost 10 years ago and the technology has moved on a lot.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Merrily F

    Oct 24. 2014

    I recently over heard an argument about Integrated Seat Posts, what is your feeling on bikes with ISP?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      I am still undecided on the ISP technology as it has its pro’s and con’s. You won’t find them on an entry level bike as they are aimed more at the professional and semi-professional bikes. The main pro is that it makes the bike slightly more aerodynamic, lighter and allows the manufacturer to play with the frame geometry a bit more.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Ronald J. Williams

    Nov 06. 2014

    Yep you guys were right on the money, my first and second rides with cleats both involved me picking my embarrassed butt up off the road. I have gotten used to them now and unclipping is second nature.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Sisely Blades

    Nov 07. 2014

    Hi, would you recommend buying a second hand bike?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      You can probably pick up some great deals on second hand bikes but there is a risk involved as you won’t have the luxury of a warranty, get the bike checked out by a reputable bike shop to see if it has any cracks. Also beware of stolen bikes.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Michel T

    Dec 10. 2014

    Thanks for a really cool site guys, love the content.

    Reply to this comment
  8. andrej

    Jan 19. 2015

    If you can go carbon over alu then I would recommend it, it really does make a difference IMHO.

    Reply to this comment
  9. David Litton

    Jan 30. 2015

    I was given a nice frame recently and now I am building the bike up, the last thing I need is a set of wheels. What do you recommend?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      First stop is to ensure the freebody (hub) on the wheel supports your groupset choice (Shimano, SRAM, Campag) as there are different. As a beginner wheel I would advise getting an aluminum clincher wheelset with no more than a 40mm rim depth.

      Reply to this comment
  10. mike

    Jan 31. 2015

    Haha, thinking back to when I got my first pair of cycling shoes with cleats, I had a few moments where I found myself on the ground.

    Reply to this comment
  11. devan zachary

    Mar 21. 2015

    If you are struggling with saddles sores from your choice of saddle, use chamois cream to see if that helps. It creates a layer between your chamois and skin.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Richard

    Apr 28. 2015

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, the various articles have helped me choose the correct equipment for my son. The advice has been invaluable.

    Reply to this comment
  13. jecho

    Jun 18. 2015

    My dad has a mountain bike he does not use, can I use it on the road?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      You most certainly can but get his permission to change the tires to slicks, these will cause less rolling resistance on the road.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Mariano H

    Jul 03. 2015

    I would like to buy a bike soon and have been doing some research, there seem to be 3 main component brands, SRAM, Shimano and Campagnalo, what is your preference on these?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      The three brands you mentioned are the best component manufacturers on the market and you can’t go wrong with any of them, each of these brands has an entry level, mid and high end range of components depending on what your price range is.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Cort Mcfarland

    Jul 07. 2015

    I am bit taken aback with the price of bikes, why are they so expensive?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 12. 2015

      There is a lot of research and development that goes into the bikes and this is expensive, there are many affordable bikes that can last years or the previous year’s technology but are by no means inferior.

      Reply to this comment
  16. Juan

    Jul 15. 2015

    Elitist opinion here, once you try Campag you will never go anywhere else!

    Reply to this comment
  17. Tripp

    Aug 06. 2015

    I have come across too many confusing cycling sites, thanks for the down to earth articles.

    Reply to this comment

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