Shopping for anything more expensive than a candy bar can be stressful and terrifying, especially when you’re looking for something as expensive as a bike. There are many circling questions like, “What’s the best brand? How much should I spend? What the heck are components?”
The process of buying a bike is much like buying anything else, but make sure you don’t make the following mistakes. When looking for your perfect bike, here’s what you shouldn’t do.
Decide to buy a bike without knowing how you’ll use it.
Before you even start the process of finding the perfect bike, you need to determine your riding goals. There are three basic types of bikes to choose from (although there are many more sub-categories): road, mountain or hybrid.
If you’re wanting to complete a triathlon or long-distance races, then a road bike would be best for you. If you plan on just strictly riding on trails and paths, then a sturdy mountain bike would be your go-to. And finally, if you’re planning on doing a little bit of both road and off-road, then go for a hybrid.
It all depends on what you want to do with the bike. A great tip is to visualize yourself one, three and even five years from now. What type of rider do you see yourself as?
Only consider price.
Often when riders go to buy their first bike, they tend to “under buy” and shop strictly on price. From there, one of two things will happen: you’ll either stop riding because the bike is too heavy and slow, or you’ll quickly outgrow the performance level of the initial purchase and wind up spending even more money on a bike that you should have considered the first time.
It is better to spend what seems like a lot now than waste money on a bike that won’t last or keep up with you. When you buy a cheap bike, you get what you paid for, and typically the bike ends up wearing down after a couple of years. When it comes to bikes, quality is important!
Only rely on your own knowledge. Or the Internet’s.
If you’re looking for your first bike, chances are, you are probably not an expert on bikes. Sorry to break it to you. And even when you do your research, bikes can be more complicated than you think. Head to your local bike shop to get advice from the pros. And don’t be afraid to ask for help! They know their stuff.
The ultimate goal when purchasing a bike is stay healthy and have fun! So after all the stressful decision-making, you can finally enjoy all the benefits of your new bike. The wind rushing by, the sun beaming on your back and pure euphoria is what is waiting.