What to consider when buying a bike

For those of you who are new to cycling, buying a bike can seem like a daunting task.  It may have been on your ‘to-do list’ for months (or years?), or you may have even put it in the ‘too hard basket’.  (We mention baskets a little later on 😊).

We’ve put together some things for you to consider which we hope will help you literally ‘get on your bike’.

Where do you see yourself riding?

Long distance riding on roads, or will you be sticking to bike paths?  And once you get a bit more confident with your riding, are you likely to add mountain biking into the mix?

There are many different types of bikes out there, so it’s important to know what sort of riding you plan on doing, to get the best suited bike.  Some want a bike that makes the riding really comfortable for them, whereas others want a bike that will help them increase their speed.

It also pays to think ahead to what type of riding you’ll be doing in 6 months or a year.  Are you likely to get the ‘cycling bug’ and be riding more often and longer distances? This can affect the type of bike you should buy, to save you having to upgrade within the first year.

Q: Do you see yourself riding on mostly roads or mostly bike paths?

Q: Which is more important to you a bike for comfort or a bike for speed?

 

Do you need to wear lycra?

Simple answer – No!  However, lycra does have its benefits.  Lycra does not move when you’re riding, therefore reduces rubbing and chafing.  Cycling clothing is made from specialised fabrics that help with moisture wicking when sweating.

If riding longer distances, it’s recommended to wear knicks with padding included.  The padding not only helps with comfort, it also assists with shock absorption through the seat.  And it’s important to factor in climate when choosing what to wear.  Cycling gloves are great to have – not only for warmth on those early morning rides, some types of gloves also have padding to assist with shock absorption from the handlebars.

Q: Do you need cycling clothing?

Q: Do you need any accessories such as cycling gloves?

Accessories and bling….

Safety first! Of course, you need a helmet.  Every time you ride, your bike must have one working brake, and a bell, horn or similar warning device.  If riding at night, you must have a red or white light (flashing or steady) or a red reflector.

Let’s revisit baskets.  If you’ve decided you’re going to be the cruisier cyclist riding shorter distances, do you want to have a basket on your bike?  Or for the more serious, longer distance cyclist, there are many different types of bike bags and panniers that can be attached to your bike.

We mentioned comfort earlier.  There are a variety of accessories that can help give you a more comfortable ride including the type of seat and type of handlebars you have.  And clothing – clothing is a big part of how comfortable your riding will be.  Which brings us to lycra…

Q: Do you need to purchase safety accessories?

Q: Do you need a basket, bike bag or pannier?

Maintaining your bike….

Like a car, your bike will need regular maintenance and servicing, some of which you can do yourself.

We recommend doing a bike maintenance course when you first buy your bike.  In the long run, this will save you money in repairs and give you the knowledge and confidence to repair your bike if you need to.  Having a repair kit including a spare tube or two may come in handy when out riding.

Trek offer three different service packages, starting with a basic tune up or a full overhaul service.

What next?

We recommend touching base with our event sponsors Trek.  Take along your answers to the questions in this article to one of their stockists and they will be able to help you tick ‘buy a bike’ off your to do list 😊

They have a ‘love it or we’ll take it back’ policy, offer 24-service and a low-price guarantee.

So what are you waiting for?  Work through this list now so you can get a few rides under your belt before event day.

 

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