Other Considerations

While the previous pages covered a significant amount of information, there are a few more tips you should consider when purchasing a bicycle.

Borrow a Bike to Test

Once you’ve selected the type of bike you wish to purchase, it’s a good idea to call around to see if any of your friends own that same style of bicycle. If they do, ask them if you can borrow it for a bit. By taking a twenty to thirty minute test ride, you should get a better idea of how comfortable you’ll be riding that type of bike. You may even discover a problem with the bike that hadn’t occurred to you before.

Don’t Go Cheap

While low-priced bikes sold at big box department stores may seem like a good deal, you should resist the temptation to go cheap. Bikes sold at discount stores are often poorly made with heavy frames and unreliable components. These low-quality bicycles often only last a year or two. You’re much better off purchasing a high-quality, durable bike from your local bike shop.  These bikes are typically much more comfortable than their cheaper counterparts, and with the right maintenance they can last for decades.

Consider Used

If you can’t afford a new bike, you should consider purchasing a used one. You can often find good deals on used bikes and bicycle parts by searching websites like Craigslist and Ebay. If you prefer some personal assistance when making your purchase decision, check your local bike shop. In addition to selling new bikes, some local bike shops refurbish and re-sell used bikes.

Consult Your Local Bike Shop

While you’ll find plenty of bicycle resources on the Internet, there’s no substitute for the service you get from your local bike shop. The staff is typically very knowledgeable about bicycles, and can offer tips and advice to address your specific needs. Most bike shops will also help you assess how well the frame height, seat, and handlebars of a particular bike fit you. You won’t find this kind of service in a department store setting.

Seek Professional Assembly

Having your bike professionally assembled ensures that all the bicycle components and accessories are properly installed. Most bike shops will sell you an assembled bike, fit it for you, and allow a test ride. If you buy your bike online, or at a department store, you won’t have this luxury.