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Buying a Bike

Hints & Tips

If you are buying a new bike it would be advisable to make your purchase from a specialised bike shop, these stores are more likely to have sales assistants that have a large amount of knowledge and expertise to help you find the correct bike for your needs.

Before going to the shop and purchasing your bike it is important to set your budget and determine what you will be using the bike for. When setting your budget some consideration should be given to what accessories, such as lights, helmets and security locks, you will need to purchase along with the bike as the cost of these will mean you have less to spend on the bike. The more money you can spend on a bike the more features the bike will have, when purchasing a bike you do get what you pay for.

Doing your research before you get to the shop will ensure that you are prepared and ready for any questions you may be asked by the assistant, this will help them identify the correct bike for your needs and requirements. When purchasing your bike it would be useful to ask about services or warranty that the shop offers, some shops may offer reduced rates on maintenance and repair for up to two years after the initial purchase date. Certain bike shops may even offer a free service after purchasing your bike to make sure everything is in working order and to make any necessary adjustments to the bike to improve the comfort of the ride.

As an individual it is important to get the right frame size and fit bike for you; this will ensure the bike is comfortable for you to ride. If you can, test drive the bike and make sure that you feel comfortable with the feel of the bike. Your bike shop should be able to advise you on the right frame size for you and it would be advisable to try out several sizes to be sure what feels right. A quick and easy way to check if the bike is the correct frame size is to stand astride the frame with your feet flat on the ground and ideally there should be a 1" clearance between you and the bike for a racing bike, or 3" for a mountain bike.

When purchasing your bike you may wish to change some of the components, such as the saddle, to improve the comfort and value of the bike. It would be wise to discuss this with the bike shop before you purchase the bike as they may be able to exchange some items free of charge or upgrade the components for a small cost. Saddles are a common component to change, each saddle is different and it is a matter of personal choice of which one will suit you. Handlebars and pedals can also be changed to suit your own personal requirements.

Women's bikes, or gender-specific bikes, are made slightly different then standard bikes. These bikes can have 'step-through' frames or conventional cross bar frames and the bikes are made with shorter cross bars as many women have a shorter torso. Women can also change or upgrade the standard saddle to a specially made saddle to increase the comfort of the ride; a ladies saddle shape tends to be wider at the back and shorter in length to be more suited for a woman's shape.

If you are purchasing your bike from a mail order catalogue or an online retailer then you should be aware that you may have to assemble part of the bike yourself when it is delivered.