Buying the Right Bicycle for You

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

With spring on its way, thoughts may turn to outdoor activities like bicycling. If you’re looking to buy a new bike this season, it’s important to choose one that’s appropriate for your needs. Buying the right bike will help you get the most value, satisfaction and pleasure for your bicycle-buying dollars.

Choosing the right bicycle

Consider these factors to determine the best bike for you:

Because bikes can range in price from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, you may well wonder what factors affect their price. While many things can influence cost, higher-priced bicycles tend to offer more options for customizing where it will impact comfort and functionality like the seat, handlebars and tires.

Your body size
The pros at a good bicycle shop can point you to the right type and size bike for your body and will make any necessary adjustments. Riding a bike that’s the correct size and that’s adjusted to fit you perfectly will help you avoid injury and ensure a comfortable ride.

Your physical condition
Those in better condition can consider most any style bike. If you’re new to riding or are less physically fit, upright bikes with larger tires are easier to ride.

Why and where do you want to ride?
There are bikes for all types of riding and all types of terrain. Choose one that’s built for the kind of riding you want to do and where you want to go.

According to, some basic types of bikes to consider and their particular features include:

  • Road bikes are suited to multiple pavement uses including fitness riding, commuting, long-distance/event rides, touring and racing.
  • Mountain bikes are best for dirt or rocky trails and gravel roads because they’re designed with shock-absorbing features and better braking systems. Mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps and ruts that come with them. They feature lower gears than most road bikes to better handle steeper terrain.
  • Comfort/Hybrid bikes are recreational and are best suited to pavement or gravel/dirt roads. They emphasize comfort and ease of handling and are ideal for riding around flat neighborhoods, parks and bike paths.
  • Urban/Commuting bikes are designed for use on city streets. Urban bikes are rugged and sturdy with tough frames and strong wheels. They feature an upright riding position that allows you to better see, and be seen by, motorists.

In what conditions will you ride the bike?
You’ll need to outfit your bike with what it needs to suit your riding conditions. Tires with good tread will help grip wet pavement. If you’ll be riding after dark, get front and rear-facing lights.

Bicycle buying tips

  • Once you decide upon the most likely types of bike(s) to suit your needs, compare brands and prices online. This will enable you to realistically determine your budget and get a fair price when you go shopping.
  • Bike prices are lower in the off-season.
  • Rent several bike styles go on a “test drive” before you commit to a purchase.
  • Buy from a local shop that’s experienced in recommending, fitting and performing maintenance.
  • A helmet is not optional equipment. Proper cycling apparel can also keep you safe and more comfortable, ensuring your bicycle investment turns out to be a pleasurable one.

A bicycle represents a significant expense so you’ll want to ensure that you’ve purchased wisely. You don’t want to buy a bike; you want to buy the right bike for you. Clearly, making an informed decision will make all the difference when it comes to your safety and satisfaction with your new bicycle.

What’s your “right” bicycle?

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