One question I get asked often is what bike should I buy? My answer is usually I don’t know, It depends. Now I know people ate this answer and it feels very wishy washy ( and maybe it is) but let me tell you why I say it. I have no idea what you want or what your budget is. Furthermore, I need you to answer a few questions then I can help point you in the right direction.
- Before I ask anything else, I ask, who are you riding with? Now you may wonder why does this matter? Well I have a secret for you. Many, if not all, adults are susceptible to something I call A.P.P. or adult peer pressure. This is when we buy a new iPhone even though the one you have works fine, because our co-worker bought one. Or pay for private school for our kid because our nephew is in private school. Sure no one wants to admit that they fall prey to A.P.P. but the reality is if your buddy Jon is on a $2000 Canondale, carbon fiber bike you will most likely figure out how to get one even though you have no idea what carbon fiber is nor do you have $2000 extra dollars for it. But you want to be fast like Jon. You want the lightest bike ever made like Jon. You want to climb hills like Jon. You want Jon’s bank account! But seriously, if you are riding with Jon you will want a fast bike. If you plan to ride with your kids, you may want a hybrid or a cargo bike. Think about who you be with when you ride so you can choose the right bicycle to keep up with them.
- How often will you ride? Are you a fair weather rider? (psst .. there is nothing wrong with that) Will you be riding daily, weekend-ly (yup I made that up that word.) Will you ride in a weather conditions? All of these scenarios will affect which bike you should consider buying.
- Where will you be riding your bike? Do you plan to mountain bike? Then you need a mountain bike. Duh! Do you plan to ride races or do triathlons or just want to go fast? Then you need a road bike with skinny tires that help you fly through the streets. Will you be commuting to work or the store? Then you may want a hybrid or city bike or even a Dutch style upright bicycle. Consider these things before you make a big purchase that could end up being a really expensive clothes hanger.
- What will you need to carry? If you are a commuter, you may want to carry clothes for work or pick up groceries on the way home. Maybe you want to ride your kids to school rather than drive. Or maybe you are a road warrior and all you really need is your flat kit and your phone. Each of these will require you to think about the type of bike you buy so you can add on bags, panniers or baskets.
- What is your budget? Now that you have determined your needs, you can start looking at what you have to spend. You may decide that you want to be a recreational rider and a hybrid is perfect. And you are willing to spend up to $1000. You can find a great bike for much less. But if you want a road bike you almost have to start at $1000 to get a good one.
- Although this isn’t a question, it’s a must. Ride the bike. Last year, I really wanted a cargo bike. I LOVED the look of this one particular bike. It was about $1000 and I found deal for 20% off that! These bikes are hard to find in store and never seem to be on sale. I was so excited. So I went over to the bike shop, hopped on the bike and … I didn’t enjoy riding it – at all! I don’t know why but it just wasn’t comfortable to me. I still think they are adorable bikes but not for me. Instead, I bought a Biria Bike, added baskets with colorful daises, tons of lights, turn signals and a Hilltopper so hills are no longer something to avoid. I love riding this bike. It sits upright, it’s fun to ride and it’s so ME. So make sure you test ride the bike for as long as it takes. Ride some hills. See how it handles in traffic or trails , wherever you will be riding.
- Once you have done that you are ready to buy your new bike and change your life! Enjoy!