Tuesday 8 September 2015

The Beginner's guide to buying the right bike - Guest Article by V Bharat Krishna

At present, there’s more choice than ever before in bicycle shops. So you need to choose a bike that suits you the best. While planning to buy your first bike, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. For finding the perfect bike for you, it is necessary that you make it clear to the bike dealer whom you are planning to purchase the bike,on what you want with your bike and your purpose, so that it makes things easier.



First of all, you should be knowing about the different types of bikes available and their purposes. Different bikes are intended for different purposes and some are really specific. Some of the beginners take up cycling just to commute to their workplace and avoid the rush in public transport. Mainly commuter’s use hybrid bikes or touring bikes with drop handlebars with fenders and racks. But for those who are not comfortable with the drops, hybrids are a safer bet. They have 650c-700c wheels and are really fast rolling.

If you are an adventure seeker and want to take your bike out on the trails, then you should be looking at mountain bikes. It comes in various wheel sizes 26”, 27.5” and 29” generally. There are different types of mountain bikes which are specific to usage. But mainly with just front suspension, rear suspension or both.

If you are a person who want to pursue it as a sport and still be on road, you should be looking for a road bike. These are really light weight bikes made purely to be aerodynamic and be fast on the roads. They run on really thin tyres which reduce friction and the contact with the ground. The seating posture in a road bike is much different from other bikes, as they have drop handlebars and make you aerodynamic on the bike.

If you are planning to do a mix of commute and also want to carry your bike to different places you travel, you need to look out for a folding bike. These are much heavier than regular bikes and will be much slower in speed as they mostly run on smaller wheel sizes. But it’s really easy to carry and also park the bike as they require very little space. There are light weight folding bikes with suspension that come at a higher price than the typical folding bikes.


If you are clear on what your purpose is, then you should be setting a budget for the bike that you are planning to purchase. Basic bikes start from around $200 and upwards. You get bikes even cheaper, but they can be of poor quality. It’s really important that you don’t buy a poor quality bike, as you would have a feeling of hatred towards riding if your bike’s not treating you well. Keep aside some money for some accessories that you need to purchase along with the bike.Costly bikes are durable, lightweight and come with good quality components. After setting your budget, you need to choose the right shop to purchase your bike.


Check out a few bike shops before you make a decision. Check for shops which provide good after sales service for your bike, as it will need maintenance and also purchase parts for replacement. A good bicycle dealer will give you the right suggestions. Also check out for discounts offered by the dealers.


Bikes come in different sizes, so a right sized bike is very important. Riding a bike which is not of your size can cause a lot of problems. It can cause injury to your muscles, pain on different body parts etc. So you need to find the right sized bike. A test ride would help you to decide if the bike is a right sized one for you.


At present, there are different types of gear systems. More number of gears means that you get a wide range of gears to ride comfortably. This should be decided on the terrain that you plan to ride in. Mostly the gears use derailleur mechanisms and some use the hub enclosed gear system. Some people even ride without gears, like single speed bikes or fixed gear bikes.


Select a bike that suits your purpose and as well comes under your budget. Some are particular on specific brands, so try getting a good bike that is durable, versatile and having good quality components on it. If you want to take cycling as a sport, try getting some expert opinion before choosing a particular bike.


As different bikes come in different geometry and sizes. It will be really good, if you can test ride that bike you are planning to purchase, so that you can find that correct size of bike that can fit you and see if you are comfortable with the seating posture.

Many people go and buy a bike that is really appealing to them, but most of them forget its purpose.So, buy only what you can afford. Don’t blow off your pocket as its your first bike and its rarely your last bike. So enjoy riding your bike.

Ride Responsibly !


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