How to choose a bike

So you have decided to buy a bike. And now you are trying to decide what type of bike is the most suitable for your needs. Here are some tips on to choose a suitable one to buy.

How do you choose a bike to suit your needs? Photo:

How do you choose a good bike to suit your needs?

1) Decide on what you want the bike for

You need to decide what is the main purpose of you wanting a bicycle. This is because there are many different types to cater to different cyclists.

Here are some of the more common types of bikes.

Basic single-speed bikes – These are basic bikes which do not have gears. They also have simple hand brakes and are good for leisure cyclists who simply want to ride around the neighbourhood.

BMX bikes – Comprising of knobbly tyres, these are single-gear competition bikes made for the simple purpose of cycling on trails.

Road bikes – These are bicycles that are designed specifically for riding on roads and pavements only There are two types of road bikes. There are racing bikes, which are lightweight and made purely for speed and competition. The other type of road bikes is touring bikes, which are designed for comfort and leisure riding.

Mountain bikes – Designed specifically for off-road riding, these are bikes bearing compact frames and wide, knobbly tyres. There are a few types of mountain bikes, depending on whether you want to focus on downhill riding, cross-country bike racing and so on. Basic mountain bikes can also be used for riding on roads though, so they are pretty much multi-purpose bikes too.

Tandem bikes – These are leisure riding bikes comprising of two seats so that you can ride together with a partner or a friend.

Time trial bikes – Racing bikes designed for use in individual or team time trials on roads.

2) The fit of the bike

Once you have chosen the right type of bike to meet your needs, it is important to make sure that you get the fit and size right, depending on your body shape and dimensions. For example, the straddle height of your bike should not be too high, so that you won’t have problems with mounting and dismounting.

3) Test ride the bike

If you think that a specific bike is suitable for you, it is important to go on a test ride before you purchase it. This can be a short ride around the shop or the nearby surrounds, so that you can gauge the feel and comfort levels of the bike. If the bike is more comfortable for you, you will end up using it more often, too.

Learn basic riding skills

Before you go about looking for bikes, it is important that you know how to cycle. You can learn on any bike, but the easiest and most basic way to pick up cycling, would be through using a single speed bike with simple hand brakes. In this way, you don’t have to keep on thinking about shifting gears when you are still trying to get your coordination down pat.

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