How does one go about choosing a new bike? With so many options in the market and the ability to customize, it can certainly be a tough decision. Rather than simply going with what looks “cool”, there are several important points you should consider when buying a bike to ensure you get the right one that fits your needs:
WHERE WILL YOU RIDE?
The first step is to figure out what kind of riding you want to do. Think about the purpose, distance and type of terrain it will be used for.
If you intend to stay on pavement and ride mainly for exercise, a road bike or fitness bike is a good choice. A comfort or cruiser bike is better for short, casual rides. For commuting, a city bike works. If are riding entirely off-road, a sturdy mountain bike would best fit the job.
There are also a few other types which are not named here but deciding the purpose of your bike first will help narrow down the field considerably.
MAKE SURE IT FITS YOU
Choosing the bike size depends on the type of bike, your height, your riding style, and your preference. A correct fitting bike will be more comfortable, more efficient and more fun to ride.
Your ideal frame size is based on the type of bike you choose, your height and your inseam (the measurement from your crotch to the ground).
Handlebars matter, too. You want to be able to reach them, after all, so make sure the reach between your seat and the handlebars is comfortable. The shape and position of your handlebars also depend on the bike you get.
GEARS, SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
Basically, the most important things to think about are your fitness level and the terrain. If you are riding uphill and you find climbing challenging, then opt for more gears. However, if you are a strong cyclist or you will only ride flat terrain, you can get away with fewer gears, which will keep your bike light.
The bike’s suspension is meant neutralize the impact when you are riding in a rough, rugged area. For mountain bikes, you probably want one with full or at least front suspension. Full suspension helps you maintain control and increases traction. Front suspension absorbs impact and makes for a smooth ride (ideal for hybrids too). If you are getting a road bike, your bike may not include any suspension at all.
Lastly, there are the brakes. There are many different types of brakes, and they all have pros and cons.