So you want to buy a bike?

Recently my sister wanted to buy a bike.  Of course – she came to me.  I get the “What bike should I buy?” question a lot.  My answer is almost always about the same so I thought I would take a few minutes and lay out my opinion on this – maybe I can forward people to this page?  Maybe not – we will see!

What bike should I buy?

I can’t help you with mountain bikes.  I can’t help you with cross bikes.  I can help you with fixies, track bikes and road bikes.  I can tell you probably more information than you would ever care to know – but for the sake of conversation – let’s assume you likely want a road bike.  My basic answer is “one that fits”.  I will always start there.  You need to find a bike shop that will help you get sized properly.  Much like shoes, my bike probably won’t fit you.   Find a shop that will help.  It’s important!

Now – how much is this going to cost me?  I want you to buy a bike.  It’s how I am!  I want you to buy a nice bike.  I want you to spend more than you probably want to 🙂  It’s just how I am!  Don’t worry – you probalby don’t have to.  First off – I’d avoid any department/super store type places – You need to go to a bike shop.  Cannondale, Trek, Felt, Bianchi, Fuji… all good brands.  I have NO loyalty!  If it fits… good!

I recommend getting as many gears as you can.  Bikes now days come in “8 speed”, “9 speed”, “10 speed” and if you spend a lot even “11 speed”.  Most road bikes you find will be 9 or 10.  This isn’t 10 total – this is 10 in the back.  “Ten Speed” is the current industry standard.  We’ve been here for a while, it’s plenty of gears and it’s refined a great deal.  9 speed – good stuff.  The tech push has brought more quality farther down.  A 9 speed road bike will get you years of fun and dependable riding.

Now the big question:  How much?  Realistically you can get a NICE 9 speed, entry level road bike for $900-1000.  If you can find clearance models, you can save some off that.  Often times, you can spend $100-200 more and get some really nice upgrades, like better wheels and/or even 10 speed shifting.  (Wheels affect the ride of a bike more than just about anything).  Give me 20 minutes and I can spec you a $20,000 road bike that won’t make you ANY faster – but will make your wallet quit a bit lighter.

Shop around, test ride a few bikes.  Find a shop you like.  Find a bike that is comfortable and that fits you.   If you have specific questions – I can help.  Remember – after you buy the bike there are a few accessories you should think about, so don’t spend all your money on your bike – you could end up with a flat tire and nobody to help you out.  Not fun!

It’s a big descision – have fun with it!  Don’t get stressed out and worry – as Lance said “It’s not about the bike!”