Want to know the only upside to having your beloved bike stolen (the one that you’ve spent countless hours and money on purchasing, upgrading, maintaining and generally pimping out)? Getting a call from the insurance company saying you can now replace it!
After weeks of chasing up paperwork and having to explain several times what a Brompton is (“yes it’s a type of folding bike, yes it has small wheels, no it’s not for children…”), I was finally given the green light to choose a new model to replace my recently stolen bike. However I found myself with a dilemma. Did I really want the same bike again? Five years have passed since that happy day, and my cycling needs/desires/fitness levels and commuting distance have all changed considerably.
Having established that I was free to choose any type I liked, I decided to put myself in the hands of Editor of www.londoncyclist.co.uk, Andreas Kambanis. If anyone knows how to choose the right bike, it’s him. So here are Andreas’ top 5 tips for making that momentous decision. After all, you and the bike will be spending a lot of time alone together so the chemistry has to be right…
Tip #1: If your budget is tight then second hand bike websites such as Goinggoingbike.com and Gumtree are a good place to look. Check the bike thoroughly for dents and rust. Ideally take the bike for a short test ride and check everything is working. A friend knowledgeable in bikes is always useful to take a long when buying a second hand bike.
Tip #2: Be careful not to be swept away by features you don’t need. If you are doing inner city riding then stick to a practical bike with components that are built to last. If you are covering larger distances above 10 miles then a road bike may be more suitable. Remember that mountain bikes are meant for off road riding. On the road they can be heavy and a little slow.
Tip #3: Use your local bike shop to advise you on the correct frame size. You don’t want to ride away with something that is the wrong size for you as it will be uncomfortable to ride.
Tip #4: Always push for free accessories such as bike lock, lights and jacket. The bike shops make a big margin on these and so are more likely to discount them with a new bike purchase.
Tip #5: A good bike shop should offer a free checkup service after 6 weeks to make any fine adjustments that are often needed on a new bike.
Got any tips of your own for choosing the perfect bike? Share them in our comments section below.