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The Complete Guide to Buying a Bicycle

If you, like most people trapped at home in 2020, just want to go outdoors with a new type of sport/transportation, then you may end up looking for a place to buy a bicycle.

If so, we can’t blame you! Bicycle is free. They can provide exercise, transportation and meditation at the same time. But first, you need to actually own a bicycle, and it does. many. choose. (And the current shortage of new bicycles on the shelves.)But this seems just daunting.

Before you go to the bike shop to buy your new favorite vehicle, it’s helpful to know all the small details, which will make the bike buying process easier. When you consider buying a bicycle, some of the main questions you will want to ask are:
What kind of bicycle should I buy?
What parts of the bike do I need to care about?
How much do I want to spend?
Where can I buy a bicycle?
Here is how to find and buy a bike that suits you.

Where will you ride?

The first logical question is “What kind of bike should I buy?” First figure out what type of ride you want to do. There are many types of bicycles, and knowing what you will do with them will greatly narrow the scope. How often do you ride? How far? Will you stay on the paved surface or explore the path of the natural surface?

If you will stay on the sidewalk and ride mainly for exercise, then a road bike or exercise bike is a good choice. Comfortable or cruising bicycles are more suitable for short-distance leisure riding with your family. If you ride a bike mainly for commuting, then a city bike may be the best; you can also consider an electric pedal assist model. If you want a bike for commuting and fitness, and think you can ride on sidewalks and natural roads, then a versatile gravel bike may be the right choice. If you want to ride completely off-road, a sturdy mountain bike is the best choice.

Sometimes, more than one type of bicycle may be suitable. Once you narrow down to a few styles, you can zero out specific candidates.

Bike Anatomy 101

Frame: The heart of the bike. Made of metal (aluminum most often, steel sometimes, titanium rarely) or carbon fiber on more expensive models. Comes in different sizes to fit riders of different heights.

Wheels: Made up of the rubber tire, the rim, and the hub, which connects to the rim via spokes.

Suspension: Front and rear hydraulic shocks that smooth out bumps and jolts. The rougher the trail, the more suspension you need. Pricier suspensions are lighter and more adjustable.

Drivetrain: Typically 1-30 gears, with up to 12 in the back (cassette or internal-gear hub) and 1-3 in the front (chainrings). Most use a traditional chain, but some city bikes feature belt drives.

Brakes: There are three types. Coaster hub brakes are found mostly on beach cruisers. Rim brakes are found on many models, from inexpensive city bikes to high-end road racers. Disc brakes are cable-activated or hydraulic. They’re heavier but stop better, with less force, in all conditions.

Contact points: The seat (also called the saddle), handlebar and stem (flat, curved, or drop), and pedals (flat, toe-clips, or clipless).

Consider Your Budget

Quality bikes for adults start around $300 to $400. (Many department-store bikes you see for less are cheaply made, poorly assembled, and will be 100 percent un-fun to ride). But a good bike will last, which means you’ll get far more out of it. Here’s what you can expect for your money:

$300 to $500: A sturdy metal frame, rigid fork or basic front suspension, a wide-range drivetrain (anywhere from 7-24 speeds), rim brakes or cable-activated disc brakes

$500 to $1,000: Better front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes on some models, lighter wheels and tires

$1,000 to $2,000: Lighter aluminum or carbon frames, better suspension, hydraulic disc brakes (except on some road bikes), still lighter wheels and tires

How to shop

Once you have narrowed down the bike to one to three styles, you can do some online research. Start with our best bike series, then head to the manufacturer’s website for more information. Compare features such as frame materials, transmissions and brakes of different brands in your price range. Check the size (varies by brand), then use the size finder to determine the size that suits you. Yes, think about colors and graphics.
Use the manufacturer’s distributor finder to find a store operating that brand in your area. Call ahead and ask if they have the model you want (or a model close to it) of the right size. Ask if you need to arrange a test ride (or if the store has taken different measures when testing bikes due to the coronavirus pandemic). You need to test the bike under conditions as close as possible to riding in real life. Look for any bike lanes around the store where you can organize things safely and find a suitable hill to test the shifting range and brakes.

How to test ride

Dress section: Wear whatever clothes you plan to wear while riding. Even if you do not plan to buy on the day, bring your ID and credit card, as you may need to leave them in the store during the test. Ask the clerk to set up the bike for you—adjusting the seat, inflating the tires, and setting up the suspension will provide you with the appropriate coordination. If you are not familiar with how any part works, please ask for a demonstration.

A good test ride takes around 15 to 20 minutes. Get comfortable in the parking lot first, and ask the shop to readjust anything that doesn’t feel right. Then, get out and ride!

Shift through all the gears, see how the bike handles around corners. Does the steering feel quick and responsive? Slow and stable? (There’s no wrong answer, just what feels best to you.) Are the gears low enough to let you climb steep hills at a comfortable pace? Do the brakes stop you quickly and safely? Is the bike comfortable to sit on?
Most shops aren’t located near trail and aren’t keen on letting riders get test bikes dirty. So if you’re looking for a mountain or gravel bike, demo events are a great bet. Ask the shop if one is scheduled, and check the manufacturer’s website for a calendar of demo tours. Finally, ask if the shop has the model you want in its rental fleet. Many shops will credit the price of one rental toward purchase.

Signs of a Good (and Bad) Bike Shop

Good bike shops have employees who are friendly and knowledgeable, but will work at your speed. They’ll show you how different parts work. They’ll allow test rides and take the time to properly set up the bike. And they’ll discuss maintenance, any service plan packages they offer, and what accessories you should think about.

If an employee is condescending or dismissive, find another to help you. If it happens again, find another shop or go to the manager.

Pressure sales tactics are rare, but if they try to sell you something that’s the wrong size or clearly not right for you, leave if they won’t listen to your concerns. Most shops are great, but if something feels out of place don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.

Ignore warm-up exercises

The human body is not a switch. Especially when people want to start high-speed exercise, there must be a preparation process, which requires a sufficient warm-up. Warming up is mainly to activate cells in various parts of the body; blood supply is sufficient, and the flow is smooth; muscles and ligaments are better tough; each joint is lubricated; the nervous system reaches a state of excitement, better control of various parts to achieve coordination

In pursuit of speed

Riding is the most important thing in maintaining speed. Don’t ride fast or slow, ride hard and stop at a slow pace. It is absolutely indispensable for a beginner rider to only pursue speed during riding. Speed does not determine the degree of domineering riding, and forced acceleration can easily increase body load and cause injury. It is recommended to increase the amount of exercise after finding the frequency

Forgot to hydrate

More than 90% of human blood is water, and the average person loses about 1% of body weight, physical strength and sports performance will be affected. However, it is not easy to feel thirsty during exercise or there is no time to replenish water, so it is often lost You will feel thirsty only after 2 to 3% of your body weight, so replenish water in advance.

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