For the Novice: The Basics Of Buying a Bike

City Market KC Bikes
City Market KC Bikes

A Few Things to Consider When You Want to Buy a Bike

I know a lot of people who want to start riding bikes (as they should - it's awesome!) and I know how overwhelming it can be, but don't fret! Here is my best advice if you're contemplating taking the plunge.

Learn about the different types of bikes

There are lots of bikes out there and its easy to get carried away with the colors, baskets and bells, but you need to start with how you are going to use it, not what looks cool. Are you interested in:

  • Grinding through mud and gravel? I see a mountain bike in your future!
  • Trekking around on paved trails? A hybrid is a great option.
  • Riding for hours down winding country roads? Oh yeah – go get you a road bike.
  • Be-boppin to the market and picking up some organic kale? A cruiser would be pretty sweet.

Do some research and get a basic idea of the types of bikes. If you’re not sure where to get started, a hybrid is a great starter bike that is versatile for many types of riding. And it's more affordable than a road bike (entry level road bikes are ~$1k… start saving those pennies!).

Talk to the experts

Not sure where to get started? Have some technical questions? Just need a buddy who will geek out on bikes with you ? Head to a bike shop. Bike shops are awesome – the people that work there don’t do it for the paycheck. They love bikes and they want you to love bikes too. Go talk with them for 5 minutes and see what I mean – they’re way better than any Google search.

Start with what you got

I rode my 1st century on the Schwinn my parents bought me in 6th grade. It didn’t fit quite right and a mountain bike is not ideal for road riding, but it opened my eyes to the world of biking. Plus, I was in heaven when I got a road bike!

Get your bike fitted

Whether you get a brand-new bike, dust off your uncle’s old one or swap an old stereo for a cruiser on Craigslist, take that sucker to a bike shop and get it tuned up and fitted. They can make sure your bike is in top condition, that its fitted for you and give you pointers on how to ride efficiently.

Most of all – just go do it. Like most things in life, your first bike probably won’t be perfect. And that’s OK – get out there and ride and you’ll realize it’s not really about the bike anyways.

Need more inspiration? Check out how I got started and then create your own story!