How to choose a bike

New or returning to cycling?

Most of us have cycled at certain stages of our lives.

Over the last few years the roads have grown busier. Kids cycle less. Even the weather seems worse than "when we were younger".

This however, does not stop cycling growing as a sport and pastime.

If you are keen to lose a few pounds, get out in the fresh air, create a social activity for you and friends, or even just get from A to B more economically then Cycling is for you - but there are a few pitfalls!

There are 1000's of different bikes, available from Local or National dealers. Some of their advice is excellent, but all of these outlets (including ours) need to sell you a product in order to survive.

So, before you go out and spend your money. It is worth just pausing for a moment, to really consider what you buy first. If you get this bit right, after a few months, you will see the benefits and the pleasures that cycling can bring. This pleasure inevitably leads to diversification, with a huge variety of different branches of the sport you could move into.

So, ask yourself a few questions below, and this should help you make the right choice first.

 

  • Are you looking to get a little fitter, sometimes on the road and sometimes on gentle paths/woods etc?

We would advise that you buy a mountain bike, probably not a full suspension model (official term a 'hard tail' which has front suspension only). This bike needs to be as light as possible, probably light alloy, with enough resilience for you to jump on and ride any time you want. Any of the brands we sell will do the perfect job. Avoid any brands not on our list.

You will need sensible cycling clothing, padded shorts if you are serious (preferably light in colour), light wind/waterproofs, a helmet, strong boot type trainers or spd-type shoes (which will need special pedals - see technical section), a small rucksack (to carry your essentials), a lock, a small saddle type bag (usually attached under the back of your saddle - to carry a puncture kit and spare inner tube), a bottle rack and bottle (preferably with a pump attached) and a decent set of lights.

See our next section on Mountain Bikes in detail.

 

  •  Are you looking to really get fit, and cover some serious mileage only on the road?

We would advise a drop handlebar road bike. You will still need all of the bits in the section on mountain bikes above, but they will need to be lighter in weight. At this stage, you will probably go with the lycra - non cyclists think we are weird, but its an essential part of the sport as you really don't want baggy shorts or clothes acting a sails which slow you down.These bikes need a bit more TLC, but with care can take you places you would never previously have dreamed of under your own steam.

See our next section on Road Bikes in detail.

 

  • Are you looking to ride on the road, but with something a bit more resilient - perhaps even to work and back?

We would recommend you buy a hybrid bike. These bikes, are as they suggest, the best of both worlds. You have straight handlebars for comfort, a light weight frame (advantage of a road bike), more sturdy wheels, which have slick tyres so reducing friction (these allow for more punishment than could be afforded to a pure road bike). With a hybrid, you can kit it up with tools and panniers without spoiling the objective of the machine.

See our next section on Hybrids in detail.

 

  • Are you looking to ride mainly off road, sometimes down steep rough ground?

We would advise a full suspension mountain bike.

We detail this type of bike in our mountain bike section.

 

If you have any questions, just e-mail us and we will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

New or returning to cycling?

Most of us have cycled at certain stages of our lives.

Over the last few years the roads have grown busier. Kids cycle less. Even the weather seems worse than "when we were younger".

This however, does not stop cycling growing as a sport and pastime.

If you are keen to lose a few pounds, get out in the fresh air, create a social activity for you and friends, or even just get from A to B more economically then Cycling is for you - but there are a few pitfalls!

There are 1000's of different bikes, available from Local or National dealers. Some of their advice is excellent, but all of these outlets (including ours) need to sell you a product in order to survive.

So, before you go out and spend your money. It is worth just pausing for a moment, to really consider what you buy first. If you get this bit right, after a few months, you will see the benefits and the pleasures that cycling can bring. This pleasure inevitably leads to diversification, with a huge variety of different branches of the sport you could move into.

So, ask yourself a few questions below, and this should help you make the right choice first.

 

  • Are you looking to get a little fitter, sometimes on the road and sometimes on gentle paths/woods etc?

We would advise that you buy a mountain bike, probably not a full suspension model (official term a 'hard tail' which has front suspension only). This bike needs to be as light as possible, probably light alloy, with enough resilience for you to jump on and ride any time you want. Any of the brands we sell will do the perfect job. Avoid any brands not on our list.

You will need sensible cycling clothing, padded shorts if you are serious (preferably light in colour), light wind/waterproofs, a helmet, strong boot type trainers or spd-type shoes (which will need special pedals - see technical section), a small rucksack (to carry your essentials), a lock, a small saddle type bag (usually attached under the back of your saddle - to carry a puncture kit and spare inner tube), a bottle rack and bottle (preferably with a pump attached) and a decent set of lights.

See our next section on Mountain Bikes in detail.

 

  •  Are you looking to really get fit, and cover some serious mileage only on the road?

We would advise a drop handlebar road bike. You will still need all of the bits in the section on mountain bikes above, but they will need to be lighter in weight. At this stage, you will probably go with the lycra - non cyclists think we are weird, but its an essential part of the sport as you really don't want baggy shorts or clothes acting a sails which slow you down.These bikes need a bit more TLC, but with care can take you places you would never previously have dreamed of under your own steam.

See our next section on Road Bikes in detail.

 

  • Are you looking to ride on the road, but with something a bit more resilient - perhaps even to work and back?

We would recommend you buy a hybrid bike. These bikes, are as they suggest, the best of both worlds. You have straight handlebars for comfort, a light weight frame (advantage of a road bike), more sturdy wheels, which have slick tyres so reducing friction (these allow for more punishment than could be afforded to a pure road bike). With a hybrid, you can kit it up with tools and panniers without spoiling the objective of the machine.

See our next section on Hybrids in detail.

 

  • Are you looking to ride mainly off road, sometimes down steep rough ground?

We would advise a full suspension mountain bike.

We detail this type of bike in our mountain bike section.

 

If you have any questions, just e-mail us and we will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

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