According to a recent article in The Guardian, the UK is experiencing a bike boom – with a 60% increase in bicycle sales recorded in April. This is largely due to the coronavirus lockdown, as many have turned to two-wheel transport both for leisure and commuting purposes.
If you’re thinking about buying a bike, there are certain things you need to consider. Here, we explore some of the main areas you will need to bear in mind to help you find the right bike.
To figure out which type of bike will best suit your needs, you need to think about the type of terrain you’ll usually cycle on. For instance, if you are buying a bike to commute and you’ll be riding on tarmac roads, then a hybrid or road bike may be a suitable option. They typically have thin wheels and a lightweight frame, making them great for cycling on roads. Whereas if you’ll be biking for leisure through woods, over grass or along other off-road routes, you may be more suited to a mountain bike due to their robust frame and tyres.
When buying a bike, it’s important to put your comfort high up the priority list. If you don’t feel comfortable riding it, the less motivated you’ll be to take it for a spin, making it a poor investment. Firstly, think about the riding position you’re most comfortable in – if you prefer an upright position, a road bike may not be the best choice. You should also consider the saddle and grips, as well as the shape of the frame – most stores will let you give a bike a test ride before purchasing to help you make sure it’s as comfortable as can be.
It’s also worth thinking about the weight of the bike before you buy. It’s surprising how weight can vary across different types of bike – and this can have a huge impact on your cycling experience. Heavy bikes will require more effort to power them, making uphill stretches more difficult than they would be on a light bike. This means lightweight options such as road bikes are more suited to those who want to cover long or hilly distances fast. On the other hand, those cycling on rugged surfaces may find that a heavy bike is a much sturdier option.
Of course, one of the most important things to do is consider the cost. Price tags can vary hugely across the bike market, with some models costing hundreds, and others costing thousands of pounds. Before you start searching, set yourself a sensible spending limit that sets out how much you’re happy to fork out for your new bike. As well as the bike price, you should factor in the costs of equipment in your overall budget, such as a helmet, reflective clothing, lights and so on.
Which type of bike will you choose?