How To Choose A Bicycle
How To Choose A Bicycle
Bicycles are a cheap, easy and fun way to get around. They're good for you and for the environment. If you're considering buying a bike, this film will help you decide which one to get…
Step 1: What kind of riding?
Before you buy, think about the kind of riding you'll be doing - will you be commuting or leisure cycling? How often will you use it? How far will you be going? On what kind of roads? This will determine which type you should buy.
Step 2: What kind of bike?
There are lots of different kinds of bikes - but they divide into three main types....
Mountain bikes are sturdy, all terrain bikes with thick nobly tyres, wide flat handle bars and an upright seating position. Comfortable and easy to ride, they're ideal all-round bikes, good for leisure cycling and commuting. They can be heavy, though and slow.
Road bikes are built for speed, with lightweight parts, narrow wheels and drop handle bars. They're ideal for racing, training and cycling long distances, but they're not great for novices, as they can be hard to handle and the low down riding position limits visibility in traffic.
Hybrids are a cross between the two: lighter than mountain bikes but not as fast as road bikes. They have an upright seating position, flat handle bars, large wheels with smooth tyres. They're ideal for commuting but not so great for off-roading.
There are other, more specialized bikes worth considering if you have particular needs - like tourers - which are adapted to carry lots of luggage on long journeys, and folding bikes - ideal if space is limited or you want to take them on public transport.
Step 3: Go shopping
Find a local specialist bike shop. They'll have more experience and more bikes than a department store, and it'll be convenient if you need advice and repairs in the future. Look for one that's a member of the Association of Cycle Traders.
The best to time to go bike shopping and find a bargain is in the Autumn when shops are clearing out stock or in the New Year after the Christmas rush.
Step 4: Find the right size
A good bike shop will help you find a bike that fits. Only you can tell what right for you but there are some general rules....
Test the frame height. Adjust the saddle if necessary. The tips of your toes should touch the ground on either side. If the frame is too large the bike will be hard to control.
Check that the distance between the saddle and the handlebars suits you. Your arms should be a little bit bent as you hold the handlebar.
Step 5: Test drive
Road test the bike for at least 5 minutes.
What's the riding position like?
Do the brakes work?
Is the gear change smooth?
Do you feel comfortable?
Take your time, and try out lots of bikes
Step 6: Accessories
Once you've found a bike you like, you'll need some accessories - including lights, locks and a helmet. Depending on how you use your bike, you may also need others like mudguards and racks. These accessories aren't cheap - so don't spend all your budget on the bike itself. Most bike shops will do a discount if you buy kit at the same time as the bike.
Step 7: Insurance
Don't forget insurance. 150,000 bikes get stolen every year in the UK. Make sure you're covered if yours is one of them
Step 8: Maintenance
Take good care of your bike. See VideoJug http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-do-basic-bicycle-maintenance - and don't forget to bring it back to the shop for a regular service. This will make sure it's safe and fun to ride.