Friday, 26 February 2010

Are you buying a new bike?

Giving some advice to someone earlier today who is thinking about buying their first road bike, here's my Top 10 tips: -

  1. Getting the right frame for your height is critical, don't buy a bike unless it fits you. I'm 6'3", so have to have an XL frame (58cm+).
  2. All manufacturer frame measurements are a bit different, due to the geometry, don't think they are all the same.
  3. Look for a triple front ring at the front or - if it's a double - make sure it's what's called a "compact", which means the rings have 50/34 configuration. This will make going up hills easier.
  4. Get as good as possible groupset (chain ring, brakes, gear levers) as you can on your first bike.
  5. Buy for spec first, then choose what looks good from the bikes that fit your spec requirements afterwards.
  6. Get as good as bike as you can afford first time round and listen to the advice of others or you may find you spend lots of money on upgrades as you go.
  7. Remember that you need riding shoes which "clip-in" to the pedals, add another £100 onto your budget to buy these.
  8. Go to a bike shop, see the bikes available, often pictures on the web don't do the bike justice (or you may realise that it doesn't look as good in real life).
  9. Always ask for a discount in a bike shop. There seems to be a high degree of price rigidity in the market and on the web, ask in store and you should get some money off or some free clobber thrown in (I got free shoes, bib, bottles and cycling top with my first bike).
  10. Check whether the bike is the "current years model". Deals are there to be done on older models, so it's worth checking.

1 comment:

  1. I'd also add that if you can run to the extra £50 or so, it's definitely worth getting the bike fitted to you. You can do it yourself with some trial and error I guess, but it's worth having a pro do it. They'll set the bike up for you and you'll have a lot less aching and you'll ride more efficiently.

    I went to Paul Hewitt in Leyland. Quite a character in his own right.

    Also, carefully weigh up the pro's & cons of buying online. I bot my Roubaix at almost £350 discount, but when one of the shifter/brake levers broke I was without my bike for 3 weeks whilst the part got replaced. Plus, I then had to take it into a bike shop to be fitted.

    Finally...try to remember to unclip when you stop!