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No Excuses: You Deserve a New Bike

Beppe Salerno
Posted by Beppe Salerno on Dec 15, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Is it time to buy yourself a new bicycle?  Maybe you want to treat yourself for the holidays. I’ve got some tips to help you find the bike that is right for you.

New Bike Blog

Bicycling Magazine recommends to “Start by deciding which of the common bike types makes sense for you.” In other words start with you, not with the bike.

If you have not looked at bikes lately there is good news. There are awesome bikes in every price range and they are better today than anything in the same price range sold even five years ago. Way better.

Choices are limitless, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It’s good to decide what you intend to do with that new bike (race, travel, commute, etc.) and to look at your past rides to see which ones gave you the most enjoyment, inspiration and memorable moments. I'm not saying that bikes have feelings, but they sure have character and one might suit you better than others.Fotolia_73893963_S.jpg

Here is how to proceed (in my opinion) without losing your bearings:

Pick some good bike shops in your area and visit them. A good bike shop will have knowledgeable employees who will help you find the bike that is right for you.  They’ll help you determine your intended uses and goals for your new bike.

Fit before material. Carbon bikes are ruling the market but that does not mean that they are an absolute must. Aluminum, steel, and titanium are other possible options. Favor a great fit before getting casted on the material. Any good bike shop should help you find the right size, then make adjustments. And if you can, why not treat yourself and go custom? The folks at Ride Studio in Arlington MA, put me on a custom Seven; it feels great and it looks awesome, too. 

Take your usual riding gear and old bike to the bike shops and test, test, test. Trust yourself. It’s ok to listen to riders with more experience but it’s your bike and you should make that call.

In my opinion, you don’t want to set a budget until you get to this point (especially if you started with little knowledge of the possibilities). Set the budget, run it through your spouse (Not!) and narrow the search.

Personally, I would never buy a bicycle online, but it does not hurt to look and gauge prices. Bike shops are your allies and they share your same passion. Many go out of their way to build, nurture and protect a bike friendly community. 

Negotiate parts, not discounts. You will very likely need some parts (a pump, saddle bag, a new helmet). I find that salespeople at bike shops are more willing and happy to throw in a helmet and a pair of gloves, rather than negotiate on price. It’s a win-win situation: they move inventory and don’t hurt their margins that much; you have that new badly needed helmet.  

Have you bought a new bike recently? Share your tips and experience in the comments, below.

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Topics: Cycling

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