Things to Consider When Buying A Bike

Cycling is a great past time to get into. Not only is it a fantastic way of getting around, but it’s also incredibly good for you. More and more people are turning to cycling as their main mode of transport. It has seen significant growth in the last ten years as a hobby alone. That’s not to mention the amount of cycle to work schemes which have cropped up. It doesn’t take much to see that cycling is going from strength to strength. But what are some of the things you need to consider before you go out and buy yourself a new bike? If you feel that you are at a bit of a loss, here is a guide to what you need to think about. Read through this before you do anything else.

Mt hamilton road cyclist

The Right Type of Bike

Firstly, it is really important that you choose the right type of bike for the purpose you will be using it for. In other words, if you are an urban user, don’t get an all-terrain mountain bike! The type of bike you need to use varies hugely depending on where you live and what you will be using it for. If you plan to take it to somewhere very hilly, then you will need a bike with plenty of gears. However, if you are going to be riding solely on the road, then a three-gear bike will probably suffice.

The Accessories

It is likely that you will need one or two accessories as well. Some of these are absolutely basic, and some not so, but nonetheless are desirable. For example, a helmet would be a basic requirement for any bike user, along with mud flaps. However, there are also extras which you might like to consider purchasing. Something which people often overlook is insurance. The fact is, this is an important part of having a bike. Have a look at a bike insurance quote before you buy.

The Clothing

There is much debate within the cycling community regarding clothing. Some people maintain that it is necessary to wear certain clothing in order to ride a bike. However, most people would not agree with this viewpoint. While there are certain clothing trends within the cycling community, none of them are essential. Nonetheless, there are probably some things you might like to consider regarding clothing. The main thing to think about is the fact that you may be cycling in all forms of weather. It is probably wise to invest in a good set of waterproofs for this reason. There’s nothing worse than splashing through a puddle and being soaked!

By the same token, you may want to think about buying proper shoes for when you are cycling. Wearing the right shoes can make all the difference. Not only do they help to stop chafing when you use the pedals, but they also help protect against athlete’s foot. The main concern with clothing, however, is visibility. If you are planning to ride in low visibility, such as in the evening, then you need to ensure you are visible. For that reason, it may be wise to invest in reflective vests.

Image By Sweetnsourbkr at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Why it is important to have your bike serviced regularly

Bicycles are an exciting way to travel and if you’re like me, you want to jump on straight away and start pedaling around like you’re the King of the street. However, like most things in life, your two wheeler isn’t invincible. If left unmaintained, the components of the frame will begin to wear down and over time it will perform inefficiently. For your own safety (and the ones around you) it’s essential to perform general maintenance practices on your bike. Here’s some tips to get you started on your journey to become a cycle expert.



Assessing your tires

This is one you need to be doing every week, or month, depending on how often you ride.Assessing your tires basically includes evaluating how much air is in them and pumping them up accordingly. It’s also important to check for tears or hole in the tires. Tip: Small bits of metal and glass can wedge themselves into the rubber which gradually leads to a flat tyre.


Assessing the deterioration of your brakes

A common issue that people tend to ignore is how well the brakes actually work. You’d be surprised that most people will settle for stopping the bike themselves once it gets to a slow speed. To gauge the efficiency of your brakes is simple to do and even easier to fix. Just squeeze your brake levers and ensure your bike comes to a complete stop without fraying or stretching the cables. The next thing to check is the actual brake pads. Your brake pads are rubber clamps attached to your rims that decrease the speed of the bike when you clutch the levers. To calculate, simply squeeze down on the levers again and make sure they are hitting the rims evenly.


Lubricating your bike

The parts of your bike that move are vulnerable to rust and corrosion. Lubrication protects these parts from excessive wear, stops them from stiffening and keeps rust from damaging the exposed metal. While lubricating is valuable for increasing the performance level of your cycle, over-lubricating it can lead to component damage. It’s important to know the difference and make sure you wipe away excess lube before the bicycle is used again. The parts of your bike that should be greased is the chain, bolts,pivot points on the breaks, derailleur assemblies, brake and derailleur cables, and pedals.


When to take it to a bike specialist?

Not all of us are mechanical geniuses. To me, a manual looks like map that navigates the user through a very large, extremely dense forest.If you ride more than once a week, you should be taking your bike into a specialist like 99 Bikes at least once or twice a year. They will likely do a general maintenance, check the durability of the breaks and gears, and fix any major problems without the price tag of a car service.

Got any tips on how to maintain your bike? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.


Photo credits: Simon Howden –