When you decide the time is right to get a performance bicycle it can be overwhelming: how do you choose a bike? Where's the best place to shop, and how much can you expect to pay? Hopefully, these tips can help.
First determine your bicycling needs: do you prefer off-road, racing or mountain bikes? If you do some research you will find there is a bicycle available for almost any rider out there. Choose men's or women's models based on your comfort. Women's bikes have reduced stretch between the seat and handlebars, and between the gear shift and handles.
Secondly, decide what you can comfortably afford to spend; keep in mind that product price is affected by the features. There are many frame styles and types to consider as well; lightweight frames such as titanium or carbon fiber are used for increased speed and efficiency, aluminum frames are more rigid and steel frames offer increased strength, each of these options has its own influence on the price of your ride.
Once you have decided on the type of bike you want, and what you can afford to pay for it, start shopping around. Visiting several shops will give you a good idea of what is available in your price range. Test out several bikes: stand over each one and test the height, sit on the seat and reach for the handlebars. These things should be comfortable for you, if they are not, keep looking. Your 'perfect fit' bike is out there. Many models are adjustable for comfort and you can ask the shop staff to assist you with this.
Talk to other cyclists and find out the general opinions on the models that interest you the most. If possible, talk to those who already own or have experience with those models.
When you have narrowed the search down to a few potential models, it's time to do some test riding! Many shops are more than happy to accommodate a potential purchaser with a test ride, don't be shy about it, how else will you know if the fit is right?
Once you have tested and tried several models and you know which one you want, find a dealer with whom you can communicate comfortably. A dealer who offers service is preferred. In any case, if they can't or won't answer the questions you have then move on. Even if the price is slightly higher elsewhere, the benefits of being able to effectively communicate with your dealer, in the event of a problem, will more than pay for itself.