A guide on how to buy the right bike

Spring is around the corner, birds are singing again, the days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. Now it’s time to get the right bike for your needs.

Gravel Bikes with some bags attached for longer touring.

Let’s get right into it, here are 4 basic questions you should consider (you may also get these questions 1–3 in your local bike shop, so if you’re prepared in advance, it will save some time):

1. Where do I wanna ride?

  • Road / Gravel / Trails

2. What purpose has my bike?

  • Commuting / Road racing / City Cruising / Bikepacking / From A-B as easy as possible

After answering those to question, you can find the right bike type here:
Note: That this is just a recommendation where each bike is the most fun, you can use them for other stuff too, but this may be uncomfortable and will even damage your bike, or the gearing is not suited for the occasion.

  • City Commuter = Road + Commuting + City Cruising
  • Trekking Bike = Road + Commuting + City Cruising + Bikepacking
  • Road Bike = Road + Road Racing
  • Gravel Bike = Road + Gravel + easy Trails + Bikepacking + Commuting
  • Mountain Bike = Road + Gravel + Trails + Bikepacking
  • Downhill Bike = You basically just ride trails with the downhill bike

If you checked “Easy from A-B” on your list, just look out for an E-Bike option of the bike type of your desire. :) There are even more bikes like, Fat Bikes, BMX Bikes, Triathlon Bikes, Cyclo-Cross Bikes… But those are more specific.

Now you figured out your bike type? -> Good, so you have to think about…

3. How much money do I wanna spend?

This is hard to answer, since every bike has a different price range. It also depends on how often you’re going to use it, if you use it daily or often you may really invest into a proper bike, because in the long run it will pay off and you’ll have probably more fun. If you just use it once in a while, it’s probably not the smartest idea to blow 3 grand on a bike. If you’re running on a tight budget, you can also buy a bike used. I recommend asking a friend who has bike experience, so you won’t fall for a scam, or check your local dealer.

Bike Type -> Check, Money -> Check

4. Where should I buy my bike?

There are 3 possibilities:

Local Bike Store

At your local bike store you have a lot of benefits: Good & professional consultation, good offers (sometimes the first bike service is included), you can try different bikes and get a professional fitting. Con’s: The range may be limited and you won’t get the bike of your desire (e.g. a brand you like)

Online

Here you get the full range of models, there are already a lot of brands online where you can order the bikes directly, just be aware that you buy the right size. Also the bikes can be cheaper compared to your local dealer. The problem is, you can’t try them before and you have to do some screwing when it comes out of the box. Also finding the right sitting position is harder to do alone and includes watching a few youtube videos to get it right.

Used

As I mentioned above, I would not recommend getting a used bike as a starter. Only if you have someone who helps you buying it…

A few tips along the way:

  • Check bike reviews for a good price / performance ratio.
  • Go to your local bike store and get a good consultation.
  • Ask your friends what they’re using.
  • Can I safely store my bike? If not, an expensive bike may be a risky option.
  • Brands you can check out (this is not sponsored): Canyon, Bombtrack, Rose, Scott, Trek, Cube, KTM, Willier, Cannondale,…

I hope this little guide was helpful for you and if you have any questions, leave a comment or hit me up on Instagram.

CVO @ Skyline Medien GmbH, Filmmaker, photographer, communication studies & cycling // www.chrisperkles.at

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Chris Perkles

Chris Perkles

CVO @ Skyline Medien GmbH, Filmmaker, photographer, communication studies & cycling // www.chrisperkles.at

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