Bike Buying Guide
June 08, 2020
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Cycling not only improves aerobic fitness and reduces stress levels but it also has the benefit of being an environmentally friendly method of getting from A to B!  Remember the utter joy you felt as a child riding down the street with the wind in your face?  These days biking isn’t just exhilarating fun, its an easy way to get some exercise; riding your bike burns up to 300 calories an hour!

With the current restrictions on our everyday lives, cycling is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy a little bit of freedom!

If you are looking for a bike for the commute to work to avoid public transport, not only will you save money in the long term on things like fuel, but biking to the office could also make you become fitter and stronger as well.

Mountain biking and racing are all great excuses to hit the road. Encourage the kids to spend their weekends out in the fresh air riding their bikes discovering the great British countryside, riding together as a family.

If you need some help choosing the perfect bike then have a read below to help you make a purchase you will be happy with for years to come.

Where will you ride?

Have a think about the kind of riding that you want to do.  How often will you ride? How far? Will you stay on paved surfaces, or explore some rough terrain?  Different bikes are intended for different types of riding and some are very specific to their purpose. However, most bikes are pretty versatile – you can commute to work, visit the shops and explore the hills on the same bike, generally speaking.

Town and City Cycling

 

If you are going to be predominantly on pavements and roads and are looking for a practical bike to get you out and about for short, casual rides then a city bike is ideal for you. 

With an upright posture which gives you a great view of the traffic, they’re perfect for simple town riding when you are not planning on going very far or you live somewhere quite flat.  Designed for short rides, an urban bike may have a high handlebar and even a handy basket for your shopping!

Sport or Country Cycling

 

From winding country lanes to canal towpaths and hilly trails, exploring your local countryside by bike can be both exhilarating and exhausting!  For road racing, any cycling with inclines and offroading, you need a sturdy bike with the ability to climb using gears.

Road bikes are all about riding on roads, often as fast as possible.  Their lightweight frames and thin tyres are designed to help you achieve maximum speed for minimum effort.

The dropped handlebars allow you to get into an aerodynamic riding position and have gearing that’s all about maximum speed.

 

Mountain bikes tend to have suspension for a comfy ride, protecting your posterior from bumps and jumps, as well as an upright riding position and are perfect for cycling on a variety of surfaces such as loose dirt and mud as well as tarmacked roads.

Commuting

 

If you are looking for a bike that can combine part of your commute with a bus or a train then a folding bike is ideal. Great for short rides – especially where storage space at either end is limited.  

A folding bike definitely won’t feel as robust or comfortable as a city or mountain bike but you will be surprised at what a pleasant ride they are for the short commute from the train, perfect is you want to avoid the bus!

Electric bikes are another firm favourite of the commuter, ideal if you don't have shower facilities waiting for you at the office, electric bikes take the effort out of cycling, great for uphill commutes and adding extra speed where needed!  Have a read of our 'Everything You Need To Know About Buying an Electric Bike' blog to find out more. 

Kids Bikes

 

Think colour, variety and design! Choose the correct size bike for the age of the child based on wheel size. Sometimes it’s tempting to go for a large bike that your child can grow into, this is best avoided due to the fact a bigger, heavier bike will be very difficult for your child to ride comfortably and control.  Smaller riders will need quality if you possibly can. Cheap children's bikes tend to be heavy and can be poorly made. 

Check out our Bize Size Guides to determine which size of bike will work for you!