Head into your local specialist shop and announce to the assistant that you’d like to buy a bike and the chances are that they’ll give you a rather pitying look.
Quite simply the types of bike and the range of manufacturers can leave even the best of us scratching our heads. And the choice appears to be getting more bewildering by the year.
However, there is a perfectly simple solution to the problem: tell the person behind the counter what you are intending using your new set of two wheels for. If the morning or evening commute is the extent of your ambitions, then models designed for either speed or handling the worst that off-road terrain can offer are not going to enter the equation.
If, on the other hand, you are planning to get as much out of the bike at the weekends as well during the working week, then perhaps a hybrid model is going to be more up your street because it will be able to hold its own on the road as well a dirt track. Is storage an issue, either at home or in the office?
If so, a folding model may offer the perfect solution.
Value for Money
On no account be seduced into investing in the cycling equivalent of a Ferrari just because you want to impress the neighbours or your work colleagues – you won’t get value for money.
And unless you are a wannabe garage mechanic, you are not going to want a machine that requires anything too complicated in terms of maintenance.
The explosion in the popularity of cycling means that there are a range of outlets selling bikes. As well as the big sports retailers, there are also many sites online offering a huge range of machines, many at discount prices.
Along with these major operators are the small specialist high street shops. So where do you turn? Well, at the risk of sounding old fashioned, there is no substitute for the personal touch of the showroom.
Not only can you spend hours admiring the different models but trained assistants will be on hand to offer advice.
And once they have identified the bike that is right for you, they can also ensure that the model you wheel away is set up to dovetail with your body. Just like a pair of shoes, choose the wrong size and you will very quickly start feeling the pinch. Or more accurately, the pain in your neck, back and arms.
This problem can be avoided by use of a fixed trainer bike that allows the assistant to assess your ergonomic requirements. Remember that your health as well as your hard earned cash will be riding on the right choice of bike, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you feel are necessary.
It is in the retailer’s best interest as well as your own that you work together to ensure the right choice and size is made.
Choosing the right bike is the most important aspect in ensuring you are moving in the right direction from day one. Invest wisely and the dividends will be all too apparent.