Top Tips for Buying your First Bike

It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have as long as:

  • You have suitable storage for its value. Bike theft is rife.  A runaround bike can be left outside, locked up to something for half a day but a more expensive bike should live inside, locked to something.  If the lock isn’t very strong, make sure the bikes are in your line of sight.

 

Locked but still in view

 

  • It’s in good working order. Many companies offer basic bike maintenance courses but the four things you want to know every day are:
  1. the correct amount of air is in the tyres
  2. both brakes work
  3. the chain isn’t rusty or jammed
  4. the handlbars move in the same direction as the front wheel

Bike Fit

  • It’s the right size for you. Some brands fit you better than others depending on their frame size and shape.
  • It doesn’t weigh a ton.  The heavier it is the less likely you are to ride it up hill.  The lighter the bike, the more miles you’ll ride.

Gears are best

  • Have more than one gear.  Single speed may look light but you have to be really fit to travel distances or to keep up with traffic and it puts unnecessary stress on your knees.
  • Use a local, reputable bike shop that has been recommended to you.
  • Sign up for Road Intelligence courses in your area (currently still called cycle training). It’s not about being able to ride a bike, it’s about road positioning, route planning and appropriate communication with other road users. It’s free in most London boroughs.