How to Buy a Bike

Buying a bike can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can also be a bit intimidating because you may not know enough about the products you’re looking at, and feel overwhelmed by all of the choices. Once you know the basics, you’ll have enough knowledge and ammunition to zero-in on exactly what’s best for you.

Hybrid Bikes

Anyone who hasn’t ridden in a while (years), and begins looking for a new bike, is going to automatically run to the nearest shop and get a hybrid. Why, because they look more comfortable than a road bike. You can sit up straight and hold your arms out in front of you. A road bike looks too difficult to use because you’re all hunched over and “racing”.

After they buy their hybrid they’ll find out that it’s great for riding around town; traveling bike paths; going to the store; and any number of other short distance rides. Once they become a stronger rider, their 10 mile ride will turn into 15 mile trips. And a month later they’ll be riding 20 miles because of the challenge. It’s at this point they begin to realize that everyone on a road bike is passing them by. Why? Because road bikes are faster, lighter, and have a better riding position.

Now that same person goes on a 30 mile ride and finds out how hard it is to pedal their bike this distance. Their wrists are sore, their posterior and other body parts hurt, and they don’t know why. The answer is – it’s because they’re riding a hybrid bike. These are great for short rides, but not a good choice for long ones.

After a few months of riding that “perfect” hybrid bike, they’re back at the shop looking at road bikes.

So before you go out and get a hybrid, be absolutely sure you don’t plan on riding long distances. Although you can certainly do long rides on hybrids, they’re not as comfortable or efficient as a road bike.

Choosing a hybrid bike is pretty simple. You’ll want lots of gears (triple chainring), perhaps some shock absorption, an aluminum frame, and not spend a lot of money. You can go into any bike shop, close your eyes and point. Right in front of you will be a hybrid that meets these qualifications. It’s simply a matter of how much you want to spend. More expensive bikes have better shifters, better braking and lighter frames. Take some for a test ride and choose your winner.

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