Getting Started Cycling: Part 1 – Buying a new bike

How To Buy First Bicycle

You’ve not been put off by the PEDs, the TUES and now Mechanical Doping scandals you just want to get some of what all those other guys and girls riding bikes are on.  The Wiggins fuelled cycling craze shows no sign of letting up.  Why should it?  Cycling is some of the best unadulterated fun you can have with your Lycra on.

Whatever the reason you’ve decided to start cycling. If you’ve not ridden a bike in anger since you were a kid.  Be warned, things have changed.  Let’s start with the good old bicycle, it’s still got a saddle and 2 wheels so what’s the difference?  Mostly the price. And cycling itself, it’s not just about getting from A to B anymore, it’s become a lifestyle choice.  All of which can make your new hobby intimidating. But follow these suggestions and that grin you wore on your face as a kid racing your mates home from the park will be back.

There’s an argument as to whether it really is all about the bike but it’s a good place to start.

First choice – what kind of cyclist are you going to be? (That’s a whole article in itself).

Let’s start with Road Cycling because that’s arguably the easiest way to start riding a bike again/for the first time.  Before we head to [Evans Cycles] we need to set a budget.  Yes you can get a new road bike for as little as £130 but realistically you need to spend a fair bit more, not necessarily a lot more although you can.  Set a budget of at least £500 if possible – look at it as an investment.  If a £500 bike is out of reach you can’t then there are some great or second hand deals on Gumtree or eBay (NB. If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is and it’s probably a stolen bike!)

For your first bike, be conservative. this is the bike to experiment with and see if cycling is for you, not make an expensive mistake.  Go for an aluminium frame with the best wheels and components you can afford rather than a carbon frame with entry level components.  When choosing between brands at the same price-point, a big well-known brand like Trek, Specialized or Giant will generally build a bike with a good quality frame but lower spec components versus a less well known or new brand that will throw higher-spec components (Shimano Tiagra versus their entry level Sora or Claris groupsets) on a frame that might not have an established pedigree to get your attention.

Now it’s up to you. Make that investment and hit the road. Start exploring your local area in a way you just can’t do in a car, turn down quiet lanes, pause at the top of a climb to check the view, before rediscovering your inner thrill-seeker by letting loose on the descent.  Be prepared to get addicted to the feeling of freedom and the sense of adventure that you may not have experienced since you were thirteen!

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