Remember these important points:
- Buying more bike than you need is a waste of money. If you have never ridden before, dont buy a $5000 bicycle, buy a $500 mountain bike. If you just need to bike a mile to school every day, a cabon fiber race bike is a total waste of money.
- Buying less bike than you need is a waste of money.
- Buy the bike you need NOW, not the bike you think you will need (see 1 and 2 above)
- Remember that bike maintenance is VERY expensive. If your bike is under $500 you could easily spend more on maintenance over the bikes lifetime than the initial purchase price.
- Unless you are a bike mechanic, or willing to become one, a used bike is almost never a bargain (see #4 above).
- Unless you are a bike mechanic, or are willing to become one, a discount bike over the internet is almost never a bargain (see #4 above)..
Where to buy your first bicycle
Buy at your local bike shop! Remember that its not a bike you are buying, its a relationship with the shop. Stop in a few local bike shops and ask about maintenance. How much is a basic tuneup? How much does it cost to replace all the cables and cable housings? What service is included if you buy a new bike from them?
Bikes for Weight Loss
Here is the crazy thing. Bikes are one of the best pieces of “cardio equipment” that you can buy if you are seriously over weight. Walking and running can quickly cause knee problems for people over 220 pounds who are starting an exercise programs. Bikes are low impact and perfect for those wanting knee friendly cardio BUT the idiotic thing is that very few bikes are made for heavy riders. You can buy “normal people” bikes but they will fall apart, expecially the wheels, after about 3 months. If you are over 200 pounds, listen to the following advice carefully as you have exactly two choices:
- Buy a mountain bike, not a hybrid or a cross, a MTB. Although these bikes are made for 180 pound riders, they are made for 180 pound riders jumping over logs and flying down piles of boulders. A mountain bike can safely take a 300 pound rider as long as its on good pavement.
- If you really want a road bike, get a titanium frame. Carbon fiber is sexy but its not made for your weight and when composite frames fail, they do so catastrophically and without warning leaving you in the emergency room. With the wheels, have the bike shop put on wheels made for a tandem bike. These wheels are made for the weight of two riders … or one heavy one, so they are perfect. Be prepared to pay a lot for your heavy rider safe road bike. Option #1 above is a much cheaper way to go.