If you’re thinking about buying a bike, here are is a buying guide with a few pointers and the best online resources to help any soon to be cycling enthusiasts.
What bike is right for me?
A good place to start when buying a bike is this GoSkyRide article gives the low down on bike types.
Set your budget
Within each category, the price range will guide you as to quality of the parts, but remember that brand power can also be reflected in the price.
- £50 – £250 – second hand bikes. Be smart and don’t buy a bike you’re suspicious about
- £250 – £600 – starting range road bikes that will serve you nicely for London and weekend rambling
- £600-£1,400 – good quality frames to take you further afield
- £1,400+ – mostly carbon bikes. Lighter, higher quality material that makes for a more comfortable and theoretically speedier ride
Research is key
Speak to friends, discuss with in-store bike specialists and get going with online investigation. A great peer forum for all things bike related is bikeradar.When you buy a bike make sure you also brush up on your bike vocab here so you can play along with the all important bike chat…!
Where to buy your bike
- It’s best to find a high quality bike shop that is convenient to you so you can easily drop in and try a few. We’ve linked to a few stores are below
- Find a bike sales specialist that you get on with and you trust
- If you’re based in the City, Swift Cycles stood out in my search. Not only were intelligent suggestions made that suited my challenges but I also felt they had a strong belief in the bikes they were selling too)
Always test ride a few bikes so you have a point of reference – by trying a few you’ll know when things feel right.
Found your bike – what next?
Post sale service is important
The chain and brake cords stretch so things will need tweaking. See what services the store can include in your bike price.
Joining Team52 is also a great way of meeting a whole load of new cycling friends. We’re all about trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone. Team52 is a team building challenge platform that enables you and a team of friends to take on either 12, 26 or 52 challenges between you in a year. It’s your chance to try new things and show yourself what you’re capable of.
Rules of the road
- Be safe – and don’ take any risks
- Us cyclists have no blind spots: taxis, vans, trucks, cars have lots. Make it your responsibility to keep yourself safe
- Be careful about making up your own road rules
- Obey traffic lights, sign posts, indicate and be visible
Cycling gear & accessories
- The best online store is Wiggle
- A top quality lock is vital – don’t scrimp on this when you buying a bike. Get something that can keep frame and wheels all safely chained. Abus and Kryptonite seem to be the go to locks – speak to your bike store – you may get a good price if you buy one with your bike. I also have security wheel skewers to make it harder to steal wheels
- Helmet – research says different things – I’m a believer and don’t get on my bike without one
- Lights – go heavy on these, the brighter the better!
- High vis jacket – be bold
- Cleats and clipless pedals – good for efficiency as you have the up-pull, and for comfort on longer rides
Bike shops to get you started
- Swift Cycles, E1 7LF
- Bespoke, EC1R 3AB, SW1Y 6LX (+ Canary Wharf opening May 2015)
- Sigma, KT1 4DA
- Cycle Republic (Halfords), NW1 3DP, W1W 8SB, TW1 3SN
- Cycle Surgery, Lots of locations
- Giant, Lots of locations
- Evans, Lots of locations
Second hand bikes
Here are some great places to look when buying a bike:
If you’re thinking about taking your new bike on your next challenge make sure you read our post on how too prepare for your next challenge for everything you need to know. Joining Team52 is also a great way of trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone, and what’s better is that we make it easy for you to do it with friends. Team52 is a team building challenge platform that enables you and a team of friends to take on either 12, 26 or 52 challenges between you in a year. It’s your chance to try new things and show yourself what you’re capable of.
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The team behind Team52
We’re Georgie & Annie and we’re on a mission to create and support a global movement of people discovering a life less ordinary. We believe that challenge and adventure isn’t a luxury, we believe it’s a necessity that can be weaved into everyday life and it’s our intention to make that happen, even for the busiest of people. Find out more.