Buying a bike today is more involved, and more rewarding, than it used to be when we are kids. The range, the features and the prices all make for a decision that it’s worthwhile taking time and trouble over.
The three steps to buying a bike are:
- Do your research. Use bike forums and the advice columns of a good bike shop.
- Go to a good bike shop and chat with the folks there. You’ll get good advice, and just as importantly, pick up a lot through osmosis. And we guarantee you will have fun in the process. Shortlist based on your requirements and budget.
- Ride the bike. It has to feel right for you.
1. Is the brand important?
Frankly, fit and feel are far more important than the brand. Most manufacturers, today, source their frames and components from the same manufacturers, so there is no real difference in quality in a certain price range.
2. Which size is right for me?
Good question. We all probably remember a time when this wasn’t really a question to be asked. Mum and Dad took you to Cycle Street, you pointed out the red steel bike that caught your eye, stood over it to ensure that your feet could reach the ground when your rear was on the saddle, and took it home.
Today, sizing is very different. For one thing, you can no longer reach the ground with your feet, if you are riding the right size and have set it up correctly.
A whole set of parameters come into play, like whether it’s an MTB or a road bike, the length of your inseam, torso length, etc. Not to mention variables on the bike itself, like saddle height and rake, handlebar height, stem length and angle, etc. So, while it’s perfectly possible to stand over a bike and get a rough idea of whether it works for you, it’s best to come to us and let us help you. (We are very happy to help you even if you’ve already bought a bike from somewhere else and just want to know if it’s right for you).
3. What’s a fair budget?
Hmmmm. Wow. That’s got serious potential to be a controversial question. So the way we went is to try and arrive at a range based on what kind of a cyclist you are, like so:
|Bike ranking||Bike type||Budget|
|Beginner||MTB||10K – 20K|
|Mid-range||MTB||25K – 40K|
|Beginner||Road bike||25K – 40K|
|Mid-range||Road bike||40K – 80K|
We must emphasise that this is purely indicative, and there’s lots of scope for disagreement 🙂 There are, so to speak, sub-categories within these categories, but this should serve to give you an idea of your budget.
4. But why is it so expensive?
Yes, bikes cost a lot less when we were younger. And yes, some of those bikes (or their descendants) are still available today. Then, why not buy one of those? Here’s why:
– Remember how much easier it was to bend back then? Yeah. Our bodies used to forgive a lot of abuse imposed by the geometry of the bike. Not so now. The geometry of the better bikes makes it easier to ride them for extended durations.
– Remember the loose nuts / slipping chains / badly secured cotter pins holding the crank arms / frequent punctures / squeaky, ineffectual brakes? We get what we pay for. The quality of components on the bikes we sell means that downtime is far less. And we at Crankmeister will ensure that when your bike needs attention, it gets back on the road as soon as possible, and as good as new!
5. What will I use the bike for?
While all bikes do essentially the same thing at the end of the day, different kinds of bikes do different things better. Click here to see which bike is right for you.