If you found solace in cycling last year – you’re not alone. With figures suggesting cycling has increased 200% since lockdown, you might be looking to take your new-found hobby to the next level and invest in a new bike. Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, yellow jersey enthusiast, or a serious cycler there are some things you should consider before purchasing your new pedals.
Think about what you need it for
Before you splash the cash on the latest road bike, think about what you’ll actually be using your bike for. If you’re more a leisurely rider who enjoys staycations exploring pretty villages and sticking to dedicated bike tracks then you’ll be looking for a more Dutch inspired back. Whereas if you’re part of the 4% who commute to work by bike, an electric model might be more suitable. Perfect for tackling any hilly terrain, they’re ideal for shorter journeys across towns.
Work out your budget
Once you’ve decided what type of bike you need, you can work out your budget. If you’re relatively new to cycling, then a mid-range bike might be the best. You don’t want to splash out on the most expensive bike only to find out, you’re not really the bike enthusiast you thought you were.
Equally, you don’t want to opt for a model that’s too cheap and isn’t fit for purpose – and you end up spending more money buying the next model up.
Just like buying a car, you’ll want to test ride a few models to make sure they feel right. If you don’t feel comfortable or confident in the saddle you won’t enjoy riding – and your new bike may end up gathering dust and rust in your garage.
Find out what your optimum seat height should be, as this will change depending on the type of riding you’ll be doing. More leisurely riders are better suited to a more upright position, whereas road races will need a higher seat position.
Once you’ve found the model you’re looking for, shop around for any deals and check to see if your work is signed up to the cycle to work scheme.
Invest in the essentials
It’s not just choosing the right bike itself you need to consider. If you’re planning on cycling in the depths of winter, whether on busy streets or country roads, you’ll need to wear not only protective gear but reflective ones too. And it’s not just helmets, lights, and vests you should invest in, cycle insurance is an essential every bike rider needs for complete peace of mind.