How to Buy a Bike

Bike shopping! If you're like me you have no idea where to begin and you just go the prettiest bike that matches your kit. You will likely love it at first and take plenty of gorgeous Instagram worthy photos but soon you'll find all the things wrong with it and then people will start to tell you what you should have bought. D'oh!

This is what happened to me when I bought my first bike. Don't get me wrong, I love my Bianchi but it's not really right for me at all; I bought a women's bike despite the fact that at 5"7 I could probably have gone for a mens/unisex frame. It weighs an absolute ton because I didn't have a clue about carbon. The seat height and fit on the handlebars is all wrong and I spent a long time wondering why it hurt to ride my bike.

So what should I have done? Here are a few things I wish I'd done and known.

Decide on a budget early on. My tank of a bike cost around £700 but they can go all the way up to a couple of thousand. There are so many add ons (wheels, gears etc) but the real cost will likely be the the frame.

What are you going to be using the bike for? Triathlon, road racing, weekend rides or even commuting. Once you've decided on that your search should become a lot narrower. Most bikes can do a variety of things but if you can communicate what you what specifically to a salesperson, they will likely to be able to point you in the right direction.

Size & Fit
A bike fit was the best thing I ever did. Having the right size and set up changed everything about riding a bike for me. If you're a tall girl like me, don't feel like you have to buy a women's specific bike- you don't a men's one will ride just the same. Make sure the person selling you the bike, measures you up and you sets it up in the right way for you.

The best way to know if the bike is right for you is to test it out. I think most bike shops will let you have a test ride or at the very least, have a whirl on the road outside the shop. I can't emphasis enough how much you should do this! You'll know pretty much right away if it's not right for you.

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