Bicycle Network: Bikes 'n' Bits
Checklist for bike buyers
Your bike buying list of essentials
Never bought a bike before? Here are a few things to think about.
- Check the brakes work
- Check it comes with front and back lights, which are required by law in Australia. If not, be sure you can fit front and rear lights to the bike
- Check it comes with a bell, another lawful requirement
- It's to your advantage when riding at night if reflectors are fitted to the wheel spokes and/or the back of the pedals. See if the bike comes with reflectors.
Bike fit and comfort
- Be sure that the bike's the right size for you. See other articles here and get the best advice you can from your local bike shop
- Be sure that the riding position's comfortable for you. This may be a matter of some fine tuning rather than requiring a whole new size altogether, or it may be that this it's a new style of riding position for you so it feels weird because it's unfamiliar. Seek the advice of an expert
- Decide whether the seat's comfortable, although this isn't always easy to do on a short test ride! Would a women's specific seat be better? Is the seat angle OK for you?
- Be sure the brakes and gears are easy for you to reach and use
- Take the bike for a test run, including going up a hill. Does it have enough gears for you?
- Do you really need that suspension if you only ride on paths and roads? It may cost more, weighs the bike down, and can use up more energy than it saves if you ride on flat roads
- Are the tyres right for your style of riding? Trading in knobblies for slicks will make city riding much easier
- Does the bike come with carrying capacity ie can you fit a pannier rack or a basket to it?