If you're needing to experience excitement and explore challenges, make new friends and increase your fitness then your thoughts to buy a road bike are on the right path. Road riding is definitely your fast track to experiencing all the above. But how to start? We look at how buying a bike needn't be complicated. Furthermore, buying the right bike will offer you many experiences that you've likely not imagined.
The process of knowing what to buy for your first road bike usually goes like this.
- Research the bikes
- Ask friends who ride
- Do some more research online
- Look at the types of bikes others ride
- Go visit a few main brand stores
- Look at models through windows
- Understand what mechanical details differentiate your next bike
- Try a few
- Research more
- Choose one!
This process of buying follows a close formula to purchasing any new technical equipment. You need to build a wealth of familiarity with the brands and products in order to trust you make the correct decision. When you consider investing your earned dollars you certainly don't want to regret buying the wrong bike or look the fool.
Research plays up to 90% of the lead up time taken to choose a bike. And the amount of information that adds confusion doesn't help. Essentially we say the first ultimate truth about a bike is that the heart of the bike which should be taken most seriously is the frame. When it comes to components, the brand choices are limited for each model. But once you have the model right, the rest will follow. How do you find the right model? Ask a professional, continue your research, or you are welcome to fill a form which we've designed to take the guesswork out of choosing your next frame.
In the meantime, bikes manufactured and sold as complete ready to ride options offer an efficient way to make a purchase for riders relatively new to the sport. And it's no surprise there are brands we repeatedly see on Australian streets. Brands like Specialised or Trek are high profile. They've sponsored pro teams and are recognised through their prolific marketing. But to limit your purchase to these brands would be a shame as so many others exist with the same performance ability, class and ride benefits.
Complete bikes are the first attraction for those new to riding. That's because it takes little knowledge to choose a bike when the components and accessories are essentially pre-decided by recognised manufacturers.
However there are different methods taken to establishing which bike geometry and combination is right for you.
Most bike shops will look to their available brands to find you a bike. They begin by understanding your level of experience, your budget, and your general characteristics. You will likely be guided to an endurance frame with a mid range group set. The assumption is that most riders buying their first bike will get a cheaper option and, consequently, want to change the bike by a year of riding.
There are certainly potential riders who are uncertain whether they will love riding. Spending thousands seems too risky. What if it ends up sitting in the corner of the room unused? What if you aren't able to figure all the gears, meet other riders, keep up with a bunch, get the confidence to go out on the roads?
But our advice is always the same in these instances. If you feel you need additional support you need to find not only the right bike, but the right bike shop. Expect expert advice on the right bike, motivation to build your riding experience (potentially with some classes), assurance that your apparel is appropriate, be welcomed in a bunch with a no drop policy, be offered professional bike servicing, and be motivated to continue building your skills. This way you not only gain a fantastic bike set for many years of riding, but you'll have every need catered for by a community structured around you.
A Factory complete bike can certainly provide you a quick way to get yourself to the park. But the right bike purchased through the right bike shop will offer you an entire suite of support services to start you riding and keep you riding.
Contact us to know more about what separates a good bike from your best bike. We are happy to help. We've a more defined guide to identifying your best and first road bike in an article "Buying your First Road Bike"