Bike Buying Guide

classic bike

Getting started

The bikes we have actually tested have cost from about $300 to nearly $2,000. We discovered that more cash purchases a lightweight frame made from carbon fiber, aluminum (or a mix of both materials), or high-strength steel and other top quality elements. But you can still purchase a great bike for simply a couple of hundred dollars.

Decide what kind of riding you’ll do

That will certainly narrow your option to one of the four fundamental types. If you’re a devoted bicyclist, you may prefer a standard road bike. Searching for a leisurely ride on flat, paved roads? A comfort bike might be more your speed. If rugged tracks are in your sights, than a mountain bike may be best.

Discover a great bike store

You’ll pay more, but we believe you’re most likely to be satisfied. Bikes from big-box stores might not be correctly assembled or well matched to your body. If you do not such as the pedals or seat on a specific design, some bike shops will swap elements at little or no charge.

Take a test ride

Before you purchase any bike, ride it far enough to ensure that the brakes and shifters are easy to make use of, the fit is comfortable, the equipments can go low enough for climbing up hills, and the frame and suspension appropriately smooth the bumps.

Prevent inexpensive bikes, other than for really casual use

Economical bikes those selling for less than about $200, frequently in big-box shops– may appear like good deals, but we advise investing $300 or more, if your budget allows. Why? Due to the fact that you’ll get a lot more bike for your buck.

Mass-market bikes have more affordable building than higher-priced bikes and can weigh seven or 8 pounds more. They are available in just one size, so you’re not likely to get a great fit. And mass merchants cannot match bike shops for quality of assembly, expert recommendations, and service.

Grownups need to consider economical bikes from a department store only for the most casual use, and stick to a front-suspension model, which is most likely to be much better than an affordable full-suspension bike. You might desire a mass-market bike for kids who will outgrow a bike quickly or handle it about.

Think about these additionals

An excellent bike helmet is vital. Special biking shoes and cleats can reduce your pedaling. Gloves will take in vibrations and help to safeguard your hands in a spill. Polycarbonate glasses can shield your eyes from bugs and errant pebbles. A water bottle is convenient to have on long, hot-weather rides.



While there are now many varieties of bikes, consisting of several hybrids, most fall under the four standard classifications explained listed below.

Convenience bikes

These are for leisurely, leisure riding on pavement and smooth dirt courses. They consist of high handlebars, shock absorbers in the seat or fork, and a soft, wide seat.

Animal conveniences consist of an upright riding position and a cushiony trip. Low gears allow simpler uphill pedaling. As a group, comfort bikes cost less than other types.

Comfort bikes may make for tough pedaling on sloping terrain. And for off-road use, they can’t compete with a mtb’s rigid building and wide, knobby tires.

Mountain bicycle

These are designed to withstand rugged trails. You’ll get a shock-absorbing front suspension fork and potentially rear suspension, which offer the best control and comfort on the roughest surface. They have wide, knobby tires, a slim or moderately width saddle, and flat or riser handlebars.

More long lasting than other types. Absorb shock well. Excellent off-road handling.

Heavier than road and fitness bikes Not as appropriate for roadway riding.

Road bikes

These bikes are for riders who want to log quick or serious mileage, including multi-day touring. Old-fashioned road bikes feature a lightweight frame, slim tires, a narrow seat, and drop handlebars that make you flex low. Efficiency road bikes are comparable except for their much shorter leading tube (the horizontal one) and longer head tube (the vertical one under the handlebars), which permit a slightly more upright riding position. Cross bikes, another subcategory, are basically sturdy roadway bikes with large, knobby tires for off-road traction.

Passionate bicyclists may prefer the aerodynamic bent-over position that the drop handlebars of a conventional roadway bike offer.

Some riders may not feel comfy bending that low, even with the somewhat higher handlebars of a performance roadway bike.

Fitness bikes

These bikes blend the slim tires, narrow seat, and light-weight frame of a roadway bike with the horizontal handlebars and more upright riding position of a mountain bike. Physical fitness bikes may be an excellent choice for those who just wish to burn calories or improve cardiovascular fitness, or for day-to-day short-haul travelling.

Fitness bikes are more comfy than roadway bikes. They weigh only a number of pounds more than roadway bikes and tend to cost much less. They might be good for travelling to work.

Less aerodynamic than a roadway bike.


You usually have some selection in choosing bike functions. A bike store might swap particular components at little or no charge.


Some bikes are readily available with more than one kind of brakes. V-brakes or linear-pull brakes, caliper brakes, and cantilever brakes are great for many biking. For typically high efficiency, go with disc brakes, which can be either mechanical or hydraulic.

Disc brakes will spare your wheel rims from the abrasion of muddy braking. A shop may want to retrofit some bikes that have caliper mounts with discs for about $100 additional.


A bike’s chain runs in between the crankset in the center of the bike and the rear cassette attached to the rear center. Cranksets generally have 2 chain rings (called doubles) or 3 (triples). Moving from one chain ring to another offers coarse aiming adjustments, while moving amongst the sprockets in the rear cassette enables great gearing adjustments. The overall number of speeds a bike has is the variety of chain rings multiplied by the number of sprockets in the rear cassette. For instance, a bike with triple front chain rings and a nine-sprocket cassette has a total of 27 speeds. More speeds normally indicates more versatility on different grades.


High-rise handlebars let you sit fairly upright. The drop bars on traditional road bikes enable an aerodynamic, totally bent position. Handlebars and stems can be swapped to improve riding position. Various riders have various choices. If you can’t get comfy, consider changing the handlebars or stem with a different type.


Some are slim and firm, others, wide and soft. Some have a suspension seat post, others are installed rigidly. If you do not such as a seat, get one with a various shape, more or less padding, or channels or cutouts to relieve pressure.

The slim, firm seats on road bikes and mtb provide more control and let you alter position and pedal more efficiently. However the wider, more cushioned seats on convenience bikes and numerous hybrids are more comfortable for the casual, less-frequent rider.


The front derailleur moves the chain in between the rings on the crank set, while the rear derailleur steps between the sprockets on the rear cassette. Each derailleur is managed by a shifter, one for each derailleur. Twist shifters are collars on the handlebars that you twist to alter gears. Trigger shifters have one lever for up moving and another for downshifting– one pair each for the front and rear gears. They click as you shift, so you do not need to think where the next equipment is.

Bike devices

A helmet can supply lifesaving head security in a mishap. Cycling shoes with cleats can enhance your efficiency while pedaling, but you may need to alter pedals to accommodate them. Gloves will certainly soak up vibration and aid to safeguard your hands in a spill. Glasses can shield your eyes from bugs and errant pebbles. And a water bottle can prevent dehydration on long rides in hot weather.


Brand names

Owned by Dorel Industries, Cannondale is headquartered in Bethel, Conn. It designs and produces a vast array of bikes at its factory in Bedford, Pa. Its product consist of physical fitness, mountain, roadway, specialty, city, and women’s bikes. Readily available at specialized bike shops and independent dealerships.


Founded in 1899 in Japan, Fuji also makes bikes in the U.S. from its head office in Philadelphia. Its product consists of BMX, children’s, way of living, mountain, road, and ladies’s bikes. Cost specialty bike shops and independent dealerships, the bikes vary in rate from $240 to $3,400 for mountain bikes to $470 to $6,340 for roadway bikes.


Huge Bikes’ head office is in Taiwan, with its U.S. operations based in Newbury Park, Calif. Huge offers bikes under the following categories: BMX, kids’s, fitness, hybrid, way of life, mountain, road, and women’s bikes. Offered at specialty bike stores, the bikes vary in price from $300 to $600 for comfort bikes, $400 to $1,000 for fitness bikes, $250 to $600 for mountain bicycle, and $500 to $7,000 for road bikes.


Jamis is an American company based in Northvale, N.J. Its product consist of convenience, cross nation, roadway, trail (mountain), ladies’s, and youth bikes. Available at specialty dealers, the bikes range in price from $250 to $375 for convenience bikes to $550 to $6,500 for roadway bikes.


Klein is based in Waterloo, Wis., and makes mountain and road bikes mostly for the export market. Klein bikes are only available locally in a couple of independently had bike stores in a limited number of states. Rates range from $1,540 to $2,750 for mtb to $1,980 to $4,180 for road bikes.


LeMond Bikes was begun by Greg LeMond, who in 1986 was the first American to win the distinguished Trip de France. The business has been making bikes for more than Twenty Years. LeMond offers cross, roadway racing, track, and ladies’s bikes. Rates vary from $769 to $1,769.


Made by Pacific Cycle, which is possessed by Dorel Industries, Mongoose has actually been around because 1974. Its line of bikes includes BMX, convenience, hybrid, mountain, and roadway bikes. Readily available in specialty bike shops, sporting goods stores, and mass-market shops, the bikes range in cost from $300 to $350 for comfort bikes, $280 to $800 for mountain bikes, and $2,700 for its road-bike design.


Raleigh, which has its headquarters in Kent, Wash., is one arm of the exact same corporation that makes Diamondback bikes. Raleigh line of product include comfort/tandem, cruiser, hybrid, efficiency hybrid (fitness), mountain, road, track, and youth bikes. Readily available at Raleigh dealerships nationwide, the bikes range in cost from $275 to $690 for comfort bikes, $520 to $1,550 for fitness bikes, $275 to $1,325 for mountain bikes, and $520 to $2,725 for roadway bikes.


Schwinn is another Pacific Cycle brand name. Schwinn mades available a comprehensive line of bikes, consisting of BMX, children’s, comfort, cruisers, mountain, and roadway models. Offered at leading mass-market retailers and sporting products shops, bikes vary in rate from $250 to $1,000 for convenience bikes, $390 to $600 for mountain bicycle, and $570 to $4,300 for roadway bikes.


Specialized is based in Morgan Hillside, Calif. It offers BMX, children’s, mountain, road, street (fitness, comfort), and ladies’s bikes. They are available at specialty bike stores and independent dealers. Costs range from $360 to $470 for comfort bikes, $590 to $2,050 for fitness bikes, $360 to $5,500 for mtb, and $750 to $7,400 for roadway bikes.


The Trek Bicycles Corp., based in Waterloo, Wis., has actually been making bikes since 1976. Its product includes chidren’s, mountain, road, urban, and women’s bikes. Available at specialized bike stores and independent dealerships, bikes vary in cost from $330 to $6,050 for mtb to $520 to $8,250 for roadway bikes.