When it’s time to purchase a bike for the first time, my best advice to you is to go to a bicycle shop and talk to someone with experience. You may be tempted to go to a big box store and pick up whatever is on sale, but unless you’ve done some research online and have anideaof what you’re actually buying, you’re be doing yourself a great disservice. A good salesperson will know the area and the different types of bikes. They know about suspensions, tires, seating, brakes, and everything else. They can steer you in the right direction as far as bicycles go. They are typically cyclists themselves, so they may point out some great riding locations or trails you might not have known about before, or what roads to avoid. They can also guide you on any safety equipment that you may need—they are a good resource to ask about the regulations in your state regarding handlebar mirrors and front or back lighting. You want to be sure that you are both safe and street legal to be out there on the road from your very first trip out.
You want a bike that will work well on the terrain that you plan to be riding on. For example, the first bike I purchased was mostly for riding on paved trails and on small side roads near where I used to live. It suited me and my needs just fine. However, now that I’ve moved here where the terrain and the seasons are a little more varied, I needed something that can handle this area of New Mexico. With my new mountain bike, it’s a lot easier to go up and down the steep hills around here, and the brakes make me feel a lot more comfortable. Sometimes an adjustment might be as simple as changing out the tires on your bike or swapping the handlebars. But again, it’s best to talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. Treat it like a car. If you don’t know anything about them, you’re not going to try and replace the transmission yourself, right?
When you get to the bike shop, don’t be shy. Talk about what you need. Sit on any bikes you like. Try it out.Be comfortable with it.Make sure it is comfortable, or if there are accessories you can add that’s going to make it more comfortable for you. The more comfortable it is, the more likely you’re going to get on that bike and use it.The bottom line is that doesn’t matter how much money you put into it or how enthusiastic you are at the beginning, it’s getting on that bike whenever you can that’s going to make a difference in your carbon footprint, your gas bill,your fitness level, or whatever it is you want to get out of bicycle riding. You have to put that effort in, get the bike you enjoy riding and that you’re going to be excited to get on so you can do what you want to do. An investment in a quality bike and quality safety gear is aninvestment in yourself, and you totally deserve it!