So, if you are planning to purchase a bicycle in 2021, offline or online, it’s helpful to get the minutest details that will make your decision-making process more viable and easier.
To begin with, what’re the foremost questions you would ask when on the way to buy a bicycle?
What’s the objective of buying a bicycle?
First of all, you got to figure out what’s the purpose? Why do you want to ride a bicycle? Because there’re different types of bikes and if you know the real objective, you can narrow your search remarkably.
What’ your budget for buying a bicycle?
This is generally the first step, but I believe you can set your budget once you know what you want. And so, once you know what’s the objective, you should fix your budget. Be smart and keep 10% flexibility into consideration.
What kind of bicycle do you need?
For instance, you’re going to ride the bicycle on paved surfaces or natural-surfaced paths? To ride on the pavement (typically for exercising), road bikes and hybrid bikes are ideal choices. Also known as MTB bikes, Hybrid bicycles typically come under Rs 30,000 range.
Well, let’s first take a quick look at
what’re different types of bicycles?
There are 3 different kinds of bikes:
- Mountain bike
You can also select commuter bikes, fat bikes, and foldable bikes.
These are manufactured to travel at speed on paved ways and are also known as racer cycles. These Roadbikes are available with thin tyres and a bent handlebar. For those who love speed and have good handling skills, a Roadbike is an ideal option to go with.
Key features of Roadbikes:
- Thin Tyres (typically between 23 – 28 mm)
- Drop handlebars allowing multiple hand postures
- Stronger frame
- Gear ratios with large ranges (for easy spin uphills and riding promptly on flat roads)
Talking about budget, a simple Roadbike comes for around Rs 30,000. Brands that offer Roadbikes below this price range are generally not the same in terms of durability and comfort.
Tip: For those who are a beginner in cycling, getting a mountain bike is a more reasonable choice.
This type of bicycle is befitting for the Indian roads. Also termed as MTB and ideal for off-road cycling, these mountain bikes are versed with features that ensure durability and high performance in rough terrain. These MTB bikes are excellent for fitness, commute, and off-roading purpose.
Key features of a Mountain Bike:
- Comes with a front only (hardtail) suspension or full suspension.
- Flat handlebars
- Heavier than Road & Hybrid bikes
- Lower gearing to climb steep inclines
- Have motorcycle type disc brakes
Talking about budget, you can choose from
Tip: Costly Bikes have high maintenance costs. On the other hand, bicycles like a single speed bike have fewer moving parts and have lower running costs.
Hybrid bikes are generally the amalgamation of the Road & Mountain bikes. These Hybrid bikes can allow you to travel long distances with comfort and also permit you to follow your fitness routine. A popular choice for touring, these Hybrid bikes generally come for an average price of Rs 15,000.
Key features of hybrid bikes:
- Goes for city riders and commuting
- Not for off-roading
- Ideal for people who take on a mix of terrain
Other Bike Types
- Downhill: This is a variant of a mountain bike that is particularly manufactured for downhill racing.
- Cyclocross: This type of bike is made to hit the trails. Versed with knobbly tyres, disc brakes, and stronger frames, this type of bike is befitting for off-roading.
- Fat bike: This type of bicycle comes with extra-wide tyres made for riding on rough surfaces (like snow and sand).
- Gravel bike: Taller at the front than road bikes for extra comfort, this gravel bike has wider gear ratios. Best-suited for non-tarmac roads.
- Jump bike: This bicycle comes between a mountain bike and a BMX (made especially for doing tricks).
- Electric bike: These electric bicycles come with an in-built motor that can be recharged to give you an extra boost.
- BMX bike: Bicycle motor cross or BMX bikes are made for off-road racing and stunt riding.
Factors to look upon while buying a bicycle
Now if you don’t know about bicycle components, chances are that the bike shop owner might sell you downgrade bikes easily. And so, you should understand what’re different bicycle components and how these impact your riding experience.
So, take a gander:
This is one of the basics. Bicycles with a decent suspension typically come in below Rs 15,000 range. However, if you are looking for enhanced performance and superior comfort, you might have to increase your budget.
Well, different riders have different requirements. So, if you think you don’t require disc brakes, you’re not wrong. Because when riding within the city, V-brakes are good enough. Similarly, on the longer rides, getting disc brakes might slow you down. However, if you are into stunt riding, disc brakes might come in handy.
Tip: Disc brakes require more attention and regular maintenance.
Frames are the foundation of a bicycle. A wrong frame on the right bicycle make gives you an extremely uncomfortable experience while riding. For those who want to purchase a bicycle for commuting, you should look for a frame that carries the weight of your feet and bottom.
Generally, bicycles come with three types of frames:
- Steel frames: These are affordable, durable, and heavy.
- Aluminum frames: Bit expensive, corrosion-resistant, and lighter.
- Carbon frames: Stiff, light, durable, and corrosion-resistant
There’re different frame sizes for varying heights. So, pick the right frame size.
Don’t forget the Test Ride
Well, you should always do thorough research before buying a bicycle. For starters, reading online reviews or taking feedback from bicycle owners is a good way. What’s better is that if you’re aware of online discounts going on.
However, if you are buying offline, one of the most trusted methods is to test ride the bike yourself. Few people often ignore the importance of a test ride and purchase in a hurry, only finding out later that their bike has something missing or misfit as per their preferences.
So, we strongly recommend you to take the test ride and then decide.
Disclaimer: The Times of India’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article.