What NOT to do When you Buy a New Bike: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

What not to do When You Buy a New Bike

The decision to buy a new bike is an exciting one. There’s the thrill of racing down hills to look forward to, and the convenience of avoiding the long commute to work. The process, however, can be a little complex.

Most people got their first bikes from a private seller, or as a gift, and it’s surprising how many of us have never walked into a bike shop and purchased something new. As such, lots of people aren’t sure what to look for, and might not know how to avoid common bike purchasing mistakes. Luckily, this guide is going to change all of that. Here’s what you need to know:

10 Big Mistakes to Avoid When you Buy a New Bike

Whether you’re shopping for a sleek hybrid bike, a rugged mountain bike, or something in-between, avoid these ten mistakes at all costs:

1. Going Straight to an Online Purchase

Buying a new bike online.

Bikes are like jeans – you can’t purchase them before trying them out and expect them to work. Even if you intend to buy a new bike online, which is a great option, it’s important to test drive bikes, first.

This is especially true if you aren’t exactly sure which model you want, and don’t really know the difference between the various types available. While you might think you want a road bike, a test ride could reveal you like the feel of a hybrid more. Before you buy online, visit your local bike shop to test-drive the models you’re interested in.

2. Price Shopping

Money to buy a new bike.

While it’s important to buy a bike within your budget, it’s also important to purchase a high-quality item.

Cheap bikes generally don’t hold up well to daily riding, and will only result in costly repairs and replacements down the road. As such, it’s well worth it to put some money into the bike you purchase since you’ll get a better ROI in the years to come.

If budget is a huge concern for you, look for bike shops that are offering clearance prices on last year’s models or seasonal blowout sales.

3. Being Afraid to Ask Questions

Person asking questions through a tin can.Bikes might seem simple, but they’re actually pretty complex. Because of this, you can’t afford to be afraid to ask questions.

Engage your salesperson, point out the things you don’t understand, and keep inquiring until it’s clear to you. The questions you ask now could save you some big disappointment or confusion down the road.

4. Settling on a Sub-Par Bike

An older bike in the bushes.

Maybe you find the shopping process confusing. Perhaps you have sticker shock. It could be that you just don’t know what you want.

Whatever the case may be, don’t settle on a bike! A bike is a big investment and, when you choose it correctly, it’s something you’ll ride for years to come.

Settling is a sure-fire way to wind up disappointed and frustrated down the road, so be sure to put in the legwork now. It will pay off later.

5. Forgetting About Accessories

Accessories on a new bike.Sometimes, a bike needs some accessories to line up with your riding goals.

For example, if you’re purchasing a commuter bike, you might want a rack or some panniers. A mountain bike intended for trail riding could benefit from a more comfortable seat or more technical pedals.

Your new road bike could be more comfortable with some new bar tape. Accessories come in all shapes and sizes, and considering them as you buy a new bike is a great way to have the best experience possible.

6. Buying a Bike That Doesn’t Fit

A person standing next to a well-fitted bike.

How a bike looks and performs is important, but how it fits is paramount. If you purchase a bike that doesn’t fit, you’re virtually guaranteed to wind up disappointed down the road.

If you aren’t sure how to size a bike, talk to a local bike expert. They’ll be able to size you and ensure you purchase something that fits your body type and height.

7. Forgetting About Maintenance

Bike chain and pedal in need of oil.All bikes need maintenance, but some more than others. When you buy a new bike, be sure to consider this. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance model, opt for something with built-in features like a chain guard and fenders.

If you’re purchasing something you intend to ride in high-impact situations, like on muddy trails or in the mountains, be sure you understand how to maintain it properly. Good maintenance can spell the difference between a bike that wears out prematurely, and one that continues to carry you toward your goals for years.

8. Ignoring Custom Bikes

A colorful, custom bike.

Custom bikes are an option, and they can be a great one for people who are very tall or very short, or who have unique riding needs.

Individual bike specialists can build bikes to your specifications. They’ll just take your measurements, inquire about your riding habits and goals, and get to work designing something that suits you.

Another benefit of a custom bike is that you’ll have some say over the color, style, and components of the bike.

9. Not Asking for Additions

A locked bike with many additions.If there’s something you really want on your bike, like larger tires or a bike rack, ask for it to be added before you take the bike home.

Most bike shops are happy to customize your new bike for you and will work hard to send you home with exactly what you want.

This ensures you get the exact bike you wanted, every single time.

10. Impulse Purchasing

A person using a credit card to buy a new bike.

Impulse buys are bad news when it comes to bikes.

In addition to guaranteeing you won’t get what you want, impulse purchasing wastes money and results in bad decisions.

Instead, take your time as you buy a new bike. Look at lots of models, talk to family and friends who like their bikes, and ask lots of questions. The result will be a bike that’s perfectly suited for you and your lifestyle.

Buy a Better Bike Today

While shopping for bikes can be tough, avoiding these ten mistakes is key to a positive experience. Follow them closely, and you’ll wind up with a new bike you’ll love for years to come!

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