I am assuming by this time, you would already have an idea of what type of bike perks your interest. If you are not sure or simple didn’t know there are options,read this article first.
Next you need to figure out how much you are willing to spend on the bike, however, you need to first have a little understanding in choosing a bike. A good price tag does not necessarily mean a good bike and a great bike in the hands of a beginner is just a bike. Imagine giving the keys of a brand new Ferrari to a 16 years old. If you don’t know how much you should fork out, simply read on and maybe by the end of this article you might have a better idea.
Generally though, I advice beginners to put out around RM3,500 for a road bike, RM2,500 for a mountain bike and you can get a decent folding bike for around RM1,000. If you just want a simple commuter bike just to get around the neighbourhood, then park aside around three to four hundred.
SECOND HAND BIKE
I just have to put a word in about second-hand bikes. There is always somebody trying to get rid of his or her bike. For a beginner, considering a second hand bike might be a good idea. Firstly, you will only spend a fraction from the cost of a new bike. Second, you can test it and trash it and not worry too much about the bike’s survival. You will learn more about the sport and as you grow into it you will learn more about what bikes are good, where to get deals and most of all, what exactly you want in a bike. More importantly, will you still be cycling 6 months down the road or would you have moved on to something else.
In fact both my first and second bikes were second hand bikes. Both times the owners were upgrading and sold their bikes for a good price. My Cinelli came with a Shimano Ultegra groupset that would have set me back 7 to 8 thousand, but instead I only paid RM3,000 plus.
NOT JUST THE BIKE
The bike is just the first part of your purchase. The other essentials don’t come with the bike. I’ll do a quick rundown now and get into more details in the future. Here’s a list of things that you will also need to buy:
- Safety helmet
- Front headlights
- Tail lights
- Bicycle lock
- Cycling gloves
- Cycling glasses
- Cycling apparels
- Cycling shoes
- Repair Kit (Spare tube or patch kit, multi-tool, tyre levers)
- Emergency pump
- Cleaning equipment and tools
These accessories will easily set you back RM1,000. The good news is you don’t have to buy them all at once. The most important of the lot are your safety helmet, lights and lock. A decent helmet will cost you around RM100, a set of lights (front & rear) will cost about RM50 and a simple bicycle lock will only cost RM30.
There are generally two types of cycling gloves – one for road bikes and the other for mountain bikes. Road bike gloves fit snug and comfortable without compromising on movement. They are also thin so that it can wick sweat off faster. It provides you little padding and only in specific areas to relief stress off the palm of your hands. Mountain bike gloves are stiff, have thick padding and protection around the knuckles.
You might wonder, “Cycling Glasses”?
Well, a cyclist is general exposed to the environment around him/her. You need cycling glasses to protect your eyes from flying insects and pebbles from passing vehicles.
Cycling apparel is not necessary but it does add to your comfort and also the look.
For road bikes; the top is usually snug fitted and has 3 pockets at the back and in arm’s reach where you can store your wallet, phone, a small towel or even some snacks. The shorts usually don’t have pockets and are usually very snug.
For mountain bikes; the top is usually a long sleeve and worn a little loose. These also have back pockets. The short look like regular khakis shorts except they have sewn-in padding.
All cycling shorts have padding on the inside to provide you comfort when sitting on the bike for extended periods. The shorts also prevent chaffing of your skin in the crotch area.
Cycling shoes is not a must but if you have ever had your laces caught in the chain of a bicycle, you will know why there are shoes for cyclist. Also, if you get serious into the sport, cycling shoes will help with performance drastically as they clip onto the pedals so that you can add power by pulling the pedal up and not just pushing down.
If you plan to do long distance cycling, a repair kit is vital. The repair kit is usually packed into a small bag under the seat and usually consist of a spare tube, tyre levers, a patch kit and a multi-tool for cycling. Along with this, you will need an emergency pump that is small and serves only to temporarily inflate your tyre till you can get to a shop.
Last but not least, cleaning equipment. In order to prevent your parts from coming apart or deteriorating to natural element, you need to clean your bicycle on a regular basis. Soap and water alone is not enough. You will need the right tools and cleaners as well as lubricant to keep everything in tip-top condition.
This sums up the first part. Next we will get into the things that affects the cost of a bicycle.