What Bike?

You want to get a bike but where do you start?
Do you look for the best bike in town? Do you custom order a bike? Which is the best brand?

The first thing that you will need to decide on is what kind of cycling you intend on doing and why. Why?
Well if you don’t know why you want to cycle, chances are your bike will be collecting dust before the end of the next season. The why would be your first motivating factor that would ensure you are making an investment and not just throwing money into the corner of your storeroom.

The next thing you need to decide on is what kind of cycling you intend on doing? What do I mean? Here are some ideas as to what you might be using your bicycle for:

  • You need to travel between your home and neighbourhood grocery store, walk the dog and meet up with neighbours to gossip;
  • You want to look cool with your cycling buddies;
  • You want to live a little on the edge;
  • You think you want to get fit;
  • You actually want to get fit;
  • Your reasons and objectives will determine what kind of bike is suitable for you. So, what kinds of bikes are there? We’ll look at five of the most commonly used bikes. I have kept this sweet and simple. If you want to know more, simply click on the Wikipedia links below each title.

    A group outing with folding bikes

    Fixies often come in bright colours

    Road bikes have narrow tires

    MTB - Notice the front suspensions

    As its name proposes, the folding bike is designed to fold into a compact size for travel or storage. These are really cool bikes to get about the neighbourhood with, take with you on a train or bring it into your office.

    These are single gear bikes that have become a trend and somewhat of a nuisance locally. However, this is an simple no brainer bike. No gears. No shifters. No headache.

    Road bikes are built for speed and are only meant for paved roads and tarmac.

    Mountain bikes are an ideal choice if you like to get into the roughs outdoors. MTBs can take a hard beating on off-road trails. These require some strength and a lot of practice. MTBs are not designed for speed.

    Hybrids are designed for a variety of recreational and utility purposes. While primarily intended for use on pavement, they may also be used on relatively smooth unpaved paths or trails. These bikes have tires a little broader than Road Bikes but smaller than MTBs. You can take them off-road a little and still chase the road bike.

    What Brand Is A Good Brand?
    Giant? Colnago? Scott? Specialized? Wilier? Trek?
    Seriously, they are all good. If you are a beginner to novice cyclist, it does not make the tiniest of difference. In choosing your first ride, you need only consider two main factors – the price and the size. Just pick a bike within your budget that fits you.

    A decent budget to start with is around RM3,000 and bikes at that price do not vary that much in its specifications and quality. If you have a lower budget, then consider the second hands. You might just get a better deal.

    Yes, there are different sizes. Such as in clothing, bikes come in varying sizes to fit your build. Getting the right size is important. Most local bike stores will willingly recommend the right sized for you based on your height, however a proper bike fitting is still require at the end of the day.

    Second Hand Bikes?
    When scouting for a second hand you have to be careful for bikes that have gone thru a lot of wear and tear. It would be good to find a friend who knows something about bikes who can help you out. With road bikes and folding bikes you have little to worry about but be cautious of mountain bikes. They take a lot of trashing and can look pretty good on the outside but may have some serious cracks on the insides.

    It is also a good idea to find out why the owner wants to get rid of the bike. If they haven’t used it for awhile, it may be rusting. If they say they are shifting from one type of bike to another, that may also be cause for concern. Owners, who are upgrading tend to be more serious with cycling and would have taken better care of their bikes.

    What is the most important thing about choosing a bike?
    I would say “Time”.
    Take your time hunting around. There are loads of choices be it a brand new bike or a second hand.


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