How to Choose the Right Bike: Your Ultimate Guide

Looking to purchase a new bike, or to upgrade your current bike? You’ve come to the right place! Buying a bike is a personal decision, and it can be confusing because there are many different types of bikes you can select from. If you’ve been wondering, “What bike should I buy?” our ultimate guide will help you narrow it down!

Understanding Your Riding Needs

Are you looking for the best bike for general use? Or are you choosing a bike for a specific purpose? How to choose a bike boils down to the activities you might be using it for. Are you going to use your bike to commute to work (or school)? Are you a weekend road cyclist who likes to ride in a group? If off-road is your thing, there’s mountain biking or even a gravel bike.. Finally, you might prefer to use an E-bike (electric bike). This gives you an assist from a small electric motor. It’s great for and covering longer distances.


Matching Activities to Bike Types

How to choose the right bike for you? The type of cycling you plan to do will definitely influence your choice of bike.

  • Commuting (urban cycling): This bike is primarily designed for paved surfaces and typically doesn’t have suspension (unlike mountain bikes). There’s no exact specification for a commuting bike, but they tend to have flat handlebars, a wide range of gears, good brakes, and a comfortable seat.
  • Road cycling: Now things get a bit more serious. Because you’ll be riding as quickly as you can, and over long distances, a road bike is very lightweight in terms of its frame and components. They usually have drop handlebars, no suspension, and the tyres are fairly narrow and slick.!
  • Mountain biking: Designed for rugged terrain, mountain bikes have much sturdier frames and tyres, as well as front and/or rear suspension. You can get one with front suspension only or full (front and back). They also have lower gears to make it easier to get up that mountain!
  • BMX: These are smaller, lighter, and more manoeuvrable than mountain bikes, although not well-suited to longer rides. 
  • E-biking: Great travel speed and for long distance, increases exercise frequency, and are cost-effective compared to cars, and safer in traffic. Ideal for varied uses including commuting and touring, they excel in hilly terrains and windy conditions. Fun to ride, they encourage more frequent cycling, making them a practical and enjoyable option.

Buying Your Bike in a Physical Store vs in an Online Store

If you’re relatively new to cycling, an online store might not be the best idea for you. You need to make sure you get the right fit, that it’s comfortable, and has all the features that you’re going to need. Let’s face it. As a newcomer, you probably don’t really know what to ask for. So visiting a physical store is a good idea. Also, there’s something to be said for supporting your local store.

On the other hand, buying a bike online can be a great idea for experienced riders who already know their fit and precise needs. You’ll usually get a cheaper price for the bike itself, although you’ll have to factor in the shipping costs.

The Importance of Fitting

Fitting is usually the single biggest factor in whether you’ll be happy or unhappy with your new bike. And the last things you want are wrist, forearm, knee or back injuries caused by overusing a bike that isn’t right for you. Your bike needs to be fitted specifically to you and your body. That’s why it’s important to try out different types of bikesfor comfort and performance.

To find the correct bike size, you need to match your height with the size of the frame. You should be able to straddle your bike while keeping your feet flat on the ground. You shouldn’t be reaching too far for the handlebars or, on the other hand, riding with your back scrunched up.

Budgeting for Your Bike

The price of your bike will depend on whether you’re after something entry-level or higher-end (with more features). A “good enough” commuter bike might cost around $400 or $500. You might get cheaper prices during a sale, of course! A “performance” commuter bike can range from $700 to $1,000. Mountain bikes can range from a $400 value model to well over $1,000 for one with full suspension. E-bikes usually start around $1,600 and can go much higher. You will also need to budget for accessories such as bike light sets and bike alarm and finders for extra security.

Budgeting for Accessories

Accessories are important! You need good rear lights so that the traffic can see you easily. A powerful front light is essential, especially when you’re riding off-road and lose illumination from those street lights. If you’ve spent a lot of money on your bike, it’s wise to budget for some effective bike security accessories as well.

Essential Bike Accessories

Choosing the right bike includes choosing the right accessories. These can include front and rear lights, mudguards, helmet, security chain, alarm and tracker, seat cover, headlamp, rear luggage rack … The list goes on and on! But some are more important than others.

Lights and Visibility

There are two main purposes for having lights on your bike:

  1. So that drivers can see you during periods of poor visibility or at night.
  2. To illuminate the road or track ahead so you can see where you’re going. This is especially important when you are riding off-road or mountain biking at night.

Rear bike lights are a safety must, ensuring you are clearly visible to the cars behind you. Your front bike lights keep you visible to the traffic while also lighting up the cycle path, trail or road ahead. The strength of your front light can range from 40 lumens for commuting in bright built-up areas, to 1300 lumens, which provides quality illumination up to 120 metres.
 And if you’re looking for the perfect combination of front and rear lights, you should buy a bike light set.

Security Essentials

When you’re out and about, what’s the best way to secure your bike? Obviously, a sturdy bike chain and lock or a U-lock will help deter would-be thieves. Although, to be honest, an unbreakable bike lock doesn’t exist. For your peace of mind, a bike alarm and finder will provide an extra layer of security. This consists of an extremely loud 85db bike alarm combined with a highly accurate bike finder, using Apple’s ‘Find My’ app.

Key Takeaways on Choosing a Bike

When you’re buying a bike, you need to make an informed decision. The types of bikes you should be considering will depend on a number of factors:

  • What type of cycling will you be doing? Commuter cycling, road cycling, mountain biking, BMX or E-biking? Or a combination of these? This will determine the type of bike you should get.
  • If you’re a newcomer to cycling, it might be best to get fitted and try different bikes in a physical store rather than online.
  • To get fitted, you need to match your height to the size of your bike frame for maximum comfort and to help prevent overuse injuries.
  • You need to budget for accessories, especially lights and security, in addition to your bike purchase.

Next Steps

Choosing the right bike includes choosing the right accessories to make your biking experience as pleasurable and safe as possible. Browse our collections to find the perfect accessories for your current or future bike.