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Blogger, Athlete
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So you’ve decided you need a new bike and head on over to your local bike shop. Upon entering and making your way to the bicycle section, an assistant comes up to you asking, “Are you looking for a bike?”

YOU: “Yes.”

ATTENDANT: “Do you need any help?”

YOU: “No thanks. I know what I’m looking for.”

Big mistake. I know almost everyone despises store employees who pester customers, but this is a situation where you need all the help you can get. Before buying a new bicycle, make sure you ask the following 6 questions:

1. How far can you comfortably ride? It doesn’t make sense buying a triathlon bike if you plan on doing rides over a century in length. Ask what the frame is made of and how it cushions the ride.

2. Can you change parts? A good bike shop will be able to swap seats and stems at little cost to you.

3. Can you carry equipment? Long-distance cycling as well as touring requires the mounting of racks and panniers. Your bike should be able to at least support a rear bag if you compete in ultracycling events. Do you have the necessary gearing based on the topography you’ll be riding?

4. Do you offer bike fitting? If this service is available, I highly recommend it because the shops usually employ some form of kit that takes precise measurements. Bike fittings cost anywhere from $40 - $200.

5. What types of terrain can this handle? Depending on whether you’re going to ride roads, bike paths, or cobblestone, you want to make sure your wheels can handle the punishment.

6. Can I take a test drive? If they don’t have your size on display, ask to have one set up for you. At the very least, test ride a similar model that has a similar frame geometry.

Remember that most bike shops are small, family owned businesses and provide excellent service. It’s important to form a relationship with the shop since you’ll likely be coming there again in the future.

Kyle Beck
Blogger, Athlete
passionispain.com
 

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All good questions. It kind of comes around to "what kind of bicyclist am I?" I find forums like this very helpful with deciding where I am in the biking world.

I've decided I'm a touring biker. I ride a road bike modified with 32mm tires and a straight handlebar. When OSU had a "Ride with Lance Armstrong day" last summer I had to pass. I'm not quite there....yet.

I'm 65 and look every minute of it. When I walk in a bike store they steer me to the comfort bikes. I gravitate over to the touring bikes in the middle of the store. These days I walk the aisle between the road bikes and the touring bikes. But they still won't let me test ride the Trek Mad-one. Maybe if I showed up in spandex, but I'm not quite there yet either.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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After a cupple of strate bar bikes, I went with a touring bike with road bars and have found comfort. I allways thaught that the strate bars would be more comfy but with a short top tube and road bars I have found what I was loking for, I realy like my Jamis Aurora Elite. I think a short ride is better than no ride, but you realy have to ride and ajust untill the bike feels realy good.
My ¢¢
 
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