I've been thinking about getting into biking for awhile and am finally ready to take the plunge. Would love to buy a decent road bike, but not sure what to look for. Anyone have advice on what I should be looking for. I'm hoping to get a bike I can use for the next few years, at least.
The best way to choose is to first decide how you want to ride. I guess you've decided on road riding. :)
Next, find a reputable bicycle store who will fit you properly on your bike. Your riding experience is all about fit and comfort. An ill fitting bike can cause ou problem with your needs, hands and bottom! If your intention is the learn to ride long distances, then make the investment in a better quality bike.
Not all bikes have to cost a ton of money either. You can get a nice entry level road bike at annual clearance sales for about $399 (this is what I did). This way you have something decent to ride while you decide whether or not riding is for you. From there you can either upgrade your bike entirely, or make upgrades on parts that will give you the most bang for your buck, like upgrading tires or wheels.
Getting a bike from a Wal-mart or sporting goods store is fine for leisure riding, or if I was going to buy a recreational bike for my kid, but if I'm going to be serious about riding and training for it on an intentional level, make a smart investment.
Alternatively I have known people to go to a reputable shop, have them tell them what size bike they'd recommend and then turn around and get a bike from a department or sporting goods store -- they spend less money and got the right size. You're equipment will still lack performance, but something is better than nothing.
If you live in a state that hosts an MS150 type event, usually bikes sales happen right before and after the event. You can really get some great deals!
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