Are you looking for a new bike? Perhaps, you have just decided to take up cycling, or maybe you are an avid cyclist and need a replacement bicycle. Although price is a significant purchasing consideration, it should not be the sole decision-maker for your new bike. Bikes can range from $200 to $2,000.

Below are some other features that should get taken into consideration before you buy. Another thing to do before you buy a bike is to test ride it. Ride the bike far enough to make sure it feels right; you want a good fit. When checking for a good fit, it should include getting a feel for the shifters and brakes, and making sure the suspension and frame smooth the bumps sufficiently. Additionally, you want the shifters and brakes to be easy to use.

Bicycle Features

Saddle

You have a choice of soft, firm, narrow, or wide. You may want cutouts or channels for ease of pressure. Make sure padding is comfortable.

Drivetrain

Usually, cranksets — which are in the middle of the bike — have doubles (two chainrings) or triples (three rings). Did you know that as you shift from one ring to another, gearing adjustments are coarse? Whereas, changing from the sprockets — located in the rear cassette — makes for gear adjustments that are fine.

Brakes

You can find bikes with disc brakes that are hydraulic or mechanical, cantilever, linear-pull or V-brakes, or caliper brakes which are all suitable for most biking. Disc brakes are popular among heavy, high-performance cyclists for the brakes’ capability of sparing wheel rims from the abrasion caused by muddy braking.

Shifters

Derailleurs operate between the rear cassette sprockets and crankset rings. A shifter controls them.

  • Trigger shifters have a lever for downshifting and one for upshifting
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  • Twist shifters change gears by twisting collars on the handlebars.

Handlebars

  • Drop bars allow you to have an aerodynamic, entirely bent position.
  • High-rise handlebars make it so you can sit somewhat upright.

Bike Accessories

A few of the accessories you could purchase along with your bike include some of the following:

  • Cycling shoes
  • Helmet
  • Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Water bottle holder
  • Headlight
  • Speedometer
  • Lock

The 4 Basic Bicycle Categories

Fitness bikes – Excellent choice for individuals who want to improve cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, or daily commuting
Comfort bikes – Recreational and leisurely riding
Road bikes – Ideal for multi-day touring or intense, fast mileage
Mountain bikes – Designed for rugged trails