5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Buying a New Bike (2022)

Mistakes to avoid when buying a new bike: Me riding a wrong bike type and size

Today, I will tell you about the 5 mistakes people usually make when buying a new bike. 

I talked with a few friends who run bike stores and asked them about common misconceptions surrounding the purchase of bicycles.

People often buy the wrong bike size or type, a bike that’s too cheap and not fun to ride or too expensive, so they are afraid to ride it, prefer design over quality components, or want a poor bike based on a TV ad.

Below, you learn what you can do to avoid them.

Let’s dive in.

Mistake #1: Buying the Wrong Bike Size

Buying the wrong bike size will lead to an unpleasant ride caused by discomfort.

Wrong bike size, and therefore, improper bike fit, can even lead to injuries. 

When you know how to choose a bike size, you can avoid all sorts of problems, maximize comfort, and enjoy the time spent on the bike.

Petr Minarik riding a hybrid bike in road cycling clothing
Me on a small bike riding like a crazy

Focus on the frame size. There are multiple methods for choosing it.

The easiest one is to choose it based on your height. However, it’s also the most inaccurate. 

I recommend choosing it based on your inseam length and bike size chart

To find out more, please read my fully dedicated guide on choosing the right bike size, which also includes a bike size calculator.

Mistake #2: Buying the Wrong Bike Type

People often buy a bike and then realize they can’t use it for the terrain they want to ride in or their riding style.

Petr Minarik riding a road bike on a mown field
Although road bikes can handle a lot, their tires are not suitable for fields, light gravel, etc.

That’s why you should ask yourself the following questions before you buy a bike:

  • Where do you want to ride a bike? (Paved roads, terrain, etc.)
  • What is your riding style? (Casual, normal, aggressive)

This is because there are 3 basic bicycle types which include many subcategories:

  1. Hybrid bikes (city, commuter, cruiser…)
  2. Road bikes (road, gravel, CX, TT…)
  3. Mountain bikes (XC, trail, enduro…)

To learn which one to choose, you can read my in-depth guide on choosing a bicycle.

Did you know that Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend is one of the best times of the year to buy a bike? Browse these Black Friday cycling deals.

Mistake #3: Buying a Bike That is Too Cheap or Too Expensive

It may be tempting to buy the cheapest bike if you are just starting with cycling. 

But your first experience with a bike should be positive to keep you motivated to ride more.

My experience with cheap bikes was mainly bad, and I heard multiple stories of people that stopped cycling because of a crappy bicycle.

Cheap bicycles are heavy, need further adjustments, are unreliable, and are not fun to ride.

Save a little bit more to afford a bike with decent components that will last and be reliable.

On the other hand, buying an expensive bike also may not be worth it.

First, you may exhaust your budget just on the bike, and you won’t have money left for bicycle accessories like a bicycle helmet, comfortable cycling clothing, etc.

Second, if you don’t know whether cycling is a good sport for you, it doesn’t make too much sense to buy an expensive bike.

Instead, you should try to cycle (for example, on a borrowed bike) for some time and eventually upgrade later.

So, what is the right bike price range? 

It depends.

I guess you already have some idea of how much you want to invest in a new bike. My recommendation is as follows:

Avoid buying bikes under $300 unless you are looking to ride just a few miles.

And if you are just starting, a bike over $2000 will probably also be overkill.

However, this topic is pretty complex, and it deserves an entire article. It seems I will have some work to do, haha!

Mistake #4: Preferring Appearance over Components

Choosing a bike based on its appearance is like choosing a dress based on the number of sparkles on it. 

Sure, it looks great to the eyes, but you should prefer function over appearance.

Look, I am not saying appearance is not important. If you find two bikes with the same components, choose the one you like more.

But, if one bike has higher-end brakes, shifters, derailleur, etc., and costs the same, go for it.

It will serve you well for years (of course, with regular maintenance), and riding it will be more pleasant.

I understand why people often overlook components. It’s because they don’t understand bicycles. In the end, we don’t buy bicycles as often as a grocery, for example.

On Cyclists Hub, I always try to provide helpful information when recommending products, including bicycles, to help you make educated decisions and spend your money wisely.

Mistake #5: Buying a Bike Based on a TV Add

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of a TV ad. After all, they’re designed to sell you a product, but the product is hardly ever worth it. 

If you’re buying a bike, make sure that you’ve researched enough on your own before taking someone else’s word for it.

I often hear stories from my friends that once some TV campaign starts, people rush to their bicycle stores and want the same bike that some famous person was riding in the ad.

However, those bikes are often overpriced (the ad had to be paid for somehow) and provide worse value than those not marketed via TV ads.

Feel free to check out the best bicycle brands for inspiration.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has clarified the mistakes you can now avoid when purchasing a new bicycle. 

Remember to choose the right bike size and type to maximize the riding comfort and suitability for the terrain you want to ride in.

Other things like choosing a bike in a suitable price range, reliable components, etc., are no less important.

Feel free to ask in the comments if you have questions regarding buying bikes. I will gladly help you.

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