How to Find the Perfect Bicycle on a Budget

Pedaling down a rustic mountain road as the wind whips through your hair: sounds nice, doesn’t it? Bicycling is one of the healthiest and most refreshing activities out there and, even better, you can buy a new or used bike for less than you might think. Here’s how.

Choosing The Right Bike

Even if you find the bike of your dreams you need to be able to sit on it comfortably and pedal. There are three main things to look for when you’re bike shopping. The first is the type of bike: do you want a road bike, mountain bike, e-bike, fitness bike for inside, BMX or something even fancier like maybe a custom-made bike? Is there a special brand of shocks you’re looking for?

The next step is size: if your bike is too high you could get hurt falling off and will have a lot of trouble getting on. The third consideration is cost and performance. Read reviews and ask the salesperson to get an idea of what you can find in your price range that fits what you’re looking for.¹

Finding Deals

There are some incredible bike deals out there and there are some things to keep in mind for finding the best deals available. The first thing is to keep an eye out for large bike stores in your city or area who usually have serious sales twice a year or so. Another way to find a deal is to be willing to negotiate over price in the store. Sometimes dealers will be able to go a fair bit lower on a price and still make a profit.

Another important thing that can score you an excellent deal is to be flexible. If you don’t have your heart set on one specific bike then take a look at overstock and highly-discounted models and you can save big. Other companies like Trek, Giant and Canyon also offer great prices by selling directly to consumers, which can also save you a bundle.²

Buying New

If you want to buy a new bike there are a few important pointers to keep in mind. These include avoiding common mistakes which – if you sidestep them – will have you on the path to a shining new bike at a fair price. The first important thing is to test ride even if it’s just for a short little jaunt down the street and back. In addition, shop around. Instead of just buying the first bike you see, take a look at your options and try out various bikes.

Also, get a bike that matches the kind of riding you want to do: just because you find a great deal doesn’t mean you need to buy the bike if it isn’t what you were actually looking for in the first place. In addition, read reviews and ask around to ensure the bike you’re getting has a good reputation. Be cautious of buying online as this makes test rides and more in-depth try outs difficult and even with a good return policy it can be a major waste of time and energy.³

Buying Used

Buying a used bike can be a good option in some cases but just make sure that the bike doesn’t have a lot of hidden repairs or soon-to-break issues going on that will make the good deal more trouble than it’s worth. Make sure to pay attention to gears, tires, the seat and the body to check for rust, breakage and other problems that are occurring or look like they could occur in the near future. Buying a used bike can be a smart choice but you need to stay savvy and check it out carefully.⁴