Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Guest blog: How To Choose The Perfect Bicycle

Written by Fiona July 16 2013

My guest blogger today reckons he has the answer to choosing your perfect bike. Budget, cycling terrain, brands and looks will all play their part. This article is brought to you by London-based cycling retailer Zeevon.

A women's single speed bike

A women’s single speed bike

Are you in search of a way to burn calories, have fun, and even save money on gas? The warm weather of summer is perfect for bike riding and will give you some great experience in creating a new cycling regimen.  But if you need a new bicycle, finding a bike that fits your body type and the style of biking that you will be doing can be a challenge. Should you go for a mountain bike, tandem bike, road bike, giant bike, or BMX bike? What kind of frame do you need? Do you need a cruiser or a bike that has various speeds on it? Do you need an expensive brand or can you get by with a cheaper, model from last year? Buying a bike is an investment, so it’s important to know exactly how to choose the perfect bike that will fit your needs. By following four steps, you’ll have a better idea of where to start when it comes to your bike search.

Step 1: Research various types of bicycle and determine which one suits you.

Will you be cycling on the road, on trails, on a mixture of the two or in skateparks? Do you plan to pop to work or the shops or ride for hours every weekend or days and days on holiday? Will you be riding on the flat so you might only need a single speed bike, or up lots of hills, in which case you’ll need a wide range of gears? If so, you’ll be looking at choosing a mountain bike, hybrid bike, racer bike, BMX bike, or perhaps a sit-up0-and-beg shopper bike.  There are also bikes for men and women, and kids. And how about a tandem bike  for couples who want to ride leisurely together?

Step 2: Think about how much you’ll use it.

If you don’t think you’ll use the bike all that often, it might not be a wise idea to invest a lot of money in one.  But, if you think this will be your primary mode of transportation or that you’ll be using it regularly for exercise or training, be sure that you get a decent brand with good components and ratings.

Step 3: Consider what style of frame you need.

There are a variety of frame materials out there – aluminium, alloy, titanium, carbon fibre and more. Research these materials online and learn more about what frames would best suit your needs.  If you have questions about what frames are best, call up your local bike shop.

Step 4: Find a bike that fits you.

This is where going into a bike shop is almost essential. Don’t skip this step! You need to actually sit on the bikes you’re interested to see if it’s comfortable to mount and dismount, and to make sure the height and sizing will work for you.  In addition, see if you can take the bike out for a test ride, either by borrowing a friend’s bike that you like, or test-riding it at the bike shop.  There is no way to know if you will like the way it rides or feels unless you physically try it out.

After you have done your research and found the bike you want to buy, have it assembled by a professional.  There’s nothing worse than spending hours on assembling a bike and then have something break when you start riding because you put the wrong bolt in the wrong place.

The bottom line: Your goal should be to find a bike that is efficient, affordable, and fits you comfortably.  Ask as many questions as you can when you’re trying to find a new bike.

More Like This


Six exciting outdoor activities to experience while teaching abroad


5 fantastic reasons to vIsit Guatemala – and 4 things to do there 


How cold water swimming can help with managing depression


Corbett bagging: Morven, near Ballater


Free beginner’s guide to navigation by Ramblers Scotland


Corbett bagging: Meall Dubh, Glen Moriston