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Buying a Bike

Cycle Sport & Fitness
Bicycle Buying Tips


First, give some thought to what kind or riding you want to do, your level of experience, and your overall approach to cycling. Why do you want to ride?  For fitness? Just for fun? Casually, or seriously? Where do you want to ride? Street, bike trail or off-road? How frequently do you plan to ride? The more you know what you want, the easier it will be to select a bicycle which will best suit your needs.

Second, look through the types of bikes available:


Sport Comfort bikes
. These are 26" bikes in many  different frame sizes with much more upright handlebars, comfy, softer saddles (most with suspension seat posts and gel saddles) and lower gearing. They're sporty and really comfortable! They’re built for as the name implies, comfort.


Hybrid or Cross bikes
. These have 700c metric sized wheels (similar to a 27") and are a cross between mountain bikes and road bikes for the rider who wants to do a little of everything. Hybrids generally have street tires which are narrower than mountain bike tires, but wider than road bike tires, wider seats (most with suspension seat posts and gel saddles) and higher handlebars. They're lighter and faster than a mountain bike, but not as delicate as a narrow tire road bike. They're great for commuting and offer a nice  compromise which appeals to a lot of people.

Mountain bikes. These are rugged bikes for off-road use, but many people ride them on pavement as well.  Mountain bikes feature knobby tires for extra traction, flat or slightly raised bars for a more upright seating position than a road bike, and low gears for easier hill climbing. Some mountain bikes have front or full suspension for increased shock absorption. Do you need suspension? It depends on how and where you plan to ride.


Road bikes.
These are meant for pavement riding,  and are built for speed. They have very narrow tires and drop bars for a more aerodynamic position.


Cruisers
. One-speed or multi-speed retro-cruisers, just like the bikes from the 50's, with upright, swept back handlebars and wide cushy seats are for the casual rider who wants to just cruise.


Juvenile bikes.
These come in many varieties, from 12, 16, and 20" kid's bikes, to performance freestyle and BMX bikes, to multi-speed mountain bikes.

The size of the bicycle is critical for comfortable riding.  At Cycle Sport & Fitness, we have a wide selection of sizes from 12" bikes for 2 year olds, to extra tall frame bikes for adults over 6 feet tall.  Some bicycle models have six or more sizes! The length of your inseam determines the correct frame size, in terms of stand-over height. The reach to the bars is also critical for comfort. We will recommend a proper fit for you based on the kind of riding you'll be doing. What's comfortable for one style of rider may not be for another.  Proper bike fit is very important for comfort and safety.

Buy what you like.  There is no pressure to buy at Cycle Sport & Fitness. Feel good about what you're buying, how it looks and how it rides. Ask to take a test ride to compare bikes. If you haven't ridden a bike lately, be prepared to be surprised at the lightweight, easy pedaling, smooth shifting, comfortable, fun riding bikes of today.  Bikes have improved dramatically in the last few years, and the prices have come way down!  There's a lot of value, comfort and FUN in bicycles these days.

Ask us for advice on things you may not understand, such as quick-release operation, shifting, braking, maintenance, etc. We are here to help answer questions, unlike "big box" or "mart" stores.  You'll not only receive an owner's manual with your bicycle, but you'll also receive friendly, knowledgeable, courteous sales assistance.  We're here to help make your biking experience safer and more fun.

We're here for assistance on other equipment you may need or want. Buy a helmet first, and wear it!  There are many other products, such as lights, locks, bags, car racks, etc., which can enhance your riding experience.

Have fun, and ask us if you have any problems or questions. There are lots of "big-box" and "mart" stores selling bikes now, but none can give you the kind of professional service after the sale that we can.  We're here to help with questions, adjustments or problems before AND after your purchase.  Unlike other stores that sell bicycles as a sideline, we sell ONLY bikes and exercisers and we want you to REALLY ENJOY CYCLING!