How to choose the right bike

Step 1 – What type of riding will you be doing?

There are lots of styles of bikes to suit every use whether you are a leisure, fitness, off-road, commuter cycler or are you just seeking a bike to ride with the kids. Every bike is designed for a specific style of cycling, so the first step in choosing the right bike is to decide what type of riding you want to be doing.

Step 2 – Where to buy from?

Knowing what type of cycling you're looking to do will be a big decider on narrowing down your purchase points. If you're looking to do regular cycling then a specialist bike store is likely the best option. There are also some online retailers who specialise in quality bicycles.

If your budget is a little more restricted, then there are plenty of options for buying used cycles such as car boot sales and online selling sites.

Step 3 - Price point

It's important to work out how much you want to spend on your bike, don't forget to budget for additional parts and accessories that you may need, such as lights and a lock.

Step 4 – Sizing up

Finding the correct bike size is paramount to comfortable and confident cycling. With many bike types available in five or more sizes, there should be no guesswork. An incorrectly sized bike can make for awkward or uncomfortable riding and could be unsafe too.

Based on several factors including height, inseam length, riding experience and flexibility, determining the right size bike is something that often requires experience. If buying from your local bike store, this is something they will help you with. Once a correct bike size is chosen, ensure its correctly fitted and adjusted to you. See Cycling UK’s website for a handy guide to choosing the right size bike -

Step 5 – Parts and Accessories

Once you have found the right bike for you, it is time to consider parts and/or accessories. Often a bike is sold only with parts required to ride it and nothing more. It is up to you to decide on what you want to add to the bike. Some common additions include water bottle holders, lights, pump, lock or a different saddle or pedals.

The Highway Code advises cyclists to wear a helmet that conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened. Other accessories such as gloves or padded bike shorts can enhance your cycling experience.