Where To Buy A Bike
Start by asking yourself where you plan to ride: on streets, bike paths, unpaved roads and trails or some combination of those places? Below is a simple chart with basic bike category options based on the surface(s) each is built for:
where to buy a bike
Many bike types now include electric bike options, so take a few minutes to decide if an e-bike makes sense for you. Generally, an e-bike with a pedal-assist motor will greatly expand your riding possibilities. While these bikes come with a higher price tag, they allow you to zip up hills with less effort, as well as ride farther and faster.
Road bikes are good for fitness riding, commuting, event rides, touring and racing. Most have a drop-bar handlebar (curling down and toward the rear of the bike), which puts the rider in an aerodynamic position. This bent-forward riding posture can take a little getting used to.
Touring bikes: Touring bikes differ from traditional road bikes in that they are built for riding loaded up with gear over long distances. They have sturdy frames to support heavy loads and have attachment points that let you add racks, fenders, water bottles, pumps, lights and more. A long wheelbase (the distance between the wheel hubs) helps make them easier to control when you have a heavy load.
Designed with shock-absorbing features and sturdy builds, mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps and ruts that make them so fun. Mountain bikes have lower gears than road bikes so you can ride up steeper terrain.
Trail bikes: This is the style most new mountain bikers will get. If social trail riding with friends on beginner-friendly trails and dirt roads is your goal, then this is your bike. Bikes in this category place equal emphasis on fun and efficiency.
All-mountain bikes: These bikes are a good option as you progress to riding on more technical terrain. All-mountain bikes are well-rounded performers: joyful on steep and flowing descents, while also being capable climbers. Their geometry balances the need for both uphill power and downhill stability, so all-mountain bikes can handle a variety of technical features along the trail.
Fat-tire bikes: Recognizable because of their oversize tires, these bikes offer outsize traction that makes it possible for you to ride them on sand or snow. The ultra-wide tires are also reassuringly forgiving on all sorts of rough terrain.
If you want something that performs well on the street but can also handle some unpaved terrain, this is your bike. You might also see hybrid bikes referred to as "fitness bikes" because their comfort and versatility appeal to riders motivated primarily by the exercise benefits of riding. Hybrid bikes generally have a more upright riding position than their road bike counterparts. Most have large-diameter road wheels for speed, paired with wider tires for off-road traction.
Cargo bikes: Featuring beefy builds so you can haul lots of gear and handle tons of weight, cargo bikes are ideal for running errands and transporting kids. Neither speedy nor nimble, these are highly utilitarian bikes.
Getting the right frame size is the first step. Fortunately, most bike manufacturers have size charts that list your frame size based on your height. The most important aspects of bike fit, standover height (the distance between your body and the top tube when you straddle the bike) and reach (the distance from seat to handlebar) can then be fine-tuned with some minor adjustments.
Looking for a brand new bike?We only sell refurbished used bikes. If you are interested in purchasing a new bike from a retail store, there are a number of quality local shops that we recommend:
Used bicycles offer a less expensive, functional alternative to buying a new bike. For individuals looking to buy a used bicycle, or for those trying to sell one, look here for the best places in the area to buy, sell or advertise a used bike.
I shop for bike gear. A lot. Bikes, wheels, components, bibs and jerseys, helmets, shoes, power meters, and all sorts of tires, cassettes, tools, and food are on my shopping list for new reviews and to keep me and my test bikes dialed in.
Since I do have a family that I also like to spend time with and a budget that I need to keep to, shopping at an online bike store and buying bike parts online is usually my most time-efficient and cost-effective option. When I shop online I can usually find the best prices on the range of enthusiast-level bike gear I evaluate for the In The Know Cycling reviews.
The problem I run into, and I imagine you do too, is that there are soooo many bike stores out there selling bike gear and bike parts online, a lot of them you may have never heard of and those you may hear of for the first time when you do a product search. It can be hard to figure out which stores are the real deal, and among those, which have the best prices, selection, and most satisfied customers.
The ratings are data-supported, analytically developed, and only compare online bike shops that serve road cycling enthusiasts, those of us roadies that are regular, committed riders who are serious and knowledgeable about the bike gear we buy. I update this review and ranking every quarter.
We want to buy bike gear at stores that have the lowest net price. The net price includes the base price of the product, additional shipping cost if the online bike shop charges them, and any taxes that are included in the price.
First, the better online bike stores and places to buy bike parts online work with shippers who have figured out how to work with customs to minimize or avoid charges. For example, some stores will break up sales and shipments of high-priced items (like your front and rear wheels) or declare shipment values that are below the level that triggers customs involvement. You can do this too by keeping the total invoice on the items you purchase on any order below the amount that will trigger import charges.
Depending on the state you live in, US online stores may or may not charge sales tax for goods delivered to you. Their pricing, selection, and service are also often better than local bike shops. So for this same wheelset, it is worth comparing the cost of buying the wheelset from a US online store versus the customs imposed charges of a UK store.
We want to buy from online bike stores that have a good range of the products, brands, and models we road cycling enthusiasts ride, wear, and use. There are many other stores that cater mostly to recreational or mountain bike cyclists, triathletes, hikers, runners, etc., but carry a few lines or products that enthusiasts might buy as well. Finding what most enthusiasts look for at these stores is a bit like finding needles in a haystack. Your time is better spent going to stores that specialize in selling needles and very little if any hay.
For example, an online bike shop that carries an Ultegra groupset but only in one or two combinations of crank lengths, chainset and cassette ratios would rate 1 for selection. If they only carry a couple of the major wheelset brands and a lot of less widely distributed, often national brands, I would rate them 1. If they sell a wider selection of brands and/or models but you usually need to special order many of these, what they really have is limited and rate a 1 in my book.
The good news is that there are many business models that online bike stores are using to be successful and provide you the combination of price, service, selection, and support you want these days. Some of these models may suit you better than others and can help you choose between them in addition to the ratings.
Hi Steve, Thanks for the contribution! There are some amazing bike shops I frequently visited, namely: Bikebug, Bike-discounts, Lordgun, Hibike, and Ciclimattio. They should be somehow on the same list.
Hey. Very cool site. I am new here and just trying to figure it out. Very good content and this is now a valued site of mine. LOLOL So I went to Trustpilot. Entered the business name and it just redirected me to that company review site. Same stuff I saw when I ordered. I purposely ordered just one thing I wanted to see how that goes. If the reviews are good then it will be fine. How do you know? Anyway the google address for the check says it is bad. Do you personally know anything about OOLACTIVE? Everywhere on line I go look to support this. Just wondered if you did? Thank you and Cheers.
Thanks Steve. So i now have a second notification that my order is moving somewhere. LOLOL I will keep you up to date. I am still quite suspicious and your advice of shopping local is the best advice. I am a huge proponent of shop local yet I wanted to see if this site was real. The kit I ordered I have not seen anywhere else. LOLOL ALL THE BEST FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Cheers Steve. Great site you have. Just got the new reviews page. Love it.
This is the first time I have seen a review of online bike stores. I agree with Merlin Cycles being high in the list. I have had great experience with them even though they are UK and I am in the US. I buy my expensive upgrades from Merlin. JensonUSA another good site that I mainly use for lowest price components, such as cassettes.
Hi Ken, There are a lot of great bikes out there including from Canyon. However, whether a Canyon bike is right for you just because it may be for others is a separate question. I strongly encourage you to read my review How and Where to Buy Bikes Online to help you answer that question. Steve
A student/user needs to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their bicycle information, including where they left the bicycle, make/model of the bicycle, color, and serial number (if possible). They also need to tell us if the bicycle was registered or not. If it was, we need to know the Registration sticker ID. We also want to have a picture of their bicycle, preferably when it was unlocked to show that it was owned by the user. 041b061a72