I'm brand new to cycling, what kind of bike should I buy?

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Anonymous's picture

"I want to get into the sport of cycling, and probably join this club, it sounds pretty cool. I don't know anything about bikes, except that I'd like to buy one. I'd probably be willing to spend about a grand at most, but might go higher. I'm sure I'd be doing street riding. Does anyone have any good advice? What are good ""beginner"" bikes, with the potential for maybe serious racing? Any specific shops have the best deals? I live on the upper east side.
Thanks. Mike."

Anonymous's picture
B. Dale (not verified)


Welcome! Of course there are many options, but in your price range most people opt for a brand name (i.e. Cannnondale, Trek, Specialized, Giant, Bianchi, etc.) aluminum frame bike equipped with Shimano 105 components (ultegra is the next step up if you want to spend more). Probably the most important part of this transaction is getting a proper bike fit (as you ride more you'll really appreciate this) and finding a bike shop that is friendly, competent, honest, and reasonably priced (many of as are still looking for this :)). These subjects are often discussed here and you can read more on them by using the search function of this message board. Best of luck!


Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Buying a bike

You have to decide on what type of bike to buy; mountain bike, hybrid or road bike. If you are serious about distance you will want a road bike. A hybrid does not allow you to put as much weight on the handle bars, limiting the time and distance you can spend on the saddle. A mountain bike is fine for off road. Both hybrids and mountain bikes are not suitable for paceline riding.
I totally agree with getting correctly fit for whatever bike you purchase.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

"I would think that there's a generous stretch of time between ""new to cycling"" and ""serious racing."" That said, consider what riding you intend to do. If it's mostly errands, laps in the park & rides up & down the greenway, then a basic hybrid is all you need (shock absorbing gimmicks are also not necessary.) If your rides will run 30 miles & up (e.g., club rides) on paved roads, then a road bike is the better choice. There are plenty of ""entry-level"" road bikes in the $500 & up range which should do ""just fine"" (example: Trek 1000.) Buy based on fit and the dealers willingness to work with you."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
start cheap

If you like it, you're gonna want a better bike after you figure out your equipment needs and likes and dislikes during the next year or two - you can't possibly know until you experience it first-hand no matter how much talk and shopping and reading and Q&A and opinion you gather. You could spend thousands on something that won't fit you two years from now as your body becomes accustomed to riding a road bike.

If you don't like it, at least you won't have blown a bundle on something that's gonna gather dust.

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Excellent Advice

"Evan is right. The most you can hope for at this point is to choose the right type (hybrid, road, etc.) and size.

On a road bike, fit is something that will evolve as you ride. The ""correct"" position may not feel right to a beginner. Get something inexpensive (maybe even used if it fits) and go ride. You can sell that bike later or keep it as a beater.


Anonymous's picture
jhaar (not verified)
new to biking

as a kid i've always had a mountain bike. It was only this past year in my senior year at college that i finally switched to a road bike (and did the montauk century). I would agree with the previous posts. You should start with a cheaper bike and only later on when you are sure of what you like and are comfortable with, step up to the next level. I got a trek 1000 for around 500 bucks at the begining of the year and i've been pretty happy with it. I'm thinking about looking for something more expensive within the next few years,(hey i'm in college-i need some money first) but when i do go looking i'll know exactly what i want.

Anonymous's picture
Jim Reaven (not verified)
Road bike thoughts

If you want to do the kind of riding that most beginner and intermediate NYCC members do, you will want a road bike with 3 chainring (gear wheels)in front. Getting a double instead of a triple is one mistake that many new road bike buyers make. You will probably need the additional gears to climb hills. And it is best to avoid the new reduced spoke wheels, especially if you are a big person. These are really for racers but are widely sold now because they look cool. Neither of these thoughts will add to the price.

Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
...and when it's time to get that second bike...

"No one mentioned it, but your first bike choice will be, well, wrong. No avoiding it. After riding for a year or two, you'll find you want a bike that's different from your first bike. Don't let that stop you, though. As long as you didn't pay TOO much, that first bike was a great investment, and you'll always have it.

When it's time for a second, newer bike that is closer to what you REALLY want, take into account how much riding you do and how comfortable you are with doing your own repairs (despite the fact that repairs keep getting easier, more people are having them done by bike shops). One rule of thumb I've heard recently is that you should divide your annual mileage in half and the number you get is what you should spend. So if you ride 3,000 miles a year, a $1,500 bike is a reasonable investment.

One last thought--If you happen to be engaged when you are shopping for that second bike, break the bank. You heard me--go get the most expensive bike you can imagine riding. Once you're hitched, you will most likely have to get ""approval"" for any expensive purchase your spouse can't use, and unless your spouse is a bigger cycling freak than you are, you'll be saying ""Aw, c'mon honey"". When I got engaged to my wife Molly 15 years ago, I was given this advice by older, married cyclists; I'm still married and I still have (and ride) that great bike. Both of 'em are keepers."

Anonymous's picture
Mike (not verified)
Thanks everybody

Thanks for all the advice everybody. I think I'm gonna try and get a less expensive name brand road bike, and see how I like it.

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