Cycling is one of those sports that accommodates a wide range of participants, from the casual rider to the dude fully decked out in padded shorts, sponsored jersey, and shoes with cleats. Online bike shops serve everyone from recreational cyclists to aspiring pros. However, it’s important to consider some particulars of how to buy a bike online.
Where you live and how you spend most of your time may have a lot to do with the type of bike you choose. Urban dwellers who view a bike primarily as a healthier way of commuting will need a different type of bike than endurance road riders, cyclocross enthusiasts, or mountain bikers. Hybrid bikes work for various conditions. If you’ve got the commuting covered and you’re ready to buy your first mountain bike, do some research about the types of trails nearby and what kind of terrain you’ll encounter. The trails you’ll ride most often will be relevant to several features of the bike you ultimately choose, such as the type of suspension and the size of the tires.
Make a firm budget, and then allow for a few hundred extra. Bike technology improves constantly, with new designs and materials refined for specific uses or general riding. Specialized bikes can run into the several thousands. Having a firm top number will help you narrow your choices among many high-quality options.
A good online bike shop will have a detailed sizing guide. Sometimes, to get the best measurements, you will need to team up with a friend or visit a local bike shop to help determine which measurements are most relevant for your type of riding. For example, if you prefer to sit up straight, rather than bend low over the handlebars like a road racer, that will affect several measurements for the kind of bike you’ll ultimately purchase. Maintaining a good relationship with your local shop is important because, when your bike arrives, you may need help with assembly and, over time, with repairs or tune-ups.
One of the most important aspects of how to buy a bike online is evaluating customer support. Read reviews to find out how other customers feel about the service they received. Online bike retailers should put a lot of effort into customer service, from helping with bike selection to following up on delivery and satisfaction. Find out about guarantees or warranties and any restrictions on shipping. Ask how much assembly is already done when your bike arrives and how many further steps you’ll have to complete. Find out what happens if you’re not satisfied, and who bears the costs of a return.
Buying a bike online has become routine for many cyclists. It takes a little research and creativity, but quality bikes and outstanding customer service are what keep online bike retailers in business. Overall, shopping from your laptop can consume less time and cause less frustration than visiting several shops in person.