Contrary to what you might think, now is actually a very good time to buy a bike. Because the weather isn’t ideal for cycling at the moment, many companies have sales on at the moment. However, before jumping straight into buying a new bike, there are several things you need to research.
First of all, determine what your budget is. A new road bike will probably cost you upwards of 1,500$ if not closer to 2,000$. However, at this time of year, you can find a new bike for 1,000$ if you know where to look. Bear in mind that you will need money left over for accessories such as pedals, water bottles and water bottle cages. In case you did not know, most higher end bikes do not come with pedals as they expect you to buy your own clipless pedals. These pedals come with matching cleats that enable you to clip into your pedals for more power. However, if you have never used clipless pedals before, I would recommend starting out with flat pedals as clipless can be difficult to get used to. Also, if you are an avid cyclist, you may be interested in buying new cycling shoes. Cycling shoes are cycling specific shoes which you can attach your cleats to. These accessories, all together, could cost you upwards of 248$.
Second of all, research what bike you can afford. After determining what your budget is, you can find out what sort of bike frame and components you can afford. An aluminum frame with a carbon fork is a good option for your first road bike. A complete carbon frame will cost rather more than an aluminum frame and if this is your first road bike, it is not recommended that you jump directly to a carbon frame. Although carbon frames are lighter and thus more expensive than aluminum, if it is your first bike, you do not need an extremely light bike. There are several different levels of components. The two levels that are most common on new road bikes are Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105. 105 is the higher end and more expensive version of the Tiara as it is the 11 speed version and the Tiagra is the 10 speed version.
The next step is to shop around. Visit multiple websites and bike shops and look at your options. Make a list of several different bikes and list their good points and bad points. Do not buy the first bike you see, as tempting as it may seem. If possible, ask if you could test ride the bike. At this time of year, they may not let you take it out on the road as the conditions are very dangerous. They may, however, let you test the bike on a trainer.
The last and probably the most difficult step is to choose your bike. After choosing your bike, most bike shops will offer you a free fitting to make sure your bike is the right fit for you.
Congratulations! You are on you way to your first road bike!
Feature image courtesy of http://tour-de-bike.com/buying-a-bike/
In-text picture courtesy of http://www.artoftriathlon.com/