So, you are on a hunt for a sexy new bike and you are confused to bits with all your research.
Looks like this is a pretty common experience. The local market is a glut of noise – brands/models/prices/spec’s and opinions.
So how do you decide on the bike of your dreams?
Well it’s kinda simple. You need to have answers to a couple of questions
- What kind of riding do you aspire to do – Trail rides, City Commutes, Road rides, a combination of them?
- How much are you willing to invest in this?
- Do you intend to spend some quality time on the saddle or is it for your daily up-the-road-milk purchases?
- Get an idea of the prices in the Indian market and have a realistic idea of the price of a bike.
With these answers you can do a couple of things to make your hunt easier
- Get options – the answers above will narrow down your choices to a couple of bikes. If not, try answering the questions again.
- Join the local cycling community – trawl the forums before you ask for advice on a new bike. It’s a common question and it’s pretty irritating to see newbie’s ask the same question everyday. Not the best way to get pally with your future riding buddies.
- Search for bike reviews on the internet. The internet is an awesome place for information. Be careful and take everything with a pinch of salt. Gushing bikers always love their bikes and most reviews are biased, especially when its the only bike they have ever ridden. Learn to sift the crap from the real stuff. Keep an eye out for niggling issues that they have faced.
- Visit the bike shops who stock your bike. Speak to the folks in the bike shop. Get feedback about the bike shops. The internet and social media (facebook, Twitter and your local cycling club) are fantastic places to get this info. Zero in on a bike shop that you think is good.
- Last but not the least – test ride the bike. Nothing like riding the bike before you buy it. This might work against you if you do not understand what you are looking for. Just riding the bike is an ego boost and nothing else. Do it anyways!
So, what role does the ‘good bike shop’ play in this
- They help you narrow down your choices and give some solid recommendations. They always have the inside scoop on the bikes.
- An experienced bike shop can often give you more than just run-of-the-mill advice. They can give seemingly contradictory but awesome advice which you will appreciate only after you own and ride a bike.
- They need to be trustable on bike fit and bike setup. Many of these bikes often require specific tools and knowledge of procedures.
- They are your bike doc’s. You choose them like you choose a doc for yourself.
- Bike shop’s do not have to process any warranties as the warranty on a bike is between a customer and the company directly. These are PITA procedures and a good bike shop actually spends time, money and effort to ensure you stay off the saddle for as short time as possible.