Now that spring finally seems to be creeping around the corner, many teens’ thoughts are returning to the great outdoors. One of the most popular recreational activities out there is biking.
Whether it be a ride around a few blocks or a bumpy trip through some forest trails, the opportunity for enjoyment is nearly endless. Most teens like us gain free access to bicycles far before they can drive. So riding your bike becomes an indispensable way to get around. Because of this it’s important to know how to get a good deal on a bike.
To keep up this activity, one obviously needs a bicycle. But there’s more to buying one than aesthetics, and every bike is not created equal. This article will shed some light on how to make a financially sound decision when purchasing a new bicycle. You might spend a little more in the beginning but you can save money in the long run and ride on!
Buying the cheapest may not save you money
The first thing I will say is this: avoid buying a bike from a large chain department store. Despite the tantalizing $49.99 price tag, the product reflects the cost.
This became very clear after speaking with Rob McVeigh, who oversees marketing and events at Genesis Bicycles in Easton, Pennsylvania. Genesis has been an important part of the local community since they opened in 1971, and they know bikes like the backs of their hands.
One of the first things McVeigh told me was to avoid chain stores. “Starting with the bikes themselves, they’re gonna be higher quality and better made [at specialty shops]. The components are gonna be better made,” he told me. “Big box stores just have the same person putting patio furniture together who [also] are putting the bikes together.”
For this reason, it is much more cost effective to buy a better made and more expensive bicycle – not only will you get more longevity out of the bike in the long run, if something does break it can most likely be cheaply replaced.
Safety is also a concern when it comes to bike choices. Even a well-made model can be unsafe if it is not appropriately fit to the rider. McVeigh remarks, “You are [possibly] getting something that may not be set up correctly. If you’re going down a hill, you want your brakes to work. And even if it is set up correctly, they’re not gonna be the quality brakes that you’d get at a bike shop.”
Sizing also plays a role in bike safety. Bicycle sizes are measured by the diameter of the tires, which corresponds to the size of the frame.
Things they consider at specialty bike shops include your leg length, height, your general body type, and what type of riding you plan to do. Getting the right quality bike for you is the most difficult and important choice to make when making a purchase, so the input of these specialists is priceless.
For those who are intimidated by the somewhat expensive price tags in many bike shops, it may be wise to inquire about used bikes. Like car dealerships, many shops will offer to accept “trade-ins” to help offset the cost of a new bicycle.
These trades are then inspected, and the best are refurbished and put back up for sale at a lower cost. Buying this way can sometime save you up to half of the bike’s original value.
It is important to note, however, that buying bikes online can be dangerous, especially if you don’t get to meet the seller or see the bicycle before you purchase it. “If you can’t see the bike, you’re taking a risk,” McVeigh stated regarding the matter.
“Sometimes you have a good experience, sometimes you have a bad experience.” He also mentioned that if you know the telltale signs of issues, you can make a much better decision. “As long as you know what to look for, you should be fine.”
A teenager’s bike is the machine that moves them. It’s the most efficient way to travel, a great way to exercise, and is overall a staple of American adolescence. Because of this, it is important to find the perfect ride for the rider.
Now that you know a little more about what makes each bike unique and where to find the best-made machines, bicycle purchases in the future will be easier and more rewarding. So this spring, go get yourself a great new ride, and hit the road!