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FAQ: Choosing the right bike for you

Buying a new bike can be complicated, even before you factor in the price tags of some two-wheeled racehorses out there. Here is a simple guide to assist when the process seems overwhelming.

1)   Simplicity- Maybe you’re new to cycling or just want a bike to ride around town on. Remember, simplicity is key. Don’t be fooled by selling features such as “suspension forks” and “twenty something” gears. Look out for bikes that have internal gear hubs, as they are reliable and low maintenance, saving you both time and money in the future.

2)   Looks ARE important- you have to want to ride it. Everyone checks out their own bike from across the road. Don’t feel ashamed to ask what colours it comes in, and have a look at baskets too. Be proud of your ride and roll in style.

3)   How does it feel- Not just how it rides, but how does it make you feel? Do you feel a sense of freedom whilst pedalling? Hopefully the answer is yes. 

4)   Is it the right bike at the right price- Get the bike you want, even if it means waiting a few weeks/months. You won’t regret waiting to get “The One”, however you will probably feel some dissatisfaction if you compromise. Take a deep breath, remember a good simple bike will last a long time and be worth every cent.

5)   Much of New Zealand is hilly, you may ask whether an upright bike with 3 or 8 gears going to be OK. The short answer is Yes. There are certainly bikes out there that are more athletic. You must remember even if you have to hop off and walk the steepest bits, it’s still worth it overall. Get those legs turning and you might just surprise yourself. With most of our range it is also possible to lower the whole range of gears to give you a very low gear for hillclimbing. Get in touch if you think this may be important for you.

6) Your friend says you need to get a bike with disc brakes, what’s up with that? Disc brakes are especially good in wet and muddy conditions and have become ubiquitous on mountain bikes and some space age commuter bikes. They are great, but let’s not be quick to make absolute rules here. Disc brakes can also be noisy and fiddly to set up. Rim brakes have more than enough stopping power to bring you safely to a standstill, even from warp speed. It depends on your needs.

7) Details Matter.  We know how difficult it can be to assess the quality of a bike from a photo on the web. We also know that if you are getting into biking the technical specs probably wont help you much either.  Heres some advice about a few important details which are easily overlooked: 

  • Alloy parts vs Chromed steel. Often lower price level bikes will have chromed steel cranks, stem, handlebars or rack.  New Zealand's salty air means these parts rust very quickly. If you are shopping online call and ask the shop or online vendor about these parts and what material they are made of. You want your bike to function and look good much longer than just the first summer. Alloy parts don't have this issue and will last and look nicer much, much longer while also being lighter ;)
  • Wheels.  Your wheels do all the work and take a beating over bumps and kerbs. When people build custom bikes with us we always say to spend the money on a good set of rims with quality spokes to make a wheel that will last. If you are considering buying a bike online check whether the spokes are "stainless steel" and whether the rims are "double walled" these two key things are the benchmark of a wheel built to last.
  • Brakes. To the untrained eye all caliper brakes look the same. unfortunately they do not all work the same. We suggest you look out for trusted brands such as either shimano or tektro brand brake calipers and "dual pivot" style calipers.