How I Found The One – 8 Questions to ask

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Having never ridden nor owned a bike since I was 7 years old, I was lost as to where to start with bike purchasing.  I had one very strong idea in my mind though.  My bike had to be purple. Purple with glitter; I would name it Twilight and leave sparkles wherever I go. Besides that I wasnt really fussy. As long as I had everything I needed to get on and go.

So like any good modern girl, I headed straight for Google and looked for bike reviews and was astonished to find that there were rather more things to consider. I ended up with my sweet yet serious Female specific Boardman hybrid comp bike which whilst admittedly completely devoid of both purple and glitter, is absolutely perfect for me and I am in LOVE.

Here are eight of the things I considered when I chose my bike, but please let me know what was important for you too!

1. Weight? – I’ve put this at number one for me because I don’t have any access to ground floor storage and live in a first floor flat.  If you’re like me and your bike will have to be hoisted up stairs, the weight is super important! Generally, you are sure to pay a little more for the lighter models.  Also be mindful if you are using a child seat like me. The seat plus the adaptor are pretty weighty once attached to the frame!

2. Female Specific or not? – When I spoke to friends and staff at Halfords they all appeared to think that the idea of buying a bike only for women was very much outdated. However I sat on a few and I liked the women’s ones better. Seat wise they felt nicer and handle bars seemed easier to reach. That said, bikes are so customisable that it probably doesn’t matter.  So I wouldn’t dismiss any bike for not being female specific or not. Try them out!

3. To fold or not to fold? – I did seriously consider a fold up bike. Seemed a perfect solution for me and no storage. However after checking them out in Halfords I had to say no.  Firstly, they are a LOT heavier than they look. Secondly, they often have a lot less gears and fancy stuff – nice and simple for getting to work, but I wanted the adaptability of using it for leisure at other times and having full control!  Thirdly – I’m not a fan of the way they look… I’m getting used to them now I see people on them a lot but I wanted a more bikey looking bike.

4. Hybrid or Road? – I haven’t touched mountain bikes here as I am primarily about cycling in the city.  The Road bikes are lightest but the handlebars curve under and most hybrids have a flat bar which allow you to sit up and not be hunched over.  I assumed road bikes are more for professionals… I was nervous of riding like that so flat bar was for me! Also the hybrid has slightly wider wheels than a road bike… So you can get away with a bit more!

5. Room for two? – Another issue I found with folding bikes, road bikes and smaller sized frames…. The design did not allow then to hold a bike seat. With my hybrid, I couldn’t go smaller than an 18″ or Lebs seat adapter would not fit.

6. Colour crush?– Okay it does come into it a little. I fell in love with my bike, colours and all BUT on the first ride the seat was totally smudged.  If you go for a lighter coloured bike either be prepared to commit to cleaning it more or know that you will be rocking the ‘well loved’ look sooner rather than later.

7. Reviewer verdicts? – I always pay attention to anyone who has taken the time to return to a site and write a review about the product they have bought.  Look out particularly for reviewers who have written after having owned the product a little while. I do this with all of my larger purchases.  If a lot of people are giving between 1 and 3 stars, there is usually an issue.  My lovely bike got mostly 5 out of 5 so I was happy!

8. Costly or Cheap? – This is entirely dependent on what you can afford and what you decide you really NEED.  I chatted to cycling customers at work and the general consensus was that if I wanted a decent quality bike which would not be terribly heavy, could hold a seat for Lebs, but would have potential for really eating up the road, £500 was a solid entry-level figure.

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8 thoughts on “How I Found The One – 8 Questions to ask

  1. Onatu the Dark Rose

    Good and well written. Very informative and helpful. Wish I was a mother looking for a bike, although I am wavering towards getting a woman’s bike for myself now.
    You have a way with writing and description.

    Reply
  2. whocouldknowthen

    hi mangocherrysteph

    looks like you made a wonderful choice, hybrids give a cyclist more options than a road specific bike. i’ve found the upright position preferable for safe and comfortable city riding, congratulations.

    i’m a longtime competitive cyclist, now restore and collect vintage steel bikes (mostly Italian) and have much admiration for your bike’s namesake.
    http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/160/cycling/chris-boardman/

    thank you for the likes and follow, i have done the same and will come back and catch up on what i’ve been missing! glad to hear the little one is doing better. 🙂

    Reply

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