So you’re interested in buying a bicycle, huh? Biking can be one of the most fun, active, and exercising activities around (especially in Colorado). Whether you’re a daily commuter, a recreationalist, an avid cyclist, or an athlete, there’s a bike that’s right for you!
We here at Louisville Cyclery pride ourselves in our 30+ years of experience, and our ability to give Grade-A recommendations for cyclists of all ages and styles.
Feel free to use our site and others for research purposes, but no matter what bike or direction you choose to go with, we highly recommend that you purchase your new bike at a local bike shop near you in order to try it out and get properly fitted.
What factors to consider before buying a bicycle?
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or new to the sport, finding the perfect bike for you can be challenging as there are many things to take into consideration.
What terrain will you be riding on? Do you want a bike for commuting, athletics, exercising, or a little bit of everything? How often will you be riding? What’s your budget?
No matter what your answers are to the questions above, this guide will help propel you in the right direction and give you what you need in order to make an educated buying decision at your local bike shop near you.
Let’s break down the different types of bikes so that you may gain more clarity on what’s best for you.
Selecting Your Bike (Types of bikes: which one to select)
Road bikes are one of the oldest and most popular styles of biking. Many people opt for a road bike if their intent is riding for exercise and maybe even some competitions. Road bikes were designed for (you guessed it) riding on the road or a smooth surface road-like terrain.
The drop-down handlebars, light frame, and narrow tires help riders to become more aerodynamic and thus go faster and farther with ease.
Due to their high-tech and sophisticated designs, road bikes on average cost between $2,500 to $10,000.
Mountain Bikes or MTBs
Mountain bikes are arguably the most exhilarating and intense style of biking. Colorado offers endless mountain ranges and courses for mountain bikers of all skill levels. If your goal or vision is to go biking off-road or through the woods, a mountain bike might be right for you.
Mountain bikes are built to be more rugged and durable than other styles of bikes. The thick rugged tires, flat or riser handlebars, and shock-proof suspension kits make them ideal for off-roading. The larger more rugged features of a mountain bike help you to conquer obstacles and navigate uneven surfaces.
Generally speaking, mountain bikes are geared lower than a road bike in order to help riders tackle steeper and more intense climbs. Mountain bikes come in both multi-gear and single-speed styles which can cause a more challenging but sometimes more cost-effective ride. Additionally, you can purchase either full-suspension mountain bikes (suspension on both wheels) or hardtail suspension for the front wheel only.
Average prices for mountain bikes range from $400 to $7,000 depending on which brand, style, and type you choose.
Louisville Cyclery offers multiple brands and styles of mountain bikes in order to cater to riders of all ages and skill levels.
Hybrid / Commuter Bicycles
Do you want to bike on the road? Do you also want to bike on some smaller trails or experiment off-road? A hybrid or commuter bike might be right for you!
Hybrid bicycles combine the ruggedness and durability of mountain bikes, paired with the nimble and speedy features of their road bike cousins. The mixture of these two styles allows hybrid or “commuter” bikes to navigate many different types of terrains and riding styles.
Unlike road bikes, hybrid bikes offer a more comfortable upright style of riding due to their riser or flat handlebars and also generally have a lighter frame. We find that many recreational or beginner riders prefer hybrid or commuter bikes if they’re sticking to flat off-road terrains or are riding in slower urban areas.
Hybrid bikes are also some of the most affordable types of bicycles ranging between $699 to $999.
Is a hybrid bike right for you?! Come on down and test one out today.
Ebikes (Electric Bicycles)
What if I told you that electric bikes (e-bikes) have been around almost as long as “regular” bikes, would you believe me? Well, you might be surprised to hear that the first e-bikes were actually invented in the 1890s, but have only recently become commercially viable and available.
If you’re looking for a bike that helps you to pedal, goes faster, and can be easily used for commuting, an e-bike might be right for you!
E-bikes feel (and look) like regular bikes but there’s one big difference. Ebikes sport an electronic battery and motor that assists riders in peddling and can sometimes replace peddling entirely! Think of a hybrid between a bicycle and a small moped. Depending on the size of the motor, e-bikes typically can help propel you up to 30MPH and generally have a switch that allows you to adjust and toggle the boost/power settings.
Ebikes come in many different styles: road, mountain, hardtail, full-suspension, hybrid, and performance. Depending on which style you choose, the battery will typically last anywhere from 35 to 100 miles per charge.
Due to their high-tech features, e-bikes generally cost between $1,500 to $10,000
Want to learn more about electric bicycles (e-bikes)? Call or visit us today to schedule a test drive.
Road, mountain, hybrid, and e-bikes are the most popular styles of biking today, but there are many other options as well.
Additionally, you might be thinking about a BMX bike, cyclocross, gravel, track, triathlon, or cargo bike! The options and styles when it comes to these bikes are endless.
Don’t let all of these styles confuse or overwhelm you! We’re here to help. Call or visit Louisville Cyclery today and let us help match you with the bike of your dreams.
New vs Used Bikes
Now that you have a better understanding of which kind of bike is best for you, the last question in your head will be, “should I buy a new or a used bike?”
New bikes are always going to be more reliable because they have none of the typical wear-and-tear that bikes experience over the years. Additionally, bike technology is ever-evolving so even if a new bike appears the same as a used bike, the new tech will make a big difference in how you ride and how long the bike will last you.
Although new bikes are generally more expensive, if you’re planning to bike for many years to come, we recommend you make the investment and get yourself a new bicycle to enjoy and cherish. For new or novice riders especially, a new bike is well worth the investment to ensure that you’re comfortable and have an amazing first “big-boy” bike experience.
IMPORTANT: be sure to buy a bike based on fit and comfort rather than simply price. Although a cheap bargain bike can seem appealing, it can often bite you in the butt (literally).
Used bikes, on the other hand, can still make for a good purchase. If you’re a more seasoned rider and know exactly what you do (or don’t) like, then used bikes can often make for a more affordable option. Visit your local bike shops near you or online forums to check for great deals on used bikes.
Selecting A Local Quality Bike Shop
Whether you still need help in selecting a type of bike, or you’re ready to swipe your credit card and purchase, the next step in your journey is to find a local brick-and-mortar shop and go check out your future “soon-to-be” bike.
Things to consider when picking a local shop:
Are the employees responsive and do they take a genuine interest in you?
Do they answer questions and let you get hands-on with the bikes?
Do they have trained bicycle mechanics & maintenance staff?
Questions to ask a local bike professional:
Which brands do customers seem most satisfied with?
What services do you offer for after I make a purchase to help with my bike?
CAN I TRY SOME BIKES OUT? (the answer will 99.9% of the time be “YES”)
Before purchasing a new style or kind of bike, be sure that you take it for a test drive! We can not stress enough how vitally important it is for you to try a bike out before purchasing.
While on your test drive, consider these questions:
Is the bike comfortable and adjustable?
Do you feel stable?
Can you reach the handlebars easily?
Can you easily place your feet on the ground while standing over the bike?
If you’re in the greater Denver or Boulder Colorado area, please consider Louisville Cyclery for your local bike shop of choice
Last but definitely not least; bike helmets! Did you know that 22 states currently require riders by law to wear helmets? Whether you’re required to or not, you should always wear a quality helmet while biking. Most biking accidents are caused by cars or pedestrians and are often not actually the biker's fault.
When purchasing a helmet, ensure that it fits snugly on top of your head and that it’s not pushed back or tilted forward while you’re trying it on.
If you’re a racer (road biker) you’ll want a helmet that is more streamlined and aids in aerodynamics. Mountain bikers, on the other hand, should look for helmets that provide additional side coverage for more impact protection, and additionally should consider downhill helmets that offer detachable chin bars and face masks.
IMPORTANT: helmet foam liners can deteriorate over time and may no longer provide sufficient protection. It’s recommended to replace your helmet every 3 to 5 years.
You’re Ready To Go Biking
After you’ve considered the bike style that’s right for you, visited your local shop, and tried the bike for yourself, you should be ready to make a purchase! No matter what bike you’ve chosen, you’ll soon belong to a strong community of Colorado cyclists who have embraced the power of mobility.