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Getting a bicycle

If you have a fixed total amount of money you're willing to spend, first consider the cost of accessories. This website discusses many accessories that you might decide are worthwhile. Their cost might significantly reduce the money you have available for the bicycle itself.

The easiest way to buy a bike is to visit a bicycle shop or sporting goods store that has a wide selection. See if anyone you know can recommend a particular shop for its employees' good product knowledge and service. The shop's employees should be able to fit you to a bike you like and let you test ride it.

If nobody you know can recommend a store, post a message on bikeforums.net. Also, you could join local bike clubs and ask other members for opinions about local shops.

If you still have no recommendations after doing that, just pick the shop that seems most helpful or that you feel most comfortable dealing with.

I've never bought a bicycle new. I've always found them either from craigslist.com or from people I know.

In an urban area, classified ads will give you plenty of selection and low prices. As long as you can view clear photos online, you should not have too many unpleasant surprises. First ask questions to determine if the bike is the correct size. Also ask about mechanical problems before travelling to see the bike, but don't be surprised if you find problems the owner failed to mention.

It's fine to buy a really cheap bike if: