What’s The Best Bike To Buy? How To Buy The Best Bike For YOU


– What is the best bike to buy? Um. Just one sec, actually. (upbeat music) In all seriousness, this is, actually, a really difficult question to answer. Not because it’s actually
hard to find a great bike, but, actually, because the best bike depends entirely on you, the rider. So perhaps instead of asking
what the best bike is, we should ask instead, how do
you buy the best bike for you? Now, the first point in
buying your best bike is to actually make sure that it’s
suitable for what you want. Now, we’re gonna concentrate
on drop handlebars here. If you wanna go off-road, then we think that you should buy a mountain bike. Now, cyclocross bikes, or
gravel bikes, like this are amazingly versatile, and they are great fun off-road as long as it’s smooth. For any genuine, adrenaline-fueled
off-roading, though, the fatter tyres of a mountain
bike just make it more fun. You have more control,
they’re less susceptible to bumps and rocks and roots,
so you ride in more comfort, you ride faster, and
you’re also less likely to get a puncture. So what about these gravel,
or cyclocross bikes, then? Well, they’re like road bikes, basically, although they are a little bit slow. We tested it out recently,
and found that this bike is two kilometres per hour
slower on a ride than that bike. Now, that may or may not matter
to you, but it is a fact. So, if you wanna race on the road, then you’re gonna need to buy a road bike. For everything else, though,
this bike could be perfect. You could just embrace the
larger tyres, go exploring, ride on crappy roads that
you wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole, on a bike like that. These also feel really robust,
so you could happily ride to work on one every single
day through the winter, and you stick a child seat on the back. It’s a true work horse. So then, given that not
many of us actually do race, is there a point in buying a road bike? Oh yeah, there is definitely
a point in buying a road bike. They’re faster, which
also means, don’t forget, that you can ride further
more easily as well, if that’s your bag. They are more responsive,
they’re more lively, they climb better, they
can descend better, they certainly corner brilliantly. It’s a little bit like
having a sports car, but for the price of a bike. And actually, as well, many road bikes are far more capable at riding
gravel than you might think. The next most important
points, or in fact, join first, we couldn’t actually decide,
is getting the correct fit. That is incredibly important in getting the best bike for you. Now, you don’t need to invest
in a professional bike fit. If you’re buying from a reputable shop, they should be able to help
you get a correct size. Now most people, rightly, will
concentrate on saddle height. That actually is very easily adjustable. And so, what has more of an effect on what the actual right bike is, is the reach of the handlebars,
and also their height. So if you prefer a short or
higher position, you’re probably gonna have to buy a bike
that gives you that. So, an endurance type road bike. However, if you prefer a longer, more stretched-out position,
you’ll probably find an endurance bike quite uncomfortable. So actually, you’ll need to go for more traditional,
lightweight, or arrow bike. Lightweight used to be the be all and and all of bike buying. Lighter bikes are faster. Or they were, actually, until
aerodynamic bikes came about, and technically, they
are now faster in just about all riding situations. But, they’re also expensive,
so at lower price points, lightweight should still be one of your primary considerations. Lighter bikes, as I said, are
faster and more responsive, and they’re also more efficient. (upbeat music) There are four options around there. Steel, titanium, aluminium,
and carbon fibre. Each one can be built
into an amazing bike, and each one will have its advocates. At lower budgets, though,
the weight of the frame set is probably gonna be your primary concern. So, cheaper steel is pretty heavy, but it does feel really
robust and really solid. Aluminium is lighter, and then carbon fibre, generally lighter still. However, while many riders
try and make the jump to a carbon fibre frame
as early as possible, I’m inclined to think that, actually, an aluminium frame bike for the same price is often a better bet, and a large part of that is because of the gears. More expensive gears tend to
work better and more smoothly, up to about the 1,000 euros, dollars, pounds mark for the bike. And after that, they just become lighter, with the exception, however,
of electronic gears, which do work better. They do, I’m sorry. Now, the number of gears shouldn’t be that much of an issue. Only that fewer gears at the back tends to denote slightly poorer performance, and slightly heavier weight. Wheels and tyres can make
or break ride quality. So, a good, lightweight set can have a transformative effect on you bike. So when you are purchasing a new one, you should definitely pay
attention to what is on it, and potentially make some
sacrifices elsewhere on the bike in order to get a crackin’ set of wheels. What happens if the
bike that you would like to buy comes with a saddle
that you don’t like, or toe clips and straps? You change ’em. That’s what having a little
bit of extra budget set aside to maybe buy a set of clipless
pedals, or buy a handlebar with a different shape
that you prefer can make a really big difference to a bike. So, try not to let just one
or two component choices put you off what might otherwise
be the best bike for you. Last, but by no means least, is the looks of your bike, the aesthetics of it. Now, I think, perhaps, it’s
deserved for even higher up our list, even though
it doesn’t sound like the most rational way of choosing a bike. But, hear me out. If you truly love the look of a bike, if it sets your heart racing
every time you see it, it’s in my mind, that is a great bike, and you can probably
forgive it any shortcomings if every time you set your eyes on it, you wanna go for a bike ride. That’s a great bike. Now, make sure you let us
know in the comment section down below what you think
is the best bike for you, why, and in fact, what is it? Then, also make sure you subscribe to GCN. To do that, just click on the globe. If you’re after more
content that might help you decide what the best bike is, we’ve got a great video just over there which is endurance bike vs
arrow bike vs lightweight bike. Or, on that whole
cyclocross vs road thing, that one’s just over there.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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