Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Buying a bike - part one

We are thinking of buying a new bike. 
The plan is to get an extra bike, which will allow each of the other three to be withdrawn for extended maintenance,
while the remaining bikes get swapped between us, with each of us being issued the most suitable bike for our size and usage.

We are:
  • a nine-year girl of average height, who uses a bike for going to school and getting to swimming lessons, and suchlike
  • an adult woman of average height, who uses a bike for some school runs, accompanying said girl to swimming lessons, much of the food shopping, and most of the general errands
  • an adult man who is taller than average, who mainly uses a bike for a modest commute to work, some shopping, and some general errands
Our bikes are:
  • a BMX-style child's bike, of modest value, a gift from Grandma - used by the child (which only fits the child!)
  • a "mixte"-frame "hybrid", 700c bike, of very modest value, bought new as a "cheap" bike - used by the woman (which can be adjusted to fit the man or the woman)
  • a "U-frame" folding bike, with 20" wheels of very modest value, bought new as a "fairly cheap bike that is easily stored and will go in the back of a modest car without taking the wheels off!" - used by the man (which can be adjusted to fit the man, the woman, or, with a shorter seatpost, the child)

After much discussion about what the "new" bike should be, we have decided that we will look for a bike for the adult woman, as she does the most mileage :-)
The "new" bike can then have the saddle raised, and be used by the man, if required, with the (about to be) two women's bikes used by the adults with the child using the folding bike if the child's bike is out of operation.

Our usage pattern requires all the bikes used by adults to have rear pannier racks and front baskets, so the "new" bike will need to have a decent front basket (of a size comparable to the "Basil Boston XL" basket on the woman's existing hybrid bike) and a rear pannier rack (for mounting our "Bike Bins" hard rear panniers - reviewed elsewhere on this blog).