Sunday, 8 December 2013

Buying a Bike - Part I. Blue Sky Thinking

Following the demise of my beloved Cinzia, I'm looking at getting another bike.
Think of this series of articles as a "case study" in the processes involved in rationally buying a bike.

First, think of some bikes you like the look of.
Perhaps a friend has one, or you saw it in a bike shop, or you read about it in a magazine.

For me, several bikes come to mind fairly quickly.

  • I have enthused before about a "traditional" Gazelle bicycle
  • I read a piece on the Surly Pugsley a while back, and I love the idea of big squishy tyres instead of suspension, so a "Fat Bike" might be fun, and useful for my winter commute, too!
  • Having owned a folding bike for 20 years, I'd certainly be interested in another, whether it be a little bike like a Brompton, or a folding mountain bike like a Montague Paratrooper - hey, it has the word "Paratrooper" in the name, and the name appeals to my "tough guy" side :-)
  • For a folding bike, I know that di Blasi has made a stainless steel model for years, and that sounds interesting. I don't know too much about them, but, hey, there aren't that many about - well I don't see many di Blasis, anyway!
  • I wonder what the local independent bike shop has in at the moment? - could be some inspriration there.
  • There is a big auto accessories and bikes chainstore in town. I wonder what they have?
  • One of my colleagues has one of those fancy 7-speed Shimano hub-gear set-ups on his bike, and he commutes in every day, so I wonder what that would be like?
Then think about it a bit more, and come up with some more names.
Then think about budget.
Most of us have a budget.
But don't be too obsessed with budget and exact specification at this stage.

Then think about what you don't want ...
  • I don't want a run-of-the-mill "mountain bike"/MTB that comes from that large store I said about. Quite a few of my colleagues have those. If I am spending some serious money on a bike, then I want something a bit different, and if I want a cheapy, then I'll just see what's on eBay. But I am not paying good money for an "avaerage" bike.

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