Cycling is a wonderful way to exercise, have fun, and discover new places. Whether you are new to cycling or an experienced rider, you need to have the right equipment, apparel, and accessories to make your cycling adventure enjoyable and safe.
What We'll Cover
If you're reading this, chances are you're on a mission to find the perfect bike online and are feeling a bit overwhelmed with options. Well, consider this your guide to navigating the vast digital marketplace. We'll delve into the top online retailers for bicycles, discuss how to choose the right bike for you, and cover a few other essential nuggets of information that will turn you into a savvy bike shopper in no time.
Best Places to Buy Affordable and High-Quality Bikes (and Cycling gear) Online
We've put together a list of the five best online retailers based on factors like price, selection, customer service, and more. Let's dive in.
This store sells high-performance e-bikes at reasonable prices. They offer various models of e-bikes, from commuter bikes to mountain bikes, with different features and specifications. Customers love Ride1UP for their free shipping within the US, their 30-day return policy, and their excellent customer service. Some customers complain about their limited stock availability, their lack of international shipping, and their absence of assembly services.
Offer a wide range of cycling products, from bikes and components to apparel and accessories. They carry many brands of cycling gear, such as Shimano, SRAM, Fox, RockShox, and more. Customers appreciate CambriaBike.com for their free shipping on orders over $75 within the US, their 60-day return policy, and their price match guarantee. Some customers dislike their restocking fees for returns, their lack of international shipping, and their absence of assembly services.
Trek Bikes sells high-quality bikes and accessories from one of the most reputable brands in the industry. They offer various types of bikes, from road bikes to mountain bikes, with different features and specifications. Customers praise Trek Bikes for their free shipping on orders over $49 within the US, their lifetime warranty on frames, and their loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts. Some customers criticize their shipping fees for returns, their lack of international shipping, and their absence of assembly services.
This store sells a wide range of cycling products, from bikes and components to apparel and accessories. They carry many brands of cycling gear, such as Campagnolo, Continental, Castelli, and more. Customers like Probikekit.com for their free shipping on orders over $79 within the US, their 14-day return policy, and their referral program that rewards customers with discounts. Some customers complain about their customs fees for international orders, their lack of assembly services, and their lack of a price match guarantee.
Sells high-quality bikes and accessories from one of the most innovative brands in the industry. They offer various types of bikes, from fat bikes to gravel bikes, with different features and specifications. Customers admire Framed Bikes for their free shipping within the US, their lifetime warranty on frames, and their excellent customer service. Some customers lament their no-return policy unless defective or damaged, their lack of international shipping, and their absence of assembly services.
Guide to Choosing the Right Bike Online
Choosing the right bike is like picking the perfect pair of jeans—it needs to fit your style, comfort, and purpose. Here's what to consider:
- Your Needs: Are you looking for a leisurely ride around town, an adrenaline-packed mountain ride, or a swift commute? The purpose of your ride significantly influences the type of bike you need.
- Bike Sizes and Measurements: A bike that fits you well will be more comfortable and efficient. Pay close attention to frame size, seat height, and handlebar position. Most online retailers provide size charts and guides.
- Bike Features: Consider the type of brakes, gears, suspension, and tires you need. Your terrain and riding style will largely influence these decisions. If you plan to conquer rough mountain trails, for example, you'll want sturdy, grippy tires and a solid suspension system.
- Read Product Descriptions and Reviews: Never underestimate the power of reviews. They offer real-world experiences and insights that can help you make a more informed decision.
- Safe and Secure Online Purchase: Look for retailers that offer secure payment options and have clear privacy policies. Customer service should be easy to reach in case you encounter any issues.
Other Considerations When Buying a Bike Online
Before clicking that 'Buy Now' button, here are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Assembly and Tuning: Some bikes may arrive partially assembled. If you're not handy with tools, consider whether the retailer offers professional assembly services or check your local bike shop.
- Accessories: Think about any extras you might need - a helmet, lights, a lock, a water bottle holder, or mudguards. Some online retailers offer discounts on accessories when purchased with a bike.
- Maintenance and Warranty: A bike is an investment. Look into the warranty provided and consider the maintenance requirements of your chosen bike.
The most essential piece of cycling equipment is the bike itself. There are different types of bikes for different purposes and terrains. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Road bikes are made for speed and efficiency on paved roads, and have narrow tires and a lightweight frame. They also have drop handlebars that let you get in a more aerodynamic position. Road bikes are perfect for racing, touring, or commuting on smooth surfaces.
- Mountain bikes are designed for off-road riding, with strong frames and wide, knobby tires for extra traction. They also have flat handlebars and suspension systems that cushion shocks and bumps. Mountain bikes are ideal for riding on dirt trails, gravel roads, or rocky terrain.
- Gravel/adventure bikes are a cross between road and mountain bikes, having room for several tire sizes for a choice of on- and off-road riding experiences. They also have drop handlebars and disc brakes that offer better control and stopping power. Gravel/adventure bikes are versatile and can handle different conditions, from smooth pavement to rough gravel.
- E-bikes are electric bicycles that have a small, lightweight electric motor that helps the rider. They can be bikes from any of the other categories covered here. E-bikes are useful for people who want to ride longer distances, climb steeper hills, or reduce their physical effort. Besides the bike itself, you also need some basic bike components and accessories to improve your performance, comfort, and safety. Here are some of them:
- Bike components include parts such as the wheels, tires, brakes, gears, chain, pedals, saddle, and handlebars. These components affect how your bike works and feels on the road or trail. You should choose bike components that match your bike type, riding style, and personal preference. For example, if you ride on rough terrain, you may want wider tires with more tread for better grip. If you ride in hilly areas, you may want more gears for easier pedaling.
- Bike accessories include items such as lights, bells, locks, pumps, tools, bags, racks, fenders, water bottles, computers, cameras, and more. These accessories add convenience, functionality, and fun to your cycling experience. You should choose bike accessories that suit your needs and preferences. For example, if you ride at night or in low-light conditions, you may want lights and reflectors for better visibility. If you carry cargo or luggage on your bike, you may want bags and racks for more storage space.
Wearing proper cycling clothing can make a big difference in your comfort and performance on the bike. Cycling apparel is designed to fit your body shape, wick away moisture, and protect you from the elements. Here are some essential cycling apparel items:
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- Cycling jerseys are tight-fitting shirts that have pockets in the back for storing small items like snacks or keys. They also have zippers in the front for ventilation and longer tails in the back for coverage. Cycling jerseys are made of synthetic fabrics that dry quickly and breathe well.
- Cycling shorts and bibs are padded pants that reduce friction and chafing between your legs and the saddle. They also support your muscles and improve blood circulation. Cycling shorts have an elastic waistband while cycling bibs have shoulder straps that hold them in place. Both types are made of stretchy fabrics that hug your body and move with you.
- Cycling shoes and pedals are designed to work together to transfer power from your legs to the pedals. Cycling shoes have stiff soles that prevent your feet from flexing and wasting energy. They also have cleats on the bottom that clip into compatible pedals for a secure connection1. Cycling pedals have mechanisms that allow you to clip in and out easily with a twist of your foot.
- Helmets and safety gear are essential for protecting your head and body from injuries in case of a crash or fall. Helmets should fit snugly on your head without wobbling or sliding around. They should also have vents for airflow and padding for comfort. Safety gear includes items such as gloves, glasses, knee pads, elbow pads, jackets, vests, arm warmers, leg warmers, and more. They protect your skin from abrasions, sunburns, wind, rain, and cold.
Cycling is a fantastic activity that can benefit your health, happiness, and adventure. However, to enjoy cycling fully, you need to have the right gear that matches your needs and preferences. With all this information at your disposal, you're now equipped to find your perfect bike and gear from the comfort of your own home. Remember, the journey to the ideal bike is a ride in itself, and part of the fun is exploring all the options out there.
We hope this guide has helped you get ready to ride your bike and explore new places. Happy cycling!
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