The newbies guide to buying bikes online

Online buying isn’t exactly the fairy tale we’d all thought it would be. Yes it’s comfortable and you can buy stuff with the click of a button. Since the introduction of the big money players into the online cycling world such as trek etc., online bike purchases have become more reliable and legit.

Now if you’re a pro, online shopping is the best and quickest alternative but if you’re new to cycling here are some factors or questions you should consider before making an online purchase.

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How do I find the right bike?

One of the most frequently asked question when it comes to bikes is how to get the correct bike fit. Most online companies would suggest you the height and inseam trick while some would suggest you do a trial run at a nearby outlet and later make an online purchase.

Amazon is the best road bike buying option for pros that are aware of the fit and size they need but for newbies companies like Trek etc. provide a step by step guide to determine the fit through chat.

What’s my mode of contact with the seller?

Most of the info needed like the prices, brand details, specs and comparisons etc. are provided on every site but what if you have a question that’s out of the specs page? In such cases most of the big companies have a live chat feature on their website.

You can also visit FAQ pages, their YouTube channel or connect with them through email. It’s surprising how many companies don’t offer such features so be smart and stick to the trusted ones.

How to assemble it once delivered?

The first thing you need to figure out is how much assembly does it need and what extra tools would be needed for the assembly and if the tools will be included in the package itself. The renowned companies often deliver to partner shops where the assembly takes place before the final delivery.

In case you get a direct delivery note that assembling the derailleurs, brakes, cables etc. can prove a tedious task even with the YouTube guides and step-wise manuals so my advice would be to visit a nearby bike shop and have it done by an expert but in case you’d prefer to do it yourself, here’s what you need to do.

 

What should I do for repairs and checks?

Whether a mountain or road bike you’ll need regular maintenance checks and repairs. While you can always visit a local bike shop for smaller issues some brands provide credit a local retailer for every online sale thus providing you an instant option.

In case you’re hesitant to visit a local workshop my simple advice would be to relax and trust them. They are experts and will work on any of your bikes with utmost care. In case a part is required feel free to get it online. Times are changing and online retail is more reliable than ever before.

4 Reasons I wasn’t getting faster and neither are you

Irrespective of whether your training for an upcoming event you badly want to win or whether you’re just a casual rider out to enjoy the scenic beauty around I am sure you’d love to get fast and faster but from experience I can tell it’s easier said than done and only after plenty of mistakes and errors did I get it right but you on the other hand can avoid them and in this article I am going to tell you exactly how.

I over-trained

The first instinct action to ride faster is to ride longer but guess what doubling your riding time isn’t what makes you fast. It will help initially. You do get faster as you build both strength and stamina but after an extent this strategy fails.

This is a sign you need to mix things up. For this I switched to interval riding. I also combined this training with some rowing machine and elliptical trainer workout to further improve strength and stamina by targeting other muscle groups.

My technique wasn’t right

Dodgy bike handling and wrong riding technique were initially the reason that kept holding me back and is a common but serious issue among many newbies. Fitness level, diet and workout aside with the wrong technique there’s no way you’re getting ahead of the pack so here are some riding technique tips to get you started.

 

I focused too much on weight loss

Everybody loves the awesome lean look but focusing too much on just weight loss made me slower. That’s because I wasn’t eating the right amount of carbs before starting out. Carbs provide the energy needed to push harder and cycle longer.

An inefficient pre-training diet can leave you drained halfway forcing you to go slower. Switching to easily digestible carbs such as oatmeal or chicken pre-training kept me fueled up and helped me ride the distance. Also grab onto some energy bars, nuts and some sports drinks for the ride to keep up hydration and energy levels.

I ignored my core

Yes your quads, glutes etc. play an important role in cycling but one muscle most commonly ignored is the core. You’ll have trouble shifting power from top to bottom and also often experience back aches and tiredness if you continue to ignore it. So here’s what you can do about it.

I never like the usual core workout especially the crunches and if you don’t either and are seeking something refreshing yet equally effective here are some abs workout I would suggest that you can do within 10 minutes.

I hardly rested

To get fast you need first get slow. A lesson I learnt quite late into my career but like they say, better late than never. Yes your training is crucial and should remain the focal point but neglecting rest can often result in fatigue, lack of concentration etc. and is required more so during endurance training.

Every time you hit the pedals hard your muscles breakdown further and require more time to recover completely. Go easy 1-2 times a week and when you’re going hard at it give it your all.

4 bike buying questions we are too embarrassed to ask

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The only question you never have to think about when it comes to bikes is whether you really should get one or not, it’s an obvious yes but apart from that any other question is fair game.

Yes it can be embarrassing asking few of those questions but when you’re paying such a significant amount these questions become essential irrespective of how banal or simple they seem. Wondering what questions I’m talking about? Here are 5 embarrassing but must ask bike questions.

What’s the purpose of my bike?

Before you head out to a make purchase the first and foremost question that you need to answer yourself is what exactly do you need and want from your bike. The needs and wants are usually quite different. For example you may want a high end carbon fiber bike with carbon wheels etc. but may not necessarily need it.

Know what you intend to use the bike for. For trails and hills mountain bikes are advised and for road rides stick to entry level road bikes if you’re just starting out.

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Should I ask for a discount?

When it comes to discounts whether you get it online or from a shop the scope is quite small but you are still free to ask for it. The chances are you can grab onto some other cool accessories like lights, a GPS etc. as shops generally offer loads of deals on purchases made in tandem with the bike.

Also staying loyal with the shop, visiting it regularly and making important purchases can improve your rapport which in turn can help you get a bargain.

How to I determine the bike’s fit

This is often hard to figure and no a 5 minute easy test ride won’t help you determine it accurately as well. This where the insights of a good sales rep can be handy so get in touch with a sales person you find trustworthy.

Since most of your day your day is going to be spent on it you’d want to be comfortable and relaxed. Uncomfortable saddles, fixed handlebars without grips etc. can cause injuries and aches such as blisters, back aches etc. Always test ride 2-3 bikes before making a final choice. Here are some tips to help you.

Can I buy it online?

You can pretty much buy anything online with a click of a mouse button but that isn’t always the right option. The new bike needs to be tried and tested all of which isn’t a possibility if you make the purchase online.

Also your rapport with the bike shop develops which in turn can help you connect with other bike enthusiasts, find new routes, get faster and cheaper maintenance checks and repairs etc. Also shops often give you longer warranty on both the frame and components.