Oh, what excitement to wake up on Christmas morning to a brand new shiny bicycle!! Bicycles are always a very popular Christmas gift throughout the UK, and are typically in demand particularly from Black Friday, and continuing right into the January sales. As bicycles are not the cheapest Christmas gift you will give this year, it is important that the right decision is made when selecting a bicycle for your loved one. Therefore we have asked our pals, the bicycle experts down at Evans Cycles to divulge their know-how on buying a bike.
Buying a Bicycle: Where to begin?!
This is often the most difficult part as the bicycle market is so large and there are lots of terms that may not make sense to those who are not cycling enthusiasts. Our expert from Evans Cycles says, “It’s always useful to start your research based on some basic information about the type of riding the recipient does, what level and discipline they love the most”.
So what will the bicycle be used for? This will streamline your research a great deal. If you are not sure what they will use it for then do some detective work and find out!
Bikes for Grown-ups
The adult bike range is vast, however we will break it down to help you figure out what type of bike you need to buy. If the main use of the bike is for commuting or leisure, the following bikes will be suitable for your lucky bike recipient.
This is useful for those who will use a bicycle as part of their commute as it can be taken on the train, or in the car. Folding bikes are also super practical for those who have small storage areas at home, or if they want to bring the bike inside to keep it safe. Consider where the person will be storing it and check out the dimensions when the bike is folded. Perhaps they will be transporting it in a car boot, so consider all eventualities and ensure it will fit where needed. View and compare a number of difference choices and ask a question on specific models if you require more information.
Hybrids are a mixture of a road bike and a mountain bike, they are one of the most common styles to buy as their comfort and practical features are suitable for both riding during the week in the city, as well as venturing a bit more off piste at the weekend. A hybrid is a great place to start for someone who is a relative beginner, or someone wants to start to integrate cycling into their routine. Hybrids tend to have a flat bar for a handlebar so that the riding position is fairly upright. Some hybrids are more sporty and agile and some are slower city bikes so think of the style that the rider will prefer.
Think practical, chic city bike as the name suggests. Dutch bikes are a sturdy type of hybrid with handy additions available such as front and/or back baskets for picking up shopping. Dutch bikes do tend to be a bit heavier and a slower form of hybrid, and are not as agile as some other hybrids. The relaxed upright riding position with rounded handle bars is very comfortable for short jaunts. They are suitable for both genders, although their range of pretty colours and styles makes them popular amongst the ladies — this is a great shout for a christmas gift that she will really love and cherish.
This is a bike with one fixed gear, light in weight and great for speeding around town – it does have a unique feature where you must always pedal, and when you back pedal you brake. Some fixies will not have any other brakes and this takes a bit of getting used to if you have never ridden a bike like this. Fixies have a great trimmed down look, and as a bonus they require little maintenance. The fixie has a lot of strong cultural associations as being the ultimate Hipster bike so if you have a bearded boyfriend who sports a has a Kanken backpack and frequents Urban Outfitters, then a fixie could be the way to go.
Mountain & Road Bikes
When it comes to Mountain bikes and Road bikes it is likely the recipient will already be into this kind of cycling as a sport. If this is the case then the best approach will be to go together to a store to browse the bikes together. Their knowledge plus your gift giving spirit (i.e. ££) will be the perfect combination! If this is not the case then heading down to a store to talk to an expert is the best advice. As long as you keep in your mind what the bike will be used for then you will be on your way.
Other important aspects to consider:
- What size of bike should I buy? This will depend on the height of the rider as well as the style of bike. Use this size chart to help you out.
- Will the rider want any extras attached such as a child seat or a basket? Not all bikes have the ability to add these extras, so consider this when making your decision.
- Think about how heavy the bike is: A bike that is heaver is harder to cycle and is difficult if it needs to be carried up stairs. All purchases online will tell you the weight of the bike. When is a bike is 14kg or more it is on the heavy side.
- Is it largely flat or a hilly area where the bike will be ridden? If there are hills then some gears will be essential.
- Think about the style of the rider, what style will suit their lifestyle and their personality
Buying a Child’s Bike
When buying a children’s bike there is less to consider in terms of types of bicycles, the focus is instead around size and quality. Not forgetting colour, and the fact that it must look super cool of course.
This is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a child’s bike. Our expert at Evans Cycles said “A bike that is too big will reduce safety in the form of control. This could have a detrimental effect on their enjoyment and outlook on bikes. The seed has then been planted and could result in a ‘fear’ or avoidance of bikes in later life“. This is great advice, as it is easy to think that buying a bike to grow into is best. Check out this handy size guide so you can choose the most suitable size for your child.
Consider how often the bike will be used, and if it will be passed down to other siblings after your child grows out of it. If so, then it is worth investing in a better quality bicycle that will last.
The best way to see if a child is comfortable on the bike is obviously a test ride – it will dampen the surprise, however you ensure you get what they want, and the size that fits. At the same time, Evans Cycles have a 90 day no quibbles refund/exchange policy with a valid receipt, so an exchange can be made if necessary.
Ok, I have the bike – what other essentials do I need?
Our expert says, “For commuting, I would suggest lock, lights, helmet and waterproof(s). However, generally we would recommend a helmet no matter the discipline along with some essential tools – multi tool, puncture repair kit, pump, saddle bag, water bottle and cage”. Extras can be a great thing to get others to buy as a gift for the same person so that they will really have the full package when they wake on up Christmas morning. You can also take advantage of our £10 off clothing and accessories voucher which is valid until the 13th of December!
How can I get a good deal on a bike?
Saving some money on a big purchase such as bike is a great bonus! Our tip is to do all your research and know what you want before the Black Friday weekend, beginning on the 27th November. We are expecting many great deals online and in the high street, and this could include cycling stores. You can view our Evans Cycles page directly, or our Black Friday Deals page for more brands.
However it is very important not to just buy a bike if it is on offer. Experts at Evans Cycles say “The best tip to get the best value is to make sure you get the right bike. The worst thing you can do is buy a bike with a huge saving only for it to be unfit for purpose or too big” Many offers are likely to be available on accessories too, and so there is definitely a bargain to be had, whatever you are in the market for.
Our expert goes on to say, “ There definitely is a bike to suit all budgets. Perhaps, the best comparison is with cars- the more you spend the more bells and whistles you get like hydraulic disc brakes, better suspension, lighter weights. A Ford isn’t a bad car, but it’s a different prospect to a Bentley”
What can I expect to be included as extras?
Our expert at Evans Cycles says, “When you collect your bike ask for some help with getting set up with the correct saddle height etc. This will make you much more comfortable and your riding that much more enjoyable. At Evans Cycles all bikes come with a free check-up service, so be sure to make use of extras such as this”.
Buying a bike can be overwhelming, but help is available every step of the way. For more detailed information Evans Cycles have buying guides for everything they sell from bikes to accessories. Good luck with your purchase and if you have any questions about voucher codes for bikes, hit us up, we love to hear from our visitors.