Read Reviews Before You Buy Bikes

By Alastair Hamilton

There are so many different models of bikes on the market today that it is almost impossible for the average rider to know them all. It's a good thing, therefore, that bike magazines and websites provide reviews of all the bikes and gears available.

The sport of bicycling has exploded in the last several decades. No longer are people content with casual over-the-road cycling - not that that it has lost its allure, but merely that it has competition now. The sport has expanded to embrace adventure-loving individuals who like to head cross country on their fat-tired bikes, or head down mountains at full-tilt, or even go round and round in velodromes.

And with the expanding biking disciplines comes an expanding array of bicycles - each one specially designed with certain needs in mind.

Now that there are so many models available, made from so many different kinds of material, with all kinds of sophisticated gadgets on them, and with corresponding prices to match that sophistication - it's imperative that the buyer make an informed decision.

And how can buyers better inform themselves than by reading reviews of the latest models that come out each year?

Every bike magazine has a section that reviews the latest technology - from the bicycles themselves to the various pieces of gear and accessories that you can add on to them. It only makes sense to do as much research as possible before going out to a bike shop to consult with the people there on what to buy.

There are also a vast array of biking websites out there that also offer reviews of products. When you're searching the web, however, be very careful as to whose words you take as gospel. These days anybody can set themselves up as an expert - but very rarely do they give you a byline and a brief bio so that you know their credentials. And when it comes to buying big ticket items - you should know the credentials of the people advising you what to buy.

How Much Do You Want To Spend
Before going out and buying a brand new thousand dollar bike, and a couple of hundred dollars worth of bike gear - the shorts, the jerseys, and the cool sunglasses - you have to ask yourself... is your enthusiasm going to be the same a year from now?

Just as many people buy memberships to health clubs and never go, so many people buy expensive bikes, use them once, and then never use them again. You know who I'm talking about! For newbies to the biking scene, you still want to get a good bike - because riding an ill-fitting cheap bike that isn't comfortable and is a pain to pedal will turn you off biking quicker than anything. So in a sense you're walking a tight rope.

The solution is to try a few disciplines first, borrowing bikes from friends who are "in" to it, checking it out over the course of a couple of weekends, and then making your decision at that time if the sport of biking is for you.

Reading reviews is all very well and gives you invaluable information when you go out to acquire the bike or the gear in question, but there's no substitute for actually getting on the bike and riding it to see if the reviews are right!

Alastair Hamilton is the copywriter of . Find more publications about mountain bike reviews at his website.

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