As the weather warms up you might be in the mood to commute a little differently. Ditch the subway, skip the cab, and grab a bike. Biking is a great way to get around town, and it’s good for you too.
If you haven’t purchased a bike in a while, you might find the process a little confusing.
How much should you pay for a bike? What kind of bike should you buy? Arm yourself with a little knowledge before you head out to buy your steel steed.
Know Your Budget
Bikes are kind of like smartphones. Their prices have a very wide range. You could pick up a decent bike at a store like Target for $100-$150 or you could go to a specialty shop and pick up a space age contraption for $5,000.
Ideally, if you’re a beginner you want to be somewhere in the middle. The dirt cheap bike will serve you well for a while but it’ll wear out a lot quicker. If you’re not a die-hard biker, you’ll never get your money’s worth out of a professional tier bike.
You can find bikes for sale just about anywhere. You might be tempted to nab a bike off of Craigslist, but bike experts caution against it. There’s really no way to know the kind of wear and tear a used bike has on it. It might start falling apart midway through your first ride. We recommend you go to a locally-owned bike store. The people there are passionate about riding and can help you find the bike that’s perfect for you.Our favorite is Ciel Bikes
(and Stonehenge NYC residents
get 10% off any purchase).
There are many varieties of bikes, but what’s the difference between them and which should you buy? It depends entirely on your needs. Buy the right kind of bike and you’ll never want to stop riding.
The road bike is perfect for the athlete. If you take a lot of spinning classes or run a lot of miles, you’re going to love the road bike. With narrow wheels and low handles, the road bike is perfect for cruising the streets of New York City. You’ll be able to crank your bike up to insanely high speeds when you’ve got a lot of open road in front of you, and you’ll work up a sweat while doing it.
Road bikes come with plenty of variety, in both price and features. They’re typically multi-geared, which means you can easily shift to compensate for terrain. A good road bike can run you anywhere from $500 and beyond.
There aren’t many mountains in the big city, but that doesn’t mean the mountain bike can’t get the job done. NYC streets aren’t all smooth pavement. There are subway grates, curbs, sewer lids and just about anything else you can imagine to run over. Many city riders favor a mountain bike because of its ability to ride over uneven terrain without much fuss.
Mountain bikes are also built a bit sturdier than a regular road bike. They won’t go as fast, but they’ll be able to hop curbs and dodge obstacles with way more ease. They’ll also hold up better over time. Mountain bikes can also be quite affordable--you can get a good one starting at around $250. You won't win any races, but you'll climb over the city terrain like a champ.
Hybrid bikes are an attempt to bring the best features of every bike to a single contraption. First of all, the design of a hybrid allows you to sit upright, which makes it more comfortable than a road bike. Hybrids typically have one skinny tire and one larger tire. That means the hybrid is much easier to pedal. You don’t have to be a super athlete to ride one of these.
The growing popularity of this fast, easy-to-ride, and lightweight bike proves they’re a pretty clever design. Good hybrids start around $300, which means they won’t bust your wallet either. It’s fun to go fast with ease!
Maybe you don’t really care about the functionality of your bike and you just want something that looks good? Lifestyle bikes are all about style, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These swanky bikes are all about imagination.
There’s really no limit to your options when it comes to lifestyle bikes. You can have as many gears or colors as you desire. Swooping handlebars, wild colors and endless style all start at around a very reasonable $200. Just don’t expect to win any races.
Hit the StreetsOnce you have your bike, it’s time to hit the road. There’s a lot to consider when taking to the city streets. Check out our guide for biking brilliantly in NYC before you go! A little bit of knowledge will keep you safe and on course during every ride.