Money. Now there’s a big question. How much have you got to spend? How will this impact on everyday life?
You can buy a new road bike from around £300 or you can quite comfortably spend more than £10,000 – and there’s plenty of choice at each price point, with the weight generally dropping and the quality of the build and spec rising as you move up the ladder.
You might have a family to support and £1,000 for a new bike might seem a luxury to an uncompromising partner, or, at the other end of the scale, spending several thousands of pounds on an upgraded machine may be entirely justifiable in line with what you may spend on a new car, for example. Again, it’s a case of sitting down, doing your research and considering what you are prepared to spend.
If you have £1,000 to spend, one area of salvation can be sought from one of the cycle purchase schemes, such as bike2work. You can potentially save up to 40 per cent off a bike and safety accessories like helmets and lights.
In a nut shell, this is where your employer buys the bike through the scheme on your behalf and a monthly repayment is deducted from your wage packet. At the end of the ‘payback period’ you are then able to come to an agreement on a final price to purchase the bike from the employer and you then own the bike outright. In reality there’s often nothing to pay at the end; you just keep the bike. Check out if your employer has signed up to a cycle scheme, you could save some hard-earned cash.
Second-hand bikes fill the pages of eBay and there’s no denying that there are some real bargains to be added to your shopping basket there too.
But do you know what you’re looking for and are you experienced enough to spot a true bargain when you see one? Do you even know what size bike you need? It might be easy to convince yourself that you can fit yourself onto that bargain with the 58cm frame, but at 5ft 8in you will create nothing but a world of pain.
There are always last year’s models to consider, too. Bike development is often a gradual process but there are bargains to be had if you are willing to forgo this year’s tech for last year’s model.
Sometimes, colour and graphic changes with the odd component tweak are the only changes. Get in early though when retailers start selling old stock off (normally at the end of the summer) as the popular sizes tend to sell out pretty quickly.