text here-7So you want to buy a bike?  That’s awesome news.  This is one of those investments that can quite literally change your life…  BUT you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices of types of bikes?  Not a problem, you’ve landed in the right place.  To enjoy your riding to its full potential you should buy the right bike, one that will match your skill set and your bike riding intentions.  We have a few really simple questions that will point you in the right direction.

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1.  What type of surface/trails do YOU want to ride on?

Your options include paved roads, paved cycleways, smooth gravel roads, graded cycle trails, mountain bike parks, single tracks

2.  Where do YOU want to ride?

Riding around the block, riding to the library, going on family adventures in the weekend, completing one of the NZ cycleway trails, riding through the dirt to the top of a mountain, completing your first 100k road race

3.  Why do YOU want to ride?

To get fit and healthy, to enjoy the social aspects, to get to work, to get around town, to take my toddler places, to get out of my car, to save money, to explore my region, to take advantage of the cycle trails, to try a new sport, to learn something new, to have time to myself, to travel, to have bike focused holidays, to have something the whole family can enjoy, to get back into something you where good at when you where young/before you had a family.

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Mountain Bike Park, full suspension mtn bike

Full Suspension Mountain Bike on Grade 3 single track

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Urban Cruiser

Cruiser/Urban Bike for around town riding

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Board walk. Great day tips. goRide

Touring/Adventure Bike on Westcoast Wilderness Trail

 

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Now you could be all of these things to some degree.  The challenge lies in deciding which ones are the most important right now.  Realistically as you age and your circumstances change so will your riding priorities and perhaps the type of rider that you are.  Also remember that the choice you make is not limiting.  Any bike can be taken to any of these places, it’s about buying a bike that will take you comfortably & safely through the majority of your rides.  The biggest differences you find between bikes is the riding position they put you in (upright through to bent right over the handlebars) and the gears which control how easy it is to push your pedals around.  Please see our reference page called Bike Types to get a more in depth description of what the general names of the bikes introduced below mean.  This page will help you understand some of the features bikes have – riding position, tyres, wheel size, gears, brakes – that make riding them in certain places better for YOU.

 

SMOOTH  e.g. roads, sealed patheways & cycleways.  Smooth trials/roads will take you within cities, towns & urban environments and well maintained country roads.  

Bike Match – Road bike, Cruiser/Urban, Cargo, Electric (pedal assistance), Commuter.  See Bike Types.

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Smooth cycle pathway. Buy the right bike.goRide

Paved, smooth, shared pathway

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Shared pathway next to road.

Shared patheway next to road

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Road Bike

Road Bike on country road

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DIRT/GRAVEL – Level 1  e.g. country roads, compacted wide patheways, cycleways (off road).  Level 1 includes gravel roads, cycle trails.  

Bike Match – Comfort/Trail, Adventure/Touring, Mountain Bike – front suspension.  See Bike Types.

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West Coast Wilderness Trail biking reservoir goRide

Gravel Road

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Wide, gravel shared pathway

Wide, gravel shared pathway

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Comfort or trail bike

Comfort or Trail Bike

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DIRT/GRAVEL – Level 2  e.g. Mountain bike parks (see our Taupo riding story to understand what to expect in a mountain bike park), mountain bike single tracks (as the name implies they are narrow) have a huge range from beginner, level 1, to grade 5/6 expert, some NZ tramping/back country tracks.  Off road trials are found close to urban environments or can be very isolated – back country, mountainous.  

Bike Match – Mountain Bike full suspension, Mountain Bike front suspension.  See Bike Types.

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Single Track. Buying the right bike. goRide

Grade 2, beginners, single track

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Isolated mountain bike riding.

Isolated mountain bike riding

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Full Suspension MTN Bike. Buy the Right Bike. goRide

Full Suspension Mountain Bike

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There are quite a few different bike brands available in New Zealand, while it is good to have a choice it can make the decision confusing.  The big brands available in New Zealand include Giant, Trek, Specialized, Avanti, La Pierre, Kona, Apollo, Merida, and Marin.  These brands will do bikes in most types and will do men’s and women’s frames.  Look for the words we introduced above Road, Mountain, Fitness, Trail, Commuter, Cruiser/Urban, Touring, Adventure, Electric (pedal assisted) that describe where they are made to go (Bike Types).

Commuter bikes are ideal for getting to and from work.

Commuter bikes are ideal for getting to and from work.

Cargo bike on smooth sealed cycle path.

Cargo bike on smooth sealed cycle path.

Cruiser & Urban brands are making a come back and there are now specialist urban riding shops both physical and online.  Brands to look for include Schwinn, Rocket, Achielle (Via Cycles), Bobbin, Euro (Archi Bikes).  Cargo bikes are relatively new to the New Zealand bike scene but with more and more cycle patheways being developed in our urban centres these bikes are becoming a great alternative to a car for daily transport.  Look at these websites for more information on the range available, www.cargobikes.co.nz  and www.good rotations.co.nz.

 

 

Things to remember for your bike shop visit

Armed with all the information this bike buying guide has given you (make a list), get yourself into several bike shops and see what kind of bikes and prices they offer.  You need to go to more than one because bike shops tend to be associated with brands (have to sell them) unless they are independant (choose to sell them).  It is also really good to compare the vibe in different stores and again pick one that matches who YOU are.

Bike Parts- Cycling Terminology The Bike goRideIf you haven’t ridden a bike in a number of years it may be a good decision to get a step through frame (the top tube is low, see photo) so add this to your list.

Go along with the intention of actually getting on some bikes to get a feel for them.  The bike shop will help you with what size bike you will need.  Yes, bikes come in sizes, to match your height.  So listen for a frame size they come in xs, s, m, l, xl.  Also remember to pick up the bike so see how heavy it is.  Will you need to be able to move and handle your bike, lift if onto a bike rack, over a gate or onto hooks for storage?   Bring that information home, do some more thinking and research, then go back to your bike shop of choice and make a well informed, appropriate for your lifestyle right now, bike purchase!!

WeeRide Bar mounted seat. Riding with kids attached. goRide

Step through Cruiser Bike with curved handlebars

A NOTE about Child Bike Seats:  If you are buying to ride with an infant attached or towed by your bike let the bike shop know.  You need to know where on your bike you want them to be seated.  See our child bike seat story to help with that decision.  Be aware that if you want your child mounted on your handlebars you need a good amount of space so you either need to be quite tall or have handlebars that are curving back towards you, see handlebar types here.  If you are towing children or riding up hills with kids on your bike you will need a good gear range to manage the extra weight.

Happy kids at a food stop on The Queen Charlotte Track

Riding the Queen Charlotte Walking Track on a range of Mountain Bikes

Have a great day on your new bike!  Need some inspiration on where to go or how to be safe?  Start with our great day rides and our simple safety checks (YOU,  the bike).  Also read through our helmet series of stories so you understand this piece of essential bike riding equipment.

 

 

 

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Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

goRide is a shared journey, so we would like you to assist in guiding it along the way. Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback are welcome. Thank you for being a part of the goRide way.[/themeone_section]

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

Clothing & Bags

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Tops and Jackets

Headbands & Neck Warmers for Biking

Bags, Baskets & Panniers for Biking

Rider Safety & Protection

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Bike Lights

Bike Bells

First Aid & Personal Care

Hydration

Bike Tow Ropes

Bike Parts & Care

Bike Saddles

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Bike Carriers

Bike & Chain Cleaning

Bike Tools & Tool Kits to Carry

Kids Bike Seats & Bikes

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Mid Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Towing Kids who ride their own Bike

Bike Trailers for Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Kids Balance Bikes

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids & Youth

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

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Riding Clothing

Jackets for Biking/Outdoors

Protective Padding

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Hydration

Women

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Saddles

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Tops & Jackets

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Bike Bells

Hydration

Handlebar Grips

Family 

Riding with - 1 year old

Riding with - 2 year old

Riding with - 3 year old

Riding with - 4/5 year old

Riding with - 6+ year old

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Men

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Saddle

Bike Gloves

Protective Padding

Handlebar Grips

Bike Bell

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Bikepath Riding

Beginner to Fitness

Commuting

Multi-Day

Multi-Day with Kids

Kids Attached or Towed on Bikepaths

Grow & Improve your Bikepath Riding

Ride more Bikepaths

Mountain Biking

Women Beginner to Intermediate

Kids Mountain Biking

Multi-Day

Multi-Day with Kids

Mountain Biking with Kids Attached or Towed

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Riding in Traffic

Kids Attached or Towed in Traffic

Family Riding

Multiday Bikepath Riding with Kids

Kids Mountain Biking

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Multi-Day Riding

Multi-Day Mountain Biking

Multi-Day Bikepath

Ride more Multi-Day Rides

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids Attached or Towed Buying Guides

Rear Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Front Kids Bike Seat 

Towing Kids who ride their own bikes

Kids Bike Trailers

Kids & Youth Buying Guides

Kids Bike Helmets

Kids Riding Clothing

Kids Padded Bike Pants

Kids Padded Protection

Kids Handlebar Grips 

Kids Balance Bike

Comfort on the Bike Buying Guides 

Bike Saddle

Padded Bike Pants

Bike Jackets

Carrying Gear 

Handlebar Grip

Hydration

Rider Safety and Protection Buying Guides

Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Helmet

Protective Padding

Be Visible 

Bike Glove

Bike Light 

Mountain Bike Light

First Aid & Personal Care 

Gear & Care for Bikes Buying Guides

Bike Carriers

Bike Cleaning

Chain Cleaning and Lube

Women & Families Learning

Comfort on your Bike Seat

Improve your Riding

Carrying Gear

Ride More Places

Ride more Bikepaths

Ride more NZ Cycle Trails

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Ride more Multi-Day Rides

Ride more Places with Kids

Riding Gear

Bike Helmets

Padded Bike Underwear & Pants

Bike Gloves

Bike Jackets

Protective Padding

Bike Locks

Bike Tools to Carry

Handlebar Grips

Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seats

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Kids Bike Seats - Attached

Types of Riding

Bikepath Riding