What to Look Out for When Buying a City Bike

The time has come to buy your next city bike, but it can be tricky when you don't know what to look out for. All different kinds of models, types of tyres, and saddle styles; it gets overwhelming.

Lucky for you, at Ride Olive, we're experts when it comes to city bicycle purchases, so we can make the process easier for you.

In this article, we'll go through the 8 essential things you need to look out for when buying a city bike and some useful tips to help you decide.

Let's get you on the road to owning a city bike!

Price: Find a Happy Medium

It's no surprise that the price is the first thing we all look at when buying a city bike. Setting a budget that aligns with your income is the key to getting a suitable ride. That way, you can compare it to the parts that make up the bike's final price, like pedals, gears, frames, etc.

Striking a balance between staying within your budget and getting your hands on a quality two-wheeler is the key. Sometimes, spending the extra couple of hundred is a smart move when you know it's worth the investment.

Brand: Keep It Reputable

If you're investing in a city bike, you'll want to buy it from a reputable brand.

There's less risk involved in sourcing your city pushbike from a trustworthy company like Olive. They usually offer great warranties, use best-in-class materials and outstanding customer service; it's all a consumer wants.

Another great thing is that bikes from respected organisations are often more durable, so your urban cruiser will last longer than if you were to source it from a less established name.

Frame: Durability Matters

A good frame is one of the most important things in our beginner's city bicycle buying guide. You need to make sure the frame has been built with suitable, solid materials like steel or aluminium to power through the pressure when you cycle over a speed bump or have to pull up onto a path to let a car overtake you.

There's no harm in looking out for extra elements for your bike's frame for some added safety, like corrosion-resistant coatings, so it minimises the frame wear and tear when the weather is poor. We all know how awful winter can be for city cyclists.

Less Maintenance: Minimum Upkeep Gives Riders an Easy Life

Give yourself fewer headaches by focusing on city bike models that use features that require less maintenance. It's the little things like internal hub gears, belt drive systems, puncture-resistant tyres and sealed bearings that make life easier for city riders.

Purchasing a bike with these low-maintenance components decreases the chance of returning to the supplier for help and saves you a lot of money down the line. You don't want to be that one person in your group everyone knows for always having a problem with your bike, do you?

Comfortability: It Makes Your Riding Experience More Enjoyable

Riding an uncomfortable bike is awful, especially when waiting at the traffic lights in the city centre on the way home from work.

Selecting a new bike with a functional, structural layout that helps keep your body in a vertical cycling stance will minimise the stress on your body. A cushioned seat offers soft padding, enhancing your bottom's comfort every time you ride. If your ride between the office and your house is a long one, adjustable handlebars are a great idea, so you can choose a riding position that will make your daily commute a bit more pleasant.

Style: Because Nobody Wants to Ride an Ugly Bike

There's nothing wrong with looking out for some visual appeal while choosing a bike. Don't be afraid to go for a colour that suits your style; some people like luminous yellows to attract the attention of those they pass by, and others prefer to go under the radar with khaki green.

While handlebars are often seen as a feature to make the riding experience easier for the cyclist, they can make the bike stand out more than expected. Specifications like drop bars or bullhorns can add to your bike's look, as well as light enhancements and racks or baskets.

Adding some distinctive taste will surely grab the attention of strollers when you're out and about in the city.

Tyres: The Smoother, the Better

Don't overlook the importance of smooth tyres when buying a bicycle. They have a noticeable impact on how you drive the bike. In urban areas, it's common to see paved roads; smooth tyres tackle these with their minimal thread pattern as they boost grip with the pavement, improving their contact with the ground and making it easier to speed up and slow down.

Smooth tyres tend to benefit from less noise than a standard tyre, too, so you don't bother people walking in the streets and avoid contributing to high noise pollution levels.

Going for smooth tyres makes logical sense for those riding within the city; the journey is gentle, and you're not annoying anyone with lots of noise, giving the rest of the city cyclists a good name!

Brakes: Safety Is Everything

The urban environment can be seriously dangerous, with many speeding vehicles, loud horns, and pedestrians not watching where they're walking. With every cycle, your main priority should be getting from A to B in one piece, and a solid breaking system allows you to do just that. 

You need to keep an eye out for rim breaks or disk breaks. Some popular rim break styles include calliper breaks and V-breaks; these tend to be light, affordable and have sufficient stopping performance within urban areas. Disk breaks either come in the form of hydraulic or mechanical; they often have slightly better halting power, particularly in the rain, and affect the wheel rims less than rim breaks do.

Since you're going to be cycling in a metropolitan area, it's going to be busy with a lot of congestion, so a pristine braking system is non-negotiable unless you want to have an accident.

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