Bicycle buying advice

When do you buy a bike best?

Until Easter the cyclists in Germany keep their hibernation. The standard two-wheeler in Germany likes to buy a new bike in spring, when he or she lures the first rays of sunshine. Or in other words:

  • If all cyclists want to have their bikes repaired after the winter season,
  • when real specials are hushed up by spring feelings,
  • and if the workshops are booked out just before Easter until the last inspection and work overtime.

Do you really think this is the best time to buy a bike? The Zweiradhandel is completely overloaded at the beginning of spring, there are no discounts due to the onslaught, the counseling discussions are accordingly short. Just this time de bike purchase is a big mistake. Have you ever thought about what the bike dealers do in winter? They are bored. No one enters the shop, the phone never rings. Absolute lull. No pig thinks about cycling, the weather is way too bad. How much would the two-wheelers sell you a bike at the very special price in early December? Right ... much better, than in spring, when all the shops are packed with hurry, advice greedy customers.

At the end of November, you will get top branded bicycles, which are actually 1.800, - EUR often costs 1.400, - EUR and there is a good lock for free. The not quite well-defined magic word is: "previous year's models", because actually it is the current models, but already in the current year are replaced by the latest models after the bicycle exhibition. Unfortunately, very few customers know this and prefer to be guided by spring feelings. The same applies to cycling clothing and accessories: In the fall or the beginning of winter you can make the best bargain around the bike as a consumer, because the two-wheeler season is simply dead. In addition, the dealers have to clear their warehouses for new, up-to-date goods.

This does not apply to discounters or hardware stores, here are the bike prices throughout the year on the same level.

Buy Bike as a seasonal term on Google Trends

The classic cycling season starts in Germany all of a sudden in mid-March to early April, ie just before Easter and holds until the summer of July, then abruptly fall again in mid-August. Bargains make you as a consumer in almost all other months of the year: So from October to early February! In winter, every dealer looks forward to your visit and takes a lot of time for you. The bike shops are deserted.

The purchase decision: Which bike is right for me?

Your purchase decision of the bicycle category depends entirely on what you want to do with a bicycle:

  • Use as a city bike?
  • Complete longer bike rides?
  • Get fit by exercising regularly?
  • Discovering foreign countries by bike?
  • Or prefer to move children and large purchases environmentally friendly and without finding a parking space?
  • Everything? Almost with a gravel bike ...

Finding a suitable bike becomes easier, the further you define your ideas before the shop visit. In recent years, even the smallest market niches have been filled with suitable models. That was also time, because the development in the 70er and 80er years was overslept in the car and motorcycle boom. In my youth, there were no off-road bikes, you could only build yourself. When I got hot on a first moped, the first BMX bikes came on the market in Germany. Today, the mountain bike category alone is divided into five to six individual categories: Fullies, Hardtail, Enduro, Downhill, 26 Customs, 27,5 Customs .... The decision is all the harder because even experts can not know all the niches exactly.

Tips for successful bike purchase

Suppose you want to get fit as a non-athlete on the new bike, but do not dare to a road bike with aerodynamic handlebars. If you are naively advised by any trader, you will probably come out of the store with a new 15 kilo trekking bike with fork. The perfect solution would have been to buy a very light 10 kilo fitness bike, which could really get you into a real recreational athlete in three to four years, then switch to a cyclocross or road bike. Anyone who shies away from a light 8 kilo road bike due to the narrow tires and the miserable cycle paths should definitely try a cyclocross or a gravel bike. So you can still really fast on very bad dirt roads without remorse. Even smaller curbs take these wheels not equal bad. The difference of 5-6 kilo more or less on the bike is so blatant because it is unsprung, moving masses. In particular, the wheels exert a high influence on the driving dynamics through their rotation and inertia. With 5 kilo body weight less that is not comparable at all.

Many bike buyers underestimate the benefits of a lighter, more expensive bike without any frills and prefer to resort to the serious all-carefree model that is much sluggish than you are. Wearing it from the basement becomes pure ordeal - the new bike is probably hardly driven, the fitness effect is therefore zero. Heavy bikes only make sense if you want to drive in a topfebenen area without hills, such as in northern Germany or in the Münsterland. If you first roll in the plane, 3-4 kg hardly noticeable. Only when accelerating at the traffic light you will be overtaken again.

The same applies to electric bikes for target groups that are actually still completely fit: Instead of pedaling yourself, the inner bastard can certainly be outsmarted with an engine. That e-bikes are as heavy as a half moped, that they can hardly be loaded into the car, that the outrageously expensive batteries are flattened after two to three years and that especially older generations should climb such wheels generally only with a helmet, all that the dealer will not tell you. Of course, your fitness will fall by the wayside. But for commuters, the (more expensive) e-bikes are unbeatable. Used properly, they really replace the car or the train with its fitness stall. Calculate but then the purchase of a second battery with charger with a: Because often lies a second battery set times just under 500, - EUR, and agree with your employer before because of the current electricity costs. As a seasoned cyclist, I usually overtake the pedelecs throttled at 25 km / h, but on slightly longer mountains I have no chance even with the light cyclocross against the engine support. They just drive me away!

The right frame size

The frame of a bicycle determines the driving dynamics (eg manoeuvrable, springy, lane-stable) and driving comfort. With everything you can choose, there is only one frame size that suits you perfectly. It's like a pair of shoes. If a bike is too small or too big, you can subsequently optimize the seating position as well as the length and height of the stem. There may be scope for half to a maximum of a whole size. If a bike does not fit properly, you will never feel right on it: The wrists begin to hurt, the hands become numb, the buttocks react on longer tours, and there is an indefinable backache. Besides that, it's less efficient than on a bike that really fits. That's why choosing the right frame size is so important. A good bike retailer usually recognizes the perfect size for you at first glance, and some dealers use ergonomic measuring devices to determine the optimum frame size, saddle and handlebar position. For online orders you have to measure your body in advance yourself, like here at Canyon.

Buy a bicycle online or at the store?

In general I advise every bike buyer to try the bike beforehand. Only then can you be sure that everything really fits. Ordering a bike on suspicion of measured sizes on the internet is only something for professionals who are familiar with important frame geometries and have years of experience in two-wheelers. Wheels from online shops are always pre-assembled and have to be completed at home with your own tools. That means in plain language: pedals, handlebars, small parts and front wheel are loose in the box, brakes and circuit must be adjusted, the tires have little air. You have to do all the ergonomic fine adjustments yourself, the control of all important screws on firm seat is obligatory. If a defect occurs on the bike, you have to send it in the original box again, partially dismantled by a freight forwarder and hope for improvement or goodwill of the Internet dealer. Who buys in the net, of course, can not hope for the repair help from real dealers! The understandably refuse ...

It must be said that there are some online bicycle dealers in Germany with an excellent price-performance ratio, if you know what you want. For example, offers High quality wheels with very good equipment at an unbeatable price from approx. 1000, - EUR to.

Understandably, these prices are not available in the bicycle shop around the corner, because the bicycle dealers have to pay the shop rent including heating and electricity, have a workshop and offer expert advice. If in doubt, I would always go to a real two-wheeler dealer. Especially last year's models can be purchased online at a very low price. Take advantage of this in autumn Google Product Search or price comparison portals. A previous year's model differs from the current model often only by the colors, more up-to-date components, another saddle, other tires, etc., but in the overall configuration hardly significant. It's not like the real model change of the car brands.

Nevertheless, you should first know what you want, before you go to the bike shop and even more accurate when you order online.

Tips and tricks for buying a bike

Goes very easy - goes by itself!

Are there two wheel models to choose from and you can not decide Just take the lighter bike, One kilogram more is clearly noticeable on the mountain. In particular, the wheels make themselves felt by lighter weight positive because they rotate. The simplest and cheapest tuning measure on a bicycle is therefore to raise the lightest possible tires with a low rolling resistance and high air pressure. Thereafter, further, subsequent tuning measures are very expensive. There used to be a saying: "Every gram less costs one mark". Means today: Who would like to facilitate a bicycle later by 1 kilograms, pays about 500, - Euro in parts.

The bill of retrofitting is therefore not on, but it is always better to buy a lighter bike with high quality parts than to tune later. Anyone who has ever driven a bike under 10 kilograms would never want to ride a heavier bike again. It's a difference like day and night! Expensive carbon road bikes with a minimum of 6 kilograms are not necessary for normal drivers, but a bike under 12 kilograms should be it already - if possible, with lighting. A really good lock weighs at least 1,5 kilograms again. Never underestimate the weight of a bicycle! It's the trick to make cycling easy. Unfortunately, 1: 1 is also reflected in bike prices ...

Tips on special bike categories

The trekking bike trap

For insecure buyers / inside: A trekking bike with a suspension fork and a lot of free features such as spring saddle, hub dynamo, luggage rack, etc., there are already for little money. Attention: The components are often inferior and very heavy. Often they have nothing at all, even the modern hub dynamo takes a lot of power, even when it's on display. Instead of such an "SUV bike" you prefer to buy a used bike with better equipment. It will not be stolen that quickly because it does not look new. Instead of a trekking bike, I recommend a city bike with a rigid fork made of aluminum and low-rolling-resistance tires. A luggage carrier and battery lights can themselves be retrofitted. Just ask yourself how many times you've been traveling with light in the dark last year, so you have the answer to whether you really want to go for a fixed lighting all year round. For most recreational cyclists, battery bulbs range ...

The folding bike for commuters and travelers

A folding bike is great for taking two of them without a bike carrier in the car on holiday. But you can put it off badly at the station, because all parts of thieves can be unscrewed in seconds. Incidentally, the folding wears the wheels a lot. If you fold your frame twice a day, fold down the handlebars, sink the seat post and put the whole thing in a bag soaked in rain, you may be able to imagine what that looks like after two years of professional donation. Nevertheless, modern folding bikes are real technological wonders: they have nothing in common with the folding bikes from the seventies. They are light and fast. The small wheels make them look a bit more nervous overall, otherwise they ride almost as well as a "normal bike".

The city bike for carefree cyclists

On the other hand, a big Dutch bike can be parked very well at the stationif you lock it with a good lock. Dutch bikes are known to be lighter than their reputation, but in the headwind or on the mountain it will be difficult. An old city bike with a three- or five-speed hub gear, however, is usually still the sports version, especially since it is at least four pounds lighter and windschnittiger. The nice thing about city bikes with slightly rusty patina is: They are not stolen many times, simply because the cult factor is missing. It is important that they have puncture-proof tires, otherwise you are constantly mending due to broken glass. Attachments of city bikes can with cheap anti-theft measures simply protected. Guiding principle: An old bike and an expensive lock are still the best insurance for lantern parkers.

Buy mountain bike

The Mountainbike

A mountain bike is really made for bad roads. If it is mainly used on slopes, it is a dream. On the road, it usually has only disadvantages: The studded tires eat a lot of power, the fork makes no sense onroad, the reinforced frame with the large ground clearance is anything but ergonomic sense. A handlebar in the form of a stick-hard baseball bat without cranking maltreats untrained wrists, etc. Despite everything, a MTB is just very cool!

I also have an old steel MTB from 1995 from my student days. To make it smoother and faster, I have very light Schwalbe Kojak tire Mounted, a cranked riser handlebar attached, which springs a bit and gave me a comfortable saddle. Then it also makes fun on the road, on dirt roads or on the beach after more than twenty years. The modern MTBs borrowed on vacation with a fork were of course much better than my old sweetheart. On the dusty slopes of the Eastern Algarve a lightweight MTB is simply unbeatable, especially as it can be used in off-road speeds, with which you can even hang many cars, if it is not just a genuine SUV. Even more extreme are fatbikes, with which you can drive very well even in deep snow or in the sand. On the road, a fatbike makes no sense at all ...

Road bikes

Everything is optimized for speed. In addition to very little weight, the aerodynamics plays an increasingly important role in these wheels. Racing bikes almost always have slim frames for very slender wheels with a lot of pressure and very little rolling resistance. This makes driving on bad roads almost impossible. You notice almost every grain of sand under the wheels. A cycling shorts with pad is almost inevitable. Modern racing bikes often consist of extremely light carbon materials (CFRP) from the aircraft industry. The total weight of a 5.000 - EUR expensive road bike is sometimes less than 6,5 kilograms. Even after very slight falls, however, the frame parts must be extensively examined for possible material defects with an X-ray machine. Classic aluminum racing frames weigh a little more, but do not require these radical measures. Due to the narrow frame, the tire width is almost always limited to narrow 25 mm, which is why racing bikes can seldom be sensibly converted to "more comfortable" and suitable for everyday use. Downhill speeds of 70 km / h and more are not uncommon. The perfect posture on a racing bike has to be trained for monthsto be able to drive even long distances without pain. For this purpose, the targeted development of a certain musculature in the seated meat, in the arms and in the trunk as body tension is necessary.

Cyclocrossers, Gravelbikes and Randonneurs

The insiders' tip for those who find a road bike too extreme: cyclocross bikes, gravel bikes and randonneurs combine the extremely sporty aspect of racing bikes with a high degree of practicality and a more comfortable sitting position. While cyclocrossers and gravel bikes with their wider tires also take bad paths without complaining, Randonneurs are optimized for long trips. You are walking very calmly. All these wheels are considerably faster than mountain bikes, but of course do not have their off-road capability and stability. Jumps should be avoided, for example. When buying these wheels you should look carefully, whether fenders and racks can be mounted for the trip. This requires soldered eyelets and thread on the bicycle frame. Decisive for maximum off-road capability and comfort on bad roads the maximum tire width. The more expensive examples in this category have flexible frames, handlebars and seat posts that absorb bumps almost imperceptibly.

Make the right decisions when buying a bike

Circuit and brakes

Basically, one drives the easiest with a (well maintained) derailleur. For hub gears have the advantage of much lower maintenance. If you take one Shimano Alfine or Nexus premium hub, or an expensive high-end hub from Rohloff or even a central gearshift from Pinion on the bottom bracket together with a belt drive, the drive is almost maintenance-free every two years except for an oil change of the hub. A derailleur, on the other hand must be oiled and cleaned several times a year, A high-quality derailleur with a good price-performance ratio, for example, the Shimano 105, which has been developed since the 80er years. In derailleurs, the chain should normally be changed every two to four thousand kilometers during normal road traffic. The range is difficult to predict, depending on the mission. The wear comes with a chain gauge (or even with a caliper if necessary). If you drive the chain longer, then you must also change the sprocket set and the chainrings. Not a cheap pleasure, especially as special tools are needed. Otherwise, the rule of thumb applies: Two chains usually wear a drive set. For MTBs that are moved in the field or in winter, but a chain can be worn after only 1.000 kilometers or less.

Disc brakes are a fine thing, but unfortunately, even in the year 2018 not as mature as classic V-Brake rim brakes. Just with mechanical disc brakes the brake pads must be readjusted or replaced meticulously several times a year. They are by no means maintenance-free but very sensitive! With hydraulic disc brakes, you are dependent on the dealer for repairs, otherwise they need special tools and know-how. For this purpose, hydraulic disc brakes self-adjust until the linings are worn down. Make sure you buy the most compatible brake pads for metal brake pads, otherwise you have to Brake pads changed or adjusted quite often be. The real advantage of disc brakes is that the brake immediately engages even in wet conditions and no longer wears the bicycle rim. But I do not know many cyclists who have ever braked a rim to the extent of wear. For this you have to drive 5.000 km per year. And that for years ...

Motorcyclists should have the bicycle brakes swapped left to right as a violent fall is otherwise inevitable. The front brake on all mopeds, scooters and motorcycles is always front right instead of left! Once I did not think about that, a couple of years ago I crashed and injured myself vigorously in Spain on a MTB with good V-brakes. In the past, it was easy to replace the Bowden cables on the handlebars, making it impossible for modern hydraulic brakes. The decades-long demanded resignation of older generations should not really be an issue today. But there are also even gear hubs with resignation.

Accessories for bicycles

Bicycle Accessories: The indispensable Erstaustattung

Just as important as the bike itself is the right cycling clothing, because you are at the mercy of the weather. Who thinks to be able to drive through the winter in a jeans or with cheap gloves is taught a quick better. Although there is no bad weather, there are so many bad cycling clothes. Weatherproof, breathable clothing is expensive, but worth every penny in an emergency. Buy bike clothing as cheaply as possible in autumn or after the turn of the year in winter.

When buying a bike, always plan a good lock (rule of thumb about 8-10% of the wheel value). In addition, you still need a multitool, One air pump, a spare hose, repair kit and a few care products for your bike. In particular, a chain always wants to be oiled. With more expensive, higher-quality wheels almost always lack lighting, luggage rack, bell, pedals and fenders. Plan for additional budget and mount it only the essentials, but high-quality, lightweight parts, such as a good battery LED lighting. Note: A good bike is only as good as its built-in components. So please do not install cheap parts on an expensive bike ...

Wear parts for bicycles

If you drive a lot in the year even in bad weather, or seriously want to use the bike as a replacement for cars must expect from 3.000-4.000 kilometers per year with the following wearing parts:

  • 1 tire plus 1 hose per year
  • 1 chain per year
  • 2 sets of brake pads
  • 1 battery light per year (case damage or stolen)
  • 1 drivetrain or hub servicing every 2 years
  • 1 bowden cable exchange every 2 years

Bicycles that are operated in the rain and in the field, of course wear much faster. This is especially true for chains and brakes, partly for the Bowden cables.

The topic of money when buying a bike

A really good bike is available from 1.000, - to 1.200, - Euro. From this amount you can count on quality and above-average equipment that lasts a long time. Circuits and components up to an amount of approx. 2000., - Euro decide on this price level. From a public parking in the city, I advise from this amount at the latest. Only in this area start carbon wheels and full suspension mountain bikes, here you can spend twice as fast. If you are not a competitive athlete, the pricing beyond 4.000, - EUR rational in my view for a bike makes no sense, except for e-bikes and fast S-Pedelecs with an approval of up to 45 km / h.

Even less sporty cyclists can spend much more money: Particularly expensive are centrally encapsulated bottom bracket gearboxes (Pinion) with drive belts, as well as the fine Rohloff gear hubs, which make sense only in long-distance travel or commuters. Mountain bikes with suspension forks are starting at about 2.000, - EUR again so light that such a high-quality MTB with appropriate road tires, even on long distances a lot of joy.

Is it also cheaper? Yes, at city bikes, at Hollandrädern and on the second hand market you can also make real bicycle bargains. Particularly interesting are wheels under 2.000 kilometers of mileage, which have actually stood around only three to four years. Here you can access if you fit the frame size and the wheel was not stolen. With particularly favorable offers in the Internet healthy mistrust is appropriate. A visit including test drive I consider mandatory. In some cities, men or women without bikes are also auctioned. Sometimes you are lucky and can then make a real bargain!

Purchase decision aid for bicycles

Purchase decision aid for bicycles

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