Apart from a helmet to keep cyclist’s safe, a bike is their most important piece of equipment. With bikes being an expensive investment, it is essential that serious cyclists do their research before purchasing. Read more about our sponsored cyclist, Chris Latham’s advice on what you need to know for buying the best bike for you:
All bikes mainly serve the same purpose, getting you from A to B. Different bikes help you get from A to B using more or less energy whilst making you go faster or slower. I’m not an expert but as someone who cycles every day I have noticed that bikes do this in a few ways: by either being more aerodynamic, being lighter, being stiffer or all three.
Before buying a bike, I would firstly set a budget for yourself to make sure you don’t spend too much as you can spend tens of thousands on the perfect bike. When researching the different types of bikes on the market I would look at the most popular bikes (there’s a reason they’re popular). Look at brands and models that are used in the Tour De France, as these generally are the best ones. There are a lot of bikes on the market that claim to be the stiffest and the lightest but are sometimes a model nobody has ever heard of. These may seem like a bargain at the time, but after you hit a nasty pothole and it snaps in half, it’s not such a good idea. I would go for the better known brands as these usually come with a guarantee/warranty and will last longer.
Most bikes work mechanically but a few run with the help of electronics – these are usually more expensive and need more attention. They are equipped with brakes and a gear mechanism, enabling you to use a lower or higher gear depending on the terrain. A standard chain set on a bike is 53/11, this will be used by most riders as it covers a lot of the gears you would need on an average ride/race. These ratios vary if the route you’re doing is flat, you may see bigger chain rings on the front such as 54 or 55. Then the opposite if it’s really hilly, some may have a 28 cassette so you can use smaller gears on the hills.
My favourite bike of all time has to be the ‘Pinarello Dogma F8’. This is currently my team bike for Team Wiggins, and is by far the best bike I’ve ever ridden. All in all, it doesn’t really matter what bike you use, the same rule applies - peddle faster and you will go faster!