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When it comes to investing in a bike, value for money is everything. If you’re a commuter looking to cycle to work, for example, it’s important that you’re sure you’re making the right choice before parting with your money.
Don’t think you’ve got to have an enormous budget, either. In many cases, a cheap commuter bike can do just as fine a job for a fraction of the cost of a state-of-the-art model, so whatever your price range, there’s always something for everyone.
With that in mind, then, it’s important to consider these six pearls of wisdom before finding your perfect commuter bike:
Used Bikes Are Always The Cheaper Option
If you’re searching for the most cost-effective answer to this question, look no further than second hand bikes. Why spend more than is necessary on a new model when these are right under your nose?
Second hand bikes may come with more risks attached; you will want to check the seller is reliable, and, of course, that the bike is still in a good condition, for instance.
But if you’re happy enough to take the plunge, used bikes can be a great way of finding just what you need without burning a hole in your wallet.
Use Bikesoup To Find Second-Hand Bikes Online
If indeed you decide to go down the second-hand route and the Internet is your first port of call, the best website you could hope to find for this is Bikesoup.
This site not only allows you to buy and sell bikes, but also boasts its own cycling blog packed full of reviews and opinions on the latest models.
You can also refine your search to match your budgetary limits, your preferred manufacturer, size, groupset and bike type.
Plus, at the time of writing, there are almost 2,500 used bikes on their market, so expect to be spoilt for choice, too.
Visit Bike Shops and Markets
Alternatively, you can always check out nearby bike shops and ask if they have any second-hand bikes.
Not only that, but some cities, such as Berlin, London and Amsterdam, also have their own bike markets for sale on certain days of the week, so check these out for a bargain if you can.
But If You Want a New Bike, Decathlon is the Place to Go
If second-hand isn’t for you, Decathlon is your best bet to find cheap bikes for sale.
Like Bikesoup, they have an enormous and wide-ranging variety of bikes to choose from but also offer more in the way of refining your search.
You can still set your price limits, type of bike, size and brand, but you can specify so much more with Decathlon too.
Whether it’s full, front or no suspension you’re after, an aluminium, steel or carbon frame, or a bike with or without disk brakes, Decathlon will no doubt have the perfect new bike for you. You can even search for bikes in specific colours if you want one that looks the part, too.
If You’re Shopping Cheap, Don’t Go Full-Suspension
Especially in the case of those without a large budget, it probably won’t be worth investing in a bike with full suspension.
Cheap suspension bikes can be less enjoyable to ride than a bike with no suspension, and will likely prove less reliable than front-suspension only or no suspension bikes which are worth the same amount of money.
But Check You’re Not Buying a Stolen Bike First
Bike theft can be a serious and common problem, especially in big cities and in the second-hand market. As mentioned earlier, it’s vital that you check first that the bike you want to buy hasn’t been stolen.
Thankfully, there are plenty of guidelines on how to check if a bike is stolen. Do you trust the seller? Has the bicycle’s serial number been scratched off? Has it been spray-painted, perhaps to hide its original identity? Has the frame been bent?
You can also carry out a quick stolen bike check over at BikeRegister, which will quickly and easily determine whether the bicycle in question is registered as stolen. Of course, it does require that the original owner registered their model with the site, but it’s a step closer to ensuring you’ve made a good deal.