How to Shop for a Bike

Shopping for a new bike can be a confusing task for many.  Here are a few tips to help you in your search:Giant Escape_2 - The Bike Rack DC blog


Find the Right Shop

Just as you would test-drive a car, try a shop before you commit. Join a shop ride, take a maintenance class, or just stop by. Buy from the store where you have the best connection and experience.

Before You Go

Write down the answers to these questions:
• What will you (or do you) use your bike for?
• When, where, and how often will you ride?
• How much can you spend?

Ride Bikes

If you’re buying a bicycle, you should test-ride a few.

Be Assertive

It’s easy to feel put off by shop employees who rattle off jargon.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down and speak in language you understand. Most will be happy to help.  Remember that you are in control of the situation.

Play Fair

Your local bike shop is not the place to haggle. With so many online outlets competing with their business, brick-and-mortar retailers must keep their prices competitive. If you want to save some cash,  join your local advocacy group. Many shops discount their prices for members.
It’s Okay To…
• Return stuff. Some shops allow exchanges within 30 days. Ask about their policies.
• If you buy bikes and gear online, remember it’s bad etiquette to test them at your local shop first.
• Take your business elsewhere if you don’t receive excellent service.


  1. Delores Lyon says

    I am buying a bike for my son, but I have no idea what to look for. I will definitely try writing down how often the bike will be used. I think if I write that down, the bike shop clerk will be able to help me out.

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