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With the temperature starting to get a bit cooler, it is the perfect time to start a cycling hobby, and that means shopping for the perfect bicycle. The main thing to remember is that ''perfect'' will mean different things to everybody. If you are only looking to cycle to the coffee shop on Fridays as opposed to competing in this year's Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, ''perfect'' could simply mean the perfect price.
When shopping for a bike, remember you are shopping for a bike not a brand. It is all about finding the right model rather than the right name. When deciding on a model, consider your price range and what you will be using it for, i.e., what ground you will ride on, how long you need it to last and how long you will spend riding it.
Bicycles are like cars. New models are released each peak season so it may be worth considering a previous model to save money. But be sure the previous model has all the features you want as advancements in bicycle technology are as quick as others.
When buying straight from a dealer, there is less likely room to haggle. It is common for a shop to make more profit on accessories. If you are looking for a deal, you are more likely to get extras thrown in or additional services rather than a discount, so it is still worth negotiating.
A carbon frame will deliver a smooth, lightweight and stylish ride, but it will come with a heftier price tag. If you are not an avid racer, then consider an aluminium or carbon alloy frame that will suit your needs and budget.
Some standard bikes are fine for female riders although you may find that the longer frame makes getting a secure grip on levers more difficult and can cause the rider to change the center of gravity. This could reduce balance and makes for a less confident rider.
• Check your price range, what you'll use the bike for.
• Consider buying a previous model to save money.
• Bikes with a carbon frame are better but pricier.
Source: Special to Classifieds