It’s almost time for the end of season sales and switching focus to next year! Perhaps for you that means treating yourself to a brand-new bike. As such we thought we would put this short list together to help you make the right decision when making that next big purchase 😊
As a Bike Fit studio, it is probably not surprising that bike geometry was at the top of our list of things to think about when buying a new bike! When buying a new bike, it is so important that it is the correct size, matching your body anthropometrics and kinematics. The best way to determine this is to make an appointment with a Bike Fitter, who should be able to provide you with stack and reach measurements that you can then use as a reference when choosing your new bike.
WARNING: Do not choose the size of a bike based solely on frame size (e.g., 54, 56, 58) as this varies both between and within brands!
Goals / use
It is important to consider what you’ll be using your new bike for. For example, if you are planning on predominantly doing very long steady group rides or cycle touring, a very aggressive-style of bike is probably not going to be the best choice. Instead, you may want to consider bikes with more relaxed, endurance geometries that will likely be more comfortable when spending many hours in the saddle.
Disc brakes vs. Rim brakes
A lot of bike manufacturers are now moving to disc brakes so if you are thinking of investing a lot of money in a new bike this is the way I would recommend you go! A bike with disc brakes is likely to hold its value better. Also, if you’ve upgraded the wheels on the bike, it is more likely that these will then be compatible with future bikes. Another advantage of disc brakes is that they perform better in the wet but do make sure you practise with these before race day or riding in a big group as they are far more sensitive! One more thing to be mindful of with disc brakes is to be careful when cleaning the bike to not get anything (especially lubricant) on the discs as this could severely impact their performance.
Another decision you need to make when choosing a new bike is whether you go for an electronic (e.g., Di2) or mechanical group-set as both have their advantages. Mechanical group-sets are generally more cost-effective and don’t require charging, whilst electronic group-sets require far less maintenance and allow for super smooth shifting (that last comment is perhaps a little biased as I run Di2 😊). That being said, performance-wise there is very little difference between the two! However, if you are competing in events, whereby you must ride a UCI legal position, I would always recommend opting for an electronic group-set as this gives far more adjustment when setting-up the extensions (UCI measurements are taken to the end of the shifter)! If you go for an electronic group-set you also need to think about whether you would like shifters both on the hoods and extensions. Generally, if you are racing more undulating and technical courses, I would recommend having both!
When choosing a new bike, you should also consider the level of adjustability – does the bike give you scope to improve / develop your position? With many of our Bike Fits we give our clients areas to work on (e.g., mobility, strength) that will allow them in the future to adopt a more aggressive or race-orientated position. However, in order to adopt a more aggressive position the bike has to have some adjustment. This is one of the reasons that we chose to stock Argon as the 3D headset cap allows for lots of adjustability 😊
If you are thinking about buying a new bike (even if it is not an Argon 18 😉) and would like some advice please don’t hesitate to get in touch as we are always happy to help!
If you would like any more advice regarding choosing a new bike please get in touch.