A dilemma full of mixed emotions for most of us at some point or various points in our cycling lifetime! Which bike to buy?
There are many questions to ask yourself before you start window shopping for bikes:
1. What are my cycling goals?
Before you spend the money, make sure it’s a sport you will continue to practice. Perhaps hire some bikes to test performance and geometry if this is your first road bike
2. What have you achieved so far in cycling and what is your goal? Do you want to climb quicker? Get a better result in a particular challenge or place higher in a particular race?
3. What is your reason for upgrading and how much worth will your upgrade give?
4. Are you comfortable in your current bikes geometry?
5. What is your budget and is it sensible for what you are looking for?
Once you have clearly answered these questions, you should have an idea of what specification your (new) bike should have & what size you should be looking for.
Look at various different brands. Do not limit yourself to women’s specific bikes if you are female. Just make sure that the reach is one that you are comfortable with, has been recommended to you or that you have had on a bike before. Gather some options from your local bike shops, make some comparisons with what you can get online for the same money. Don’t make an impulse buy just because you like the colours of your potential new bike!
6. Does your current gear ratio work for you or do you want a change ratios for climbing / the flat?
7. Do you fancy the idea of having Di2 rather than manual gearing? I personally opted for Di2 because of the fast shifting and always having a struggle to use the farthest lever with my small hands!
8. Is weight important to you? Do you want to opt for an alloy frame or a carbon frame?
9. Wheels: are you at a stage in your cycling lifetime where you would benefit from aero / deeper rimmed wheels? Aero or deep rimmed wheels are generally heavier than the standard wheel sets that most bikes come with. The benefit with aero wheels come with increased speed. Once you are averaging speeds of 33kph alone, these types of wheels will help you maintain speed and keep your wheels rolling quickly.
10. Have you had a proper bike fit ?
If you need any other pointers, ask the knowledgeable people in your cycling community, the people who ride often. The representatives from your LBS who ride bikes – they are the ones with the knowledge that they can pass on!
Have a look at this video for additional valid points regarding upgrades on your existing road bike.