Yes I know it is a bit old news but I just have to say it again.
Please don’t go to a shop that “sells bicycles” but go to a “bicycle shop”, see the different ?
A shop that sells bicycles, stacking them high selling them low, are only into selling the bicycle for profit. And quite often are selling other stuff which is not related to cycling at all, and therefore can’t service the bike at all or have the experience with selling bicycles or the staff that has.
A Local Bicycle Shop (LBS), on the other hand, will be staffed by cyclist and will be interested in selling you a bicycle that you will enjoy to ride. And best of all they will remember you, when you come in and want to upgrade, which you will because you want more since you really enjoyed riding the bicycle they found for you.
The Guardian, have a great article/blog about the Bicycle Shaped Object (BSO) that a supermarket is trying to sell.
Yes it sounds like it’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the *beep*ing Century, a bike for £39.99. But please don’t, it will be heavier, harder to ride and before you get home have to go to your LBS to fix something. And that will cost you more than what you spend on the bike in the first place.
Please spend a bit of money on your bike, at least £250 (you can sometimes get a better deal from your LBS). Yes for some £250 or more, is a quite a bit for some, but look at it this way …
A good quality bicycle and a bit of TLC will last you easy 10 years. Even with new tyres, brake pad etc., which will wear down (just like your shoes), it will be less than £500 over the next 10 years, so £50 a year.
How much does your travel card cost you a month ?
So to find your LBS, ask your friends, neighbors or the people you work with, because one of them will be cycling and know a good bicycle shop. Shop around, talk to the staff, tell them what you want and need. Don’t just take the first LBS you find, find one you like, it could be 5 miles away or more, but the service you will get since you will be coming back, will be worth it. Then keep using it, they will come to know you and your needs and will take care of you.
Happy riding :)