Are you thinking of buying a bike? Our top tips

by admin

Are you thinking of buying a new or second hand bike?  Read our top tips for buying bikes for adults and children.

1. Always use a specialist bike supplier

If you shop at a specialist new or second hand bike supplier then you can guarantee that the bike will have been assembled properly, and will be safe to ride.  Bikes are their core business.  They know what they are doing  and their staff are trained to high standards.  If you buy a bike from a high street store that only sells bikes as an aside, then you can’t be sure that the bike will have been assembled properly.  We often see bikes that have been sold by famous high street retailers that haven’t been assembled properly.  At the end of this article we list some specialist bike shops in Birmingham.

2. Hybrid bikes are best for learning on

Hybrid bikes are better for most adults and children to learn on.  Mountain bikes, road bikes, BMX bikes, and folding bikes are great – but they are harder for beginners to learn on.

3. The best bikes for children

Always buy the lightest bike that you can.  Unfortunately some high street retailers sell bikes that are very heavy and they are very difficult to learn on.  Apollo is an example of a brand of bikes that are very heavy and are difficult to learn on.  

We particularly recommend Islabikes and Frog bikes for children.  They are relatively expensive, because of the quality of their design and manufacture.  Their geometry is perfect for children who are having difficulty learning to pedal, and in particular for children who have conditions such as autism, dyspraxia and hypermobility.  We have seen many children who have struggled on other bikes, who have learned to pedal when they have switched to an Isla or Frog.  A second hand Isla or Frog is also a useful investment.

The best bike you can buy for a child is a new Islabike.  The next best bike you can buy for a child is a second hand Islabike.  The third best bike you can buy for a child is a Frog.

We also like Squish bikes – they are not quite as robust as Isla or Frog but they are light and have good geometry and they are great for learning on.

Isla Bikes – can be bought from their website

Frog Bikes – can be bought from Bike Pro in Kings Heath

Squish Bikes – can be bought from Ladypool Cycles in Balsall Heath.

You can also get bikes, including Isla, Frog and Squish, on a subscription service from Bike Club.

4. Second hand bikes

If you buy a second hand bike from a reputable second hand outlet then you can expect it to be in a safe condition to ride.  A good second hand bike is often better value for money than a cheap new bike from a high street retailer.  Be very careful of buying second hand bikes off Ebay or Gumtree.  You can’t guarantee that it will be safe to ride.

5. What size bike should I buy for my child?

A good bike shop will help you choose the right size.  If you are taking cycling tuition lessons from us then we will also advise you.  Otherwise, this guide is excellent.

6.  Reputable specialist bike shops in Birmingham and Solihull

We don’t receive any commission from any bike shops.  So these recommendations are based on experience.

New bikes:

Northfield Cycles / Bike Pro (Kings Heath) / Ladypool Cycles (Balsall Heath) / Red Kite (Solihull) / Scott Cycles (Hall Green) / On Your Bike (Digbeth) 

We do not recommend buying a bike from Halfords, based on experience.  

Second hand bikes:

Birmingham Bike Foundry (Stirchley) / Cycle Chain (City Centre) / The Re-Users (Sutton Coldfield).

If you need adult or children’s cycling tuition then you can book and pay here.



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