I've decided what kind of bike I want (light hybrid with straight handlebars), but have no idea how to chose a brand/model.

What questions do I ask at the shop?
Which brands are good?
Am I paying too much for brand-value?
Am I paying for things I don't need? (Carbon Fiber fork...)

What are the things I should look out for in particular?

Another thing I find difficult is that they don't let you try out the bike except in the shop (and without the pedals attatched).

  • It's best if your question is more about how to look for what you want, rather than looking for specific product recommendations. Specific product recommendations can be problematic because not all products are available in all areas and products change year to year. See also: Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping!. Jan 14, 2013 at 18:12
  • @BenediktBauer I've re-written the question.
    – nishantjr
    Jan 14, 2013 at 18:25
  • 1
    If you want to commute, some eyelets for fenders and racks are very useful. Some "sport oriented" bikes don't have these, while more utility oriented bikes do. Jan 14, 2013 at 18:39
  • 1
    "What are the things I should look out for in particular?" -- The answers and comments in reply to What bike+equipment for a long daily urban commute? helped to answer many of my questions, and to see various parts of a bike "in particular".
    – ChrisW
    Jan 14, 2013 at 20:29
  • 3
    I certainly think its worth visiting a shop who will let you try out the bike on the road.
    – PeteH
    Jan 15, 2013 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


The first suggestion I would have for you would be to find a bike shop that accommodates a bike riders needs! Any shop that doesn't allow a decent test ride with one of their bikes, can't be serious about getting your business!

I've never purchased a car or a bicycle without taking a test drive/ride. You'll find that the fit of your bicycle will be the most important aspect of the purchase for both comfort and safety. You'll spend lots of hours on commuting each year...make them comfortable! Make sure the bike shop will fit you to a bike, not make the bike fit you!

You really didn't give much information about the commute you will have. For example, what state are you in? Will you be riding seasonal or year round? What types of weather will you likely experience? How long ( distance ) is the commute? Without knowing more information, my answer will be limited to the basics.

One thing you'll need to know first off is the type of repairs the bike shop performs. Look at their service area to see if they're well equiped for all repairs. Whatever bike you decide on, the warranty will be imporatant. Your question about value usually comes down to the old saying..."You get what you pay for!"

Where you must keep your bike while at work may determine how much you spend on a bike. Is the area "safe" for locking up your bike, or is there a chance of theft or vandilism? A $500+ bike could be very tempting for a thief. What type of lock or other security measures can you take with the bike at work?

Know the regulations for riding in your area. You'll need lights at night, but how good of a light front and rear will you need for the commute? If you'll be riding daily, fenders should be a priority. There are many things to consider when you commute on a bike.

I hope this helps plant some ideas about what you want/need for the commute, and possibly gather more information and update your question.

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