Buying Your First Bike

By Rebecca Agiewich

Photo at right: Methow Cycle and Sport owner, Joe Brown, talks about what to look for in your first bike with customer Larry Miller. Photo courtesy of Methow Cycle Sport,


Regardless of whether a first bike is gifted at a young age, acquired in the teen years, or purchased as an adult, when it comes to buying your first bike, the advice that local bike shop owners have might surprise you.

Think ahead

Davey Oil, co-owner of G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle, advises those in the market for a first bike to think ahead.

“Bikes offer more mobility than you think,” says Oil, whose shop focuses on family and cargo bikes. And once you start biking, he says, it will “expand your conception of what biking can do.”

For now, he says, you might just want a bike for easy trips around town. Later, you might very likely want a bike to “carry all your groceries” or even to replace many of your car trips.

Think now and later

Similarly, Joe Brown, owner of Methow Cycle & Sport in Winthrop, Wash., advises newbie cyclists to start by thinking about what they want to do now on their bikes, and then to think beyond that.

“Don’t necessarily limit yourself to what you know,” he says. “Think about what you might be doing three years from now, too.”

He also stresses the importance of finding a bike shop that has good service.

“Seek out a shop that has some expertise in bicycle fitting,” says Brown. “One that puts you on a bike that fits both your budget and your body.”

As for researching your new bike, Brown recommends splitting your time between the internet and in-person conversations.

“There are a lot of good resources online,” says Brown. “But, if you research online exclusively, it can be overwhelming. I recommend that you start the conversation in a bike shop and then do a bit of research online.”

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to our Enewsletter