There are lots of reasons to take up cycling. Some folks are having a hard time keeping up with the rising cost of gasoline and maintenance bills, so they choose to ride a bike. Some decide to cycle because they want to have less of an impact on the environment when traveling.
Still others simply ride bicycles for fun. Whatever your reason for going cycle shopping there are some definite criteria that you need to think about before you make your choice. Bicycles should not just be chosen because of their looks or their brand name. Outlined hereafter are some pointers you can take into consideration when going out to buy your bike.
One thing that is usually the first on the list is the cost of the bike. Of course you are going to need to think about how much you will ride your bike as well as where you are going to be riding it, but cost is one of the most important things.
You can find bicycles that range in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. That doesn't mean all bicycles are going to cost that much, so don't worry; there is no reason why you can't find a great bicycle that is in your price range. The local auctions are some of the best ways to find wonderful deals on things like bicycles and equipment so you won't find yourself spending too much money.
You should always make sure to give the bike a test run before committing to buying it, though. You should never buy something you haven't tried out for at least a few minutes. Think about it: would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive?
So why wouldn't this apply to buying a bicycle? You really need to do this if you are going to spend a lot of money on the bicycle, and if you are going to ride the bicycle a lot. You want to find a bike that fits you. There shouldn't be a problem in making the decision on whether or not the bike is the right size for you, but you should also keep in mind that it needs to fit your riding style as well. You don't want make an investment on a bike that isn't going to feel good to ride.
You also want to make sure you leave some room between you and the crossbar of your bike. When selecting a bike make sure you move the wikipedia reference seat up slightly, to around a few inches above the height of the crossbar. Make sure you can place both feet on the ground if need be. Which bike you get will greatly alter the clearance you will require. If you are buying a touring bike, for example, you only need an inch or so of clearance. For mountain bikes you will require somewhere around 3 inches.
How well you fit physically with your bike is what is most important. That is the primary goal of anyone who chooses cycling as their primary form of transportation. Comfort and safety are both very important.