What you should know when buying your first bicycle

Ever watched television or Youtube and thought to yourself, ‘hey I should take up riding, it could be fun,’ but then realised you don’t know where to start?

Well Gert Janse van Rensburg, a local bicycle shop owner, gave us some pointers and advice regarding buying your first bike.

“What I always ask is what price of bike are you looking for, and then I advise you on the better option,” Gert says.

He pointed out that the type of manufacturer warranty on your frame and the lifetime of the bike itself are good places to start.

“Height is a big factor in picking out the right frame and bike, your height plays a role in choosing the right sized frame, for instance if the top tube that runs between the seat and handlebars is to long it can cause you a lot of discomfort,” he says.

Frame size in inches is the main deciding factor.
Next thing to look at would be your wheel size.

“A 29’er is most commonly sold in South Africa and is a great all round size for endurance and casual riding. You do get the 27.5 inch which is more suited for tighter cornering and short distance riding but it isn’t common,” he says.

Your seat also plays a role in your comfort on the bike.

“A nice pair of bibs makes a huge difference on comfort, you need time in the saddle so to speak to get comfortable on your seat. And with a decent bib your bottom doesn’t feel brunt of the ride as harshly.”


Gert Janse van Rensburg working on one of the bicycles at GG Cycles while explaining a few things about making the decision to buy your first bike.

Gert also added that your type of bike plays a role and if you are a beginner looking to start out whether it be professionally or just casually, you should get a beginner bike.

“Speak to the guy you are buying from and tell him what you are looking for, if he knows his stuff he will be able to suggest the best buy for you. Also be sure to mention any medical conditions or bone aches, he can then recommend a bike that will be more suited to your ride, especially when it comes to mountain biking as it does put more strain on the body,” he said.

He added that as tempting as it might buy, don’t buy cheap, invest in a bike that you will enjoy more.

“Your ability to ride is decided firstly by the bike, then by you, and buying the wrong bike will not give you the satisfaction you expect from a ride. Also buy for what you plan on doing whether it be casual riding, races, enduro or going pro,” he said.

Another piece of advise Gert gave was start off with clip-ins, they will help you save energy when riding giving you a better riding experience, and put less strain on the body.

“Cycling is not just a sport, it’s a social sport and you will enjoy it more riding with friends new or old. When you start out go do a race, its not about the race its more about connecting with other like minded cyclists out there and enjoy the ride together,” he said.

  AUTHOR
Trevor Aingworth
JOURNALIST/PHOTOGRAPHER

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