Buying a bicycle in India is tough. There are many brands, and they come with various price tags. Not to mention, we also have different geographical features in almost every state.
Thus, I have come up with this bicycle buying guide for India, this will also work as the go-to go guide for the how to buy a bicycle for adults!
Buying a bicycle is not easy. There are many factors that need to be considered on how to buy a bicycle for adults or beginners. In spite of numerous opinions and suggestions from people, you are likely to make a mistake. Even if you get advice from cycling Facebook groups, cycling friends and shopkeepers, mistakes happen.
For example, when I was in the market for buying my first bicycle about four years ago, I did all the research but still made some errors in judgement which left me with regrets later on!
Which cycle is best for adults?
I would generally recommend buying a single speed cycle if you have never cycled before! But for more details, please follow the guide below.
11 step bicycle buying guide India
How do I choose a bike cycle!
Usages of the bicycle:
Depending on your usages, your bicycles choices will change a lot. For example, if you are buying a cycle for rides then you will surely not choose a pro level mountain bikes.
For daily rides to market, school, college you are better with electric bicycles, or city cycles. Basic Hercules cycles will do just fine for these paved roads.
For bumpy roads and to travel further you might need geared road biles which are lighter and costlier. A good quality hybrid bike would do as well.
And for of roads or for mountains, you will need the mountain bikes. These mountain bikes are most durable and very much built for the rough terrains. They also come with disc brakes, gears.
The terrain on which you will be using your cycle is an important factor to consider. For example, a hybrid bicycle or mountain bike would not do well if you live in the city and have to use it for short distances only.
Are there steep hills or other extreme mountainous terrain on your commute? If so, you’ll want a bicycle with gears. Gears will help with going over the uneven mountain roads.
If you live in a semi urban or in a city then you might do better with a no gear city bicycle. These are very easy to manage with almost zero maintenance and also easy on pocket.
Are you constantly on smaller cobblestone roads that are hard to ride on? You may want a bike with front suspension if necessary. For tough Indian roads, I will like you to buy bicycles with disc brakes if your budget permits.
Check all types of Exercise Cycle buying options and Reviews
Budget of the bicycle:
The average cost for a quality bicycle is around 3500 to 8000. It can be less if you buy one from an independent bike shop or online, but it will not have as many features and other parts might be lower in quality.
Especially the road bicycles near the low budget are very basic cycles without any suspensions, gears, adjustable seat etc.
But if you are buying a HERO cycles or Hercules then it will be a workhorse for years to come.
But these road bikes are not suitable for unpaved roads and also not comfortable for long journeys.
The types of bicycles you will get near 8K INR or above are hybrid cycle which are suitable for both paved and unpaved roads. Also, if comes with gears, then those are good for some hilly or mountain areas also.
Also, the higher your budget goes, you will be able to buy light weight cycles also.
And with lots of money to spend like around 15k or more you enter the realm of being a cycling enthusiast. Firefox bikes are very popular among them.
This category of bikes is hybrid MTB which can be used for road cycling. Can be used as commuter bikes and even can be used as fitness bikes.
If you are looking at cheaper bicycles then make sure that they include all essential components, such as pedals, saddle, wheel set, handlebars etc., before purchase!
Many times seller only sell the city bikes without any other accessories, and you have to buy them separately. Ultimately, you will spend more money.
Do not compromise on the safety of your children by buying them a low quality bike because it looks cool! A decent looking bike which have disc brakes and some suspension is more preferable to me.
Features of a High budget High-end cycle that you can not ignore?
- Comfort – Better seat, hand grips and padels which are great for long cycle rides.
- Quality Brakes: Although disc brakes by default don’t mean better braking. A lot of expensive bikes don’t use disc brakes (mainly to save weight) but perform at par with discs. But disc brakes are quicker and safer.
- Tyres: I really like fat bikes with their large wheel size, but these are not appropriate types of bike for every situation. Ideally, better tires mean better stability and safety for the cycle rider.
- Weight: Better frame material like carbon fibre and aluminium makes the cycle lightweight, which is great since you will need less energy to push the cycle around.
- Other components: With higher budget you are more likely to get Shinano gears, good seat, carbon/almunium light weight body.
Type of bike:
Mostly there are three type of bicycle that you can choose from.
The hybrid bikes are both mountain and road bicycle types. These bikes typically feature a padded, more comfortable saddle and straight handlebars – like you would find on a mountain bike.
But they also have slightly thinner tyres/thinner wheels than the typical MTB. There are crossovers of mountain bikes and road bikes. These cycles try to capture best of both worlds, MTBs and Road Cycles.
These bikes have padding for the saddle and straight handlebars like the MTBs but have slightly thinner tires.
Perhaps these cycles are better for hilly areas, what do you think?
Road bikes/City bikes/City bicycles:
These kinds of bikes are generally the most simple and best for paved roads and general city streets. The frame sizes are suitable for small people and also for taller people. And the overall buil of these cycles should fit any riding styles.
These bicycle types are the easiest to maintain and use roughly in a city or semi urban areas.
And being at the bottom of the price range, these bicycle types are the most popular ones in India. And most often your first cycle will be something like these city bikes as well.
Although called bikes, these are cycles which are most durable and suited for rough terrains. These are not good for city rides. Usually these bikes are known for their durability and fat tires.
Mountain bikes are built to handle rugged terrain, making them the perfect bike for exploring off-road mountains and trails. These bicycles usually have a flat handlebar and some form of suspension or even full suspension built into one or both wheels in order to relieve bumps caused by rough ground.
Many also like these bikes for their wide range of design which is sporty and also like them for their drop handlebars.
And these type of mountain bikes are never a single speed bicycle since without gears you will not be able to go over rocks.
Also, most of them come with alloy wheels and very durable bicycle frame usually carbon frames.
Bike Size Charts:
- 4’11” – 5’3″ = 13 – 15 inches
- 5’3″ – 5’7″ = 15 – 16 inches
- 5’7″ – 5’11” = 16 – 17 inches
- 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 17 – 19 inches
- 6’2″ – 6’4″ = 19 – 21 inches
- 6’4″ and taller = 21+ inches
This is the most commons bike size charts, but also take note of the cycle frame size while buying.
Also, it will be best if you buy a cycle that has seat height adjustment feature.
When considering which type of bicycle for adults to purchase, one decision is easy. There is no need for disc brakes on a single speed bicycle unless you plan on doing long rides outside the city!
They will be an unnecessary addition for those who stay in town, as it will slow them down and keep them from catching up with everyone else at traffic lights.
Also, bikes with disc brakes require more maintenance and attention than V-brakes. Be sure not to fall prey to this marketing ploy of newbie cyclists by buying a bike such as this instead!
But having disc brakes on a hybrid bike on front wheel and on rear wheel to help when you need to stop suddenly. For hybrid cycle that come with gears are a must-have, so are the suspensions.
These type of bike will have a price tag around 10k INR at least.
For bumpy city roads or for off-road adventures, you will need front suspensions and a strong bicycle frame. A front suspension will help you gain more control over your hybrid cycle. Touring bikes as well as many cycles used for daily commute now provide suspensions. This makes the cycle ride very enjoyable.
When I was a teen, I used to think gear cycles would move much faster. But later realized I being the engine what drives the cycle unlike the electric bikes. Thus, a gear system will help, but it will not make you superfast either.
And you will not need gears fir city bike too. Since gears are best to overcome bumpy roads and hills with less force. But again, having gears on your city bike does not hurt either.
If you are into gears then you should get at minimum 7-speed gear set by Shimano.
While lower end hybrid cycles and single speed bicycles offer heavy weight steel made frames. There are high-end hybrid cycles that comes with lightweight aluminium frames. And if you really have deep pockets or want to get into professional cycling then you can find cycle frames made with carbon fibre also.
For a decent looking bike or just a city cycles you are good to go with low end cycle frame. For causal rides, you should not be spending much anyway. But if you are looking to a touring bike/cycle then you might want to consider lightweight frames.
Although most of the city ccyles/ single speed bicycles and even fat bikes can be repaired in local cycle or bike shop but still you should look for a sold warranty. Usually companies like Geekay, Hero will provide you around 6 months to 1 year of warranty.
Like repairing, accruing spare parts of city cycle are easy. But if you have firefox bikes or other high budget MTB then you might face some issues with spar parts. And in most cases you have to wait for a long time to get another.
If you are just into doing casual city rides then get the city cycles under 4k.
If you need gears then your budget should be under 7 to 10 k INR. Note: repairing and maintenance cost of single speed bicycle is much lower than geared cycles.
If you live in a hill/mountain area then you have to by mountain bikes with lightweight body and gears. You also must have disc brakes.
Ref: Cycling benefits research paper (Boring)