26, 27.5, or 29?
Tubes or tubeless?
Single or double chain ring?
Women’s specific or unisex?
Fox or Rockshox?
Hard tail or dualie?
A multitude of questions and to start with it can be incredibly overwhelming. When you want to invest in a bike, and not just a bike to rock around town on, but one you want to give back to you when you ride, you should try things out and learn what you can.
I’ve tried the full range of wheel sizes – personally I find the 26er a whip and a total weapon with tight corners and the most amazing fun to flick around corners. My first attempt at a 29er was poorly matched, the frame size was too big and as such the bike felt too out of control for me. Since then, I tried again in Hawaii and I felt like a demon! That beautiful Specialized Epic Comp 29er was fast, was fearless, hopped over logs with ease! It didn’t feel as quick around the corners and took a little more handling, but it was a fun bike! My current bike is a 27.5 and I feel the size works well for me. For what I want to do, some climbing, some technical, some tight corners, I feel the easier handling of the 27.5 size will work best for me. The 29er is quick, and I wouldn’t mind one in the future, but for now, the 27.5 is calling me.
I’m a sucker for tubeless, but I can appreciate the extra speed you’d get from the tube set up – just as I can appreciate the wider tyre for more grip and stability especially in the wet!
I currently have a beautiful hard tail and I feel that for my endurance events, sitting on a bike that has no rear suspension for 6+ hours will leave me feeling a little worse for wear. Dualies are smoother and much more forgiving of the little mistakes, good thing for when I’m starting to feel a little fatigued towards the end of my rides.
It’s easy to end up wanting the next biggest thing, the shiniest bike, the beast that will be the envy of those around me – but what good is that if I can’t ride the thing properly? What use is a high end bike if I don’t have the skills to appreciate those components and those shocks? I want a bike within my means, that will help me to develop my skills and that I will continue to use for a long time because I love to be on it.
As part of the Roxcycl ambassador program, we, the ambassadors, are given $1000 to help us to achieve our goals. For me, I wanted to put that to a new bike, one that would accommodate my butt for 12 hours and not have me writhing in agony! The good people at Roxcycl also have connections with bike stores in Sydney and are doing their best to get me sorted with a bike that does what I need, gives me room to grow, won’t cost an arm and a leg, and leave me with a great relationship with one of the brands! As such, I’m doing my best to educate myself, to get out there and demo a few different kinds of bikes to see what it is that I like and don’t like. It still feels like a difficult decision, but thankfully I have a lot of great advice from people in the know to help me out.
How do you choose your next bike, or any sporting equipment, that is a bit of an investment? What factors are important to consider?