Bike Deals

Bicycles in shopWhether you’re after a a mountain bike for those weekend adventures, a road bike for ease of travel in the city, or a hybrid bike for those that want it all – Black Friday offers plenty of great deals on bicycles, as well as helmets and cycle gear. And, for those amongst you who require something a bit faster that takes a bit less effort, be sure to have a gander at our dedicated page on e-scooters & electric bikes.

See Also: e-Scooters & Electric Bikes | Exercise Bikes & Treadmills

Shops With Bike Offers

Bicycle Buying Guide

Row of bicycles

It is often the case that people say doing something is ‘just like riding a bike,’ such is the extent to which we learn how to ride a bike when we’re younger and then never forget. It is a difficult thing to master initially, but once you’ve got the hang of it there is no holding you back. One of the things we aren’t taught when we’re kids is how to go about the process of deciding which is the right bike for us, which might have been useful considering just how many different types of bike there are out there. That is especially the case nowadays, given modern advancements.

It should go without saying that we’re talking about pedal bicycles here rather than motorbikes, although electric bikes also exist, of course. There is actually a different page on this site about electric bikes, though, so we won’t go into them in much detail here. The reality is that buying a new bike can be a somewhat intimidating experience, especially if you’re not too sure what sort of bike it is that you actually want. Even if you know exactly the kind of bike that you’re planning on getting you might still want to have a read of this page to confirm your thoughts.

Why Do You Want a Bicycle?

Couple riding a bicycle

The first question that you should ask yourself is why, exactly, you want to a buy a bike in the first place. It might seem really obvious, answering something like ‘to get around more easily.’ That is entirely fair, but there are many other more specific reasons why you might decide to get yourself a bike. Knowing what the answer that question is will help you start to narrow down the numerous different options that are out there in the bike buying world. You should ask yourself what it is that you want to do on your bike, because each type of bike serves a specific purpose.

If, for example, you’re hoping to go out for a ride along the seaside with the kids then the sort of bike you’re going to be looking at will be very different from the type you’ll want to get if you’re buying it for your daily commute. If you’re planning on going on rides for hours and hours along the various roads of Great Britain then that will involve looking at an entirely different bike to the one you’ll get if you fancy disappearing off into the hills for an hour or so. Thinking about where you want to go and what you want to do are crucial questions to save yourself time when buying a bike.

It is also worth considering what your long-term plan is. You might well be thinking that in six months time you’d like to be riding for hours, visiting friends and family in a different city to you before riding home, but right now you can’t get much further than the end of your road. It might seem silly to make a big outlay if you’re only going to be going to the local shops in the first few months of owning a bike, but it is cheaper to buy the right bike now than it is to have to buy two bikes once you’ve started to up your fitness and start doing the kinds of things you’ve always dreamed of.

Of course, expensive bikes not only require a large initial spend but they also take a fair amount of maintenance. If you have the skill and the knowledge to do it all yourself then that’s great, but if you don’t then you’ll almost certainly have to pay to get someone else to do it for you. If you’re not keen on such an outlay then a single speed bike might be more what you’re looking for, given the fact that they have fewer moving parts and therefore will need less maintenance over time. Again, though, a single speed bike will only be good for certain types of use.

Thinking About the Extra Spends

Bike helmet

When you’re looking at buying a bicycle, one of the things that you should do is to consider the extra spends that you’ll need to make in addition to the bike itself.


It is really important to buy yourself a decent quality helmet, given the fact that it could well end up saving your life. You need to prioritise it being a safe helmet first and foremost, then ensure it fits properly before you start worrying about what it looks like. You are extremely unlikely to look cool when wearing a helmet, so just embrace your inner nerd and get hold of one that will keep you alive in an accident.

Cycle Clothing

Speaking of not looking cool, depending on how far you’re planning on riding, you would do well to get yourself some decent lycra bib shorts. They are most definitely not cool and not even models can make them look sexy, but when it comes to comfort on the bike they won’t be beaten. Bib shorts are those that have straps that go over your shoulders and are much more comfortable to wear when riding than just normal shorts. Some gloves also wouldn’t go amiss, given the fact that they’ll help to absorb the vibrations when you ride and protect your hands when you fall off.

Water Bottle & Cage

When you’re out on a bike ride, you are likely to lose a good amount of your fluid, so you would do well to get yourself a bottle and the cage that the bottle goes in. Sure, you’re unlikely to be needing bib shorts, gloves and a bottle for water if you’re just riding to the local shop and back, but for any sort of riding that is more vigorous you would be silly not to be prepared. The same is true for glasses, which not everyone will want to wear but most people will change their mind over when a piece of gravel flicks up and hits them in the eye, sending them sprawling.

Repair Toolkit

Whilst you won’t need to be buying a cycling jersey in a hurry unless you’re thinking of entering the Tour de France, it might be on your list once you’ve properly got into your riding. The other thing you’re going to want to consider is a basic repair toolkit. Bikes are things that are put through a lot by the very nature of riding them, so you don’t want to be three miles into a journey, get a puncture and have no way to repair it. These normally aren’t too expensive but can do lots for your overall safety and comfort when you’re out on a ride, so most people will consider them an essential.

All of the above are things that you’re going to want to buy either straight away or pretty much as soon as you’ve started taking riding more seriously. With this in mind, they are things you need to consider with your budget, considering all of them together might end up costing you a hundred pound or more. It is important to have a budget when you set out to buy a bike, so include these things within your budget so as not to be caught short. If you’re considering buying a more expensive bike and forgoing the helmet then we think that would be a mistake, for example.

Choosing the Right Bike Type

Once you’ve spent some time thinking about the reason for buying a bike, the next thing you’ll want to do is to look at the various types of bike that are available and considering which type will best suit your needs. There are a lot of different bike types that you can end up choosing your bike from, so you would do well to ensure that you’re getting the right one. Yes, you could ride in the Tour de France with a BMX if you wanted to, but it would be incredibly difficult and you would finish several days behind everyone else, so picking the bike that is designed for the reason you want is crucial.

Initially, you will want to consider whether you are after a road bike, which is the equivalent of a sports car to use those terms, or a mountain bike, which akin to a 4×4. There are also hybrids, which are like the saloon cars of bikes. Mountain bikes, as you might imagine, have good suspension and big tyres, literally being designed for use in mountain and off-road but not so great when on normal tarmac because they’re so big, bulky and heavy. Road bikes, in comparison, are quick, light and great at going quick on the roads but awful off them.

Hybrids, as the name suggests, are something of a go-between that are designed to do a little bit of both. A hybrid would be fine on the road, but might struggle if you tried to use it in a race. Similarly, it can take on a track in the countryside reasonably well, but ask it to take on a muddy hill and you might find that you’re not quite able to get it to perform as admirably as you might have wanted. Again, it comes back to your earlier thoughts about what it is that you’re looking for from a bike as there would be no point buying a mountain bike if you’re looking to use it for the commute and so on.

Road Bikes

Road bike

Boasting narrow types and stiff frames that tend to be quite light, road bikes are designed to allow you to reach high speeds on roads as quickly as possible. Really, that is their only aim, so everything about the bike’s design is done with that in mind. They usually boast drop handlebars, doe example, allowing you to get into numerous different hand positions depending on how you’re riding. The point of the rigid frame is to more readily allow a power transfer, whilst there are a large number of gears available in order to get moving quickly on flat ground or better cope with hills.

As you might imagine, a road bike is aimed primarily at people who plan to commute or go for long bike rides on the roads, touring around the place. If you are thinking about heading off-road, even briefly, then this isn’t the right bike type for you. Such is the nature of road racing that there are a few different types of road bike that you can look at, depending on how you’re going to use it. Some have lower frames that provide a more aerodynamic racing experience, for example, whilst others boast frames that are more relaxed for longer journeys or riders that wish to go touring.


There is a type of road bike that can be used on trails, even if they aren’t really made for heading up mountains or similar. Cyclocross bikes have knobbly tyres, stronger frames to cope with the fact that they will be used in more off-road circumstances and disk brakes. They are still aimed at speed more than anything else, but they are built to be a touch more rugged than a standard road bike in order to cope with the stresses and strains of more challenging riding areas. They aren’t a hybrid, but instead are road bikes designed to take on a little bit more terrain.

Time Trial Bikes

If you are thinking about entering a competition that will see your performances timed, time trial bikes, sometimes referred to as TT bikes, are what you’ll be wanting to look out for. They are designed specifically for such timed events, with aero bars attached to the front so as to allow the rider to get into the most aerodynamic position that they can. That will allow you to hit the fastest speed possible, with everything else about the bike also aimed at speed. There are many different marginal gains that you can use to get faster, with time trial bikes looking to incorporate them all.

Gravel Bikes

A gravel bike is something of a cross between a road bike and a cyclocross. They are designed to try to hit those quick speeds, but are at their best on surfaces that you’re more likely to find in countries or areas that don’t have tarmac. They sit slightly taller at their front than road bikes do, which allows for extra comfort. They also have wider gear ratios than standard road bikes, with the aim being to assist with the off-road nature of riding on roads that are made of materials like gravel. They are what you’ll want if you’re riding on roads but ones that aren’t tarmac.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bike

If the name suggests anything, it is surely that these bikes are aimed at people looking to get off the road and up into the hills and mountains. They are likely to have suspension both front and back, which is known as full suspension, but some can have just front suspension, which are called hardtail bikes. Their tyres tend to be wider and much more knobbly to cope with the difficult terrain that they’re asked to take on, whilst the handlebars tend to be flat. They are heavier than road bikes on account of the suspension and in order to ensure that they’re durable enough to cope with life off the beaten track.

Mountain bikes often have disc breaks, which are more commonly seen on motorbikes, largely because they’re better at stopping when the terrain is muddy or a bit nasty. They will boast lower gears than road bikes because they’ll need to cope with steep inclines. If you’re doing most of your cycling on the road then you’ll want to avoid mountain bikes because they’ll just slow you down. Also, don’t fall for the idea of the suspension offering more comfort as it is really designed simply to absorb the bumps and lumps that you’ll end up going over when you’re riding off-road.

If you are going to spend most of your time riding off-road but will be taking on a road ride every now and again, you can look at a mountain bike with lockable suspension. These might be the sort of bikes that offer something of a compromise in terms of your riding experience, especially if your time on the road is only likely to be occasional. They are still predominantly mountain bikes, so you certainly don’t want to get one if you’re riding on the road mostly with occasional off-road plans, but if it’s the other way around then they might be just the ticket.

Downhill Bikes

Based on the general design and idea of a mountain bike, downhill bikes are those that are aimed at being able to take on downhill racing. You still need them to be rugged and solid, which is why the mountain bike nature of them is so important, but they are set up in such a way that they’re at their best when being raced downhill. You will get all of the benefits of a normal mountain bike, but just with some tweaks to mean that you can take on downhill races without needing to make too many adjustments to how they ride or the way you use them.

Jump Bikes

The fact that BMX racing was introduced to the Olympics means that their popularity is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. BMX is a short version of ‘bicycle motocross,’ which gives you some idea of the sort of bikes they are. Jump bikes are a type of bike that fits somewhere between the BMX and a mountain bike, with the idea being that they are, as the name suggests, for jumping and other tricks. If you’re hoping to be able to spin the bike underneath you whilst you jump over an obstacle, jump bikes are the type that you’re going to want to be looking at.

Fat Bikes

If you think of off-road riding, you might well imagine mud, grass and hills. Whilst that is likely to be the case in most cases around the UK, you might sometimes fancy a ride when it has snowed quite heavily or even decide to take on the nearest beach. That is where fat bikes come in, offering you wide tyres so as to be able to cope with rougher surfaces and those that are more likely to be difficult to cycle over with slimmer tyres. Again, everything else about them is as you’d expect for a mountain bike, with the main thing being the tyres and the setup to accommodate them.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bike

Hybrid bikes, as the name suggests, offer something of a compromise between road bikes and mountain bikes. In actuality, they are built on something of a spectrum, with some leaning more towards the look and feel of mountain bikes and others being more akin to road bikes. They tend to take elements of each bike type in order to provide the best compromise, with the tyres normally thinner and slicker as you’d find on road bikes but the higher gears that you’d get on a mountain bike in order to allow you to achieve faster speeds as quickly as possible.

These are the sort of bikes that you’d want to look at if you’re mainly planning to do a bit of commuting through the city but also want to be able to take on a mix of terrain. They are the best ‘do it all’ bikes, being just as capable of getting you to work as they are of being used with the family. Do remember, though, that hybrid bikes are something of a jack of all trades, master of none. If you’re going to be taking on competitive rides then these won’t do, nor will they be what you want if you’re looking to ride off-road in seriously tricky conditions. For a little bit of everything, however, they’re great.