Christmas Bike Shopping – Essential Tips

I think bikes are fabulous christmas gifts – for all ages! The excitement of seeing a bike with a big bow beneath the tree is a special experience. Gifts of bicycles are meaningful, useful and promote personal and environmental health. Whether you’re introducing a child to the sport with a 12″ kids bike, inspiring a commuter with a new ride from the local secondhand store, or facilitating a passion with a new full suspension trail bike, consider gifting a bike this Christmas.

I spent many years working in bike shops during the Holidays. It can be a stressful time, for shoppers and staff. Here’s a few tips to make the purchase of your last-minute Christmas Gifts worry-free:

  • Know WHERE you will be using your bike – on the street? strictly trail? a bit of both? This is very helpful information for the salesperson.
  • Size the bike – Not too big, not too small, but juuuust right. You should feel comfortable (not schrunched) with a relaxed arm position and a slight bend in your leg when the pedal is at the bottom of its rotation. Make sure you have a bit of leeway for seat adjustment.
  • Ask questions – As many as you can think of.
  • Surprise gift? – Not sure about size? Take home a ‘placeholder’ bike that’s the approximate size/type. Then go back the week after to find the perfect fit.
  • Take it for a test ride – a reputable bike shop will be happy to let you take any bike for a spin around the block… assuming that the streets aren’t covered in snow.
  • Don’t forget accessories – Helmets and lights or reflectors are essential to safe cycling.
  • Leave the kiddos at home – If you need to size a bike, stop by, let them sit on a few floor models and then come back later to hash out the details
  • Smile! Bike shopping should be FUN. 🙂

Spread the bike love today!


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