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Bike Shopping Basics

There is no need to be intimidated when shopping for a new bike. Sure, the choices are enough to leave your head spinning. But if you follow a few basic steps, bike shopping can be almost as fun as that first Saturday morning ride.

1. Decide how much you want to spend on your new bike. Always figure $100 into your budget for a helmet and accessories.

2. Decide what type of riding you'll be doing and on which surfaces.

3. Study the various categories and brands of bicycles. Check out magazines and websites and talk to friends or co-workers who are cycling enthusiasts.

4. Visit a few stores. Look for salespeople who'll spend some time answering your questions and making suggestions.

5. Choose a frame and components that you think will fit your needs.

6. Ask to be measured for proper bike size. Fit is extremely important.

7. Take a test ride.

8. Develop a relationship with the shop. Get to know the service staff that'll be helping you when you return for tune-ups and repairs.