How to buy a bike

What you need to know when shopping for that new set of wheels
 
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07.Commuter cyclist tips

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Insurance

If you cycle regularly it might be worth considering insurance. Most state cycling bodies will provide personal injury, public liability insurance and income protection in case of an accident with membership to the organisation.

This generally won’t cover your bike though, so if it’s of some monetary value you can choose to insure it separately through companies like Bikesure, Cyclecover and Velosure, which provide bike insurance in case of theft or an accident. Please note that CHOICE has not reviewed any of these companies.  

Maintenance

Depending on how much you ride, you should get a bike service every six to 12 months. This will usually cost around $50-$80 plus parts.  

Cleaning your chain regularly will reduce wear and tear, and ultimately repair costs. It’s worth signing up to a bicycle maintenance course to learn the basics. 

Finding the best route

If you’ve made the decision to start riding to work, or even part of the way, it pays to plan your route. The most direct route isn’t necessarily the safest or the quickest. Consider hills - it’s often easier to ride further for a flatter ride. While main roads can be the most direct, unless they have bike paths, backstreets can make for a safer and more pleasant journey. 

There are various route planners available that can help with the task of choosing safer routes and bike paths. Two we’ve tried are:
  • Ride the City is available as an app, which helps when you’re out and about.
  • Google Maps offers bike directions (currently in beta) on its web-based application. However, the bike function isn’t available in the app version of Google Maps.
 

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