Shimano XT FH M8010 Rear Hub. Shimano XT M8110 front hub. A new bike offers a few benefits: you know its history, it is generally covered under at least a 1-year warranty against defects of manufacture, and practically every reputable bicycle shop offers a year of free tune-ups with the purchase of a new bicycle. Whether these benefits are worth the increase in price is a decision every cyclist makes for himself. Test the brakes. Before riding an unfamiliar bicycle.
Shimano XT FH Rear M8010 Hub, New bike offers, HB-M756
Guide for new bike offers
A more common route to bicycle ownership is a used bike. Every community offers a variety of outlets for used bikes, from thrift stores to community bike shops to online classified services. Used bikes offer great value, but come with unknowns, such as their previous maintenance history. With most types of bikes, however, a quick visual inspection will reveal if the bike is a lemon.
Examine the frame carefully for any cracks or dings. Though minor scrapes are not a problem, and to some cyclists actually a benefit (someone else has taken care of that emotionally painful first scrape), cracks or major dents in the frame, especially dents or bends that create bulging, should be avoided.
Test the brakes. Before riding an unfamiliar bicycle, give the brakes a quick test by rolling the bike forward and backward while standing next to it and pumping the front and back brakes one at a time; both brakes should bring the bike quickly to a stop.
Take it for a ride. Give the bike a solid test ride—a minimum of twenty minutes, ideally on the terrain you’ll be riding in your daily life, up and down hills if you have a hilly area, over rough streets if you live where the paving isn’t up-to-date. Do the gears shift freely without much noise? A little bit of brake squeak is easy to fix, as is a little shifting trouble. If the bike is very difficult to pedal or otherwise feels clunky, trust your gut and walk away from it.
If you are new to cycling, nothing is more important than to test ride a variety of bikes before making a purchase. Bike salespeople can talk for hours about how different frame materials and geometries feel, but until you actually ride them it remains just an abstract theory. Even if you feel you might purchase a used bike, don’t be afraid to test ride a few new bikes.
Bike shops generally offer the widest selection of bicycles you will find in one place, which will help you make decisions on size, material, and bike type. Also, you might discover the perfect new bike is worth slightly more to you than taking the time to hunt through the numerous used bikes.