If your new year resolution is to get into cycling, you don't need to spend a fortune buying the latest, lightest, bells and whistles bike for getting around.
I bought my first bike - a Kona Dew hybrid - for £250 back in 2010. When we bought it (we actually bought two so we had one each!) we were just "starting out", intending to get out and about on the trails near where we live, we needed something sturdy enough to have a baby seat on it and we had thought about taking part in a few sportives.
Little did I know where it would take me! In the last eight years it has proved that it has been ideal for roads and trails (tyre changes needed), it has taken me for miles through France, on a C2C trip, various sportives, two triathlons and the latest, a 5 day cycling trip in Belgium; I also use it for my job when I'm out recce-ing a route. It's a real workhorse. And while we both now have other bikes for other purposes, this is the bike I always come back to as I absolutely love it - it was a fantastic buy.
Road CC have a great article at the moment on great bikes to buy for under £300 with good reviews as well, however to make sure you are getting what you need, a trip to your local bike shop is vital; not only to get your bum on a few seats to have a ride around but also to ask questions and have a chat to people who know what they are talking about.
When we bought the Kona Dew we spent ages in a well known store, talking to one of the mechanics - I will admit to not understanding much past the lightness of the frame and the colour but as soon as I rode a few bikes I knew exactly what I liked and what I didn't like as well as getting the all important frame size right; so combined with the discussion and the experience, the Kona Dew was THE one.
When you know, you know!
So by all means, have a good look around online but do make the time to get into a bike shop for a demo, essential when you need to get the right size of bike for adult or child. Our event partner Cycle Republic have some great Xmas deals online and in store so pop in for a visit the next time you are in town.
Look out for our next blog post on spending at the 'upper end' of the market, coming up in the next couple of days. And in the meantime, happy shopping!