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Choosing the Perfect Bike

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A new bike makes a great Christmas present, especially as cycling has become one of the nation’s favourite hobbies. The London 2012 Olympics kick-started the cycling craze, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. According to the Sport England Active People survey, more than 100,000 extra cyclists are now riding bikes at least once a week compared to before the London Olympics. The trend isn’t just being driven by adults – children are getting in on the act too. Having a bike gives children extra independence as well as a way to blow off steam. Treating a child to a new bike may even mean you’re encouraging the next Bradley Wiggins!
So, if your Christmas shopping list has a bike as one of the main items, where do you start? And who can offer helpful advice?

Making the selection

When it comes to buying a bike, there is plenty of choice out there. Whittling down the options can be tricky, but by drawing up a set of criteria you can create a shortlist. First, what type of cycling will the owner be doing? Will they be cycling to work or school, or will they be going off-road or practising tricks in the BMX park? Once you know the answer, you can pick a suitable bike style.
You can then think about what size the bike needs to be – it’s important to choose the right size for the cyclist’s height so that they are comfortable. Our team can advise you, or you can take a look at our online guide .
You also need to think about whether the bike will need to carry things. If the owner will be using it to commute, a basket or rear carrier could be a handy extra.
Lastly, how will the bike be stored? If you are feeling generous and are eyeing up bikes at the top end of the market, you may need to think twice if the owner will be keeping the bike chained up outside all night.
Having these criteria can make buying a bike much easier, but if you still need pointing in the right direction or have any questions, our friendly team will be able to help. We can explain the technicalities and give you more information on our exclusive BiKE range too. If you can’t come in-store, check out the information on our blog post .

Ready to ride

When the perfect bike has been found, you need to make sure it’s ready for action. Setting up a bike can be a hassle, particularly during the busy days before Christmas, but sorting it out on Christmas Day when you have an excited new bike-owner in the room can make it even harder.
The easy answer is to give the job to someone else! We have a team of technicians who can set the bike up ready to ride on Christmas Day, so all you have to do is try to wrap it up.

All the accessories

Safety while cycling is paramount. Equipment such as helmets are essential, even if the cyclist is only going to whizz around the park. Bumps and bruises are to be expected, and wearing a helmet now will get children into good habits for the future. You can pick plenty of colourful and fun designs that will encourage young cyclists to buckle up.
Dark winter days and nights mean that lights are a must. It’s a legal requirement in the UK to have lights on when it’s dark and it will make a cyclist far more visible. Front and rear lights, preferably ones that emit a steady light, will make any cyclist stand out.
Visibility is also boosted by high-vis clothing. You can take your pick from jackets, bag covers and waistcoats – have a look at the full range of clothing on our website.
You may also want to think about security. The owner of the new bike is bound to want to get out and about straight away, so it’s best to have a secure lock at the ready.
There are plenty of other accessories to choose from, some of which make great stocking fillers. Choose from bike bags, mud guards, puncture repair kits or even bells, horns, iPod or phone mounts or mini computers. If you need  even more festive ideas, come and visit us in store. Find your nearest branch here.

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