A good bike is essential!
According to Fietsersbond (Dutch-language Cyclists’ Union), 10% of accidents involving bikes are due to a manufacturing fault (fracture of the frame: 33%; brake failure: 24%; malfunction of the chain: 16%).
So it is best to speak to somebody in a specialist bike shop who will be able to best advise you and will also guarantee quality after-sales service.
When you make your purchase also check that your bike’s unique frame number is noted on the invoice. This serial number is essential if you ever have to report a theft to the police.
Treat yourself to some comfort!
For daily use it is essential to kit out your bike with mudguards, lights (battery-powered models avoid having to use a dynamo, but choose rechargeable batteries) and a luggage rack with bungee cords.
Try out the saddle to ensure that it responds to your comfort needs, maybe adding front suspension (or even rear suspension). For riding around town, this addition is only needed for cobbled streets or degraded road surfaces.
When it comes to gears, do not be too greedy! With just seven or nine gears you can manage nearly all Belgium’s roads. Gears integrated into the hub are easier to use and require less maintenance.
You have a free rein when it comes to the choice of accessories and options (see equipment for carrying your shopping and transporting babies and children).
Know your needs
When buying a bike, as for any other purchase, think about your needs.
- Will your journeys be made exclusively in town?
- Do you want to combine cycling and using public transport?
- Do you have somewhere to store your bike?
- Do you want to transport a child or packages?
Quality does not necessarily have to be expensive! But make sure, nevertheless, to buy a quality bike. What to watch out for when buying a used bike?