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A Beginner's Guide To Cycling: Where To Buy Your First Bike

A Beginner's Guide To Cycling: Where To Buy Your First Bike
Image by @markusspiske / Unsplash

We all probably know at least one friend who shares his or her cycling journey on social media. You might have seen your peers’ Instagram story showing off their cool rides. Amid the pandemic, cycling has become a favored option for getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors, which is a scarce privilege these days. Have you always wanted to try cycling but didn’t know where to start? Have no idea what type of bike to get? Here’s a crash course for you.

It can be really overwhelming to think about how or where to begin, especially because there are so many types of bicycles out there. According to this article, there are at least 11 types of bikes. The bike chart below illustrates even more.


There are a few things that you have to consider when picking out your new baby, but the main ones are these: the riding experience that you want, and how much you’re willing to spend on a bike.

Cycling is not at all easy and cheap, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. Good quality entry level bikes can range from Php 5,000 to Php 15,000, while high-end bikes can cost up to Php 150,000. Trying out this leisure activity would really require investing money in it, because at the end of the day your safety should be your number one priority. Settling for cheap bikes and parts can be very risky, so make sure to only buy from trusted brands and shops.

Riders’ recommendations

Anton, 66, started biking back in the ‘90s and is currently using a 30-year-old vintage Avenir Diamond Back Sorrento mountain bike. He tells OneLife.ph, “Try bargaining for Shimano parts especially the shifters, brakes, front and rear derailleurs, bottom bracket, and hubs.” He recommends Shimano because they make the most trusted bike parts.

For the bike type, “There is a wide range of bikes in the market. The most popular type is mountain bike, then road bike, then BMX, then gravel bikes, then touring bikes, then cyclocross bikes… and the list could go on and on. You need to set your mind on what type of bike you want to ride on before going to the bike shop,” he says.

Gian, 22, was introduced to biking back in 2017. His first bike was a hand-me-down road bike from his older brother. He is currently using a 1990 Marin Muirwoods commuter bike, which he chose because of its versatility, since he can use it for both errands and long-distance rides.

“Get a bike na suitable du’n sa riding experience na gusto mo. If gusto mo mag-trails or bike packing, consider getting a mountain bike. Or if you want to go road cycling, consider getting a road bike. And if gusto mo ng versatile bike for road and trails, consider getting a gravel bike,” says Gian.

Nicco, 24, started training for a Triathlon in 2015. He is currently using a Ridley Fenix 2005 road bike for his training. “Bikes for newbies? I guess a folding bike or a mountain bike is a good start. It's not too aggressive and upgrades are easier,” he recommends.

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Why should you start cycling?

According to Cycling Weekly, cycling does not only benefit you physically; it can also be good for your mental health. “It promotes weight loss, strengthens your immune system, and improves your mental well-being.”

Pao, 26, started biking in November 2020 as an “ECQ Biker.” He is currently using a Cannondale Synapse 2019 SE version Carbon Road Bike. He says that cycling has been life-changing for him and has served as his healthy escape from home.

Tosh, 27, learned how to ride a bike when she was just 5 years old. She is currently using a customized mountain bike that she built herself, making sure it fit her perfectly. She shares with OneLife.ph how biking has helped her relax and explore.

“[You] can see different sceneries other than your room and house -- we all need to get some fresh air and sunlight. [It] also saves a lot of money because you don’t have to book transport apps or pay for gas. You can also score big discounts on restaurants when you choose the pickup option. [It serves as] cardio exercise, helps you lose weight by burning some calories, also helps you stretch your legs after a long day of sitting from the current WFH setup. It’s a great way to divert your stress and frustrations from this pandemic,” she says.

Just like Nicco, you can also use your bike as your main mode of transportation to save money and even help the environment.

Where to buy bicycles, parts, and accessories

Although everything can be found online now, Anton still recommends going to physical stores if you can so you can get a better feel of the bike that you want to purchase. Just make sure to still observe safety protocols!

Physical stores around the Metro

Cristy’s Bike Shop

This is one of the most popular bike shops amongst bikers. They are located at Seacrest Commercial Building, Gil Puyat Avenue, San Rafael District, Pasay City.

TryOn

TryOnis located at 477 J.P. Rizal Avenue, Olympia, Makati.

Bisikleta Manila

Bisikleta Manila is located at 560 Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila.

Ryanbikes

If you’re looking for branded Taiwan bikes, you can check out Ryanbikes. They have branches in Kamuning, Katipunan, and Valenzuela.

Built Cycles

Built Cycles is also popular among young cyclists. They have two branches which are located at 8485 Kalayan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati, and at 74 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

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Physical stores in the South

Bike Kings Laguna

If you’re from the South, Bike Kings Laguna is not only extremely popular, it is also highly recommended by different bikers. They are located along the National Highway, Barangay Anos, Los Baños, Laguna.

Bike Bike Bike

Bike Bike Bike has a few branches around Luzon, but their main branch is located at #4 Ramirez Ave, San Pedro, Laguna.

Physical stores in the North

Bikezilla

Bikezilla opened their Pampanga branch last year. They are located at Cluster J Unit 3 GF, Shoppes at the Infinity Purok 4, FG Nepomuceno Avenue, Brgy. Pulung Maragul, Angeles City, Pampanga.

Cycles & Brew

Cycles & Brew is the favorite hangout spot of bikers from the North. They are located at Clark, Pampanga. They don’t only offer bikes; they serve beer and coffee too!

Other shops that were recommended by some bikers are BNF Bicycle Center,

Endless Bike Shop, Bike Parts PH, Paulina's, Sabak, Epic Cycles, Eastern Cycles and Missing Link. You can also go around Cartimar Bike Center or Quiapo for more options!

Online bike shops

Since we’re in a middle of a pandemic, Tosh opts to buy parts and accessories online. She recommends a few shops on Shopee/Lazada.

Some of her trusted shops are:

  • Rockbros (Shopee & Lazada)
  • On The Trail PH (Shopee)
  • Timgo PH (Shopee)
  • Quadlock

Pao and Gian, on the other hand, were able to build their bikes by sourcing from the Facebook Marketplace. There are a lot of choices on this platform, as long as you make sure that you’re buying from a legit and trusted seller.

Apps that can help you out on your bike trip

There’s BikeMap and Google Maps, but Strava is every cyclist’s recommended app. It can help you track and record your ride, even without Internet. You can set goals and targets with the data that it stores. You can even share and do challenges with your friends. Download Strava on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Safety precautions to take when cycling during a pandemic

  1. ALWAYS wear a helmet. No exceptions.
  2. Wear your mask! It may be hard to breathe through it, but it’s for your own safety.
  3. Educate yourself on road signals for cyclists.
  4. Study the route you’re taking. Try to practice around subdivisions/villages/parks first where roads are not busy.
  5. Follow traffic laws. Bikes are not exempted from the rules of the road.
  6. Follow safety protocols.
  7. Bring your water bottle! You need to stay hydrated.
  8. Drink vitamins. Prioritize your health.
  9. Stay away from crowds as much as possible.
  10. Be alert at all times.

Now it’s time for you to put the pedal to the metal and purchase your new ride. See you on the road!

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