0612 How to Buy a Bike
Image: Kyle Johnson

Photographed at Emerald City Bicycles

Frame
“The frame is the most important part; that’s the most permanent thing about the bike. Almost everything else you can change. You’re looking for a frame where you like your seating position and it’s comfortable to ride.”
 — Neil Wechsler, Owner of Montlake Bicycle Shop, Montlake, montlakebike.com

Gearing
“It’s not so much the brand or the model as much as the range of the gears, particularly the variation in the low gear. It’s pretty expensive to change it.” 
— Wechsler

Brakes
“Disc brakes work better in the wet, especially for commuting. They also keep your wheels lasting longer because the brakes don’t drag on the rim and wear them out.” — Christiaan Bourdrez, Owner of Ride Bicycles, Ravenna, ridebicycles.com

Saddle
“It’s one of the last things you look at, rather than the first. In current times all seats fit [all bikes]. It takes a little longer to evaluate; a seat may be comfortable for a few miles, then bad at 10 miles.” — Wechsler


Handlebars
“Pay particular attention to the reach to the handlebars. The reach should be comfortable and natural.” — Andrew Hunziker, Sales Manager at Gregg’s Cycles, Greenlake, greggscycles.com

Tires
“Good puncture-resistant tires made of quality rubber provide better grip and keep you from getting flats from potholes and road debris.” — Bourdrez