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Cycle off with savings

Second only to walking as an environmentally friendly transportation choice, cycling provides a great workout and save you a lot of money on gas if you can bike to work. Bicycles come in all styles and price ranges. If you're on a budget, here are some tips for getting a great deal: 
Know what you want Before looking at all the shiny models at the nearest bike shop consider how you'll use your bike. If you just want a cheaper commute or the occasional leisure ride around town, your needs will be different from someone who intends to do some serious trail or mountain riding. Your bicycle choice boils down to three main types: 
A road bike perfect for city-riding Built with a lighter frame and thinner tires, this type of bicycle is designed to travel on smooth, paved surfaces. It doesn't have a shock-absorbing suspension, so it's not suitable for trails. This type of bike has low-set handlebars, so you'll ride in a bent-over position. 
A hybrid bicycle is also designed for riding on paved roads, but its handlebars are set higher so you can sit upright while riding. This type of bike may be more comfortable if you have a bad back or just want to cruise the neighborhood now and then; 
A mountain bike is built for rugged, off-road riding. It has a heavier, sturdier frame on a suspension system that absorbs some of the shock from rough terrain. This type of bicycle will have larger tires with deep treads to give you plenty of traction for hills and soft ground. 
Buy used Perhaps the best way to save money on a bicycle is to buy one used. Your local newspaper, Craigslist and eBay are all good places to search. You might get lucky at a garage sale or pawnshop. If you decide to buy a used bike, you'll need to know what to look for to make sure you're getting a good deal.  Make sure the frame is solid without any major dents, that the handlebars have grips or bar plugs (without the hollow handlebar end showing), and that the brakes aren't worn or dried out. 
The bike shop Your local bike shop may also have some great new bikes at reasonable prices. Another benefit of buying from a bike shop is that you'll be able to take advantage of the shop's expertise. Finding a good shop with expertise can be as simple as asking friends or family members who are bike enthusiasts who may be able to direct you to a good shop. Look for a store with knowledgeable staff who can help you make a good decision.
Cycling can be a great hobby or vehicle replacement for your daily commute. A little research now can help you find the perfect bicycle for you - at a price you can afford. 
About the Author: Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer whose work covers topics of interest to both consumers and small business owners, including billfloat.


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