Lets get this out of the way right at the start, the best bike for you is the one that fits. Never has there been a truer cycling mantra but things just aren't that simple. Thankfully its possible to make enough adjustments that this doesn't just limit you to one bike (with caveats obviously, nobody likes the look of a spacer tower or a saddle slammed all the way forwards because the reach is too long). Bikefitting is not our thing (at least not on a professional level) and we'd encourage you to spend some time with an experienced fitter to get a good idea of the size you need.
Whatever the reason for getting a new bike its a pretty exciting day. Whether its a nice new winter trainer with hydraulic discs and big tyres, an all singing all dancing summer bike that's itching to be taken on trip to the continent or it's your very first road bike, there is sure to be a smile on your face.
It can be, and we'd argue should be, the end of a good amount of research to make sure that smile stays put for months, and maybe even years, to come. The manufacturers don't make it easy. Small variations in prices don't help and then there is Shimano vs Sram vs Campagnolo debate (we have no dog in this fight, they all work with their own nucances). In recent years there has been a proliferation of own brand finishing kit, some of which is actually pretty good and plenty that is simply an exercise in cost cutting.
As with most industries there is a constant stream of "improvements" and cycling is no different. Integration is the latest buzz word in the cycling world right now but as a consumer this raises it's own problems. Sure the bikes look great and are no doubt fast but what are the compromises to such a purchase, because you can be sure there are some. On top of that the "arms race" of having the best bike that still has unique features means new models are constantly being released. Nobody wants to be that person who has just bought a new toy for it to be replaced with a "better" model a few weeks later.
This is perhaps the most complex part of what we do. With so many parts to look at, designs to consider and functionality to pick a part, a discerning and experienced mind is defintiely required. Thankfully our love for bikes means its less of a chore and more of a pleasure. There will be compromises along the way (unless you have a fairly unlimited budget) but Bike Authority is here to rationalise their value and ultimately help you understand the ins and outs of your purchase.