Buy a Bike
so, you've decided to buy a bike, but aren’t sure where to start?
First, make sure to talk to people! Whether in person or online, it’s good to learn from other cyclists who have experience. This will help you narrow down what you’re looking for in a bike and what to keep in mind when shopping. You can get familiar with most of the basic bicycle types here and here. Your nearby bike shop can also help you choose the bicycle(s) that is right for you.
Second, determine what you’ll pay. Come prepared with a budget range and an idea of what you’ll be using your new bike for. Bikes can range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Keeping a budget in mind will help you (and the bike shop) focus on the models that are right for you. To get more for your money, consider shopping for a bike right as winter is turning into spring. Bike shops will hold sales to clear out the last year’s inventory! And you could even try Winter Biking!
Third, make sure to test drive! Test driving a bike will not only give you a feel for the different features between bikes, but also it will help you find the right size bike.
Finally, find a bike shop you feel comfortable in. The Twin Cities are home to a huge variety of independent bike shops, each staffed by folks who love biking. A good relationship with the bike shop of your choice will pay off in the long run, as you’ll be able to return to them for repairs, advice, or even future purchases.
Here's a great article on How to Buy A Bike in the Twin Cities.
Like to Recycle? Check Minnesota ReUse Center for great deals on impounded/abandoned bikes
Rent a Bike
don’t want to own a bike?
No problem! It's easy to get riding without owning.
Nice Ride, the Twin CIties’ public bike-sharing service, allows riders to check out a bike from one location and return it to any other. Nice Ride has 1,700 bikes available and over 190 locations and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, April to November. Rental costs are based on the time it takes you to complete your trip and membership rates are available.
If you’re interested in a rental that lasts longer than getting your from Point A to Point B, check out the long-term bike rental programs available in the Twin Cities.
Earn a Bike
want a bike of your own that won’t break the bank?
New cyclists may want to check out programs which allow them to earn their new bicycle.
The Bike Grant Program through Cycles For Change accepts applicants of all ages who are interested in active lifestyles and community leadership. Participants are simply required to attend two orientation sessions and three Community Involvement Activities which focus on leadership skills and bicycle ownership. The Bike Grant Program loans refurbished bicycles, locks, lights and helmets. If child cyclists want to get involved, don’t worry - there are bike earning programs for them too!
Or check out the Loppet Foundation which rewards middle school athletes who demonstrate exceptional effort and attendance in the Loppet Junior Teams Earn A Bike Program.