Now that you've decided to get onto a bicycle, you'll need to know how to pick a bike that works for you.
The most important thing when choosing a bicycle is considering what you really need it to do. Are you actually going to head out to the mountains to ride single track? Do you truly need a sub-eight kilogram wonder machine? The answer to these questions is yes for some, but no for the vast majority of people.
If you want a bike for riding in the park, navigating around town, getting to school, picking up groceries or simply for weekend exercise, you don't need suspension or carbon parts on your bike. In fact, an older used bicycle with mid-range parts is probably a far better, and cheaper, choice than a new bike of the same price range. On that note, here's a few factors, in order, to consider when searching for your perfect set of wheels.
1. Fit: It should be comfortable and safe.
2. Utility: What are you really planning to do. Be careful, it's easy to get carried away.
3. Quality: Older bikes tend to be both cheaper and higher quality than new ones-- but less shiny.