With gas prices on the rise and everyone wanting to get in shape and lose weight, bicycling has seen a rise in popularity. With that, I’ve been getting more questions relating to “buying my first bicycle.”

Here are a couple questions relating to getting a woman’s bicycle…

I’m 5’4 height & want to buy a new bike. I don’t know much about bike – so I’m asking what is a good starter bike, what size 16″, 17″, 19″, etc.. also, I’m looking for a cheaper bike $200-$400 range. Any advice appreciated, thanks. Woman’s mountain bike

What type of cycle would you recommend for an out of shape, overweight woman who wants to cycle a few blocks during her lunch break to at least begin (slowly) to do some type of exercise?

Hi gals,

woman on bicycle

Thanks for writing in. I commend you on your desire to start riding and get in shape!

Both of these questions will get a very similar answer, so continue reading for my advice…

For any bicycle purchase, I highly recommend finding a bike shop in your area and asking for their expertise. They should be able to match you with a bike that suits your needs and fits your budget. Then you can test ride multiple bikes to see which you like best, and the shop employees can make sure the bike is setup properly.

The first thing to look for is a shop that actually cares about you and seems to put an effort into making sure you get the right bike. If you don’t like the people or they don’t let you test ride bikes, find a new shop.

The second thing is the bike itself. But if you find a good shop, getting a good bike is the easy part. Just be sure, whatever bikes you look at, make sure to get the right size and get a proper bike fitting! If the bike doesn’t fit, you won’t enjoy it, and that means you won’t ride it.

(Some shops don’t offer good fitting services, and some will actually try to sell you the wrong size just because it’s something left over from last year and they need to to make way for new models!)

That said, here are a couple mountain bikes you might like, from popular brands:

That’s if you need a mountain bike and plan to do most of your riding on dirt roads and rough terrain.

If you are cruising through town on a lunch break, you’d be better off with some sort of “hybrid” bicycle – sort of like a mountain bike with smooth, skinny tires.

Here are some examples of these bikes:

I’m sure there are more out there though, so just get the one you like best!

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7

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  1. Hi,
    Looking for a bicycle???? It is simple u can search for the best one in the internet.But i would recommend u to have a walk after ur lunch or dinner.It will really keep u fit. U can even consult in gym for it.

  2. @Atbikes

    Umm… no. Buying a bicycle isn’t as simple as searching for one on the internet. Did you read the article where I mentioned the importance of going to a bike shop and test riding bikes?

  3. I’m buying my first higher end bike. I’m looking for a hybrid/comfort bike. I really want a cruiser for my 4 weeks at the beach, but the rest of the year I live in Westchester County, NY with plenty of hills and lovely bike trails. Help because I am completely torn between the Specialized Crossroad Women’s and the Giant Cypress women’s. Both ride beautifully. I like the extra space bet. me and the handle bars, the slightly larger handle bars and slightly wider tires. They cypress has an equally wonderful ride and I prefer the seat and the color. And the price is $50 lower. Can you help please?

  4. @Hillary

    Both those bikes are good machines. The rule of thumb is: when you test ride two bikes and still can’t decide, choose the color you prefer!

    So it sounds like the Giant Cypress is the one for you.

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