Bike buying guide

The complete guide to buying a new bike

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Find out more on how to purchase the right bike

Everything you need to know to help you get started

When it comes to purchasing a new bike, the process can seem daunting. There are so many bicycle option for various types of cycling. Do you like to tackle trails on the weekend? Do you need a bike for your commute? Perhaps you fancy a sleek road racer? Finding the best bike can be a little tricky, so download our Bike buying guide and find out everything you need to know before making your purchase!

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What to look for when buying a bike

So now you’ve decided that you need a new bike, where should you start? When it comes to buying a bicycle, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Do you know what sort of bike you need?
  • Do you know what size bike you need?
  • Where are you going to buy your bike from?
  • Can you set your bike up?
  • Can you repair your bike if something goes wrong?

What sort of bike should I buy

What sort of bike should I buy?

When you’re choosing a new bike, it’s important to think about exactly what you’re going to be using it for. Some of the most popular styles of bike include:

Road bikes – Built for speed, road bikes help you fly across the tarmac on your way to work or in a sportive.

Mountain bikes – Choose from rigid, hardtail or full suspension MTBs to tackle those trails.

Racing bikes – Racing bikes are designed to be lighter, with smaller tyres than a normal bike. Designed for speed.

Electric bikes – Electric bikes or eBikes can give you a helping hand up steep climbs or whenever you need a rest.

Triathlon bikes – Designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, triathlon bikes place your upper-body further lower and further forwards.

Folding bikes – Perfect for commuters, folding bikes fit safely into luggage racks on trains and buses.

Accessible bikes – Adapted cycles and accessible bikes are designed to help those with disabilities enjoy the ride.

Multi-bike discount

What size bike do I need and where do I buy it?

You will need to make sure that you are comfortable on whichever bike you choose, so it is important that you buy a properly sized bike. You will need to take into account your height and the frame size of your new bike before you purchase. For a complete size guide for road bikes, hybrid bikes and mountain bikes, download our bike buying guide!

Whether you’re browsing online or shopping in-store, you will need to think about where you buy your bike from. Popping into your local bike store, where you will be able to inspect and measure the bike, has plenty of benefits. That’s not to say that you can’t find a bargain online!  

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How to set up your new bike

If your new bike hasn’t been assembled for you, then you’re going to need to know how to put it together. Even if your bike has been set up in-store ready for you to ride, then it’s still worth getting to know the anatomy of your bicycle, just in case you need to complete any repair work. Download our bike buying guide for a handy diagram on each key component on your bike!

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Helpful bike repairs

Of course, if anything does go wrong with your bike, then you’ll need to get it fixed. The best way to do this will be to take it into your local bike shop for a service, much like you would do with a car. However, it might be useful to know how to carry out some basic repair work yourself, just in case you run into any trouble.  

Punctures are part and parcel of being a cyclist. Sooner or later, they happen to us all. While a flat tyre is incredibly frustrating, the good news is that we can quickly repair a puncture with the right tools.

Your chain can get easily worn through general wear and tear. When it does, you need to be careful. If your chain breaks while you’re out on the bike, then it can be a big job to fix and a real nuisance to get right. With the right tools though, there’s no need to worry. Download our bike buying guide and we’ll take you through which tools you need to get the job done and give you a step-by-step guide on how you can repair a broken chain!

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Bike safety check

Your safety is paramount while you’re out on the bike and you should always be aware of the potential hazards that cyclists face. Whether you’re weaving your way through the city, or riding down country lanes, there’s plenty of pitfalls that await cyclists. Download our bike buying guide and we’ll show you how to keep yourself and your bike protected, including:

  • Which safety accessories you can buy
  • Which type of bike lock you need
  • Which bike lights are best for you

Features and benefits

Bike insurance

cycleGuard cover has been designed to protect all manner of cyclists, from mountain bikers, commuters and eBikers to triathletes, students, families and everyone in-between. With cover such as Accidental Damage, New for Old, Global Travel, Multi-bike Discounts and more, cycleGuard can keep you, your bike and accessories protected should you ever need to make a claim.

Frequently asked questions about cycle insurance

Want to find out more about our cycle cover?

If you’re wondering what our cycle insurance includes, then we’ve answered a few questions here!

An electric bike, or an eBike, is an ‘electrically assisted pedal cycle’ (or EAPC). An eBike has a motor, usually either in the bottom bracket between the cranks or within the rear wheel hub, which is used to assist the rider when needed.

In order to be classed as an electric bike, an eBike cannot be subject to the UK Road Traffic Act requirements. We can cover eBikes that meet the following specification:

  • Any electrically-assisted pedal cycle (EAPC) that must still be powered by human pedalling and is only being assisted by electrically-motored power
  • Does not require any key or ignition switch
  • Has a motor with a maximum continuous rated power of 250W
  • Has a motor with a cut-off, when unassisted at 3.7mph
  • Has a motor with a cut-off, when assisting whilst being pedalled at 15

We are unable to cover any form of speed pedelec, speed eBike, e-scooter, e-moped or e-motorbike. We can only cover an EAPC / eBike if it is being ridden by someone aged 14 or over.

Yes! If you’re taking part in an upcoming cycling event, then our Race and Compete option means that you can cover up to £200 of cycle clothing that is lost or damaged in a transition area. Include any of your cycle related clothing and equipment in our Accessories Cover and you can cover up to £2,500 worth of kit against theft and accidental damage.

Yes, we can cover yours and your family’s bikes on one policy, which will automatically include your Multi-bike Discount, with a maximum combined value of £20,000. If you're looking for insurance for triathlon bikes over this amount, then please contact us by either:

You will receive a contact number for "Call Assist" the recovery breakdown providers. We would recommend that you store this number on your mobile phone or in an accessible place when you are out cycling. Call Assist have over 1,500 recovery agents and will despatch the nearest one to recover you and your bike. They will then travel to your location and transport you to the nearest one of the following:

  • A suitable cycle repair shop
  • An appropriate railway station
  • A car rental agency
  • The nearest overnight accommodation
  • Your home

Your bike will be covered for use by other members of your family. A family member means parents, spouse, partner, siblings, or children / step children, but only when living at the same insured location (where your insured bike(s) is usually kept, which should also be your main place of residence).

Our Race and Compete cover option will also extend Accidental Damage Cover to riders at the same cycling or triathlon club.

The value should be the current, new undiscounted cost including VAT from a reputable dealer at the time you apply. End of season offers, and bargains do not count as the usual price.

We are able to offer a quotation up to a maximum value of £20,000 for individual bikes or multiple bicycles. You can insure up to 10 bicycles on one policy providing the total value does not exceed the £20,000 limit.

If you have a bike or bicycles over that value, we may be able to offer you a quotation. You can either call us for your individual quote on: 0333 004 3444, or alternatively you can email us at: support@guardcover.co.uk

Yes. You must be a UK resident and domiciled in the UK.

Yes, the excess amount will depend on the type and value of the claim.

  • Claim amount is under £1,500 = excess of £50
  • Claim amount £1,500 to £2,999 = excess of £100
  • Claim amount £3,000 to £4,999 = excess of £150
  • Claim amount is over £5,000 = excess of £200

For Public Liability claims, the first £500 of each claim arising from damage to third party property.

Yes, you can make changes to your policy by simply logging in to your online account here, or by calling us on: 0333 004 3444

You can add or delete insured items and change some aspects of your policy. Note that additions will incur additional costs. Additional premiums are charged on a pro rata basis from the date of change. Any cover options that you choose can only be added or removed when you first buy the policy or at renewal.

The minimum age for the main policyholder is 18. Public Liability and Personal Accident cover (if you have chosen to include this on your policy) will only apply to anyone aged 16 or over at the time of any incident, and total permanent disablement cover is only available for anyone aged 65 or under.

You must disclose any criminal convictions which have not been spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If you are in any doubt as to whether this applies to you, you should call us to discuss your individual circumstances.

You need to tell us about any cycle related losses or claims you have had within the last three years, whether insured or not. It is important that you make an honest disclosure of any previous claims or losses, as this could invalidate your cover.

Yes, your policy will cover you for 30 days in the EU as standard, with the option to extend to annual worldwide cover (maximum 60 days per trip).

Please note that the Cycle Rescue cover, Claims Bike Hire and Public Liability cover option only applies to the United Kingdom. Public Liability cover is excluded from North America.

Provided your bike is suitably packed in a bike bag or box and you have a receipt from the airline that your bike was checked onto the aircraft, then your bicycle would be covered against accidental damage. While under the responsibility of your transport provider, we don’t include cover against theft.

Extend your cover to include our Global Travel option and your bike box will be covered for up to £300 for accidental damage.

Providing you follow the security and lock requirements (you can find these here) your bike is covered whether at home, work or out on the trails anywhere in the UK and for up to 30 days in the EU.

It's very important that wherever you leave your bike, that it is securely locked through the frame, to an immovable object with an approved lock and is not left unattended, when you are away from your insured location, for more than 24 hours.

Yes, we can cover bikes stored in a “Communal Cycle Storage Area” providing they are locked through the frame to an immovable object with an approved lock.

We class a Communal Cycle Storage Area as: a fully enclosed residential cycle parking specific compound that is securely locked (only accessible through a lockable entrance which can only be opened by key or access code) and specifically dedicated to your insured location.

When your bike is within the direct boundaries of your insured location (where your insured bike(s) is usually kept, which should also be your main place of residence), and if it is not being stored in a fully enclosed and locked building or cycle storage unit, your bike needs to be locked to an immovable object through the frame of the bike, with an approved lock.

If the bike is stored in a communal hallway it will only be covered if the hallway is on the same floor as your insured location and, again, your bike needs to be locked to an immovable object, through the frame of the bike, with an approved lock. The same lock requirements apply if your bike is stored in a “Communal Cycle Storage Area”.

When you are away from the home, such as at a campsite, you would be able to lock the bike to an immovable object with an approved lock, through the frame of the bike and leave it unattended for up to 24 hours.

You need to include the value of your bike and any fixed accessories or replacement parts when taking out the policy. If you buy accessories later and add them to your bike, you can update the value of your bike through your online account or call on: 0333 004 3444

Yes, the requirements are quite specific in terms of types of locks and security devices. For more details, see our policy wording or take at our lock requirements here.

It is a condition of your insurance that you use an approved lock appropriate with the value of your bike. You can find our approved locklist which details our requirements here. Our approved lock list has been created to make sure that the best level of defence is being provided against cycle theft. When the lock is in use, it must be placed through the frame of your bike and secure the bike to an immovable object

For your bike to be covered and for any claims to be successful you must make sure that the lock that you are using is in-line with our approved lock list and the security requirements.

Making a claim with cycleGuard

We’ve made making a claim so easy

If you've suffered damage to or theft of your bike, we know how distressing it can be. That's why we'll do everything possible to deal with your claim promptly and get you back out cycling again. Our easy-to-use claims process is listed below with some helpful information regarding what to do if you need to make a claim.

1. Call the police

If youve been the victim of theft or malicious damage to your bike, your first port of call should be to inform the police.

2. Contact our claims team

Contact our in-house UK team to make your claim. You can call us on:
0333 004 1999 to get started, or alternatively, you can email us with details of your claim at: claims@guardcover.co.uk

3. Make your claim

We'll provide you with your claim reference and talk you through the next steps. Should we need any further information to help process your claim, we can explain what's needed and support you.

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Your policy document explorer

For customers whose policy started before 1st January 2021, you can access your policy documents here.

Existing customers: If you have an existing policy before September 23rd 2019, then you can contact our team for information on your policy.

You can email us at: support@guardcover.co.uk or call us on: 0333 004 3444

cycleGuard customers say this...

We pride ourselves on delivering a personal service to every cyclist that we help protect. You don't have to take our word for it though, check out some of our independent reviews to see what our customers have to say! If you'd like to leave your opinion, good or bad we encourage you to submit a review too.