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If you've made a trip to a serious bicycle shop lately, you've probably noticed that bicycles have gotten a lot more complicated. It's hard to know what to buy without first thinking about how you will be riding. Ask yourself these questions before making a selection:
• Will you use the bike on paved roads or on trails?
• Will you be traveling long distances?
• Is comfort or performance most important?
Once you know the answer to these questions, the pros in the bike shop can lead you to the type of bicycle for you. Over time, and once the bug has caught you, you can buy another bike that fulfills what the first bike doesn't (that is, if you weren't completely satisfied).