Visit a local bike shop, bike recyclery or co-op. They'll be able to give you personalized advice on what you actually need.
If you will be commuting 75% of your riding time, then buy a bike suited for commuting. Don’t buy a mountain bike, unless of course you're lucky enough to be able to ride in the countryside on your commute! Mountain bike tires and suspension will slow you down and make it harder to ride.
If you can describe what you want to do with your new bike, you'll make things much easier for yourself and the salesperson who's helping you choose.
When looking at bikes keep in mind that you’ll probably need accessories like lights, a lock, maybe a helmet or water bottle cage. Make sure to be clear with the bike shop how much you can spend, including add on parts.
The size of the frame is important. A bike shop will be able to advise the best fit but this chart is handy for reference.
It sounds obvious, but one of the most important things is that you should love the bike. This doesn't mean starting with a 'dream' bike, but rather making sure that the bike you buy makes you feel excited about riding it. All things said and done, if you aren't looking forward to riding it, you won't ride it!
Buying a bike can be a big investment. Trying your local bike share program, a bike rental outfit in the area [link to bike rental page], or renting a neighbor’s bike through Spinlister can let you test out biking, and even help you determine what kind of bike you ultimately want.
Have you bought a bike recently? Earn your badge now!