I know, I know… It’s the middle of January and you’ve barely started getting in the ski season-mood. But now is actually the perfect time to start looking into your dream bike for the spring: with fewer people on the marketplace, you’ll get better availability of both actual bike models and service.
When I joined Vapaus just a couple of weeks ago, I was asked to pick a bike of my own. And here, you can literally purchase any bike you want as long as it’s sold in European stores.
I’ve worked with Sasu Halme, my colleague working with procurement and our partner shops, to provide you with a shortlist of nice & affordable bikes to choose from.
Now whilst that’s the dream of all the bike-enthusiasts using our benefit, it can be pretty intimidating for those like me who don’t know much about cycling. When that’s the case, we advise of course that you ask for recommendations from our experts or, better yet, your local bike store. But to get you started, I’ve worked with Sasu Halme, my colleague working with procurement and our partner shops, to provide you with a shortlist of nice & affordable bikes to choose from.
Whether you’re planning to start cycling to work on immaculate bike paths or get some exercise in the forest over the weekend, there is a bike type meant for you. Let’s go through some of the most popular ones to choose from.
For city cyclists, road bikes can be an excellent option. Usually pretty lightweight, they are a great choice for those who want to optimise their effort. They will allow you to ride fast and on long distances, as their handlebar setup makes it possible to ride in different positions - either for increased aerodynamics or comfort.
It can also be convenient to choose a city bike (or utility bike). Whilst they are usually much heavier and therefore harder to push forward, they come with a sturdy frame and accessories that make them a great companion for short trips requiring any carrying, like when going to work or shopping.
E-bikes are a fantastic option for beginners: they make it easier to climb hills or carry lots of luggage (or children!), and they have the great perk of you not being sweaty after your commute to the office.
For those who want to be able to ride in the wild, it’s a better idea to go with either a gravel or a mountain bike. Gravel bikes are comfortable on any surface, which makes them a good “all-in-one” option. I’m just going to assume that most beginners aren’t necessarily interested in collecting several bikes to start with, so choosing a gravel bike might be a good choice. They tend to be more expensive than other classic bike types, the price to pay for accrued versatility.
If you’re sure to focus on wilderness though, mountain bikes are more suited to really get the best experience on dirt paths and rocks. They come with great shock-absorbing features and brakes as well as thick wheels to navigate any terrain comfortably.
Hybrid bikes are a fairly versatile category that usually fits both roads and dirt. They are a good choice that isn’t too specialised for you bikers who don’t like choosing and want to keep all options open.
It’s important to mention electric bikes as a last category, even though they can nowadays be anything from a mountain bike to a cargo bike. Usually more on the pricey side, e-bikes are anyways a fantastic option for beginners: they make it easier to climb hills or carry lots of luggage (or children!), and they have the great perk of you not being sweaty after your commute to the office. They are more and more popular and even seasoned bikers switch to this more comfortable option.
Now that you have a better idea of the different types of bikes to choose from, let’s go through a few affordable options Sasu suggested that you can purchase from our local partners around Finland as well as some of our webshop partners.
The Crescent Tove is a great bike for short city rides and an overall easy bike to handle. Its low frame makes it easy to step on the bike and its 7-speed hub shifting is nearly maintenance-free. Ride on for many carefree kilometers! Get it from Lundberg247
This stylish city bike will make your neighbour jealous. The Pelago Capri offers sleek design choices and a simple geometry for an affordable price. Pelago allows you to customise this bike with the accessories you need. Get it from Pelago
The Orbea Avant H50 is an entry-level road bike with great capability for your needs and components with an excellent quality-price ratio. The bike’s aluminium frame is durable and nicely lightweight. Get it from Bikeplanet
If you want a fast bike without much of a compromise, then this one should be your choice. The good-quality drive train (the part transferring power to your rear wheel) and powerful disc brakes offer a lot for this price. Additionally, 32mm-tyres are a great choice to ride on Finnish asphalt roads that are not always so smooth. Get it from Jonito
The Specialized Diverge is a stylish gravel bike that allows you to ride deep into the forest roads and explore nature. Its frame also allows for different mounting options depending on your future needs. Get it from Bikeplanet
Why not go for a bright colour gravel bike for dark spring/autumn weathers? This entry-level Format 2323 is the do-it-all bike for commuting and gravel roads with a comfortable bike geometry that makes riding enjoyable. Get it from Larunpyörä
Tunturi is a known Finnish brand for a reason. If you need a bike that lasts for years and a design that stands time, then the RX900 could be your choice. Its puncture-resistant tyres allow you to safely ride on gravel as well. Get it from Bikeshop
The Commuter 5 is a beautiful bike with great specs. This model is a great choice for commuting and cruising around the city: its belt-drive system replacing a standard chain-driven system is carefree and allows you to concentrate on riding. As a bonus, Canyon bikes are delivered pre-assembled and easy to set up. Get it from Canyon
The Kona Mahuna is a hardtail bike with a soul. The bike is equipped with durable Shimano components. Its slack head angle gives you stability when riding down any mountain. This bike is at its best on singletracks - anything that’s not a proper road - but it works just as well for normal riding. Get it from Skiout
The super versatile Grand Canyon makes riding fun. A dropper seat post controlled from the handlebar and a 120mm suspension fork are rare to see on bikes with price tags like this. The bike’s gear ratio also allows you to ride uphills that you might have not been able to ride before. Get it from Canyon
The Crescent Elis is a good quality electric bike for commuting: even in tough headwinds, you can ride with a smile on your face when its powerful motor assists with pedaling up to 25 km/h. Additionally, its Koppla system prevents theft, allowing you to worry less in the city. Get it from Bikeplanet
The Helkama E7 is one of the rare e-bikes that are made in Finland. If you are looking for your first electric bike, you may want to check this one out. Its Shimano Steps battery provides a massive range of up to 125 km: with this bike you can easily ride to work and then back home with one charge. Get it from Kuntokauppa
To get the best deal on your new bike, check whether your employer is already offering the Vapaus employee bike benefit - if not, ask them to get in touch with us!
There are many other options out there that could suit your needs for a new bike, and as for most technical hardware, going into higher price ranges will also buy you some better quality and benefits such as lighter weight, safer and smoother hydraulic brakes, electrical shifting, a carbon frame… You can also get better suspension for your mountain bike, an aerodynamic frame or wheels for your road bike, or even a more powerful motor and longer ranges in the case of e-bikes.
But to get the best deal on your new bike, check whether your employer is already offering the Vapaus employee bike benefit - if not, ask them to get in touch with us!
Have you thought about getting a used benefit bicycle? In this blog post, I explain the history behind Vapaus Precycled and go through why a used bike could be the most reasonable choice for you.
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