If you’re shopping for a new bike, the choices can be overwhelming. Even knowledgeable bikers can get tangled up trying to call up different bike manufacturers’ websites. There always seems to be one nifty model that gets missed — and it might have been just the one you were looking for.
There is a tool that can help. It’s a website called “Find the Best,” which describes itself as “an objective, socially curated comparison engine that allows you to find a topic, compare your options and decide what’s best for you.” It’s not solely limited to bicycle comparisons — you can compare all manner of things, from universities, to laptop computers, to investments. So I was somewhat skeptical when I clicked on the link to their road bike tool.
Just a sample of the comparison page for entry-level bikes.
I was pleasantly surprised. Users can customize their search to match some broad criteria. Under road bikes, you can search for “Racing,” “Sport,” “Entry-level,” “Triathlon/TT,” “Track,” “Fixie/Single Speed,” “Touring/Commuting,” “Women’s,” and “Kids.” Let’s say you want to compare entry-level road bikes. You can specify frame material — carbon, steel, or aluminum. You can limit the price range, the gearing, the manufacturer — and even limit the finds to those top-rated by either Bicycling magazine or Bike Radar, the British biking website.
If we limit the entry-level price to a top of $2,000, the tool still turns up 53 different makes and models. From there, you can select specific models and run a comparison on them — similar to the kind of comparison available on some bike retailers’ websites. The difference is that on those sites, you’re stuck with just the brands the store carries. Here, you’ve got them all.
I’m not in the market for a new bike now, but it’s still a fun way to kill a little time late in the evening. You can find the road bike comparison tool at http://road-bikes.findthebest.com/. Oh, and if you’re interested in mountain bikes, there’s a tool for those, too: http://mountain-bikes.findthebest.com/