Try to whittle down the facts about bicycles when you are ready to buy one can get a little tricky. If you are a complete novice, then maybe avoid the high tech bike magazines that are written by experts. You can browse through them and pick up what you can, but the articles might assume you know a certain amount. Start out small and slow and grow your knowledge and heed the advice of people who know.
Clearly, when you are in the market for a bicycle, you will be interacting with sales people. Clearly, they are hoping to make a sale and that can sometimes lead you to making a second-rate decision. A lot of times, they point you toward a mountain bike sale, as they are not as high priced as road bicycles. The price tag (the lower the better) is something that some people have to take into consideration, when looking for a bicycle. The impending issues here is that you might not ever ride your bicycle off the road. And the mountain bike is not meant for riding on the road, and consequently you will get something that is not designed for the things you want to do.
Keep in mind that a touring bike, on the road, may come with more material choices besides the standard aluminum or steel. You can find alloys and even metals like titanium, for instance. Yet, it is senseless to spend gobs of money if you are a beginner of this sport. The fancier metal materials will cost you a lot more than you imagined and they are really not necessary. Just so you are informed about it, there are also carbon fiber frames on the market, which have been in existence for quite some time. These fiber based materials are not as durable and strong as metal frames and it is best if you stayed away from them until you are serious and have a need to use them.
The wheels you want to put on it are a critical thing to think of and learn more about. Naturally, most of it is conditional upon whether you plan on touring the roadside or biking across mountain tops. Yet, a good deal of it is reliant on whether you will be trekking across mountains or touring alongside the road. Mountain bikes, for example, usually have a 26″ wheel and the touring bikes have wheels that are a bit larger. The touring bike wheel will have 36 spokes in it and others will have 32 spokes which is really what a regular bike will have. Another really important thing to think about is the rims for your wheels and they must be fairly decent.
If you find that choosing a bicycle is a little overwhelming if not frustrating, then here is a good way to start. Here is something to get you off to a good start, if you find that choosing a bicycle can be awe-inspiring, if not provoking. Besides your budget, everything else essentially flows from those two standards.