How We Select the Best Bike Recommendations

Scott Alexander

May 2, 2023

99 Spokes is a team of passionate cyclists and software developers who created a platform to help fellow enthusiasts navigate the complex world of bike buying. Our site was born out of a need to solve problems that we personally faced when searching for the perfect bike. As developers, we utilized our existing skill sets to approach these problems from a data-focused perspective. Today we’re lucky enough to get to spend our days poring over bike data, analyzing trends, and using our expertise to further develop a tool that helps other cyclists find their dream ride.

We understand that not everyone shares our level of bike geekiness – and that's perfectly fine! We believe that cycling is a sport for everyone, regardless of their experience or knowledge. That's why we've created curated lists like this one, which offer a quick easy-to-digest summary of what we believe are the best value bikes in specific categories. Consider us your cycling-obsessed friend who you can turn to for advice on your next bike purchase.

How We Choose: Fancy Computers + Frontal Lobes

On the technical side, we gather all the necessary bike data from manufacturer sites, structure it, and provide tools for in-depth comparisons. With this powerful toolset at our disposal, we utilize a few key methods to provide the most informed and helpful recommendations for you.

Spec Level 

We break down everything we know about a bike’s specs — frame, fork, wheels, groupset components, brake type, suspension system, etc, and assign scores to each component or feature based on the quality level of the component and intended use of the bike. Combining the scores for the various components produces an overall “spec level” of a particular bike build. Economical builds with entry-level components will generally get lower spec levels, and high-end builds with expensive components and other upgrades will generally score higher. Charting the spec level against the price of the bike makes it easy to understand if a bike provides a high or low value at its price point — a bike that appears higher on the spec level scale at a particular price point comes with better overall components than a bike that appears lower on the scale at that same price.


99 Spokes has nearly one million visitors each month from all over the globe. These people come to the site to compare bikes, check specs, read reviews, etc. This gives us valuable insights into which brands and models are trending, and ultimately means we’re sure not to miss out on what’s new and changing in the market.

Personal Experience

While data is a crucial aspect of our decision-making process, it’s only one part of the equation. The magic happens when we combine data driven insights with our personal experience and passion for bikes. Our team has spent years immersed in the industry, building relationships with manufacturers, and gaining firsthand knowledge of the products. This experience allows us to weigh additional factors like brand reputation, unique features, customer service, geometry, durability, etc. We have no doubt that the robots are coming for all our jobs eventually; but until then, adding a dash of human intelligence is key.

A Note on Affiliate Marketing

Transparency is important to us at 99 Spokes, which is why we want you to know that we participate in affiliate marketing. This means that if you click on a link on our website and make a purchase, we may receive a small percentage of the sale. However, we want to emphasize that this does not impact our recommendations in any way. Our mission is to provide unbiased recommendations that aren't limited to brands that pay to be featured. Rest assured that our top priority is always providing the best possible advice to our users.

We’re continuously improving our recommendations and welcome any feedback. Hit us up at