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How To Choose the Right Bicycle

By Edited Mar 17, 2016 0 5

Choose the Right Frame For Your Riding Style

Step into any bike shop today, and you'll be overwhelmed by your options. Long gone are the days of just choosing between red and blue. Wide tires or thin, straight handlebars or curved, mountain or road, our options are staggering, and the bike shop staff are often no help at all. Most people seem to need a bicycle buyer's guide, as the question I often get is: how to choose a bicycle? 

Most bikes will fit into four easily identifiable categories, choosing the right bike and frame size requires some careful thought. Narrowing your choices is simply a matter of determining your riding style, and picking the category that most suits that style. Choosing a bicycle is easy if you narrow your choices. Consider this a bicycle buying guide to help you make your choice.

Buying A Road Bike:

Bicycle Buying Guide: Road Bikes

Road Bike

First in our bicycle buying guide is the road bike style. Road bikes are pretty classic. They usually have curved drop bars, an aggressive riding position, and thin wheels and tires with smooth tread. They are often made of lighter material such as aluminum or carbon fibre. Choosing a bicycle depends on your riding style. When choosing the right bike, ask if you prefer road riding to trails.

This kind of bicycle is best suited for speed, maneuverability and aerodynamics. If you like an aggressive riding position and long distance riding, this might be the style for you. The thin tires provide the least friction, allowing you to reach maximum speed. The downside? Road bikes are not always comfortable. Buying a road bike shouldn't be overly tricky: it could come down to a matter of comfort.

If you're looking for a more advanced road bicycle buying guide you should visit a bike store and request detailed info from the staff. They should be very helpful. In buying a road bike, be sure to pick something that fits well and is made of good quality materials, since you'll be riding very fast. 

Buying A Mountain Bike:

Bicycle Buying Guide: Mountain Bike

Mountain Bike

Next in our bicycle buying guide is the mountain bike.

Buying a mountain bike can be trickier, and you really have to know what kind of riding you intend to do. Mountain bikes are heavier. They sometimes have shocks or suspension on the front and rear, and they almost always have wide tires with knobby tread. The riding position is very upright, and the bars are often straight with little to no curve. Before buying a mountain bike, consider whether trail riding will take up most of your riding time.

Mountain Bikes, believe it or not, are not intended for mountain riding. What they do offer is the ability to leave the road. If you plan on jumping curbs, riding trails or cutting across fields, these bikes will suit you. Buying a mountain bike that fits you depends on how bumpy or rough your ride is. The wide tires will create friction, so don't plan to outpace that carbon road bike. However, that doesn't mean they aren't fun to ride, they really are!

Buying A Hybrid Bike:

Bicycle Buying Guide: Hybrid Bicycles

Hybrid

Next in our bicycle buying guide is the hybrid bicycle, a cross between a mountain and a road bike.

Hybrids ride exactly like they sound: a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. Semi-wide tires with moderate tread, gently curved handlebars, and occasional front or rear suspension mark these bicycles. Often a hybrid will lean one way or another towards road or mountain use. When asking how to choose a bicycle, the hybrid often comes up as a perfect in between solution. If you're looking for a mixed terrain ride, a bicycle buying guide will often point you in this direction.

If you plan to ride on both road and trails, the hybrid bicycle is the most flexible. These bikes can make excellent commuters. That said, they are not specifically tuned for any one area. They are the jack-of-all-trades of the bicycle world, so there's as much compromise as there is convenience. Choosing the right bike in this category comes down to how much you lean one way or the other.

Buying A Cruiser Bike:

Bicycle Buying Guide: Cruiser Bikes

Cruiser Bike

Last in our bicycle buying guide is the cruiser bike, perfect for beach or boardwalk.

Cruisers are typically single speeds, although you may find a three or five-speed variety. The riding position for these bicycles is extremely comfortable and relaxed, with wide, swept-back handlebars and comfy saddles. When asking how to choose a bicycle, consider if your riding style fits this bike. If you like laid back pedaling on the beach, boardwalk or path, it's probably a good fit!.

Cruisers are best for a lazy day on the boardwalk or seawall. Without an aggressive riding position or many gear options, these bicycles should not be considered for serious commuting. For a relaxing Saturday at the beach, however, these are perfect. Choosing a bicycle is easy if you're going with a cruiser: they are all about comfort and style. Choosing the right bicycle may come down to how it looks!

Bicycle Buying Guide:

Now To Choose...

Now that we've narrowed your choices, you can feel more confident stepping into a bike shop knowing what you want. Hopefully now you won't worry about how to choose a bicycle anymore. Just mention to a staff member the style you're interested in, and they'll be able to quickly help you. And don't forget to purchase a helmet and lock while you're there.

Good Luck!

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Comments

May 20, 2011 6:34pm
Tom_Carver
I have moved on from looking at your article on used bikes to drooling over these professional looking specimens. Beautiful bikes each one of them.
May 20, 2011 7:02pm
bikesbikesbikes
Thanks Tom! I particularly like the Colnago roadie... a work of art!
May 20, 2011 7:08pm
Lynsuz
Great article on bikes, my sons had bikes they raced and did tricks on, with the ramps and all. Don't remember the names of the bikes, but it wasn't Colnago roadie. The road bike in your pic looks awesome. Brings back lots of memories, thanks for sharing.
Jun 2, 2011 8:56pm
Roger_Greenway
Great article here. Any suggestions on particular road bikes? I'm thinking about doing a little bit of touring in fall, and I don't want to spend a ton of money.
Jun 3, 2011 1:06am
bikesbikesbikes
Check out www.bikesdirect.com. They have great names for very good prices. There's a bit of assembly required, but nothing major. Thanks for the kind words!
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