The type of bike you buy will depend on where you intend to ride it, how often you intend to use it, and how much you are willing to pay for it. There is a bike for everyone, from the occasional rider to the hardcore long distance cyclist.
The folks at your local bike shop can match you with a bike that meets your riding needs just by asking you a few questions about your intentions and goals, and can suggest accessories or modifications that will enhance your riding experience.
What are the different types of bikes?
This type of bike is best suited for short distances or for occasional riders. If you need a bike to ride to a nearby grocery store, or to take to the beach or park on a Sunday afternoon, this type of bike is for you.
With wider tires, comfort bikes are more stable for inexperienced riders. Comfort bikes are sold in single speed varieties, eliminating the need for complex gear changes, or multiple gear speeds, which allow easier pedaling on steep inclines for casual riders.
Mountain bikes are built for off road activities, such as riding on unpaved trails or gravel road surfaces. These bikes have tougher frames and suspensions for handling rugged terrain, and wide knobby tires for traction on uneven or unstable surfaces.
These bikes are designed for speed and distance riding, with narrow wheels and lighter frames than more practical bikes. They are notable for their down-turned handlebars, which forces the rider to bend forward, decreasing wind resistance and increasing speed.
Road bikes can vary widely in price, with higher end models costing thousands of dollars. Frames in particular increase in cost as they decrease in weight. A lighter frame provides greater speed and more endurance for the rider.
Road bikes are not meant for the casual rider, who may experience control issues because of the handlebar configuration and the instability of the narrow tires.
While touring bikes are most similar to road bikes, they are designed less for speed and more for baggage and storage. They will often have longer wheelbases, sturdier frames and wheels for carrying stored items, and multiple storage components for traveling.
Designed for the rider who wants to do all kinds of riding, hybrid bikes attempt to blend the qualities of road bikes and mountain bikes for riding enjoyment both on and off road. While hybrid bikes cannot match the speed of road bikes or the ruggedness of mountain bikes, they can provide a superior riding experience both on and off road.
A bike shop can also size a bike for an individual rider. Matching the frame size to a rider's size and body type is important for a comfortable ride, and may convince a novice rider to become a bike commuter or distance rider after they experience the ease of riding a bike that is the proper size, rather than a one-size-fits-all bike from a discount store. Visit a bike store, such as Tri-A-Bike Inc, for more information.