When trying to decide on the best type of bike, think about these questions:
- Who do you ride with?
- What do they ride?
- What have you had in the past that you liked?
- What have you had in the past that you disliked?
- What would you like to do with your new bike?
- How much money are you comfortable spending?
If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends — buy something similar to what they ride. Unless you're super fit, you won't be able to keep up with road bikes if you're on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike can't handle trail riding like a machine made for it.
If you enjoyed a 3-speed as a child, you may find this a fun bike again. If you disliked the road bike you bought a few years ago — perhaps a mountain bike would be better.
As you learn about the different bicycles available and think about where and how you'll ride, you'll start getting a clear picture of the best bike for you. Here's a quick primer of the different types that are available.
Road bikes are fast and easy to pedal on pavement. They are not as well suited for operating off the road. Some people find the "dropped" riding position difficult to maintain, comfortably, for a long time.
Mountain bikes are slower on pavement. But they have an upright riding position with easily accessed controls, they can travel easily on a wide variety of surfaces and they're very durable and reliable.
Hybrids or cross bikes are almost as fast and easy to pedal as road bikes, while being almost as comfortable and versatile as mountain bikes. They're great for commuting, errands and all-around fun.
Comfort bikes are just that — comfortable. They are less efficient, but sitting on one is super comfortable thanks to an upright riding position, suspension, easy gearing and a plush seat.
Cruisers (sometimes called "beach cruisers") are fun to look at and, when ridden at a relaxed pace, are ideal for admiring the scenery, and exploring the neighborhood or shore.
Recumbents are quite comfortable, and often very fast. They require some learning to be operated with maximum efficiency. Some designs sit so low to the ground that visibility in traffic can be an issue (we can recommend ways to improve visibility).
Keep in mind that even within these categories, there can be sub-categories of bicycles. For example, there are mountain bikes specifically designed for jumping and road machines specifically built for time trials and triathlons.
To help you find the right bike, we at Cyclesmith have created an email Bike
Finder form. Submit it to us and we can help, even before you drop by.
There's nothing we like better than showing off the wide variety of bicycles we offer. And there's nothing like seeing and riding a few to truly understand the difference and find the perfect bicycle(s) for you! So, drop by soon!