If you’ve already got a bike, whether it’s one you bought yourself, or one that you inherited from its previous owner, then you won’t have to choose a bike at the moment – but of course of course, when the time comes, you will need to choose a replacement. On the other hand, if you don’t have a bike, then your need to find a bike that suits you will be more pressing. In either case, and regardless of whether you decide to get a new bike or to purchase second-hand, the choice of bikes available may well appear overwhelming at first.
It’s absolutely true tht the range of different models available can be confusing, so in this article, we’ll start by having a look at some of the main types of bike on offer, and review the reasons why you might choose one type or another.
The four basic choices of bicycle that you will need to consider are: a hybrid, a folder, road bike or a mountain bike. Which of these you choose should depend on your careful consideration of a range of factors (and not just the immediate appeal of looks). Some of the things to think about include:
– A folding bike can be very convienent if your commute to work will require a combination of a bus or train ride, with your cycle ride. You simply fold away the bike and then hop on board the bus or train. Of course, folding bikes do generally involve some compromises in their design (in order to make them foldable) and hence may not be as easy to ride as non-folding bikes.
– If you plan to get fit by cycling, you ought to consider getting a road bike. Road bikes have a design, including narrow smooth tyres, that is optimized for fast cycling on roads, and thus are well suited to sprinting around the countryside, burning off calories as you go.
– If you want to do some off-road riding, then your best choice is to get a mountain bike. Remember, you always have the option of fitting slick tyres on it for road use.
– Hybrid bikes were originally developed as a compromise between lean fast road bikes, and chunky, strong, but heavy, mountain bikes. However, since their initial development, hybrid bikes have developed in their own distinctive direction, and are today sturdy comfortable bikes suitable for riding around town or country, and also capable of taking a fair amount of punishment.
For those people who find the riding position of road bikes to be uncomfortable, hybrid bikes are a great alternative. Hybrid bikes have straight handlebars and a high front-end, which together provide an upright riding position, and brake-levers and gear shifters which are accessible without taking your hands way from the handlebars. Fairly large wheels (larger than mountain bikes) also help provide a steady ride when travelling over uneven road surfaces or potholes.