A bicycle can be a wonderful way to get in shape, have fun with friends, and explore new places in your town. If the last bike you owned was pink and had streamers, chances are you’ll be overwhelmed by all the awesome bikes out there. Some of the most common types you’ll see include cruisers, road bicycles, and mountain bikes. We’ll stick to those right now.
Most bike stores have super friendly and knowledgeable sales clerks who will help you get an awesome ride. If you do some research before you go shopping, you’ll be better able to talk to the clerks about what is right for you in a bike and even pick out extras that help you make the most of your ride.
Road bicycles are built slim for fast riding. Traditional cycles have curved handlebars and require you to bend forward to ride; a new style of upright road bicycle offers less leaning. If you have back issues but think a road bike is best for you, purchase the upright style. If you already jog or take spin classes, a road bike offers you the speed you need to get a workout on the street.
Cruisers are the Cadillac of the bike world, built for a certain image and style. If you’re drawn to the idea of bike culture and fantasize about riding down the boardwalk, this might be the ride for you. Cruisers are comfortable to ride and have fat tires that will work on multiple terrains. Cruisers often come in bright colors and designs, so their visual appeal can be different from more traditional bicycles. Cruisers also start at a lower price than mountain and road bicycles, so your choice may be motivated by budget.
Mountain bikes used to be reserved for chicks who wanted to shred some serious trails, but that’s changed. These bicycles have shocks and fat tires, so they work well on different types of terrain. If you anticipate riding on grass, dirt, gravel or even brick streets, this may be the right bike for you. Or if you want to do wheelies and pop off curbs, your mountain bike will totally oblige.
However, these bikes lack in speed what they offer in flexibility. If you plan to ride on roads too, you may prefer to get another style of bike that handles roads with more speed. Mountain bike frames can also be heavy, since a certain heft is needed to get the bike down the mountain. If you live in a city and need to carry your bike up and down stairs to ride, consider a bicycle with a lighter frame.
Knowing a little about the different types of bikes may push you toward one direction or another. For fitness enthusiasts, mountain bikes work well if you plan to off-road, and road bikes are the clear winners for street riding.
The next step in choosing your perfect bike? Visiting a local bike shop and testing out the different rides that interest you. A good bike shop will work with you and allow you to test out different types and styles of bicycles. They’ll also adjust the seat, show you how to shift and answer any questions you have about bike care. Plus, you just might fall in love with a particular bike on your ride.