When trying to decide on the best type of bike for you, thinking about these questions will help:
Who do you ride with?
What type of bicycle do they ride?
Where do you plan to ride your bicycle?
What have you ridden in the past that you liked?
What have you ridden before that you disliked?
How much money are you comfortable spending?
Do you tend to buy the highest-tech cutting-edge products or do you go for good value?
Analyzing Your Preferences
If you're 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.
Getting To Know The Basic Types Of Bikes Available
Road bikes are fast and easy to pedal on pavement. They're not as well suited for operating off road. Some people find the low riding position of the racing ("dropped") handlebars difficult to maintain, comfortably, for a long time. But, there are new road bikes today specially designed to get the dropped handlebars significantly higher so you don't have to bend over so far.
Mountain bikes are slower on pavement. But they have an upright riding position with flat handlebars and easily accessed controls, they can travel easily on a wide variety of surfaces, they have fat, flat-resistant tires, low gearing for easy climbing, linear-pull or disc brakes for excellent braking in all conditions and usually either front or front and rear suspension for incredible comfort and control. Plus, mountain bikes are 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, getting in shape 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, wide handlebars, suspension, easy gearing and a plush seat. Plus, they typically have easily accessed controls and fat flat-resistant tires.
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.
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!