What Type Of Bicycle Should I Buy?…
When buying a bicycle, there’s plenty of things to consider. How much should you spend? How often will I ride it? Where will I ride my new bicycle? Why do I want to ride a bicycle? And, the reason I’m writing this article, What type of bicycle should I buy?
Through this article, we’ll give you a small breakdown of what the different types of bikes are and how they’re intended to be used. We’ll keep it brief so as not to bore you but hopefully detailed enough to help you decide.
Mountain bikes are the 4×4 of the bicycle world. A sort of ‘go anywhere’ bike that is best suited to dirt and all manner of off-road tracks. Using either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels with wide, grippy tyres, up to 30 gears, disc brakes and sturdy frames, the mountain bike is the most versatile in the range. While the mountain bike is most suited to off road cycling, they’re still fairly comfortable on bike paths, rail trails and more simple riding styles. Prices vary quite a bit; anywhere from $400 and well into the thousands with frame materials and components being the biggest improvements as you spend more.
- heavy duty frames
- front suspension on most models
- dual (front and rear) suspension options
- 10 – 30 gears
- all terrain bicycles
Road bikes are just that; bikes build for riding on the road. They use lightweight material like aluminium and carbon fibre and utilise narrow wheels and tyres to help keep a much higher average speed when riding. These are build for speed on smooth, sealed roads, for climbing hills and and covering vast distances. Being lightweight, they typically cannot handle much or any off-road although many people are riding them on gravel roads these days.
Flat Bar Road Bikes
Similar to traditional road bikes but with the obvious flat handlebar. Often a little heavier and more robust that full road bikes but they can also go a few more places not ideal for road bikes. Thicker tyres, heavier duty frames, disc brake options and a larger range of gear ratios.
- slightly heavier
- comfortable flat handlebar
- 700c x 28-40c tyres
- 21-30 gears
- perfect for bike paths
I suppose, this is where the line gets a little blurred, I don’t even know what to call this style. Mountain hybrids, heavy-duty bike path bikes, aggressive rail trail bikes? Who knows! Haha. Mostly with a front suspension fork, slightly heavier duty frames, dirt style tread, but the bigger wheel diameter of road bikes and aimed at more smoother paths, rail trails and some dirt roads. If you like the mountain bike style of bike but ride more bike paths, this would be your option.
- rough bike paths and rail trails
- 700c x 35-43c tyre sizes
- front suspension
BMX is my favourite style. There’s freestyle BMX which is all about skateparks, riding trails (dirt jumps) and cruising the streets. Freestyle BMX’s are strong, slightly heavier have 20″ wheels with 2.3″ wide tyres, sleek frames and a small drivetrain. Then we have BMX race bikes designed to be super fast, agile and light. Most race bikes will weigh about the same as a high-end road bike, sometimes less and are a fraction of the price. Often seen as a kids bike, BMX bikes are great for kids getting into sport and help develop good bike handling skills that transfer over to other styles of bikes.
- 20″ wheels
- freestyle bikes are strong but heavy
- race BMX bikes are light and fast