How to Choose the Right Bike

If you are taking up cycling for fitness or recreation, then you may have already experienced the challenges of choosing the right bike.  There are so many different makes and models on the market that buying a bike is almost as difficult as buying a new car! Choosing the right bike depends on your personal fitness goals and the activities you enjoy doing. Here are some factors that you will want to consider when looking for the right bike. 

Types of Bikes

The main bikes you will find on the market include mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrid bikes. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses that may influence your purchasing decision.

Mountain bikes are designed to be durable, with wide tires, deep tread and shocks. The seated position on a mountain bike tends to be more upright. A word of caution about mountain bikes: they are designed for off-road riding and have many features for rugged terrain. These bikes are not very efficient for riding on paved surfaces or long distances.

Road bikes are typically lightweight with very narrow tires. They are designed for riding on paved surfaces and for doing so in a fast, efficient manner. The seated position puts the rider low across the handlebars, which can feel uncomfortable at first, but maximizes speed and efficiency. A road bike should not be ridden with heavy loads or on rough surfaces.

Hybrid bikes are a cross between mountain and road bikes. They feature medium-width tires and a seated position that is more upright. A hybrid bike will travel more efficiently than a mountain bike, but less efficiently than a road bike. 

The Terrain

Now that you know about the features on the three main types of bikes, terrain is an important consideration when choosing the right bike. You will want to consider the type of terrain in your local area, as well as where you think your primary riding will take place. If you live in an urban area featuring many streets, biking or walking paths, then a mountain bike may not necessarily be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you live in a rural area with unpaved roads and winding rugged trails, a mountain bike would be the best choice for you. Consider the places you will ride the most before choosing the right bike.

Fitness and Recreation Goals

Cycling is a great way to exercise and spend time with family or friends. Before you can find the right bike, clarify your fitness and recreation goals. If your intent is to engage in rigorous cardiovascular exercise, then a bike built for speed and efficiency is most likely the right choice. If biking is to be a leisure activity for the entire family, you might be better off with a hybrid model. Your fitness and recreational goals will influence on the bike you choose. In fact, some cyclists have two or more bikes to meet different fitness and recreation goals. The right bike is the one that allows you to accomplish your goals.

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