The decisive criterion for choosing a bike is its purpose. First of all, you need to decide what the bike is for and where you plan to ride it.
Road – designed to ride on asphalt, high-quality dirt roads and cycle tracks. Wheel diameter is usually 27-28 inches.
Mountain (MTB) – used for traveling over rough terrain (mountain trails, forest paths, etc.), but also well suited for urban roads. They are distinguished by a large number of gears (from 16 to 30), reinforced frame construction, wide tires, the presence of shock absorbers (front and rear), and good brakes. Wheel diameter is usually 26 inches.
For extreme sports (BMX) – used for stunt riding (jumping, sliding on the railing and other surfaces), overcoming the most difficult obstacles (stairs, curbs, bulk hills). Features: low and very durable frame, one gear, the presence of pegs (stops at the ends of the axles of the wheels). Wheel diameter 20 inches.
In addition to these types of bikes, there are unusual and less common types.
Electric bike (powerbike) – with pedals, electric motor and battery. On this bike you can ride without using the pedals.
For more information, read our article How to choose an electric bike .
Tandem – designed for two cyclists and has two pairs of pedals. The option is more original than convenient.
Children’s bikes exist in three varieties:
- three – wheeled – has a maximum stability. The disadvantage is the inconvenient location of the pedals on the front wheel. Ideal option for the smallest children (from 1.5 to 3 years);
- the runbike (velokat) is a two-wheeled bicycle without pedals, which is set in motion by the child, starting from the ground on the principle of a scooter. Designed for children aged 2 to 5 years;
- two-wheeled – a classic bike, different from an adult in smaller size and the presence of two additional supporting wheels. Advantages: good stability and convenient location of the pedals. The child initially masters the skills of proper driving. For children from 3 to 7 years. In many models, the extra wheels are removed. It will be useful when the child masters driving skills.
Important: for training a child in cycling, a running bike and a two-wheeled bicycle are better suited. The three-wheeled model in this case is an intermediate link, after which the child must master the runbike or bicycle.
Types of road bike
- City – the best option for business trips and walks over short distances. The wide soft saddle provides a comfortable ride.
There are folding models, which is especially convenient in urban environments. They often do not have a suspension fork, and the large fork folds easily. It can be transported in the trunk of any car, in the train or tram. A convenient option, but more often it costs more than a regular model.
Road – designed only for driving on a perfectly smooth road (for example, track racing). The most high-speed bike (18-30 gear). Features: light weight, narrow tires, saddle, providing a recumbent fit. The price of amateur models is significantly higher than other types of bikes. Professional sports models have a very high cost.
Touring (tourist) – reminds highway, but more practical. Suitable for long driving on almost all roads of moderate complexity. Features: powerful wheels, reinforced frame. The number of speeds – 24 and more.
Cruiser – a good option for walking. It features an exclusive design (smooth lines of frame bends, unusual colors and ornaments), a comfortable seat and a wide steering wheel, providing comfortable riding. Such bikes have a small number of speeds (1-8) or do not have speed switches at all, they are expensive. Wheel diameter – 24 or 26 inches.
Types of mountain bike
Downhill – used for downhill from hills and mountains along prepared trails. Features: very strong frame, presence of front and rear shock absorbers, a small number of gears (no more than 8-9), considerable weight (20 kg and more).
Freeride – designed for downhill on off-road. Features: sturdy frame, the presence of the front and rear suspension of a large stroke and powerful hydraulic disc brakes.
Cross-country – used for high-speed driving over rough terrain. Features: light weight, durable frame (made of aluminum, carbon or titanium alloys), the presence of one or two hangers with contact pedals that fix the leg of the cyclist.
All mountain (“easy freeride”) – a compromise between freeride and cross-country to ride on not difficult mountainous areas. The weight of such a bike is about 13-17 kg.
Hybrid – combines the qualities of MTB and touring. Differs in high passability and maneuverability. The number of gears – 24-27. Wheel diameter – 28 inches.
BMX bike typ
Trial – designed to overcome difficult natural and artificial obstacles (curbs, parapets, stones, boards) and perform tricks. Differs in the small weight and high durability. This bike has no gear shift and is equipped with hydraulic brakes.
Street – designed for extreme driving on city streets (street trial). Features – strong steel frame, average weight (14 kg).
D ortdzhamping – used to perform tricks in the air during a jump. Features: shortened steering wheel, wide saddle, no front brakes and pegs.
Features of purchase
If you’re planning to buy a bike, we recommend that you first rent a rental for few hours or a couple of days. This will provide an opportunity to recall driving skills, get acquainted with the features of gear changes, get a general impression of the fit and the convenience of the frame, seat, shifters. Further test drives of specific models in the store will be more informative for you.
Great importance when buying a bike has a seller. Firstly, the build quality – bicycles are supplied unassembled, and they are assembled directly in stores; all pre-sale preparation depends on the mechanics. Secondly, the pricing policy – some sellers may intend to inflate prices, so be sure to analyze the market before you buy. Thirdly, warranty and maintenance services – sellers, who are official representatives of brands, as a rule, have their own service center, where you can turn on any “bicycle” issues. This is especially important if you plan to equip your bike with additional equipment.