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How to Choose the Right Bike As an Adult

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When you decide to take up biking as a hobby, it’s exciting. It gives you the opportunity to get outside, get more exercise, and possibly bond with your loved ones if they’re going to do it with you.

There are so many great bike trails throughout the country, and being on a bike is the perfect way to enjoy everything that your city or town has to offer. If you’re going to travel, you can also bring your bike with you.

If you’re brand new to cycling or haven’t done it since you were a child, it is somewhat overwhelming to know what type of bike to get, though. You want to keep bike safety in mind but you also want it to be functional in the ways you’re going to use it most.

Even if you’re not entirely new to cycling, but you need a new bike it’s a big decision, and it’s an investment.

With those factors in mind, the following are some things to know to choose the right bike for your needs and interests.

The Basic Steps

The core steps that are part of the process to find a bike are first to find the type you need. That is going to be based on how you plan to ride and also where. Then, you’ll need to think about performance and cost.

Once you’ve worked out those details, you’ll start to figure out if your bike fits.

Bikes come in different sizes, and you have to find the right size for your height.

Road Bikes

One of the most basic types of bikes is a road bike. Sometimes it’s called a 10-speed or a racing bike.

The idea behind a road bike is that it has slim tires that can help you go fast when you’re on pavement.

A lot of brands of road bikes will also have models designed specifically for women’s needs. For example, they might have different touchpoints for the handlebars and saddles.

If you want to ride for fun, fitness, racing, or even commuting, a road bike works well.

The majority of road bikes have a drop-bar handlebar. That means it comes downward toward the bike of the bike, so you’re riding in a forward posture, which is more aerodynamic.

There are several subcategories within the larger grouping of road bikes.

There are, for example, endurance bikes.

Endurance bikes tend to be comfortable for longer rides, and they have tires that are just a bit wider, so you have traction on varying surfaces.

A gravel bike is a good option if you want speed, but you also want to be able to ride on different types of terrain.

Touring bikes are a little different from traditional road bikes because they allow you bring gear with you more easily, and the wheelbase is longer so you have more control even when you have a heavy load.

Performance bikes are often used by people who ride in groups or organized races. They are very lightweight and are good for going up hills quickly.

Mountain Bikes

If you’re more adventurous and you love the idea of rugged riding, there’s the option to choose a mountain bike. A mountain bike can take on trails, roots, and rocks. They have the lower gear so you can maneuver on steeper terrain.

One type of mountain bike is a cross-country bike, which combines climbing ability and speed.

A trail bike is versatile, efficient and can be a lot of fun for riders.

Then, there are all-terrain bikes which are generally a  more advanced option intended for technical terrain.

A fat-tire bike is also a type of mountain bike, with, as the name indicates, has oversized tires and a lot of traction so you could ride them on snow or even sand.

Fitness Bikes

Fitness bikes are also called hybrid bikes. They can be used in different situations, including everywhere, from the pavement to rugged terrain.

A hybrid bike is good if your main goal of bike riding is fitness.

Electric Bikes

Electric bikes are really popular right now, especially if you want to ride for fun.

An electric bike pedals like a regular bike, and most of the parts are the same, but the electrical part of the bike can help the power you create, rather than replacing it.

With a little help from an electric bike you can take on things like hills more easily.

Usually, you have one of three choices in how you operate the bike at any given time.

You can do pedal only, pedal assist, or electric-only. When you use the electric-only mode, you can let the bike do all the work for you, but there are federal regulations that cap the top speed in this mode at no more than 20 miles an hour.

Cruiser Bikes

A Cruiser bike is for fun, comfortable and casual riding. Cruisers have a big seat and more upright handlebars.

Some cruiser bikes are single-speed, and others are 3-speed. You could theoretically use a cruiser for commuting or errands, as long as it’s a relatively short distance and a flat route.

Comparison Factors

Along with the type of bike you choose, there are some other considerations. Some of the things to think about as you compare bikes include:

  • Do you want a full-suspension bike? This costs more but you’ll get a smoother ride. There’s also a hardtail that only has front suspension, and the cheapest bikes will have no suspension.
  • You might decide between an aluminum or carbon frame. Carbon is the best option because it’s lightweight and provides great performance, but it’s more expensive.
  • Bikes are different based on how many gears they have and the range of those gears.

Finally, once you’ve gotten a bike or you think you’ve chosen the one you want, you should go to have it fit and adjusted in person. You might be able to make adjustments at home if you get the right size, but cycling shops can do it for you as well.

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