You have decided to start riding but there are so many bicycles out there to choose from. How do you know which bicycle is right for you?
All bicycles are developed for a purpose, particularly being flexible in use, it all depends on why you want to ride a bicycle?
Understand the bike type you need or different types of bicycles, road bikes are the highly sold bike type in most of the world but that doesn’t mean a road bike will be the correct choice for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Identifing and Understanding Your Needs
- Riding Surfaces and The Relevant Designed Bicycles
Types of Bicycles and the main advantages and disadvantages
- Mountain Bike (MTB)
- Hybrid & Commuter Bikes
- Road Bicycle
- Electric Bicycle
- Touring Bike
- Gravel Bike
- Compact/Folding Bike
- Cargo Bikes
- Fixed Wheel / Fixie Bikes
- Time Trial Troathlon Bikes
- Cruiser Bikes
Identifing and Understanding Your Needs
To understand your needs, the starting point is always by answer these questions:
- Are you planning to ride on bike paths? streets? Trails? or perhaps unpaved roads?
- Are you riding for fitness, riding to work, getting rid of car, going shopping, to have enjoyment?
- Frequency and length of your rides?
- Are you preferring to wear Cycling Kit or riding in your casual clothes?
- Do you need assistance in packing and carrying bike? Do you understand the space needed?
- Do you like riding in town suburbs in neighbourhood or prefer adrenaline from riding in bushes and rocky trails?
- Do you regularly have to ride up/down steep ranges?
- Do you think you will ride within busy roads or dirt tracks?
Riding Surfaces and The Relevant Designed Bicycles
|Good for surface type
|Type of Bicycle
|Dirt roads and trails, bumps and rocks, steeper terrain.
|Mountain bikes and electric bikes
|Paved- trails and natural smooth dirt surfaces
|Hybrid bikes and electric bikes
|For paved roads and bike paths, including racing, touring, fitness riding, long-distance rides, and daily commuting.
|Road bikes, Folding bikes, touring bikes, hybrid bikes and electric bikes
|All-road riding (for long-distance bike tours, also for non-paved surfaces gravel roads)
|Gravel and touring bikes
|Racetracks, race training roads
|Fixed Gear/Track Bike and Recumbent Bike
|Suburbs, Town, and neighbourhood,
|short dirt tracks, roads and trails, Parks.
Types of Bicycles and the main advantages and disadvantages
Mountain Bike (MTB)
Bicycle Motocross is abbreviated as BMX. BMX bikes are made for jumping, racing on motocross tracks, and freestyling. Mountain bikes are also all-purposed bicycles. MTB can handle steep terrain because it usually has lower gears. The features of mountain bikes are best suited for riding on both terrain (flat and paved).
Mountain bikes allow you to ride off-road on gravel and dirt tracks, the suspension (single or dual suspension) strengthens to handle mud, dirt tracks, branches, rocks, roots, and other obstacles and ride for hours on bumpy surfaces.
Types Of Mountain Bikes
Mountain bike types are trail, cross country, downhill, fat bike and dirt jump.
Downhill bikes are suitable for fast downhill riding, these bikes are sturdy, heavy and needs safety protective gear including helmets and body armour for protection against high-speed falls.
The most recreational mountain bike for riders. Trails are designed for all-round trail ridings such as a mixture of terrain, climbs and descends.
Mainly preferred for competitive ridings, this design permits for a speedy trail ride because of the lighter bike weight.
Dirt Jump Bikes
Dirt jumpers have more control during jumping while in the air performing tricks, have also better heights because of tall handlebars.
These are the new kid on the block and are very much fun to ride, provides a feeling of riding a motorbike. The extraordinary traction makes it enjoyable to ride even in tough terrain such as dessert or sandy. The huge tyres create a feeling of riding a motorbike.
Mountain Bike Pros
- Fun to ride in rugged terrain, Mountain bike racing is a sporting event, very sturdy due to the wheels thickness,
- Mountain bike tracks are very much fun way to spend holiday and difficulties on track are graded from beginner to advance to keep everyone excited.
- Mountain bikes are also being ride in urban areas, especially with a terrain of steep hill.
Mountain Bike Cons
- Mountain bikes can involve more risk of injury if you are avoiding safety gears.
- Riders are prone to injury when a rider take on tracks above their ability and strength.
- It takes a lot of strength and after care while riding in muddy terrain during raining.
- Heavy bike in comparison requiring more energy and slow ride.
Hybrid & Commuter Bikes
Hybrid bikes are a cross between numerous bicycle kinds and are difficult to categorise. Flat handlebars allow the rider to sit upright, wider tyres as compared to road bikes but not as large as mountain bikes to make the journey more comfortable. Hybrid bikes strong frames allow for the addition of pack racks, baskets, and mudguards.
Hybrid bikes are well-suited for cycling in urban traffic since they have flat handlebars, disc brakes, a comfortable saddle, and a more upright riding position.
Hybrids are ideal for commuting and are the best choice if you choose comfort and recreational riding over speed or competitive racing on the road or trails.
Hybrid Bike Pros
- Most hybrids can be used to commute, shop, or go for a fun weekend ride, making them an all-arounder bike.
- Hybrids are frequently less expensive than road cycles at the beginner level.
- Because of their upright riding position, comfort, and sturdiness, hybrids are appropriate for persons of various ages.
- The strong frames and parts make it simple to connect bike racks, panniers, and baskets.
- For ladies that desire to wear skirts and riders with limited hip mobility, there are strep-through models. Hybrid bikes are excellent commuters because they are designed for use in urban areas
Hybrid Bike Cons
- Not ideal for triathlons, mountain bike road or trail racing.
- Due to weight and rolling resistance, they are heavier and slower to ride than more slender bike models.
- It won’t be as quick as a road bike, and it won’t have suspension, so riding on gravel or dirt trails for long periods of time will be uncomfortable.
Road bikes are designed for speed and are typically lighter than other forms of bicycles. Lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and titanium are generally preferred over traditional aluminium and steel for frames and components such as thin tyres, seat posts, and handlebars to make road bikes even faster, due to the position of the rider in a heads-down, bums-up position to minimise wind drag.
It may take some time to adjust to riding a road bike if you are used to cycling in a more upright position.
To reduce wind resistance, the frames are sturdier, competition road bikes have lower handlebars and higher seat posts than standard road bikes, allowing the rider to lean forwards.
The slim tyres are designed to reduce rolling resistance, and the handlebars are designed to put the rider in a position where he can produce the most power while generating the least amount of drag.
Road Bike Pros
- You’ll get from point A to point B in less time!
- More distance – simpler to propel forwards than heavier, less aerodynamic bikes.
- Want to be in shape? or go somewhere quickly, a road bike is one of the best options.
- Road bikes are mostly stylish, and trend oriented
- Competitive road racing and group rides are difficult to do without a good road bike.
Road Bike Cons
- Although many commuters ride their road bikes with backpacks, it’s not ideal for carrying anything.
- Thin tyres with low grip can be dangerous in rainy season.
- Due to saddle and handlebar configuration, Road bikes are less comfortable than other bicycles.
- Only for use on paved roads.
- Often expensive than hybrid bikes.
Electric bikes include motors that activate when you pedal, allowing you to go faster and farther. Electric mountain bikes are very popular for navigating difficult terrain. Bicyclists can use electric, or power assisted bicycles to enjoy longer and simpler rides with the assistance of an electric motor.
The majority are hybrid bikes with batteries mounted on the down bar or pack rack and motors mounted in the cranks or on the front or back wheel. Cyclists can purchase purpose-built e-bikes or add electric bike kits to their existing human-powered trips.
Electric Bike Pros
- Ride for longer periods of time with less effort, carry greater loads.
- When you’re fatigued, take a break, and let the motor propel you on.
- For ladies that desire to wear skirts and riders with limited hip mobility, there are strep-through models.
- Off-road vehicles can go at speeds significantly higher than 25 km/h.
- With the help of your electric motor, it will be easier to ride uphill.
- With the same output, you can ride longer distances.
Electric Bike Cons
- Because of the battery, motor, and frame size, e-bikes are heavier than most bicycles.
- Batteries needs to be charged.
- At 25 km/h, road-legal motors turn off.
The strength, comfort, and stability of a touring bike are all important factors. These bicycles are designed to carry far more weight than just the rider. It’s difficult to detect the difference with the untrained eye, touring bikes are heavier, stronger, and sturdier.
Touring bikes differ from traditional road bikes in that they are built for riding loaded up with gear over long distances. They have sturdy frames to support heavy loads and have attachment points that let you add racks, fenders, water bottles, pumps, lights and more. A long wheelbase (the distance between the wheel hubs) helps make them easier to control when you have a heavy load.
Touring Bike Pros
- Suited for long day rides and multi-day journeys.
- It’s sturdy, capable of carrying huge loads, and has numerous mounting points.
- Repairs are simple and replacement parts are easy to come by.
- On a loaded machine, discs provide more stronger braking and improved all-weather consistency.
Touring Bike Cons
- The traditional touring bike may appear to be a relic of road cycling’s past, with its large wheelbase, mudguards, and steel frame.
Multi-surface bikes have been around for years because bikers have always pushed the boundaries of where they may ride. One option is to ride a hybrid bike. Gravel bikes, on the other hand, are a great option if you want to go a little quicker and farther. Gravel bikes, which are descended from cyclocross (now a class of top all-terrain racing bikes), include a drop handlebar for aerodynamic efficiency, as well as wider tyres for a forgiving ride and grip on a variety of surfaces, including asphalt, gravel, and dirt.
A gravel bike is designed around off-road riding. Gravel bike geometry features a longer wheelbase, a lower bottom bracket, and a slacker headtube angle, making it more stable on off-road terrain. Also, it makes long rides more comfortable, as well as allowing to adjust the weight to face hazards and off-road descents.
Gravel Bike Pros
- It’s ideal for both on- and off-road riding.
- It’s ideal for lengthy rides on tough terrain, and it’s capable of managing any circumstance.
- Bike packing can also be made more versatile by changing tyres to fit the terrain and conditions.
- Most models are reasonably priced and are not as hefty as mountain bikes, making them easy to transport.
- Wider tyres are better for potholes, avoiding rocks, roots, and other obstructions.
- It’s relatively light, and super stiff.
- Once you found the right tire pressures for the terrain every piece in this bike is Solid.
- Very adjustable when it comes to tire sizes in the stock wheel set, but also the frame can take skinnier or wider sets.
Gravel Bike Cons
- Gravel bikes are heavier than road bikes.
- Gravel bikes are slower than road bikes due to their wider tyres.
- Gravel bikes, unlike mountain bikes, cannot tolerate drops or a lot of force on the frame.
- bicycles are more expensive than road bicycles or mountain bicycles.
Compact/folding bikes are, indeed, the ideal commuter bike. Because of their utility, they are simple to transport on public transit.
Compact and folding bikes have smaller frames and wheels, but flexible seats and handlebars, so they take up less space and can be ridden by people of all heights.
Folding bikes are built to be structurally sound and long-lasting. They don’t easily shatter until you put too much pressure on them.
A folding bike provides all cycling advantages while also providing extra alternatives and flexibility. If you wish to combine public transportation and cycling, for example, a folding bike is much easier to handle on the train or bus than a standard bike. They fold up into a small package that is convenient to store in your workplace or at home. Folding bicycles are well worth the investment.
Compact/Folding Bike Pros
- A foldable bike’s advantage is that it cannot be stolen and can be stored inside your apartment or under your desk.
- Compact bikes are quality bikes mainly made from Aluminium, chromoly steel, and titanium
- Most folding bikes can be folded in about 30 seconds.
- Folding bike’s compact design makes it simple to store when not in use.
- Easy to maintain. An occasional servicing, adjustment of gears and brakes, and tyre punctures.
Compact/Folding Bike Cons
- The ride will be a little bumpier because of the smaller wheels.
- Your folding bike will be slower than standard e-bikes because of the smaller wheels.
- The fact that it can be folded into a small size for easy transport does not imply that it is lighter.
- Most folding bikes are built of aluminium and are therefore more expensive.
- The cost of a folding bike is frequently more than that of a regular bike.
Cargo bikes have sturdier frames to handle greater goods and either a longer pack rack or a specialised front storage vessel than normal bicycles. An economical transport bike that checked all the boxes and was both easy to ride and maintain. Although it is incredibly easy to ride, it does not feel like a typical bicycle.
The main types of cargo bikes you’ll find are: Longtail Cargo Bike, Midtail Cargo Bike, Boxed Cargo Bikes.
Why should you invest in a Cargo bike?
Cargo bikes allow you to do everything a regular bike allows, but with the added benefit of being able to tote extra cargo without throwing everything and everyone off balance. The strongest bikes can carry up to a few hundred pounds of baggage.
Cargo bikes have a wide range of applications, from moving cargo in industries to individual entrepreneurs incorporating them into their enterprises and consumers who utilise them for practical everyday tasks like delivering children and shopping.
Cargo Bike Pros
- There is a lot of space in box.
- Due to its size, it feels the most stable of all the bikes.
- A rain cover may be used to protect cargo from the elements.
- Have a baby attachment device, such as the Urban Arrow or the Child Seat.
- In comparison to a regular bike, they are built to transport cargo.
Cargo Bike Cons
- These are more expensive than traditional electric bicycles, but they should be viewed as an alternative to driving rather than a competitor to other bicycles.
- Hard to transport.
- It may take some time to adjust to the larger frame and turning while carrying a weight in front of you.
- Cargo bikes are big, which makes them tough to store, carry, and possibly park at your destination if you live in a densely populated area with bad bike parking.
- Difficult to find at shops for purchase
Fixed Wheel / Fixie Bikes
Bike messengers prefer them because they require less maintenance and are generally safe from thieves. They’re also inexpensive, low-maintenance, and lightweight.
One of the best commuter bikes for city riding is the fixie. Even though there are other bicycle models available, the fixie is our favourite. Fixies, often known as fixed gear bikes, are single-speed commuter push bikes that lack a freewheel mechanism.
A fixed gear bike can be used to travel great distances. You’ll need to improve your fitness and gradually increase the distance.
Riding a fixie is beneficial to one’s health. It’s a better exercise than a traditional changing gear bike since it constantly activates muscles. Because your legs control the bike on a fixie, they quickly gain muscle to keep up. It also strengthens your core and back muscles.
When commuting year-round, a single-speed bike will provide the most reliability. You can’t go wrong with a single speed if you’re a student in a flat metropolitan region. It will undoubtedly be the bike that will save you money in the long term.
Fixed Wheel Bike Pros
- An enticing and enjoyable method to cycle
- Wet weather has no effect on the fixed wheel drive train, therefore there are fewer falls and braking.
- Road bikes are better at handling tough terrain than mountain bikes.
- Without gears, there are less components such as the rear brake, derailleurs, shift levers, and additional sprockets. As a result, the product is substantially lighter and requires significantly less maintenance.
- The ‘fixie’ is a basic, streamlined, and minimalist instrument that is a work of art in and of itself.
Fixed Wheel Bike Cons
- It doesn’t have any gears to assist you in climbing hills.
- Fixies aren’t equipped with any kind of suspension, and their wheels are exceedingly thin. You’ll instantly notice it if you’re riding on rough roads or gravel.
Time Trial Troathlon Bikes
Triathlon bikes have aerodynamic and geometric benefits over road bikes, allowing them to be quicker.
A steeper seat tube angle is common on dedicated triathlon bikes, which forces the hips forwards and preserves the hamstrings for the run. A triathlon bike’s seats are angled at 72 degrees, giving it an advantage in terms of speed.
A triathlon bike is 2 to 4 lbs (1 to 2 kg) heavier than a road bike. Its goal is to make a triathlon bike more aerodynamic than a road bike, as it is with road bikes. The aerofoils and frames on triathlon bikes are larger than those on road cycles.
Time Trial Pros
- Satisfy your thirst for speed — time trial bikes are designed for specific purpose: speed and efficiency.
- Time Trial bikes a mostly futuristic, sleek, and just stunning appearance.
Time Trial Cons
- The handlebar and seat positions on a time trial bike are meant to keep the rider low and compact, not for comfort. This is a challenging position that involves flexibility and strength in your hips, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Only paved roads are suitable for Triathlon
- Because of the forward-leaning position, lack of handling/mobility, and tiny wheels, it might be dangerous in rainy weather.
- Because of your posture on the bike, they are often less comfortable than regular race bikes.
- For injury prevention and maximum power output, a professional bike fit is critical.
Cruiser bikes are great for city riding as well as some mild trail riding. A cruiser, rather than a beach cruiser, is a superior bike for hitting a national park dirt path. They’re also great for low-impact, low-speed rides on both dirt pathways and paved bike lanes.
On level, straight roads, cruiser bicycles are simple to ride, but they are difficult to ride up steep hills and in tight corners. This is due to their distinguishing characteristics, which include a relaxed riding posture, balloon tyres, and a long wheelbase. Those characteristics are excellent for comfort, but they come at the expense of efficiency and precision handling.
Cruiser Bicycles are comparable to hybrid bikes in that they are built for leisure riding and include a spacious, comfy seat and a highly comfortable, upright riding position. When compared to hybrid bikes, cruisers typically feature wider “balloon” tyres and handlebars that are even more upright and, in some cases, swept back.
While riding a beach cruiser will help you lose weight, it will not be comfortable for long periods of time.
The cruiser bike is infamous for being hefty, making it difficult to ride uphill.
Long-distance riding is ideal for cruiser motorcycles. The comfortable riding position allows you to ride for lengthy periods of time.
Cruiser Bike Pros
- Comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
- Cruisers include easy-to-install baskets and racks, making them ideal for delivering groceries.
- These bikes are simple to maintain because to their sturdy frames and basic gearing.
- If you enjoy the retro appearance, there are several beautiful versions to choose from.
- Long-distance or highway rides are recommended.
- Highly comfortable, safe, and long-lasting engine.
- It has a commendable design that improves its appearance as well as its level of comfort.
Cruiser Bike Cons
- Cruisers are heavier and slower than most other types of bikes.
- Front baskets have a minor impact on handling abilities (especially when filled).
- Expensive for the same specifications as conventional motorcycles.
- Due to its engine weight, it must make compromises in terms of power and mileage.
- Turning a cruiser takes more time.
Buying a bicycle:
When you think you’ve figured out what kind of bike you want, do some research on the internet or Google to get a sense of the pricing range for various manufacturers and models, as well as the cost of accessories like mudguards, racks, baskets, and bottle holders.
Most importantly ask yourself should I buy something new, used, or from a department store.
If you have any suggestions or advise, please feel free to reach us via our Contact Us here.