Do you want to buy a bike? Chances are you will encounter some difficulties if you don’t know exactly what you want, or if you are not familiar with the bike slang. Here we are to help you to choose the bike that suits your needs best. There are three factors to consider when choosing a bike.
1. Bike type
First of all, you have to figure out what do you need the bike for. Do you need it to ride on city streets, countryside roads, or mountain trails? Do you need it for leisure rides, long trips, fitness, or racing? Once you have answered yourself these questions, you will find it easier to choose the bicycle that suits your needs. We have broken down the bikes into categories to help you make your choice.
1. Road bikes
Road bikes are meant for rides on pavement. They feature a light design and a lowered handlebar to allow the rider take a more aerodynamics-friendly posture. You will find many road bikes in the city with people using them for commuting and fitness. Endurance bikes have a more relaxed geometry adjusted to longer rides outside the city. Gravel bikes come with wider tires to stand up to both asphalt and gravel roads.
2. Mountain bikes
Mountain bikes are designed to handle challenging dirt paths, rough terrains and mountain trails. They have visibly wider tires than any other type of bike, which gives them more traction to overcome rocks, bumps and grooves at ease. Also, they have lower gears to help you climb steep slopes. Many mountain bikes have full suspension (both rear and front suspension). Hardtail bikes have only front suspension. They provide a less comfortable ride on rough terrain and a worse traction.
Cross-country bike is your go-to mountain bike if you love to combine off-road and pavement rides. It features grippy tires to deal with rugged terrain and a light design to develop a decent speed on pavement. Fat bikes are less mobile and maneuverable given heavy and extremely wide tires meant to offer maximum traction on sand, snow and mud. These bikes are not suitable for speedy rides and uphill rides due to their massive weight that will make you tired very fast.
3. Hybrid bikes
Hybrid bikes are a mixture of mountain and road bikes. They are not as light and aerodynamic as road bikes, and not as robust as mountain bicycles. They perform greatly both on city streets and dirt trails. They feature low speeds and wide tires to overcome hilly roads and rough terrain. Large-diameter wheels allow the bike to move fast on pavement. Most hybrid bikes come with no suspension. They are more oriented to fitness rides on flat trails. Hybrid bikes with front suspension can be ridden on countryside terrain.
4. Cruise bikes
Cruise bikes are the slow and peaceful bikes. They are not into intense fitness rides where your goal is to beat your last week record. They are not for risky off-road trips and sweaty mountain climbing. They are designed for leisure rides in park or for commuting around the city at a cruise speed. They are equipped with cushioned seat and a rear carrier for a passenger or cargo.
2. Cost of components and overall price
Let’s say you look for a road bike. You might expect all road bikes to have similar prices, but you will be surprised to see that it is not so. Those that feature higher-quality materials and more advanced and efficient components will reign supreme on the price spectrum. Sometimes the prices will differ considerably. So what are those components that make a bike more expensive?
Suspension is a pretty costly element of a bike, especially the rear one. The more suspension the bike has, the more expensive it is. However, this investment pays off in a more comfortable ride and higher functionality on rugged terrain. Another component you are expected to spend more on is disc brake. Disc brakes have been in the shadow of V-brakes for decades. Now they have finally taken the center stage. With higher price comes a higher braking power which keeps you safe on curves and turns.
The frame material has a heavy say in the final price of the bike. Carbon frames are lighter and more resistant to impacts than aluminum frame. Hence its higher price. As of wheels, the larger the wheels, the more expensive they are. Extra thick and anti-puncture tires are meant to improve your bike ride experience. However, you will have to pay more for them.
1. Low-end ($80-$300)
These bikes use basic materials, usually steel frame, non-cushioned seat, V-breaks and plastic pedals. In spite of that, most of them are functional and can last for years if you take good care of them.
2. Mid-range ($300-$1000)
This category includes bikes with aluminum frame, which is lighter than steel, high-quality chain, pedals, tires and gear casette. They boast disc brakes and durable tires that are hard to puncture. The comfort during the ride is provided by suspension and cushioned seat.
3. High-end ($1000 and above)
They come with a light and durable frame made of carbon or titanium, puncture-proof tires, high-quality drivetrain components, fast and smooth gear change technology, dual suspension, and hydraulic disc brakes. This category mostly includes state-of-the-art racing bikes and off-road bikes designed for rigurous ride conditions.
3. Bike size and fit
You want to make sure you feel comfortable when riding your new bike. That’s why, aside from price and features, you have take in consideration the bike fit. Check whether the frame size, the reach, and the standover height satisfy your body parameters.
When choosing a bike, it’s important to consider several factors. Firstly, you have to figure out what type of bike you want. You have to choose a bike that is specially designed for the type of surface you intend to ride on. Also, make sure the bike fits your budget. If you want high-quality components, be ready to pay more. Don’t forget about the bike size and bike fit. You want to be perfectly compatible with your two-wheel vehicle to ensure you feel comfortable during the ride.
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash