You’ll make the most of your bicycling experience if you choose the right kind of equipment. Your bike should fit your needs, interests and fitness. Before you make a purchase consider a few factors such as the type of riding you will do and the kind of bike that will suit that riding.
Who do you ride with?
What do they ride?
What have you had in the past that you liked?
What have you had in the past that you disliked?
Where would you like to ride your new bike?
If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends, buy something similar to what they ride. You will not be able to keep up with road bikes if you are on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike cannot go on the dirt or the sand.
If you enjoyed a three speed as a child, you may find this a fun bike again. If you disliked the road bike you bought a few years ago, perhaps a mountain bike would be better.
The term “city bike” doesn’t really refer to a specific category of bikes; it’s more of a general descriptive term. They might also be called “commuter” or “urban” bikes, although many of the bikes listed on this page can be used quite well for riding and commuting in a city. However, there is a certain type of bike that some people have in mind when they use the term “city bike.” This bike has characteristics of both a hybrid bike and a cruiser bike–usually the upright riding position of a cruiser, but the wheel size of a hybrid bike.
A city bike might also have some or all of these features that make it more amenable to riding in regular clothes, as opposed to cycling-specific clothing:
- Chain guard
- Skirt guard on rear wheel
A city bike might also have an internally-geared rear hub for ease of use and maintenance, and a built-in generator and lights for safety when riding after dark.
These bikes are also sometimes called “Dutch bikes,” because of their resemblance to the everyday bikes used in Amsterdam and other bike-friendly European cities.
Touring bicycles are another special type of road bike. They are designed to be ridden on pavement, but are more durable for use on self-supported long-distance riding. They have all of the necessary mounting bolts for cargo racks and fenders, and although they still have a drop handlebar, they usually have a more relaxed frame design so that the rider is more upright, for more comfort when riding long distances for multiple days at a time. They have a lower gear range compared to regular road bikes, to allow for carrying heavy loads up steep hills. They also make good commuter bicycles, because of their durability and ability to carry heavy loads.
Mountain Bicycles are design for riding rough off-road trails. They have flat or upright handlebars, and a very low gear range for pedaling up steep trails. Most mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hardtails; mountain bikes with both front and rear suspension are called full-suspension bikes or duallies. Mountain bikes with no suspension are called rigid. Mountain bikes can be outfitted for use as touring or commuting bikes, although they would not be as light or efficient as traditional touring or commuting bikes.
Adventure Road Bikes
Adventure Road Bicycles are one of the newest categories of bicycle. They are sometimes called all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or gravel bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of road bike. Similar to cyclocross bikes, they have drop handlebars and the ability to use wider tires. The frame geometry is longer and more upright compared to a cyclocross bike, however, making these bikes more suitable for long days in the saddle, light touring, and commuting.