Do you ever look at cyclists enjoying their rides and think, "I want to do that!"

Finding the right bike can be overwhelming and confusing, but if you know what you need, you'll be better able to decide.

Isn't it difficult to decide which bike to buy?

Think Of Your Purpose

Do you want to:

  • Take a pleasure ride in your free time?

  • Commute to work?

  • Go on adventures?

  • Have a workout tool to help stay fit?

Photo by Azadeh Adibi

Quiz

Jim has a desk job far from his home. He's thinking of losing some weight and building some leg muscles. He should get a bike to:

Ride for pleasure

Stay fit

Commute to work

All of these

For Pleasure Rides

Beach/cruiser bikes:

  • More comfortable to ride because they have cushioned seats and thick tires

  • Put less pressure on your body so you can ride them slowly and enjoy the view

  • The simple version of a cruiser bike only has one speed — it has no gears for you to change the speed, which is best for riding on flat ground

    • Other cruisers have 3 to 7 gears so you can adjust to different riding environments

    • Having more gears means you can ride up a hill with less effort

A woman riding a cruiser bike across a city street

A woman riding a cruiser bike through a park

Quiz

Sam's weekend riding route has 3 hills to climb. One of them is quite steep. How many gears should she have on her cruiser?

7 gears

3 gears

1 gear

No gears

For Training And Commuting

Road bikes:

  • Ride fast and are designed for long-distance travel on the road

  • Have thin tires and very light material, so you can carry them comfortably when needed

  • Are more expensive because of the material they're made of and their speed options

    • One might have three front gears and seven rear gears, so twenty-one speed choices altogether!

    • You can easily ride them on steep slopes by adjusting the gears

    • You can challenge your body and gain muscles using harder gears

A person in spandex riding clothes on a road bike

Quiz

Who should buy a road bike?

Farhad: only rides for pleasure

Marta: joined a weekend bike tour group

Alex: has a long commute

For Training Your Body

Mountain bikes

  • Good for adventures and riding on trails and dirt

  • Have wider tires and flat handlebars for control and are more durable

  • Can improve coordination and concentration because you'll have to focus on speed and safety when riding on a route

  • Help you burn a considerable amount of calories and lose weight

    • They engage the lower body and the upper body to give you a whole-body workout experience

A person riding down a mountain path

A person riding a mountain bike

Quiz

Mountain bikes are best for riders who:

Have some experience riding off-road

Are comfortable with risks

Don't wear helmets

For Multipurpose Riding

Hybrid bikes:

  • let you experience both road and off-road biking

  • are more reasonable in terms of pricing

  • are suitable for cruising around the city

  • can handle more accessible trails and gravel roads

  • are more comfortable than a road bike

  • might not be as fast as road bikes

  • follow a similar gear setting as road bikes

  • have wider tires than road bikes

  • have a flat handler similar to mountain bikes

A person riding a hybrid bike through a city

Take Action

A person stumbling on a bike while two people watch and grimaceMake sure you choose the right bike!

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This Byte has been authored by

AA

Azadeh Adibi

Instructional Designer