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Choosing the bike that best suits your lifestyle makes your biking experience much more enjoyable. When you were a kid, that probably meant choosing the flashiest model, but now, as a serious rider, you’ll want to take factors such as trail preference, size, and budget into consideration. When you’re using the right bike, you’ll also lessen the risk of injury and accidents, and see an improvement in your performance. A quality bike is a significant purchase that will last you a long time, so it’s wise to do your research before sealing the deal. This article breaks down bike types and helps you understand which features to consider when choosing the right bicycle for your lifestyle!

Bike Types

Before you can choose the right bike for yourself, you must understand what types of bikes are out there. Certain bikes are specifically designed to perform better on paved roads or natural terrain. Based on your main purpose for riding and what type of trails you enjoy most, you can pick from these three main bike types:

Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes are designed for natural terrains, such as dirt roads and trails. They have wide tires for improved stability, flat handlebars for easy navigation, and lower gears to help with inclines and declines. There are two types of suspension systems that are most common with mountain bikes: full suspension and hardtail. The full suspension usually costs more and requires frequent maintenance, but it is best for steep descents, rough trails, and riders with joint or back problems. On the other hand, hardtail is lighter, cheaper, and performs well on smooth trails and hills.

Road Bike

Like the Lightning McQueen of bicycles, road bikes are designed for speed. They perform best for long distances on paved roads. Road bikes are designed to prioritize aerodynamics, with light frames, narrow tires, and drop handlebars. If your primary purpose for riding is fitness, racing, or commuting, the road bike is the best choice for you. Though they are designed for paved roads, road bikes can also be used on smooth trails and off-road paths. If you have paved bike paths near you, road bikes are a great choice, as their lightweight design also makes them easy to transport to nearby parks and riding destinations.

Hybrid Bike

For riders who plan to take on a variety of trails, hybrid bikes are a great choice, as they combine the features of mountain bikes and dirt bikes. If you are planning to travel to scenic destinations with your bike, this is a great choice due to its versatility. The large wheels and wide tires on hybrid bikes optimize them for speed and traction on dirt and natural terrain. This bike is a great choice for those who want options since the hybrid bike’s compatibility with a wide range of gears makes it customizable based on riding purpose and trial type.

Decision Factors

Budget, terrain, and size are all important aspects of your lifestyle that can help you determine which bike is best for you.

  • Budget: This is one of the most influential decision factors. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can choose what type of features and bike types work for you.
  • Terrain: As we went over when discussing bike types, the type of terrain you are riding on determines what type of bike you should have. You may also consider the landscape around your home and how often you will be riding on one type of trail over another.
  • Size: When it comes to bikes, size does matter. When you’re deciding how the bike fits into your lifestyle, take factors such as storage, transportation, and overall bulkiness into consideration. For example, if you are planning to travel with your bike, you may want something lighter, but if you have decent trails around your home, you may be able to opt for a larger bike.

Find the Right Fit

It’s your life, ride how you want to! In the end, the decision for which bike will fit best into your lifestyle is up to you. Based on factors like preferred trails, riding purpose, budget, and size, you can decide which bike type and model will best suit you. You should plan to visit your local bike shop and try out a couple of models before settling on one. There are also options to customize bike metrics to best suit your body, since the standard sizing may not work for everyone. Much like buying a pair of shoes, choosing the right bike is about finding the right fit. Find your fit and start riding today!