Finding The Right Bicycle
Choosing a new bike is a pretty great opportunity to determine what your actual needs are and how that translates into a new ride. Are you a trail rider, looking to gain fitness by hitting the mountain? Planning to tour this summer but interested in something functional for urban commuting? Here are a few ideas on styles of bicycles.
Express Series - Flat Bar and Dual Sport
You’ll find bikes in this category can be quite varied, but commonly have flat bars and the ability to do dual purpose of a commuter and a pleasure bike. A little faster than a standard comfort hybrid, these bikes accept fenders, and have a more upright seating position and commuting sensibility. With easier rolling, skinnier tires, they typically go faster than mountain bikes yet have the positioning many favor for a commuter.
Journey Series - Round Town and City Style
Designed with an eye towards moving people and their goods. A comfortable, stylish alternative meant to mesh with a more laid back lifestyle. These bikes are similar in design dutch bikes and cruisers, but are often lighter, with more gearing options, including low maintenance internal gear hubs.
Lightning Series - Mountain Bikes
Mountain bikes are pretty self explanatory! There are options for suspension types and wheel sizes, and this always depends on your riding style. Cross country suspended hardtails with classic geometry and handling characteristics will meet most needs, unless you’re hitting big dirt jumps or techical downhills. The original style mountain bike, hardtails are now available with varying supsension forks for different sized wheels. 26 inch wheels are still used for most downhill, but 29er wheels and 650b are meeting the need for easier rolling, cross country trails and those who want to climb hills or ride on gravel trails.
Speed Series - Touring, Cyclocross, Road
For those looking to do some training, touring or racing, choosing a road style frame is a great idea. Road frames are built for speed and distance. Touring frames are commonly equipped to take panniers and work well as urban commuters as well; quick enough but built for the long haul. Cyclocross frames are built for doing a little off-roading, and tend to meet the needs for both touring and road training, often adapted into winter bikes (fenders, bigger tires) for those looking to put in miles in more intermittant weather. Road bikes are great for fitness, running on fast rubber and offer a quick, responsive feel, whether climbing mountains or doing the local training loop.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. You should go to your local bike shop and ask about test rides, get fit on a bicycle to see about the right size and make sure you ask about maintenance and longevity. Getting the best bike you can afford will likely help you get better quality components and keep you happier in the long run!
Hope to see you out there!