A better first question would be “What do I want to use this bike for?” A three Kilometre commute every morning will be a very different type of cycling to a four hour ride through the mountains for example. Answering this question will help you to identify the most suitable bike for you.
We have outlined the options of bike we feel are best based on your needs for the bike.
"I want a bike for commuting"
There are two types of bike that we feel are suitable for commuters:
The city bike family can commonly be identified by their upright, relaxed riding positions and low top tube. Whilst road bikes and mountain bikes are built for performance, city bikes are designed to provide comfort and practicality.
The comfort is provided not only by the riding position and frame but also by the weight of the bike which provides a stable ride. The ability to fit pannier racks to the vast majority of city bikes increases the amount you can carry with you whilst riding.
If you are looking for a bike to commuting on relatively flat roads, the comfort and practicality of city bikes makes them an ideal choice. However if you are someone who uses public transport as part of their commute as well as cycling then we advice you look at folding bikes.
The folding bike family is a specialist type of city bike, with the added benefit that they can be folded into a smaller size. This means they can be taken on most forms of public transport, making them a great option for anyone who cannot ride door-to-door on their daily commute.
Accommodating a folding design is not without compromise particularly in terms of performance, but if the folding mechanism could benefit your daily commute, it is an option to consider.
"I cycle a lot in my spare time, mainly on roads. I also take part road races and triathlons"
The road bike can commonly be identified by their lightweight frames, large but thin wheels and tyres and drop handlebars. Road bikes are designed to provide speed and performance on the road. Whilst the aggressive riding position can take a little getting used to, once you have several rides under your belt you can comfortably enjoy some long rides.
The design of road bikes makes them suitable for people who are looking for a bike for recreational or sport purposes. The performance they offer means that you can push yourself as hard as you want physically whilst still enjoying the workout.
"I like to cycle off-road and up hills/mountains"
The mountain bike can commonly be identified by their wide, treaded tyres, rugged design, prominent suspension and multiple gears. Everything is set up to provide the best performance off-road, which means providing a high level of grip and good suspension to deal with surfaces that could be very bumpy, wet, steep or all of the above!
Mountain bikes are ideal for anybody who loves to explore, as they allow you to ride to places simply inaccessible using other bike families. Competition mountain bikes set up for the toughest off-road trails are also perfect for thrill-seakers. However, the fact that they are set up to provide a comfortable ride even on bumpy surfaces means they are also popular with commuters, particularly in places where the road surface is poor.
By identifying the right bike for you, you can ensure that you choose a bike, which will be suited to the type of riding you want to enjoy. You’ll still have plenty of decisions to make before you find the right bike, but at least you will be looking in the right place!
All of our Cyclescheme Partner Bike Stores stock a wide range of bike brands and models - to find a complete listing of our retailers visit www.cyclescheme.ie/partners
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