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Although there are many different types of bikes, for the most part there are four different categories in which they all fall: road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids and others. Each type will offer a set of characteristics specific to the type of riding you expect to pursue. Therefore, you should select the kind of bike based on the type of riding you enjoy the most. Some details include:
Road bikes are designed for riding on paved streets at relatively high rates of speed. Engineered to minimize weight, road bikes feature skinny tires, light components and a configuration that positions the rider to emphasize aerodynamics and speed. All related cycling equipment and gear is designed to keep the bike light and fast. As with many things, road bikes also have a number of tradeoffs; although relatively strong, road bikes won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. Therefore, if you feel the need for speed, a road bike may be the best option.
Having become increasingly popular over the last 20 years, mountain bikes are considered particularly rugged and versatile. Created for off-road conditions, mountain bikes have wider tires, a more robust frame and durable componentry that is perfect for trail riding. The configuration of mountain bikes gives the rider a more upright position that many find more comfortable. Although these bikes may be more robust, and the related cycling gear is designed for durability, they are slower than many other types of bikes. Therefore, if you enjoy trail riding and going off-road, a mountain bike is your best choice.
Taking the best from road and mountain bikes, hybrid bikes are a blend of the two. Best suited for those on shorter trips around town, Hybrid Bikes feature more aerodynamic qualities of road cycling equipment such as skinny tires and a lighter frame with mountain bike features such as an upright seat and handlebar position that most people enjoy. If you’re looking for a good utility bike appropriate for an occasional trip to the market or a weekend bike ride in the part, a hybrid should fit the bill nicely.
When selecting the right bicycle, start by understanding how you intend on using the bike and purchase your bike and related cycling gear accordingly.