So Many Choices
There Are Lots of Bicycles Out There...But What's Right For Me?
When trying to decide on the best type of bike, think about these questions:
- What would you like to do with your new bike?
- Who do you ride with? What do they ride?
- What have you had in the past that you liked/disliked?
- How much money are you comfortable spending?
If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends — buy something similar to what they ride. Unless you're super fit, you won't be able to keep up with road bikes if you're on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike can't handle trail riding like a Mountain Bike or a 29er could. Choose the bicycle that suits your needs.
If you enjoyed a cruiser as a child, you may find this to be a fun bike again. If you disliked the road bike you bought a few years ago — perhaps a mountain bike or a dual-sport would be better.
As you learn about the different bicycles available and think about where and how you'll ride, you'll start getting a clear picture of the best bike for you. Here's a quick run-down of the different types that are available today.
Road Bikes are fast and efficient on pavement. They are often the bicycle of choice for people interested in long-haul riding in road conditions, If you're looking for a bicycle that allows you to hit the open road with the best performance, than a road bike could be the best choice for you.
Mountain Bikes (26, 27.5 & 29ers) are a bit slower on smooth pavement, since they're designed to perform in off road conditions. Mountain Bikes have a more upright riding position versus a Road Bike, with easily accessed controls. Even though they're designed to perform better off-road, Mountain Bikes are still quite versatile, since they can travel easily on a wide variety of surfaces. If you enjoy anything and everything a Mountain Bike could be a great choice. Most mountain bikes now feature the 27.5 or 29er wheel size. Are you on the tall side? A 29er might be a good choice for you, if you're a little shorter check out a 27.5 for a great fit.
Fat Bikes / Plus Bikes In the same category as Mountain Bikes - they feature a wider tire, and are designed for off-road use - They're suitable for riding in many of the same places as mountain bikes, but also other areas like sand and snow.
Hybrid Bikes are one of the most popular bicycles that we sell here at the The Bicycle Shop. They blend the efficiency of a Road Bike with the versatility of a Mountain Bike. They're great for riding on the rail trails or around town. They've also been adopted as the bike of choice for many people interested in commuting, since they work well with racks and pannier bags. If you're looking for comfort and efficiency, a Hybrid could be the bike for you.
Dual Sport Bikes They blend the speed an efficiency of the hybrid, with the sporty nature of a mountain bike. As some describe them, they're a light duty mountain bike or a heavy duty hybrid. They're perfect for the weekend warrior who wants something they can commute with during the week, and have fun with on the weekend. If you're looking for a bike that does it all, a Dual Sport might be the style for you.
Comfort Bikes are similar to Hybrids, but they adopt the rugged nature of a Mountain Bike with a smoother tire. They share a lot of the positioning and comfort features of a hybrid as well. While you sacrifice a little bit of efficiency on the road, you have the option of going off-road a little deeper with a Comfort Bike. If you like Mountain Biking, but would like to be a bit more comfortable, a Comfort Bike might be the best choice.
Cruisers (sometimes called "Beach Cruisers") are one of the novelties of the bike world. They often blend funky or retro patterns and graphics with comfort and fun. They're perfect for riding at a relaxed pace and are ideal for admiring the scenery, and exploring the neighbourhood or shore.
Recumbents are those bikes that look like the rider is sitting in a chair. They're fast and comfortable, but they require some learning to be operated with maximum efficiency. Since some designs sit lower to the ground than a regular bike, visibility in traffic can be an issue (we can recommend ways to improve visibility).
Keep in mind that even within these categories, there can be smaller sub-categories. For example, there are Mountain Bikes specifically designed for Dirt Jumping and Road Bikes specifically built for Time Trial and Triathlon. There are also Track Bicycles that are built for indoor riding on a Velodrome (A banked cycling track). If you'd like more information on Track Racing or the Velodrome...feel free to Contact Us! Or Check Out The Forest City Velodrome in London, ON
There is nothing we enjoy more than sharing our expertise with customers like you. While this website provides some of the basics, it's not a replacement for coming in and chatting with us about cycling. Face to Face is the best way to buy a bicycle, and it's the way we love doing business. C'mon down and we'll be more than happy to show you the differences between Hybrid and Comfort Bikes, Mountain and Dirt Jumpers, not to mention all of the accessories that go along with them! We offer a wide variety of bicycles to ensure that you go home with the bike that you love, suits your needs, and is within your budget. There is nothing better than seeing and riding a few bicycles before you make your purchase to truly understand the differences, we're here to help you make an informed decision.
So, drop in to say Hi, try out some bikes, and share our knowledge! We look forward to meeting you!