Bike Buying Guide
Are you in the market for a bike? There are a variety of bikes available, all with different attributes to serve different requirements. Here biking hotshot and Care2 researcher Stephanie Mandell guides us through the different bikes available and how to choose the best bike for your needs.
First you need to ask yourself these questions:
Why do you want a bike?
On what kind of terrain will you use the bike?
Smooth dirt roads.
Rocks and uneven ground.
Both paved and smooth dirt roads.
Do you have to lift your bike up to store it?
Yes, and the weight may be a problem.
How fast do you want to travel?
I want to be Superman.
Cruising at a moderate pace is fine by me.
TYPES OF BIKES
Racing bike: A kind of road bike with thin tires and dropped handlebars that is designed to efficiently maximize the power of the rider for ultra speed, high performance climbing and quick handling. Good for: Speed, lightweight, long distances, responsive handling.
Sport bike: A road bike that looks like a racing bike, but is more comfortable and not as light and fast; it is more responsive than a touring bike. Good for: Speed, lightweight, long distances, responsive handling, can carry bags or panniers.
Touring bike: A type of road biked designed for comfort in long distances that is able to carry gear on luggage racks mounted to the front and end of the bike. Good for: Comfort, long distances, can carry bags or panniers, lower frequency of flat tires, durability.
Mountain bike: A heavy, rugged bike with an upright riding position designed to handle off-road terrain. Good for: Comfort, can carry bags or panniers, lower frequency of flat tires, durability.
Hybrid: A bike with a sturdy frame and upright riding position that is lighter than a mountain bike, but not as fast as a road bike. It’s primarily designed for road use, but can handle dirt trails. Good for: Comfort, can carry bags or panniers, lower frequency of flat tires, durability.
Comfort bikes: Specialized mountain bikes or hybrids designed for maximum comfort but not speed; they have gel-filled seats, suspension seat posts to cushion bumps, soft grips to reduce hand and wrist fatigue, and an upright riding position. Good for: Comfort, can carry bags or panniers, lower frequency of flat tires, durability.
By Stephanie Mandell, Care2 contributing writer