If choosing a bike can be a source of happiness for enthusiasts, novice cyclists can easily get lost in front of the many bikes on offer.
This guide will help you answer the question: How to choose your bike?
Choosing a bike primarily depends on the practice you have. Do you ride a bike in a city, in a village, or the mountains? Do you plan to travel regularly over long distances? You must first determine your need, and then choose your bike:
- MTB (mountain bike)
- Hybrid Bike
- City Bikes
- Road Bikes
- Kids Bikes
A mountain bike is an ideal bike for going out of town or somewhere in the forest. But today, there are many mountain bikes that meet many practices and various applications.
Mountain bicycles usually have a fork in front and no suspension at the rear. The front fork provides some comfort by damping uneven ground. A tough fork is lighter but also cheaper.
For the rear suspension (“full suspension” mountain bike), the shock absorber on the frame has the advantage of better comfort on rough terrain, but it also increases weight and a slight loss of pedaling.
Indeed, the pedal acts on the pedal, which moves the bike, but also compresses the damper a bit: this is called the pumping effect. Mountain biking is undoubtedly suitable for riding outside the city and in the mountains.
“Freeride” is to rush through the mountains, make crazy jumps, and perform various tricks.
Mountain bicycles are heavily loaded while riding and must be very strong.
Rather, choose mountain bikes with disc brakes, and with large suspensions front and rear (more than 100 mm, ideally 150 or more).
Tip: freeride is a dangerous practice; do not try to overcome obstacles or tracks that make you doubt! We also strongly recommend that you wear a helmet such as for motocross, but lighter and made for mountain bikes.
If you ride in the city or the countryside or ride on asphalt and small paths, then a hybrid bike is the bike you need. Choosing the right bike depends on how you use it or what you are going to do with it. Because if you like your hybrid bike, bought for short trips, it will quickly become your favorite form of transport to ride every day or long distances.
For those who want to play sports and have fun without getting tired while cycling, a hybrid bike will take you everywhere, it is a universal bike.
Tip: When riding on many roads, your tire is more likely to meet spikes or small stones that will break the pipe. Do not forget to bring equipment to repair any punctures (tire fitting, patches, inner tube)!
If you want to ride a bicycle to work, go shopping, or ride your friends while staying on the road, a hybrid bike is definitely for you!
These bikes have large wheels and fairly thin tires, which are ideal for smooth riding on asphalt. You can attach a basket or bags to transport things, the bike is convenient and often well equipped. Hybrid bikes must be practical and efficient!
Tip: To avoid stealing a bicycle in the city, always hang it with one or more locks, even for a few minutes! If you cannot take your bike home at night, no lock can guarantee 100% safety of your bike from theft.
City bicycles in many variations can be divided into two categories. The first is in an exclusively urban, Dutch-style or in the shape of a gooseneck and one-frame. The second has a slightly more universal form, usually corresponding to the name “hybrid”.
To the first category, with a less curved line, it is more comfortable to ride: you do not need to lift your legs. With this type of bike, you can feel the movement better. It is very nice for short trips, but you get tired of it faster. When you stand straight, the wind gain is maximum.
If you make regular trips for more than 5 miles or if you want to gain speed from time to time, then the second type of bicycle (hybrid) will be more ergonomic.
Road bikes are designed for those who want to play sports, ride far and fast.
A road bike typically has 700-millimeter wheels and very thin tires to reduce friction and thus be able to ride faster and easier, while maintaining good performance.
A bicycle must have many speeds (at least two front plates for 18 or more speeds) so that you can ride and pedal at any speed for any descent or ascent.
The saddles are also thin to be comfortable for long trips. Finally, the weight of the bike is one of the most important data, plus the bike will be lighter and easier to restart and speed up. Lightness also comes at a significant cost; for the best and most demanding of you, there are carbon bike frames, both durable and lightweight, but also much more expensive than aluminum.
Tip: There are many sizes of road bikes, each of which has a specific size, which will allow you to improve your position. By choosing your height and adjusting the height of your saddle, you can ride miles without any worries!
Your children deserve the most reliable and safe bike. Depending on the size and age of your child, there are many bicycles designed solely for your children to have fun and ride safely.
Children benefit from the small wheels that come with the bikes so they can learn with you to find balance and make their first pedal kicks.
Tip: Since safety is paramount, be sure to bring your child a helmet! Children’s helmets are specially designed for them, for their size, for greater safety!
What Size Bike Do I Need?
Inclined cross frames provide a good compromise between stiffness and crossover. You should be able to touch your foot to the ground when you stop without skewing your pelvis, and you don’t need to extend your foot at the bottom of the pedal fully.
A good brand will offer you three or four frame sizes. Try several bikes and make sure the tires are well inflated. Better to spend a little time to try than regret the purchase. And order the correct size, and do not take the one that is in the store to get it right away.
Difference Between Steel and Aluminum Bikes
Should you take a steel or aluminum frame? Steel better dampens small bumps and vibrations, aging pretty well. The aluminum frame will be lighter but tougher. A damaged aluminum frame is harder to repair. It is less resistant to shock and vibration than steel, but better to saltwater corrosion. The front suspension is not significant, with the possible exception of aluminum on the wrong surface.
Do not forget that the bike frame is less than a third of the weight. And the only weight criterion is not in pounds; it boils down to the question: can I easily lift my bike to transport it in the subway or a car?
What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Bike
In order for the bike to be adapted to your practice, another detail is important: the handlebar adjustable in height and tilt. The bicycle handlebar and its adjustment play a big role in finding a comfortable position.
On a hybrid bike, you will have higher efficiency, but be careful: the offered models are not always well equipped with valuable accessories for everyday use in the city.
To avoid: a super-short rear wing that protects little, or a basket with a light suspension on the bicycle handlebar, which does not withstand the load in relation to its volume.
Finally, feel free to change the saddle. A good saddle will do much more for your comfort than you think. We often recommend a model hollowed out in its central part, for both men and women. But determining the best saddle is difficult: it is individual, so choose it according to your preference.
And of course, remember the most essential accessories: lighting. Do not choose the cheapest options. After all, it would be unsafe to remain in complete darkness during the trip if the lighting suddenly breaks.