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The Desk Idea Group

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Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott

Best Bike To Buy


Your choice of bike will depend on your own tastes too, and the kind of distance and terrain you want to ride. There are many different types of cycling and a multitude of bikes that will enable you to achieve your goals.




best bike to buy



The best cross-country mountain bikes are designed around speed. The best trail mountain bikes and the best enduro mountain bikes have more suspension to take on extreme terrain. The best downcountry mountain bikes sit somewhere in between cross-country and trail mountain bikes, offering speed uphill and enough suspension to take on trickier descents.


Gravel bikes combine road bike looks and speed with loads of frame clearance for fitting fat, knobbly tyres. Gravel tyres are often 40mm or wider to get you across almost any terrain, including terrible tarmac, gloopy mud, bridleways, gravel paths and more.


Best thought of as the halfway point between a road bike and a mountain bike, a hybrid takes the comfy riding position of a mountain bike and pairs it with a lighter frame and fast-rolling road bike wheels.


More powerful ebikes (some with motorcycle-style throttles) are also available, but in some countries, including the UK, these are classed as mopeds or motorbikes and therefore need to conform to the same rules (electric bike insurance, helmets and so forth).


However, as the technology develops, ebikes rise in popularity and people realise their potential to help cut emissions, prices and weights are coming down. The reduction in price means there are plenty of cheap ebikes on the market.


Electric road bikes are increasing in popularity too, helping you ride for longer. While they are a bit more niche than eMTBs, they are great for riders with health conditions that would otherwise stop them from riding altogether.


The more relaxed riding position and more stable geometry of a touring bike mean you can take on almost anything, whether it be a mountain pass when fully loaded with supplies or a quick spin to work.


If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends, buy something similar to what they ride. You will not be able to keep up with road bikes if you are on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike cannot go on the dirt or the sand.


Road bicycles are designed to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. They have smooth, skinny tires and "drop" handlebars, and can be used for on-road racing. They are usually lighter than other types of bicycles. They can be ridden on paved trails, but most people find them uncomfortable and unstable on unpaved trails. Most road bikes are not capable of carrying heavy loads, so are not very suitable for commuting or touring.


Touring bicycles are another special type of road bike. They are designed to be ridden on pavement, but are more durable for use on self-supported long-distance riding. They have all of the necessary mounting bolts for cargo racks and fenders, and although they still have a drop handlebar, they usually have a more relaxed frame design so that the rider is more upright, for more comfort when riding long distances for multiple days at a time. They have a lower gear range compared to regular road bikes, to allow for carrying heavy loads up steep hills. They also make good commuter bicycles, because of their durability and ability to carry heavy loads.


Adventure Road Bicycles are one of the newest categories of bicycle. They are sometimes called all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or gravel bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of road bike. Similar to cyclocross bikes, they have drop handlebars and the ability to use wider tires. The frame geometry is longer and more upright compared to a cyclocross bike, however, making these bikes more suitable for long days in the saddle, light touring, and commuting. See also: Gravel Bike Buyer's Guide


Mountain Bicycles are design for riding rough off-road trails. They have flat or upright handlebars, and a very low gear range for pedaling up steep trails. Most mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hardtails; mountain bikes with both front and rear suspension are called full-suspension bikes or duallies. Mountain bikes with no suspension are called rigid. Mountain bikes can be outfitted for use as touring or commuting bikes, although they would not be as light or efficient as traditional touring or commuting bikes. Fat bikes, with their extremely wide tires, are included in the mountain bike category.


Hybrid Bicycles were originally conceived to provide the advantages of both road bikes and mountain bikes. Their large, padded seats and upright handlebars provide a comfortable riding position, and are best for casual riding around the neighborhood or bike paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town. They can be ridden on paved roads, but are not as lightweight or efficient as road bikes. They are ideal for paved or unpaved bike trails, but are not appropriate for rough off-road mountain bike trails. The tires are usually a medium-width with a semi-smooth tread, to provide a fairly smooth ride on pavement, but enough grip and cushion on unpaved trails. Most hybrid bikes have front suspension to smooth out small bumps, but some are fully rigid. Hybrid bikes used to also be referred to as cross bikes, but that term is not used any more in order to avoid confusion with cyclocross bikes (see above).


Dual-Sport Bicycles are a sub-category of hybrid bikes oriented towards riders who want the multi-surface versatility of a hybrid bike, but want a little more aggressive style and riding position. They have a flat or upright handlebar, although not as upright as regular hybrid bikes; they usually have a smaller, more performance-oriented seat, rather than a large comfort seat. Most have front suspension. Dual-sport bikes make good commuter bikes, and are also good for touring on unpaved trails.


Cruiser Bicycles are similar to hybrid bikes, in that they are designed for casual riding, and have a very comfortable, upright riding position, and a large, comfortable seat. Cruisers usually have wide "balloon" tires, and handlebars that are even more upright, and in some cases, swept back compared to hybrid bikes. Most cruiser bikes are single-speed or 3-speed, and have the old-fashioned coaster brake (where you pedal backwards to stop). They can be used for short-distance commuting and errands, as long as your route is fairly flat. Some cruiser bike manufacturers make a wide array of colorful models available, to suit the fashion tastes of any bike afficionado.


Flat-Foot Comfort Bicycles are a sub-category of cruiser bikes. They have an elongated frame design that pushes the pedals a few inches forward of the seat. This allows you to ride with the seat low enough so that you can place your feet flat on the ground when you are stopped, but you still get the full extension of your legs while pedaling. All Electra Bicycle Company bikes have the flat-foot technology; some other manufacturers have created their own flat-foot designs.


The term "city bike" doesn't really refer to a specific category of bikes; it's more of a general descriptive term. They might also be called "commuter" or "urban" bikes, although many of the bikes listed on this page can be used quite well for riding and commuting in a city. However, there is a certain type of bike that some people have in mind when they use the term "city bike." This bike has characteristics of both a hybrid bike and a cruiser bike--usually the upright riding position of a cruiser, but the wheel size of a hybrid bike.


Folding Bicycles are ideal for those who need to travel with their bike, want a bike to keep on their boat or plane, or who live in small apartments and don't have a lot of storage space. They're also good for commuters who need to take their bike on a bus or train for part of their commute, or who don't have a safe place to park their bike at work. Most folding bikes have smaller wheels, which makes the bike a little less efficient and trickier to handle than a standard bike, but most folding bike fans feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.


Tandem Bicycles are "bicycles built for two." They come in all styles, from cruiser tandems and hybrid tandems for the bike path or boardwalk, off-road mountain bike tandems, and high-performance road racing tandems.


Start by asking yourself where you plan to ride: on streets, bike paths, unpaved roads and trails or some combination of those places? Below is a simple chart with basic bike category options based on the surface(s) each is built for:


Many bike types now include electric bike options, so take a few minutes to decide if an e-bike makes sense for you. Generally, an e-bike with a pedal-assist motor will greatly expand your riding possibilities. While these bikes come with a higher price tag, they allow you to zip up hills with less effort, as well as ride farther and faster.


Road bikes are good for fitness riding, commuting, event rides, touring and racing. Most have a drop-bar handlebar (curling down and toward the rear of the bike), which puts the rider in an aerodynamic position. This bent-forward riding posture can take a little getting used to.


Touring bikes: Touring bikes differ from traditional road bikes in that they are built for riding loaded up with gear over long distances. They have sturdy frames to support heavy loads and have attachment points that let you add racks, fenders, water bottles, pumps, lights and more. A long wheelbase (the distance between the wheel hubs) helps make them easier to control when you have a heavy load.


Designed with shock-absorbing features and sturdy builds, mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps and ruts that make them so fun. Mountain bikes have lower gears than road bikes so you can ride up steeper terrain.


Trail bikes: This is the style most new mountain bikers will get. If social trail riding with friends on beginner-friendly trails and dirt roads is your goal, then this is your bike. Bikes in this category place equal emphasis on fun and efficiency. 041b061a72


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