Styles of Bike
Hints & Tips
Choosing the correct bike will depend on what purpose you intend to use the bike for, there are numerous types of bikes that can cater to your specific requirements and needs. It is important to consider what you will be using your bike for before making any decisions; this should guide you in the right direction when making your final choice. Consideration should be given to the type of riding that you will be undertaking, where you will be riding, if you will be racing your bike or not and if you will be riding on or off the road.
Hybrid bikes are a multi purpose bike that would suit most commuters, casual riders or cycling beginners. Hybrid bikes, or trekking bikes as they can be known, combine different elements of mountain and road bikes. Like a mountain bike the hybrid bike has a high gear ratio and upright straight handle bars, the hybrid bike also has narrower tyres like road bikes, which make it more suitable for riding on the road and on smooth dirt tracks and the upright position means that cyclists can be more visible in traffic. As the hybrid bike is quite popular there is a vast range available on the market.
Mountain bikes are best for riders who will be undertaking large amounts of off road cycling. Top of the range mountain bikes can fall into a number of different categories, cross country, free ride, hardtail and downhill. The bike you choose will depend on your requirements and style of riding, if you are unsure and are looking for a mountain bike that can do everything then go for a free ride bike. This style of bike generally has a tougher frame, increased suspension, better brakes, tyres with a better grip and more gears than your average hybrid bike.
If you intend to compete in races then a road bike or racing bike would be your best choice, these style of bikes are designed to go as fast as possible across tarmac. The racing bike has a very lightweight frame, many gears, drop handlebars, a narrow seat and very thin high pressure tyres. The bikes are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible and the riding position is fairly stooped over to produce less wind resistance, therefore making the bike travel faster.
Ideal for the commuter, city bikes are fairly similar to hybrid bikes however they are designed to be much quicker across tarmac. The frame is similar to a racing bike, there are numerous gears, but the main difference being that city bikes are fitted with slim and faster tarmac tyres.
Touring bikes are similar to road bikes, however slightly more comfortable to allow the rider to ride in comfort for miles and miles. These bikes are designed for long distance journeys carrying all or most of your luggage. Touring bikes normally have mudguards fitted to avoid road spray and front and rear racks to carry your complete load.
Folding bikes are useful as a commuting bike; they can be folded up and taken indoors or on public transport making them practical and virtually thief-proof. For commuters they are useful if there is not much storage space to keep a bike at home or in the office.
Electric bikes are generally more expensive than conventional bikes and can be a lot heavier, however they are useful for people who can not ride a conventional bike or require power assistance on some journeys.
The older more traditional style of bike tends to have a step through frame for ladies and a diamond frame for the men's model; many have baskets fitted on the front of the handlebars and the bikes normally have three or more gears. These bikes tend to be fairly low maintenance, comfortable bikes and provide a very upright riding position; the bikes are built for comfort and not speed.
Women's bikes have become more popular over the last number of years, with several manufacturers designing and developing specific bikes specifically for women, our section on Women Specific Bikes provides more information.