So, you've decided to take up bicycling! Whether you plan to use your bike for eco-friendly transportation, weekend adventures or health reasons, there are a number of considerations involved in choosing your beginner bicycle.
Let's look at a few factors that will help you narrow the wide number of options into a workable action plan. You may want a pen and paper to jot down important notes.
Where, When and How Far will you Ultimately Ride your Bicycle?
It may seem ambitious to project riding your beginner bicycle 10 miles, more or less, to work every day. However, unless you want to 'buy up' each time you reach a milestone; it's good to list all your goals upfront.
Where –describe the terrain you plan to navigate. Take hills, remote areas and road surfaces into consideration. How about off-road riding?
When – note whether or not you plan to ride during daylight hours, after dark and/or weekends.
How Far – list approximate distances to work, the park, places you might cycle to run errands, nearby bike trails and so on.
Hybrids, Comfort and Mountain Bikes – Oh My!
If it appears you'll be making mostly short and leisurely trips on good roads, the lightweight hybrid is a good selection for your beginner bicycle
The hybrid is often called 'jack of all trades' because they maneuver in a similar manner as mountain bikes but are light as a road bicycle. You'll enjoy upright handle bars; get effective pedaling and ride with ease.
No worries if you'd like to occasionally take lesser traveled paths. These little beauties are designed to withstand rougher trails too.
Comfort Bikes accentuate – uh – comfort! This is your go-to beginner bicycle if you prefer more laid-back recreational rides. Don't expect to participate in races, because comfort bikes aren't built for speed. Larger tires accommodate dirt and gravel, as well as paved roads.
Road Bikes are lightweight and made for speed on flat terrain. Compared to other types, their tires are narrower, wheelbase is shorter and handlebars are either drop-bar of flat-bar.
The drop-bar option is pretty sweet! You can change hand positions, plus your upper body to deter fatigue. There is a slick position that will reduce resistance from wind. You'll spend less energy while going faster!
The flat-bar option puts your body in an erect position that works well for traveling short distances. The road bike might be your best choice if you plan to enter competitive events later on.
If your long term goal is to become a serious cyclist and follow where the road takes you, even if 'over the river and through the woods' you'll ultimately need one of the many styles of mountain bikes.
Mountain bikes aren't constructed for speed, but they handle themselves like...