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What Type of Bike Should I Get?

What Type of Bike Should I Get?


So, you want to buy a bike?

Whether it's for fitness, health or just the general joy of it, buying a bike can be a great way to get around and have some fun while you do it.

But if you're new to cycling or this is your first time buying a bike as an adult, the range of bikes on offer can be a little overwhelming.

To help you out, we've put together this guide to help you get to know bikes and choose the right bike for your requirements, cycling type and price range.

Follow the simple advice below, and you should be shopping for bikes that are the perfect fit in no time.

This guide will covering the following:

  • Who is riding the bike?
  • What Size Bike do I Need?
  • Where will you ride?
  • Road Bike
  • Mountain Bike
  • Hybrid Bike
  • Touring Bike
  • All-road Bike
  • Cyclocross
  • Singlespeed Bike
  • City Bike
  • Electric Bike
  • Folding Bike

Who is riding the bike?

The first questions that need answering are:

Are you buying this bike for yourself, is it the first bike you'll ever be riding? Or maybe you have a young child who is ready to experience the world on two wheels?

All this will change the type of bike you are buying.

What Size Bike do I Need?

Having the wrong size bike can really ruin your experience on the road. If the top tube is too high, you may struggle to mount the bike and if the seat is too low, your knees may come up too high while you're riding. So, it's important that your bike is the right size for you in order to cycle safely and comfortably.

Where will you ride?

The first question you need to ask is: "What type of terrain will I be riding on?".

This simple question will cut down the range of bikes on offer to a few simple choices. For example:

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

From here, read each of the relevant bike types below to find the right bike for your particular circumstance.

Road Bikes

What is a road bike?

Road bikes have handlebars that circle down toward the rear of the bike, skinny tyres and a lightweight frame. All the features of a road bike are designed to make the bike aerodynamic and achieve maximum speed with minimum effort.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

The benefits of buying a road bike are that it is quick, efficient and easy to move around. However, the riding position for this particular bike can be uncomfortable and will take some getting used to. It's also worth noting that road bikes are usually expertly designed, meaning they often come with a hefty price tag.

Mountain Bike

What is a mountain bike?

Mountain bikes have either front, back or full suspension shock absorbers, fat mud-tackling tyres and heavy, tough frames. All the features of a mountain bike are designed to tackle rocks, roots and ruts on a dirt trail. Mountain bikes will also come equipped with lower gears to tackle steeper terrain.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

The real benefit of a mountain bike can be seen on rough terrain. Now, you might be picturing a young twenty-something crushing rock on a mountain's edge, but even a casual trail rider will appreciate the extra comfort afforded by the front or full suspension. The extra weight also makes the bike a tad more steady and offers the rider a sense of security.

Hybrid Bike

What is a hybrid bike?

As the name suggests, hybrid bikes are a collision of mountain bike and road bike engineering. Combining the fast wheels and light frame of a road bike, with the comfortable seat and handlebars of a mountain bike, this set up offers you the best of both worlds.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

So, maybe you like the sound of a road bike? But you also want the comfort of a mountain bike? If so, then you will love the Hybrid Bike. This bike is particularly great for commuting, allowing you to cover on-road distance but in a comfortable, right-up position.

Touring Bike

What is a touring bike?

Touring bikes have handlebars that circle down toward the rear of the bike, a comfortable seat, a "light" weight frame and fatter tyres. They will also come pre-fitted with some additional attachments that allow you to carry extra bags and equipment.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

Touring bikes, as the name suggests, are best for long-distance travel. The bike is designed to support heavy loads and the fatter tyres allow you to take on diverse terrain. The downside of this design is that it tends to be quite slow, preferring a gradual steady pace rather the lightning-quick design of a road bike.

All-Road Bike

What is an all-road bike?

All-road bikes have handlebars that circle down toward the rear of the bike, frames with lots of clearance from the ground and 35mm-wide tyres. Your all-road bike may also come pre-fitted with mudguards, pannier racks and hydraulic disk breaks.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

The idea behind this bike design is in the name. Yes, this bike can take on all road types. That includes awful tarmac, bridleways, gravel paths, you name it. They also perform quite well in winter weather, allowing you to more easily handle ice, snow and general wet weather.


What is a cyclocross bike?

Cyclocross bikes have fat tyres, drop handlebars, mudguards, panniers and usually come equipped with disc breaks. This is a racing bike, used in the entertaining sport of cyclocross.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

If you're interested in purchasing a cyclocross bike, we doubt you'd be reading this article. This bike is usually used by amateur and professional racers or general cycling enthusiasts. That said, if you're looking for a bike that allows an aggressive approach to gravel and bridleways without sacrificing speed, this may be the bike for you.

Singlespeed Bike

What is a singlespeed bike?

Singlespeed bikes, as the name suggests, are fixed in one single gear position. They are designed with a rigid, all-in-one frame and come fitted with racing-style slim tyres. Most singlespeed bikes have no freewheel, meaning you always have to pedal if you're moving.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

The main benefit of purchasing a singlespeed bike is how easy they are to maintain. This, combined with its ability to maintain high speeds, makes it ideal for commuting. The only major downside is that the fixed-gear position makes it near impossible to ride uphill.

City Bike

What is a city bike?

City bikes are "dutch" style, meaning they are designed with a taller frame that allows the rider to sit up straight when riding. City bikes most commonly come with either single speed or three-speed gears, but you will find some city bikes that offer seven gears.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

The main benefit of the city bike is the taller frame. This offers greater visibility of the road and more comfort than other bike styles. As the name suggests, it's perfect for riding casually in and around busy cities but is also a popular bike for casual weekend bike rides.

Electric Bike

What is an electric bike?

Electric bikes come in either hybrid or mountain bike styles and are built with powerful "pedelec" motors that assist the rider with pedalling. In the UK, electric bikes are limited to 15.5mph on the road and must be "pedal activated". This means you need to pedal to activate the motor.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

As you can imagine, the main benefit of an electric bike is how easy it becomes to get around. Fancy getting to work without a sweat? Get an electric bike. Worried your fitness might not cope too well on a regular bike? Get an electric bike. Tough hill to climb on the daily commute? Get an electric bike. The only downside is that the bike needs to be regularly charged and electric bikes do tend to be a little more expensive than regular bikes.

Folding Bike

What is a folding bike?

Folding bikes are ideal for commuting if there's a need to combine cycling with public transport. Let's say you get a bus or train as one part of your journey, but then need to cycle two or three miles to your actual workplace. This is where a folding bike can be particularly useful, allowing you to easily complete the additional two or three miles, without having to lug a full-size bike on and off trains in the morning.

What Type of Bike Should I Get?

So, there you have it. A complete guide on what type of bikes are available and the pros and cons of each. Which one is right for you?

If you need to transport your bike safely, be sure to take a look at out selection of bike racks.

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