Are you looking for a new bike but don’t know where to begin? Yes, it might be intimidating because of the jargon and the nifty features that make one model ideal for someone but an unsuitable choice for you. Simply put, the right type of bike boils down to your needs, or to be more exact, where and how you plan to use it.
These are the other factors you have to consider when buying a new bike:
- Performance and speed
- Wheel size
- Frame materials
- Your height
Whether you buy a road bike, a commuter, a BMX, or an e-bike, there is one basic rule that you should keep in mind: Make sure that the frame fits your body measurements, especially your torso, arms, and inseam.
The general rule is to choose a bike with stand-over height (distance between the ground and the upper surface of the top tube) that is 2.5 cm - 5 cm lower than your inseam measurement (vertical distance between your crotch and feet.
If you want to compare different types of bikes from reputable brands, visit BikeExchange – a one-stop online shop that also offers bicycle accessories, components, wheels, and tires. In addition, we have a comprehensive directory of local partner stores across the US that you can visit if you want to personally inspect the products and/or have a professional perform the bike assembly.
What are the different types of bikes?
Road bikes: As the name suggests, they are ideal for paved, smooth trails and are often uncomfortable and unstable when used on unpaved terrains. They have smooth skinny tires, drop handlebars, and lightweight frames. In general, they are not suitable for touring, commuting, and carrying heavy loads.
Road bikes come in different categories, such as gravel bikes that have a drop handlebar for aerodynamic efficiency and wider tires ideal for gravel, asphalt, and dirt terrains; endurance road bikes that provide comfort on longer rides; and performance bikes that have a lightweight and aerodynamic frame that is ideal for riding in organized races.
Mountain bikes: Because they are designed for off-road trails, they have a low gear range for pedaling up steep terrain and flat/upright handlebars. Furthermore, they often come with some type of shock absorbers (also called suspension). Those with only front suspension are called hardtail bikes, while those with both front and rear suspension are referred to as full-suspension mountain bikes. They are also known for their versatility. In fact, you can outfit and turn them into touring or commuting bikes.
Mountain bikes also come in four main categories: trail bikes designed for beginner-friendly trails and dirt roads; fat-tire bikes, which are great for sandy and snowy terrains; cross-country bikes that are lightweight and responsive; and all-mountain bikes that are excellent for riding on more difficult terrains.
Hybrid bikes: Bikes like these combine elements from road bikes, mountain bikes, and more to create a two-wheeled machine that is versatile. They often come with rigid suspension, a range of gears, and a durable frame meant to withstand any weather condition. As a multipurpose bike, hybrids can be used for recreational riding, fitness, commuting, or riding on light, unpaved roads.
Electric bikes: Some road and mountain bikes nowadays include e-bike options, which means that they come with a pedal-assisted motor that can expand your riding possibilities. While they come with a higher price tag, they allow you to ride faster and farther and tackle steep hills with less effort.
Commuter bikes: Also called city or urban bikes, their geometry allows for a comfortable upright riding position, and their wheel size is similar to a hybrid bike’s. With the growing concern for the environment over the past several years, the US has seen a rise of these bikes that are geared directly at people looking for bicycles for daily work and school travel.
Cruiser bikes: Also called beach cruisers, they are similar to hybrid bikes but have more upright handlebars and larger seats that make them ideal for casual riding. Also, they often come with balloon tires, straightforward steel frame, and single-speed drivetrain.
BMX bikes: They are popular as kids bikes because of their small size. But they also appeal to adult riders who like performing various tricks such as stunt riding or dirt-bike racing. Nevertheless, they are all designed with a lightweight and strong frame.
Specialty bikes: They include tandem bikes, recumbent bikes, folding bikes, cargo bikes, and TT or triathlon bikes.
How to do basic maintenance on a bike?
Before every ride, check for loose components and your bike’s ABC’s—air, brakes, and chains. This means you should inspect its tire pressure, the brake levers, the quick-release and thru-axles, and the drivetrain, including the front chain rings, chain, rear cassette, and rear derailleur. Meanwhile, you can use a simple bike multitool to perform the basic pre-ride inspection adjustments.
Basic maintenance should also include regular cleaning. Take note that you need to remove grime and dirt that got stuck in your drivetrain (and any moving parts) because it may cause wear and tear and rusting.
To further protect the moving components of your bike, make sure that you apply the right amount of lubrication. Wipe away any excess oil that could attract dirt and other abrasive materials that can damage the moving parts.
You don’t need fancy tools to perform basic maintenance—just a simple bike multitool, old toothbrushes, some clean rags, soap (diluted dishwashing soap or a cleaner formulated for bikes), water, chain lubricant, and bike chain degreaser.
If you’re looking for chain lubricant and cleaning tools and agents specifically designed for bikes, visit BikeExchange. Think of us as a one-stop-shop for hobbyists and professional/advanced riders who can buy anything they need, e.g., car bike racks, tools, wheels, bike display stands to clothing, helmet, etc.—all under one roof.
What is the best place to buy bikes?
Whether you’re buying your first bike or adding another two-wheeler to your growing collection, BikeExchange is the perfect online store thanks to their extensive list of sought-after bikes like Cannondale mountain bikes, Scott bikes, and other models from trusted brands.
At BikeExchange, you can purchase a bike and wait for us to deliver it to your doorstep. Another option is to purchase it online and pick it up in-store. Again, we have an extensive directory of partner stores scattered across the US.
When you visit one of our partner stores to pick up your bike, you may ask them to do the assembly. We understand that some people prefer having a pro do their bike assembly, which is why our business model includes a comprehensive directory of local brick-and-mortar shops to give you an excellent and more personalized buying experience.
What are you waiting for? Visit our online shop and choose from our wide range of quality bikes or search for our local partner stores.