how to choose a bike

A Complete Guide on How to Choose a Bike for you

What if you got yourself a nice bike with a good amount of money and then after some time you realize it’s not for you? Would you want to feel that?

I know you are a smart person and the answer is “NO”.

Let’s help you make the right decision on how to choose a bike.

There are some factors you need to keep in mind while you think about purchasing a bike for you.

To start, the place and how often you ride matters the most, majorly based on these two prospects you are supposed to find the right fit for you.

For different terrains and different riding styles, different types of bikes are available.

Once you choose the right bike based on your need, it would make you love cycling more and more.

Pick the perfect bike type for you.

how to choose a bike

What kind of bike are you after? It’s important to know where and how you prefer to ride a bike.  The terrain you prefer to ride in mostly determines what kind of bike you’ll need.

Road bikes.

If you’re opting for a bike to ride in the city roads to meet your day-to-day needs then you need to look for a road bike with dropped handlebars and skinny tires. This gives you speed and mobility.

Mountain bikes.

If you prefer to bike on rough terrain than you better opt for a mountain bike, this bike is designed to give a comfortable ride on rough terrains.

They have flat handlebars and flat tires, built-in suspension feature to adapt to sudden jolting and even impact dispersion throughout the bike.

Hybrid bikes.

This type of bikes are the perfect combination of a road bike and a mountain bike designed to serve you good both on paved trails and smooth terrains.

A hybrid bike gives you an upright ride and also comes with narrow tires, the best of both worlds.

There are some other types of bikes you’d like to look into as well, such as a cruiser, BMX, tandem, electric, and foldable bikes.

All of these bikes could be classified as leisure rides or for fun activities.

Cruiser Bikes.

The cruiser bikes are more of a laid-back kind of bike. The kind you see on the broad walk along the beachside. These classic bikes are mainly about comfort and style.

BMX Bikes.

The BMX bikes solely serve the purpose of performing tricks and stunts. These are usually steel body and are designed to be low on the ground so that you can safely pull off some tricks.

These bikes are intended to be on the streets or dirt. You might want to start in your driveway or maybe a skate park.

Tandem Bike.

The intention behind a tandem bike is to enjoy a fun activity with someone as well as serving the purpose on how to stay healthy, fit, and pain-free. Multiple riders can ride the same bike together.

Electric bikes

You might also want to know about electric bikes (e-bikes). Basically, an electric motor is attached to the bike which makes your bike riding a whole lot easier and gives a whole new dimension.

For senior people, fun seeking people, or even if someone who has some health issues can take advantage of an electric bike since it is much easier to ride without breaking a sweat. There are all types of different variants when it comes to E-bikes.

Some of you who want to carry and have a portable bike, know that there are foldable bikes as well. You can fold and carry them easily anywhere. Usually, they are small and compact.

Bike Frame Size Chart for all type’s of rider.

Factors to Consider

perfect bike type

Frame Material

Generally, bike frames come in steel or aluminum. Two from which aluminum investment is considered to be the best since steel is a much denser substance and hence wouldn’t be as lightweight.

Aluminum frames come in to be more durable and lightweight; making itself to be a better option than steel without being overbearing on the budget spectrum.

Titanium and carbon fiber have also been used in constructing frames but aren’t seen on a massive scale due to their propensity of being exclusive which ups their pricings.

Nonetheless, carbon can make your frame feel exceptionally light and titanium on the other hand gives you a combination of all the good prospects in one without making any compromises.

However, you don’t have to worry much with material since they don’t make much of a difference for an average rider; besides that, the difference in expense due to different materials might just not be worth it.

Do you know about e-bike, If you don’t know visit what’s is an e-bike

Brake Type

Getting to know about your brakes is very important when you’re choosing your bike. Not necessarily you’ll be able to customize them but different bikes have different brakes to best accommodate their engineering.

Mainly there are two types of brakes; rim brakes and disc brakes. Rim brakes are comparatively cheaper buy.

On the other hand, we see a few different types of disc brakes. New bikes these days come with mechanical disc brakes, also there is another strong disc brake known as the hydraulic disc brake.

Hydraulic disc brakes automatically adjust itself as its pads wear out and are known to be the most powerful and responsive brake there is, it is also one of the most expensive brakes.

With better brakes come better-stopping power, but that comes at a cost.

Suspension.

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Mountain bikes generally have suspensions in both the front and rear wheel, this feature helps you to have a bump-free comfortable ride. Sometimes the suspension may only be in the front wheel.

Hybrid bikes also may offer this feature but if you are planning to ride just on paved roads then it’s better to let this feature go since it only adds to the cost.

Gears and multiple speed.

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You might have seen multiple chainrings in one bike. Those are basically gears, and they do have specific terminology. The whole thing that moves your bike forward is know as the drivetrain. Chainrings on the back are called cogs (cassette).

with a help of a derailleur, when you press some gear levers, the chain of your bike shifts in multiple gears.

If your bike has only one chainring in the front and one in the back, it is known as single speed. If it has three chainrings in the back, it is known as three-speed. If it has three in the front and seven in the back, then 21 different combination is possible, hence we call it 21-speed. I hope the rest is self-explanatory.

Different speed combinations (changing your gears) allow you to drive comfortably on different terrains.

For example, it is hard paddling towards a steep road (uphill); by shifting into softer gears, it becomes easier for you to paddle.

To further explain gears in bike, let’s not get into too deep about the scientific mechanism of torque and power today, maybe someday else.

Having said all that, all you need to know is that, multiple gears gives you better riding experience at a cost and they need more maintenance. Single speed variants are cheaper and easier to maintain.

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Bike size.

Make sure that the bike that you get suits your size. You definitely don’t want to get a bike that is too big or small for you.

Usually, bikes are measure according to wheel size or frame size.

A 26” inch wheel size is ideal for an average adult who is above 5 feet. There are smaller and bigger wheel sizes available.

Make sure you address the size guide carefully when making your purchase. Usually, there will be a detailed chart corresponding to different heights.

For a detailed explanation, check out our bike frame size chart article.

Features.

Different bikes come with different useful features. For example – if you want to ride at night, a headlight and tail light might be a necessary feature. Or, if you want to carry things around with your bike, then a basket or cargo rack might be super helpful.

Other features include – horn, water bottle holder, speedometer and many more.

Ergonomics.

If riding posture is important to you, you must consider the ergonomics. For example, MTB bikes have smaller seats and you have to bent to ride. Whereas, beach cruisers have wide seat and upright handle bar positions for a comfortable ride.

Some bikes come with step through frame, that allows easy getting in and out of the bike. Most of the bike offer adjustability. You can adjust height and few features according to your.

Brand.

getting something from a good brand can be a bit on the expensive sometimes. But it is not always true. With the knowledge you have gained now, you can definitely find out something that provides a great value to you.

Getting something from a reputed brand means you don’t have to worry about quality and warranty, even if it costs a few bucks more.

Some of the well-known bicycle brands in the United States are Trek bikes, Giant bicycle, Redline, Raleigh, Schwinn.

Where to buy from.

You can either shop for a bike from a good dealer in your locality, who’s known to provide quality bikes or, you can choose to shop online.

There are a few times in a year when there is a sale both online and in your local shops and that is when you can get some major discounts.

Now the choice is yours, if you’re looking to cutting costs than online purchase it is where there is no additional fee from having to keep that bike in a shop’s display.

Obviously, you get to make a lot more real-time observations when you go to a shop, and most definitely if it’s a good shop, they’re going to let you go for a test ride and assist you thoroughly in the process of understanding your pick.

If you don’t want to invest in a new bike then the only other option would be to go for a used bike. Check to see if the bike is worth the money being asked for.

Budget.

This is definitely one of the most important things when it comes to buying not only bikes but anything else as well. Hopefully our guide will help you make the best decision within your budget.

Based on quality and feature, the price range of bikes can be laid out in three parts – low, mid, and high end.

The low range is $80 to $300

Mid-range bikes cost $300 to $1,000

High-end bikes cost $1,000 and higher

If you are able, don’t compromise on quality, at the same time – don’t over spend without understanding. Since you have come this far and read the article thoroughly, I believe, you will make a great decision when it comes to choosing your bike.

A Test Ride!

Nothing beats the odds of a test ride. It might take you some time to pick out your perfect bike but you’ll get to know you picked the right one once you take it out for a spin.

You get to feel for the fit, comfort, and maneuverability. All these factors play a key role in getting to know your bike more up-close, and make you appreciate and rely on the bike’s mechanics more.

Getting a bike can be a great addition to your life. It gives you more freedom to travel around and adds fun to your life. Using in the right way, cycling can help you both mentally and physically. Getting a bicycle is usually not a wrong decision. Go for it. I hope we were able to help you on how to choose a bike that is perfectly suited for you.

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Arbin Hank

The joy of riding bike has captivated me since the first time i rode a bike when I was 8. Since then, the passion for biking is all I've known. Hello, I'm Arbin Hank, the founder of california secret green-road bike team. Me and my team have decided to dedicate our time and effort you help out fellow bikers learn and choose the best products without losing themselves to confusing choices. Ride Bike, Stay green.

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