WHAT BIKE TYPE TO BUY?
May 20, 2005
Back to questions
I am looking to purchase my
first bike as an adult. I want it primarily to get into
shape and have a little fun.
I have gone to the big bike shops
and have also gone to just the discount shops. I was told
at the bike shop that I needed a road bike, since I was
not going to take the bike off the main road. Then a friend
of mine who works for REI told me that maybe an urban bike
might be better for me.
I cannot find the difference between
the urban bikes and the road bikes on the Web and my little
knowledge of bikes just tells me the main difference is
I would like to keep it kind of
inexpensive becausewhat happens if I dont get
as into it as I would like? I would adore your help with
this matter. Thank you so much.
First, one type of bike doesnt
necessarily cost more than another type. You can just as
easily buy a cheap road bike as an expensive one.
Next, lets figure out what
you want. Clearly, you dont wanna pay a lot. So set
a limit. I think you can get a decent bike for $200, but
if you can go to $250 or $300 youll get better quality.
If you look around at resale stores and bike shops for used
bikes, you can often find a good one for under $100but
you'll have a harder time finding exactly the type you want.
Now: What type of bike? Bikes types
have lots of differences, but two main ones involve how
leaned over you sit, and the width of the tires. Road bikes
tend to make you way leaned over, and they have thin tires.
Thin tires mean easier pedaling (cuz they roll faster than
wide tires) but maybe more flats (depending on tire quality)
and harder bumps.
Some so-called city bikes have wider
tires, like mountain bikes, which means you feel the bumps
less but have slightly harder pedaling. For street riding
lots of people like what we call hybrid bikes, which have
medium-width tires and dont make you that leaned over.
Above all, you should get a bike
on which you feel comfortable. Take test rides. If you feel
like a bike makes you lean over too much, you can have the
retailer change the handlebar stem so you can sit higher
up. (This gets a little tricky on a road bike, but a competent
mechanic could do it.)
Want more details on picking a bike
typeand a bike shopalong with helpful pictures?
I suggest make your first, small investment (only $15) in
my book, Urban Bikers Tricks
& Tips. In it I take you thru all the things
to consider when picking the bike best suited to your needs
and your budget.