Are you looking to get a new bike this summer? It can be pretty overwhelming to choose the right one once you see them all lined up at the store.
The best way to find a bike that is right for you is to ask yourself "What kind of rider am I?" Are you planning on riding on rocky terrain or do you plan on sticking to paved roads and bike paths? Are you a racer looking for a speedy, lightweight bike? Or do you plan on using your new bike to casually commute or enjoy a light Sunday ride?
Here are a few different types of bikes and what they are used for:
Mountain Bike: This bike has wide, knobby tires, so you can ride on almost any surface including dirt roads, mountain trails, and paved streets. This bike has a gear system, which is helpful when you're trucking up hills. It also has a sturdy frame and suspensions, which are helpful when you're on rugged terrain. It's a popular bike (it's what I have) since it's durable, fast and versatile, so you're not limited to certain types of roads.
Want to learn about the other types of bikes? Then read more
Road Bike: This bike is built for speed, so it can be used for racing, but also just for riding around. It has a lightweight frame and strong yet thin tires that are less than an inch wide. If you're planning on sticking to paved bike paths and streets, this could be the bike for you.
Hybrid Bike: This is a bike designed for use on roads and bike paths. It is influenced from both the road bike and the mountain bike, hence the name hybrid. The bike aims to retain the features of mountain bikes, which have made them accessible and popular, but are designed to be more suitable for urban use. Ultimately the manufacturer determines if the hybrid leans more to the mountain or road bike side.
Track Racing Bike: This bike is for serious racing. It's extremely lightweight and has no brakes, since brakes would add extra weight. It also has one fixed gear, so the rider can go as fast as possible. The handlebars are low, enabling the rider to lean down and increase his speed. If you are planning on racing, this is the kind of bike you should look at.
Street Bike (City Bike/Granny Bike): These bikes are made more for casually strolling the streets and/or commuting than for serious riding. The tires are like those you would find on a road bike but the bike itself is more elongated than your average bike. The city bike is very popular in urban areas right now, but they're especially popular in Holland.
Fit's Tips: I definitely recommend going to a trusty bike shop and riding a bunch of bikes to see what feels best to you. Also be sure to pick up a helmet when you buy that shiny new bike - You've got to protect that fabulous brain of yours.