Here's the thing - you can exercise, commute to work or run errands on practically any type of bicycle. However, for practical purposes, it is always better to get a bicycle that suits your specific needs or activity. Have no fear though - there are only six types of bicycle (excluding electric bikes) out there, so you will only need several minutes to understand all of your options.
- Children's/Juvenile bikes: If you're reading this, then this bike is probably not for you. However, in some homes, juvenile bikes are actually shared between height and age-challenged family members. After all, these bikes, which can range from kick bikes to BMXs, are generally sturdy multi-purpose vehicles whose only flaw (or attraction) is their smaller size.
- Mountain bikes: As the name implies, these are durable bicycles meant for off-road use. They have sturdier frames, wide tires with deep ridges for traction and grip, and flat bars for easier handling. You can't actually climb mountains using these bikes, but they fare pretty well on hilly terrains and can withstand vertical drops of several feet.
- Road Bikes: They come with thin tires and drop handle bars for better aerodynamics and are meant to be used at high speed on pavements and other flat surfaces - or for races.
- Hybrid bikes: These are a cross between mountain and road bikes. The tires are not as wide or ridged as mountain bikes, but they are still wider than the ones used for road bikes. The frame is hardier than road bikes, but cannot withstand the abuse that mountain bikes are subjected to. In other words, if Goldilocks had to choose a bicycle after eating the bear's porridge, she will definitely choose a hybrid bike.
- Cruisers: These are lightweight, fuss-free multi-speed bikes meant for cruising. It's the perfect bike for short distance commutes or cycling on beach pavements.
- Tandems and Recumbent: These are novelty bikes that allow you to spend time with loved ones comfortably. Some even come in reclining seats which allow for more comfortable cycling experience. You can almost picture riding through the park with your partner while eating ice-cream and listening to The Beach Boys.
After selecting the type of bicycle, think about how much you want to spend. The prices vary greatly, so never start bicycle shopping until you've settled on a budget. Otherwise, you run the risk of buying the first great and expensive bike you laid eyes on.
Remember to test out the bicycle at the shop. Pay attention to the seat's comfort level; buy a different seat if needed. Inspect the brakes and position of the lights. Consider a basket as well- whether you need one.