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Choosing The Right Bike

Charles Luiting

With so many different types of bikes to choose from, it's difficult to figure out the best one for you. Learn about the basic bike styles to see which one matches your style.

These retro-looking bikes have wide balloon tires, wide seats, and keep you in an upright seated position. These bikes have a much simpler mechanical design with some versions having just a single-speed drivetrain (a single gear) and they are incredibly durable which makes them very easy to maintain.

Best for: Like the Schwinn Mikko, a cruiser is a great choice for the casual and stylish cyclist who is looking for a stable bike. This cyclist is not concerned about how fast they get from point A to B and will primarily be biking on flat terrain.

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These durable bikes typically have wide knobby tires, a stout frame, shock-absorbers, and straight handlebars with a raised seat that keeps you in a more upright seated position than a road bike.

With stable wheels, bikes like our High Timber series can handle the dirt, potholes, and gravel of off-road biking. As a caution, although sturdy features make this type of bicycle excellent for rough terrain the same features can also make a ride on the road heavy and slow.

Best for: A mountain bike is an ideal bike for cyclists who are looking to ride their bicycle off-road and on rough terrain.

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Hybrids are excellent in-between bikes that optimizes comfort and fitness. Bikes like our Network series combine road and mountain bike styles to create a perfect compromise. Hybrids feature skinnier tires and a lightness that allows for more speed (inspired by a road bike), plus an upright riding position (inspired by a mountain bike). The result is more comfort and durability, without having to sacrifice speed in the process.

Best for: The hybrid is an ideal bike for the cyclist who wants a general-purpose bike that can handle multiple terrains and riding conditions. Since this bicycle is durable, comfortable but still faster than a cruiser or commuter bike, it's ideally suited for beginner cyclists or commuters.

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These bikes have skinny tires, light frames, and a forward-leaning riding position that allows a cyclist to go fast on pavement. Proper fit for road bikes is essential because a poor fit can make the ride uncomfortable while also reducing pedal efficiency.

The road bike has two types of handlebars for the road cyclist various needs. Drop-bar handlebars are for the cyclist who wants to go faster. They are lightweight and create a more aerodynamic riding position, while also allowing you to better transfer your energy to move the bike. However, they may also put more strain on your back. The flat-bar handlebars allow you to sit up in a more upright position to reduce strain on your back, wrist, and shoulders, but they are less efficient in speed than the drop-bar road bike is.

Best for: A road bike is ideal for the cyclist who is looking to ride their bikes fast, on the pavement, for lengthy distances, and long periods of time.

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Visit your friend across town, explore a new bike path, and check out the *other* coffee shop – it’s all within reach with an e-bike. These e-bikes deliver the same comfortable upright riding experience with the addition of pedal assist motors, throttles, and rechargeable batteries that let you roam farther than ever before.

Best for: E-bikes are great for recreational riders and commuters who don’t want to worry about long distances or steep hills.

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Final Tips

Remember that even after you know what type of bike is best suited for you, you need to make sure it fits properly. For details on finding the right size bike, check out our sizing guides

A few things to look for:

  • Leg extension: When the pedal is at its lowest point, your leg should be almost all the way extended with just a slight bend in the knee.
  • Feet: When you're on sitting on the bike, your feet shouldn't touch the ground.
  • Comfort: Pay attention in your test ride to any areas of discomfort.

Whether choosing the right bike fit for adults or for kids, it's necessary to keep your own comfort as a top priority. A bike is an investment — find one you really enjoy! (And don’t forget your helmet!)

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