How to choose the right bike for you

Choosing a bicycle can be difficult, especially if it’s your first bike since your childhood years. When I was looking for a bike a couple of years ago, I set myself some criteria based on what I was going to be using the bike for. It wasn’t a particularly difficult for me because I had a cyclist boyfriend who gave me some tips but I wanted to write an article that points people in the right direction no matter what they’re looking for.

Below are some different types of bikes and some reasoning behind buying each one. If you want an idea of costs, take a look at Bicycle Specialists Formby Cycles.

Mountain bike

This is a great choice if you’re going to be riding off road regularly. You don’t necessarily need aspirations to tackle ridiculous terrain but if you like to cycle through the woods or want to try a few fun, muddy trails, you’ll need a mountain bike.

These start very affordably but the more technical you get, the more the price goes up.

If you want to ride on the road, a mountain bike might not be for you, so consider the terrain you’ll be cycling on most often. If you do ride a mountain bike on the road, especially if it has suspension, you’ll find it pretty hard going compared to any other kind of bike. If you do need to ride your mountain bike on the road, try and find one where you can lock the suspension as it’ll make the ride much easier.

Hardtail bikes (with suspension only at the front) are a cheaper alternative to full-suspension mountain bikes.

Hybrid bike

Hybrid bikes sit somewhere between comfortable tourers and proper road bikes. They also tend to be cheaper than both and easier to ride. Typically, the handlebars are straight but you’re in a fast, lowish position when you ride. Hybrids also tend to be relatively light. My Pendleton Briary is just 11kg.

Hybrids are great for anyone who is going to use their bike for casual rides and commuting. They’re well geared and easy just to hop on and ride. The hybrid you choose might have skinny wheels like a road bike or it might have chunkier tyres like a mountain bike, again, choose what suits your style. You also have to option of pad brakes or, if you have a bit more money to spend, disc brakes.

I chose my hybrid because I wanted something light that would make getting back into cycling as easy as possible. I haven’t been disappointed.

Road bike

If you’re thinking of going on long weekend rides or perhaps even competing in the future, this is the bike for you. Road bikes do tend to be quite expensive but you’re getting superior technology and materials for your cash. Road bikes are built for speed so they’re light and aerodynamic. They make good commuter bikes for anyone who has a bit further to go and really committed to taking cycling seriously.

City bicycle

These are the pretty, very upright bikes you see on Instagram. While these bikes look gorgeous and I can imagine taking a slow cycle around a gorgeous city on one, they’re not very practical. These tend to be expensive and heavy so take one for a test ride to make sure it’s right for you. Typically, they’re not great for long rides or anywhere you might need to go fast.

What kind of bike best suits you?

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