Types of Bikes: What You Need to Know before purchase

From the beginning and still today, bicycles have been and are employed for many uses. In a utilitarian way, bicycles are used for transportation, bicycle commuting, and utility cycling. It has been used as a ‘work horse’, used by mail carriers, paramedics, police, messengers, and general delivery services. The bicycle is also used for recreational purposes, such as bicycle touring, mountain biking and physical fitness.

Choosing the right bike can be a tricky task to fit your needs. Whether you’re travelling, getting fit or just exploring the countryside, the bike is the perfect resource to do that. But there is a confusingly enormous and growing number of different styles of bike to choose from.

Before you go to the bike shop to pick up your new favourite mode of transportation, it’s nice to know all the little information that make the process of buying the bike easier.

Choose the right bike :

Before you make a purchase, it’s important to have a think about what you want to do with your bike and where you’ll be going because the best bike for you totally depends on this. Your choice of bike will depend on your own tastes too, and the kind of distance and terrain you want to ride. There are many different types of cycling and a multitude of bikes that will let you achieve them. You need to understand the key features and their functions to help in making a decision.

Before you decide on the type of bike you would want, first, think about:

  • Your fitness goals
  • Where you plan to ride
  • How important the quality of riding is for you
  • Whom you want to ride with and what type of riding they do
  • Your budget

Below are examples of bikes and their features:

Types of bikes:

Mountain bike

A mountain bike is a bicycle designed for cycling off the road. It has large knobby tires, durable wheels, powerful brakes, and straight handlebars. Its suspension helps a cyclist to navigate through rocky mountain trails.

Mountain Bike

A mountain bike has light frames for easy maneuvering through the rocky mountains, forests and hills.

Pros: Has more responsive steering that can handle the type of dangerous terrain. It can easily ride over obstacles in their path such as rocks, small branches and debris. It has great brakes, offers upright position while riding, it is tough and versatile.

Cons: It is not suitable for long distance bike ride. It is heavy and slow on tarmac.

If your need for a bike is to ride on areas with terrains, a mountain bike would be the best pick to go for.

Road Bike

Road Bike

Any bike that is on the road is a road bike. It has narrow tires and lightweight handlebars efficient and good for the road. Its larger thin tires help you to glue on the road with less effort.

It is fast because of its thinner tires. Its tires are designed for smooth, dry and flat terrain only. It is best used for racing and training.

Pros: It is quick, very efficient and fun to ride.

Cons: It has less comfort and is easily damaged.


If your reason for riding is through the pavements for longer rides, this would be a suitable one for you.

Hybrid/ Comfort Bikes

Hybrid Bike

According to Tim Bonville-Ginn, a hybrid bike is a hybrid of a standard road bike and a mountain bike, taking the best bits of both types of bike to create a machine that is comfortable over all terrains and surfaces.

Hybrid bikes have tires that are wider than those of the road bike but narrower than the mountain bike tires. Its handlebars are always nearly flat and have a relaxed position that allows a rider to sit with a fairly straight back. It has disc brakes that provide quicker stopping and are reliable to use during wet seasons.

Hybrid bike is best suitable for riding on roads, bike paths and unpaved paths. It is good for commuting to and from work or for longer rides during the weekend.

Pros: It is up-gradable. You can make changes to most of the hybrid components to suit your cycling needs. Because of its geometry gears and tires, hybrid bike can travel where many other styles cannot. You can ride it on rainy weather, on city streets, gravel paths, dirt trail and sidewalks. It is fairly quick, versatile and upright.

Cons: Doesn’t offer riding experience on rougher terrains. It is mostly designed for comfort rather than performance. it is not so fast and is heavier than road bikes.

If you want a bike that will offer comfort and you can use it to commute to and from work, hybrid bike would be good for you. It is also suitable for use during the rain season.

These are just but a few examples of bikes you could buy depending on your main goal. I hope the information is useful. If you would wish to add any comments, feel free to comment below.

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