With more styles of bike to choose from than ever before, picking the best bike to suit your riding needs, goals and budget can be a bit of a minefield. So, here are a few key questions to ask yourself which will help you to hone in on the best kind of bike for you and your lifestyle.
Whether you are using your bike to commute to and from work, popping into town to meet friends, shredding some dirt on a downhill track or taking part in a road cycling sportive, matching your bike to the job it will be used for is one of the most important decisions to make when choosing a bike; it’s almost impossible to find one bike that does it all!
Here are some of the most common types of bike and their uses:
- Social Cycling> Single Speed, Flat Bar, Hybrid
- Cycle Commutes > Hybrid, Flat Bar, Folding Bikes, E-Bike
- Cycle Racing > Race Road Bikes, Triathlon Bikes, Sportive Road Bikes, Downhill Bikes, Enduro Bikes
- Fitness Cycling > Sportive Road Bikes, Cross Country Mountain Bikes
Will you be riding up and down hills or is the terrain fairly flat? Perhaps you will only be riding on the roads or tarmac cycle paths or maybe you’ll be hopping onto gravel tracks or bridle paths too. Different types of bike will suit varying track surfaces. For example, Sportive, Race, Folding and Singlespeed bikes are best suited to tarmac surfaces whereas Hybrid and Mountain Bikes can tackle more rough and rocky terrains. Singlespeeds are great for getting around flat landscapes but you’ll need some gears to get up and down the hills.
- Off-road > Hardtail Mountain Bikes, Full Suspension Mountain Bikes
- On-road > Sportive Road Bikes, Race Road Bikes, Singlespeed Bikes, Touring Bikes, Triathlon Bikes
The amount of room you have to store your bike is also a key consideration. If you are commuting to and from work and are jumping on and off public transport, a compact folding bike might be the best option. However, if you have cycle sheds at both ends of your journey, a bike with larger wheels will give you more speed and help you to cover more miles with less effort.
The cost of bikes varies enormously depending on the different styles, the frame materials, the level of components, weight and technical advancement. Deciding how much you want to spend will help to narrow down your choices and you should take time to research the options within your price range to make sure you get the best value bike for your money and something that you won’t outgrow too soon. We offer options for a range of budgets from entry level leisure bikes right through to high performance racing machines.
Whilst we all want to be as comfortable as possible on the bike, the level of comfort will ultimately depend on what you intend to use the bike for. A commuting bike will need to make viewing the road ahead easy and make sure you get to work in as much comfort as possible whereas with a racing bike you’ll probably want geometry that gets you sitting in the most aerodynamic position possible and so comfort is less of a priority.
When choosing your new bike consider how much time and effort you are willing to put into maintaining it. All bikes will benefit from ongoing TLC and regular cleaning but some bikes are more complicated and require more upkeep than others. Singlespeed bikes have a very simple setup with no gears to worry about and some don’t even have brakes which makes them very low maintenance. On the other hand, a high performance downhill full suspension mountain bike has lots of different components, suspension parts and gears to look after. But don’t panic if you want a high spec bike and don’t have time to spend tinkering in the workshop, here at Cycle surgery we offer a range of bike servicing and bike maintenance options to help you to keep your bike running at its best.
Road bikes come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all have in common is that they are best ridden on roads or tarmac cycle paths. Choose from super stylish Singlespeeds for bombing it around town or a Touring Bike for more long distance adventures. If there’s a competitive streak in you, why not take on a cycle sportive or triathlon with a road bike to suit or simply pedal to a coffee shop somewhere far and beyond for some good all round fitness training.
Women’s bikes are specifically designed to fit female geometry and usually feature a shorter top tube, narrower handlebars and a women’s saddle. If you get the right fit, they can significantly improve your ride. From road bikes and flat bar bikes to mountain bikes and town bikes there are plenty of styles to choose from.
Buying a new bike is always exciting but don’t forget to keep yourself safe with good head and body protection as required. We have lots of high quality bike helmets to choose from to suit all kinds of riding styles and budgets. We also have body armour for those of you planning to head off-road and hit the mountain biking trails and high visibility accessories such as lights and jackets for the commuters amongst you.
Regular bike cleaning, maintenance and servicing will help to keep your bike working at its best for longer and if you are really racking up the miles, a professional bike service is really worthwhile to prevent any future breakdowns. All Cycle Surgery stores have a bike workshop with Cytech certified bike mechanics who are ready to help. Check out our bike maintenance and servicing options here.
If you are planning to use your bike to commute to and from work, the UK’s Cycle to Work Scheme could save you hundreds of pounds off the retail price. Simply ask your boss to sign up to the scheme, they buy the bike and you pay the money back from your gross salary, saving you money on income tax and national insurance.
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