I had trouble choosing my first bike. I bought a HUGE HDT 10. There was no bike fit which was done. I got a small frame as compared to my height. The shop owner was concerned about selling his bike. He paid no attention to details, just sold me the bike. There are not a lot of articles on the web about this. So in Lehman’s language, I decided to put this article together for people who are thinking about getting their first bike. It is essential to understand the different cycles type. Let’s understand this. This is a comprehensive article that covers types of cycles and about bike fit. Choosing a cycle type requires a little bit of research so do that and do not pick any bike randomly.
Let’s get you your first bike.
Different cycles types and the factors to decide!
There are three factors you need to look at. The first one is the type of bike, second is the bike features and components. lastly, the third is the bike fit. Let’s understand these points.
Different Cycles Types – This depends largely on where will you ride your bike.
Bike features & components – Stuff like gears, frame material, suspensions, brakes determine the performance of a bicycle.
Bike fit – Once you have decided the bike type and features, it is important to do a bike fit. This is done to make sure that the bike fits you perfectly. Choosing a cycle type might be easy but it is worthless till you do a proper bike fit.
Different Cycles Types & How to choose a cycle?
Different Cycles Types depends on where exactly you want to ride. How to choose a cycle? Well, it depends. People love riding on trails, flat tarmac, or pavements. So the deciding factor is the path on which you want to ride. Some bicycles are made specifically for a particular kind of riding surface, while others are versatile enough that, perhaps with a quick tire change, they can be ridden in more than one category. Check out this detailed article about the tire type in cycles.
Let’s Understand Each bike type One by One
Road bikes are good for pavement, flat roads, tarmac, fitness riding, long-distance, events, tours, & racing. These bikes have lightweight curved drop bar handles which give riders an aerodynamic position. This is beneficial in case you want to go fast, furthermore if you want maximum speed from your bike. People who get an adrenaline pump from speed usually go for these bikes. They also allow for a greater number of riding and hand positions than bikes with flat bars. Their more aerodynamic riding position (bent over at the waist) may put more strain on your back if you are less flexible. Furthermore, if you are interested in serious cycling and taking part in events. This is the bike you should choose.
Now there is further /classification of road bikes. Let’s understand them one by one so that you know how to choose a cycle for yourself.
Riders who do not want to compromise on speed go for these bikes. These bikes are light and expensive. Racing bikes generally have an aggressive geometry with steep angles that make them turn quickly. These bikes are made up of carbon or aluminum, which is light and is expensive. Go for this kind of bike if you are serious about racing events.
This bike has a lot of features of a racing road bike, however, this bike has a comfortable riding geometry. The emphasis is given to comfort as riders who choose these kinds of bikes are endurance riders. They ride long distances. Hence, the speed can be compromised a little if the comfort is increased. They generally have taller head tubes, slacker (lower) angles, and sloping top tubes intended to reduce stress on your back and neck. They also often feature clearance for larger-width tires for versatility and a softer, more comfortable ride. Some endurance bikes have flat handlebars, for those who prefer a more heads-up riding style.
Cyclocross racing involves the repetition of a course of the track which can be of dirt, road, pavement. These bikes are incredibly lightweight, and yet tough enough to deal with the extreme riding conditions. Most cyclocross bikes have semi-knobby tires to handle the terrain challenges.
These are the bikes for people who want to travel on their bikes for long distances. People who would like to carry supplies ration and stuff for long-distance travel. Touring bikes have a few tweaks on the traditional road bike design that make them ideal for long-distance bike tours. They are designed with sturdy frames capable of carrying heavy loads on the front and rear racks and feature multiple attachment points so you can attach racks, fenders, water bottles, pumps, lights, and more.
Mountain Terrain Bikes
I call these bikes the thugs of cycling. Why? Because these bikes are designed with shock-absorbing features and better braking systems, mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps, and ruts that come with them. They usually feature lower gears than most road bikes to better handle the steeper terrain. I ride an MTB, A Merida 40D, and damn proud of this bike. I am the kind of person who loves mountains, so I had my choice narrowed down to this.
There is a further classification within MTB’s, Let’s have a look so that you know how to choose a cycle for yourself.
These are the most common type of MTBs. A friendly meet in the woods or if you wanna ride a mix of incline and declines. Then this is the perfect bike for you. Bikes in this category place equal emphasis on fun, efficiency, and sensible overall weight.
Typical specs: 120–140mm of suspension travel; 67–69° head-tube angle
Suspension travel is the amount of movement offered by the bike’s front and rear suspension.
Head-tube angle is the angle that the head tube forms with the ground. A steeper head-tube angle generally indicates that a bike will turn faster and climb better.
A slacker (lower) angle generally indicates that a bike will provide better stability at high speeds but won’t climb as well.)
Cross Country Bikes
This style of riding typically implies riding fast, with an emphasis on climbing prowess. Distances vary from just a few kilometers to 25-plus, and bikes tend to focus on efficiency and low weight. These bikes can be great if you’re considering getting competitive or would like a racier ride for your local trails.
Typical specs: 80–100mm of suspension travel; 70–71° head-tube angle
You must have seen bikes with enormous size tires. I mean really broad tires or in other words fat bikes. Oversize tires, from 3.7 in. to 5+ in. wide, give these bikes excellent traction and are optimal for riding in sand or snow. The wide tires are reassuringly forgiving as you ride over rough terrain.
All Mountain Bikes
If you are an adrenaline junkie if you like technical trails, and if you like leg-burning climbs and ruthless downhill. Then this bike is for you. Bikes for all-mountain riding are designed to perform well on steep descents while also being light and nimble enough to pedal uphill.
Typical specs: 140–170mm of suspension travel; 65–68° head-tube angle
These kinds of bikes are good for downhill only, and a little incline. These bikes are heavy and sturdy, the rider wears all protective gear when riding this kind of bike. In many videos, you must have seen riders wearing full-face helmets. This is exactly that kind of bike. The riders encounter jumps, berms, rock gardens, and wooden ladders.
Typical specs: 170–200+mm of suspension travel; 63–65° head-tube angle.
These bikes are a mix of a road bike and MTB. That’s why the name is hybrid. These bikes have decent enough broad tires to let you occasionally hit less technical trails. Also, these bikes come with a light frame and with drop bar handles. Generally, you’ll get the skinny, speedy wheels of road bikes mixed in with the quick-turning prowess of mountain bikes, plus a dash of comfort with a plush saddle or even a shock-absorbent fork. They usually combine a flat bar and a heads-up ride for comfort and a better view when riding in traffic. Some hybrid bikes are equipped with disc brakes for responsive braking while bike commuting in any weather. Many commuter-friendly models include racks, lighting systems, or fenders. Choosing a cycle type that too Hybrid is liked by a lot of new riders for city rides.
These bikes are characterized by some specific feature. Their usage also puts them into a different category. The further subdivision is listed below.
This bike comes with a comfortable seating position. A bike like this is meant for leisure riding around the city. A very comfortable riding position with a flat handlebar for the front head riding position. They usually have 26 inches tires.
As the name suggests these bikes are suitable for carrying loads and cargo. These bikes are specially designed for carrying a lot of weight. Now, because they carry a lot of weight, they are slow but sturdy. These are ideal for urban commuting. A lot of goods delivery stores use these kinds of bikes.
As the name suggests this bike runs on electricity and muscle power both. This bike can help you on intense climbs with ease. The concept is that a built-in sensor checked the amount of force you are putting on the peddle, based on which the battery power is applied accordingly.
Folding Bikes (Foldie)
You can virtually take this bike anywhere. People who love traveling on their bike, this is the bike that you should go for. You can fold it, pack it and carry it with you. Assembling is easy which does not require a great deal of technical knowledge.
Now I don’t want to get dragged into a debate here, and I know that a woman can ride the same bike as men, however, there are still few differences. Let me elaborate a little here. Women can ride road, mountain, or hybrid bikes. However, these bikes feature frame geometries, handlebars, and saddles that are customized for a female body proportion. For instance, the top tube frame lengths on women’s bikes are generally about 1 to 3 centimeters shorter than men’s bikes, so the reach (saddle to handlebar) is shorter and fits most women better. These bikes also feature shorter-reach shifters that better fit women’s hands.
Get the Right Bike Fit for You
How to choose a cycle? Well, that’s important. However, no matter what bike you choose from different cycle types, make sure it’s fitting your body structure. In our city, no one does a proper bike fit. Also, the people who do bike fit are with incomplete knowledge at times. So you end up spending money on something which is important, however, is not done as per the cycling community standards.
Summing up choosing a cycle type
A cycle is a cycle as a new rider picking up cycling for fitness you might not pay attention to a lot of details. Having said that, please get a proper bike fit done and chose a bike thinking about the kind of road/path you would ride on. I hope I have explained in detail how to choose a cycle? Any questions related to choosing a bike please let me know in the comments section below.