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Bicycle Basics: What Type To Buy?

Bicycle Basics-

Former pro bicycle racer Lance Armstrong once said, “If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.” Learning to ride a bike the first time may be one of the most memorable moments in life, and one where the lesson “If you fall, don’t be afraid to get back up” truly applies. And even if you haven’t been on a bike for years, once you get back on a bicycle seat, you’ll see riding is a skill your body has never forgotten to do.

There are so many types of bicycles on the market that you may be overwhelmed when choosing the right one to buy. Sometimes you have to shop around in stores like the seattle bike store to find a perfect fit for you. There are road bikes, touring bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes, and even hybrids that combine the features of different bicycle types. When selecting a bike that’s right for you, you have first to consider your needs—what kind of riding do you plan to do? Will you be biking to get fit, to go to work, to race, or simply for a leisurely ride in the park?

Each type of bicycle has its uses, characteristics, and advantages. To give you a better idea of the kind of bike that would suit your needs, here are a few examples.

Beach Cruiser

The mango beach cruiser bike is a type of bicycle that is designed specifically for cycling on the beach. If you are thinking about buying one of these bikes, it is important first to consider what you will be using it for. Beach cruisers are not the best bicycles to use if you want to go fast or climb hills. They are more suitable for leisurely cycling on flat roads or on the beach.

Road Bikes

These light bikes have a fine frame and thin tires, with drop or flat handlebars and a short wheelbase. Designed for speed and paved streets and are typically used in triathlons and other road races—if you have a need for speed, this is the bike for you. Some folks also use road bikes to get to work in the city.

Touring Bikes

If you’re planning to travel over long distances (or to take loads of dirty clothes to the laundromat), this is your ride. Though they have the same frame size as road bikes, touring bikes are structurally hardier, can carry a heavier load, and have more gears. The lower gears are handy when doing uphill climbs.

Fat Bikes

Characterized by their oversized tires with large stays and forks, big bikes are designed for riding on soft, unstable terrain such as sand and snow. They are specially developed for winter trail riding and desert/beach touring. Fat bikes can travel over difficult terrain, making them ideal for off-road riding.

Mountain Bikes

Before big bikes came along, mountain bikes were the prime wheels for rough, off-road trails. Their tires are wider than road and touring bikes but narrower than those of fat bikes. These bikes have flat or upright handlebars and a versatile range of small gears for helping riders climb steep trails. They’re equipped with shock absorbers or suspension, making riding over crags a pain-free affair.

BMX Bikes

Known as the bikes of our youth, BMX bikes are best for street riding, dirt racing, and going up and down ramps. It’s not for the long-distance commute as the low seat position can become uncomfortable after just a few miles.


Two bikes in one, that’s what you get with the best hybrid bikes. This bike is usually a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike and combines the two types’ best features. The frame is light, and the tires are narrow like a road bike, but the handlebars are that of a mountain bike, making for a comfortable, upright ride. Best for short commutes around the city and leisurely rides around a bike trail or park, these bikes are steady rides that are built for comfort, not speed.

Other bicycle types include old-style Cruisers, aerodynamic Recumbents, relaxing Electrics, and handy Folding bikes. Folding bikes are particularly suited when your commute involves riding on buses and trains. If you still can’t decide on which type to pick, don’t be afraid to ask around—bicycle store staff can always help you choose the right one that meets your needs and fits your budget and lifestyle.

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