Choosing a Bike

There are different kinds of bike for different kinds of journey, so you need to choose the right bike for yours.

Road bikes (‘racing’ bikes) are designed to be lightweight, aerodynamic and fast, with handlebars that curl downwards and skinny tyres.

Touring bikes are sturdier versions of road bikes, designed for long distances carrying luggage.

Mountain bikes are designed for rough terrain, with knobbly tires, strong frames, a wide selection of gears, and often suspension.

Hybrid bikes offer a compromise between the speed of a road bike and the strength and gearing of a mountain bike. With smooth tyres and an upright riding posture that’s good for visibility, they’re a popular option for commuting.

Folding bikes can be folded away and carried like a briefcase. Useful for commuting, they can conveniently be taken on the train or bus. They have small wheels and fewer gears, and can be stored easily at home if you don’t have much space.

Electric bikes are a more expensive option, with an electric motor offering assistance for getting up hills or on longer commutes.

Second-hand bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Their quality is variable, however, so take a knowledgeable friend with you to make sure that the frame and parts in particular are in good order.

Shed bikes are bikes that have been gathering cobwebs in your shed for years! Check them over before you get back on.

There are also adapted cycles, tricycles, tandems, side-by-side cycles and recumbent cycles – making cycling accessible to almost anybody, including people with disabilities.

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