Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Kind Of Bike Is Right For Me?

When you are trying to find the right bike, you'll want to ask yourself a few questions. I definitely recommend finding a bike shop that will walk you through all of your needs & concerns, to find you the perfect bike & the perfect fit.

Where do I live?
a. Seattle
b. New York
c. Santa Cruz
d. Chicago

The real question here is, what is the terrain? If you are riding steep hills you'll want more than just 3 speeds; you'll also want to tote around a lightweight bike, maybe even one with a little extra electric boost. Although you can still find kids riding fixies all over Seattle & San Francisco. Another thing to consider is the density of your city & the pace in which it moves, as well as the space that you live in. You may find that beach cruisers are too wide squeezing through traffic, next to parked cars or to fit in your tiny Manhatten apartment.

What kind of biking do I want to do?
a. Commute to work
b. Take long distance weekend rides & stay in shape
c. Off road and bike trails
d. Run errands & get around my neighborhood

As I talked about yesterday, different bikes are meant to cater to the type of riding you wish to do. If you are doing a short, slower commute to work & running errands on the weekend, you may be best off with a hybrid, recreational cruiser or electric bike. If you'd like to keep in shape with lengthy rides at a faster pace (ie you want to do the Seattle to Portland Ride in the next year) you'll want to get yourself on a road bike or a hybrid leaning in that direction. If you want to ride in the city as well as some gravel trails, hybrids are totally the way to go.

What is most important?
a. speed
b. comfort
c. compact
d. style

Generally speaking commuter hybrids, road bikes & fixies are the winners for speed. While commuter hybrics, recreational cruisers & some electric bikes seem to be front runners for comfort. More obviously, folding bikes are the most compact, but road bikes & fixies are usually pretty sleek & can fit into a studio or one bedroom apartment. As for style - that's personal.

What is your price range?

a. Under $200
b. $200-500
c. $500-$800
d. $800+

All styles & types of bikes can be found at different price ranges, depending on the quality & add ons you get. For a casual commuter, you could go as low as $350. Another thing that you can consider is going for a used bike while you test the waters. I grabbed my hybrid over 2 years ago for $100 at Velo & am still riding it to work most days & around town on the weekends. Check for used bikes at local shops or on craigslist.

Is there a style you like?
a. Colorful & trendy
b. Hi-tech & fast
c. Beach Cruiser & So-Cal
d. Vintage

Again, this is such a personal side of choosing a bike, but shouldn't be blown off. You should love your bike & feel good riding it!

I hope this helps for all of you debating about which bike to actually get. Remember to talk to someone at your local bike shop, they are the experts. You can also look here for further insight - Her Active Life, STL Biking, Ride the Wind & Seattle Woman.

1 comment:

  1. This is very useful.

    When I was buying a bike for college (pre cycle chic in 2003) I didn't think about bicycle style or what fit my personality best. Now, of course, I know better. :)