Pick a bike to fit your lifestyle
Whether you’re trying to escape the four walls of spin class or looking for a more eco-friendly way to get to work, investing in a bike of your own is the perfect way to do it. Chances are at least a few of your friends are already biking around the city or tackling local parks by bike on the weekend, so they might be able to point you in the right direction when you begin your bike hunt. You’ll need to pick a bike that meets your needs. But for a comprehensive look at the type of bikes out there, this guide leaves no rock (or tire) unturned. Read on to learn more about how different bikes accommodate different lifestyles.
The Eco-Conscious Hipster: Road Bike.
When your subway car is crammed full of fellow commuters or you’re forced to slow to a crawl in your car, chances are you see a few carefree cyclists zoom happily down the bike lanes just beyond your window. This could be you. But first, you’ll have to find a road bike. Road bikes can come in a variety of different styles, but they’re all designed to sail smoothly along the pavement. They also typically feature skinny, smooth wheels and a harder seat—both of which actually accommodate lengthy rides, at least once you adjust. Road bikes are great for commuting to work, running errands, and jazzing up a Snapchatted a selfie (at a stoplight, of course).
The Off-Road Adventurer: Mountain Bike.
Maybe you don’t mind that crowded morning commute—it’s just more time to catch up on the latest Kimye-Taylor feud. But on the weekends, you want to get out and go on adventures with your squad. In that case, you should invest in a shiny new mountain bike. Mountain bikes are, unsurprisingly, designed to tackle rugged terrain. They’re outfitted with wider tires that feature deeper tread, which allow the bikes to easily navigate rocks, roots, and anything that might stand in your way on the trail. Trail bikes, cross-country bikes, and fat bikes all fall under the broader umbrella of mountain bikes.
The Somewhere-in-Betweener: Hybrid Bike.
A hybrid bike is exactly what it sounds like: a cross between other types of cycles. If you’re planning on using your bike both on- and off-road for everything from trips to the grocery store to trips to a waterfall, you should consider buying a hybrid bike. Although each is a little different, these bikes usually have the thin wheels of a road bike paired with the easy turning of a mountain bike. They’re typically designed for comfort and often incorporate disc brakes, which allow you to come to a quick stop even when it’s raining or snowing. A hybrid bike is probably the answer if you aren’t quite sure how often or where you’ll be using your new cycle.
The Wild Card: Specialty Bike.
If none of these bikes sound quite right for you, maybe that’s because your needs are a little more specific. Perhaps you just want a bike to ride on a path near you on the occasional summer’s day, and you’d like to look cute doing it. Then you should try a cruiser, a sturdy, comfortable bike with a retro design. If you don’t have the storage space for a traditional bike, opt for a folding bike, which actually bends into a compact shape so that you can stow it almost anywhere.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying your first bike, but the most important thing is to make sure it fits your lifestyle—and looks fierce in an Instagram.
Bikes: How to Choose [REI]
How to Pick the Best Bicycle for You [Daily Burn]
Choosing the Right Bike [Schwinn]