Article by lifehacker.com
Choose the right bike type based on your needs
When I walked into my local bike shop and they asked what I was looking for, I had no idea what to say beyond, “a really cool bike.” I didn’t know where to start, so I told them I just wanted something for riding around the neighborhood. Even then, I discovered there were options.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) lists the general types of bikes you can find at most stores here. You probably know the difference between a mountain bike and a cruiser (pictured above), but there are a few types in between. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Mountain bikes: Rugged and meant for off-road use, but you can use them on pavement, too.
- Road bikes: Meant for pavement use, like riding around in the city. Built for speed.
- Hybrid bikes: A cross between mountain and road bikes. Not as fast as road bikes, and not as rugged as mountain bikes, but good for commuting.
- Cruisers: Casual bike for, you know, cruising. The kind of bikes you see people ride around boardwalks near the beach.
This infographic also does an excellent job of breaking down the different bike types for beginners. Of course, there are all sorts of additional, specific types of bikes: tandem bikes, BMX bikes, fixed-gear bikes. But for us beginners, these four are a good place to start. I wanted a good transportation bike, but maybe even one I could take on nearby trails, so the salesman suggested a hybrid.