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    What type of bike should I get?

    Alice Huot
    Alice Huot
    May 8, 2024 8 min
    What type of bike should I get?

    Entering the world of cycling can be daunting, with the first question in mind of “What type of bike should I get?” No worries, we are here to help with our extensive bike buying guide for beginners. We will explain the types of bikes and who should ride them.

    Which bike is best for me?
    Which bike is best for me?

    Which bike is best for me?

    How to narrow down the search for a bike 

    If you find yourself asking questions like what type of bike do I need or which bike is right for me, then keep reading to discover the answers. 

    But first…start off with switching your questions to these below to narrow down your search:

    • Do you know how to ride a bike?
    • How do I plan on using the bike? (commuting/errands, exercise, competition, touring…)
    • What type of terrain will I mainly ride? (paved roads, mix of paved and off-roads, off-road, technical off-road)
    • How versatile should my bike be? (commuting and bikecamping, competition and touring, etc.)
    • Do I prefer comfort over speed? Am I wondering what type of bike is the fastest?
    • Do I plan on having multiple bikes to serve various purposes? What type of bike do I need vs want? 
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    We have a huge selection of gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes ready for purchase on our shop.

    Now to match wishlist with bike type

    With answers in mind, it is now time to discover the different styles of bikes. Learn all about each of them as well as their uses, and soon enough you will be ready to shop!

    Download the buycycle App now to explore various bike types!

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    What type of bike should I get? Road, mountain or hybrid…find your match!!

    Road bikes: best for smooth pavement, long-distance riding

    Road bikes overview

    Road bikes tend to be the lightest types of bikes due to minimal componentry. With their aggressive seated position, drop-style handlebars, and narrow wheels, they are built for speed and efficiency on paved surfaces. Check out our selection of best road bikes under 2.000 dollars.

    Endurance and comfort

    Designed for long-distance riding, they make excellent bikes for building endurance. Its multiple hand positions also help you to remain as comfortable as possible for touring and commuting as well.

    Terrain considerations

    Road bikes are not intended for off-road use. This should be kept in mind when you ask yourself which bike is best for me.

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    You might also wanna check our guides on where to buy a bike and where to sell a bike.

    Mountain bikes: Top choice for off-road riding

    which bike is for me?
    Mountain bikes: Top choice for off-road riding

    Mountain bike overview

    Mountain bikes are usually the easiest of all to ride due to their wide knobby tires for added traction, flat or riser handlebars for improved control and very wide range of gearing. But they also tend to be the heaviest of all due to their rugged construction and additional componentry such as suspension.

    Versatility and terrain mastery

    As off-road machines are designed to take a beating, you can pretty much use them for anything. But where they truly excel is off road such as on rough terrain, steep inclines, and technical descents. They are also excellent for building strength, not only because of their weight but also due to the full-body effort it takes to tackle rugged terrain on such wide knobby tires. 

    Mountain bike categories

    All mountain bikes fall into three main categories: rigid, hardtail, and full-suspension. If you want to start mountain biking, you should also read our selection of best mountain bikes for beginners.

    • Rigid Mountain Bikes

    Rigid mountain bikes have no suspension, which makes them lighter in weight and more responsive. They are ideal for easy off-road such as fire roads and light technical bits.

    • Hardtail Mountain Bikes

    Hardtail mountain bikes have a front suspension fork which adds a bit of weight but helps you to tackle more technical terrain by dampening the bumps. They are also the most common mountain bike style due to their solid balance of weight, maneuverability, and capability.

    • Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

    Full-suspension mountain bikes are the most comfortable on bumpy terrain and over-built to handle most everything thrown at them. The tradeoff, though, is that they are a bit heavier than hardtails and tend to cost more due to the extra componentry.

    Terrain Considerations

    Mountain bikes are not ideal for pavement as they tend to feel sluggish due to the wide knobby wheels and suspension. Again, keep this in mind when you ask yourself what type of bike should I get.

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    Check out our comprehensive guide on how to choose a mountain bike and our selection of the best mountain bikes for bikepacking.

    Hybrid/Gravel bikes: most versatile of all bikes

    which bike is for you?
    Gravel bikes represent the high-performance category within the hybrid bike segment.

    Hybrid Bikes Overview

    Hybrid bikes, such as gravel bikes, fall somewhere between road and mountain bikes in terms of what they offer. This makes them the best of both worlds because they expand your playing field. You can learn more about gravel bike in article what is a gravel bike.

    Versatility and Exploration

    On a road ride and spot a fire road off to the side? Feel free to check it out! Or want to take that shortcut through the field on your commute? Go right ahead!

    Versatility in Use

    Due to this versatility, they are often used not only for commuting, errand-running, and touring, but also for bikepacking. In fact, you will often spot mounting points on the frame for attaching racks and bags. They also have a more relaxed geometry compared to road bikes for added comfort, which is especially key on bumpy terrain.

    Handlebar Options and Frame Designs

    Hybrid bikes are available with either straight or drop handlebars, and come in varying frame designs and tire types.

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    Check out our comprehensive guides on how to choose a gravel bike and how to choose a bike for bikepacking.

    The pros and cons of each type of bike

    Road, mountain, hybrid bike comparison chart 

    To help you identify your future bike, here is a handy pros vs cons chart comparing road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid/gravel bikes. While checking out the chart, keep in mind the key questions of what type of bike do I need – what is important for me:

    Factors

    Road Bike

    Mountain Bike

    Hybrid/Gravel Bike

    Terrain

    Paved roads and bike paths

    Off-road trails, rugged terrain

    Versatile; handles both pavement and easy off-road trails

    Intended Use

    Exercise, long-distance touring on paved roads, commuting/errands, road competition  

    Exercise, touring on varying terrain, commuting/errands, off-road competition, steep climbing

    all-round use, but not competition (unless entering a gravel race with gravel bike)

    Fitness-focused

    Great for endurance, long-distance riding

    Ideal for buiding strength and fitness

    Excellent for both endurance and strength

    Handling

    Quick, responsive handling  

    Easiest to handle. Excellent off-road, sluggish on paved roads.

    Feels responsive on pavement and off-road

    Comfort

    As position is more forward-leaning, can be less comforable than MTB or gravel

    With upright riding position, is most comfortable

    Comfort level falls in between road and mountain bikes  

    Speed

    Fastest and most efficient on paved roads  

    Slower than road and hybrid/gravel bikes

    Slower than road bikes but faster than mountain bikes

    Durability

    Components possibly more fragile due to lightweight design

    Sturdily built to withstand rough terrain

    Typically more sturdy than a road bike, but not as much as a mountain bike

    Maintenance

    Easy to maintain due to simpler componentry

    Could require more maintenance due to the jarring from off-road use as well as extra componentry like suspension

    Similar to road bikes, but if used off-road then could require a bit more maintenance  

    Budget

    Ranges from affordable to very expensive

    Ranges from affordable to very expensive

    Generally falls in low to mid-price range

    Weight

    Typically lightweight, built for speed  

    Heavier due to rugged construction

    Typically falls between road and mountain bikes  

    Which bike is best for me? 

    which bike is for you?
    It is also important to consider personal preferences

    Do keep in mind that the specifics about each bike type are generalizations. Individual models within each category may vary. It is also important to consider personal preferences as well as budget when choosing which bike is right for me. You can read our article about how much does a bike cost to have a better idea of the price of each bike type. Also take into account the size of the bike as well; explore our wheel bike size charts to assist you in finding the perfect fit!

    What type of bike will I get?

    Now that you have determined your answer to the question of “What type of bike should I get” with the use of our bike choosing guide and handy comparison chart, it is time to start shopping! Check out buycycle now to uncover countless options that will both inspire you to ride and fit within your budget.