If you are new to cycling, or you haven't been on a bike since you were a child, you may need some help finding the correct bike to suit your needs. Here are some important points to consider when selecting your bike:
Some bikes are made with low step-over frames, which enables a rider to mount the bike without having to raise his or her leg too high. Often seen in Comfort Hybrid Bikes and Heritage Bikes, low step-over frames can be ideal for anyone who wants to start taking up cycling again, but doesn't have the flexibility needed for getting onto standard bike frame.
Many bikes are now available with specially designed features to give you maximum comfort while you ride, such as gel padded saddles, adjustable handlebar stems, suspension seat posts, and handlebar grips with extra padding. Decide what you think you need to be comfortable on a bike, and then look for those features in your bike selections.
Here are some types of bikes that are ideal for starters:
Comfort Hybrid Bikes
Built for comfort and style, Comfort Hybrid Bikes provide smooth and easy rides, often with the extra features you want for shopping, picnics, and lazy weekend rides.
The frame style is relaxed, with ladies' hybrid bikes often having low step-through top tubes, making it even easier to climb on and off. The frame is usually aluminium, but high-tensile steel can be found in the lower end models, giving you a bike that may be heavier, but is extremely durable.
Designed for riding along Southern Californian beaches, a Cruiser Bike has unique style blended with pure comfort, giving you a bike unlike any other on the road. With a durable and strong steel frame, Cruiser Bikes are large and heavier than most leisure bikes, but can stand up to almost anything.
Cruiser Bikes often have wider saddles, low step-through frames, and wide handlebars, giving you a comfortable ride. They are usually single-speed bikes, which can be ideal for riding on flat roads and trails, but can be difficult if you have many uphill climbs.
With a rechargeable electric motor, electric bikes provide powered assistance while you ride, giving you a smooth and less taxing ride.
Electric bikes are legal on UK roads, and you do not need insurance, road tax or a driving licence, but are often more expensive than standard pedal bicycles due to the battery and motor. Electric bikes also often come with lights and luggage carriers.
Folding bikes are ideal for commuters, giving you a bike you can easily store in your flat, office or on the train. Perfect for commuters who want a quick ride to and from the train station, all folding bikes have smaller wheels and can be assembled easily without needing tools.
Folding bikes can be a bit uncomfortable to ride, with the smaller wheels requiring more effort for distance covered, but many of them are designed specifically for commuters, with mudguards, luggage racks, and even lights included.
Heritage bikes are modern bikes with a old-fashioned flair, often coming with wicker-type baskets, full chainguards and classic colours. Evoking country roads and village shops, Heritage Bikes are often built from sturdy high-tensile steel and have a low number of gears.
The upright sitting position provides maximum visibility on the roads, and many come with comfort saddles and grips, making a Heritage Bike ideal for anyone just starting out cycling. They are often heavier and slower than the standard hybrid bikes, but if you are more focused on the journey rather than the destination, a Heritage Bike can be a perfect choice.
Riding with a friend or family member can make cycling a more enjoyable experience. Tandem bikes require teamwork and stamina, but with two people pedalling, you can achieve great distances with less power.
Many cyclists have used tandem bikes for long cycling holidays, and weekend riding and touring are some of the main reasons for buying a tandem bicycle.
If you require more stability than a two-wheeled bicycle, or never learned how to ride, an adult-sized tricycle is a convenient way to get around without having to worry about balance.
Tricycles also often have large rear baskets, perfect for holding groceries, luggage, or anything else you might need while on the road. While they can be a bit cumbersome, and not exactly built for streamlined riding through traffic, a tricycle makes your mark on the road, ensuring that, no matter what, you will be noticed.