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How to Choose the Right Bicycle For Your Type of Riding | Bike Tips

Updated On: November 12, 2021

Hey, guys. Dustin here, CEO of Sixthreezero. Today, we're going to answer the question, "How to choose the right bike for your type of bike riding?" Stick around. All right. So today we're going to answer the question on how to choose the right bike for your type of bike riding, but before we do, hit that subscribe button below, stay in touch with us here at Sixthreezero, be the first to know about all the new content we're putting out, and also the contests we do weekly, monthly for giveaways of bikes, e-bikes, accessories, and apparel. So hit subscribe so you can know all about it.

All right. So today, we're going to answer the question about understanding how to choose the right type of bike for your type of bike riding. Now, I know I see a lot of articles out there, and there's always this, "Best bike for women," or "Best bike for men," that kind of thing. I want to give a more broad generalization about different types of rides. I want to go through the components of the bike, and sort of give a summary of what type of component you would choose for what type of riding, more so giving you the information that can help you, lead you to make the right decision, because there's really no right answer or there's no, "Okay. This is the magic bike for you."

You really have to first assess a lot of questions, and figure it out on an individual basis, or you can also take the body fit quiz on our website, which you can answer a lot of the questions, and our proprietary algorithm will take that information and fit you perfectly to the right bike for your body and your life. So let's talk about a few things. The first thing I like to talk about when looking for a bike is you as the rider has to sort of determine what's most important to you, and how are you going to ride the bike? I like to look at two elements, either comfort or speed. Now, it's not to say both of these can't go hand in hand, but I would say, generally speaking, most bikes out there are either suited for one or the other primarily.

Not that one can't go fast, or one can't be comfortable, but when you talk about road bikes in general, all the research and development that goes into road bikes is more specifically about how do we make this bike lighter? How do we make this bike faster? How do we make this bike sleeker? So that's really going to be the focus of a road bike. With mountain bikes, it's about durability. It's about the ability to go downhill fast. Comfort is not going to be a leading design factor. Now, as you come to the other side of the spectrum, and you get into hybrid bikes, comfort bikes, beach cruiser bikes, comfort becomes more of a leading design value in those bikes. So I would say that's a question you have to answer for yourself. What am I trying to do with this bike? What do I want out of this bike?

The other thing then is the idea of exercise. I would say all bikes are good for exercise. You don't have to go 30 miles an hour, 20 miles an hour on a road bike to get exercise. Exercises is unique to each body type, and what your body needs, and what your body is capable of, so it's not like you have to have a road bike if you're looking to do exercise. Again, you have to think about what's most important to you and your body. If you don't think comfort is something you need, you can maybe look more at the mountain or road. If you try to want to find a blend of the two, hybrid is a good way to go. If absolute comfort is most important to you, look at comfort or beach cruiser bikes. Those are going to be higher on the comfort spectrum than the other bikes I just talked about.

Now, where are you going to ride? This is something also to think about. So in conjunction with thinking about do you want comfort or speed, think about where are you going to ride? Again, certain bikes are geared really specifically for pavement, other bikes are geared for trails or off-road, and then there's also the blend of the two. When we talk about road bikes, they're specifically made for the road, high-end, carbon fiber, aluminum rode bikes with very thin tires cannot go off-road at all. They need to be on pavement, and specifically, very smooth pavement is ideal for those types of bikes. When you have very thin tires, you do not want to be taking those on to trails for the likelihood of getting a flat. Even with rough gravel or rough pavement, those tires are going to be very susceptible to blowing and getting a flat. So road bikes specifically for pavement.

Now, mountain bikes, generally speaking, specifically for trails, and off-road, and mountains. Now, I see a lot of mountain bikes being ridden on pavement. It's less than ideal. It's not going to be efficient, but road bikes can be ridden... Or sorry. Mountain bikes can be ridden off-road or on pavement, but the performance level of a mountain bike on pavement is not going to be great. You're going to have a lot of tire dragging, a lot of rubber contacting the road. There's going to be a lot of resistance. So my suggestion would be don't get a mountain bike if you're going to be doing 50% of your rides on pavement, I would say don't get a mountain bike. If 25% of your rides are going to be on pavement, and 75% are going to be on trail, you might consider a mountain bike, but just remember a lot of resistance, less efficiency with a mountain bike on gravel.

But I do see a lot of men specifically that prefer the look and the design of mountain bikes, so that's what they like to ride, but from a practical standpoint, it wouldn't be the first product I would recommend. Now, getting into a hybrid bike, as I said before, about comfort and speed, hybrids are a blend of the two. Hybrids are also a blend of off-road and on-road. So what you're going to see is varying tire widths for hybrids that can either go on pavement or can also go on trail. And I would say look at a hybrid if you may do some trail riding, you may do some pavement riding. If you're going to do a 50/50 split between the two, you're not going to want a road tire, but you're not going to want a mountain bike tire. You're going to want a tire with a width somewhere in between the two of those.

So it's just really important to consider the use case, and where you're primarily going to be riding. Now, as we go to the left-hand side of things, beach cruisers and comfort bikes. Now, these can vary a lot. Beach cruisers actually have a wider tire, but the riding position typically caters beach cruisers to pavement, but the wider tire actually will allow you to go on trails, because it'll have a more durable tread, a wide basis of the tire, so it can go over bumps and things like that, and the bike will absorb the shock. And comfort bikes, same thing. You're going to see a wide variety. Typically, comfort bikes are going to have a thicker tire, because a wider, thicker tire is going to make the bike more comfortable just because of the shock absorption it provides.

On a thinner tire, if you roll over a bump, you're going to feel the vibrations a lot more in your body. When you have that thicker tire on a comfort bike or a beach cruiser, you're going to feel it a lot less. So what's interesting in this case is I would say beach cruisers actually can be decent for trails. My suggestion would be on a beach cruiser maybe a 60/40 split. If you're going to be 60% on pavement, or 40% on trail, or 70% pavement, 30% on trail, and comfort is a leading element that's important to you, consider a cruiser or a comfort bike. So it just depends.

Now, with that said, I want to go back and discuss some particular elements of how to choose the right bike. Now, looking at tires, as I said, tires can go from very thin to very thick. You're seeing now four-inch tires. So choosing the right tire comes down to where you're going to be riding your bike, and also what you're looking from a performance standpoint. Very thick tires, four-inch tires, are going to be great because you can go off-road, you can go on the road, but using them on pavement, it's going to create a lot of drag, and it's going to create more resistance when you pedal. So you just have to consider that. With that said, then that might be if you're going to be on the pavement or on the trail, like I said, you can find a tire in between the four-inch and the thinner road tires that are available.

So seats are another topic in choosing the right bike for your riding. When you look at road bikes, you're going to have a much thinner performance-based seat. Now, your body typically will adjust to these types of seats, but straight out of the gate, it's not going to be ultra-comfortable. As you move into the cruiser, comfort bikes are going to get wider saddles with more spring, and because they're not concerned about performance, the bulk of them don't matter as much, so they can as much cushioning as possible to really provide the most comfortable ride. But seats are also easily changeable, so if you wanted to get a road bike, but get a comfortable seat, you can always change it out, and potentially put a more wide comfort saddle even on a road bike. Typically, you don't see that, but it's something you can do.

Now, if you're looking to have more comfort, and straight out of the box you want it to be very comfortable, look at a cruiser, look at a comfort bike. Even hybrid bikes are going to have a blend of performance meets comfort in the saddle, so they may be a little bit thinner, but still have good cushioning, springs, things like that. On the road and mountain bike side, the seats are really going to be geared towards performance. So it's going to be how do they minimize the amount of weight and padding in exchange for to make that seat perform? Now, typically your body will adjust to those types of seats, but again, it may take a little bit of time, or you ultimately may not find those seats comfortable, so something to consider.

The other thing to think about is riding position and your body. So do you have aches and pains in your back, and your knees, and your wrists, and things like that? When you talk about road and mountain bikes, the riding position that you typically get placed in is very aggressive and tense, meaning you're going to be in a position where your muscles, your body is going to be flexed, and you're going to be working your muscles to keep your body in that position. So it may be strain on your lower back, on your upper back, on your elbows, on your shoulders, things like that. It's just something to consider.

If you're looking for that exercise and that workout road, mountain bike, it's that kind of position. If you want to be a complete, relaxed, upright position where you relieve as much pressure on your joints and body as possible, cruiser, comfort, and even hybrid. Now, a hybrid is going to be a blend of the riding position. It's not going to be as aggressive as a mountain or a road bike, but it's not going to be as relaxed as a comfort or a cruiser bike. It's going to be a blend of the two, and really hybrid bikes are supposed to be exactly what they say, a hybrid.

So for the people that are going to use their bike for many different utilities, whether it be exercise, off-road, things like that, hybrids are a great option. So what you may find is you may have a slight bend forward on a hybrid, but not as much on a road or a mountain bike, but just consider what your body needs, where you have pains, where you have aches, and how will those different bike types suit your body or not suit your body? So that's a big thing to consider. In addition to that are things like hills. Now, across all of the bike categories, you can get speeds in even beach cruisers, comfort bikes, so that's just something to consider. I think the speeds and the hills can be the last thing you can really think about.

I would think more about your body, and comfort, and performance, and kind of once you choose that track, whether it be comfort, performance, or the middle, you can filter down from that into how many gears do you need? How far are you going to ride? Things like that. But if you choose a mountain bike while not considering your body comfort first, you may regret that in the long run. So my suggestion when choosing a bike in general, always start with the comfort or performance question first, and work your way down. So I hope that helps in you to choose the right bike for your type of riding. I know I just gave some basic ideas of the different, different aspects, and different elements, and how to best choose for you. If you can visit a local bike shop, they can also help fit you or take our body fit quiz on our website.

We've developed a proprietary algorithm where you enter elements about your body, and your life, and the type of riding you're going to do, and our proprietary algorithm will suggest the right bike for you. It's great, and it'll find you the perfect fit. Also, we have a 365-day return policy. If you don't love your bike within 365 days, send it back, no questions asked. No money out of your pocket. And in addition to that, for $19.99 you can purchase our lifetime warranty. We will warranty your bike for the entirety, your lifetime of ownership of that bike. Nobody else in the bike industry does that.

In addition, join our community, join our Facebook Pedalers group, or download our app. You can see how other people are riding. You can compete on the leaderboard, and be a part of the weekly, monthly giveaways, and also track your rides, and increase and set new goals for yourself. It's a lot of fun. We'd love to have you. So thanks for sticking around, and don't forget, it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.


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