If you’re looking for a bike this Christmas, you may be wondering where to start. It’s not always easy to choose the right one when there are so many styles on offer. So which one should you pick?
When choosing a new bike or picking one for someone else, you need to have a think about what the rider will want to achieve, and where the bike might be ridden.
Let’s take a look at the different styles we have on offer here at ‘GO’.
Lightweight, fast and super efficient, a road bike is built purely for the road and is the master of this terrain. Designed to perform, road bikes feature large wheels to cover more ground with ease, thinner tyres for less resistance and a geometry that will allow you to descend and climb with ease. Don’t be put off by the handlebars, they may look a little strange at first, but they offer a great aerodynamic riding position that you’ll soon get to the grips with.
If you’re thinking of choosing this style of bike, you may be looking to don some Lycra and become a regular on the ‘roadie’ scene, or just simply to start exercising to keep off those unwanted pounds (especially after Christmas!). Many people double up their road bike as a nimble commuter, making their journey to work far more fun and a lot more cost-effective.
Suggested use: – training, commuting, and racing
Shop: Road Bikes
Opening up a world of off-road riding, mountain bikes are built to give you great control over challenging off-road terrain. They’re designed to take the hits with a strong and robust frame, and are regularly equipped with front and back suspension to soak up the shocks as you whip along the trail.
The geometry of a mountain bike offers a more relaxed riding position to account for the varying terrain, and thicker, knobblier tyres provide superb grip and control when the ground gets loose.
If you’re considering a mountain bike then you’ll probably be looking to get off-road and explore in your spare time. They can also be used as great commuters, especially in winter when you may need more grip on the road, but they won’t be as efficient as a road bike due to their wider tyres and smaller wheels.
Suggested use :- off-road riding, winter commuting and racing
Shop: Mountain Bikes
We all like the ‘best of both worlds’ so the hybrid bike is a great option for cycling over mixed terrain. Hybrid bikes are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike, taking the bigger wheels and slimmer tyres of a road bike, with the more relaxed geometry and flat handlebar setup of a mountain bike. This set-up lets you use your power efficiently on the road, but you’re robust enough to stray off-road when needed.
The hybrid rider is one that can’t decide on whether they want a road bike or a mountain bike, so needs something that they can use easily over mixed terrain. Perfect for the year-round commute, and just as good at the weekend when you want to head out on a light trail.
The hybrid bike will venture off-road, but remember the wheels are similar to that of a road bike and therefore will only stand up to light trail use. If you want to go big, opt for the mountain bike.
Suggested use: – road cycling, light off-road cycling, commuting and touring
Shop: Hybrid Bikes
Small, compact and easy to transport, a folding bike takes key features from different bikes to give you an efficient bike that can be folded up and carried or stored away easily. Often overlooked due to their unfamiliar appearance, the folding bike can open up a new world of cycling to anyone willing to try it. A few practices of the folding technique and you can have your trusty bike packed up in seconds.
Their smaller wheels allow for fast acceleration, whilst a long adjustable seat and handlebars allow you to sit up in a comfortable position, despite the small frame. Complete with a full range of gears and powerful brakes, the folding bike works just like your traditional bike.
If you’re considering a folding bike you are probably a dedicated commuter looking to hop on and off trains with a cycle at either end, or maybe you’re looking for a bike you can easily get in the boot of the car or a small cupboard in your house or flat. The folding bike can do it all!
Suggested use: – commuting and urban cycling
Shop: Folding Bikes
‘Dutch Style’ Bikes:
If you’ve ever been to the Netherlands, you’ll know that cycling is a way of life, and with the simplicity and efficiency of a Dutch bike, it’s no surprise.
‘Dutch style’ bikes take the best bits of both a Dutch and British bike to create a bike more suitable for British terrain.
Designed with a low crossbar for easy step through and a chain guard to protect from moving parts, ‘Dutch style’ bikes are easy to ride no matter what you’re wearing. Often set with a single speed gear or three speed hub gear for low maintenance, and nicely equipped with a fixed pannier rack at the back and a basket at the front for you to carry any goods.
The ‘Dutch style’ bike buyer will be someone looking for a more relaxing ride, something they can use day-to-day without changing into specific clothing. It’s the ideal choice for nipping to the shops or enjoying the daily commute. Don’t forget you might not have many gears, if any at all, so this bike will not be for you if you live in the hills.
Suggested use: – commuting and urban cycling
Shop: City Bikes
Fat Bikes are the monster trucks of the bike world, they’re ludicrous to some, but incredibly fun when you try them out.
Originally designed for use over soft, movable ground like sand and snow, these off-road bikes have (you guessed it) fat tyres to spread the pressure. They’re becoming more and more popular with off-roaders for heading out touring off the beaten track, adjusting the tyre pressure will make riding over varying terrain a doddle. Those wide, grippy tyres make fat bikes an ideal winter bike, but many people are finding they’re good fun all year round.
To really get the most out of your fat bike, strap on some bags and head out into the wilderness for a spot of bikepacking. Ride out, pitch up, enjoy.
Suggested use: – Off-roading, variable terrain, having fun
Shop: Fat Bikes
Buying a bike for your child is a great way to help them develop; it helps them to learn the art of balance and gives them a great sense of freedom.
Kids’ bikes come in many different styles with many different wheel sizes, all depending on which age range you are looking at. There is always a temptation to buy bigger so they’ll grow into it, but this often makes the bike harder to handle and less safe. It’s better to buy one that fits – you can always sell it on or hand it down later.
Kids will have one bike for everything, and they’ll definitely put it through its paces, so try to look for something versatile and robust so it will easily do everything they require. Most kids’ bikes will be kept simple, with single speed gears and no suspension; this helps to avoid further confusion as they learn to ride.
Don’t forget about style and colour, children will love or hate a bike purely on how it looks, they probably won’t be concerned about which brand of wheels it has or how powerful the brakes are.