Types of Bikes
bikes lined up against red wall There is something about buying a new bike that makes you feel like a kid again. On a shiny brand new bike, the wind feels a little wilder in your hair and you feel like your five years old. There's no question that buying a new bike is a rush. The question is, what kind of bike to buy?

Bicycles come in styles and prices to suit every need and virtually every budget. Choosing from the many types of bikes on the market is a personal decision that's basically determined by the type of riding you want to do.

If you are a serious off-road cyclist, you'll need a sturdy mountain bike. Distance riders will want a lightweight model that offers speed and comfort. Cross-country travelers should opt for touring bikes. Even companion bikes have their place with urban riders needing to share the ride with children or spouses.

The choice of types of bikes is yours and yours alone. Specialized bikes are available to suit those with very particular needs. If you have a bumpy commute, for example, you'll probably want a mountain bike. Although usually heavy with a higher rolling resistance, mountain bikes run smoothly along single tracks, over rocks and along steep mountain trails.

If you shop at the market, run an urban delivery service or just have a heavy load to bear, you should consider choosing a touring bike. These are generally sturdy, comfortable and stable. An added feature of the touring bike is the many forks and eyelets that can be used to attach racks and cranks as storage for all of your non-cycling gear.

Whatever kind of riding you do, never overlook the importance of a really comfortable seat. Some types of bikes feature ultra-comfortable recumbent seats. Others have more business-like economy seats. The former will provide you with more comfort while riding, and may even protect you from saddle sores. The latter will make your bike look more streamlined and professional, but can be a pain.

Another consideration is to buy a sports bike with a road racing frame and provision for triple cranks. If you are heavy-set or suffer from knee problems, cranks can be very beneficial in preventing pressure from falling on the knees when you are cycling on a stiff slope.

Buying a tandem bike is another possibility, particularly if you tend to ride with a companion. They are made for two riders and are more expensive than other bikes. There are a number of pros, and cons, that should be carefully considered before making the investment in tandem. If you do decide to purchase a bicycle built for two, make sure you get a model that has 700c wheels.

Hybrid bikes are great choices for those traveling short distances, going along well-laid cycle paths, or who just enjoy a relaxing cruise. Hybrids feature upright seats and handlebars, so they offer optimal comfort and really are a pleasure to ride.

Finally, if you want to really stand out, invest in a groovy cruiser bike. These can be fitted with a number of fancy accessories and components, and make for a relaxing ride if you tend to take short journeys. As the name suggests, these bikes are built for 'cruising'.

Buying a new bike is a personal decision that needs some careful thought. When you take the time to choose the right type of bike for your needs, you'll soon have a new set of wheels that will make you feel carefree and unstoppable. You'll feel just like a kid again.