Recreational & Urban Bicycles:
If you are looking for an general-all purpose utility bike, this is the bicycle for you. It can be ridden over a multitude of surfaces ranging from paved and unpaved roads to trails. Hybrid bicycles consist of features from road bikes and mountain bikes–riding faster on roads than mountain bikes, but using more comfortable ergonomics adopted from the mountain bike. Whether you are a leisure rider who wants to go for long casual rides or you want to load up your bike with panniers and bike to get your groceries, the hybrid is up to the task. With three chain rings up front, a multitude of gearing options are available, making it possible to pedal comfortably on all sorts of terrain.
Mountain Bikes are designed for off-road cycling in areas with steep inclines and descents on such terrain as dirt roads, logging trails and unpaved environments. These bikes need to be able to handle a lot of stress and hard use so the frames are sturdier than either those of hybrid or road bikes. The wheels of these types of bikes use wide, knobby tires, so as to increase the traction between the wheel and the terrain being covered. Mountain bikes have front suspension to make it easier to ride through rocky and rooted terrain. One may also opt for rear suspension if you are going to be doing many difficult descents or want a really smooth ride, but be aware that this will add to the weight of the bike–which you must pedal uphill! So come into the shop to discuss what mountain bike configuration would be best for you. Also, test ride a few!
Fixed Gear Bicycles:
Fixed Gear bicycles are bikes that do not have a freewheel. This means that, in order for the bike to stay moving, the rider must be pedaling, it cannot coast over terrain as other bicycles can. This occurs because the sprocket, or the wheel on which the bike chain is attached, is bolted directly to a fixed rear hub (the center part of a bicycle wheel). What this means is that when the rear wheel turns the pedals will turn in the same direction. This allows the cyclist to do several things, including stop without braking and riding in reverse. This type of bicycle is very popular among bicycle messengers and others who want a light, quick bike. But remember, a fixie also has only one gear, so you need to pick one that will work for you around town.
If you are planning on staying on the pavement, whether for commuting or longer leisure rides, the road bike is a good fit if you are looking for more speed than a hybrid. The most important aspects of road bicycle are weight and stiffness. These elements determine how efficiently the the power is transferred from the rider’s pedal strokes to the drive-train and wheels. Racing bikes usually consist of drop handlebars that are positioned low over the saddle to make the rider more aerodynamic, front and back wheels that are closer together for quick handling and maneuverability, and derailleur gear ratios that are closer together. For more comfort, there is another option that would allow the rider to sit more upright. These bicycles may take a bit of getting used to if you’ve never ridden one, but if you are looking forward to zipping across town or enjoying a long ride in the country, this is the bike of choice!