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Bike Forums FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

What's the best brand of bicycles?

The truth is: there are many excellent brands of bicycles made by companies who have discovered there ARE customers who want quality, well-built bicycles that last. And due to the technical complexity of modern bicycles and the importance of product safety, they’ve chosen bike shops as the final manufacturing step in their “quality control” process. Whatever bike shop brand you select, you can be assured of purchasing a high quality product.

No matter where you eventually purchase your bike, be sure you visit a bike shop or two and find out more about the factors discussed here. You will meet folks who enjoy a wide variety of bicycling activities, who will answer your questions, and have tips on how and where you can enjoy your new bike. You’ll be able to make a more informed decision about what to buy, and where to buy it. At the very least, you’ll know where to go for cycling accessories or to have service work done!

It’s not overstating the differences between toy stores and bike shops to say: "Toy stores only want you to become a bike owner. Bike shops want you to become a cyclist!" The big difference between the two is HOW OFTEN YOU'LL RIDE and HOW MUCH YOU'LL ENJOY your new bicycle!

What kind of riding do you want to do?

It was easier to buy a bicycle in the “olden days” when there were fewer choices! Today’s bikes are more “tailored” to specific kinds of riding, and different sizes of riders and budgets. Comparing bicycle prices, pictures, specifications, or models side-by-side in a showroom, though, is like comparing different brands of blue jeans by just looking at them! They ALL LOOK the same, but they don’t FIT OR FEEL the same!

It’s best to test ride bikes you’re considering to find out how different models “feel,” what fits you most comfortably, and WHAT YOU LIKE BEST. A test ride will quickly and easily helps you figure out which bike to buy.

The following questions and accompanying chart will help determine the kind of riding you will do and the best type(s) of bike(s) for that kind of riding. (These are the questions bike shops ask their customers. Toy stores ask: “What color do you want?”)

1. What kind of riding do you want to do and where? Strictly on pavement? Smooth dirt paths and pavement? Rugged mountain trails?
2. What kind of seating position do you think you’d prefer? Racing handlebar leaned-over, leaning slightly, upright?
3. How far per ride? Recreational short trips under 10 miles? More frequent rides of 10 - 20 miles? Many longer rides?
4. Do you have a bike now? What would you like to change about it?
5. How rough are you (or your child) going to be?
How rugged a bike do you need?
6. Will you ride alone or with someone else?
What style(s) of bikes do your friends ride, and where?
7. Due to rider’s age, will the bike be outgrown size-wise or use-wise?
8. How much do you want to spend (after investigating your choices)?
Consider the best Bicycle Type for you based on your intended Riding Conditions

Riding Conditions vs. Bicycle Type

Trail

Comfort

Hybrid

Mountain

Road

Cruiser

Recumbent

 Road / Pavement

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 Smooth Trails

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 Rough, Rocky Trails

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 Seating Position

 

 Upright Seating Position

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

 Slightly Leaned-Over

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 Leaned-Over Seating

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

Trip Distance - Duration

  

 Trips to 15 Miles or 1 - 2 Hours

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

 Trips over 15 Miles

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

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