All about bikes!

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Best Bikes For You

Bikes have been around since the 1800’s, and have been a favourite transport method for people ever since. Most people have experienced learning to ride a bike as a child, and as the saying goes, you never get how to ride. Whether you’re new to bikes, or are coming back to them now as an adult, you’ll need to find just the right bike for you. Here’s everything you need to know about bikes, and which one will work for you. 

Why Bikes?

Why use a bike over any other form of transport? It’s true that the car is king when it comes to getting around, but bikes have a lot of advantages over them that you may not be aware of. 

Firstly, using a bike means you’re getting a lot more exercise than you would with other transport methods. If you’re looking to get fit, a bike is the perfect option for you. As they are powered by your pedaling rather than fossil fuels, bikes are also way better for the environment overall. That’s perfect for those looking to lower their impact on the planet. 

There’s other benefits too, that you may not have thought of. On a bike you’re a lot more manoeuvrable, and get through tighter spaces. You’ll never have to worry about finding or paying for parking spots, either. Whatever your goals are, a bike is perfect for you. 

The History Of The Bike

How did bikes come about? The first bike was invented in Germany in 1817, by Karl von Drais. This bike looked a lot different from the modern bike, as it had no pedals. They were made of wood, and weighed 48 pounds. Despite this, the first recorded ride on one of these bikes covered 8 miles in less than an hour. 

Pedals eventually entered the scene in 1863 when they were added by a French metal worker. Then, in 1870, the high wheeled bike, known to many as the Penny Farthing, came into prominence. Nowadays though, we have the modern bike. This comes in many different varieties, as work is constantly being done to improve the biking experience. 

Types Of Bike

Now you know the background, you’ll have to find the right bike for you. There’s so many different types now, as bikes are being made for all kinds of uses. How do you know which one is the right one for you? You’ll need to think about what you want a bike for. Here’s an overview of what bikes are out there, so you can make an informed decision. 

Commuter Bikes: This is probably the most common bike that new bike owners are looking for. They want a different way of getting to and from work, or just getting around town. Whether you want to get out of the car every now and then, or you just want to spend less time in traffic, the commuter bike is for you. 

What makes a bike a commuter bike? These bikes are quite hardy, as they’re designed to be used in all seasons. They can happily be chained up outside in the rain or snow when you nip to the shops, and will be able to keep going for years with a little care and attention. You don’t need to be an expert when you buy a commuter bike, you just need to be interested in getting around on two wheels. 

There are several different types of commuter bikes to choose from. The one you may most be aware of is the folding bike. These are a perfect option for those that live in small quarters, and don’t have a lot of room to store a bike. They’re also great for getting on trains as they won’t take up a lot of space, and you don’t have to leave them outside when you get to work. Simply fold it up and place it under your desk, and you’re good to go. 

There are plenty of other types of commuter bikes out there, some of which are hybrids. This allows them to be used for both commuting and other activities like racing. Ask at your local bike store and they’ll be able to give you more info. 

Adult Tricycles: You’ll think of tricycles as bikes for kids. After all, aren’t they the bikes you ride before you learn to ride a two wheeled bike? This is true, but adult sized tricycles are becoming more popular than ever. 

These are a fantastic option if you want more stability when you’re cycling. They’re perfect for those who need that extra balance and support, as they allow you to get all the benefits of cycling without having to worry about keeping your balance. Of course, their design means they take up more space than a regular bike, but that should be fine for those who need the stability. 

There are several types of adult tricycle available, so see what’s available to you. For example, there are low entry tricycles for ease of use, and tricycles that have two wheels in front and one in the back. Shop around and see what works for you. 

Mountain Bikes: When you think of bikes, this is probably what you’re thinking of. These are the bikes you may have raced around on as a kid, but do they have a use for you as an adult? If you want to get into off road biking, then this is the type of bike you’ll want. 

Mountain bikes are different from, commuter bikes as they have a more rugged design. The biggest difference is the tyres, which are usually wider. This enables you to have more stability on rougher terrain. They’ll also have dual suspension, where shock absorbers are placed on both wheels. This gives you a much smoother ride overall. 

There are different types of mountain bike depending on what you intend to do on the bike. For example, cross country bikes will have pivots in the frame but no rear shock. This allows the bike to have more flexibility, which absorbs some vibrations. The staff at your local bike store will be able to help you pick the right bike according to your needs. 

BMX Bikes: These are another type of bike that you’ll at least have heard of. The name stands for Bicycle Motocross, and they’re usually used for stunt and trick riding. If you’re someone who’s more confident in their bike riding skills, then you’ll want to look into these for a new challenge. 

BMX bikes will take a lot more use than the average bike, so they’re designed to be tough and light. Higher end models will be made of aluminum, while cheaper models are made of steel. The type of BMX bike you buy will depend on how you’ll want to ride it. For example, street BMX bikes are designed for balancing on architecture like ledges and benches. Racing style BMX bikes, on the other hand, have a larger front sprocket that allow for fast pedalling. 

Fixed Gear Bikes: Are you interested in racing? Then a fixed gear bike may be what you’re looking for. These bikes, as the name implies, have a single speed. Their biggest feature is the fact that the pedals are directly connected to the wheels. On another bike type, you’ll see the wheels can move even when the pedals aren’t moving. That allows the rider to coast when needed. You can’t do that on a fixed gear bike, so you can apply braking force with your legs, and even cycle backwards. 

These bikes are most commonly used in velodrome settings or outdoor tracks for racing, although they have become popular in other circles too. These bikes have a simple design, and many enjoy it. 

Electric Bikes: When you think of an electric bike, you’ll think of something that looks like a moped. In actuality, these are very similar to regular bikes. You’ve probably already seen people riding them, as they look almost the same except the rider isn’t pedaling as much. 

This is because the bike is partly powered by an internal motor, which is rechargeable. This doesn’t totally replace the need to pedal, but it makes it a whole lot easier to cross longer distances or get up hills. It’s the perfect bike for someone who hasn’t biked in a long time, and will need some assistance to get started. 

There are two types of electric bikes: Pedelecs, and power on demand bikes. A pedelec bike will provide power when you’re cycling, giving you an extra boost and making it easier to get around. As the name implies, power on demand electric bikes have a throttle. You can power the bike using just this, so you don’t need to pedal if you don’t want to. 

Before you buy an electric bike, you’ll need to check the legality of them in your country. Most pedelecs are classed as regular bikes, so you shouldn’t have a problem with those. Power on demand bikes could be classed as a moped, and that will change how you use it. Be aware of this before you buy. 

Fitness Bikes: A fitness bike, also known as a stationary bike, is something a little bit different compared to other bikes. As the name implies, these bikes are designed to help you with your fitness goals. Rather than being a bike you can take out, you can ride this one indoors to get exercise. 

Many like these bikes as they want to get into cycling for fitness, but there’s no place nearby where they can ride a bike. Others like the convenience of being able to cycle in their own home. 

Fitness bikes have evolved a lot over the years. You’ll see bikes that come with screens attached, which connect you directly to a biking instructor online. This allows you to access fitness classes without even having to leave your home. Even if you don’t want something that high tech though, there’s still plenty of options for you. 

Tandem Bikes: Even if you’ve never ridden one before, you’ll have heard of tandem bikes. These are bikes designed to hold two riders, and so have two seats and two sets of pedals. They’re usually longer than a regular bike to accommodate this. 

A tandem bike is an excellent option if you and someone else want to get into biking, but one has a higher skill level than the other. With a tandem, it means that no one will get left behind. 

When using the bike, the person in front is the pilot. They will have control of the steering and gears, as well as a pedalling. The person in the back will be supplying extra power by pedalling as well. In most cases, it’s better if the heavier rider is the pilot. That makes the bike easier to manoeuvre around as you ride. 

A tandem bike is usually two seater, but you can also get them with three seats and even more, sometimes. 

Recumbent Bikes: Finally, let’s look at recumbent bikes. Unlike a regular bike, these bikes are situated low to the ground. To ride it, you sit in a low, laid back position. This has a lot of benefits as the lower weight distribution makes it easier to balance. It’s also often a lot more comfortable to ride. 

Others like recumbent bikes as they have an aerodynamic advantage over other bikes. They allow the rider to be faster, and in fact a recumbent bike holds the world speed record for a bicycle. 

There’s lots of different types of recumbent bike, so there’s sure to be one that suits you. You can get long or short wheelbases, larger or smaller wheels, or rear or front wheel drive. You can also get a tricycle version, too. 

This is a small sampling of all the bikes that are out there. Whether you want to race, explore the countryside, get fit, or just get to work, there’s a bike out there for you. Let our guide show you exactly what you can get, and get out there.