The pros and cons of road bikes, mountain bikes, kids bikes, commuter bikes, and e-bikes
In order to choose the best bike, there are many factors which you must take into account, such as the main purpose it will be used for, your budget, level of experience, size and many more.
Clearly a bike that’s most suitable for commuting to work would not necessarily be the best bike to use for competing in road races. In this guide, we will give you top tips to help choose the best bike for you and specifically, we are going to focus on the main characteristics and the use for each of them.
Road Bikes: best for fast and long rides on the road
As the name implies, they are bikes designed to ride on the road. They are composed of very light frames, currently made of aluminum or carbon fiber.
There are more comfortable frames, but if you want a really fast bike, the frame will have a much more aggressive geometry to adopt the most aerodynamic position possible.
The handlebar used is the dropbar to adopt a more aerodynamic and at the same time more comfortable position.
Its wheels are very thin and light, about 23mm or 25mm wide. Finally, road bikes are normally equipped with two chainwheels designed to reach maximum speed with the least possible effort.
- The lightest
- The fasted
- Most efficient bicycle for long road trips
- Only recommended for surfaced roads
- They are not designed to carry a lot of weight
- Not the most comfortable
- Not the easiest to handle
Mountain Bikes: best for exploring rugged terrain
If you enjoy the thrill of exploring rugged terrain, then a mountain bike could be just the right option for you.
They are equipped with suspension (either full suspension or hardtail), wide knobbly tyres for improved grip and comfort off road, powerful brakes to help you maintain control while hurtling downhill at breakneck speeds and a wide range of gear ratios to help you climb like a mountain goat or descend comfortably even on steep terrain.
While they are primarily designed for use off-road, mountain bikes can also be a good choice for more casual riding thanks to a more relaxed riding position, excellent tyre grip which can be really beneficial on wet slippery roads and powerful brakes which give you extra control when cycling in traffic or other busy environments.
Most modern bikes have moved away from the traditional 26-inch wheel sizes with a preference for 27.5 inch and 29-inch wheels which offer better traction and rollover capacity albeit at the expense of reduced acceleration and manoeuvrability on tight switchback tracks.
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As with most bicycle ranges these days there is an enormous array of mountain bikes available on the market which can be a bit overwhelming. Here are three of our favourites for 2021:
Kids Bikes: best for kids
Surely you, like us, will remember your first bike. Its name does not lie, and these bikes are the best bikes for kids.
The differences that we can find with adult bikes are their size (frame and wheels) and that they may have some extra protection (see the photo above) to prevent the child from hitting the hardest parts of the bike or for the child to achieve greater stability (two small extra wheels).
To choose a child’s bike, the most important thing is to choose the right size for safe and comfortable cycling.
This will be based primarily on the size of the wheel, which ranges from 12 to 24 inches. Therefore, as the child grows, the bike should be changed or adapted to the child.
- The best bikes to learn to ride
- Safest for kids
- After one or two years the kid will need a new bike according to his/her size.
If you’re looking for the perfect bike for your special little prince or princess then check out our Top 3 Kids Bikes for 2021:
Commuter Bikes: The best bike for riding in the city
Commuter bikes are designed to ride in the city, to go to the office, etc. They are more comfortable than road bikes, although they are slower and heavier.
There are many different types of commuter bikes: folding, Dutch, cargo …
Commuter bikes are characterised by being ideal for use in the city and the best bikes to go to the office or to work.
The frames are more resistant and are designed to carry more weight than other types of bikes. The design they have is quite comfortable and it is not necessary to adopt an aerodynamic (and uncomfortable) position to ride the bike.
The handlebar can be of different types, although the most common is the porteur or north road, which allows you to adopt a more comfortable position.
They have sturdy wheels that are normally 26 or 28 inches. Because they only mount a plate and do not have a diverter, they can have a chain cover and their maintenance is easier.
- The best bike to use in the city
- The most comfortable bike
- They do not need much maintenance
- Best bike for carrying stuff
- Best bike for being transported (folding bike)
- They are heavier
- They are not as fast as road bikes
- Not recommendable for climbing steep hills
Electric Bikes : best for extra help climbing steep hills
Electric bikes have become a revolution all over the world and more and more can be seen in cities.
In fact many cities today are betting on the rental of public electric bikes as a means of sustainable transport to avoid pollution.
There are three different types of electric bikes that we explain below:
Pedelec: It is an assisted pedaling system, that is, it only activates if you are pedaling and gives you an extra push. They have a maximum power of 250 watts and reach 25km / h.
Speed Pedelec: They are also electric pedalling bicycles, but they can reach a maximum speed of 45km / h and their motor has a power output exceeding 250 watts.
E-bikes: this system allows you to move forward without pedalling through an engine that is activated by an accelerator. It allows you to only pedal when you want an extra push, or the terrain is favourable.
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- The best bike if you want to save energy in your legs
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly bikes
- The best bikes for extra help for climbing a hill
- The best bike if you are not in shape
- Comfortable and fun
- Heavier and more expensive
- They are not the fastest in flat surfaces
- They need to be charged
As a final summary and to conclude this article, the best bike for you is the one that best suits the use you are going to give it. It makes no sense to use a road bike on a path full of rocks, nor a commuter bike to climb mountain passes due to its weight.
Knowing the use that will be given to the bike is the key to success in choosing the best bike. Therefore if you want the fastest, your choice is the road bike, if you enjoy riding off road, the mountain bike would be the best option, in case you want the most comfortable, the commuter bike is your choice, if you need an extra help climbing, go for the electrical bike, and if it is a kid who needs the bike, choose the proper bike for a kid.