Introduction to Recreational Bikes

Bikes are fun! So buying a new bike should be fun too. Whether you’re buying a bike to use for transportation, fitness, family adventures, or just pure enjoyment, there are many options, and those options can be overwhelming. The purpose of this article is to help you figure out what’s the right type of bike for you so that you can get out and ride.

Comfort Bikes

Some bikes with an upright position, like the Specialized Roll, are also designed to allow you to have the seat set at the right height but still easily place your feet on the ground. This gives riders the confidence that they can safely come to a stop while still having the comfort and efficiency of proper seat height.

Fitness Bikes

At the other end of the spectrum is a bike that will have you putting more of your weight on the handlebar. You are leaning more forward. The advantage of this position is that you’re distributing your weight more evenly through the seat, your core, and the handlebars. This position is going to be more comfortable on a longer ride, and more efficient. A performance flat bar road bike like the Specialized Sirrus Pro is an example.

Electric Bikes

One of the fastest growing categories of bicycles is the Electric Bike - or E-Bikes as they are also known. An e-bike is a bicycle with a motor and a battery. It looks and operates very similar to a conventional bike. It has all the key parts of a bike like pedals and a chain. And you still get exercise riding. But unlike a conventional bike, every e-bike also has a motor, a battery, and a controller. The motor is activated by your pedaling and gives you a boost.

There are many reasons why someone might choose an e-bike. If biking isn’t as much fun as it used to be – an e-bike is for you. E-bikes make hills seem smaller, and distances seem shorter. If you want to commute to work, but without getting all sweaty – an e-bike is for you. If you want to ride with your partner, but she or he is faster on the bicycle – an e-bike is for you. They also allow a variety of people to ride together, both on e-bikes and traditional bikes, that might have different fitness and physical abilities. If you want to hit the trails for a day of riding, but your legs get spent halfway through – an e-bike is for you.

To learn more about e-bikes, check out our guide here.

Recumbent Bikes

One final position is that of a recumbent bike. A recumbent bike places you in a slightly reclined position with your feet in front of you. The main reason people choose a recumbent bike is that they find the riding position to be more comfortable than a traditional bike.

Accessories

Accessories

For anyone riding a bike, a few things are a must:

  • A helmet is a great idea no matter where you’ll be riding, even if it’s just a cruise around the neighborhood
  • With rare exceptions, like the Specialized Alibi, tires will need to be inflated, and a floor pump is the best and easiest way to do this
  • If your bike has a chain, and almost all of them do, then chain lube will need to be applied periodically to keep everything running smooth and quiet and make parts last longer

If you’re going to be riding further than your neighborhood, the list of things you should consider having with you increases a bit:

  • A water bottle and a cage will let you easily bring along water or other beverages to keep you hydrated on hot or longer riders
  • A bag will allow you to carry along the key essentials in case you need to make any minor adjustments or repairs along the trail
  • So what should you carry in that bag? A flat kit (a tube or patch kit and a pump) will let you take care of flat tires while a multi-tool will let you make minor adjustments
  • A lock will let you safely stop for ice cream or coffee with the peace of mind that your bike will be waiting for you

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