recreational BIKE BUYING GUIDE

Introduction to Recreational Bikes

New to biking? You're in the right place. This guide will introduce you to the different types of recreational bikes we sell so you can find the style that is right for you. When you're ready to buy, check out our blog How to Choose a Recreational Bike for five guiding questions to answer before purchasing your new recreational bike.

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.

We’ll be exploring the main types of bikes that fall under the Path and Pavement category – also known as Recreational bikes.

Comfort / Cruiser Bikes

As the name suggest, comfort and cruiser bikes are comfortable to ride. These bikes are designed so your body is in an upright position when you ride. This keeps weight off your wrists and allows you to have the seat set at the right height but still easily place your feet on the ground. This gives you the confidence that you can safely come to a stop while still having the comfort and efficiency of proper seat height. A popular example of this bike is the Specialized Roll.

A comfort or cruiser style bike may be right for you if you want to take casual bike rides around town or on paved paths with less emphasis on getting a workout and more on leisurely riding for fun and getting around on short trips by bike with ease.

Fitness / Hybrid Bikes

If you want to enjoy longer or more challenging bike rides for exercise a Fitness Bike may be right for you. This hybrid bike is a cross between a mountain and road bike. The design requires you to lean more forward with extra weight placed on the handlebars. 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. These bikes usually feature medium size tires so you can ride on paved roads and paths as well as do simple off-road/gravel trail riding.

The Specialized Sirrus flat bar road bike is an example of a Fitness/Hybrid bike. Check out the Specialized Sirrus X model if you're looking for a bike that can easily go off pavement so you can ride on gravel and dirt trails too. The Sirrus X does it all!

Electric Bikes

One of the fastest growing categories of bicycles is the Electric Bike - or ebikes as they are also known. An ebike 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 one. But unlike a conventional bike, every ebike 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 ebike. If biking isn’t as much fun as it used to be – an ebike is for you. Ebikes make hills seem smaller, and distances seem shorter. If you want to commute to work, but without getting all sweaty – an ebike is for you. They also allow a variety of people to ride together, both on ebikes 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 ebike is for you.

To learn more about ebikes, check out our full guide here.

Specialized Vado 3.0 Electric Bike

Active Bikes

Active bikes also fall under the fitness/hybrid bike style and may feature a flat bar handlebar. Designed for easy road riding with extra specs to support increased nimbleness and speed while riding.

Specialized 2021 Sirrus X 4.0 Flat Bar Road Bike

Urban / Commuter Bikes

Urban and Commuter Bikes are made to take you efficiently from home to work and anywhere in-between around the city. Depending on the distance you’re traveling, any of the path and pavement bikes could make a great commuting bike for you. If your ride is short and you want to be as comfortable as possible a comfort bike may be ideal. If your commute is lengthy and you want to conserve your energy, an electric bike could be a great option for you. If you want to exercise and challenge your body on your commute to work, a fitness or active bike might be your best bet.

Specialized 2021 Sirrus X 5.0 Flat Bar Road Bike

Single Speed Bikes

As the name implies, a Single-Speed Bicycle has only one speed. Many people enjoy these simple bikes because there’s no fussing around with shifting gears. Instead, you can just ride and focus on the pure enjoyment of it. These bikes can prove to be cost effective in the long run as there are less parts that require maintenance.

Masi 2018 CXGRc Road Bike Road Bike

Accessories

With any bike purchase, there are some accessories you should always consider like a bike helmet, pump, a lock, and lights. We’ve compiled a list to guide your selection. You can check it out here.

SEE OUR LIST OF BIKING ESSENTIALS

Now that you've read about these bikes, it’s the fun part — shopping! Check out our huge selection of Path & Pavement bikes online or stop by your local ERIK'S and we'll find the perfect ride for you!

Path & Pavement Bike FAQs

Want to learn more?

View our general Bike Buying Guide to review the other kinds of bikes we sell. Or, go here to see our complete list of Buying Guides. Learn what you need to know when purchasing a helmet, bike shoes, a car rack, and more!

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