Bicycle riding may be one of the greatest sports ever invented. Biking is fun, benefits us both physically and mentally, and is environmentally friendly. On average, a person can burn 600 calories per hour from biking, so just by making a small change in our method of commuting, we can all live healthier lives. There is a great variety of bikes available in the market, and this guide will take you through the different types of bikes available, as well as introduce the best hybrid bikes of 2013 – both for men and women.
Types of Bikes Available
Road Bikes: These bikes are designed for high speed travel on paved, smooth surfaces. They have lightweight frames, narrow tires, a short wheelbase, and allow for an aerodynamic position. They are not suited for potholed streets or less-than-perfect canal paths and bike routes. This bike has to be fitted properly, or it can lead to discomfort and pain.
Touring Bikes: These bikes are generally used for traveling long distances and for carrying loads and gears. They are stronger than road bikes as they have frames and forks designed for fitting panniers and luggage racks. These bikes feature sturdy components, a smooth ride, low gears for pedaling heavy loads up steep inclines, and strong brakes to stop heavy loads from accelerating downhill. They provide a better riding position than road bikes so back fatigue is less likely.
Mountain Bikes: These bikes are designed to handle gravel roads and rugged trails. They don’t go as fast as road bikes, but they have lower gears, which enable the riders to climb steep terrain/mountains. They also feature the shock absorbing quality which makes riding over potholes, curbs, and other obstacles easier.
Comfort bikes: As the name suggests, the bikes are very comfortable and easy to handle. They are equipped with seats that provide a relaxed and upright sitting position. They are good for gravel and dirt roads as well as paved roads.
Commuter Bikes: These bikes are designed for urban roads and include lighting systems and racks. They feature sturdy frames and an upright riding position.
BMX Bikes: These bikes are strong, simple and versatile. They are fun urban (trick-able) bikes used for street riding, dirt racing, and jumping ramps. However, they are not suited for longer distances as they are quite uncomfortable. If you are interested in BMX bikes, check out this guide to find the best BMX bikes for sale.
Folding Bikes: These bikes are the best choice for people who face storage constraints, as they can be easily folded and stored. They are lightweight yet sturdy bikes and can be easily carried onto buses, trains, or other automobiles.
Cyclocross Bikes: These bikes can be ridden on a variety of surfaces like pavement, grass, gravel, and dirt. They are lightweight so riders can carry them over the fences or other obstacles, and yet they are tough enough to handle extreme conditions.
Electric-Assisted Bikes: These bikes feature battery-powered motors which help riders climb uphill and across long distances easily without causing fatigue and perspiration. The built-in sensors monitor the amount of pressure put on pedals and thus apply battery power accordingly.These bikes are very heavy so are difficult to carry or ride with the motor turned off.
Tandem Bikes: These bikes are made for two riders and consist of two seats and two pedals.They are generally used for traveling long distances and provide fun for families.
Recumbent bikes: These bikes are designed in such a manner that the rider is in a reclined position with pedals in the front. Some people find them more comfortable than their counterparts as the rider’s back and buttocks are well supported, and provide great ease. They provide an aerodynamic advantage over other bikes, but they are also very heavy and difficult to manage at low speeds or uphill.
And the current popular trend:
Hybrid bikes are a blend of the best characteristics taken from Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes. They come with a complete package of best performance, high comfort, and reliability. Additionally, hybrid bikes are affordable for those on a budget. The best hybrid bikes are well suited for short trips on paved roads, such as daily commutes to the office, or taking a leisurely ride through the city. They are very sturdy, and have slim frames and narrow tires, which allow them to travel faster and easier on paved roads. They also enable a rider to sit comfortably upright.
BEST HYBRID BIKES 2013
There are different hybrid bikes available in the market. A rider needs to have a little knowledge about them so that he or she can choose the most suitable option.
Fitness Hybrids: With sportier geometry, these are the best choice for people who want to burn calories or commute to and from work in style. They deliver more speed at the cost of comfort. Riders have to lean forward a little so that they use not only their quads but also the full power of their glutes.
Comfort Bikes: With upright geometry, they take pressure off from the hands and make the body support its own weight. Their design is best suited for people with back problem, as it puts the body in the maximum comfort zone. These bikes come with front shock absorbers to lessen the jarring of roads.
Adventure Hybrid Bikes: These bikes are perfect for people who want to spend time on packed dirt roads as well as on pavement. They feature front shock absorbers and disc brakes, and can therefore be ridden in any kind of weather.
Best Hybrid Bikes for Men
There is a wide variety of best hybrid bikes available for men that have comparable features in terms of frame, crankset, brakes, fork, tires, shifter, front derailleur, rear derailleur, stem, handlebars, and seat post. The 5 best hybrid bikes for men are:
- Diamondback Men’s 2013 Edgewood sport Hybrid Bike (700c wheels)
- Schwinn Discover men’s Hybrid Bike (700c wheels)
- Schwinn Volare Hybrid Bike (700c wheels)
- Diamondback 2013 Insight 2 Performance Hybrid Bike
- Dynamic Runabout 8 Hybrid Bike- Chainless Internal Hub Bike
Best Hybrid Bikes for Women
Similarly, there are many options for women’s hybrid bikes that differ in features. Out of them, the best 3 hybrid bikes are:
- Schwinn Discover Women’s Hybrid Bike
- Schwinn Crest Urban Women’s Hybrid Bike
- Jeep Compass Women’s Hybrid Bike
Specialized Hybrid Bikes
These bikes are well-known worldwide, favored by professional cyclists, celebrities, and common riders. They give us the versatility to take on a variety of terrain. These hybrid bicycles come as men-specific, women-specific, as well as unisex. There are two options of Specialized Hybrid Bikes available in the market: Specialized Hybrid Sport Bike and Specialized Classic Hybrid Bike. These bikes have style and finesse and are perfect for commuting and fitness. There is a large focus on the quality of the parts and components, and ensure that these bikes provide top riding performance.
The best hybrid bikes are available in an endless variety in the market, and potential buyers should always test ride them to make sure that the fit is comfortable. Some hybrid bicycles even allow customization, which allows us to add our own taste and style to our bicycle. (Hint: When a bike breaks, check out what part is broken and do not throw away the whole bike. Often times the fault lies in a small part, and by replacing the part you will have avoided a costly repurchase.) In short, when purchasing a hybrid bicycle (or any others, really), choosing from the best known brands should always be your top priority.