How to choose a bike – expert opinions

Currently, the popularity of bicycles is experiencing another, unprecedented hike. Both in cities and in villages, this species transport becomes the main, with its help to get to the place study or work is often faster than by car. This is especially true for large cities with their many traffic jams. and lots of cars during rush hour, as well as rugged countryside, the quality of roads in which leaves much to be desired the best. In addition, the huge advantage of the bike is its beneficial effects on the body – everyday cycling have a positive effect on the respiratory and circulatory system of the body, strengthen muscle corset and contribute to weight loss. It is these, as well as many other reasons, that make you think about buying a compact bike even for people who don’t think own existence without a car and are skeptical of two-wheeled transport. And all that is required from a future rider – determine the specific features of the bicycle, as well as choose the most suitable model based on your own budget and operating conditions.

choose a bike

Top manufacturers

Buying a quality bike is a very responsible business, requiring a certain level of knowledge and experience. However, the first what to pay attention to is the producer of your future bike. It is from whose hands the creation is a bicycle, the quality of its assembly as a whole and the applied elements in particular, as well as how hassle-free exploitation afterwards. Experienced professionals working on this field for a long time, with one voice is advised to give preference for products of the following brands:

  1. GT Bicycles

  2. Merida

  3. Shimano

  4. Forward

  5. Author

Each of the above brands has in its catalogs a great variety of models designed for certain conditions operation regardless of whether the teenager is a rider, adult man or fragile young lady. However, limited catalog information alone should not be – on the Internet there are a great many customer reviews run in one bike or another and definitely have something to say. Such reviews are both positive and negative. and also indicate the disadvantages of a particular model. Such information definitely not found in the official brochures of the manufacturer, however, very often it is she who carries the maximum benefit for end customer.

More recently, the range of bicycles that can be found on sale, was limited to the frame “Stork”, its “ladies'” counterpart, devoid of the upper crossbar, as well as a folding bike with funny little wheels. Almost three have passed since then decades and the number of bicycles on sale increased tenfold, which played a trick on the buyer, complicating the choice of a specific model many times. However should not despair! Before you give your hard-earned money, you should answer one simple question – “why do I buy myself bicycle? In what conditions will I operate it? “And in as a kind of answer to it may be the most common classes, to which 99% are somehow attributed presented on sale bicycles.

Universal Bicycles (All-round MTB)

Universal bikes

It is this class of bikes that accounts for the largest number of sales. It’s not surprising – universal bikes they have their name for no reason. Being a kind of simplified version of the “mountain”, these bikes are equally well suited for operation and in off-road modes, and with pokatushki on a flat asphalt concrete road. Advanced tread form, wheels diameter 23-25 ​​inches and above, sensitive and effective braking system, as well as a well-thought-out change algorithm gear ratio, including both short-speed and “long” gears designed for fast driving on the highway – Here are the main characteristics of universal bike models.


  • High quality workmanship;

  • Large stroke of the shock absorber system and fork in particular – 90-110 millimeters;

  • Wide and powerful wheels equipped with a tenacious tread, having a diameter of 23-25 ​​or more inches;

  • Reliable and functional mechanisms to regulate speed of movement, to point out brake efforts and provide maximum maneuverability in any mode operation;

  • Universal features that can be used on moderate off-road, and on a good asphalt surface;


  • Hardly “survive” the extreme exploitation of off-road;

  • The most advanced road models;

City bikes

City bikes

Compact devices, the frame of which resembles the good old folding bike in a slightly modified form. Main their operation mode is measured riding in the urban cycle. Landing on such bikes is almost vertical, maximally convenient for measured and unhurried driving through the city streets. Similar the speed controller also has characteristics – a large the number of gears should not be expected, their maximum number is not exceeds 6-8. In addition, the hallmarks of urban bicycles are mud flaps mounted on both wheels, and also a trunk.


  • Compact design;

  • The presence of the trunk;

  • Comfortable fit;

  • Simplicity and unpretentiousness in service and leaving;

  • Small own dimensions;


  • Not fast;

  • Almost all devices of this class are deprived shock absorbers;

  • Fair brake system;

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes

Indicated by the acronym MTB (Mountain Bike) and positioned as an ideal option for a bike trial and all kinds of off-road pokatushek. Their key features are powerful wheels with a developed tread, the diameter of which is not less than 25-27 inches, shortened frame with pronounced stiffeners, as well as a carriage located high enough relative to the surface of the earth. It will not do without a powerful and reliable system gear ratio changes, as well as a developed brake system, allowing you to stop the bike almost instantly.


  • High cross;

  • Maximum adaptability regardless of mode operation and nature of the route;

  • Excellent cushioning due to suspension equipped central fork with a long stroke;

  • A large number of gear shifting algorithms (usually 20-22 or more);

  • Unpretentious and powerful design;


  • High price;

  • Active riding involves a special fit that is not comfortable and ergonomic;

Road or Track Bikes


Sport in its purest form. Road bikes can be distinguished to the naked eye – their main difference is a thin, lightweight frame and steering wheel bent down. Wheels stand out – less than 29-30 inches in diameter on such bikes are not installed in principle, and their tread has a minimum thickness and promotes development maximum speed. Advanced is also required. gear shift systems (up to 30-35 speeds), as well as powerful brake system that will stop the bike even at high speed.


  • Minimum weight;

  • Functional gear shift system;

  • High-quality brake system;

  • Large wheels with a low tread profile;

  • Strong and compact frame;


  • Not suitable for use on poor roads and off-road;

  • Inconvenient landing;

  • High price;

Children’s bicycles

Children's bicycles

Children’s bicycles can also be distinguished with the naked eye. By their appearance, such bicycles resemble urban or universal bikes, but their size is 1.5-2 times smaller than usual. These bikes are designed for the smallest riders and Great for learning to ride. Compact wheels are established on such bicycles, diameter which almost never exceeds 15-17 inches, and in the kit default deliveries include small extra wheels, fixed to the rear of the bike and attached to it extra stability.


  • A great option for beginners;

  • Low price;

  • You can customize for a baby of any height;

  • Simple and reliable design, not afraid of sloppy treatment;


  • Flimsy frame;

  • It’s impossible to buy “for growth” – after the baby is older, the bike will remain unclaimed;

The main criteria for choosing a bike

bike selection criteria

Having decided on the class of a particular bike, functional which features will suit your operating conditions in the most optimal way, it’s time to consider the key technical specifications that need to be given the most close attention. Just like a car, a bicycle also consists of a large number of different elements, each of which directly affects the functional characteristics and the ability to operate the bike in certain conditions.

The design of the frame and the material from which it is is made

  1. Frames made of steel are installed on budget models bicycles. Their advantages are low price and high strength, and the disadvantages include high weight and a tendency to corrosion

  2. Aluminum is a much lighter and more convenient material to use. The disadvantages of aluminum frames are oxidation as well relatively low mechanical strength;

  3. Chromium Molybdenum. Chromium alloy frames molybdenum. Used in low-cost bicycles and represent a middle ground between steel and aluminum – they don’t susceptible to corrosion and oxidation, and also withstand excellent load and have high strength;

  4. Lightweight frames – titanium, magnesium, carbon fiber – are the destiny of professional models of the highest price range. Such frames are exceptionally strong, tough and tough and while almost weightless. The disadvantage of such frames is one: extremely high price.

Choose a bike by height and weight

bike size chart

When looking at the frame, one cannot fail to note such an important parameter, like her height. The proportions here are quite simple: the higher the growth rider, the higher the bike frame should be. It is measured in a straight line from the carriage of the pedal assembly and before places where the saddle is mounted. There are special conversion formulas height of a person by the length of the frame, however, summary tables have long been compiled and they will not be difficult to find on the network the Internet.

Pay attention to the weight of the bicycle frame. Good old formula – “the harder the stronger” at present almost no time: on sale you can meet a great many bicycles, the frame of which, with its own minimum weight, easily copes with dynamic scales up to 180-200 kilograms in equivalent. It is for this reason that a reasonable minimum to be guided by are the following numbers:

  1. Classic city bikes and universal bikes should not weigh more than 15-17 kilograms;

  2. Road and track models, the main task of which is development maximum speed – require a minimum dead weight designs. 10-12 kilograms for such bicycles is optimal value;

  3. Mountain bikes experiencing severe operational damage physical activity, require a little more dead weight. Optimum are considered models whose weight is 14-16 kilogram;

Shock absorber system

From how much the depreciation system matches operating conditions, the rider’s comfort and sensations depend on driving process. The main purpose of shock absorbers, as well as in a car, stealing road irregularities with which have to face during pokatushek. Focus here should be given to shock absorbers installed in the front fork bike.

  1. The most budgetary are the classic spring shock absorbers. For a ride in the urban cycle there are more than enough of them, and taking into account low cost of springs, this type of shock absorber is equipped the vast majority of urban and universal bikes. The disadvantage of this system is identical to automobile springs – over time, the metal gets tired and the springs cease to fulfill their functions

  2. Oil shock absorbers are similar in principle to their own operation. those in cars. The glass of such a shock absorber is filled special oil with which the work is carried out devices. More advanced counterparts are gas oil shock absorbers, allowing you to adjust the stiffness of the mechanism and withstand the weight of the rider up to 100-120 kilograms;

  3. Air shock absorbers are considered the most soft and comfortable, however, they are recommended to be used exclusively on flat roads. Off-road pokatushki able to disable them enough fast. It is with such shock absorbers that the most expensive are equipped road and track bicycles.

Brake system

Any experienced rider will probably say that not fast enough To accelerate, you must also be able to stop your bike in time. AND in this regard, the quality of the brake system plays a crucial role.

  1. The pedal brakes are well known to all of us. Activate braking they when the rider presses the pedals in reverse side, and the stronger the pressing force, the higher the braking force. Most budget models are equipped with this particular system. brakes. It cannot be called optimal – in some cases, such the system is able to lag and even slip;

  2. V-shaped brakes. Represent a special metal V-shaped caliper clamping the wheel rim with compact pads. They fulfill the tasks assigned to it only if when the rim is dry and clean, otherwise efficiency braking falls catastrophically;

  3. Disc brakes – unlike v-brakes, brake the hub itself wheels, which positively affects braking performance and excludes dependence on external factors;

Transmission system design

Choosing a bike, each of us will probably prefer that model, which will be equipped with a multi-stage transmission system. FROM it can be used to shift gears and change the force that must be applied for movement at a given speed. Choosing transmission, attention should be paid to the following factors:

Number of gears. When it comes to city bikes, gear shifting for which is not a priority, it is a 5-7 speed transmission is enough. And vice versa, for track and mountain bikes require a powerful and reliable “box”, carrying in yourself 25-30 speeds;

Manufacturer of brake mechanisms and accessories. Save it should not be here – preference should be given to quality Shimano or SRAM products. Shimano Deore and Alivio, SRAM X3 and X5 – here are the names of the mechanisms considered among riders one of the best;

Convenience and ergonomic nuances of the gear knob. The most popular are the handles of two main designs –Grip-shift (rotary knob) and lever construction. Which of preference for these models – depends only on preferences rider.

Choosing a bike to solve specific problems

choose a bicycle for your tasks

In order to choose a bike that will become true an assistant both in urban and off-road conditions, The characteristics described above are more than enough. And as a certain collective image can give a few examples, optimal for specific situations.

Choosing a bike for a teenager

Teenage bikes are a cross between children’s models and full-fledged bikes for adults. Preference should be given to models on an aluminum or chrome-nickel frame, equipped with wheels with a diameter of 20-24 inches, V-shaped brake Shimano system and transmission.

Choosing a bike for a man

Bicycles for adult men are best chosen with caution on the operating conditions, as well as on the budget available to the buyer. IN as an optimal option for purchase, it will probably be like this called All-round MTB, which will be the carrier lightweight aluminum or chrome-nickel frame. Brake the system should prefer a disk type corresponding quality should be the transmission – Shimano Deore and Alivio models, SRAM X3 and X5 are some of the best.

Choosing a bike for a woman

Currently, the appearance of the so-called “ladies'” Bicycles are quite different from all other bikes. First of all, the upper crossbar of the frame in such models is either absent, or shifted as far down as possible. Secondly, bikes for women have much lower weight, which directly affects usability. Only remain unchanged fairly high requirements for the type of brake system and transmissions – choose those bikes that are equipped exclusively high-quality mechanisms from famous manufacturers.

And finally, we must once again recall that the above requirements are universal and suitable for selection Bicycles of any design and type. The last one is chosen, solely from the operating conditions and needs of a particular Buyer: There is no point in buying a mountain bike for urban operation, and the classic road model will be useless on impassability and rough terrain.

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose bike for the city, the secrets of choosing a bike for triathlon and features of the choice of a bicycle by height.

Bike Selection Video

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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