Summer is well and truly here, and what better way to spend Kiwi summers and staying fit than by going out for bike rides along the bays or on the tracks? There’s just one problem: you’re not quite sure which bike is best for you. After all, you would have already noticed that there’s more than just one type of bike out there, and you don’t want to go into your local Bike Barn looking like you don’t know what you’re talking about!
Fret not, you’ve come to the right place. To help you sift through the sea of two-wheeled mechanisms out there and pick a bike that’s sure to tick all the boxes, we’ve listed the most common bike types below that best serve different purposes. Though you’ll be spoiled by choice in terms of features, specifications, and price in each bike type, you can still pick one that will best suit your personal cycling journey. To make things even simpler, we’ve listed the four major bike types, each designed for a specific type of trail and region. Let’s get riding!
Whether you’re new to biking, or a seasoned on-road biker aiming to take it to the next level by going off-road, mountain bikes or MTBs are what you’re likely to look at. It’s best to pick up a bike that matches with the thrill of the climbs and the descents, while still keeping you in complete control all throughout as you set to conquer the rocky, rough terrains of the mountains. The biggies to look out for while selecting a mountain bike are suspension, wheel size and brakes.
Hardtail and full-suspension are popular variants of mountain bikes. Hardtails, although less expensive and easier-to-maintain, only have a suspension fork in the front which means that the front wheel absorbs all the impact. (Hard tail, huh?) Full suspension bikes are pricier variants but soak up all bump impacts with front forks and rear shock absorbers in place.
With Auckland ranked as the ‘Best Large City in the World for Cycling’ by the 2019 Bicycle Cities Index, with March alone recording 388,000 bike rides by the cycle counters, road biking is surely the new high! And with Auckland Council building more safe bike zones, the future seems bright and encouraging, to say the least!
If you’re aiming to catch up on the trend, are looking for a cheaper transport option (it’s Auckland, after all!), or are simply a fitness enthusiast looking to add cycling to your fitness regimen, a road bike might just be your take. Lightweight frames with narrow wheels and drop handlebars, these bikes are ideal to travel within the city. Give back to the environment and keep tabs on your travel expenditures and health—all at once!
Pump up your adrenaline with an e-bike. Powered with an electric motor, e-bikes are the ‘cool’ two-wheeled variants for those looking to add an extra oomph to their biking experience. They also equip you to better handle heavier traffic and are perfect for slighter riders who don’t want to compromise on the fun quotient.
Similar to non-motorised bikes, e-bikes can be classified into city e-bikes and mountains bikes, with both hardtail and full suspension options. They’re available in three classes:
- Class 1 where the motor kicks in only while you’re actively pedalling, stops as you reach 20 mph.
- Class 2 comes with a pedal-assist mode up to 20mph and also a throttle-powered mode.
- Class 3, much like Class 1 is pedal-assist only, but the motor won’t stop until you reach 28 mph.
BMX bikes, or Bicycle Motocross bikes, have been all the rage ever since they hit the markets. A small frame with a 20-inch wheel and a single gear are features common for almost all BMX bikes. Just the ideal pick for young starters looking for something compact and simple but extremely efficient. BMX bikes are high on strength and low on maintenance.
Whether it’s for recreational purpose, to commute within the city, or for races and tricks, there are BMX variants specially designed for the purpose. While BMX bikes are great for making the bully on the block eat your smoke, it may not be the best pick if you are looking for a pedalling vehicle that would cover long distances!
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