I want to ride my bicycle: choosing the right bike for your needs



I want to ride my bicycle: choosing the right bike for your needs

Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to stay fit, healthy and happy. Your body will thank you for taking up the sport. However, it can be tricky to choose a bike that best suits your particular needs.

If you are new to the cycling world, you may not know the difference between the various types of bicycles, but this is vital knowledge to have in order to make an informed decision about what bike to choose.


Why do you want to ride?

When shopping in stores with a huge variety, such as Chris Willemse Cycles, it can be difficult to settle on one particular bike. The main question you need to ask yourself is why you want to ride. Is it for fitness or for fun? You may even be considering using your bicycle to run simple errands rather than spending money on petrol.

For those who are interested in cycling for fitness, you should be looking at road bikes and those who are just out to have fun, a mountain bike is your go-to choice. Both are rugged enough to handle bumpy terrain, but a road bike should not be used in place of a mountain bike because the tyres are smaller and will not absorb shocks as well.


Where do you want to ride?

This is the second most important question to ask. Where you are planning on riding will affect your choices, for example, whether you are planning on riding on mountainous or rocky terrain or are simply looking for a way to get around town.

A mountain bike is the ideal choice for those who are looking to have fun climbing hills, whereas a road bike is better suited for people who enjoy long-distance cycling. If you are simply looking for an efficient and money-saving way to run errands, a recreational bike is the ideal choice.


Finding the proper fit

A bicycle that fits well provides the best ride possible and there are some rules of thumb to follow when attempting to find the perfect bike for your needs.

  • Ensure that your leg is slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest point. You can vary this by adjusting the seat.
  • Your elbows should also have a slight bend so you are not too close or too far from the handlebars.
  • When you stand straddling the bike, you should be looking for 2.5cm of clearance between your crotch and the bar (if it is a man’s bike), possibly 5cm for a mountain bike. This does not apply to women’s bikes.

For taller people, you may have to find a bike that is customisable as your handlebar-to-body ratio and body-to-bar ratio will be very different to other riders.


Types of bicycles

There are several types of bikes you can choose from, depending on your answers to the above questions.


  • Mountain bikes: A mountain bike is ideal for more rugged terrain. Its wheels are smaller, meaning it does not have as much speed as a road bike but it can absorb the shock of bumpier terrain better than most.


  • Road bikes: These have narrower wheels than mountain bikes and are perfect for long distance cycling. Proper fit is important as your comfort can affect the enjoyment level of the ride and can also cause chafing and other health issues.


  • Hybrids: This is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. They can be used on pavements and rockier terrain and are considered to be a mid-weight bicycle. It is a good choice for those starting their cycling adventure.


  • Recreational bikes: A recreational bike is ideal for those who are going to be using their bike for shopping excursions or for popping to the coffee shop on a lazy afternoon. You can equip them with a basket or bike pack and save on petrol when going to get last minute groceries.


  • Racing bikes: Racing bikes are the lightest bicycles around and are made for speed. Their high-tech materials make them a pricey purchase, but if you are planning on entering any races, they are the best buy for your needs.



Choosing a bike is a very personal experience. The bike you choose today may last you a lifetime, giving you happy memories of adventures and fun family moments, which is why it is important to consider each option carefully before coming to a final choice. If you are looking for adventure, you are sure to find it with a sturdy bike, an unbeaten path and an open mind.