Choosing The Right Type Of Bike
Cycling is a great way to get fit and get around town, and enjoy some fresh air while you're doing it. There are different types of bikes, and the one that's right for you depends on what you'll use it for. Here we talk you through bike types for adults, and the key things to consider for kids' bikes.
There's no one-size-fits all answer because it depends on:
- Where you'll be riding (in the city or mountains, on hills or flat roads?)
- How often you'll be using it (every now and then, on weekends or every day?)
- How far you'll ride at a time (under an hour, for hours, or all day long?)
- What you'll use it for (riding to work, leisurely weekend rides, fitness training or racing?)
Working out which bike to buy is easier when you break it down into these five steps:
1. Riding to Work & Cycling for Fun
If you're just cycling to work or for fun on weekends, a simple bike is a great option.
Comfort bikes, commuter bikes and urban bikes are all designed for riding in the city:
- You won't need many gears on flat roads, but a few gears will help you up occasional hills.
- Speed isn't an important factor so a bike you sit upright on is fine and more comfortable.
- If you need to carry things, a basket on the front or back is good for storage.
- Some come with suspension in the seat or fork for more comfort on gravel and potholes. Suspension means the bike will be heavier so could make you a bit less agile on the bike.
- Is ideal for inner city transport like riding to and from work.
- Has flat handlebars so you can sit upright and see what's going on around you.
What is the best commuter bike?
That depends on what's important to you. If want to take it on the train a folding bike is a good option. If you have to tackle hills an E-Bike will get you to work without getting too sweaty.
What should you look for in a commuter bike?
A bike that's comfortable, easy to manoeuvre, and allows you to carry everything you need (or add more storage).
How do you buy a commuter bike?
You can buy commuter bikes online from Anaconda, or in your nearest store .
Are road bikes good for commuting?
Yes you can use a road bike to commute. Just keep in mind that they're a bit less comfortable, and you won't have as much visibility to see everything that's going on around you.
Are mountain bikes any good for commuting?
They're not ideal because they're heavy, with wide wheels and gears suited to mountains, not inner city roads.
Comfort Bikes & Urban Bikes
- Larger saddles to make them more comfortable.
- Larger wheels for stability and smoother riding.
A folding bike folds up so is:
- Great for short, infrequent tips and if you need to carry them upstairs.
- Easier to take on the train or in the car - but not as comfortable for longer rides.
- Great if you don't have much room to store your bike at home.
- Allows you to pedal normally or switch to electric-assisted mode (to save some pedalling).
- The electric motor helps take you uphill so you don't need to pedal as much or get sweaty.
- Can be a folding and electric bike in one-perfect for inner city riding and small homes.
A heritage bike is:
- Perfect for leisurely rides.
- Great for getting around locally.
What are the different brands of heritage classic bikes?
Anaconda has Fluid heritage bikes for men and women.
Where can you buy a heritage bike online?
Lightweight and designed to let you pick up speed and navigate tight curves, a road bike:
- That lets you lean over the handlebars is more aerodynamic so you can ride faster.
- With dropped handlebars allows you to change hand position as your speed changes.
- Has thinner tyres and wheels to help you navigate bends and reduce road resistance.
- Generally has thinner spokes to give you less air resistance.
- Has a longer, narrower saddle which:
- Gives you much more freedom to move.
- May take getting used to if you're used to larger saddles.
A mountain bike is a good all-rounder for most conditions:
- Gears are important for adapting to different trail conditions (more gears, better control).
- High-volume tyres give you better traction on rough and uneven tracks.
- Heavy duty suspension means you won't feel the bumps as much.
A fat bike has really wide (fat) tyres:
- Designed for soft ground like mud, sand, snow and bogs, so can be used all year round.
- You can ride a fat bike in places where the typical mountain bike would struggle.
- The frame has wide spokes and stays to accommodate the wider rims.
Are mountain bikes good for commuting?
Not really because they're heavy (so hard to manoeuvre), and the gears are lower for going up mountains (rather than flatter city roads).
Buying a bike for your kid can seem confusing, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Get the right bike for your child's age and height right now. Sometimes with clothes, we buy them too big so they can grow into them-but a bike that's too big will be heavy and difficult for children to control.
How do you choose a bike size for a kid?
You should choose your child's bike by the size of the wheels:
- A 2-year old will do well on a bike with 25 centimetre wheels.
- A 3-5 year old should get a bike with 30 centimetre wheels.
- Ages 6-8 should get 40 centimetre wheels.
- For a 9-11 year old, look for 50 centimetre wheels.
- Sitting on the saddle, they should be able to:
- Rest the balls of their feet on the ground.
- Reach the handlebars with a small bend in their elbows and without straining.
- All kids on a bike must wear a helmet by law.
- Some kids' bikes have two braking systems:
- One on the handlebars.
- One that activates when you pedal backwards.
- The bike should have a chain guard to stop feet or shoelaces getting caught in the chain.
- Aluminium wheels have a shorter braking distance so they're a safer option than steel.
- Both sides of the pedals should be rough with a tread so their feet don't slip off.
- You can add or take off training wheels as your child's riding skills and confidence grow.
How do you buy a kids bike and how can you buy a kids bike online ?
Getting the right size is the most important thing. So how do you choose a bike size for a kid? Get the tape measure out and record their height. When you go to the Kids Bikes page on the Anaconda website you'll see Rider Height on the left side of the page. Select the relevant height range so you only see bikes in that range on the page. All Anaconda's children's products are Australian safety rated.
When you're weighing up which bike to buy, think about quality versus cost.
The materials bikes are made from affects the price and determines:
- How comfortable you'll be when you're riding.
- How durable and long-lasting the gear will be.
- Most bike frames are made from alloys, which are a mix of different metals, they are generally lightweight but can be quite stiff which makes for a less comfortable ride.
- Another common material is steel. Steel is less stiff, giving you a smoother ride. It's also more durable and can withstand knocks and dents, so it's a good choice for the avid cyclist.
- Carbon fibre bikes are a lot lighter so they're best for racing, but they're more expensive and may damage if dropped.
When it comes to how much you should spend:
- If you'll only do short rides every now and then, a cheaper bike should do the trick.
- If you'll be riding a lot, it's worth spending more on a good-quality bike that will keep you comfortable and stand the test of time.
When you go to the Anaconda website, select Cycling from the menu on the top, then select Bikes. You'll see tick box filters on the left hand side of the page which makes working out what to buy easier and faster because you can choose to filter what you see by:
- Category - so you only see mountain bikes, comfort bikes, urban bikes or kids' bikes.
- Price - so you only see bikes that are within your budget.
- Deal - so you only see bikes that are on sale or at clearance prices.
- Size - so you just see bikes available in the size you want.
- Colour - so you only see bikes in the colours you like.
- Brand - so you can find a specific bike brand you like.