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Finding the Best Beginner Bike

Updated on January 9, 2018

As a kid I loved riding my bicycle, but after getting my driver's license I went over twenty years without riding a bike. A couple of years ago I decided I needed to get a bike to ride with my children and get some exercise.  When I began looking for a bike to buy I was a bit confused by all of the different types of bikes to choose from -- and the prices!

All I knew at the time was that I wanted to find a good bike for a reasonable price. Since that time, I have really gotten into cycling and have ridden a lot of different bicycles. So, here are my suggestions for finding the best beginner bike.

Different Types of Bicycles

First ask yourself: "how am I really most likely to use the bike?" Do you see yourself riding to work, riding quickly on the road for exercise, riding on trails through the woods, etc. Then consider the different types of bicycles that you have to choose from:

Mountain Bikes: Mountain bikes are probably the most popular type of bicycles these days. Mountain bikes are meant to be ridden off-road, and many mountain bikes have suspensions that make the bumps easier to ride through.

Hybrid Bikes: These are bikes that combine the speed of a road bike with the upright riding position of a mountain bike. One very affordable hybrid bike that has been recommended by Consumer Reports is the Schwinn Midmoor.

Road Bikes: Road bikes are built for fast riding, and good exercise, but the bent over position is not comfortable for everyone. Road bikes, even beginner-level road bikes, tend to be more expensive than other types of bicycles.

Cruiser Bikes: Cruisers are old-school simple bikes -- one gear, big tires, and often a coaster brake -- with an upright riding position. Cruiser bicycles have big saddles (seats) and big tires, and are comfortable to ride. But a cruiser bike would not be your best option if you want to ride at a fast pace, or for multi-hour rides, or for off-road riding.

Commuter Bikes: With the price of oil these days, many people are starting to use bicycles for their commute. Why not combine good exercise and transportation? For commuting most people like a bike with amenities such as fenders, chainguards and racks to make commuting by bicycle a practical alternative to cars..

Poll: Favorite Type of Bicycle

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