Side Bar Note

Smoothie or Chunkie

other information

Types of Bikes

While there are now many varieties of bicycles, including several hybrids, most fall under the four basic categories described below.

Comfort bikes

These are for leisurely, recreational riding on pavement and smooth dirt paths. They include high handlebars, shock absorbers in the seat or fork, and a soft, wide seat.
Pros: Creature comforts include an upright riding position and a cushiony ride. Low gears allow easier uphill pedaling. As a group, comfort bikes cost less than other types.
Cons: Comfort bikes might make for hard pedaling on hilly terrain. And for off- road use, they can't compete with a mountain bike's rigid construction and wide, knobby tires. They are also heavy and uncomfortable to ride for longer distances

Mountain bikes

These are designed to stand up to rugged trails. You'll get a shock-absorbing front suspension fork and possibly rear suspension, which provide the best control and comfort on the roughest terrain. They have wide, knobby tires, a narrow or moderately width saddle, and flat or riser handlebars.
Pros: More durable than other types. Absorb shock well. Excellent off-road handling.
Cons: Heavier than road and fitness bikes. Not as well-suited for road riding.

Road bikes

Road bicycles are designed to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. They have smooth, skinny tires and "drop" handlebars, and can be used for on-road racing. They are usually lighter than other types of bicycles. They can be ridden on paved trails, but most people find them uncomfortable and unstable on unpaved trails. Most road bikes are not capable of carrying heavy loads. These bikes are for riders who want to log fast or serious mileage, including multi-day touring. Conventional road bikes feature a lightweight frame, skinny tires, a narrow seat, and drop handlebars that make you bend low. Performance road bikes are similar except for their shorter top tube (the horizontal one) and longer head tube (the vertical one under the handlebars), which allow a slightly more upright riding position. Cross bikes, another subcategory, are essentially beefy road bikes with wide, knobby tires for off- road traction.
Pros: Avid cyclists may prefer the aerodynamic bent-over position that the drop handlebars of a conventional road bike provide.
Cons: Some riders may not feel comfortable bending that low, even with the somewhat higher handlebars of a performance road bike.

Fitness bikes

These bikes blend the slim tires, narrow seat, and lightweight frame of a road bike with the horizontal handlebars and more upright riding position of a mountain bike. Fitness bikes might be a good choice for those who simply want to burn calories or improve cardiovascular fitness, or for daily short-haul commuting.
Pros: Fitness bikes are more comfortable than road bikes. They weigh only a couple of pounds more than road bikes and tend to cost much less. They might be good for commuting to work.
Cons: Less aerodynamic than a road bike.

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