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What better way to experience the great outdoors than a bicycle. Then again, you might just want to get to work and skip the traffic. Maybe a work-out is what’s on your mind? Whatever your purpose, the correct bike is important. Modern bikes come in countless varieties, each with their own particular function. It is important to get the right bike for the right job, depending on what it is that you want to use it for. When buying a new bike, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all this choice. Fear not! Here we endeavour to help you get the right set of wheels to meet your needs.

Mountain bike

Ideal for rough, off-road cycling, Mountain bikes are for when you want to get into nature and slog it out amidst the wilderness on dusty dirt trails. The frames are extremely strong, with advanced suspension systems and sharp brakes. They are an extremely popular bike, however, their thick wheel design, added weight and up-right rider position make them less than ideal for day to day cycling on road.

Road bike

If you live in a city and want to get around fast, this is the perfect bike for you. Built for smooth roads and pavement, road bikes have thin wheels and drop-down handlebars that can be used for racing, when you need to be a bit more aerodynamic. Road bikes come in different variations, racing bikes, for example, can go extremely fast, whereas others, such as city bikes are built for a smoother, more comfortable ride. The problem with road bikes is that they are somewhat limited to their natural habitat. On paved roads they are great but off road, they’re almost useless. Road bikes are not generally built for taking much weight, so be careful how much you pack on the back. Under 15kg and you should be fine.

Trekking bike

Trekking bikes have a lot of the advantages of road bikes. They are excellent on roads and can go quite fast on even surfaces, but they handle somewhat better on unpaved tracks. They can take a lot of weight on the back and usually come with cargo racks, making them perfect for long distance cycling trips. Trekking bikes have relaxed frames which help to support the rider by keeping his back straight. This is especially useful when cycling for long periods at a time. This style of bicycle is ideal if you have a long trip planned or even want something that can handle that tough commute.


Perfect for tricks and off-road ramps and also popular with kids due to their small size. BMXs were designed for bicycle motocross: the sport that endowed them with their name. They are compact and can really take a beating, making them perfect for going fast up ramps and landing badly – not that we recommend it. Even more so that mountain bikes, they are extremely inefficient on roads and not very useful for the daily commute. Unless of course, you want to stop at a BMX park on the way.

Recumbent bike

Recumbent bicycles are perfect for people struggling with back problems. They are low to the ground and normally include a comfortable seat with a backrest. Recumbents are considered the most comfortable of all bike designs and are perfect for people with disabilities that prevent them for cycling on normal bikes. Not to say somebody that simply wants a comfortable bike shouldn’t get one. Just don’t try to cycle up too many hills on these things!

Now that we’ve considered what kind of bike you need, it’s important to remember a few things. Each bike should fit the shape and size of the rider. Frame size is possibly the most important consideration, this will ensure that you are comfortable and riding with as little effort as possible. Check out this handy Evans guide to frame size to height ratio. (

Another thing to consider is the number of gears you will need. In a city, three should be just fine. The more terrain and variety of incline that you will use the bike for, the more gears you will need. If you want to cycle the length of New Zealand, three gears won’t cut it. 21 should do, and you’ll need a ferry too.

Unless you are a competitive athlete, you won’t need to sink too much money into a new bicycle. Once you are spending in the thousands, the differences are extremely small and designed to give slight edges to serious competitors. Whatever bike it is, if it’s your first bike in a while, don’t feel obliged to overspend. What’s important is that you go out and use the thing: bikes are great for the environment, reduce congestion in cities and make us all healthier people. Don’t forget your helmet!


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