Choosing a bike can be a real pleasure for passionate cyclists, but for beginners or occasional riders it can be a daunting experience with so many different bikes on offer. This guide is designed for everyone who is lost in the bike world.
How to choose the right bike?
The first thing when choosing a bike is to know what you want to do with it. Cycling in the city, in the countryside, in the mountains? Every day? On long distances? To choose the right bike, first identify your needs.
Mountain bikes are ideal for escaping from the city and the usual roads and paths. Because mountain biking can vary so much, so does the range of mountain bikes available. So which one should I get? Do I need a big fork? A full-suspension bike? A light mountain bike? Thick tyres? Whether for family rides or high-performance trails, most mountain bikes have a front fork and no suspension at the back. The suspended fork will provide comfort by absorbing the roughness of the ground. A rigid fork is lighter and cheaper.
Regarding rear suspension, the damper on the frame of a full-suspension bike will provide added comfort on rough tracks, but is expensive, heavy, and less efficient in terms of transferring power from the pedals: when pedalling, you will press on the pedals to propel the bike, but also compress the damper. (This is called the “pumping effect”). So an all-suspension mountain bike is only right for you if you ride on rough terrain.
If you use your bike in the countryside as much as in the city, like on tarmac and paths, the hybrid bike is made for you. Hybrid bikes can be used for sport, but are mainly designed for riding recreationally without getting exhausted too quickly. They are a versatile option that can take you anywhere you wish to go.
Decathlon’s tip: When riding on paths, there is always a risk of getting a puncture, so always take a repair kit and one or more inner tubes, just in case!
If you want to cycle to work by bike, or to see your friends or do your daily shop by bike, only using roads, then a city bike is without a doubt the choice for you! With big wheels and thin tyres, city bikes are perfect for easy road cycling. These bikes are comfortable and well equipped, and can be fitted with a basket or panniers for carrying your belongings. City bikes are practical and efficient!
Decathlon’s tip: To avoid getting your bike stolen, always use one or more padlocks to secure it, even for few minutes! And by night, it is always better to keep your bike inside: no padlock offers 100% protection.
Road and race bikes are designed for cyclists who want to exercise and ride far and fast. Their wheels are usually in 700 (equivalent of 28″) and with really thin tyres. This reduces friction between the wheels and the ground, allowing faster speeds with less effort while maintaining good grip on the road. This type of bike has many gears to keep the same rhythm uphill as downhill. The saddles are thin and comfortable even on long rides. The bike’s weight is one of the most important characteristic, as the lighter the bike is, the easier the acceleration. But lightness is expensive. The best and most demanding riders can find carbon frames on the market. Carbon is light and strong, but also much more expensive than aluminium, which is the material most road bikes are made of.
Decathlon’s tip: size is crucial for a road bike: if you choose the right size and set the saddle well, you can ride for miles and miles!
BMX bikes are designed for riders who wish to be able to show off their technical skill not only in riding but in performing moves that regular riders would find nearly impossible. With a sturdy frame for those unintended accidents and smaller size making it easy to maneuver a BMX bike is perfect for stunts.
To ride in safety, your child needs a bike that’s reliable and solid. Depending on your junior cyclist’s size and age, there are many types of bike, all designed for a fun but safe ride. To help them learn to balance when pedalling for the first time, bikes for little ones come fitted with stabilizers.
Decathlon’s tip: Because safety is crucial, don’t forget to make sure your children wear a helmet! Some of our helmets are specifically designed for them.
|Child’s height (cm)||< 90 cm||90 to 105||105 to 120||120 to 135||135 to 155|
|3 to 4 years old
|4 to 5 years old
|6 to 7 years old
|8 years old and over
With this information you’ll be better equipped to find the bike that’s right for your intended usage. Decathlon has a range of bikes that you can check out, split between different bike types: mountain, road, hybrid, city, BMX and kids bikes.