Bicycle Categories

Bicycle Shopping: The Three Common Styles of Bicycles

So you are in the market for a new bike, but you don’t know where to start? You aren’t alone!

When customers walk in to my bike shop starting their hunt for a new bike one of the most important things I ask is this: “where do you want your bike to take you?” In upcoming articles I will help you answer that question and continue to empower you in cycling. Today’s article is focused on breaking down the three most common styles of bikes and what their most broad use is. These styles or categories are: Road, Mountain, and Hybrid.

When I quickly count on my fingers the different styles of bikes that most good bike shops carry, I come up with 14 (I promise I only have 12 fingers). 14 categories of bicycles to confuse you, overwhelm you and lead you down different avenues, maybe even putting you on the wrong category so that you never ride that new bike hanging in your garage. These 14 categories don’t even include the different kinds of mountain bike wheel sizes, fat bikes, or thoughts of road bikes.

Today, we’ll be using wide strokes to paint a picture of bicycle types that can be helpful as you start your hunt for a new bike.

Road Bikes

Trek Road Bike

These bikes have round, drop, handlebars. If you haven’t been on or near a bicycle in a while then you may refer to these as a “10-speed.” They are efficient,  fast, and tend to have a more leaned over and “aggressive” feel (but not uncomfortable.) They are meant to be comfortable for the long ride, and have many different sub-categories for different uses. Triathlons, gravel races, bike touring, and so many more things can be under this category. A solid road bike that doesn’t have parts you will be replacing within the first season of heavy riding normally starts around the $1000 range.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bike

These are widely popular as they are the all terrain vehicle of bikes. Knobby, fat, tires that allow you to roll over things and go on various terrain. Most kids start off on these, and they can be found in many department stores so they are often the “gateway drug” to bikes. Your everyday bicycle shop mountain bike is between $350-650. Anything under $500-650 is probably not meant to go truly mountain biking, but instead plays the part for when you go down dirt paths, gravel and off pavement. A sturdy “single track worthy” mountain bike normally starts around $800.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid Bicycle

Though I’m a pretty performance oriented cyclist, the hybrid is my favorite category of bikes. This category is what will get folks out of the gym, off the treadmill or better yet, off the couch! The hybrid is decently efficient on the road, but normally has an inverted tread to allow for some sand and hard packed gravel riding. The fit is a bit more upright, feeling more comfortable to the rider going <2 hours. While there are extreme hybrids costing $2k with disc brakes, carbon forks and features similar to a road bike, rather these bikes normally start around $350-500 for a nice sturdy, comfortable bike with parts that will last. The hybrid is a bike that any cyclist should have in their garage for grocery getting, bar hopping and greenway cruising. There is a chance you’ll grow out of this bike when you decide you want to go further on the road, or hit more aggressive mountain bike trails. That is okay, the hybrid will always have a place in your collection.

BikeDenver Solstice Ride

Denver Summer Solstice Ride

If you are in the Denver area you should come out next Thursday for the BikeDenver and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Summer Park-to-Park bike ride! Take a bicycle ride from City Park, through the Botanic Gardens to Dos Chappell Bathhouse at Washington Park. Learn More on BikeDenver.org

 

Join us for a fun summer social event and meet other “green” residents and volunteers!

Ride Start Waves: 5:45pm, 6:00pm, 6:15pm
Ride Start Location: MLK Statue Denver City Park
Bring your own bike and helmet (highly recommended)
Download the route map

A Special Experience!

You’ll have the unique opportunity to ride your bike through the Denver Botanic Gardens (in the front entrance and out the back gate to Cheesman Park!). The ride pace will be casual. Ride guides will remind you to ride on the designated roadway or bike route and obey all traffic laws. When we ride through the Botanic Gardens we will be riding single file.

Post-ride picnic for the first 400 registrants! This sells out every year!

Avery Brewing Co., Illegal Pete’s and Clif Bar are kicking in some great food and brew for this event!  If you are one of first 400 people to register you will be treated to a free Illegal Pete’s burrito and a tasty brew from Avery Brewing Company.  Limited quantities are available and are reserved for the 1st 400 people who register.  Your ride registration receipt will serve as your food/beverage coupon.

Registration is now open. Click here to register
Donations are optional but welcomed. 
All donations will benefit both BikeDenver and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.
Denver Cycling

Bike Commuting in Denver: Part II

An on going series of riding and commuting in my new city of Denver Colorado. See more about my Denver Cycling experienced here. 

Over the past couple weeks I have been reminded about some key things for commuting and riding in a major city like Denver, CO.

  • Maps aren’t always perfect, but it adds to the adventure.
  • Cable locks are useless and shouldn’t be sold to keep your bike safe
  • Thorn resistant tires are required in the west. I’ve seen tires with 10-30 “goat heads” after riding through a city park, on the greenway.
  • Finding new routes on greenways, make shift single track through parks, sharrowed bike lanes and back alleys are never ending. Thank you BikeDenver and everyone else involved.
  • No matter how “bike friendly” a city is, there are still jacks in cars, on bikes and walking the streets. Put yourself and your safety first.

 

Giro Manta Women's Mountain Bike Shoes

Preview: Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

As I’m reviewing the road shoe from Giro called the Solara, I’ve also been able to plant my feet in the mountain bike version called the Manta. The  shoe, fit and features are mirrored between the two models, but the only difference is the mountain bike sole for better traction and two hole cleats.

Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

MSRP: $150
Colors: Black/Silver (reviewed), White/Silver/Plum
Weight: 305 grams (size 39)
Details: Three straps, two velcro and one ratchet for easy on trail adjustments.

Out of the Box Thoughts

If you read my preview of the Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoe than there isn’t much more to say other than this is a mountain bike shoe with more scuff guards. The proof will be in the pudding if the shoe last over heavy abuse and trail testing. They are now suited up with Crank Brothers cleats and I’ll be ready to provide a full review after a few hundred miles! Until then, check them out on Giro.com.

Disclaimer: This product was provided for no charge for review

Light & Motion Lights

This Little Light of Mine, Using Lights at All Times

This is a drum I have beat a decent amount in the past, but I need to beat it again as the summer days get longer and people are riding their bikes more and more. There are many reasons I believe you should have a front and rear light on blinking at all times on the bike, at the end it is safety and keeping you intact on your bike.

Reasons to Use Front and Rear Blinky Lights All The Time

  • I have been left hooked in a major intersection and fully believe a front light would have made the old man see me
  • Make yourself easier to spot
  • It makes cars more aware of you, and the space around you. In my experience with a rear blinky light it seems cars give you more space as they pass
  • Habit to turn on your lights
  • Why not??

Recommendations:

My favorite light set is the Light & Motion Urban 200 Combo Kit (support BSG and buy through that link!)

Motivational Monday with Emily Wright

Motivational Monday with Emily in Wyndmoor, PA

What is your name and location?

Emily Wright in Wyndmoor PA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and MTB

What is your first cycling memory?

Getting a yellow banana seat bike for my 5th birthday, the first banana seat in the whole neighborhood!!!!!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My children, I want them to see a mother who leads a healthy lifestyle and that exercise and fitness is part of your daily routine, also to show them that you can cross any finish line with hard work

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Helping my duaghter train and race her first triathlon

Tell us what you ride

2012 5.2 Trek Madone, known as the Batman bike because of its stealthy speed and rocking reynolds wheels
2012 Trek Lush, like riding a couch, so plush and wonderful!
2009 Giant Reign, this bike is to learn downhilling… so I can spend more time with my husband!

*    *    *    *    *    *

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

Raleigh RX 1.0 Womens

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

A couple years ago I did a full review of the Raleigh RX 1.0 women’s cyclocross bike. The articles do get a lot of comments and questions still to date so it is very fitting that Raleigh USA is releasing the 2014 images and spec early!

The spec hasn’t changed too much from years past, the colors may appeal to more of a racer than the while but the mounts are still available for racks and fenders to make this into the commuter machine if needed!

What do you think of the new styling?

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike Specs

Frame: 6061 Double Butted Alloy, Tapered headtube and seattube, flat oval downtube and seatstay, PF30 BB

Fork: Raleigh Carbon 1.125″ to 1.5″ taper, Canti-Bosses
Drive Train: Sram Apex, FSA Gossamer, 46x36t chainrings
Wheels: Formula Smooth Bearing Hubs, Weinmann 23mm wide XP Elite rims
Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance
Brakes: Tektro CR710 Canti Brakes
Cockpit: Raleigh Short Reach Bar, Raleigh 3D forged stem
Post/Saddle: Raleigh 2014 Alloy Dual Bolt, 20mm offset, Raleigh CX saddle
Bar Tape: CX Specific Bar Tape, all condition grip and increased shock absorption
Giro LA DND Women's Glove

Preview: Giro LA DND Women’s Glove

There are two styles of mountain bike gloves I use. The first is your basic, light-weight, and is really there to keep your hands from slipping off your bars when they are covered with sweat, or when you slide across the hard pack dirt trails. The second type of glove I use is for longer rides, with a bit more padding in the palm and normally a size bigger for when my hands swell and my fingers “grow.”

The Giro LA DND gloves fall into the first category, with extra points for style.

Giro LA DND Women’s Gloves $26

MSRP: $26
Features:

  • Slip on design (no adjustable strap)
  • Slim fitting
  • Used on road or mtb

Full review of wear and tear in a month or so! If you are looking into buying a pair of these, support BSG by purchasing through this link at JensonUSA.

 Disclaimer: I was provided this product at no charge for review. Unfortunately, I was not paid or bribed for my opinion.

Bicycle Fashion

3 Reasons to Connect Fashion with Bicycling

A guest article from Maria Boustead of Po Campo. Learn more about Maria at the bottom of the article.

First off, let me define what I mean when I say “fashion” and “bicycling” for the purposes of this post. By fashion I mean personal style, or how people choose to express themselves by the way they dress. I am not talking about runway looks or the fashion industry or too-thin models. And when I say bicycling, I am referring to using your bike to go from Point A to Point B, not bicycling as sport or purely for exercise or recreation.

We all agree that we want more people to bike for transportation because of the numerous benefits to our environment, our cities and ourselves. The main reason people give for not biking is because it seems too dangerous, or, in other words, they are afraid of being hit by a car. Bike lanes, especially protected ones, and better traffic laws do a lot to make people feel safer while on the road.

While physical safety is often foremost in our minds, we mustn’t neglect the element of emotional security. Bike lanes help with the former, and I believe that connecting fashion to biking can help take care of the latter. Here’s how:

1. You can see yourself doing it

commuter

Photo by Dustin Jensen © All Rights Reserved

We humans are highly social creatures and everything we wear/do/say communicates something about us. We are attracted to things that mesh with our sense of self and distance ourselves from things that don’t.

The desire to “fit in” is heightened when trying something new, such as riding your bike to work. When we’re not sure how to act or dress, we look to the people we identify with to follow their example (psychologists call this “Informational Influence”). So, if people can easily see other people that look like them riding a bike, they will more likely try it. We should be striving to get as many styles in the bike lane as possible!

2. It becomes an aspiration – I want to BE that person!

Here’s where imagery comes in. Media can be very persuasive because, done well, it taps into our inner desires of who we want to be. So, not only can you see yourself bicycling, but you can see your “best self” bicycling.

Today we generally lump people into four categories: The Road Warrior, The Hipster, The Dutch Belle and The Safety-Minded.

4categories
All four archetypes are effective at resonating with different people, and, while you might not be as lovely or as edgy as the imagery indicates, you like to think of yourself that way. I predict that as fashion and bicycling continue to comingle, we will see more of these archetypes start to appear to represent even more people, which will, in turn, get more people on the road.

3. It just simplifies things

Have you overheard this conversation as much as I have?

Person 1 says, “Maybe I’ll try biking to work on a nice day, but I’m not sure how to get started.” Then Person 2 says, “Oh that’s great! It’s easy. All you need to is…” and then goes on with a mindboggling amount of detail about what types of bikes (and components) are best for different types of rides, how you must have your bike outfitted with XYZ accessories, what you should wear, what you absolutely should not wear (like, jeans), etc. Dude, don’t over-complicate things – someone is just trying to get to work!

Photo by Loic Bernard © All Rights Reserved

Photo by Loic Bernard © All Rights Reserved

Conversely, fashion is familiar and therefore provides a reference point. You don’t have to learn all new jargon or start reading new magazines to see someone in an outfit similar to something you own to put two-and-two together and say “Hey, I can bike in that!”.
Connecting fashion to bicycling also hits home for me personally because, while I have always biked pretty regularly all over Chicago (and even founded a bike bag company there), I had never liked calling myself a biker. The word just carried too many bad memories of behaviors and styles that I didn’t identify with. But, now that fashion is entering the mix, and I am finally finding bicycling-related articles and images that interest me in publications of aIl types, and new bike brands and new apparel and accessory brands that speak to me. It feels good to feel included. I guess maybe I am a biker after all.

Maria Boustead launched Po Campo in 2009 because she needed a bag versatile enough to clip on to her bike while en route and attractive enough to take into her office or to a meeting upon reaching her destination. There were so few options for this; it just seemed like a major oversight and she knew other women would appreciate a fashionable and functional bag, too.