Today Only! Up to 25% off selected cribs & baby furniture. + more darling deals. Details >

Bicycle Buying Guide

Mountain bike or road bike? If you’re a commuter, a racer or a recreational bike rider, Sears Canada can help you decide which bike is best for you.

 

A bicycle is more than just a piece of sporting equipment. For many people, a bicycle plays an important role in their daily lives, taking them from A to B with ease, being both an environmentally friendly alternative to a car as well as a way to stay in shape. For weekend riders, rough terrain or off-road riding is great way to see the outdoors. For families, teaching your children to ride a bike is an important rite of passage and going on a family rides promotes fitness and family bonding. Considering how many diverse ways there are to use a bicycle, it’s fitting that there are so many types of bicycles available. Read on to decide which bike is right for you.

How to Choose

How you plan on using your bike should be your main consideration when picking which type of bike you want to purchase. Because of their many uses, bikes come in a wide variety of shapes & sizes – each engineered for a specific purpose. Review these main types of bikes and consider how you are planning on using your new bike.

 

Types of Bikes

Road Bikes
Road bikes are designed for hard surfaces, like pavement, making them ideal for touring, longer commutes or racing competitions. Characterized by their skinny, narrow tires for more efficient pedaling, light weight & lower drop handlebars, road bikes are the traditional competition style bike. For fitness-minded individuals, or runners looking for a more low-impact athletic activity, a road bike is an excellent choice.

 

Mountain Bikes
The mountain bike is the perfect choice for off-roading. Designed for use on rough or uneven trails and paths, mountain bikes have front suspension that forces the front wheels to maintain contact with the ground, thereby absorbing any vibrations or bumps. Mountain bikes are more durable than road bikes and can handle riding on more varied surfaces, including brick or cobblestones streets. Unlike road bikes, mountain bikes are not as well suited for long rides on a flat road because of the more compact frame for upright riding and smaller wheel diameter.

 

Comfort Bikes
A combination of a road and mountain bike, a comfort bike is a great choice for everyday commuting. The upright riding position, wider handlebars & thick tires with a smooth centre provide the best of both worlds and a more padded seat make these bikes great for commuting around the city. The ergonomically correct positioning means this is an ideal bike for repeated and frequent use.

 

Hybrid Bikes
Hybrid bikes are constructed with many of the same principles as comfort bikes, but with a few important differences. Like a comfort bike, a hybrid bike is intended to for urban commuting, combining the upright riding position of the mountain bike with the larger rim diameter of the road bike. Hybrids have a skinnier tire and a bigger wheel than a comfort bike, making pedaling more efficient; therefore, on a hybrid bike you are able to go farther and faster with less effort.

 

Dual Suspension Bikes
These bikes have front & rear suspension which provides comfort to the rider and forces both wheels to maintain even contact with the ground. This is ideal for off-roading and bumpy trails. If you are an aggressive rider, a dual suspension bike is an excellent choice for recreational use.

 

BMX
Originally designed for Bicycle Moto-X racing, BMX gained popularity because of their compact, simple design and durability. These bikes are characterized by their small size & single speed, ideal for racing or jumping on both dirt and flat surfaces. Trick enthusiasts can add extras like pegs or rotors for wheel spins and other such tricks.

 

Kids’ Bikes
Bikes for children fall into the 12” to 24” frame size range. Typically, they are only single speed and may or may not come with training wheels.

 

E-Bikes
E-bikes are very similar to your typical urban-use commuting bike, but with one important enhancement. They are motorized, making climbing a hill just as easy as going down. You still pedal, as you would a normal bike, but less athleticism is involved. These bikes are truly a transportation alternative to cars and public transit, as opposed to a fitness bike.Before purchasing an e-bike, please consult your provincial legislation. For example, in Ontario, you must be over the age of 16 to operate an e-bike on the road like a standard bicycle. A helmet must also be worn at all times by people of all-ages. Legislation may vary province to province.

 

Price

Just as there is a wide selection of bicycles available, the prices of bicycles also vary considerably. Road bikes tend to be the most expensive. A professional quality road or racing bike can cost over $10,000; however, beginner models should only set you back $700 to $1500. Mountain and hybrid bikes are available anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Comfort bikes are more affordable, coming in around $200 to $700. How much to do you plan on using your bicycle? If this is your primary source of transportation, investing in a more expensive bicycle might be a good idea, since it will hold up to frequent use.