A bicycle is a mode of transportation consisting of a frame, two wheels, a saddle, and handlebars, powered by a rider pedaling with their legs. It’s a versatile means of getting around, whether for commuting, exercise, or leisure. There are two main types of bicycles: road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes are built for speed and are best suited for riding on smooth, paved surfaces. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are built for off-road use and have features such as wider tires and a more upright riding position for better stability on rough terrain.
- 1 Beginner Bike Types
- 2 The Beginner’s Bike Buying Guide
- 3 Beginner Bike Pros and Cons
- 4 How much should I spend on a beginner bike?
- 5 What size bike should I get?
- 6 How do I know if a bike is good quality?
- 7 Do I need to buy a new bike or can I buy a used one?
- 8 Can beginners use road bikes?
- 9 What frame material do I need?
- 10 How much maintenance does a bike need?
To ensure a comfortable and safe ride, it’s crucial to select the right size bike. A bike that’s too big or small may be difficult to control and uncomfortable to ride. Additionally, it’s important to check that the tires are properly inflated and the brakes are functioning correctly.
Before setting off, don’t forget to wear a helmet to protect your head in case of an accident. It’s also advisable to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Start by practicing on a flat, open surface where you can get the hang of starting, stopping, turning, and dismounting the bike. As you gain confidence, you can try riding on different surfaces and in various environments.
The 7 Best Bikes for Beginners in 2023: Our Top Picks
|Most Versatile for Beginners||Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike|
|Most Affordable||Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike|
|Speedy All-Arounder||Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike|
|Best overall||IDS Home unYOUsual U|
|Editor’s Picks||RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids Bike|
Top1.Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike
This bike features a sturdy Denim Blue hardtail frame and 21 different speeds, making it a great choice for outdoor adventures. Just follow the instructions in the product manual to get started.
Equipped with an indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur and a micro-shift twist shifter, this bike allows you to shift gears effortlessly and quickly. With 21 speeds available, you can conquer uphill climbs, enjoy smooth downhill rides, or accelerate with ease. Additionally, the removable rear derailleur guard ensures that your gear operation remains consistent throughout your ride.
Top2.Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike
This bike features a lightweight 16-inch steel frame, making it an excellent choice for both neighborhood rides and trail adventures. The 24-inch wheel frame is suitable for riders who are between 5’5″ to 6’0″ in height.
Equipped with an alloy crank, this bicycle allows for steady gear changes while requiring less maintenance. The twist shifters and rear derailleur make it easy to switch gears quickly, so you can tackle any terrain with ease. The wide knobby mountain tires provide excellent traction on all types of terrain and sit on a durable alloy wheel that offers stability and balance, making it perfect for all weather conditions.
Top3.Mongoose Dolomite Mens Fat Tire Mountain Bike
This mountain bike is built to tackle any off-road trail with ease. Featuring a sturdy steel frame and supersized all-terrain knobby 26-inch wheels, this bike is suitable for riders who are between 64 to 74 inches tall.
The threadless headset is adjustable, making it easy to customize the bike for riders of different heights. Additionally, the strong and lightweight alloy rims provide added speed and performance while keeping the overall weight of the bike down.
Enjoy a comfortable ride with the beach cruiser pedals, and ensure your safety with the front and rear disc brakes. Whether you’re cruising through rugged terrain or taking on steep hills, this mountain bike will help you conquer any challenge that comes your way.
This folding bicycle is designed for both commuting and exercising, with a compact 20-inch frame that makes it easy to store and transport.Equipped with a Shimano 6-speed shifter and derailleur, this bike allows you to easily adjust your speed and tackle different terrain types. The semi-alloy front and rear V-brakes provide reliable stopping power, ensuring your safety on the road.
The bike features WANDA 20″ x 1.75 tires that provide excellent traction on different surfaces. The quick-removable front handle stem, along with the alloy silver color cap and PVC black bell, add to the bike’s convenience and style. Whether you need a reliable mode of transportation or a way to stay active, this folding bicycle is a great choice.
Top5.RoyalBaby Freestyle Kids Bike
Inspired by the BMX spirit, the RoyalBaby Freestyle kid’s bike is all about fun, creativity, freedom, and friendship, making it perfect for the next cycling star.
Each bike comes equipped with RoyalBaby’s patented sealed bearing, ensuring smooth pedaling with every ride. The 12/14/16 inch bikes also come with training wheels, making it easy for young beginners to learn to pedal and maintain balance. The water bottle and holder add to the joy of the ride, while the fully adjustable seat and handlebar provide extra space as your child grows taller.
With the shortest travel distance grips, the bike provides extra braking efficiency, while the sturdy steel frame and 2.4″ wide cylinder tires make it perfect for any adventure, keeping your little one safe and sound.The bike comes 95% pre-assembled, with an elaborated instruction manual and all the necessary tools included in the box. It is easy enough to put together in just 15 minutes, so your child can start enjoying their new bike in no time.
Top6.Strider – 12 Sport Kids Balance Bike
- Great value
- Requires almost no maintenance
- Tires can slip on slick surfaces
The Strider’s most popular model is designed for children between 18 months and five years old. The bike is scaled to fit young kids, from the smaller grips to the lightweight frame, weighing just 6.7 pounds when fully assembled.
The 12” wheels are made from EVA polymer, which ensures that they never go flat, providing a worry-free ride for your child. Additionally, the bike features an extra-long seat post, allowing you to get the most out of it when your child hits their growth spurt.With its kid-friendly design and durable construction, this Strider model is the perfect choice for young riders who are just starting to learn how to ride a bike. It offers a safe and fun way for your child to explore the world around them, while also promoting physical activity and outdoor play.
Top7.Schwinn Volare Mens and Womens Hybrid Road Bike
This road bike features an aluminum rigid fitness frame and fork, with a flat-styled handlebar and sport riding seat. The 28-Inch wheels are suitable for riders between 64 to 74 inches tall.
With its 14-speed shifter and brake lever combo, this bike provides precise shifting that you can trust for years of smooth riding. The alloy linear pull brakes on the front and rear ensure that stopping won’t be an issue, providing a safe and comfortable ride.Crafted from durable materials like aluminum frame, alloy wheels, alloy crank, and alloy brakes and components, this bike is built to last and can take you on any ride you desire. Whether you want to ride for fitness or leisure, this bike will get you out there, helping you to feel more fit and energized.
Beginner Bike Types
There are many different types of bicycles to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some common types of bikes that are popular with beginners:
- Hybrid bikes: These bikes are a mix between road bikes and mountain bikes and are a good choice for riders who want a bike that can handle a variety of surfaces. Hybrid bikes have a more upright riding position, which makes them comfortable for leisurely rides around the neighborhood or commuting to work.
- City bikes: Also known as “commuter bikes,” these bikes are designed for urban riding and have features such as a lightweight frame, narrow tires, and a comfortable, upright riding position. They are often equipped with accessories like lights, fenders, and a kickstand, which make them practical for everyday use.
- Cruiser bikes: These bikes are designed for a relaxed, comfortable ride and are popular for beach cruising or leisurely rides around town. They have a relaxed frame geometry, wide tires, and a comfortable, upright riding position.
- Kids’ bikes: If you’re looking for a bike for a child, there are many options designed specifically for kids. These bikes come in smaller sizes and may have features such as coaster brakes (which are activated by pedaling backwards) and training wheels to help kids learn to ride.
Remember, it’s important to choose a bike that is the right size for you and that meets your needs. If you’re not sure which type of bike is best for you, a local bike shop can often help you make a decision based on your riding goals and the types of terrain you’ll be riding on.
The Beginner’s Bike Buying Guide
Here are some factors to consider when buying a bike as a beginner:
- Purpose: What do you plan to use the bike for? Will you be commuting to work, riding on trails, or just leisurely cruising around the neighborhood? Different types of bikes are better suited for different purposes, so it’s important to choose one that meets your needs.
- Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a bike? There are bikes available at a wide range of price points, from under $100 to several thousand dollars. Keep in mind that you generally get what you pay for when it comes to bikes, so it’s often worth it to invest in a higher-quality bike that will be more durable and better-performing in the long run.
- Size: Make sure you get a bike that is the right size for you. If the bike is too small or large, it will be difficult to control and may be uncomfortable to ride. Most bikes will have size recommendations listed on their packaging or in their product descriptions, so you can use these as a starting point.
- Components: Pay attention to the quality of the bike’s components, such as the brakes, gears, and pedals. Higher-quality components will generally be more durable and perform better than lower-quality ones.
- Test ride: If possible, try out a few different bikes before you make a decision. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the bike and see how it handles.
- Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required for the bike. Some bikes require more frequent adjustments and upkeep than others.
Beginner Bike Pros and Cons
Here are some potential pros and cons of biking as a beginner:
- Exercise: Biking is a great form of exercise that can help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your legs and core muscles.
- Environmentally friendly: Biking is a low-impact, environmentally friendly mode of transportation that doesn’t produce emissions or contribute to air pollution.
- Low cost: Biking can be a cost-effective mode of transportation, as you don’t have to pay for gas or car maintenance.
- Fun: Biking can be a fun and enjoyable activity, whether you’re riding alone or with friends.
- Risk of injury: As with any physical activity, there is a risk of injury when biking, especially if you’re not wearing proper protective gear such as a helmet.
- Limited range: Depending on where you live, your biking range may be limited by the distance you can comfortably ride or the availability of bike lanes or trails.
- Weather: Riding a bike can be less convenient in bad weather, such as heavy rain or snow.
- Maintenance: Bikes require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order, including things like cleaning, lubricating, and adjusting the brakes and gears.
The pros of biking as a beginner are likely to outweigh the cons, as long as you take the necessary safety precautions and are prepared for the physical demands of riding.
Buying a Beginner Bike FAQ
The best type of bike for a beginner will depend on the rider’s specific needs and preferences. If you’re planning to use the bike for commuting, a city bike or hybrid bike might be a good choice. If you’re more interested in off-road adventures, a mountain bike might be a better fit. If you’re not sure what type of bike is best for you, a local bike shop can often provide guidance based on your riding goals and the types of terrain you’ll be riding on.
How much should I spend on a beginner bike?
The cost of a beginner bike will depend on the type of bike and the quality of the components. You can find bikes at a wide range of price points, from under $100 to several thousand dollars. In general, it’s worth it to invest in a higher-quality bike that will be more durable and better-performing in the long run.
What size bike should I get?
The size of the bike is important for comfort and control. If the bike is too small or large, it will be difficult to ride and may be uncomfortable. Most bikes will have size recommendations listed on their packaging or in their product descriptions, so you can use these as a starting point. If you’re not sure what size is right for you, a local bike shop can help you measure your inseam and recommend a size based on your height and riding style.
How do I know if a bike is good quality?
There are a few indicators of a bike’s quality:
- The materials used in the frame: Higher-quality bikes will generally have frames made of materials like carbon fiber or high-strength aluminum, which are lightweight and durable.
- The components: Look for bikes with high-quality components such as Shimano or SRAM gears and hydraulic disc brakes. These components will generally be more durable and perform better than lower-quality ones.
- The brand reputation: Check out online ratings and reviews to get an idea of a brand’s reputation for producing high-quality bikes.
Do I need to buy a new bike or can I buy a used one?
There are pros and cons to both new and used bikes. New bikes will typically come with a warranty and be in perfect working order, but they can be more expensive. Used bikes can be a more budget-friendly option, but they may require more maintenance and may not be in as good of condition as a new bike. If you do decide to buy a used bike, be sure to inspect it carefully and have a mechanic check it over before you buy it to ensure it is safe to ride.
Can beginners use road bikes?
Road bikes can be a good choice for beginners, as long as you’re comfortable with the riding position and the level of fitness required to ride on paved surfaces. Road bikes are designed for speed and are best suited for riding on paved roads and trails. They have lightweight frames, narrow tires, and dropped handlebars, which allows the rider to lean forward and adopt a more aerodynamic position.
If you’re new to biking or haven’t ridden in a while, you may want to start with a hybrid bike or a city bike, which have a more upright riding position and are better suited for leisurely rides or commuting. As you become more comfortable and confident on the bike, you can consider upgrading to a road bike if you’re interested in tackling longer rides or training for a road race.
It’s important to choose a bike that is comfortable and fits you well, regardless of whether it’s a road bike or another type of bike. If you’re not sure which type of bike is best for you, a local bike shop can often provide guidance based on your riding goals and the types of terrain you’ll be riding on.
What frame material do I need?
The material of the bike frame can affect the weight, strength, and ride quality of the bike. Here are some common frame materials used in bikes:
- Steel: Steel is a durable and relatively inexpensive material that is commonly used in bike frames. Steel frames are generally heavier than frames made of other materials, but they are also strong and can provide a comfortable, smooth ride.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight and corrosion-resistant material that is often used in bike frames. Aluminum frames are generally less expensive than carbon fiber frames, but they can be less comfortable to ride and may not be as durable.
- Carbon fiber: Carbon fiber is a strong and lightweight material that is often used in high-end bike frames. Carbon fiber frames are generally more expensive than aluminum or steel frames, but they are also lighter and can provide a smoothe
How much maintenance does a bike need?
Bikes require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order and ensure they are safe to ride. The amount of maintenance a bike needs will depend on factors such as the type of bike, the frequency of use, and the quality of the components. Here are some basic maintenance tasks that are typically recommended for bikes:
- Cleaning: Cleaning your bike regularly can help prevent rust and wear on the frame and components. Use a bike-specific cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe down the frame, and use a degreaser to clean the chain, derailleurs, and other moving parts.
- Lubricating: Lubricating the chain and other moving parts can help prevent rust and wear, and make it easier for the bike to shift gears. Use a bike-specific lubricant and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Adjusting brakes and gears: Brakes and gears may need to be adjusted periodically to ensure they are working properly. This may involve tightening or loosening cable tension, or adjusting the position of the brake pads or derailleurs.
- Checking tires and inflating: Check the tire pressure regularly and inflate the tires to the recommended pressure, which is usually listed on the sidewall of the tire. If the tires are worn or damaged, they may need to be replaced.
- Inspecting and tightening bolts: Regularly check the bolts on the bike to ensure they are tightened to the proper torque. Loose bolts can cause problems with the bike’s performance and may be dangerous.
By performing regular maintenance, you can help extend the life of your bike and ensure it is safe to ride.