Bike on a wall

Choosing the right bike

Purchasing a new bike is an investment, but it is also a gesture for the planet. Indeed, a bike allows you to travel without emitting greenhouse gases. It is therefore a more environmentally friendly means of transportation than a car. So, which type of bike should you choose to get around?

Before diving into your next two-wheeled adventure, discover the main types of bikes available to you: hybrid, road, touring, mountain, city, folding, and more. Go for the one that best suits your needs.

Mom and kid ready for a bike ride

The different types of bikes: City bikes

Designed to ride on bike paths and city streets.

Solid and stable, these frames come in different styles, but they generally have a flat handlebar that allows for an upright and relaxed riding position. This style of bicycle is a great choice for commuting to work or school, or simply to get from any point A to point B. Plus, these bikes are usually equipped with mudguards, a rack, and a comfortable saddle.

Fixed gears (“fixies”) or single speeds are the minimalist version of city bikes since they only have one single gear or a direct drive chainring. They won’t come equipped with traditional features like mudguards and racks. As a bonus, these bikes won’t require very much maintenance because of their pared-down construction.

woman on a road bike

Road bikes and race bikes

Designed to tackle long distances on pavement.

Road bikes are ideal for training, pedalling kilometres of country roads, or taking on challenging climbs. These lightweight frames are equipped with curved handlebars and are built for speed and performance since the rider has to adopt a forward-leaning, aerodynamic position to pedal.

Gravel bikes (all-road or all-terrain road bikes) are a subcategory of road bikes that are generally equipped with disc brakes, giving you consistent stopping power, even in the most harsh conditions. Plus, the wider tires let you ride on everything from asphalt to dirt roads and gravel. This is the ideal bike for bikepacking.

man on a mountain bike

Mountain bikes

Designed to attack technical trails, overcome obstacles or race down steep hills.

Rock-solid mountain bikes are the toughest style of bike on this list. They come with large, high-volume tires, a straight handlebar, and sometimes have shocks, either single or double. You can also use most mountain bikes on city streets.

Fat bikes are probably the most well-known type of mountain bikes. These bicycles are defined by their 4 to 5 ”, over-sized tires (hence the name) which make it easier to ride on trails, snow, and sand.

a dad on his hybrid bike with his child on the back

Hybrid bikes

Designed for day-to-day use, less technical trails, and light touring.

Hybrid bikes are part city bike, part road bike, and can tackle a variety of surfaces: asphalt, gravel, or packed dirt. These versatile machines often come ready to be mounted with a rack or pannier. Hybrid bikes also come equipped with disc brakes or caliper brakes (rim brakes) and a straight handlebar which allows the rider to maintain a more relaxed, upright position.

woman on her touring bike talking with another cyclist

Touring bikes

Designed for road excursions with panniers and saddlebags over long distances.

These bicycles have a wide selection of gears, allowing you to change speeds for steep climbs or fast descents. Generally equipped with curved handlebars and a sturdy frame, touring bikes come with places to attach racks, panniers, mudguards, water bottles, tire pumps, etc.

woman who puts her folding bike in her car trunk

Folding bikes

Designed for daily use and trips.

Compact, easy to bring with you on public transportation, they also take up very little trunk space in a car, fit inside a closet, and can even be shipped and checked as luggage when going on a trip to a remote destination. With a folding bike, you can roll up to work or to a coffee shop and just bring your bike inside, not having to worry about it being stolen. What’s more, these bikes fold up in 30 seconds and are fun to ride. What could be better?

Small and easy to store, folding bikes are perfect for people with limited storage space.

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