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New to biking - how do I choose the right bike?

I take spin classes, but haven't been out on a bike in years. I'm looking to purchase one for what I'd consider is going to mostly be street driving, but I think I'd rather go hybrid. I'm not really sure where to start. I'm just a newbie here, so I don't need anything fancy to get started.

4 Replies

Hi @lv_sunshine.  I"m not a bike expert by any means but I do bike at least once a week and have both a hybrid and a road bike.  I use them both and my best advice is if you are going to be doing rides over 25 miles (which is very easy to do) I'd recommend a road bike.  You can do longer rides on a hybrid but it does wear you out faster than a road bike over the same distance.  My one exception is if I know I'll be on surfaces other than pavement, I usually take the hybrid.  Hope that helps and good luck!

@lv_sunshine Start with rental bikes or borrowing a bike from a friend and do some short rides.  That will give you a better basis than any comments from strangers on the internet.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi @lv_sunshine ,

So much of your choice depends upon where and how you will be riding.  Personally, I prefer a hybrid, because I am constantly on a variety of surfaces.  Mostly rail-trails, some road, and even some light off-road.  My hybrid performs very well in all of those conditions, although, as they say, "jack of all trades, master of none".  The hybrids strike a nice balance for someone like myself who is doing mostly recreational riding.  I regularly log 25-30 miles on my rides.

I do have to agree with part of what @hikermor said, not to rely on the opinions of strangers,  in that everyone is going to have their own, personal opinion, and those may not align well with your particular needs.

Some important considerations to keep in mind, in addition to the surfaces you are most likely to be riding on, are the frame size of the bike, the handlebar configuration, and the saddle you choose.  It won't matter what type of bike you get if you are not comfortable and happy with it.

Good luck in your search!  Hope you find what's right for you!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi there @lv_sunshine !

Welcome to the Community! Going from riding in the spin studio to riding outside is exciting!  I made a similar transition into cycling. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this article which offers some helpful advice on selecting a bike. 

As you begin to narrow down your search, please feel free to ask us any questions. The Community has quite a few active cyclists!

My initial thoughts would be that a hybrid might be a great fit for what you describe. However, if in spin class you love the feeling of going fast and climbing hills out of the saddle, you might want to consider a road bike!

Hope this gets you pointed in the right direction!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.