Size & Buying Guides

Types of Bikes

Carol Ching

Here at Skiis and Biikes we usually recommend that you buy a bike for the kind of activity you want it for.
Do you want a bike mostly for commuting? Do you want a versatile bike that can handle both tarmac and dirt tracks well? Do you want to dress head-to-toe in lycra and attempt the land speed record? Our guide will breakdown the different types of bikes out there and help you find the right bike for your needs!
Types of Bikes

 

Hybrid Bikes


Ideal for those looking for an easy and comfortable ride, hybrid bikes are often used for short length commuter bike and can usually be loaded up with racks for cargo. The perfect combination of road riding with light trail riding, this is the kind of bike most people picture for day to day use. Entry level hybrids offer a good ride with great durability at affordable prices, a great addition to your workout regiment, an alternative name for hybrids are fitness bikes.



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Performance Hybrid Bikes


For those looking for a quick responsive bike, the performance hybrid is an excellent choice. Cyclists with a decent amount of experience will enjoy the mid-level road bike components and higher end frame features. Longer distances are easier, it's like having a road bike without the drop-down handlebars. The price points are higher than your entry level hybrid and come with aggressive geometry that puts the rider in a happy medium between hybrid and road. These bikes are usually not equipped for trail riding however with the right components they can be retrofitted for trail.

 

Dual Sport


50% Road 50% Off-Road. Dual sport bikes are efficient on the road but come equipped with an 80mm travel front fork which allows for confidence, control, and versatility when riding off road. The bike is not rugged enough to handle full single-track trails but forestry, rail trails and loose dirt/gravel pathways are perfectly fine. Dual-Sport bikes usually come with mountain bike components even at entry level. One bike to take pretty much everywhere.



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Mountain Bikes


Mountain bikes are designed to go on mountains or on off-road trails, which means they’re chunkier, have knobbly tyres on them, and a frame geometry which makes them better suited for seriously uneven terrain. Mountain bikes perform best off-road so if you are looking for a city bike this is not the bike for you.



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Hardtail


Hardtails are a durable ride, great for kids and teenagers who beat their stuff up. These bikes are meant to be ridden off road due to its wide treaded tires, offers great control and can handle roots and ruts because of the front fork they usually come with. This isn’t for the paved road as you’ll need to work harder to drive the bike forward, single track riding is possible in this category but is not meant for "jumps" or downhill riding. Hardtails make great entry level mountain bikes.

Full Suspension


For riders who are looking to do more aggressive styles of trail riding, full suspension bikes are the perfect choice. Travel is the most important thing when considering a FS bike. The travel is how far the fork can compress and how much movement there is in the linkage in the frame. Different levels of travel will mean the bike is meant for different styles of riding. Trail bikes will have a travel measurement of 100mm to 130mm. Enduro bikes will start around 150mm to 170mm of travel and full downhill bikes will be 180mm of travel. The more compression the bike allows, generally the less efficient it will be to pedal whereas the more travel it has, the more aggressive hits the bike can take. Its recommended that riders find a bike that has enough travel for what they want to be doing.



Gravel Bikes


Gravel bikes have a rather specific usage and unique geometry, basically mountain bikes in the form of road bikes. Often equipped with drop down handlebars, riders can enter a much more aggressive posture and while using road style components for a little more response. The bottom bracket of these bikes will be higher paired with a shorter wheelbase allowing for more clearance when climbing over obstacles like rocks and logs. If you are looking for a road bike that can be taken on trails, this is the category.



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Road


As it’s name suggests, road bikes are meant to be ridden on the road and not suitable for off-road conditions. Road bikes can be broken down into three subcategories endurance/comfort, climbing, and sprint bikes, while most cyclists will not use a road bike for commuting, some entry level road bikes can be used for day to day travel. If you are consistently riding 20km/hr or more, consider a road bike as it’s geometry is built for maximum efficiency. Bike fittings are essential for road bikes and you can speak with our staff about scheduling one during your visit.



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Cruisers


Comfort and classy, cruiser bikes are built for slow rides along the waterfront or a leisure group ride to ice cream. These bikes are very low aggression bikes and are not meant to be ridden very far but they inspire lots of confidence for new or nervous riders and provide a ton of comfort. Wide tires allow riders to feel safe, streetcar tracks got nothing on them!



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Electric


Electric bikes use the power of a battery to help propel the rider. This can be achieved by either a throttle, which requires no effort from the rider, or a pedal assist system, where the rider still has to pedal. The assistance feature takes a lot of the pressure/tension off the rider’s legs. These bikes can usually go about 60km at full battery consumption, 80km at normal and 100 - 120km on economy mode within one charge.



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