Saddle up: how to choose the right bike for your ride

All bikes are not created equal. Here's our beginner's guide to choosing the right steed for your chosen road (or trail, or mountain)

Whoa there! Before you swing your leg over the nearest bike and pedal off into the sunset, you’ll need to take a few moments to decide what bike is right for you. There are a huge array of different types out there to fit the type of riding you might want to do (gravel riding, anyone?). Sure, they’ve all got two wheels and handlebars, but aside from that, they couldn’t be more different.

Whether it’s a svelte road bike that you saw one of your heroes riding in Le Tour last year, a commute-­friendly folding bike that will go on the train with you, or a gnarly, knobbly­-tyred bike to shred the hills, you want to make sure it does the job right.

Luckily for you, we’ve split our selection of steeds into three easy­-to-­grasp categories: road, off-road and all­-rounders. So take a good, hard think about the sort of riding you want to do (or already do) and dive right in.

And, to help you get the most out of your new wheels, we’ve got suggestions for where to take your new pride and joy so it doesn’t just get pulled out of the garage twice a year for a guilty lap of the local park.


There are endless varieties of bike, and the more serious road and trail tools above may not suit your laid-back style. Try one of these instead...

Electric bike

KTM e­Race P27.5 | £2,250,

Electric bikes aren’t just the preserve of too-­lazy-­to-­pedal commuters. KTM’s offroader will help you race up the hills so you can throw yourself down them again all the sooner.

Fat bike

On­One Fatty | £1,000, on­

With ridiculous 4in­-wide tyres, ‘fat bikes’ like this one are designed to float over sand and snow, but they’re just as much of a hoot tearing down muddy trails and letting those balloon tyres soak up the bumps. Not so fast up the hills, mind you.


United Supreme Expert 2015 | £380,

United have improved on last year's Supreme model by building the ultimate street rider's bike. With an eye-catching red paintjob, you can guarantee you'll be turning people green with envy, whilst you're tearing up the streets on one of the most unique feeling bikes out there.


Fuji Feather | £380,

Singlespeeds are all about mechanical simplicity and acceleration from the lights. This eye-­catching single-geared bike with a classic steel frame is great for city streets, and unlike some it comes with a full set of brakes to keep you out of trouble.

Cargo bike

Riese & Muller Load | £3900,

This odd looking bike is built to hump up to 200kg in style, but when you’re fully laden you might need some help up hills. Luckily it has a leg-­saving Bosch hybrid drive electric assistance system to take up the strain.