A Guide to Selecting the Right Bike

Two men cycling on country road

Though lockdown has been tough, one of the great things to come out of it is that many of us have revisited hobbies and habits that may have previously fallen by the wayside. Baking, knitting and crafts have all become popular in recent months as people looked to entertain themselves (and their kids!) at home. Getting out and about for exercise has also become a priority, and unsurprisingly, cycling is a top choice for many. If you want to get back in the saddle but aren’t sure what kind of bike to go for, fear not – we've put together a guide to selecting the right frame to suit your needs, we are also holding a competition where you can be in with a chance of winning a bike! 
 

Win a Bike with Irish Life Health!

Getting regular exercise has gotten harder with working from home and gym restrictions, take the power into your own set of hands (and feet!) with the chance to win a bike! To enter all you have to do is answer one simple question, to enter visit our webpage here 

Where Will I Be Cycling?

The first question to ask yourself is, ‘where will I mainly be cycling’. In other words, do you plan to zip around a busy city-centre, or do you see biking as more of a relaxing weekend pursuit? Maybe you fancy an adrenaline rush in the form of a rough trail through forestry and mountains. All these things will help determine the right bike for you. Here are the main frames, and what type of cycling they’re best suited to:

Cruiser

If you mainly plan to take short, leisurely spins around a flat town or city, a cruiser is for you. These Dutch-style models are sturdy, stable, comfortable to ride, and will look great on your Insta! You won’t pick up much speed due to their weight, but you’ll feel safe and stylish as you explore your surroundings. 

Woman standing with bike outside

Road Bike 

A road bike or racer is basically the opposite of a cruiser. Lightweight and aerodynamic, you’ll zip through traffic as their thin wheels are built for pavement use. These models are perfect if you plan to commute by bike to work or go on a long-distance cycle with friends.

Mountain Bike

A mountain bike meanwhile is suited to more off-road situations. If you’re headed to the rugged trails of the Dublin Mountains for example, its heavy, durable wheels and sturdy frame will withstand impact and allow you to climb and descend hills easily.

Hybrid

Luckily, if you can’t decide between the previous two options, a happy medium exists. A blend of off and on-road bikes, the hybrid has the comfortable riding position of a mountain bike, but with a lighter frame. This model is perfect for casual cyclists and shorter commutes. 

Once you’ve figured out the basics, head to your local bike shop and chat to a member of staff. They’ll be able to show you the right frame size to suit your height, as well as recommend a good helmet and lock – both essentials. Remember too that the Bike to Work scheme means the government will cover the tax costs of biking gear up to €1,000.