Adults Bikes Guide
Suitable for older children from the ages of 11, through to teenagers and adults. Adults’ bikes come in many different styles - mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, trekking bikes, classic bikes, folding bikes, road bikes, touring bikes, gravel bikes, to name but a few!
Go off-roading and over rough terrain on a mountain bike, tackle the urban commute on a hybrid or folding bike, reach your top speed on a road bike, or go on an adventure with a touring or gravel bike.
"Mountain bikes have large, knobbly tyres for traction and a wide range of gears to help you get up and over mountains or across fields."
Some models have front suspension, some have front and rear suspension, while others have neither. Mountain bikes usually have 26", 27.5" (650B) or 29" wheels and have a frame geometry which makes them better suited for severely uneven ground.
More expensive models have hydraulic disc brakes which significantly increases braking efficiency in any weather condition. Mountain bikes are ideal for all off-road pursuits, but not recommended for going fast on tarmac roads or cycling long distances.
"Hybrid bikes are essentially a mixture of road bikes and mountain bikes."
They’re designed with versatility and comfort in mind, so they have the geometry of mountain bikes, but with slicker, narrower tyres. Hybrids can do a bit of everything. What you sacrifice in terms of speciality, you gain by being able to do most of the things you want.
Some models have front suspension to cushion bumps, some have hydraulic disc brakes for extra stopping power, and all have flat handlebars. Hybrid bikes are ideal for general use, commuting and light off-roading.
"Trekking bikes are essentially a mixture of touring bikes and mountain bikes."
They’re perfect as general transportation and often include practical accessories such as full-length mudguards and rear luggage carriers. These accessories make trekking bikes a practical tool.
Using bicycles for transportation is a great way to get some exercise, save money, help the environment, and to have fun! Trekking bikes are ideal for general use, commuting and light off-roading, especially during changeable weather conditions.
"These fashionable, traditional bicycles are all the rage in Europe."
Classic (also known as Dutch, heritage or traditional) bikes, have a laid-back riding position that makes them easy for almost anybody to ride.
They’re often seen with load-carrying capabilities, full-length mudguards and fully-enclosed chainguards which make them surprisingly practical around town.
Classic Dutch style heritage bicycles are designed to be ridden at a slower pace, allowing you to absorb in your surroundings. This makes them perfect for town, village or park riding.
"A folding bike can be a great travel companion because they fold up, fit comfortably on the tube, train, boat, in a car, or hall cupboard."
When travelling by air, additional charges can be avoided, unlike the hassle associated with transporting a full-sized bicycle. Folders are a favourite with train commuters because they’re the only type of bicycle that you can board with during peak times on many services.
Despite having small wheels, folding bikes ride surprisingly well. A lot of thought from the folding bike brands goes into making sure that they fold compact, with the minimum of fuss.
"Road bikes are your traditional racing bicycle, designed for going fast on smooth, tarmac roads."
Road bikes (also known as racing or drop-handle bar bikes) are built for pure speed. These bikes usually have few compromises for comfort, and the position is long and low for aerodynamic benefits.
They’re built to be incredibly light, but also stiff, so that every bit of effort exerted by the rider shoots straight out of the back wheel. Road race bikes use close-ratio gearing for maximum attack, operated by integrated brake/gear levers.
"Touring bikes are like road bikes that have been specially adapted to carry loads over longer distances."
They’re built around durable frames with wide-range drivetrains that allow the rider to scale intimidating geography, even with lots of equipment and supplies attached to their bike.
Touring bikes have a more upright riding position than a road bike, as speed is not a factor and comfort is the number one priority. Drop handlebars, pannier racks, mudguards, extra bottle cages and slightly wider tyres are all typical features of a touring bike.
These bikes are designed for long days out where stability, practicality and rider comfort are as important as performance.
"Gravel bikes are a genre of bicycle that didn’t exist a few years ago."
Gravel bikes (also known as all-road bikes) are designed to ride comfortably over any surface with their broader, knobby tyres. The geometry of the gravel road bike is similar to a cyclocross bike, but with a lower bottom bracket and a longer wheelbase for enhanced long-distance stability.
These all-road bikes can be used for touring, commuting, sportives, audax, cyclocross races and more, just by changing the tyres to suit the conditions.