The right bike reflects your personal style as well as the type of riding you do. Check out these great options for different types of riders, and get the lowdown on all things cycling with the guide in our the June issue, on sale now.
1. The Good Sport
Ideal for hills, Jamis’s 27- speed Coda Elite has a sturdy but lightweight steel frame, grippy tires, and disc brakes. $1,050, jamisbikes.com
2. The Minimalist
If you take short trips on flat terrain, consider the single-speed Trek Classic Steel women’s bike. $302, trekbikes.com for retailers
3. The Neatnik
The six-speed Tokyo Citizen bike weighs 29 pounds and fits into a storage bag when folded. $169, citizenbike.com
4. The Traditionalist
With a step-through frame and eight speeds, Linus’s Dutchi 8 is perfect for paved paths. $849, linusbike.com for retailers
For a long urban ride like the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, less weight and often more gears become paramount. A lightweight road or mountain bike with a supportive seat works best. My friend Liz Adler trained for the bike tour on her vintage Schwinn, a super stylish cruiser perfect for weekend jaunts around Brooklyn, but far too heavy and clunky for 40 sometimes-hilly miles. The folks at BikeSmith in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, saved the day by renting Liz a much lighterweight Jamis Explorer 1 for the weekend. (The Jamis retails for $360, see jamisbikes.com for more details.) This kind of comfort bike proved to be just what she needed. (Also, getting to know your local bike shop became more important than ever before, when the night before the tour, I discovered a leaky tube in my front tire. Since we had been talking to the guys at BikeSmith about Liz’s rental, we knew their hours and were able to run up to the shop 15 minutes before they closed to pick up the new tube! Whew.)
Throughout the 40 miles of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, I found that my traditional mountain bike was great with all of the gears it allowed, but the weight of it at times put me at the back of our pack. (Or maybe it was just my fatigue!) I was truly able to see why urban riders use road bikes; their light frames really help conserve energy over the long haul.