How to Choose a Bike

Taking the time to select the right bike ensures that your investment yields the rewards you desire.


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You Will Need

  • A biking purpose
  • A landscape
  • Goals
  • A measuring tape
  • A retailer
  • Test rides
  • A tandem bike (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Define your purpose

    Define whether your purpose in biking is for fitness, commuting, or recreation.

  2. Step 2

    Define your landscape

    Define where you want to ride -- city streets, paved or gravel roads, trails, or a combination of surfaces.

  3. Step 3

    Match goals to your bike type

    Match your goals to a bike type. Mountain bikes are for rough roads and trails, touring bikes for the open road, cruisers for city streets, and hybrids go anywhere.

  4. Check out a tandem bike -- a bicycle built for two -- to ride with a companion.

  5. Step 4

    Measure for frame size

    Using a measuring tape, measure your inseam to your shoe soles. Bike frames are sized to this measurement.

  6. Mountain bike frames are sized in inches and road bikes are sized in centimeters.

  7. Step 5

    Conduct a test drive

    Ask your dealer to allow you to test drive the models you like. Make sure your selection is comfortable and that you can operate it correctly.

  8. Step 6

    Break it in

    Break in your bike by riding a few miles to ensure all the equipment is operating properly. Wheel your way to health, happiness, and freedom.

  9. 2,500 journalists, photographers, cameramen and consultants cover the Tour de France.