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Cycling for Beginners | How to Choose a City Bike

Cycling for Beginners – Whether you are a novice or an experienced bicycle rider, you need to consider several factors to reach the right vehicle for your urban commuting.

Yes, the road bikes are the perfect option to go for which will accompany you the best whether it is to reach your work cutting through public and traffic, to make errands quickly, or to surf around your locality up to evening with friends.

But it is the crucial job to find the right bike for you as it will be utterly foolish to depend only on the cycle stores and say them to give the coolest city bike. There are more things to consider as the best bicycle is the one that is personalized as per your need, skill, and level Cycling for Beginners.

However, this is in-depth coverage of the significant tips to successfully end up buying the right bike for reigning in the city streets and to get across the town.

Cycling for Beginners – Before Diving into the Tips

It is very necessary to know what a city bike exactly stands for and how it differs from the rest. If you start with getting answers to these questions, choosing the best equipment will be half-done at the outset.

A city bike is such a workout tool that will enable you not merely to ride the city streets rather it will help you maneuver and control yourself around pedestrians and traffic. For this cycling for beginners, you may need an upright or bent-over city bike with medium weight, tires with bigger diameter and higher pressures, and the rear rack to carry necessary loads.

The geometry of the bicycle is singularly crucial when it comes to commuting in the urban areas as you have to make tight and frequent turns most often. A matched bicycle geometry fitting your body length will offer you the authority you need in a terrain where the potholes and curbs recur at the regular gap.

Other than the mentioned points, you should find reliability, safety, and durability in the bicycle you are planning to take that may serve as your machined stallion.

Yes, I love to call my bike a two-legged stallion. You may love it too.

Types of City Bike to Opt for:

Now let’s cover very briefly for cycling for beginners, the different types of cycles are there to have the necessary exposure to what may be your viable option. That is crucial to understand the benefits of bike selection keeping their functions and performance in mind. Here you go:

Mountain Bikes:

The heaviest of all bikes featured with a rugged frame, fat and spiked tires, numerous gears and derailers. Those bikes are practically meant for trails and off-road use. You can use them for the pavements too but the heavier body and rugged tires will give you speed lesser than necessary for city streets.

Hybrid Bikes:

This is a go-between option of the heavier mountain bike and road bike meant for speed. They are good for commuting if you are not to maintain a tight schedule of reaching work on time. If you take one just for the fitness purpose and for surfing around the block in the afternoon, they will serve your purpose as they are not that rugged and heavyweight as mountain bikes though not as nimble as the road bikes for the cycling for beginners.

Cruiser Bikes:

The name is significant and witnesses to the fact that this is a kind of bike built for cruising. You will come across those bikes people riding on around the boardwalks bordering the beach. They commonly have fat tires.

Road Bikes:

The road bikes are meant for urban use to ride on the city streets. They are medium in weight and featured with high-speed constructions and components. Normally, they offer an active sitting position with a longer frame that puts your hands and neck at work.

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How to choose your city bike? – Cycling for Beginners

Now the point is how to choose your city bike and it is not that hard given you keep the following basic considerations in mind.


The foremost consideration should be to find the reliability in the bike intended to buy. What are the features in a city bike that can guaranty you the utmost reliability while riding?

Cycling for Beginners includes the simpler rotation parts – hubs, pedals, and headset- without any plays featured in them, the quality material that lasts longer but does not make the bike heavier enough to impede the speed, and where the hi-tech materials are applied especially to cut the total weight down.

Let’s break the points down more elaborately for your better understanding. Reliability refers to the confidence you feel of your two-legged stallion that it will be under your control wherever in the city you want to get or travel through. For this, you need simpler hubs, pedals, and headsets with minimal plays and complicated design in them. So far the hub involves, it should be backed by a simple hub bearing rather than the complicated cone or ball bearing.

Hub bearing sustains more and bears with the changing weather as water cannot infiltrate it. Better to go for rotation parts offered by the reputed brand and encapsulated ones.

A city bike is Cycling for Beginners mean to be nimble and lightweight but should not be that lighter to sag or break at your weight. There comes the consideration of a sturdy but lightweight frame and fork. Therefore, you must be very wise in selecting the material the fork and frame are built of. It warrants you to have a necessary insight into the commonly used bicycle materials.

The common bicycle materials include:

  •  Aluminum: Aluminum as a material is lighter that goes with the idea of city bikes that tend to run fast but the downside here is its gradual fragility with aging. Moreover, it may seem a weaker alternative to stand up to the stress and shock frequent in the urban streets due to the potholes, curbs, and dense traffic. One thing goes very much in favor of aluminum that it never rusts and so lasts longer.
  • High-tech Alternatives: High-tech materials are carbon, titanium, and Kevlar but they come in exchange for a higher payoff. If you can afford those costly high-tech materials, you should grab them. But it is a must lookout in which parts of the bike they are used and you should also be very careful about how to use those most sensitive materials. You are likely not ignorant to the fact that a carbon fork cannot stand up to a 120 kg cyclist. If you are too light as to 45kg, the better selection would be carbon fork or Carbon-Kevlar transmission.

If reliability is the prime consideration, a folding bike is a better option. You should only be attentive to the locking system, component materials, and hinge strength. There too you may fall victim to the confusion of variety and brands.


The geometry of the cycle’s frame determines your pedaling and to a more extent your riding comfort. If your main aim is to enjoy sightseeing and pass the leisure time at noon surfing around the city, you should opt for a cycle with taller handlebars and a shorter frame. That type of structure will enable you to seat upright for free movement of your neck. This must come with the flexibility of the saddle referring to the suspension of the seat along with the soft cushion.

This geometry of the cycle triangle will put your backbone exposed to the stress and shocks the city streets tend to welcome you with. The rule of thumb is that this contemplative position will provide your spine with bad stress whereas the active position of leaning over shorter handlebars will provide you with stress over your neck and hands.

This cycling for beginners cycling geometry will make you an active rider requiring the engagement of your hands along with the legs more actively.

Not to mention, the measurement of the frame is likely to give you a speedier ride for cycling for beginners. Therefore, if your prime concern is to reach your office or worksite from the outskirt of the city and sightseeing on a cycle is scarce in your leisure schedule, a more bent cycling geometry must be your preference.

Cycling geometry also refers to the size and height of the bike. A short bike equipped with closer wheels will give you tight curves that you have to perform frequently. And the diameter of the bike and distance between the saddle and fork determines the size of the bike.

The rule is that a smaller wheel will give you added handling whereas a bigger one will give you speed. You can reap the benefits of both by opting for a cycle coming with the smaller front wheel and bigger back wheel. As a cyclist, you know that front wheels help you handling and playing tricks and the rear wheel is responsible for more speed.

So far height is concerned; your inseam (the height from ground up to your crotch) should be higher than the cycle you will ride on. To be specific, the standard frame size of the cycle is .65 times your inseam. For example, if your feature a 30″ inseam, you require a bike with 19.5″. The bike stores will tell you the size of the frame of the cycling for beginners but in case you go for a garage purchase or second hand one where the sellers may not know the frame measurement.

For a rough estimate cycling for beginners, you stand close by your bike and see the distance between the frame and your crotch. An inch for the racing, road, and cruising bike is a suitable measurement and for a mountain bike that should a bit more.

What if the frame size or cycle height does not follow the guidelines above?

If you do not care for this geometry, you might end up buying a bike which is too higher or shorter for you, and in either case, you will suffer the extreme. When you are far taller than the cycle, you cannot pedal comfortably and you will feel pain in the knees after a certain span of cycling.

Conversely, if the cycle is taller than you, you cannot pedal conveniently either and control, maneuvering will be a far cry in this case as cycling for beginners.

You should be aware of the geometry of another crucial accessory that is the rearview mirrors. Perhaps, you don’t know what to sense the real distance of the vehicle after you, you need convex mirrors.

Therefore, throw away the flat mirrors your bike comes equipped with and replace them with a pair of convex mirrors to have a real view of the object following you.
Now come to the geometry of the components and the components include gears, suspension, and brakes.

The terrain you will ride along the urban area is flat that requires no uphill climbing. Therefore, you don’t need many low gears to power up a hill ride as you do away with the fewer gears or single gear on the flat terrain.

The suspension has a little to do with urban riding on a road bike. But if you pick up a hybrid bike for commuting, you will require front suspension to absorb shock and impact for smooth riding. It is the mountain bikes for cycling for beginners who require full suspension to keep control and for increased traction. As an urban rider, you don’t need to think over that.

Safety is another crucial consideration that comes from the right type of brakes. On top of safety, brakes are partially responsible for control while riding. Given the reality that you have to encounter traffic and pedestrians frequently in the city streets, it will entail recurring halt, slowing the pace or instant curve.

There come the disc brakes too crucial as they work effectively in any weather and terrain. Conversely, the rim brakes wear out with time and cannot catch up with the wet or muddy rim. Coaster brakes and drum brakes are not viable options anymore.

Size & Weight

Size and weight play the most crucial rule for city cycling. Oversized and overweight bikes can tell upon your fitness in the long run. On top of that, a heavyweight and large cycle will inspire fatigue rapidly and when you are off the bike for any urgency and need to carry along for a short while, it will create the real hassle.

But if you are to run on time to reach your work covering a mentionable distance, you have no alternative to pick a lighter bicycle to run quickly and swiftly as cycling for beginners. A heavier bike, in this connection, will surely fail you. Not to get carried away by the lighter option, a bicycle built of lightweight materials does have its downsides – they may sag over time and break when faced with huge loads. In the section above, I have discussed two types of materials where you have got a clear idea of how to make a compromise between weight and sturdiness.

One material is yet to have coverage that is steel – the classic element of making a bike. Steel is the unique choice when the question is of durability and shock-resistance and but it may deter you for the weight comparing to the lightweight aluminum and lighter high-tech carbon and Kevlar. Contrary to the flip side, manufacturers now are going for lightweight steel and the classic element is gaining momentum again.

Size of the intended bicycle would be determined by what you need a bicycle for. You may go for a city bike for two purposes – i) when you need a bike to get to the office or worksite covering a town-long distance and again getting back home. And Ii) When the requirement is a short ride to the office along with frequent trips all the daylong and for fitness riding.

City dwellers falling to the former category may opt for the bigger diameter bicycles that will provide you with the faster run and tricky rides. And for the latter group of cyclists, the small-wheeled and high-handle bars fold bicycles will work great. For your amazement cycling for beginners, both the groups can opt for a compromise and a hybrid cycle is advisable in this connection.


The price of the bike depends on your budget and need. If you have no budget constraint, the feature-rich high-end bikes would be the wisest selection. There goes a saying, “You get what you pay for”. Conversely, if you are in a tight budget, basic requirements with minimal features will serve your purpose. So, there are bicycles available at hundred dollars to thousands of bucks. Here is a breakdown of the price range of different bicycles.

Cheap Range ($80-$300):

They are bikes with basic metal frames and forks but superbly functional with minimum style and features. Several brands offer these types of bikes and Huffy and Forge are more prominent in this category.

Medium-budget Bikes ($300-$1000):

Bikes of that price range offer aluminum bikes and other lighter material bikes. They are the best for everyday riders and come equipped with high-quality wheels, pedals, and chains. Medium-range bikes are durable and reliable.

High-end or Exclusive Bikes ($1000 or More):

They are feature-rich high-end bikes made of high-tech materials like carbon, Kevlar, and titanium. They come designed as rigorous and sturdy to bear with the everyday riding in the urban areas. The great convenience is that you can custom design your model both online and physical stores and personalize your end product by choosing from different colors, sizes, and wheels.

There, too, you can have a go-between of poor budget and high-end products as second-hand bikes are available in bike-recycling individual or agency. Some agencies can give you an impression on what type or level of bike you can afford at your present budget.

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Adjust Seat and Take a Test Ride

Now cycling for beginners, it’s time to go on a test ride after you have finally come out with the right bike for you – cross-checking all the guidelines above. Don’t jump on the seat without testing it for your size.

The salesmen may or may not be cordial when saying “The seat is adjusted as per your height.” Therefore, check the geometry of the frame size again. Your feet should touch the ground effortlessly and your knee must bend a bit while landing your foot on the ground.

Be sure that your seat will not tilt down or forward as this will change your riding style and may kill your comfort. Leaning forward more than need may cause severe stress and strain on the hands, neck, and arms of the rider.

So, are you ready for the test ride cycling for beginners?

If yes, you will lookout for the following things while riding. They are:


Cycling for beginners – Are you feeling comfortable on the bike? The comfort on the bike depends largely on the posture of the bike – sitting position and seat angle. A city bike may be a hybrid or road type. For the former, you should feel relaxed with the upright sitting and for the later, the comfort will come from the pedaling. If pedaling was fun up to the time you get to the destination, it is okay.

Handling Terrain:

Test ride of a city bike is incomplete until you ride on the surfaces sewn with potholes, curves, and corners. See if you can handle those efficiently riding on the bike.

Carrying capacity:

City bikes are likely to carry stuff on the carrier sitting at the back of the bike. Check how it responses when faced with loads. If it is lighter than it should be, it will be difficult to ride comfortably leading you to opt for a heavier option – maybe the hybrid.

You can ride several bikes given the opportunity is available until you meet the one matching your requirements and measurements for cycling for beginners.


Ques: How do I pick the right bike?

Answer: To pick the right bike cycling for beginners for you, you have to determine first the riding length, riding terrain, riding frequency, and your budget because of cycling for beginners. Suppose, you need to commute a vast length of distance daily to reach your worksite, obviously you need the road bike with bigger tires. But if you are to go out riding on the bike to make errands and for short trips, you need a folding bike. There are cycles for every budget.

Moreover, you can opt for high-end use bicycles at a cut-down price. Therefore, to pick the right bike, know how long you have to cover daily, what will be the terrain you will ride on, how often you may need to ride on the bike, and how much you can afford.

Ques: What bike should I buy for commuting?

Answer: For the commuting purpose, you need such a bike that will run a long-distance faster and will not leave you fatigued and sore. For this, you should opt for a road bike with bigger tires for riding pace and high-tech materials for lighter weight and sturdiness. A hybrid bike can serve the purpose but it is a slower alternative to the road type one.

Ques: What is the best road bike for a beginner?

Answer: The best cycling for beginners road bike will be the one that comes with minimal features as the feature-rich bicycle may confuse a novice rider. On its top, as a beginner, you should opt for the low budget cycle suitable for an entry-level cyclist. An amateur rider can cause significant harm to the cycle by driving rough.
To sum up, the best road bike for a beginner is the one offering simplicity, durability, comfort, and a certain extent of maneuverability.

Ques: What is the best bicycle brand?

Answer: The answer may refer to several brands that have been reigning in the industry for years. But the best cycle brand varies from man to man as every rider may not need or like the same type of cycle and the level of cyclists will vary wildly. Therefore, the best brand too will vary depending on the type of cycle, level of cyclist, and the affordability of the bike.

Having said that, the best brand for you would be the one that offers more models than the rivals and varieties of styles. You should try to stick with brands producing both road bikes and mountain bikes. Brands focusing only on specific styles and budgets will soon lose appeal.

Ques: What kind of bike should I get?

Answer: What type of bike is suitable for you depends on several factors that include the terrain or track you will ride on, the level of rider you are, the purpose of your riding, and the budget you have. If you are an entry-level rider living in a city and need to make frequent short trips, the folding or hybrid bike would be your genre.

In the case that you are exposed to the off-road trail and uphill biking is your passion, your genre of the bike is the mountain bike cycling for beginners. For a travel monger spending time mostly by the sea beach, the cruiser may add to your fun to a large extent to drive on the boardwalks.

Ques: How to buy a bicycle for adults?

Answer: An adult bike must have a seat at the height cycling for beginners from where you can touch the ground with the bottom of your leg. But there should be a minimal break-in your knee. An adult would maneuver the cycle with cycling skills earned through practice over time.

Moreover, an adult rider can seat both in an upright and tilt-forward position known as active posture. So he can handle a bike with the longer frame when the wheels are not close and handlebars are not higher. Therefore, while considering bikes for adult beginners consider two things – the budget and the matching height.

Your inseam should be higher by 1″ for a road bike and 2-4″ for a mountain bike. And you need not go for the top-of-the-line bike as an amateur bike rider cycling for beginners. Thus how you can select the best bike for the adult beginner.

Bottom Line

The recent boost in the cycling industry is for the growing consciousness about global warming leading to climate change or catastrophe. But to reap the utmost benefit from cycling, you must select the right type of bike. The article covering effective and efficient ways of selecting the right city bike for you will no way fail you in selecting the bike for urban areas.

However, cycling for beginners, these are only guidelines and suggestions not established cycling rules to blindly abide by. The main thing is to serve your purpose and stay comfortable on the go.

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Daniel D. Harris

I am Daniel D. Harris, an enthusiastic biker who loves to ride bicycles. I keep on sharing my experience of cycling through this blog. I do keep writing to assist you in finding the city bikes, bike lights, bike pedals, and many more things related to bicycles. You may find my blog useful once you read some posts. Find me on twitter. Have a good day bikers!