Tag Archives: city bikes

Hybrid bikes are one of the many available options for casual riding

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Trail bikes, fitness bikes, hybrid bikes, and dual sport bikes all fall into the same category of bicycle. Although these bikes all occupy the same category, they have very different uses. Read on to find out what bike will fit your needs best.

Before Buying One Of Many Hybrid Bikes, Determine Where You Want to Ride


Road, trail, or offroad.

Hybrid Bikes for Road Riding

Paved surfaces are more inviting to cyclists than ever before thanks to bicycle conscience city planners and influential cycling groups. Bike lanes on city roads, bike paths on retired rail lines, and dedicated cycling trails are just a few of the options open for paved riding. Because of these options, there are many bicycles available for paved riding specifically.

Hybrid Bikes for Path/Trail Riding

By far, path and trail riders are the largest segment of casual cyclists. This is due to the vast availability of riding options. Due to the fact that there are tons of options, these bikes are designed to ride comfortably and efficiently through almost anything.   

Hybrid Bikes for Off-Road Riding

A newly emerging category is casual off road riding. For this reason, many bicycle manufacturers have developed products to allow riders to enjoy trails comfortably. These bikes are similar to path/trail bikes, but usually include tires with more knobs and suspension.

How frequently do you plan on riding?

The cost of a bicycle can range from around $300 up into the tens of thousands of dollars. The most basic models use less durable materials like plastics rather than metals in the shifting components, and mild steel rather than stronger alloys for the drivetrain and cockpit. As the prices increase, stronger materials replace less durable materials, lending to a bicycle that will hold up better for frequent use. Consequently, at a certain price (different for every category of bicycle), the durability doesn’t increase. Instead, the weight begins to decrease. A lighter bicycle is easier to control and accelerate (making for a more enjoyable ride). Determining how frequently you intend to ride and weighing that against the bikes you are looking at will ensure you get the right bike for your needs.

Bike Features

Disc brakes vs. rim brakes


Rim brakes work by two rubber pads squeezing the aluminum rim of your wheel. They are inexpensive, functional, and lightweight. When conditions are good, they work incredibly well. Disc brakes use hardened semi-metallic pads to squeeze a hardened steel rotor. Disc brakes produce an enormous amount of friction, and that friction can overcome poor conditions. To summarize, both brakes work, but disc brakes work better in poor conditions.

Suspension vs. no suspension


Bikes that go off road typically use suspension forks to silence the chatter of gravel paths, dirt roads, and trails. Bikes with rigid forks tend to handle better because they are laterally stiffer and end up being lighter due to the lack of moving parts.

Wheel size


26″ x 1.75 and 700×37

In this category, you will find smaller wheels and larger ones. The smaller wheels are usually 26” in diameter and around 2 inches wide. The larger wheels are sized out at 700 c (roughly 28″ in diameter) and usually are between 28 and 42 millimeters wide.


Once you have figured out where and how often you want to ride, and you learned about some of the features, it’s time to learn about the differences in the bikes.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bicycles at one point were the only bike in this category. They get their names from the fact that they were initially a hybrid of a mountain and road bike. Today, a hybrid is a great bike for fun and fitness. They usually incorporate suspension forks to smooth out the road. Most types use a tire that is 30-40 mm wide and well suited to gravel roads, rails to trails, or paved roads. If you are looking for the most comfortable ride across the largest segment of conditions, a hybrid is the right choice for you.

Fitness bikes

Fitness bikes share a lot of features with hybrids. They have similar wheel sizes, riding positions and gearing. Where they differ is that hybrids incorporate a lot of features to add comfort, while fitness bikes focus on efficiency and being light weight. If you are the type of rider who wants to get a great workout and enjoy your neighborhood or local bike path, a fitness bike is the right choice.

Dual Sport bikes

Dual sport bikes are a new and quickly growing segment of this category. The Dual sport bike is similar to the hybrid, in that it uses suspension. Where it differs from a hybrid is that they are designed for off road use. By changing the rider position, incorporating wider tires, and using disc brakes, these bikes excel on bike trails that are a bit more technical. If your adventure takes you off the beaten path, dual sport bikes are the tool of choice.

How to Choose

Paramount to buying the right bike is trying them. Start with a bike that fits you correctly. Take it for good 10-15 minute ride to see how it handles. Ride it on hills and on some path if possible. Next try some other models that use different features. Test riding will quickly highlight the benefits of disc brakes, suspension, and tire sizes. Once you feel comfortable on a few bikes, try them back to back and figure out which is the right fit for you.

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Apple Valley Used Bike Sale Benefits Kids ‘n Kinship Youth Program

If you are looking for a gently used bike, you can find one this Saturday in Apple Valley. Ready for his ninth annual used bike sale, Rick Anderson has over 300 bicycles primed to ride for your #nextbikeadventure. On Saturday, May 13, find a bike that fits you. All proceeds from sales benefit the Kids ‘n Kinship youth mentoring program.

Rick Anderson with a wide assortment of gently used bikes ready for the sale in Apple Valley, this Saturday.

Used Bike Sale Benefits Youth Program

Throughout the year, Anderson gathers with other volunteers to tune up donated bikes for the annual sale. If you’re looking for a bike, stop by this Saturday at the Superior Service Center on 14580 Glenda Drive in Apple Valley next to the Red Line’s 147th St. bus stop. The sale goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m!

At the sale you will find models for all ages and skill levels from $25 to $300 with many priced under $100. Models include some top-quality cycles from Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant. Everyone who purchases a bike will receive a Famous Dave’s Wings coupon. Customers will also be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates for Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant in Apple Valley.

Rick’s passion for biking, mentoring children, and finding great deals gave him the idea for the sale. He locates inexpensive or donated bikes, fixes them up and sells them with proceeds going to Kids’ n Kinship. In his previous eight sales, Rick has fixed, sold, and donated close to 2,000 bikes. The proceeds are generously donated each year to this wonderful Dakota County community program.

For More information see www.ricksbikesale.com.

The Dakota County Kids ‘n Kinship is a private non-profit organization that matches children who have a need for an additional supportive relationship with carefully screened adult volunteers. Once a match is made, volunteers spend 1-4 hours per week with the child. Typical activities might include picnicking, attending sporting events, sharing interests or going to the movies.