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12 Best Bikes for Women in 2021: How to Pick the Right Bike

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Biking is booming these days, and for good reason. The best bikes for women are an affordable and often efficient alternative to driving and public transportation, and, well, biking is fun and good for you. There are a ton of benefits to cycling. If you’re just dipping your toes in the world of cycling, the lingo and guidelines can be intimidating and challenging to understand. We’re here to help.

Looking for advice on where to start? We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations and advice across different categories, and for various budgets. Unfortunately, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with bike demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required. Note that due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts’ guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven’t had a chance to personally vet them).

How do I know what kind of bike to buy?

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is: How you plan to use your new set of wheels? You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for. Do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends? And where are you going to be biking? If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alter the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Pro Tip: Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

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What are the popular types of bikes?

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so it’s lighter, with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

What is a good cost for a bike?

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $200 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now.

How to determine bike size

Doing some basic research on different types of bike frames and finding the right bike size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. 

Source: Self

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