Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Kind of Bicycle? Road/Racing Bike, Hybrid Bike or Mountain Bike?

You are headed overseas for a bike tour or a villa rental and two-week stay and you're wondering. What kind of bike should I request, rent, look for - a road bike? Hybrid or city bike? Or mountain bike?

The answer is: what do you usually ride? What kind of rider are you? And what bikes are available?

Start with the first two: Do you love road bikes? Do you really enjoy the sports-car feel of a racing bike? Will you be carrying "stuff" on your bike - gear for camping? Or just items for the day (if that) - camera, lunch, water, phrase book? Then plan on a road bike. But ask questions about the gearing! Do you refuse to use a granny gear? Or do you insist on having one? Make sure you ask BEFORE you go.

Bike Rentals Plus addressed this issue years ago and uses a Cannondale factory modified "sports road bike" with a triple crank for touring but a racing geometry for fun. There's a photo in this post.

If you aren't used to racing bikes, by all means request a hybrid or city bike, shown in the upper right corner here. In Austria and Germany, this is almost the only kind of bike that you'll find available (usually with fenders, chain guards, lights, and kick stands!)

What about mountain bikes? In places like Costa Rica, southern Tuscany or Umbria - for the serious off-road rider, a mountain bike is likely your best choice.

So start your planning by thinking about the kind of rider you are - racer, casual tourist, off-road - then find out what's available.

Take a look at Bike Rentals Plus for even more details on bicycles.

1 comment:

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