The Guide to Finding Your Perfect Bike

There’s no better way to experience Michigan than with a bike ride through one of the state’s 1,300+ trails. But before you pedal off into the sun, it’s important you have the right equipment.

When selecting your two-wheeler, consider the following questions:

  • What’s your intended use?
  • What’s your experience level?
  • What type of terrain will you be biking on?

Choosing the best bike for you will depend on your answers to these questions, as well as your budget. We give you a rundown of the basic types below, highlighting what they may or may not be best used for.

Road bikes

  • Best on: Pavement
  • Overview: Road bikes are among the sleekest and lightest bikes out there and tend to have narrower wheels than the rest. They are a great choice if you ride mostly on the sidewalks or streets.

Mountain bikes

  • Best on: Dirt, rocky trails and gravel roads
  • Overview: If you’re heading to Copper Harbor Trails or Glacier Hills, then this is the bike for you. Mountain bikes are designed with shock-absorbing features and better braking systems in order to handle just about any rock, root, hill or dirt pile that stands in your path.

Hybrid bikes

  • Best on: Pavement or gravel/dirt roads
  • Overview: Love biking around town, but still enjoy the occasional mountain trail? Then this bike is for you. Hybrid bikes aim to offer the “best of both worlds” with the comfort of a road bike and the strength of a mountain bike. For the most part, a hybrid is a good starting bike for those new to the sport.

Cruiser bikes

  • Best on: Pavement
  • Overview: If you’re looking for a comfortable bike with a classic look, consider a cruiser. It’s very similar to the hybrid bike, as it was designed for casual riding, but still has the comfort many bikers want. Cruisers usually have wider tires than most bikes, and the handlebars tend to be more upright, which make them great bikes for short-distance commuting and errands.

After you’ve chosen the perfect bike, be sure to also check out this quick refresher course on proper bike safety.

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Photo credit: Umberto Fistarol

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