What is a bike? What a silly question you may ask, or maybe not?
Bikes mean so many things to many different people. We are interested in what a bike is to you? What makes your wheels go round and your cogs turn? The bike you choose to ride gives you the freedom, the ability, the performance, the accessibility and the journey. But given the wrong bike and this can change things dramatically and in some cases not even being able to do what you want to do. For example, a downhill bike can help get you down the steepest of trails and the most challenging of jumps and features, but yet a folding bike could simply not do these things and vice versa. Image taking a downhill bike ( or trying to) on your daily commute, not much fun in this scenario, right? So what allows you? What bike language do you speak? We all know our own language right? "Dude, that was gnarly!" your favourite hashtag is #turnbartuesday or #whipitwednesday. Road bikers be like " Done 500 miles this week,' going to put in a double session today to get those extra base miles in. "I'm so tired this week, ended up bonking 20 miles from home, going to need to gel more next time." When you are using phrases like this you know its a way of life, it's become ingrained in you and you can't get away from the fact you are a 'Cyclist.'
Road bike - The road bike. Road bikes are great. They are versatile, useful, enjoyable and accessible. The road bike is like a go-to bike when you want to nip out for a quick hour or even head out for hours on end. The road bike is a training bike, a race bike and fitness bike. The road bike is reliable, it can be lightweight, aerodynamic and stiff but it can also be a bike for winter, built with mudguards, heavier and dependable. It is a bike to train on, a bike to commute on and a bike to rely on every day or when you need it. You know it's always there when you need it.
Gravel bike - If you are a gravel biker then you like a bit of adventure. You are in it to find new places, end up on tracks you didn't know were there and enjoy the countryside in its true beauty, you like to admire the world from your two-wheeled gravel bike, it's the bike that takes you anywhere. It's the bike that is spontaneous, like you. You can just fly off down a gravel track and either learn that it gets you to somewhere new or sometimes a dead end but it the fact that you can is what makes it exciting.
E-bike - Once upon a time e-bikes were considered a bit of a 'cheat' bike, a bit of a 'cop out' or just 'not cool' in general. Well.... long gone of those days though. The e-bike world is far far from 'not cool' and to be honest probably the opposite. the 'wheels' have turned around and the e-bike sector is the fastest growing sector of the bike world at the moment. The e-bike has opened a whole new world up to people. People who thought they would one, either never ride at all or two, would never ride again, are now out and riding. If you are a e-bike rider then you have become a whole new person, things that you never thought you would do you can now do and things you never thought you'd see on two wheels you now can enjoy.
Mountain bike - Everyone loves a bit of mountain biking, right? I'm going to say that most people have at least had a go at mountain biking, whether it was as a child, teenager or still going at adulthood, we've all had a little blast somewhere. It's fun, sociable, exciting and hard! We can kid ourselves, mountain biking requires some considerable amount of climbing to get to the top of your favourite descent. but as a mountain biker, you kind of like the fitness side of it too and some of us like to see how fast we can get to the top and how fast we can get down! Racing your mates to the top can be as satisfying as racing them down to the bottom or through the singletrack. Your choice of mountain bike is truly thought out with suspension and weight endlessly debated. Do you compromise on the weight for more suspension or do you choose your lightweight hardtail and learn to improve your bike handling skills?
Mountain biking is a strange one though, It takes up quite a bit of time unless you have endless trails on your doorstep, it requires putting your bike in the car a driving to your favourite mtb trails. This may mean that you only get to do this a couple of times a month.
Urban folding bike
Now, how cool are these bikes? A folding bike? A bike that folds up? Yes. Well if you are looking after your carbon footprint, you work in a city or need to pack away your bike nice and neat under your desk then you may likely have one of these bikes, want or need one. If you are a folding bike rider then you are stylish, slick, swift and just generally a cool person, right? The folding bike has given many city commuters the opportunity to get to work without a car. Plus, you get to work alot quicker than if you were sat in your car in rush hour traffic jams. Win, win!
Now, these are the big bikes, the bikes that mean business, the bike that takes on the most challenging of terrain and requires high skill and technique to ride them. These kind of bikes you don't really ride or pedal anywhere! Generally, you get an 'uplift', this is where you pay for a truck and trailer to drive you to the top of the hill or if you are at certain bike parts a cable car list to take you to the top, so you can ride down the trail as fast as you can, without crashing! If you're not lucky enough to have an uplift for the day then it means some pushing! The gearing on a downhill bike combined with the geometry set up and weight means that these are not really designed for pedalling uphill. Downhill biking is a day out with your mates, its sociable, fun for the adrenaline junkie.
Time Trial Bike
This is a serious bit of kit. When your racing a TT bike you are fit, you are out there to shave every last second off your times and aerodynamics are very important when it comes to time trialling. This kind of bike is only really used for this discipline only. The position is so harsh that unless you are training to perform in this position then it's not a bike you take out on a Sunday club run. Set up is everything on your time trail bike and this is the most important thing, aerodynamic frame, carbon deep section wheels, aero helmets and skin suits are just the beginning!
The touring bike, what a bike this is, this is a bike that can carry your 'house.' The bike that gets you from A to B every day for as long as you decide. The bike that gets you up the big climbs, across country and to the most rewarding viewpoints. There is something quite liberating about carrying everything you may possibly need for a whole week or month or longer, in a pannier, mounted on your bike. Just you, the bike and the open road. Don't get me wrong, it weighs a tonne so you are not going to break any land speed records! The bike is sturdy, it has many pannier mounting points and it has good strong wheels with some nice chunky tyres on it. More spokes the better for this kind of riding!
So, what we can take from his is that there really is a different bike out there for every kind of rider. What is your bike, your love and your ride? We'd love to hear your stories, your adventures, your experiences or your tips.