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Biking is the perfect summer activity that can be practiced pretty much everywhere. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, a good bike will always come in handy not only as a great way to stay fit but also as a more eco-friendly way to commute and run errands.
But shopping for a bike can be extremely overwhelming and may feel like you need to have Lance Armstrong-level of knowledge to be able to buy the right one. But we are here to help you. The most important thing you need to ask yourself is what do you need it for?
Do you plan on cruising around your neighborhood or hit the mountain trails with it (or both)? Or maybe you have decided to give e-bikes a try?
In general, bicycles are divided into a few categories: mountain (best for off-road use), cruisers (perfect for casual rides in the park or along the boardwalk, road bikes ideal for city commuters, and hybrid bikes that are a cross between mountain and road bikes.
Once you narrow that down, you are ready to shop. Bicycles are designed with these characteristics in mind—so a mountain bike will have wider “fat” tires that provide more stability on uneven terrains while a road bike that is meant to be used on pavement will be equipped with tires that are puncture resistant and suitable for everyday use in all weather conditions.
So to get you started, we rounded up the best bicycles for any type of rider and adventure.
For High-Speed Mountain Rides: Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE1
This cool Cannondale bike is for those who love the adrenaline rush of high-speed mountain rides. It has a lightweight carbon frame and a four-bar FlexPivot suspension that makes it incredibly stiff which results in an even faster bike ride.
There is a mini repair kit and a tire inflator stashed under the water bottle that will make roadside repairs easy and fast. The built-in wheel sensor will not only provide you with exact speed and distance info but it also alerts you when your bike needs any servicing.
To buy: $5,500, connandale.com
For Long-Distance Riding: Raleigh Merit 2
This is the perfect endurance bike that will help you enjoy a smooth and pain-free ride however long it may be. It has a custom-designed heat-treated aluminum frame and caliper breaks for superior stopping power even in less than ideal weather conditions. It sports a classic road bike shape that delivers precise steering and balance while the tires provide great stability.
To buy: $980, moosejaw.com
For Everyday Errands in the City: Trek Vale Go! 9D EQ
Whether you are going grocery shopping or commuting to work, this electric bike will get you wherever you need to be in no time. It is equipped with a quiet but powerful Bosch Active Plus motor that reaches up to 20mph and has four power levels. The proprietary Flat Foot technology allows you to be in an upright position so you can plant your feet on the ground whenever you need to while delivering superior comfort, stability, and control over the bike. And the smart design features include a “hidden” battery that’s seamlessly integrated into the frame and a compact full-color display on the handlebars that shows you your battery life, speed, and heart rate among other things.
To buy: $3,300, trekbikes.com
To Get You in Shape: Specialized Sirrus 6.0
Enjoy the great weather and achieve your fitness goals out in the open with the Sirrus 6.0. This ultra-light bike has 11 speeds, a sturdy carbon fiber frame, and a stable anti-shock steerer that lets you enjoy a smooth ride regardless of the terrain. The hydraulic disc brakes deliver reliable stopping power while the tires guarantee stability in any condition.
To buy: $2,300, specialized.com
The Multitasker: Power Bikes Rad Rover Electric Bikes
There is a reason this is the best-selling electric bike in North America—it perfectly blends comfort with functionality that delivers a smooth and bump-free ride on a variety of terrains. The puncture-resistant four-inch fat tires guarantee stability and extra protection against glass or thorns. They also feature an antireflective trim so you can safely enjoy night rides as well. The compact Bafang geared hub motor will help you conquer those steep inclines while the battery allows you to fully recharge it in four to five hours and ride for almost 50 miles per charge. All the wiring on the bike is water-resistant and the backlit LCD display will show you the battery life, your exact speed, and distance among many other things.
To buy: $1,499, radpowerbikes.com
For Your Commute: Surly Pack Rat
This cool bike will make your work commute a breeze. Optimized for carrying front loads, it includes a front rack—the perfect spot for a heavy work or gym backpack. The bike performs best on paved roads and is equipped with 42mm Panaracer Pasela tires designed for all-around touring and urban commuting that ensure a comfortable ride. And speaking of comfort, the WTB Volt saddle is designed with subtle curves and medium padding thickness for maximum speed and comfort.
To buy: $1,475, surlybikes.com
For Bumpy Roads: Co-op Cycles CTY 2.2 Bike
Ready to hit the road however bumpy it may be? This bike features an aluminum frame with front suspension that delivers the smoothest ride when the road ahead of you isn’t. The puncture-resistant tires provide stability and additional protection while the hydraulic disc brakes deliver consistent performance in any weather or terrain condition. The padded gel saddle will keep you comfortable whether you are out for a short or longer bike ride while the 27 smooth-shifting gears give you even more control over the bike.
To buy: $1,099, rei.com
The Most Versatile Women’s Bike: Cannondale Topstone AL 105 Women's Bike
The main difference between men and women’s bikes is the geometry of the frame. Women’s bikes, like this Cannondale one, are designed to fit better a shorter torso length and legs.
And ladies, wherever your next biking adventure takes you, you can rest assured that this Topstone bike will get you there comfortably. It is versatile and performs just as well on city streets as it does on countryside roads. The frame is made out of alloy and has a full carbon fork that makes it incredibly light which allows the bike to accelerate even more. It is designed to keep your position upright enough so you can maneuver comfortably but it’s still keeping you low and forward-leaning to maximize your speed. It is also equipped with mounts for three water bottles and top tube storage.
To buy: $1,750, rei.com
The Best in Style: Vintage Electric Bikes x Shelby Two-Wheeled Cobra Electric Bike
California-based company Vintage Electric Bikes has collaborated with legendary all-American car brand Shelby on a limited-edition electric bike with a hydroformed aluminum frame that’s equal parts cool-looking and functional.
The rear-hub motor allows you to speed up to 36mph for 75 miles before it needs to be charged again (charging takes about four and a half hours). This beauty has five power modes as well as a pedal and electric acceleration and thumb throttle. We are pretty sure it is the most stylish way to explore new towns and beaches this summer.
To buy: $7,249, vintageelectricbikes.com