Walking bikes are a great option for riding in the city, when you are fed up with traffic jams, want to save on fare, or just can’t imagine life without a bike. And also, thanks to cycling you can improve your health, lose extra pounds, get a slimmer figure, and the environment is cleaner. Let’s talk about the features of recreational bicycles and which models are the most popular today.
What is a recreational bicycle
Not all people who are fond of biking, like to get over the bumps and potholes, or ride on mountain trails, or rush towards the sunset so that the wind was whistling in your ears. Many people want to comfortably and leisurely roll along the city streets, along the paths in the park, enjoying the views around them. It is with such a task are able to cope walking bikes – and their name says it all.
Walking bikes have distinctive features that are common to almost all models of this segment:
- Thanks to the low weight of such a bike, the rider does not need to put a lot of effort to pedal. Even untrained riders can have fun on them.
- Aluminum frame. Do not buy bikes with a steel frame – it greatly weighs the unit. Unless you can take one made of alloy steel. Pay attention to whether there is a label Chromoly 4130 – this is the most suitable option. There are also frames made of carbon fiber or titanium alloys – they are even lighter, but the cost of such bikes is much higher.
- In addition to lightness to the frame has another requirement – it must be open so you can sit on the bike in everyday clothes and easy to jump off it if necessary.
- Recreational bicycles should have an upright riding position so that it is easy for the cyclist to follow his or her surroundings. In addition, such a landing will even out the load on the hands and back of the rider.
- Wide handlebars and saddle are the key to an upright riding position. The handlebar should have a moderate rise with a bend towards the body of the rider. This feature allows the rider to sit upright and become more visible to motorists. The saddle should be streamlined and located below the handlebars.
- Shock absorbing fork with a stroke of 100 mm will be good to dampen the encountered bumps in the road and will protect the hands from vibration and constant stress.
- Do not buy a bike with a double suspension – they weigh the bike and from them on the urban asphalt is of no use. Two shock absorbers on the bike make sense a sports bike, designed for disciplines such as Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances, for example, or downhill.
- For recreational bikes, the appropriate wheels are 28-29 inches in diameter. Although such large wheels make bike handling worse, but provide a smoother and smoother ride. Over time, with regular trips, the cyclist gets used to these wheels and feel as confident as on a bike with a smaller diameter wheels.
- Suitable rubber for a recreational bicycle – semi-slicks with a minimal tread pattern. Ideally, if the tires will be anti-spill – this will protect you from having to make repairs at the most inopportune moment.
- Depending on your riding style and road situations, you may need a large number of gears. Choose a bike with three to eleven gears. Although you can also ride a bike with one gear, but then be prepared that you will have to put in a lot of effort when going Uphill—how-to-learn–tips. For ease of transmission, it’s best to choose a recreational bike with a planetary gearbox – this option will not require regular maintenance.
- Walking bikes are often equipped with cheap pedals of poor quality, so it is better to replace them with more durable, for example, pedals Wellgo V12 Copy with an internal steel axle and two closed industrial bearings.
- For this type of bicycles there is no need for disc brakes – for city trips they are not necessary. But V-brake rims are a great option, especially when braking on wet pavement. They are more durable than disc brakes, and do not need constant maintenance. Their only drawback in this case is the weight.
- Given the fact that you can ride a recreational bike in any clothing, you need to buy a bike with a chain that has a protective cover – this will prevent clothes from getting stuck between the sprocket and the links. And it will also protect against contamination by oil stains.
In addition to all of the above, you can use other accessories that are not necessary for other types of bicycles: a bell, rearview mirrors, lights front and rear, a basket or trunk, mudguards.
On these bicycles, many people ride around town with children. For this purpose, manufacturers have provided special child seats.
Of course, you can not say unequivocally that the recreational bike – it is exclusively trips on the pavement of streets and parks. On such bikes you can also turn to a forest path with tree roots protruding from the ground, on a gravel path, as well as go on a bicycle trip for a few hours along an unexplored route. There are no strict criteria that distinguish recreational bicycles from other types, but they do share some common features:
- vertical seating;
- an open, lightweight frame;
- a soft, streamlined saddle;
- tires with minor tread;
- metal basket or trunk;
- chain guard;
- flashing light or special lights for illumination.
It’s not a good idea to take these vehicles on a serious hike or test them on rough terrain and off-road.
Choosing recreational bikes
There are several groups of recreational bikes designed for specific purposes. Ideally, a ride on city streets assumes a flat tarmac without any surprises. However, in reality, it is far from that. It is worth to turn from the main street in the yards, and in front of you can appear in all the glory of the sidewalk with potholes and potholes that have not seen repairs for a long time. So you need to choose a model on which you can not only roll on a flat surface, but also to overcome the high curbs, cleverly bypass manhole covers and other obstacles.
City bikes are the best option for urban riding. They have everything you need for this: an understated frame, high curved handlebar, bell, wide and soft saddle, built-in drum brakes, fenders, wide tires, wheels with a diameter of 26-28 inches, rearview mirrors, trunk, protective casing on the chain.
Cruisers are increasingly conquered by their eye-catching design, a padded seat in which you feel comfortable even during long rides, wide handlebars, upright riding position, a trunk and cargo basket, and a chain guard. It is a stylish and budget option for recreation not only in the city, but also outside of it.
Mountain bikes are popular not only in sports disciplines. For many cyclists, mountain bikes were the first two-wheeled vehicles. In urban conditions, the thick tires with deep tread, which are often installed on mountain bikes, are unnecessary. They should be replaced by semi-slicks, to facilitate his riding on asphalt paths. But on this bike you are not afraid neither curbs, nor potholes with cracks in the asphalt, nor the trays of the storm sewer, which are often found along the curb. The main thing – it is the presence of your favorite model of mountain bike technological holes, through which you can fix the fenders and the basket (or rack).
Hybrid bikes have taken the best of both mountain bikes and road bikes. They can be used as a recreational bike for city riding and Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances riding. Thick tires with a pronounced tread, wheels 28′′ in diameter, a wide range of speeds, the availability of luggage rack and fenders, high sitting of the rider – these features will be very comfortable daily trips on a hybrid.
Folding bikes – as variants of bikes for walking are suitable not only for riding in the city, but also on long routes. Such a bike can be folded in half, taken on the bus, folded in the trunk and nestled in a small apartment or in the corner of the office where you work. These bikes have a high curved handlebar, a saddle that can be adjusted to your liking, there are special fenders and a large luggage space. True, the prices of such bikes “bite”.
Tricycles – rare guests on city streets, but these bikes have special advantages: they are stable even in the absence of traffic, they can carry children, attaching a special seat behind. If you install a bulk basket, you can bring much more purchases from the store. On these bikes can ride and the elderly with problems of the musculoskeletal system, and just those who have not learned how to keep the balance on the two-wheeled bike.
Of course, choosing a recreational bike for your needs, it is worth taking into account and gender. You need to take into account the angle of the frame, its size, the width of the seat, the diameter of the wheels. All of these parameters are important to create comfort and a sense of ease of travel.
Features of women’s recreational bikes
Women and girls in the first place should pay attention to the weight of the bike. In the case of heavy transport should make a lot of effort to accelerate, and then get into the house on the steps of 20-kilogram “horse” – also not an easy task. Therefore it is necessary to choose a lightweight model.
A few more characteristics of recreational bikes for women:
- The top tube of the frame should have a bend that allows you to travel in a dress and easily jump off the bike in case of need.
- The handlebars are slightly raised, a reduced distance between the seat and handlebars, as is the distance between the seat and pedals.
- The seat should be wide and fairly low.
- The base is shortened.
- Optimal diameter of wheels 26-27′′.
- Take care of the chain guard and rear wheel guard.
Features of men’s recreational bikes
The criteria for choosing a bike for men: the handlebars are wider and lower compared to women’s models, the saddle is narrower, the aluminum frame is curved, the grips should be larger and longer, the wheels are 27-29′′ diameter.
Features of children’s recreational bikes
Going to buy a bike for your child, clearly adhere to the classification of bikes by age and height.
- For young riders fit three-wheeled models of recreational bicycles with a parent handle for control. Such bikes have inflatable wheels or plastic wheels with a rubber coating. There are footrests, 5-point safety belts, a safety rim, a sun and rain visor, a basket or a trunk for toys.
- For children of preschool age, you can buy special two-wheeled walking bikes with removable wheels. For the age of 5-6 years and height not more than 125 cm wheels with a diameter of 16 inches are suitable.
- For children 7-9 years and height no higher than 135 cm should choose in the direction of 20-inch wheels, bikes with shock absorption system and gear shifters.
- For teenagers is worth choosing models with 24-inch wheels, hand front brakes and undervalued steel frame.
Popular models of recreational bicycles
Among the huge variety of recreational bicycles, there are models of high quality, reliability and optimal performance. Let’s look at some of the most popular models of bicycles for the city in different categories.
Trek Zektor I3 is a universal model for adults for walking around the city. The frame and pedals of the bike are lightweight, chrome-molybdenum fork, hydraulic brakes. Clip on the pedals perfectly fix feet and make it easy to twist. On such a bike you can not only comfortably move around on city streets, but also to aerobic training.
Author Trophy is a suitable option for riding not only on smooth asphalt, but also on roads with unexpected obstacles. 17 gear shifting, straight rider fit, and rim brakes. The bike is quite compact and lightweight. Due to the variety of colors, popular among both women and men.
Giant Suede – women’s version of bicycles for walking with a comfortable saddle, taking into account all the anatomical features of the female form. Optimal handlebar length, ideal handlebar tilt. The bike is lightweight and durable at the same time, its only disadvantage – somewhat overpriced.
Forward Apache – budget bike for riding on city streets and country roads with 21 speed transmission, adjustable tilt angle and saddle height. Additional advantages: reinforced rims and large-diameter wheels.
Stels Navigator – a version of the walking bike for teenagers from the Russian manufacturer. The bike has adjustable height of handlebar and seatpost, so it is suitable for teenagers of any height. Equipped with reliable brakes that are great for the ride. True, the saddle is a little stiff, but this disadvantage is smoothed by the affordable price of the bike.
The recreational bike is a simple version of a two-wheeled vehicle, which does not require expensive components and special technological parts, unlike bikes for sports and extreme. Of course, it is worth choosing a model, taking into account your anatomical features, although the differences between bikes for women and men are not particularly critical.
It is best if you can try the appealing model, riding it before buying. The main thing is to enjoy cycling, so you again and again want to get on your two-wheeled friend and go on a trip through the streets of his city.