BUYING GUIDES

Bike Types Explained

Not sure which bike to buy? Let us help you decide. There is so much information to read on bikes these days that it becomes harder and more overwhelming to buy a bike the further you dig.

BikesOnline24 wants to help you on the journey of finding the right bike the first time and with ease. This is our buyer's guide to the range of bikes we stock at BikesOnline24.

The first step in buying a bike is to determine where you are going to ride it. The variety of bikes now is so vast that they can be used across multiple genres. It is important to know whether you will be on the bitumen for all of your riding, whether you are going to be adventuring off the beaten path or whether you are looking to push your limits on a bike.

Once you have decided where you want to ride, it is important to realise what you use the bike for. A carbon road bike is going to fly along the road and sealed paths, but the lightweight parts and frame are not built for the rigours of everyday commuting. When going off-road, you may think that you need full suspension MTB, but a gravel bike or hybrid may be better suited.

It is important to be honest with yourself when determining where and how you will ride your bike because any exaggeration could result in you getting the wrong bike. You have to consider the terrain you will be riding on, whether you will be carrying stuff on the bike, and how far you will be riding.

For anyone looking to commute, it is best to look at what you will carry, what you will wear and how difficult the road will be. For example, if you are taking work clothes, a computer and books, you will want to get that off your back and on the bike. It will be integral to get a bike with rack mounts to hold panniers. If you wear your uniform, you want to have a bike with mudguards to protect your clothes. If you are commuting on rough roads and perhaps unsealed tracks, you don't want a flat bar road bike but a bike that you can ride comfortably and safely.


MOUNTAIN BIKES

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When the terrain gets rocky, rooty and loose, a mountain bike may be better suited. Mountain bikes often provide a more comfortable pedalling position, and the suspension offers tonnes for traction. There are two main types of mountain bikes, dual suspension and hardtail. Hardtails are lighter and more efficient than their dual-suspension siblings. Dual suspension bikes provide more comfort and traction when the riding gets wild.


HARDTAIL

While hardtails are mountain bikes, they are a popular option for commuters thanks to their comfort and robustness. 29-inch hardtails are like the big brothers of urban bikes. Big 2.25 inch tyres, 100mm of travel and relaxed, stable geometry. While they may be more robust and comfortable, they can be slower due to the extra rolling resistance and weight. Want something lighter but with similar benefits? Check out the hybrid bikes.

Riding off-road on a hardtail is more efficient than a Dual Suspension bike; however, it requires more skill. Because the rear wheel is fixed and doesn't move, the bike doesn't forgive many mistakes. When used well, they are efficient and fun to ride off-road. Hardtails are the perfect bike for xc racing, big off-road epics, and riding in comfort around town.

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Heaving hardtails can also give you more bang for your buck when you are on a budget. Often with slacker head angles and a longer wheelbase, they are built for stability at speed. You can benefit from better components on a hardtail than settling for lower spec on a cheap dual-suspension when you have limited funds.


DUAL SUSPENSION

Dual suspension bikes are designed for the roughest terrain and riders who want to push their boundaries. The front and rear wheels travel anywhere from 100 to 200mm up and down. This travel can provide tonnes of traction, extra comfort, and with more travel, there is more room to make mistakes.

More travel doesn't necessarily mean a better ride; BikesOnline24 often say it is best to get the least amount of travel for your riding. A 160mm enduro bike is built to go super fast downhill and winch up again; it is not suited to race multiple laps at maximum speed for hours. While a 100mm xc bike can be raced down a hill as fast as possible, it takes skill and finesse to do so.

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Due to the extra weight and the suspension often rob pedal power from the rider to the wheels. While the bigger 2.3-2.6 inch wide tyres add a lot of traction off-road, they add a lot of drag on the road. If you are commuting or looking to ride on the street, these aren't the bikes for you.

Like road bikes, there are multiple types of mountain bikes suitable for different riding. Xc bikes are efficient and fast up hills or on the flat. All-mountain or trail bikes are the swiss army knives of mountain bikes, ready for anything but not perfect for anything. Enduro bikes are designed to winch themselves uphill and bomb back down at warp speed. Ideal for those who want to push their boundaries down a hill. Unless you are riding on rough terrain that requires traction, not many people need a dual suspension MTB. If you need a bike with some extra traction but not a full suspension bike, check out our hardtail; look at our urban hybrids if you want a commuter with comfort.


E-BIKES

E-Bikes are the biggest growing market in the world of cycling at the moment for a good reason. Riders can go further, fast and with much less effort, taking everyday riding and boosting the experience tenfold. With the E-Bike scene booming, the bikes are becoming more refined, and bicycles are becoming more specific to each user. In this blog, we take you through the different styles of bikes and how they benefit.

Riding bikes uphill to go back down is a massive chore to some. Grinding up hills slowly can be mundane and unenjoyable on some bigger travel bikes. It is inescapable. E-Bikes transform big-hitting bikes into spritely mountain goats on the ups. Climbing now takes skill and attention as you are hitting corners, roots and rocks much faster. While it may seem lazy, this new way of climbing requires more physical effort from your entire body and provides a new challenge. For those who want to cruise up and enjoy the downs, that is perfectly fine as well.

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E-Bikes are like a gift from above for those who have minimal time to get out on the bike. An hour of power used to mean a quick 10-15km loop in the morning before or after work when you could squeeze in time. With an E-Bike, you can now smash out 15-20kms in the same time frame. It is perfect for those with very little time to get their usual ride plus more into the hour they have.


ROAD

The road bike market is no longer just skinny wheels and funny looking bars on a basic frame. We have lightweight road bikes, aero speed machines, all road bikes, cyclocross bikes, gravel bikes and adventure/touring bikes.

Again, once you have determined the terrain and how you will use your bike, deciding which road bike is for you becomes much easier. Like urban bikes, there is some crossover when it comes to use cases. So there are two or more options for each style of bike.

If you are purely racing or chasing personal bests on sealed roads, then an aero or lightweight road bike will be perfect for you. The lightweight road bikes are perfect for attacking steep hills, climbing at speed and provide a more comfortable ride. Aerodynamically optimised road bikes are a bit heavier due to the thicker tubing, but they are slick through the air. On flatter ground and when at speed, they make you feel like you are cheating.


ALL ROAD

If you just want a bike to ride on the road, explore further than you have been before or just enjoy a ride along the coast, an all-road bike will suit you better. While only slightly heavier than the "race" bikes above, the stability and comfort are miles better.

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The bikes are more comfortable with fatter tyres, a wider gear range, and a more upright riding position. However, All Road bikes are designed to remain fun and agile. They really blend everything to provide the best overall package for those looking to ride a bit of everything. If you are looking for something a bit more comfortable and burly, a gravel bike may be for you.


GRAVEL

Gravel bikes are the next level of all road bikes, designed primarily for exploring off the sealed path and deep into nature. With bigger tyres, up to 45mm wide, wider handlebars, geometry optimised for stability and many comfort features, this style of bike is extremely versatile.

While most gravel bikes arrive with semi-slick tyres (knobs on the outer edges), you can change them to fully slick for the road or fully knobbly when the terrain gets loose. Because of the comfortable riding position and relaxed geometry, they make great commuters or for long adventures. However, the geometry will never make a gravel bike feel as agile as a performance road bike.

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With high volume tyres that are knobbly, you can ride rough roads in comfort. While they are designed for mountain bike tracks, they hold speed exceptionally well on backcountry tracks or routes that would destroy conventional road bikes. If you are looking to explore places well off the beaten path and may get rowdy, gravel bikes are for you. To get even more comfort and reliability, a touring bike may be better suited.


ADVENTURE & TOURING

Touring bikes are primarily focused on comfort and reliability as they are used for multi-day adventures. Tall front ends set you up in an upright position so you can pedal all day in comfort. They are built strong to reduce any chance of mechanical failures in the middle of nowhere or have you stranded on the side of the road.

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The frames are bigger and more open to fit bags and multiple bottles. Steel is a preferred material because it can provide strength and comfort with small tubing. The downside to this styling and reliability is weight. Adventure or touring bikes are quite heavy, and to combat this, they have easier gearing. These bikes are designed for meandering, not speeding at full speed full time. If you are stretching the capabilities of gravel or adventure bikes, a mountain bike may be better suited for your riding.


FLAT BAR ROAD

Flat bar road bikes are lightweight, fast and agile bikes based on their road bike cousins. These bikes are often designed to enhance speed and efficiency over comfort and durability. These bikes are perfect for riders looking to add some zest to their ride.

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The biggest differences between flat bar road bikes and standard road bikes are the bars. The flat bars on these bikes are simpler, provide conventional cockpit controls and offer a more upright riding position. Perfect for smooth roads and those looking to cover more ground fast.

A more standard urban or commuter bike is heavier, has a relaxed riding attitude and has fatter tyres for more comfort. Because the flat bar road bikes have narrower tyres and stiffer frames, riders will feel more feedback from the road. If you want more comfort, look at a commuter bike; if you want more speed and agility, look at a performance road bike.


HYBRID

Hybrid bikes are a mix of a commuter bike, a gravel bike and a mountain bike. They take the benefits of all three styles and throw them into a blender. Comfort, efficiency and durability are the three main ingredients of a hybrid bike.

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Hybrids will have semi-slick tyres to provide grip on a loose surface and speed on a smooth surface. The front of the bike is tall, and you often have ergonomic grips to raise your riding position while providing comfort through your hands. The 60-80mm of travel offers some shock absorption for the unseen pothole you will inevitably hit. Finally, an-MTB style frame is strong and has plenty of mountings for rack and barriers.

While it may resemble a mountain bike, the hybrid is designed for light off-road use and shouldn't be taken down any trail that gets too crazy. They are more efficient than an MTB and less efficient than a flat bar or commuter. They are the perfect bike for those who ride mixed terrain and use their bike for everyday chores.


COMFORT

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Many riders are happy to sit up and relax as they cruise down the coast or through the parks. Comfort bikes are created on the same foundations that make bikes in Holland so popular. They include an upright riding position, a comfortable seated position and ergonomic controls. You may not be able to ride at hyper speed on these bikes but, you will enjoy the scenery and experience much more deeply.


Hopefully, you have managed to narrow down which bike will enhance your riding experience the most. We also offer more specific buying guides, relevant to all different riding styles. Once you have narrowed down which bike works best for you, head over to those articles when you need more info, don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter, so you don't miss out on any news.

Size Guide

We can help you find the perfect bike size for you. Like pieces of clothing or apparel, bikes also come in different sizes according to the rider's measurements. Sizes usually range from small to extra-large, but some models will offer extra-small to double-extra-large.

To find out what’s the most appropriate bike size for you, we have developed a sizing tool called “Bike Fit Calculator.”. On your desired bike product page, you’ll find the link to the calculator just below the bike pictures. This is what it looks like:

 

Click “Find my Size” and input gender and height. You can refine the results by inputting your legs and arms lengths but if you do not know those measurements, don’t worry; the Fit Calculator will automatically load general data based on your height.

By the end of the process, the Fit Calculator will inform you what would be the perfect size for you, with something similar to the image below:

If you’re in a rush, you can also just base the decision on your height. On the bike size selection menu, you’ll be able to see the height ranges relative to each bike size.

We provide extensive resources to help you find the perfect bike size for you; nevertheless, in case you still find the bike to be too big or too small after receiving and assembling it, you can rely on our free 14-day bike return policy and exchange the bike for a different size, subject to stock availability.

MTB Buying Guide

Mountain bike technology has improved exponentially in recent years. It is no longer as simple as finding a bike with fat tires and some front suspension. There are multiple styles of bikes with different amounts of travel, different geometry, and different styles of componentry. In this article, we identify bike styles via riding styles and terrain so you can get the perfect bike to suit your riding. 

Enduro bikes have been the fastest-growing and most popular style of mountain bike over the last five years. Enduro bikes are built to go fast downhill with 150–180mm of travel on low and slack geometry frames. While they can be ridden uphill, you won't be winning any climbing races. Enduro bikes are built tough, not light, to put up with the rigours of consistently going downhill fast. 

“Enduro bikes can be ridden uphill; you won't be winning any climbing races. Enduro bikes are built tough, not light, to put up with the rigours of consistently going downhill fast.”

If you are looking for a bike that will be forgiving when you choose the wrong line and is ready to bomb downhill without needing a shuttle back to the top, Enduro bikes are for you. While they can be more difficult to climb on, modern geometry makes them comfortable to winch your way up a climb. If you are interested in all-day epics with more forgiveness, an XC bike or trail bike might be a better option.


All-Mountain (AM) bikes are lighter than enduro bikes but are ready for tougher terrain than trail bikes. Usually boasting 130–150mm of travel, there is enough travel to assist you downhill as you get tired. Weighing between 13 and 15 kilograms, they aren't the lightest bikes, but they are built stoutly to keep you riding with fewer mechanicals. The geometry has been refined to provide the perfect balance of climbing and downhill ability. 

All Mountain bikes aren't the lightest bikes, but they are built stout to keep you riding with fewer mechanicals. The geometry has been refined to provide the perfect balance of climbing and downhill ability.”

AM bikes are perfect for riders looking to ride aggressive trails while out on big rides. While they may not be the lightest bike, they will get you to your destination reliably and consistently. If you are looking for a bike more suited to riding rough downhills fast, the Enduro may be better for you. If you are looking for something lighter and faster while capable of riding downhill, trail bikes may be for you. AM will provide you with the happy medium of climbing ability and confidence if you don't know where you will be heading or what lies ahead on the trail.


With 120–140mm of travel and a lighter weight, more nimble frame, trail bikes are where the climbing becomes more enjoyable. Trail bikes need more rider input to ride down a hill and are less forgiving when mistakes are made. On the flip side, they require less effort to climb up a mountain and maintain speed over undulating terrain.

“Trail bikes need more rider input to ride down a hill and are less forgiving when mistakes are made. On the flip side, they require less effort to climb up a mountain and maintain speed over undulating terrain.”

Trail bikes are perfect for those riders looking to pedal far and wide with more room for error than an xc bike. Efficiency and enjoyment are the trademarks of a good trail bike. If you are looking for a lightweight climbing whippet, an XC bike will suit your needs. If you want something a little more suited to the downs, AM bikes will fulfil your needs. However, if you want to get out and ride with ease and have some fun, Trail bikes are the perfect match


XC bikes are light, efficient and fast. With 80–110mm of travel and weighing in at under 13kg, XC bikes climb like mountain goats. While hardtail mountain bikes were once the most popular on the XC race Circuit, major advances in suspension technology have led to a resurgence in dual suspension. The suspension provides traction and minimal forgiveness; you have to be a skilled rider to ride these fast, technical downhills. XC bikes will reward you on the climbs and flat sections with unprecedented speed. 

"XC bikes are perfect for riders looking to race XC, ride long mountainous traverses and want to attack the climbs."

XC bikes are perfect for riders looking to race XC, ride long mountainous traverses and want to attack the climbs. Unforgiving, they have very little margin for error and require riders to be attentive, or things may go wrong quickly. If you are looking for a more forgiving bike that can make up for your mistakes, it is best to look for a trail bike. If speed, efficiency, and a lightweight race bike are what you desire, the CX bike is your perfect match. 


All of the bike styles described above are available in e-bike versions. However, thanks to the assistance provided by the motor, most riders go up in travel and use heavier, more reliable components. In addition, a bike's climbing abilities are boosted thanks to the motor, so you can afford to compromise on climbing prowess and look at a better descending ability. 

“However, thanks to the assistance provided by the motor, most riders go up in travel and heavier reliable components.”

Trail e-bikes are usually equipped to travel further with bigger batteries and lighter components. Enduro E-Bikes are big travel bruisers known as self-shuttling downhill rigs. If you want to ride further and explore more of the mountain, a trail (140–150mm) E-Bike would be perfect for you. If you're going to punch downhill runs without the need for a mate with a truck, the big-hitting E-Enduro bikes are the best. If you want to test out the electric waters, take a look at our Hardtail E-Bikes.


In conclusion, it is often best to choose the bike based on your riding style and the terrain. While most people are capable of riding bikes on certain terrain, it is important to factor in your skill level when deciding on a bike. If you feel a little less confident, perhaps getting a bike with more forgiveness will get you out riding harder trails. If you have any more questions, make sure you email, chat, or call so that our expert customer service representatives are here to help you get on the perfect bike for your needs. 

Road & Gravel Buying Guide

Road bikes are one of the simplest forms of bikes on the market. No suspension or complicated setting, just two wheels, a frame, and come gears. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some different variations. Road bikes are available in Performance Road (aero or lightweight climbers), Endurance/All-Road Bikes, Gravel, and Adventure/Touring bikes. They all have their pros and cons regarding the style of riding you are looking to do.

 

Performance road bikes are exactly what they say on the box: road bikes designed for performance riding. These bikes often use carbon fibre frames due to the tuneable ride feel and the high strength-to-weight ratio. There are two main types of performance road bikes: lightweight climbing bikes and aero race bikes.

 

 

 

Lightweight climbing bikes prioritize low-weight and extra-thin tubes for comfort. The carbon layup is optimised for stiffness under power (lateral) but compliant for comfort when in the saddle (vertical). 

 

Thanks to this lateral stiffness, the bike just wants to lunge forward when you are out of the saddle and putting the power down. The vertical compliance makes it easier for riders to spend hours in the saddle while tackling the steepest hills. 

 

Aero road bikes are designed to slip through the air with minimal resistance. Their tubing is thick and shaped like an aeroplane wing. On flat ground, they maintain a higher average speed with less effort. That is why you will often see them being used in flat-road racing like Criteriums. 

Because of the thicker tubes and aerodynamic components, an aero bike can weigh a little more than the climbing frames. The frames are also stiffer, so when riders sprint or put the power down, all of the input is efficiently transferred to the rear wheel. One downside to the more rigid frame is the reduced comfort. A lot more of the terrain is felt through the seat and handlebars. 

 

Alloy frames do exist for more wallet-friendly prices. They are heavier than carbon frames. However, they are more durable and can be stiffer. The durability is a big plus for commuters leaning their bikes against poles and putting them in racks. Because alloy frames can be tuned due to the material properties, they are often less comfortable. Carbon forks are usually specified to reduce vibrations getting transferred to the handlebars.

 

 

The rider position is optimised for performance, and the bike is designed to be agile at speed. The lower front ends and fast steering can put them off buying a road bike for some newer riders. The agility can take a bit of time to get used to and can be dangerous for some riders. The above characteristics are the main reason most new riders end up on endurance or all-road bikes. 


Endurance or all-road bikes have a taller front end, a longer wheelbase, and relaxed geometry for an easier ride. They will sit the rider in a more upright position and allow the rider to relax while riding. The added stability from the longer wheelbase and relaxed geometry helps a rider just pedal and enjoy the ride. 

Wider tires, ergonomic components, and built-in flex on the frame lead to these bikes riding like a cloud. Extra comfort allows riders to ride longer and explore places with rougher terrain. Designed around comfort, you can ride for hours without any issues. 

Available in carbon or alloy, there are plenty of options when it comes to frame styles. Alloy is the most popular choice for riders looking to explore off-beaten paths or need reliability for commuting. Carbon will save weight and provide added comfort. However, carbon frames cost more. 

Due to the wider tires not fitting through traditional rim brakes, disc brakes are commonly seen on these bikes. Disc brakes are more reliable in all weather conditions, aren’t affected by mud on the wheels and require very little maintenance. Perfect for those people who just want to get out and ride. 


 

Gravel bikes are designed for rougher, unsealed roads in the backcountry. Designed with bigger 45mm wide tires with knobs for traction, lots of vertical compliance for shock absorption, and an ergonomic seating position, gravel bikes are the Swiss army knives of road bikes.

 

 

They are built to be abused with disc brakes, a strong wheel, and tubeless tires. Gravel bikes are designed to be reliable, so you spend less time fixing your bike and more time adventuring. Disc brakes are powerful and reliable in all weather conditions. Even if you get rained on, you can be relieved; you will always be able to slow down. Hitting potholes or random debris on the road is no problem, thanks to the stronger rims and thicker spokes. Reliability is key for a gravel bike. 

Due to the reliability and enjoyable ride qualities of Gravel bikes, they are extremely popular as commuters. You can attach racks and bags for commuter or multi-day bike trips. The ergonomics reduce fatigue, so getting to and from work is a breeze. If you want a more efficient ride, you can fit narrower, smoother tires, but you will sacrifice some comfort. 


 

Touring or adventure bikes are primarily designed for comfort and spending a lot of time in the saddle. Usually, they are made using steel due to the material's strength and vibration dampening properties. 

 

 

Touring bikes have mounts everywhere for bags and water bottles. They are designed to carry everything you need for big trips. When fully packed, they are heavy. To combat this touring, bikes come with a wide range of gears, so you never have to work excessively. 

 

Basic components are specified so they can be available at any location. Wider tires are selected for comfort and to protect the rims from damage. Powerful disc brakes are needed to slow the heavier bikes down on descents. And handlebars are wider with ergonomic curves so riders can have more hand position and comfort. 

These bikes are specially designed for a purpose. Still, they are also popular for commuting or replacing the car due to their usability. The relaxed position is comfortable, and if you want to meander to work and back, these bikes are perfect. 

Make sure you check out our full road range, as we are sure to have the right bike for you. If you have any questions about what bike will suit you best, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team.

Urban & Path Buying Guide

Commuting to and from work can have multiple benefits for the environment, mental health and physical health. Say goodbye to sitting in your car and waiting to move at peak hour, Say hello to the wind flowing through your hair as you cruise past the cars.

Spending more time outside, taking in the sunlight, breathing in the fresh air and clearing your mind greatly affects your mindsets. And, of course, pedalling in and out is a great way to get your physical exercise in if you have limited time. 

There are so many options to consider when you are looking to begin commuting. Will a flat-bar Bar Road bike suit you more than a Hybrid Bike? Will a Gravel Bike be better than a Road Bike? Or, will an E-Bike suit you more? Let's get into it and get you riding to work on the best bike from Bicycles Online.

TERRAIN, TIME, AND DISTANCE

The first step to buying any bike is to determine what terrain you will be riding on, how long you will be riding for and how far you will be riding. For commuting, comfort and efficiency are the key factors to consider when choosing a bike to commute on. 

When looking at your terrain for commuting, you want to be as comfortable as possible without losing efficiency. You don't want to be on a stiff performance road bike with narrow tires if you are riding on rough roads or gravel. If you are on a big mountain bike but riding smooth roads, the lower efficiency will drag out the ride longer and may not be as enjoyable. 

Efficiency refers to how easy it is to maintain speed on a bike. As mentioned above, often greater efficiency translates to less comfort. Things like larger tyres and suspension weigh more, create drag, and make every ride longer or harder. 

Longer rides on rougher roads will take longer, so comfort may take priority. Smoother, shorter rides are better on efficient bikes. As we know, many rides to work can have terrains of all types in one ride. That is why gravel bikes and hybrids are extremely popular due to their amazing versatility. 

It is about deciding if you don't mind riding with less comfort for a shorter time or whether you would rather be more comfortable while riding longer. That is why it is key to understand your route and what it includes along the way. 


  FLAT BAR ROAD  

Flat-bar road bikes are lightweight, fast, and agile, based on their performance road bike cousins. These bikes are often designed to enhance speed and efficiency over comfort and durability. These bikes are perfect for riders looking to add some zest to their ride. 

The biggest differences between flat-bar road bikes and standard road bikes are the bars. The flat bars on these bikes are simpler, provide conventional cockpit controls, and offer a more upright riding position. Perfect for smooth roads and those looking to cover more ground quickly. 

A more standard urban or commuter bike is heavier, has a relaxed riding attitude, and has fatter tires for more comfort. Because flat-bar road bikes have narrower tires and stiffer frames, riders will feel more feedback from the road. If you want more comfort, look at a commuter bike; if you want more speed and agility, look at a performance road bike. 


  HYBRID   

Hybrid bikes are a mix of a commuter bike, a gravel bike, and a mountain bike. They take the benefits of all three styles and throw them into a blender. Comfort, efficiency, and durability are the three main ingredients of a hybrid bike

Hybrids will have semi-slick tires to provide grip on a loose surface and speed on a smooth surface. The front of the bike is tall, and you often have ergonomic grips to raise your riding position while providing comfort through your hands. The 60-80mm travel offers some shock absorption for the unseen pothole you will inevitably hit. Finally, an MTB-style frame is strong and has plenty of mountings for racks and barriers. 

Hybrids have all the required mountings for mudguards, bags and racks. Using racks and packs to get your luggage off your back will lead to less sweating or extra stress on your back. They make getting clothing or books on and off your bike much easier. 

While it may resemble a mountain bike, the hybrid is designed for light off-road use and shouldn't be taken down any trail that gets too crazy. They are more efficient than an MTB and less efficient than a flat bar or commuter. They are the perfect bike for those who ride mixed terrain and use their bike for everyday chores. 


  ALL ROAD   

If you just want a bike to ride on the road, explore further than you have been before, or just enjoy a ride along the coast, an all-road bike will suit you better. While only slightly heavier than the "race" bikes above, the stability and comfort are miles better. 

All road frames have all the required mountings for mudguards, bags and racks. Using racks and bags to get your luggage off your back will lead to less sweating or extra stress on your back. They make getting clothing or books on and off your bike much easier. 

The bikes are more comfortable with fatter tires, a wider gear range, and a more upright riding position. However, all-road bikes are designed to remain fun and agile. They really blend everything to provide the best overall package for those looking to ride a bit of everything. If you are looking for something more comfortable and burly, a gravel bike may be for you. 

                     


  GRAVEL  

Gravel bikes are the next level of all road bikes, designed primarily for exploring off the sealed path and deep into nature. With bigger tires, up to 45mm wide, wider handlebars, geometry optimized for stability, and many comfort features, this style of bike is extremely versatile. 

While most gravel bikes arrive with semi-slick tires (knobs on the outer edges), you can change them to fully slick for the road or fully knobbly when the terrain gets loose. Because of the comfortable riding position and relaxed geometry, they make great commuters or for long adventures. However, the geometry will never make a gravel bike feel as agile as a performance road bike. 

With high-volume tires that are knobbly, you can ride rough roads in comfort. While they are designed for mountain bike tracks, they hold speed exceptionally well on backcountry tracks or routes that would destroy conventional road bikes. If you are looking to explore places well off the beaten path that may get rowdy, gravel bikes are for you. To get even more comfort and reliability, a touring bike may be better suited. 


  HARDTAIL  

While hardtails are mountain bikes, they are a popular option for commuters thanks to their comfort and robustness. 29-inch hardtails are like the big brothers of urban bikes. Big 2.25-inch tires, 100mm of travel, and relaxed, stable geometry. While they may be more robust and comfortable, they can be slower due to the extra rolling resistance and weight.

Hardtails are perfect for those commuting through the mountains and like to add some extra adrenaline to their commute. Lightweight carbon XC bikes aren't much heavier than alloy gravel bikes, but you may not want to bump up a frame that costs more. 

Alloy hardtail frames have all the required mountings for bags and racks. Using racks and bags to get your luggage off your back will lead to less sweating or extra stress on your back. They make getting clothing or books on and off your bike much easier. 

Want something lighter but with similar benefits? Check out the hybrid bikes. 


  COMFORT  

Many riders are happy to sit up and relax as they cruise down the coast or through the parks. Comfort bikes are created on the same foundations that make bikes in Holland so popular. They include an upright riding position, a comfortable seated position, and ergonomic controls. You may not be able to ride at hyperspeed on these bikes but you will enjoy the scenery and experience it much more deeply. 


  E-BIKE  

E-bikes are the biggest growing market in the world of cycling at the moment, and for good reason. Riders can go further, faster, and with much less effort, taking everyday riding and boosting the experience tenfold. With the e-bike scene booming, bikes are becoming more refined, and bicycles are becoming more specific to each user. In this blog, we take you through the different styles of bikes and how they benefit. 

Riding bikes uphill to go back down is a massive chore for some. Grinding up hills slowly can be mundane and unenjoyable on some bigger travel bikes. It is inescapable. E-Bikes transform big-hitting bikes into spritely mountain goats on the ups. Climbing now takes skill and attention, as you are hitting corners, roots, and rocks much faster. While it may seem lazy, this new way of climbing requires more physical effort from your entire body and provides a new challenge. For those who want to cruise up and enjoy the downs, that is perfectly fine as well. 

Commuting on a flat bar, hybrid, or hardtail is just about as easy as driving the car. Alloy Allroad frames have all the required mountings for bags and racks. Using racks and bags to get your luggage off your back will lead to less sweating or extra stress on your back. They make getting clothing or books on and off your bike much easier. 

The motor makes the weight feel non-existent. In fact, some people replace their second car with an e-bike because they are so easy to use and can carry more. They are the perfect bike for people who work far from home or have a hilly commute. It also provides a platform for people who may not be as fit as they once were. You can enjoy riding with less effort and still get exercise. 


 

All of these bikes are up to commuting and can be used on the weekend for fun. It is advised that you don't overestimate the distance, terrain, or efficiency you require. If you overestimate or underestimate, you may end up on the wrong bike for your needs. If you still have any questions, reach out to our experienced customer service representatives via email, phone, or live chat for any extra help.

E-Bike Buying Guide

E-Bikes take what is amazing about cycling around town, through the mountains and daily commutes and enhance it. Thanks to the assistance provided by an electric motor, you can now go further, faster and enjoy every ride more thanks to our E-bikes. 

ELECTRIC BIKES

Electric Bikes’ (also known as E-bikes) are increasing worldwide at a staggering speed as people just like you realise exactly how practical these bikes really are. Whether you're commuting, doing weekly shopping or exploring further on your rides, E-bikes make it easy. Designed around enhancing all the experiences and feelings riding a bike can provide, it is no surprise that E-bikes are the fastest-growing cycling segment in the world.

 

WHAT IS AN E-bike, AND WHY YOU NEED ONE?

E-bikes differ from electric motorcycles and scooters in that they don’t have a throttle. Instead of using an electric motor, they assist you as you pedal. Operating as a normal bike except as you pedal, you receive assistance up to 300% of your own power. Resulting in riders riding further up steep hills with ease and commuting around town is a breeze with an E-bike.

E-BIKES TYPES

The market is somewhat divided between Pedal Assist Bikes (Pedelec) and power-on-demand (Throttled) Bikes, with the latter requiring registration and insurance if their power output is above 200 watts. Pedelec E-bikes are therefore gaining ground next to consumers seeking a practical and speedy option to commute, cruise around town or even extend their normal cycling rides. It’s important to understand that even though these Electric Push Bikes are heavier and more expensive than your normal push bike, most customers agree the electric pedalling assistance makes you want to cycle more regularly.


BENEFITS OF E-BIKES FOR DIFFERENT RIDERS

There are countless ways you can benefit from an E-bike; it's like having super powers. Here are some examples for a number of different riders:

  THE COMMUTER  

Commuting on an E-bike makes the ride to and from work or to the shops extraordinarily easy. Thanks to requiring less effort, you will no longer arrive sweaty and require a shower. The ride home is often dreaded after a hard day at the desk or in the workshop, An E-bike allows you to cruise home with much less effort after a big day.  

Packing books, computers and a change of clothes can really weigh down a bike in no time. With the assistance from the motor, even with the extra weight, the bike feels like it has nothing but a rider on it. Many riders who once used their cars for small trips have swapped the steering wheel for handlebars thanks to E-bikes and their efficiency.

 

  

  THE MOUNTAIN BIKER  

Riding bikes uphill in order to go back down is a massive chore to some. Grinding up hills slowly can be mundane and unenjoyable on some bigger travel bikes, it is inescapable. E-bikes transform big hitting bikes into spritely mountain goats on the ups. Climbing now takes skill and attention, as you are hitting corners, roots and rocks much faster. While it may seem lazy, this new way of climbing requires more physical effort from your entire body and provides a new challenge. For those who want to cruise up and enjoy the downs, that is perfectly fine as well. 

  THE TIME POOR  

E-bikes are like a gift from above for those who have minimal time to get out on the bike.  An hour of power used to mean a quick 10–15 km loop in the morning before or after work when you could squeeze in time. With an E-bike, you can now smash out 15-20 km in the same time frame. Perfect those with very little time to get their usual ride plus more into the hour they have. 

 

 

RIDE LIKE A PRO  

Sometimes the scariest thing for beginner riders is to be left behind on a ride. Whether it is father and son, wife and husband, or two mates with different abilities, E-bikes level the playing field. Slower riders on E-Bikes can now keep up with their faster riding partners on the standard bike. E-bikes allow people to ride together, increasing the enjoyment for all parties. 

On the flip side, it can be good training for the fitter riders as they try to keep up with their riding partners. Climbing behind an E-bike can push you to ride harder and pace yourself behind them if you are chasing your personal best. The riders who would never ride with you before are now your best training partners. 


CHOOSING THE BEST E-BIKE FOR YOU

Not sure which one is more suitable for your daily requirements? Don’t worry; the Bikes Online team is at your disposal to advise you and help you make the best possible decision. We are happy to discuss the details, and after hearing about your riding experiences and wishes, we will recommend the best electric bike from our store that we believe will exceed your expectations. 

When looking into the most optimal options for you, we also consider the type of motor that comes with a specific model of electric bike. These bikes usually come with one of two types of motors: Hub motor or Crank motor, both of which offer similar performance and range.

  • Crank or mid-drive offer more torque but ultimately offer a more intuitive or natural-feeling ride. This is because the power is delivered based on how much pedalling power you put through the pedals. This means you have more control over the power assistance but you can’t just spin the pedals lightly and rely solely on the electric motor to push you along.

  • Hub motors are a bit more simple and offer consistent power. This is because these motors use magnets on the cranks to turn on or off the electric assistance, meaning you could just select a low gear and turn the pedals with virtually no effort, relying on the electric motor to carry you. This may offer a more jerky ride as the magnet sensor may take a second to kick but a hub motor is a great option for commuters who want to just get to a to b with minimal effort due to the consistent power level.


GET YOUR E-BIKE FROM BIKES ONLINE

Browse our selection of electric bikes for sale based on your ride style, wheel size, material, suspension travel or group set to discover the model that will provide the utmost comfort and level of performance you strive for.

Our selection includes electric bicycles for sale created by some of the most notable industry manufacturers. But no, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to go into red just to get the bike of your dreams. We offer the best deals on the market, with prices ranging from as low as $1,000.00. 

Note that the electric bike laws in the US require you to obey the cycling rules, which include wearing a helmet, having a bell, front and rear brakes, etc. But don’t worry—we stock up on a variety of bicycle accessories so, in addition to the electric bike, you can also get any parts you need in our online shop! 

Kids Bike Buying Guide

Buying your child a bike can be an exciting time for both you and them, as this is their first chance to experience the enjoyment of cycling. Everyone remembers their excitement when they first swung a leg over a bike and felt the wind through their hair. The realisation that you can explore further, easier, and faster than ever before is mind-blowing. Choosing the right bike is vital to ensuring positive and reassuring first impressions. 

There are so many different styles to choose from; how do you know which one is the best? Well, it's all about where your child wants to ride, how they will use the bike and what terrain they will be riding on. 

Some people might prefer a mountain bike because they like to go off-road, or maybe someone has always wanted to ride their bike down the street on the pavement. You might notice that some bikes come with training wheels and others don't.

This article will help you understand what kind of bike would work best for your child by considering their age, height, weight, skill level, and other factors, including price range.

SIZING 

Buying the right size bike is integral to ensuring your child has the most enjoyable experience possible. While we all understand that kids grow extremely fast and parents don’t want to purchase a new bike every year, a bike that’s too big may have some serious negative effects. It is about promoting the healthy lifestyle of cycling to your child and showing them how bikes can change their lives.

If a bike is too big, hopping on and off the bike will become a difficult and scary experience for your child. A bigger bike will become intimidating as it is harder to control and less stable for the rider. These negative effects will reduce confidence and enjoyment, which will deter them from riding the bike. 

We recommend buying a bike that fits your child at the time. If your child is in between sizes, it is better to look at the bigger size to ride it comfortably. If your child is already a confident and skilled rider, they can often ride a bigger bike than a child who is less comfortable on a bike. 

When considering size, we also recommend considering the weight of a bike. The lightest bike you can purchase within your budget is the best bike to get. A more lightweight bicycle is easier to pedal and control, which leads to a more enjoyable ride for your children. 

Many people begin their journey towards buying their children a bike by using their age as a measure. Unfortunately, not all children at the age of 5 are the same height; neither are children at age 7 1, 0, etc. Using your child's inseam is the best way to decide what size they need.

 

Kids Bike Sizes Chart showing sizing by wheel size, age, inseam, and height


RIDING STYLES

Children's bikes come in as many varieties as adult bikes these days. It is important to understand the style of riding your child wants to do. For example, if your child wants to get into mountain biking or off-road, riding a flat-bar commuter-style bike will be dangerous and not be up to the rigorous riding. It is best to get a deep understanding of what your child will be riding. 

It is also important to be realistic about the riding they will be doing. Sometimes you will find that your child wants a mountain bike or a BMX but if they are predominantly commuting on the streets, it could end up being a less enjoyable ride for them. 

Let's go through our range of kids bikes and what they are best for.

  COMFORT  

 

Comfort or “cruiser” bikes are exactly as the name suggests, designed for comfort and cruising. These bikes provide an upright and comfortable riding position for kids looking to ride leisurely. They are not designed for speed or efficiency. They are designed to be ridden on leisurely rides to school, the movies or just along the beach with their parents. 

Comfort bikes usually have racks and baskets from the factory. They are ideal for carrying books, clothes, or toys. They also have mudguards and the required accessories to keep your child as dry as possible if the weather turns bad. 

If your child wants a more efficient bike for commuting to school or something faster on the road, a flat-bar road-style bike will be better suited. An MTB will be much better if they want to go off-road and get rowdy on rough terrain. 

  RIGID MTB  

Rigid mountain bikes are perfect for smaller children to ride wherever they choose. Because children are so light and small, when a tire is inflated to the correct pressure, it provides more than enough traction and comfort.  They are the perfect entry point for those with a passion for exploring.

These bikes have been designed around hardtail mountain bikes, so the bikes remain stable yet fun to ride. They have no suspension to reduce the weight, enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Thanks to the cost savings, you can often see better components on the rest of the bike. Often with one gear up front and 8 at the back, they are the perfect bike for kids needing gear.

If your child wants to explore the town, experience the freedom a bike provides, and enjoy the sensation of speed, these bikes are perfect for your child. They are versatile and a great way to see which style of riding they gravitate to the most. If they want to get more serious off-road, a mountain bike would be better suited for them.

  HARD TAIL MTB  

Hardtail mountain bikes have front suspension but a solid rear end. They give your children a new avenue of riding to explore. Instead of jumping in puddles, your child can now ride through them as fast as possible.

Stronger tires with a knobbly texture provide extra traction with increased puncture protection. They have front suspension to help absorb the bumpy roots and rocks. Disc brakes are more powerful, more reliable and safer than their v-brake siblings. Hardtail mountain bikes are the perfect entry point for children who want to push boundaries and explore the outdoors.

The downside to these extra features, like suspension and stronger components, is weight. Hardtail mountain bikes are heavier than your city bikes or rigid mountain bikes. Wider and knobby tires have increased drag and are harder to pedal for longer distances. Our dual-suspension bikes may be better suited if your child wants to explore the outdoors more and take on more difficult terrain. If they want a more efficient ride, check out our city bikes.

  DUAL SUSPENSION MTB  

Dual-suspension mountain bikes are primarily designed for off-road use. With both front and rear suspension, both wheels move with the terrain for increased traction and safety. As your child begins to charge harder, they need the improved performance of our D24 range.

Air-sprung suspension is customisable to weight and is adaptable as your child grows. The powerful disc brakes are strong enough to stop your child safely from warp speed. The bike's frame and geometry have been optimised for manoeuvrability and stability. 

Here at Bikes Online, we believe that when you spend this much on a bike for your child, you want it to last for a long time. Not only is the air suspension tuneable as your child grows, but we also use reach-adjustable brake levers, and the bike can fit 26-inch wheels in the future.

Because these bikes have been optimised for off-road riding, they can be a chore to ride on the road. If your child is excelling at riding off-road, the D24 series will be there every step of the way. These bikes are not ideal for street riding or getting to and from school. Hardtail mountain bikes are much more versatile than dual-suspension bikes and will suit children doing a bit of everything.

  BMX & DIRTJUMPERS     

 

BMX and Dirt Jump bikes are specially designed to jump, spin and be as agile as possible. They have low frames and seat posts, which are not ideal for longer rides because riders have to stand when pedalling. However, if your child wants to hit the pump track, ride the local dirt jumps or skate at the at the park, these bikes are for them. 

While most BMX bikes come with 20-inch wheels, they are also available in 16 and 18-inch wheels to suit riders of shorter heights. Frame sizes are measured in inches. The bigger the frame, the taller a rider can be. Our BMX range is ideal for children looking to get their first experience riding this style of bike. 

The Polygon Rudge is the ideal freestyle bike for BMX and DirtJump use. Built around a Hi-TEN steel frame and fork for added strength and durability, this bike is capable of handling aggressive moves and big landings. We also spec a “Giro” so the bars can spin an infinite amount without any chance of damaging the cables. 

Dirt jumpers are essentially big BMX bikes. Although they have front suspension, they are often run really stiff to avoid compression on jumps. They use 26-inch wheels for increased stability compared to a BMX but they are more agile compared to a standard MTB.

Dirt jumpers are only available at single speeds. This means when the hills get steep, there is no way to change gears, which makes pedalling easier. The low frame and short seat post mean riders can't sit down and pedal as easily.

If your child wants to get tonnes of air time at the trails or skate park, these bikes are for them. If your child has a short, easy commute, these bikes are an amazing way to make their commute more exciting. If they want to ride further or explore the trails more than A mountain bike would be better suited for them. If they want a light, easy bike to ride, try a city bike.


CONCLUSION

Choosing a bike for your child is an exciting time. There are so many styles to choose from, and it can be hard to decide which one will be the best fit. It’s important not to buy them something they don't want or, even worse, what you think they might like. The only way to know what's best is by asking them questions about their biking interests and making sure that there are no compromises between quality of the bike and price range (of course). Check out our range of kids bikes now at Bikes Online.

Ex-demo Bikes Explained

If you're the type that likes to save a buck, our ex-demo bikes may sound interesting. How about buying a nearly new bike, with maybe some small cosmetic damage, at a generously discounted price? That sounds great, right? We know—and that's why we feature our ex-demo bike range.

Ex-demo bikes are bikes that suffered small damage in transit or were returned under the Free 14-Day Bike Returns program, which means in most cases these bikes have barely been ridden or have not been ridden at all.

The reasons a bike is classified as an ex-demo may include:

  • Small scratches or superficial damage caused in transit.
  • Bikes are used for outdoor promotional photo shooting.
  • Bikes returned under our Free 14-Day Bike Return.

Once these bikes arrive at our workshop, a professional mechanic will unpack, assemble, inspect, and test ride them prior to classifying them as ex-demo. Any additional work required is also performed at this stage, ensuring the structural integrity, working order, and safety standards of the bike.

All cosmetic or superficial damage found is photographed and reported on the product page, so you can have peace of mind knowing what the blemishes or scratches will look like. The discount is set in accordance with the damage, differing from case to case.

It is important to note that with ex-demo bikes, you may get components in "as new condition.". For example, in a worst-case scenario, bikes will have done less than 10km of riding, which means that all wearable components, such as bearings, chains, cassettes, chainrings, hubs, and pads, are all fresh and will have a full life cycle. In those circumstances, our mechanics will do their absolute best to thoroughly clean all parts from any dirt acquired; however, it is not always possible to remove it, for example, from tires or other hard-to-reach places. Needless to say, all ex-demo bikes are fully covered by our Bicycles Consumer Guarantee Policy from the date of purchase.

As part of the preparation process for the ex-demo range, our qualified mechanics will:

  1. Unpack and meticulously inspect the bike for any damage.
  2. Replace any component that has suffered structural damage.
  3. Assemble, tune, and test-ride the bike.
  4. Document any damage found on the bike after the inspection and service.
  5. Repack the bike, create the demo product and input the adequate discount.
  6. The bike is now ready to be sold as an ex-demo.

Please see the pictures below for some examples of the superficial damage you may find on your ex-demo bike:


Now you know you're covered from any major issue when shopping our ex-demo range. We hope this article has helped clarify any questions you may have; if not, please make sure to contact us.

To shop for ex-demo bikes, click here.

Bike Anatomy Explained

As simple as a bike can be, a lot of the terminology and names can be quite confusing. This piece will talk you through the bike parts and terms used when describing bike parts and the areas on a bike. We will start from the front and work out way back, going through every major component.  


  FRAMESET   

 

 

Frameset is the combination of frame and forks - quite straight forward for road bikes.  When describing a bike, you will often hear the frame referred to as the front and rear triangles. The front triangle refers to the top tube, down tube and seat tube. The way a bike fits the rider is determined by the measurements of these tubes. The front triangle houses the bottom bracket and most of the suspension components on an Mtb.

 

 

The rear triangle was traditionally attached to the seat tube, and it comprised the seat stay and chainstay. While this is still relevant to hardtails and road bikes, the rear triangle isn’t fixed on a dual-suspension system. The seat and chainstays are attached to links on the seat tube. The rear triangle is essentially floating, which allows the rear wheel to travel up and down.  

 

 


  HEADSET  

 

 

 

The "headset" refers to the bearings in the head tube which allow the fork to rotate in the frame. Without these bearings, you wouldn't be able to turn the handlebars. 

Headset bearings don't just come in one size, unfortunately. Thankfully our My Garage system will be able to point you in the right direction. 

 

Some common symptoms that your headset bearings need replacing are a knocking or “crunchy” feeling when you turn your handlebars. A creaking or knocking sound can be heard when the bearing is contacting directly with the “cup” that holds the bearing in place. Coating the interface of the bearings and cup with high-quality grease can fix this issue. 

If you ever remove the forks or the bearings and they are no longer a solid unit, they need replacing asap. If you feel any of these fixes are beyond you, any good local bike shop will be able to help. 

 

 


  STEM   

 

The stem is one of the most basic parts on a bike; however, it can cause a dramatic effect on the handling characteristics and a bike fit. 

On an MTB, a stem length between 35 and 70mm. Any longer and the bike's steering will feel sloppy and slow. Longer stems can also set a rider's weight over the front angle. When heading down a steep trail, it can cause a rider to be pitched too far forward, so a shorter stem is used. 

A longer stem will help stop the front wheel from rising when climbing up a steep trail. Some Xc riders will also have a negative rise stem to get their weight forward and low for pure climbing efficiency. 

On a road bike, stem length is used to adjust a rider's fit within reason. Most road bikes use a 90-110mm long stem. You will see pro riders with smaller frames and longer stems to maintain a short, stiff and agile wheelbase. You will also notice their stems are extremely low to get their body in the best aerodynamic position and maintain a good climbing position. We wouldn't recommend mimicking an extreme body position and riding style unless you are 100% sure. 

 

 

It is more important for most riders to be in a comfortable position that they can ride in at all times as they are rarely racing. If you feel stretched and are reaching for the bars, try a shorter stem. If you are cramped and feel like you are too upright, a longer stem may help. 


  HANDLEBARS   

While handlebar width is extremely important to the bike's handling, bar height is just as important yet often overlooked. Bar width will change how stable a bike feels; wider will add stability, while narrower will speed up the steering. 

If the bars are too wide, you may find it difficult to move the bike around effectively because your arms are extended, and the range of movement will be diminished. Because you have to move the bars further to make a significant change in direction, this adds stability. Still, it requires more input from riders when they need to make the bike change direction faster. 

 

 

Narrow bars make a bike more agile and speed up the handling but to the detriment of stability. If the bars are too narrow, it can make a bike twitchy and erratic. If it is too narrow, you may also find it difficult to breathe as your chest will be closed up.

It is best to aim to match your bar width to your shoulder width with 2cm added. When experimenting with bar width is best by starting wide and trimming fractionally. You can always take more off but, you can't add more on. 


  FRONT THRU AXLE   

 

The front thru-axle passes through the fork dropouts and the hub to hold the front wheel in. Unlike common quick release or bolt-on axles, the thru-axle is a completely separate part of the hub assembly. Because of this, it is the fork that determines what axle is used. 

 

 

Rockshox tends to use their own standard called the Maxle, which is available in a quick release or stealth (Allen key) style screw in the axle on mountain bikes. Fox use their standard QR style with their floating axle design or a “Kabolt” Allen key bolt with a pinch axle. Suntour uses their Q-Loc system that differs from both and is as simple as pushing the axle through and closing the lever. All axles are now 15mm thick and will work with a majority of hubs as long as the width is compatible. The two major widths are  100mm and 110mm, with all new bikes using the latter. 

 

 

Road bikes with rim brakes use a standard 9mm QR that has been on bikes for years. They are light, easy to use and fairly common sizes. Newer road bikes that have disc brakes use a 12mm thru-axle for safety. Although they use the same width hubs across all bikes, each axle is specifically designed for the brand and their fork. It is not as simple as buying any axle. However, we offer you the right axles in “My Garage” and tech documents. 


  HUBS   

 

Hubs are the heart of a wheel, and while they may seem simple, there are a few different variants. Front hubs are available in multiple widths, axle sizes and brake styles. The standard quick release axle is a 9mm axle that is 100mm wide. This is common for all road bikes with calliper brakes. You can get a 100mm wide hub with a 12mm thru-axle for road and a 15mm axle for “non-boost”  MTB forks. Some older bikes predating 2009 will have a 20mm axle. Boost refers to a 110mm hub width available in a 12mm axle for road and 15mm thru-axle for MTB. 

Rear hubs are available in “boost” and “non-boost”. Boost hubs are 148mm wide and use a 15mm thru-axle in MTB or a 12mm axle in road bikes. “Non Boost” hubs are 142mm wide and come in 9mm, 12mm or 15mm axle widths. A rare standard called “super boost” uses the older DH standard of 157mm wide hubs, but this is a very niche hub size.


  FREEHUB   

 

The gears on a rear hub slide onto a part called a "freehub". There are 4 major styles of freehubs that relate to the brand of the drivetrain. SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo all use different freehub splines to hold the cassettes. The only common one shared between a few brands is Shimano's "Hyper glide" freehub. Used for most 8/9/10/11 speed cassettes from SRAM or Shimano, where the smallest gear has 11 teeth. 

SRAM pioneered using a 10 tooth gear as the smallest gear on their first 11-speed wide-range cassette. The major change that allowed such a small gear was the XD driver. An XD driver has no splines, and the cassettes screw directly onto the freehub. SRAMS 12-speed eagle drive train on mountain bikes still use XD however, the AXS 12 speed on-road uses XDR. Sram NX and SX level 12 speed cassettes still use an HG freehub; however, you will only get an 11 tooth small gear. 

 

 

Shimano has used the HG freehub for many years now, but there are some variants. All 8,9, and 10-speed cassettes fit the same HG freehub body. 11-speed road cassettes are 1.85mm wider and require the wider 11 speed HG freehub body. 8,9 and 10-speed cassettes will fit the 11-speed hg freehub with the right combination of spacers. Shimano 12 speed uses a "Micro spline" freehub to use a smaller 10 tooth cog. Micro spline freehubs ONLY work with Shimano 12 speed cassettes. 

 

 

 

Campagnolo is a Italian component manufacture that uses its own freehub for both 12 and 11-speed drive trains. As this is not on any of our bikes, there is no need to go into detail; however, if you plan on upgrading to Campagnolo on a road bike, you should keep that in mind. Please reach out to our service team if you have any questions.

 


  BRAKES   

 

 

 

Brakes come in 2 major styles with 4 subcategories. The first style is the rim brake which uses rubber pads to clamp the rim and slow the bike. The second style is a disc brake which uses callipers to clamp pads on a disc attached to the hub. The final style is kickback or coaster hub brakes which expand brake shoes inside the hub to slow the bike down. 

 

 

Rim brakes are available in the V-brake style and the U-Brake style. Most bikes that are used off-road and may experience the tires getting muddy use V-Brakes. This is because V-Brakes sit further away from the tire and the chances of them getting clogged by debris are low. V-Brakes also use larger pads on larger levers to clamp the rim, so they are naturally more powerful. 

U-Brakes only allow a maximum tire width of 28mm, so they are specifically on high-performance road bikes. They are light, have excellent modulation and are super powerful. With the advancement of wheels and the increasing use of carbon fibre rims, U-brakes started to show their weakness. Excess heat can damage a carbon rim, and the braking surface is smooth, so there was decreased performance. 

 

 

Disc brakes are available in hydraulic or cable variations. Cable discs are operated by a brake cable and are the cheaper, more basic option. The simplicity leads to reliability and easy serviceability. They perform amazingly in commuting and light off-road use thanks to their ability to clear water or debris easily. 

Hydraulic discs are essentially the same technology as what your car or motorbike use in a smaller package. Hydraulic discs offer supreme power, greater modulation and reliability. Unfortunately, they are a little tougher to work on and bleeding the system requires special tools.  These are for you if you are riding aggressive MTB, fast road descents, or just want powerful brakes. 

Discs come in two different mounting styles, 6 bolt and centerlock. The style of disc you use is dependent on the hub's mounting style. We have provided pictures below to show you the differences. 


  DERAILLEURS   

 

Front or rear derailleurs are often also referred to as mechs. They are the components responsible for shifting the chain between gears. Although SRAM and Shimano both have the same gears on many drivetrains, the parts are not interchangeable. A Shimano shifter won’t work with a SRAM rear derailleur and vice versa. 

 

Derailleurs are also specific to the number of gears on the cassette.  You can only use a 12-speed mech on a 12-speed cassette, an 11-speed mech on an 11-speed cassette and so on. 

The amount of teeth you have on the largest cog also determines the rear mech you can use. If you have a 32 tooth cassette, then a derailleur only rated to a 30 tooth will never work effectively. So make sure when you are upgrading or changing the cassette/rear mech, you notice their limitations. 

 

 

 


  TIRES   

 

Road bike tires have evolved massively over the last 5 years, with many riders finding that bigger can be better. The measurements seem confusing but are actually quite simple. The most common wheel diameter is 700mm, and they often run a 25-45mm tire width range. 650b wheels have gained some popularity in the gravel market over the last few years thanks to bigger tires that add comfort and traction. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High-performance road bikes will run a 25-28mm tire width that balances comfort and performance. Modern road bikes come with 28-35mm widths for extra comfort and traction on rougher roads and longer rides. Gravel and cyclocross run 33mm to 50mm, often with knobs for extra traction. 

The “C” you see on tires just relates to the fact it is a clincher tire. This label is almost redundant as most tires are clinchers and no longer tubular like the old days. 

If you look at your tires, they will say 700x32c, 650X50c or 700x28c, all depending on the tires you have. The first number relates to the wheel diameter, and the second is the width.  These are the only numbers worth noting on the tires. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain bikes use inches for some unknown reasons but, it is what it is. Many years ago, the most common size was 26 inch.  In the modern-day, 27.5 and 29 inch are the most common. 

MTB tires will read a 29 or 27.5x 2.1/2.25/2.3/2.4/2.5/2.6, with the second number being the tire width at the knobs. Bikes like xc bikes will only accommodate a maximum width of 2.3. Trail and enduro bikes use a 2.3-2.6 wide tire. If you want more traction, better tracking through the rough and more comfort, then a wider tire will give you that. 

 

 

 


  BOTTOM BRACKET    

 

The bottom bracket refers to the bearings that retain the crank spindle in the frame. When cranks were a 3 piece component where the two crank arms were attached to a common spindle, the bottom bracket was a separate component that included the spindle. 

 

Modern 2 piece cranks have the spindle permanently attached to one of the cranks. Bearings are either pressed or screwed into the frame, and the spindle slides through the bearings. This has made the components cheaper, better quality and much more reliable. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to the extra stress bottom brackets encounter from dirt, stress and lack of cleaning, they can be a major noise source. To avoid any noise or issues, it is important to keep the bearings lubricated, clean and maintained to the best of your ability. They are a disposable wear item, so it isn’t uncommon to replace them regularly. 


  SEAT POST   

 

 

 

Like many other components, the humble seat post has undergone numerous changes over the years. There is no such thing as one standard size, and there are dropper posts to consider as well. Finding what diameter seat post you need is simple as it is stamped into the post. If you simply pull the post out, you will find the diameter on the back. 

Dropper seat posts are the greatest invention since the wheel for mountain bikes. At the flick of a lever, you can lower the post from your optimum pedalling seat height to a position better suited to descending. 

The amount of drop can vary from 125mm to 200mm for most brands. It is often advised that you find the most amount of drop that accommodates your maximum seat height. If you are unsure what is best for you, reach out to our experienced support team. 


  SUSPENSION LINKAGE   

 

 

 

 

 

 

While specific to MTB, Suspension linkages are important to ensure they are torqued to spec often. A loose linkage or pivot bolt will be noisy and cause extra flex in the frame and hinder suspension performance or cause damage. Keeping them tight and clean will expand your frames lifetime by years.

Frame Material Explained

The material of which a frame is constructed will have a huge impact on how it rides. The three main materials used are Carbon, Alloy and Steel. Neither one of them is better than the other as a whole but, for some riding styles, certain materials do shine.  

 

In this piece, we will go through and describe the benefits of each material. But, before we start, let’s go through “the cost, weight, and strength Triangle”.  In a perfect world, we would want the strongest and lightest bikes for the least amount of money. Unfortunately, you can not have all three in the current world we live in. Strong and light are always going to be expensive. Cheap and strong will always be heavy. And light with a low cost will never be strong. Each material has its own balance in this triangle, and we will show you what is best. 


 

Alloy is a metal made by mixing a base metal with one or more other elements. This is not a new process for manufacturing metals. For example, Copper mixed with Silver became sterling Silver many years ago. The mixing of metals can result in increased stiffness, strength or hardness. 

The most common alloy used in bikes is called 6061. It is commonly used because it is light and strong, thanks to the materials in the mix. 6061 alloy is also extremely easy to weld and manipulate. 

Hydroforming is used to mould the alloy tubing into unique shapes that can accommodate suspension designs, frame geometry, and look good. Hydroformed frames can also be lighter thanks to reducing the amount of tubing needed. 

Alloy balances the triangle relatively evenly, as it is strong, reasonably light, and very strong. However, the one downside to alloy is that the material’s stiffness transfers the road vibrations to the rider. The ride can be uncomfortable for some but that is the price paid for value. The upside to the stiffness is that alloy bikes are extremely responsive to rider input. When you put the power down, the bike wants to go. 

Since alloy is cheaper and stronger, it does come with a weight penalty. Because alloy is a metal, it tends to dent instead of crack. The durability of alloy is phenomenal and will last a long time for most riders. 

If you are okay with a stiffer overall ride that may weigh a bit more, then alloy is the perfect material for you. Alloy will be lighter on your wall, so you will have more money to spend on road trips with your new bike. 


 

Carbon frames use sheets of unidirectional carbon fibre bonded together using resin to make a frame. Carbon frames are essentially high-tech paper mache. The big reason for the use of carbon fibre in bike frames is the stiffness-to-weight ratio. Carbon fibre frames are extremely light for the amount of strength you can achieve. The downside is that the price skyrockets. 

Because carbon frames use sheets of carbon that all face the same direction and are laid on top of other sheets of the same material, the compliance of a carbon frame can be tuned. For example, on most road bikes, the seat stays will have more fibres across the beam to allow more vertical compliance and retain great horizontal stiffness. This results in a more comfortable ride. 

Once the fibres are optimized to get the perfect ride characteristic from the bike, they are placed in a mould. Then they are covered in resin (glue) to bond the sheets together. The moulds are vacuum sealed to remove any air or "voids.”. The frame is baked in a high-temperature oven for optimum curing. The result is a very stiff yet comfortable frame with tube shapes and a weight unachievable with other frame materials. 

Carbon has a reputation for lacking strength. However, modern manufacturing methods have all but eliminated that issue. Fatigue-induced damage is non-existent; however, the carbon may crack or snap when a frame is placed under extreme duress. Unlike metal, there is no bending or denting; it will just crack or break. Don’t let this put you off because the forces to break a carbon frame are significantly higher than any other material. The occurrence of complete failure is quite rare. 

Even though they are expensive, carbon frames provide all of the benefits with very few downsides. This is why you will see carbon used in most professional rides and on higher-end bikes. If you want a lightweight frame that oozes performance and comfort, carbon is for you. 

 


 

“Steel is real," is a catchphrase you will hear any fan of steel bikes chant on the regular. The original roads, cruisers, and mountain bikes were all constructed from steel. BMX bikes still use this material, thanks to it being cheap and durable. Steel provides a uniquely comfortable ride thanks to its flex or shock-absorbing qualities. For this reason, you will see steel being used on high-end hardtail mountain bikes, touring/gravel bikes and freestyle BMX. 

Steel is extremely strong and takes a very long time to reach a level of fatigue to be damaged. In the rare case that a steel frame is damaged or cracks, it is easily repairable. Touring or adventure racing riders prefer this material because it can be repaired if they break a frame. Even with a dent in the frame, a steel frame can last for a long time without a fix. 

Despite its strength and durability, it is unbelievably comfortable thanks to its elastic properties. A steel frame flexes and moves under a rider to dissipate any feedback from the road. Hardtail MTB’s use steel to absorb shock in the rear and provide an efficient ride while maintaining traction. 

Steel is cheaper to purchase as a material but welding and assembling a quality frame can take more time. Because the material is cheap and super strong, the biggest downside is weight.  Steel is very heavy, but it will last forever and never let you down. 

Riders who prefer a smooth ride and prioritize reliability over weight will love steel as their chosen frame material. There is a certain simplistic beauty to steel frames, which are therefore in high demand.

Before choosing your frame material, it is best to identify the style of riding you are doing, where you will be riding, and what triangle points are important for you. If you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team.