How to choose your perfect bike

Buying a new bike, but don't know where to start? Let us break it down into simple, easy-to-understand points for you in our bike buying guide for beginners in the blog below!
Decathlon Ireland
April 13, 2022

So - you're thinking about buying a bike! Are you a little confused by the different types of bikes available on the market today? Should you get a Road Bike? Maybe you're better off on a Mountain Bike. Or perhaps you want a little bit of both, so a Hybrid Bike sounds like a good option. But then again, is a City Bike or Folding Bike a better choice? Let us break it down into simple, easy-to-understand points for you in our bike buying guide for beginners in the blog below!

Buying a bike for a child?

We’ve got you covered in a separate blog article, click over to discover everything you need to know about Choosing the Perfect Bike for a Child.

1. ROAD BIKES

Road bikes are designed primarily for riding on, you guessed it - the road! Of course, they can be ridden on pavements and park connectors as well, but it's on the open road where their full potential is unlocked. Compared to other bikes, you will travel at the fastest speed for the least amount of energy spent. This efficiency comes at a price though, as road bikes can be difficult to control at slower speeds due to the way the rider is placed high on the bike and arched forward. Comfort is also another aspect that is sacrificed due to the skinny tyres and aggressive posture. 

If you are willing to put in the time to practice good road cycling skills and plan to ride relatively quickly (at least 20km/hr) for distances of 25km or more at least once a week, you may consider the Road Cycling or Triban series of bikes which are geared towards comfort and endurance over long distances. If you crave a bit more speed and efficiency, you might want to look at the Road Racing or Van Rysel series of bikes instead!

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2. MOUNTAIN BIKES

Mountain Bikes can be thought of as the rowdier cousin to road bikes. They are designed primarily for going off-road on dirt tracks which also makes them a good option for a commuter bike if the road conditions in your area are less than ideal. The wider tyre and upright stance also offer more comfort and confidence to newer riders even if you don't plan to venture off-road.

If that sounds like you, the Sport Trail series of Mountain Bikes could be a good option to consider. However, if you have ridden off-road before and are looking to ride even more difficult trails, you may consider the All-Mountain Bikes instead, which come with dropper seat posts and suspension for ultimate control. If you are more of a competitive fitness junkie, you might prefer the Cross Country Mountain Bikes that you could bring to races instead.

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3. HYBRID BIKES

What if you know you will never go down mountains, yet don't want to be bogged down by slow, wide Mountain Bike tyres? The Hybrid bike, as its name suggests, is a mixture of Road and Mountain Bike DNA - its tyre width is somewhere in between the two, making for a happy compromise between speed and comfort.

The frame design sits you upright, and the handlebars, brake and gear control looks and feels more familiar. In addition, Hybrid bikes have more mounting points on the frame, allowing you to install all manners of accessories like racks, fenders and bags. For those who just want to cycle for fitness or leisure, and intend to mostly stay on pavements and park connectors, the Hybrid bike is truly the best of both worlds.

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4. CITY BIKES

City bikes are built for utility rather than actual sport. So they can be a good option for those who simply want a bike that they can use for running errands.

This is evident from design touches like integrated bike racks, mudguards, kickstands, and dynamo lights (for certain models). The integrated chain guard also protects pants and skirts from getting dirty.

It is a low frame bike designed for easy mounting and dismounting, so city bikes can be a good option for inexperienced cyclists as well.

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5. FOLDING BIKES

Folding bikes or foldies, as they are affectionately known, are generally small-wheeled (14-20") bikes that can be folded into a more compact form. There is usually a hinge or two on the frame, steering column and pedals. The main intended benefit that they offer is easy storage and transportation. However, many riders find the smaller stature of folding bikes easier to handle while cycling as well, and this has spawned a big following all over the world, especially in towns and cities.

Another huge advantage of folding bikes is the possibility of bringing them onto trains and buses, enabling one to commute seamlessly across different modes of transportation. If you lack space at home, or intend to mix different modes of transportation on a regular basis, the humble but mighty folding bike is definitely the way to roll!

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6. BMX BIKES

Bicycles designed for racing, jumping and freestyle riding on dirt tracks, ramps and skate parks. BMX bikes are used for two different types of riding: racing and freestyle. The bikes have a lightweight frame, smaller wheels and no suspension, all which make it easier to maneuver on the ground and in the air. They also have thicker tires for better traction and shock absorption. BMX bikes are unique and extremely fun to ride, whether you're racing over ramps or doing tricks in the skate park.

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7. KIDS BIKES

We also have bicycles designed to help children learn to ride a bike

Typically, kids bikes have smaller frames and wheels that make it easier to ride. They come in different sizes ranging from 14-inch bikes to 24-inch bikes and it’s important to consider the height and age of the child to find the right size bike for them. 

Generally, the right size bike will allow a child to touch the ground with both feet and easily grasp the brakes. To better understand buying a bike for a child, we recommend reading this article which goes through the guidelines for purchasing a kids’ bike.

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8. ELECTRIC BIKES

Electric Bikes are bicycles designed for power and assisting your cycle, they are built with a chargeable battery and silent motor. This motor kicks in once the riders start pedaling and allows you to pick up speed without needing to cycle as hard. As a result, using an electric bike is an excellent way of simplifying a tougher cycle. They come in mountain, city, hybrid and folding forms, and on average are 10kg heavier than a standard bike.

The models of Electric bikes at Decathlon are similar to those above, our engineers have adapted existing models of popular bikes and included battery power to level up your mode of transport. Each model has a different battery range and maximum speed, but all are reinventing how we commute.

All of our Electric bikes are fully repairable by our team, so rest assured if any issues arise you can come back to us and we will repair or replace any necessary parts.

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What now?

Now that you hopefully understand which style of bike is best suited to your needs, you just need to find the one for you in terms of model, style and budget. We have a selection of bikes online and in store at Decathlon Ireland. We also have a team of passionate cycling team mates in store that will be able to advise on each individual model to get the perfect bike for you.

Why buy a bike with Decathlon Ireland?

Bikes bought online for home delivery can be assembled at the Ballymun store for €20. All bikes bought in store will be fully assembled and safety checked before sale.

All bike sales can avail of a free service within 6 months of the bike purchase date for both in store & online sales. 

We offer a lifetime warranty on your bike frame, stem, handlebar & fork. Our standard warranty for other parts and components is 2 years.

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