Total Beginner

Bill93

Active Member
Hey, i have no clue about bikes etc but after watching cycling in beijing and with the tour de france and now the olympics I really would like to start cycling on my bike alot more


Can someone please explain to me what a fixed gear bike is and the difference between a mountain bike and a road bike apart from the different handlebars

Thanks
 

Pauluk

Senior Member
Location
Leicester
As far as I am aware (I'm no expert) there is fixed wheel and single speed. Single speed has only one gear (one rear cog and one front cog). I fixed wheel is where the pedals always turn when the wheel is turning, unlike a free wheel.

Mountain bikes have smaller diameter wheels than road bikes and wider rims that can take wider and often more knobbly/treaded tyres. Road bikes have narrower rims and can take much thinner tyres that are better for road use (easier to pedal and faster on the road). The gears on a road bike tend to be higher so you are able to go faster. The lower gears on a MTB make it easier for climbing steep slopes.

Mountain bikes are more robust for off road riding and often come with suspension. Road bikes and wheels are more vulnerable over rough terrain.

Hope this helps
 

compo

Veteran
Location
Harlow
Nothing to add to Pauluk except to expand slightly. On a single speed it is normally a single sprocket freewheel, which means that you can stop pedaling, for example, when going downhill. A fixed wheel by comparison has a sprocket that is fixed to the wheel hub and cannot turn independently of the wheel. So, go down a big hill and be ready to pedal furiously.
 

MrJamie

Oaf on a Bike
Welcome :cheers:

In addition to what Paul says, theres not so much categories as there is a whole spectrum of bikes with road bikes, mountain bikes, with hybrids, cyclocross, tourers etc, all of which compromise one thing for another depending on your needs :smile: Road bikes are more suited to speed on the road with their gearing, aerodynamic riding position, skinny tyres, mountain bikes tend to be designed for tackling offroad terrain bigger tyres for loose ground, lighter gears, suspension and a more upright position, then theres a whole host of bikes between which are more allrounders making them more versatile but not quite as good at either extreme, or something like that :smile:
 

Pauluk

Senior Member
Location
Leicester
addickfreak said:
Just to throw another one in the mix, there's also cross bikes. Which is essentially a more robust road bike but for off road use but not for the real rough stuff.
addickfreak, out of interest how does a cross bike differ from a hybrid?
 

MrJamie

Oaf on a Bike
addickfreak, out of interest how does a cross bike differ from a hybrid?
They seem to vary loads between models, theres quite a few cross bikes that are more like drop bar hybrids/tourers (spec tricross disc), but the proper cyclocross bikes often dont have fittings for bottles/guards/racks, have less extreme gear ratios and have either canti or disc brakes. I think my next bike will be a cross of sorts, but so far I can find something wrong with all of them, not to mention that they all seem overpriced (except the boardman cx).
 

Pauluk

Senior Member
Location
Leicester
I see, so what's their advantage/application over a bike that can carry panniers (say a hybrid with discs/v-brakes) or a faster road bike. Are they some sort of fast but tough road bike?
 
As I see it, you're drive seems to come from watching Beijing and the TDF.
You're looking at road bikes.

If you want to realistically just ride on Tarmac very quickly with minimal comparative effort in full Lycra lookin sleek and fast...a roadie
You want to just off-road and track/downhill in baggies and always ready to fend off rocks and bits of trees...an MTB
you want a bit if both but not to the extremes...Cyclo-Cross
You want to tootle/commute...a Hybrib
You want a bike for the commute on ice and snow...an MTB

Just my two-penneth
 

MrJamie

Oaf on a Bike
That Allez looks nice, as a road bike itll be faster and more efficient on the roads, the rider angle is more about aerodynamics than comfort (IIRC the Secteur is the more comfy less racey version), depending on your weight and fitness the gearing ratios might not cover you for steep hills or carrying luggage (wouldnt for me :hungry: ), youd also be limited to roads, cyclepaths and light trails/tracks. None of these are negatives about the bike, just part of the compromise required to excel elsewhere. If you look at the Specialized Secteur and Tricross (road/offroad allrounder) it might give you a better idea of the differences to work out what kind of bike youd like.

The most important thing is what kind of riding you think youd be doing and also your fitness/weight and your budget. :smile:
 
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