For the novice just starting out in cycling, it is tempting to get the sleekest, fanciest bike you see. You really don’t know how to begin deciding on the features you need.
The first big decision is your main purpose in getting a bike — will you be commuting to school or work regularly? Are you going to use the bike to get more fit and healthy?
Is this a serious sport for you…or you intend it to become one, so that you may end up in long distance cycling and competitive bicycle racing?
Do you mean to use the bike off-road on rough terrain a good deal of the time?
If you are planning on dirt trails and rocky roads, then a mountain bike is the right choice. If you are mostly going to be using the bike on paved streets, then a road bike may be a better choice for you. Still, mid-range mountain bikes can do well in a city environment. Just remember that mountain bikes may be heavier than road bikes if you would be lifting the bike a lot to put it on the outside of carriers on public buses or up stairs when you arrive at school or work. Mountain bikes are very sturdy by nature, and that may help you decide as well. If a comfortable ride is important, you are going to need to look closely at the seat and positioning of the handlebars. Do you want shocks on the bike to absorb the bumps of the road (maybe hardtail for front suspension to absorb shocks)?
When you decide on a specific model of bike, know your own answers to these questions and more or be prepared to discuss them with a knowledgable sales person. Matching you to the right bike for your needs and your preferences is a critical part of making cycling a great sport for you to enjoy.
Polaris 600RR Women’s Hardtail Bicycle