Rolls Rite Bicycles828-276-6080
Bike & E-Bike Sales & Service
Serving Waynesville, Clyde and Western North Carolina since 2002
Where do you intend to ride? On the road? Off road? A little of both? That answer narrows the choices considerably.
Why do you want to ride? Fun & fitness, commute to work, school or shopping, casual cruising, all out competition, some combination of all that? A bike best suited for one purpose may not work too well for another purpose.
How often do you expect to ride?
A bike that you ride every day may require different components & characteristics than one you ride once a month. A bike that is comfortable for a short ride may get uncomfortable on a long ride and while it may seem strange, a bike that's comfortable for hours on end may not be comfortable at all for a short ride around the block.
Generally speaking, most bikes fall into a just a few basic categories, but there are endless variations in each category and that's where it can get confusing. Knowing what you want a bike to do eliminates most of the choices, making it easier to decide which features will help you do that and which ones won't.
Costwise, the question isn't just about how much you have to spend to get a good bike, it's more about what's the least it takes to get one that will do what you want it to. Costs of most quality brands range from $350 to $12,000 or so. Spending too much doesn't guarantee that you'll get what you're looking for, spending too little guarantees that you won't. It's easy to pick a bike that will do it's job to the highest possible standard-as long cost isn't an issue. The trick is to find out where you can cut costs and still accomplish your mission. Once you get past a certain point, each step up in price brings only subtle performance enhancements, valuable to some, but not to all. This is where a little insider knowledge can help in sorting out the facts from the hype and myths about getting the most bang for your buck. According to most commercial bicycle magazines, if your not going spend at least $2000, you might as well just stay home on the couch. For serious, experienced road riders bent on performace with a touch of competition that, and more, is pretty reasonable. But for most folks looking for all around fun & fitness riding a less than $600 road bike can be surprisingly more than adequate. Click here for a good example. For other types of bikes it's even less. They call these 'entry level' bikes and it's a pretty accurate term. An entry level bike from a quality maker may lack the enhancements and refinements that make upper level ones more expensive but it's minimum standard still provides the degree of quality and performance required to get the job done smoothly.
It's totally reasonable to expect your bike shop to ask you these questions, and more, listen to your answers and give you knowledgeable and realistic advice and options about which bikes and features will do what you want, which ones won't and why, and what compromises you might want to consider to meet your budget.
We're always glad to talk with you about your needs, choices and costs and we encourage you to test ride our bikes, on your turf, for as long as it takes to be sure it suits you.
Here are a few basic examples of various types of bikes. Each type covers a very wide range of intended purpose, function and cost. Of course, there's more than listed below, track, single speeds, fat tire bikes, bmx, and more, but this covers the basics for most folks. Often the term Hybrid is used but that applies to just about anything thats not a road or mountain bike.
Road BikesAre built mostly to ride on pavement. Some are built for short, fast rides, some for cross country trips carrying a full load, some for adventure riding on backroads and some for leisurely rides around the neighborhood. The riding position is more bent forward than other bikes for less air resistance and maximum pedaling efficiency. Tires are usually somewhat hard and skinny for lower rolling resistance and quicker handling. While they make them as comfortable as they can, comfort isn't always a primary design goal and you have to balance the need for speed vs comfort to suit you. Lighter weight makes it a bit quicker in some aspects but it also makes it more delicate and less versatile.
Flat Bar Road Bikes
These are fairly light, quick road type bikes with flat handle bars and a slightly more casual geometry and more emphasis on comfort than all out speed. If you like to be quick but not a road racer, this might be a good way to go. Here's an example-FUJI ABSOLUTE
Commuter BikesSometimes called comfort bikes, this is basically the all purpose go anywhere bike. It's comfortable enough to ride all day, light and nimble enough to navigate mean streets and rugged enough for gravel roads and foot paths. The riding position is more upright and the frame geometry is more relaxed and stable. Most have 700c road bike type wheels only wider with bigger tires to give a smooth, stable ride. Many have suspension forks to handle rougher terrain and some have seatposts with a built in shock absorber. These are great for urban commutes, campground paths, exploring the neigborhood or Rails to Trails greenways like the Virginia Creeper. example is CROSSTOWN.
Cross TerrainThis is kind of a slimmed down mountain bike or a beefed up flat bar road bike built to be comfortable but rugged enough and geared well for off road adventuring. It's smooth and stable on pavement, less cumbersome than a mountain bike but not as light or quick as the Absolute.
A good example is TRAVERSE
Mountain BikesRange from mild to wild. Some are good for casual cruises on all kinds of surfaces, some for jumping off 20 foot cliffs onto jumbled piles of rocks and barreling down the mountain at breakneck speeds. The more casual mountain ones can be a bit more upright, comfortable and easy riding than the serious rock bashers but in general, they aren't built with comfort as the primary consideration. The more hard core models sacrifice comfort and versatility in favor of performance, lighter weight and tolerance for abuse. If you're actually going to pound dirt and break rocks, there's a certain level of performance you just have to have and nothing else will do. But the bikes that do this the best usually aren't all that ideal for more leisurely pursuits. The trick is to find the balance of comfort and performance that works for the kind of rider you are or intend to be. Click here for some good examples starting at the basic entry level.
Long, low, laid back cruisers for maximum comfort, ease and stability. Those pictured have what's known as a Pedal Forward design that puts the pedals more forward so your legs can extend properly for easier pedaling while keeping the seat low enough to put both feet on the ground when stopped. They come in single speed, 3 speed and 7 speed versions, click here for some examples.