Uh, What bicycle to buy for Christmas?

In terms of your 2019 New Year resolutions- how about chanting this mantra? “ This bicycle burns my fat and saves me money!” To the uninitiated, a bicycle is a bicycle. However, just like you don’t go and play a game of golf with only one club, these days cycling has evolved into a multi-million dollar global business, with many brands and bicycles for every purpose.

So, which ‘tribe’ do you want to belong to in 2019?

BMX Bike? Small wheels and frame: designed for racing and jumping on BMX tracks and skate parks with the saddle low, so it doesn’t obstruct the rider. Not suitable for riding any distance.

Cyclo-cross Bike? Looks like a road bike, but comes with knobbly tyres to ride both on and off the road on dirt tracks and to carry over obstacles.

e-Bike? A ‘Johnny come lately’ to the stable, sales of e-bikes have exploded, due to the aging population and the nightmare that is the daily commute. You have to pedal the bike, but when you need a boost to go up a hill or keep up with fitter or younger cycle buddies- the electric engine kicks in to assist you on your ride.

Fold-up Bike? Designed as bridging transport in response to the ‘last mile’ issue when commuting on public transport, where it is also not possible (or allowed) to fit a whole bike into a peak hour train carriage or bus.

Hybrid Bike? Usually a roadbike-type frame, but with skinny tyres and flat bars. Suitable for riding on good dirt roads, tracks and paved roads or bike paths.

Kid’s Bike? Plenty of them available. Avoid buying heavy, cheap bikes aka ‘supermarket specials.’ (Bicycle shops won’t repair such bikes) Buy a quality brand, from a bicycle shop, and then cycle regularly with your kids & mentor them if you are worried about safety.

Hard tail Mountain bike? Suitable for riding most cross country trails. Not as efficient or comfortable as a dual sus. over technical terrain. Great up climbs, though!

Dual Suspension Mountain Bike? Excellent for riding any of the technical, custom-built offroad cycling trails or marathon race-courses. Ride efficiently and comfortably through the bush for anything from 10 to 100km.

Enduro Bike: A downhill weapon, with longer wheelbase and serious suspension for this purpose- but built light enough to ride uphill to ride down …again, and again!

Fat Bike? This is one for mavericks. A lightweight bicycle with fat ‘motorbike-style’ tyres to ride shorter distances along the beach, or on very muddy, bumpy terrain. Great fun for holidays!

Road Bike? Specifically for cycling at speed along paved roads shared with vehicular traffic, or on cycle path networks. Lightweight, with thin, smooth tyres and drop bars to reduce rolling and air resistance. A vast range of distances can be covered on a roadbike in just a few hours- anything from 25km to 200km.

Now all you have to do from December 25th onwards, is consistently get outdoors on your new bike from Santa, and enjoy exploring this gorgeous area we live in. Leave your bikes languishing outside in the rain, to be cast onto the pavement pick up pile with all the other exercise equipment- and you will definitely end up on the naughty list!

Illustrated by Susanna Mills