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Smarter Travel
Cycling - Equipment

If you are buying new, the cost of bikes vary from type and also quality of components. Try to work out what sort of places you might want to cycle. This will influence the type of bike you should get. For short distances of a couple of miles you can use pretty much anything. If you are going further you want something suited to the route. More expensive bikes tend to be made from lighter materials but even eBikes are still quite heavy if you need to lift them into place for storage.

This is only a brief overview of bike types.

Hire bike - The Glasgow hire Bikes are provided by Nextbike. These are of a city bike type design. The bikes of the Glasgow scheme have 7 speed gearing to help you deal with most of the hills. Visit Nextbike to find out more about bike hire.

City Bike - City bikes are more upright in riding position and are very popular in urban areas. They offer comfort and ease of use. The step through frame is unisex and makes getting on and off simple. Many have fully enclosed chain to prevent you catching loose clothing in the drive mechanism.

Hybrid – The general purpose hybrid bike is a mix of road and mountain bike features. They have the flat bars and stronger frames of a mountain style bike, but the larger wheels of a road bike. Ideal for city cycling, rougher terrain, commuting.

Road Bike – Drop handlebars, larger wheels (700 mm), narrow tyres to reduce rolling resistance. Ideal for city cycling, longer distance commutes and leisure rides.

Gravel or Adventure Bikes – Based on road bikes, have stronger slightly heavier frames and capacity for wider tyres. Ideal for canal paths, informal paths, longer distance commutes and leisure rides.

Mountain bike (Hard tail) – Strong heavier frames, wider tyres and front suspension forks. Gear ratio is designed for hilly environments. Ideal for rough terrain, off road leisure rides.

Mountain bike (full suspension) – Strong heavier frames, wider tyres and front and rear suspension forks. Gear ratio is designed for hilly environments. Ideal for rougher terrain, off road leisure rides.

eBikes - We have left these to the last as most of the above are available in an ebike. These are motor assisted by a battery which, whilst it adds a bit of weight, can help take the effort out of the steeper hills and make cycling further easier. They are ideal for starting out or getting back to cycling, rehabilitating after an injury, or if you just don't have the muscle strength they make cycling possible! They are also ideal if you just want to take life a bit easier whilst still exercising.

There are many ways to buy a bike. Most organisations have a cycle to work scheme available to staff. If yours doesn't drop us an email at sustainabletransport@glasgow.gov.uk and we can provide you with a list of advantages for a company to have a scheme in place.

Glasgow has many bike shops. Don't be afraid to pop in and ask any questions. They are just as keen to see you on the correct bike for where you want to ride as you are.

Don't forget that community enterprises such as Bike for Good take donated and no longer wanted bikes and bring them back to use. These organisations provide training to volunteers who do much of the rebuilding. Bikes are typically resold for £100 - £200 which is used to help support the many promotional activities that these organisations deliver.