How do you choose a good bike

Bicycle purchase advice - in 4 steps to the new bike

Looking for a new bike? In our bike purchase advice, you will find out in compact 4 steps what to look for in your search and how to find out which type of bike suits you best.

Very fresh> Discover the bike highlights 2020

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1. Types of bicycles | 2. Price ranges | 3. Frame size | 4. Offers

Step 1: Find the right type of bike

If you are an absolute newbie looking for a bike, it can easily happen that you are simply washed away by the flood of information. Do you need a bike for the daily commute? Are you a fitness freak looking for a new exercise machine? Or do you want to go for a lap in the bike park with your buddies? The bicycle market is infinitely large and really offers everyone the right bike for their needs, so don't worry: we will find the right bike for you.

Here is an overview of the most common types of bicycles and for whom they are suitable:

Mountain bike

Do you want to dash through the terrain on your bike and conquer the forests? Then a mountain bike is the right choice. Stable frames paired with wide tires and a wide handlebar ensure driving stability and a feeling of security on rough roads. In addition, a spring-loaded fork is used on almost all mountain bikes. A sub-category of mountain bikes, the so-called fully MTBs, also offer a sprung rear. The use of spring elements increases the driving comfort in the field immensely and ensures that even difficult obstacles can be mastered. Hardtails that are only equipped with a suspension fork, on the other hand, are more suitable for marathon races and, in inexpensive equipment variants, also for everyday drivers who would like to take a lap through the forest.

As far as the size of the tires is concerned, opinions are now divided: Until a few years ago, 26 inches was the standard wheel size for all types of mountain bikes, but now you have to choose between the sizes 27.5 ", 29" and the plus sizes decide, while 26 “disappears more and more from the market. Mountain bikes can also be divided into further sub-categories based on riding style: Cross-Country for fast rides through terrain, Trail and All-Mountain for extensive trail rides and tours, and Enduro and Downhill / Freeride for the toughest downhill routes.

Read more> Mountain bike purchase advice

Suitable for:

  • Off-road adventurer
  • Mountain friends
  • Touring rider

Discover all Mountain bikes on the marketplace


The currently fastest growing bicycle segment: e-bikes) are now available in all shapes and types and generally describe a bicycle with electric drive assistance, which significantly supports you in getting around. Thanks to ever-evolving technology, electric bikes have become increasingly affordable in recent years, while oil prices are rising around the world. This makes the e-bike the perfect solution for commuters who don't want to break a sweat on the way to work. But the e-bike market is large: e-mountain bikes, e-urban bikes, trekking e-bikes, city e-bikes and many other types of construction ensure that everyone who longs for additional motor power gets it. After all, a level of personal contribution that should not be underestimated must also be provided here, with the electric drive only intervening as a support.

Read more> E-bike purchase advice

Suitable for:

  • depending on the type of bike
  • Commuters and workhorses
  • active people of all ages

Discover all E-bikes on the marketplace

Racing bike

Racing bikes are at home on the road. Anyone who rides a racing bike wants one thing above all: ride high speed over long distances. To make this possible, racing bikes are equipped with lightweight frames made either of aluminum or the high-quality composite material carbon. The motto “the lighter, the better” also applies to the other components of racing bikes. As a result, carbon has now also found its way into all add-on parts.

There is one thing that racing bikes are often not: comfortable. Due to the striving for low weight and the lowest possible rolling resistance, racing bikes have to do without suspension at all and are equipped with particularly narrow tires. For reasons of aerodynamics, you sit much more stretched forward on a racing bike than on a conventional bike. People with back problems should seek detailed advice before buying a racing bike and have the bike ergonomically adjusted.

Read more> Road bike purchase advice

Suitable for:

  • Racers who love the thrill of speed
  • Long distance rider
  • Fitness freaks

Discover all Racing bikes on the marketplace

Trekking bike

If you want to cover short distances in urban areas and enjoy nature on long bike tours instead of riding against the clock, then a trekking bike is the right choice. These hybrid bicycles combine the best of the mountain bike and racing bike sector and offer a high level of ride comfort and resilience. A robust frame is combined with a comfortable seating position and supplemented with potential storage space. Because of these properties, trekking bikes are a good solution for the need for a reliable and environmentally friendly means of transport for the city and the country, which also serves well off the beaten track.

Read more> Trekking bike purchase advice

Suitable for:

  • Touring rider
  • Leisure cyclists
  • Nature lovers

Discover all Trekking bikes on the marketplace

Cross bike / fitness bike

For those who are looking for the perfect everyday bike and training device, cross bikes and fitness bikes are particularly suitable. Like the trekking bike, the construction of the bikes is somewhere between mountain bikes and racing bikes and impress with an upright seating position and a stable frame. Luggage racks are not included, but they can be retrofitted. A suspension fork in the front often ensures comfort, so that you can also train off the beaten track. Because the light frame, the sporty tires and the high level of ride comfort make the cross and fitness bikes the perfect bike to keep fit in your free time and get from A to B quickly.

Suitable for:

  • Recreational cyclists
  • Fitness freaks
  • Everyday bikers & commuters

Discover all Cross bikes & fitness bikes on the marketplace

City bikes and urban bikes

As the name suggests, the city bike is a bike for the city. A massive frame, often in the form of a low step, transport options and a very comfortable seating position ensure relaxed progress in the city center. The low-entry frame makes it much easier to get on and off and also allows older people to enjoy cycling.

The modern version of the city bike is the urban bike. It marks a new trend in the bicycle segment and, thanks to its combination of practicality and style, is enjoying ever-growing popularity in major cities in Europe and the world, but also on the streets and paths that lead around them. While city bikes are usually primarily optimized for functionality, urban bikes combine practicality with attractive design. With the light frame and the 622 mm tires you can get from A to B effortlessly and cut a good figure at the same time.

Suitable for:

  • Everyday cyclists & commuters
  • Leisure cyclists
  • Style-conscious city dwellers

Discover all City bikes on the marketplace

Cyclocross bikes

Cyclocross bikes are special bikes for cyclocross, also known as cross-country racing. This discipline arose out of the need of racing cyclists to keep fit even in winter - both on the road and on unpaved roads. Today cyclocross is a year-round sport and the bikes can hardly be distinguished from a normal racing bike. Fewer gears, coarser tires and greater tire clearance for the frame are one of the distinguishing features that enable the cyclocrosser to conquer muddy forest paths. Those who like to ride a racing bike but also have off-road ambitions should take this bike.

Read more> Cyclocross buying advice

Suitable for:

  • Adventurous racers
  • Year-round driver
  • Off-road explorer

Discover all Cyclcross bikes on the marketplace

Triathlon bikes / time trial bikes

Now it's getting special: Triathlon bikes and time trial bikes are racing bikes that have been optimized for perfect aerodynamics and, as the name suggests, are suitable for triathletes and racing bike professionals. Handling and riding comfort are a little shorter here compared to a regular racing bike, the goal is the same: maximum speed and best time in the race.

Read more> Triathlon bike purchase advice

Suitable for:

  • Triathletes
  • Ambitious racing cyclists

Discover all Triathlon and time trial bikes on the marketplace

BMX bikes

Bicycles are also given a high priority in the subculture. Hardly any other bike stands for fun and creative freedom as much as the BMX. Efficiency clearly takes a back seat to the fun factor. The abbreviation BMX stands for Bicycle Moto Cross and makes the origin of these bikes clear. Regardless of whether you feel at home in racing, dirt jumps or freestyle, there is a suitable BMX for every individual application. While the race models are the lightweights of their craft, the dirt jump bikes form the robust counterweight to this and can withstand the massive impact energies of high and long jumps without any problems. Freestyle BMX bikes form a middle ground between the two. These are mainly at home in bike parks and enable both tricks and fast movement in steep turns and the like.

Suitable for:

  • Action junkies
  • Freestylers and tricksters
  • Young at heart of all ages

Discover all BMX bikes on the marketplace

Fixie bikes

Fixie bikes are very stylish city bikes that are optimized for easy movement even in narrow streets and curves. They feel most comfortable on flat roads, as these bikes do not need any gears or freewheels, which is what gives them their name. In plain language this means: if the wheel turns, so do the pedals. The typical characteristics of a fixie are the lack of gear shifting, the rigid gear, its reliability and efficiency.

Suitable for:

  • Bicycle purists
  • Everyday cyclist with aspirations
  • Style-conscious urban bikers

Discover all Fixie wheels on the marketplace

Folding bikes

You may not see very well, but the advantages cannot be denied. Folding bicycles are easy to stow (whether on the train or in the office), are usually relatively cheap and still represent a fully functional bicycle, often with transport options for luggage - a dream for everyone who places functionality over design.

Suitable for:

  • commuter
  • pragmatist
  • Space saver

Discover all Folding and folding bikes on the marketplace

Dutch bikes & retro bikes

If you not only want to be relaxed with your bike but also want to attract attention, a retro bike is just the thing. The incomparable look is paired with modern technology and ensures a unique driving experience. Actually, they are also part of the city bikes, but thanks to their distinctive design and cult status, they have blossomed into their own bike division. Dutch bikes are retro-chic on two wheels and have all the advantages of a city bike.

Suitable for:

  • Everyday cyclist
  • Retro lover
  • Connoisseur

Discover all Dutch bikes on the marketplace

Cruiser bikes

Cruisers are among the most comfortable available on two tires. The entire geometry of the frame is designed to maximize driving comfort without damaging the appearance. However, compromises are made in terms of speed and efficiency; these wheels are simply made for level ground. Most cruisers come with a large, comfortable seat and an aisle.

Suitable for:

  • Leisure cyclists
  • eccentric
  • Comfort biker

Discover all Cruiser bikes on the marketplace

As soon as you know which type of bike it should be, you are not that far away from your dream bike. We hope that with our compilation of the most important types of bicycles we have been able to help you not to lose track of things and, above all, to have fun buying a bicycle. All right? Then go to step 2.

step 2: How big is my budget?

Before you indulge in the concentrated selection of the market and fall in love with expensive high-end bikes because they just look great, you should urgently set a price limit and always orient yourself towards it. Numerous equipment variants and model series allow you to easily wander into price regions that are far beyond what you were originally willing to invest. This applies both upwards and downwards. The supposed bargain is not always what makes you happy in the long term. Likewise, high-priced does not necessarily mean high-quality or exactly what you want from a bike.

Read more> The best mountain bikes up to 500 euros

step 3: What frame size do I need?

The right frame size is the most important factor for confident and comfortable cycling. Here you shouldn't leave anything to chance and, if necessary, have a specialist dealer measure and advise you professionally. A bike the wrong size is not only less fun, but can also be dangerous in extreme cases. Once you have found the right frame size, the dealer will also help you adjust the bike correctly for you. This includes saddle height, handlebar height and distance to the handlebars, as well as setting the suspension to your body weight on a mountain bike.

You can get a first clue for your suitable frame size with our frame size calculator.

To the Frame size calculator

Step 4: Where do I best buy?

Knowing what type of bike it should be also makes it easier to find the perfect dealer. For example, if you want a mountain bike, you can search for stores in your region that specialize in MTBs and MTB brands. The advantage of such special shops lies in a larger selection, better advice and also a more extensive selection of accessories (see step 5). If you want to do your cycling more intensely, a shop like this is the best choice. If you already have a very precise idea of ​​your bike, you can also take a look at online shops and the offers from direct mail order companies, but of course you lose the personal purchase advice.

If your budget is very limited, you will also find bicycle offers in sports shops and other large shopping centers, but these often do not come close to the quality of established brands. Then look out for used bicycles or remaining stock from dealers to save a few more euros.

Where can you find the best offers from German retail? On BikeExchange, of course! All you have to do is feed the search mask on the start page with your wishes. You will then receive a selection of suitable bike shops directly at your location and throughout Germany, from whose range you can compare and choose at your leisure. Contact the retailer directly by phone or email, or just drop by the store and get comprehensive advice on the product you are looking for. And if you are already quite sure, you can also buy directly online - from certified retailers who will be at your side with advice and action even after the purchase.

Most popular types of bicycles on BikeExchange

The segment of accessories and equipment is just as large as the bicycle market. When you buy a bike, you really only get what you need to ride, and in some cases not even that (with higher-priced bikes, the pedals often have to be bought separately). Of course, it is up to you which accessories you invest your money in, after all it also depends on what you want to use your bike for. Bottle cages and drinking bottles, lighting systems, pumps, locks, cycle computers and, of course, cycle helmets are often bought with the bike. Customizations such as a new saddle or new pedals are also recommended if they increase driving comfort. Not to mention cycling clothing. So: just go to the store and take a look around to see what's available. Or go to and find out more online right away.

This list is intended to help you find the right bike, but is only intended as a guide. It is not a substitute for a conversation with an expert advisor or thorough internet research.