If you plan to start riding with a group of friends, try riding a bike that is similar to what the group rides. Showing up to a road ride on a mountain bike will likely result in you being “dropped”, or at the very least, having to exert yourself more than everyone else in your group.
Aluminum has been the material of choice since the 1980s. Aluminum is light, possesses a pleasant ride quality, and is relatively easy to manufacture, making it inexpensive.
Technological improvements in the way the metal can be manipulated resulted in a new generation of high-performing bikes. Every major manufacturer has a number of aluminum models, from entry-level and expensive carbon machines, in both road and mountain bikes.
Tough and dependable, steel was the first material of choice for bike manufacturers from the beginning of time. Steel’s popularity has diminished once mass-produced aluminum frames have entered the market. Nevertheless, steel has a place and time in bicycle design. Bikes with extremely long, load-bearing frames, such as tandems and cargo bikes, are often built out of steel. Many mountain bikers and single-speed riders prefer steel to aluminum and carbon due to its superb ability to absorb high-frequency vibration.
If you are looking for your bike to be very light, you probably need a carbon bike. Carbon fiber is the lightest material used in bike construction, but it is also the most expensive.
Titanium is a low-density, high-strength metal that possesses many qualities of carbon fiber. Unlike carbon fiber, titanium is resistant to sharp object impact, can be welded and repaired easily. Titanium bikes are prized for having some of the best riding qualities and “fatigue endurance.” A titanium bicycle will offer exceptional comfort, performance and ride the same in its first mile as its millionth. Unfortunately, titanium is a rare material and requires highly specialized welding equipment and strictly guided manufacturing processes, which makes titanium bicycles quite expensive, often on par with their carbon fiber counterparts.
Test riding bikes is a great way to find out which type or specific model is best for you. It is always better to buy and tune a bike that fits well than to choose and adjust a bike that does not fit, to begin with. If a store does not allow test rides, try finding one that does. We would recommend you to choose to ride a bike until you get a good feel for it, at least a couple of times around the block. When you have decided on a specific bike type, ride a few similar bikes offered by various brands.