Choosing the right bike

Mountain bike: all-terrain

As its name suggests, this bike is designed for riding on trails. Its massive wheels, equipped with studs, grip the ground well even if it is muddy or strewn with protruding and soggy roots. “Its front fork, and sometimes rear, is equipped with a suspension system that absorbs shocks,” says Benoît Fisch, co-owner of the Vélo Espresso store in Montreal. Safe in the forest, this bike is however unnecessarily heavy for outings in urban areas.


Base model: $400 – $700
Intermediate model: $700 – $1,000
High-end model: $1,000 – $3,000


  • I want to make an intense physical effort by circulating on uneven paths.

City bike: practical

“Above all, it is robust and stable,” says Étienne Roy-Corbeil, co-owner of the Dumoulin Bicyclettes store in Montreal. Thus, the gears are not changed using an external derailleur, but a mechanism integrated into the hub of the rear wheel, which eliminates chain derailments for all intents and purposes. This bike is also particularly comfortable thanks to its very high handlebars which keep your back straight and offer an excellent view of the surroundings. In addition, it is usually equipped with a mudguard, a front light, or even a trouser guard and a basket. Only drawback: it is heavy and does not climb steep hills well.


Base model: $700 – $800

Intermediate model: $800 – $1,000

High-end model: $1,000 – $1,500



  • I mostly want to use my bike for practical purposes;
  • I plan to walk short distances every day.

Road bike: sporty

“Its use has grown significantly in recent years,” notes Jacques Sennéchael, editor-in-chief of Vélo Mag. This is the old “racing bike”: light, fast and…uncomfortable. Its narrow tires roll easily on the asphalt, but take the hits badly. In addition, its saddle, higher than the handlebars, commands a very leaning position. However, you get used to these inconveniences, says Rémy Larose, team leader for products, shoes and bikes at the Montreal store MEC: “The curved handlebars allow you to stay comfortable by varying the positions.” This bike is recommended for long-distance touring, especially because of its lightness. In this case, however, its frame accommodates the luggage racks.


Base model: $800 – $1,200

Intermediate model: $1,200 – $2,000

High-end model: $2,000 – $6,000


  • I want to train on paved roads;
  • I want to go cycling.

Hybrid bike: pleasant

It is a particularly popular model. There are two types: “comfort” and “performance”. On the first, “the saddle is wide and lower than the handlebars; the cyclist therefore has his back raised and can easily see the surroundings,” explains Rémy Larose. The performance model is sportier: its seat, narrower, is almost at the same height as the handlebars, which gives a more leaning position. Both models are very versatile and can accommodate a luggage rack. Their mid-size tires roll just as well on asphalt as on a dirt or gravel trail, while their many gears help to climb hills without much effort. That said, it is not with a hybrid that we will break speed records, even with a performance model.


Base model: $400 – $600
Mid-range model: $600 – $1,000
High-end model: $1,000 – $2,500


  • I ride mostly recreationally, in the evenings or on weekends;
  • I want to test how much I enjoy cycling training before investing in a road bike

Folding bike: portable

According to Jacques Sennéchael, this model is set to gain momentum. “Folding bikes can be hybrid, mountain or road,” says Étienne Roy-Corbeil. What they have in common: small wheels and a small frame which, when folded, measures just under half a square meter. That said, this bike loses in performance what it gains in practicality. “As the wheels are smaller than those of a regular bicycle, each pedal stroke takes us less far,” explains Étienne Gagnier, adviser at the Montreal store Primeau Vélo.


Basic model: $300 – $500

Intermediate model: $500 – $1,000

High-end model: $1,000 – $3,000


  • I plan to walk short distances every day;
  • I mostly want to pedal recreationally, in the evening or on weekends;
  • I want to be able to transport my bike easily by train or bus, for example.


Women’s bike or men’s bike?

“Several elements of women’s bikes are different from those of men’s bikes,” notes Arnaud Deshaies, manager of the Quilicot store in Laval. For example, the grips have a smaller diameter and the tube between the handlebars and the saddle is shorter. Finally, the saddle itself is shorter and wider to better accommodate our pelvis. “A woman will always be more comfortable on a women’s bike, designed for her,” adds Yannick Perreault, manager of the Quilicot store in Montreal. Unfortunately, there are fewer women’s bike models than men’s. It is still possible, however, to “feminize” a bike by changing its grips or bringing the handlebars closer to the saddle.

Why pay more?

Basically, an expensive bike is lighter and more durable. “The brake levers or the pedals, for example, are stronger because they contain less plastic and more metal,” says Benoît Fisch. In general, the parts (the derailleur, for example) are also manufactured and adjusted with more precision. Result: our bike responds better when changing gears. A more expensive bike is also lighter, in particular thanks to its frame, which has more carbon and less aluminum. This lightness also comes from a more sculpted derailleur or brake levers. “Manufacturers removed all the “fat” that it was possible to remove,” explains Arnaud Deshaies. Eventually, a more expensive bike probably has better quality tires, “for example,

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