The best bikes of 2022

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Whether it’s exploring nature, greening your commute, or staying in shape, riding a bike is an efficient and fun way to get around. However, the range of bike styles, designs and prices is as varied as the reasons for cycling, which can make finding the right bike daunting.

To help you in your search, we’ve consulted with cycling experts to share their top tips for buying a bike. We’ve also reviewed the best bikes based on intended use and style. From the latest and greatest electric model to wheels for kids and the perfect tandem bike for two, our list of the best covers a wide range of cycling needs. Standing out from the crowd, the Cannondale Topstone 4 earned our top pick for its versatility, customization, and quality features at a great price.

Here’s our list of the best bikes for every type of rider:

Tips for buying a bike

Get a bike optimized for your experience level

Robert Evans, CEO of Cycling Quest, stresses the importance of choosing a bike that matches your current skills and abilities. “Even if you can afford a high-end bike, you still might not have the body and spinal flexibility to ride it properly,” says Evans. Riders can upgrade to more advanced bike models as they progress, but being realistic is essential in order to hone their skills and enjoy short-term riding. “It takes years of training and time in that position for Tour de France riders to be this perfect,” adds Evans.

Think about where you plan to ride

Consider the surfaces and terrain you will primarily be riding on to narrow your search. If you have a singular use, like commuting to work, the options are clearer. Riders with multiple uses in mind should consider more versatile models, such as gravel or hybrid bikes.

Take into account the necessary maintenance

The characteristics of bicycle components such as the chain, brakes, derailleurs and gears will impact the level and type of maintenance required. For less mechanical settings, consider choosing a bike with a belt drive instead of a chain, internally geared hubs, tubeless or puncture-proof tires, and caliper brakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What size bike should I choose?

    Most bike brands include a size guide that advises you based on your size. But the appropriate bike size will also depend on the type of bike and your preferred riding style. Having your inseam measurement (in centimeters and inches) is helpful when judging bike sizes. It is possible to make some adjustments, such as changing the height, angle and position of the seat or replacing the handlebars, to improve the fit of a bike.

  • What accessories do I need for my bike?

    Many bike accessories come down to personal preference, although some accessories are highly recommended for safety and convenience, such as a water bottle holder. Evans points to the benefits of having the tools on hand to repair a flat tire. In your pannier, Evans suggests having “a multi-tool, tire levers, an inner tube, at least two CO2 cartridges and an inflator.”

    Evans also encourages road cyclists to get a bike light to stay visible to vehicular traffic. “I recommend at least a 300 lumen front headlight that can flash and 150 lumens for the tail light,” he says.

    For comfort accessories, cycling shorts and gloves come in handy for added support and reduced chafing on long rides. Alternatively, riders can opt for a comfortable bike saddle or a gel handlebar insert instead of wearing bike clothes.

Why trust Travel + Leisure

Kevin Brouillard is a contributing writer at T+L, specializing in outdoor gear and apparel. An avid cyclist himself, he’s researched dozens of bikes, interviewed cycling experts, and used his expertise as a travel writer to curate this list.

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