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Choosing a bike

Our chart below shows what type of bike is good for different purposes. Your local bike shop can give you the best advice about buying a new bike or repairing an old one. If you want a bike for commuting and for leisure, you can either buy separate bikes, or buy separate wheels or tyres for different types of riding.

You can find out more about electric cycles, e-scooters and electric mopeds on our electric bikes page.

RoadTouringMountainHybridFolding Electric
Rough surfacesNoNoYesSomeNoNo
Long distanceYesYesNoYesNoYes
Carrying panniersNoYesSomeYesNoSome
Taking on trainsYesYesYesYesYesSome
Taking on busesNoNoNoNoYesNo

Bike shop payments

Several bike shops in Wiltshire allow you to pay for your bike in easy monthly payments. It’s worth finding out if your employer runs, or is willing to set up, a Cycle to Work scheme. You could save up to 40% on the price of your bike and accessories and also pay for them in stages. As the choice of bikes available to you will vary depending on your employer’s scheme provider, make sure you’re still able to buy the right bike for you.

Second-hand bikes

You can also buy second-hand bikes cheaply. Follow the below steps to get the best bike possible:

  • Always buy from the seller’s home address and ask about the bike’s history.
  • Ask for the bike’s frame number.
  • You can then check this on sites such as Bike Register to make sure it hasn’t been stolen.

Carrying children, pets and shopping

Children can be carried on bikes using child-seats, trailers or tag-a-longs. If you don’t use these frequently, it might be worth sharing these with your neighbours. There are an amazing variety of panniers for both rear and front racks, which can carry up to 50l each. You can also attach a crate to the front or rear rack in addition to your panniers. Pets can be carried in trailers, crates or in specially designed pet carriers depending on the size and type of animal.

Cargo Bikes

Cargo bikes and E-cargo bikes are fantastic for local businesses or for anyone who regularly needs to carry large loads.

Businesses can now apply for 40% funding towards an e-cargo bike. Joint High Street applications can also be made. E-cargo bikes are cheaper to buy and to run than motor vehicles and can be parked closer to destinations. A three or four-wheeled cargo bike can typically carry up to 250kg.

For more information on starting to cycle, have a look at our Get Cycling Guide.

Did you know?

If you cycle to work all year, on average you’ll only get caught in the rain 10 times?

Help your friends travel simpler