You will find our "cookies" delicious
The purpose of the cookies of the Muziker website is to make your visit to us a pleasant experience at all times. Consent to the use of all cookies by clicking the "I agree" button, or in the settings select only the ones you like. More information.

How to choose a bike

Updated 16.02.2024
10 min. read
Juraj Haruštiak
Cycling season has begun and you still do not have your bicycle? We will guide you how to choose a bike according to your height or type of terrain, how to choose a bike for children, men and ladies. Are you looking for a stylish city bike, state-of-the-art road bike or a mountain bike for a reasonable price? Do you know why bike couriers love single speed bikes and what you should be aware of when buying an electric bike? Keep reading.
How to choose a bike

Women´s bike vs men´s bike

While choosing a bike for an adult, we will come across differencies in how the models for women and men are constructed. Typical feature of women's bikes is the shorter and lower frame, softer springs in forks, smaller and wider saddle with soften medium part. The reason for that is a different spacing of women's and men's sit bones. Models for ladies also feature distinct handlebars since ladies prefer curved "riser" type of handlebars with breaks fitting their shorter fingers with softer levers.
Young lady wearing cycling jersey and bike helmet rides a road bike in high speed on a paved road.

Kid bike

If you are buying a bicycle for a child, you have to choose according to age, body height, crotch height and abilities of the child.
The most accurate criterion for choosing the kid bike of a right size is the child's crotch height. The other criteria are indicative only. In the chart below you will find the recommended diameter of the wheels in inches, which are essential for choosing a kid bike. The frame size is usually adapted to the size of the wheels, so it is not as decisive in the selection as the diameter of the wheels.
4-year old happy girl wearing pink bike helmet, pink sunglasses and in pink clothing rides a kids' bike on a pathway.
TIP: The easiest way to measure the height of the crotch is to place the child against the wall without shoes and trousers, place a medium-thick book between his/her knees and carefully move it towards the child's crotch. Measure the distance between the floor and the top of the book to get the child's crotch height.
Child's age (years) Child's height (cm) Crotch height (cm) Recommended size of wheels (inches)
1 - 2 85 - 103 cm 33 - 43 cm just balance bike
3 – 4 104 – 110 cm 44 – 47 cm 12“ – 14“
4 – 5 110 – 115 cm 48 - 51 cm 12“ – 16“
5 – 6 116 - 121 cm 52 - 54 cm 14“ – 18“
6 – 7 122 - 127 cm 55 - 57 cm 16“ – 18“
7 – 8 128 - 133 cm 58 - 61 cm 18“ – 20“
8 – 9 134 – 139 cm 62 - 65 cm 18“ – 20“
9 – 10 140 - 147 cm 66 – 68 cm 20“ – 24“
10 – 11 146 - 151 cm 69 - 71 cm 24“
11 – 13 152 – 163 cm 72 – 77 cm 24“ – 26“
13 + 164 + cm 78 + cm 26“

Safety and comfort

It is important to be able to asses the child's abilities unbiased. Changing from balance bike to pedal kid's bike, but also from smaller sized to a larger one, can pose a real challenge for every child.
Children that are able to break independently on a balance bike or on their previous bike, should have their saddle raised by 2 to 4 cms higher than is the height of their crotch. Children that are unable to break independently we set the saddle on the same level as the crotch is. Moreover, every very beginner must be able to reach the ground not only with the tip of his/her foot but with the entire sole. This will help to stop easily and avoid crashes while learning to keep the balance.
The gear of the little cyclist should definitely consist of bike helmet and we also recommend appropriate bike protectors for first couple of rides. Helmet must be of a right size and always make sure that it fits on a child's head and it does not slide.
The first pedal bike should be equipped with a coaster break. A hand brake is suitable for children who are capable of keeping the balance and coordinate the eye-sight with moving of the hand. Hard braking can cause a serious crash.

BMX bike

Older children, juniors and teenagers love BMX bikes. The passion for BMX bike is not limited to specific age, stunt rides are popular among every age category. These special bikes are built for freestyle (street), bicross trails, stunt rides in parks or tricks on ramps and dirt jumps (dirts). They have special geometry, reinforced rims, just one gear and only a rear brake. Spinning the handlebars in style (barspin) would not be possible with a front break in place.
BMX bicycles enable unbelievable stunts. They have to be light and endure enormous pressure.

Most essential parameters in detail

Frame size

The size of the frame is a key parameter of a bicycle. The right size reflects the body height or the distance between sole and groin (this method is more accurate). The rule of thumb says, if one stands astride the bike frame, the distance between the top tube and the crotch should be approximately 8 cms. The frame size is usually given in inches, centimeters or in standardized size values (the same as with clothing). Optimal dimmensions differ from the type of bicycle and the style of the rider.

Frame size according to the body height

Body height (cm) Frame size
Road bike (cm)
Frame size
Hybrid bike (inches)
Frame size
Mountain bike (inches)
150 cm – 155 cm 49 cm 15“ S 13“ – 15“ XS
155 cm – 160 cm 52 cm 16“ 15“ S
160 cm – 165 cm 52 cm 17“ S/M 15“ – 17“
166 cm – 170 cm 52 cm - 54 cm 17“ – 18“ M 17“ – 18“ M
171 cm - 175 cm 54 cm - 56 cm 18“ – 19“ 17“ – 18“
176 cm - 180 cm 56 cm 19“ – 20“ M/L 18“ – 19“ L
181 cm - 185 cm 56 cm - 58 cm 20“ – 21“ L 19“ – 20“
185 cm – 190 cm 58 cm - 60 cm 21“ – 22“ 20“ – 21“ XL
190 cm – 195 cm 60 cm - 62 cm 22“ – 23“ XL 21“ – 23“
195 cm + 62 cm - 64 cm 24“ 24“ XXL

Frame size according to the leg length

Frame size (cm) Frame size (inches) Frame size (cm) Frame size (inches)
72 40 15,7 42 16,5
75 42 16,5 44 17,3
79 44 17,3 46 18,1
82 46 18,1 48 18,9
87 48 18,9 50 19,7
89 50 19,7 52 20,5
92 52 20,5 54 21,3
96 54 21,3 56 22

Frame material

The choice of material has a fundamental effect on two main characteristics of a bike frame: strength and weight. The perfect frame should offer high strenght and light weight, however, the rules of physics cannot be bend, so with higher strength comes also heavier weight of the material. Therefore manufacturers try to find the right alloy, shape and angle.
The most used material is aluminium. It is lighter than steel, but the aluminium tube has to have a larger diameter to be able to offer the same strenght. Aluminium frame comes at a reasonable price, however, stressing the material for longer period of time weakens it and it can even break entirely.
Steel is way stronger material than aluminium. The disadvantages are that it is both heavier and more expensive to produce. The frame tends to rust if not properly maintained, but it can be also repaired by wielding. Nowadays, it is mostly used in frames of BMX bikes or touring bikes.

Carbon fiber bike frame excels with a ratio between strength and weight and it perfectly absorbs vibrations. The price of a bicycle with aluminium frame is usually higher. This material allows more creative approach to frame construction. One of few disadvantages is that it often breaks if hit hard enough from a side and it has to be replaced. Luckily, there are companies that specialize in repairing the carbon fibre bike frames.
Carbon bike frame on its own with white background.
Titanium is material of professionals that is well-known for its extreme strenght and light weight. Frames made of this material are more expensive, however, investing into the high-quality always pays off.

Wheel size

Larger wheel brings more balance, more effective motion stroke and better grip on a surface. Remember, bigger the wheel, heavier it gets. Larger wheels also require more energy to make them spin, they are harder to control at higher speeds and to maneuvre in curves.

Diameter of trek, cross or road bikes is same: 28“ – 29“.

City bikes usually use 24“ – 29“.

Great variability is also seen in mountain bikes: 26" – 29" and BMX bicycles: 12" – 29".


V-brakes (on rim) work by grinding a rubber-coated brake pad against a wheel rim. This principle is relatively reliable, but in wet weather its effectiveness decreases. The advantage compared to disc brakes is lower weight and price. The disadvantage is that the wheel rim wears out over time due to grinding.
Detail view of a V-brake applied on a wheel rim of a bicycle.
Mechanical bicycle disc brake presses the brake disc against the brake pad which creates friction while engaged. Such brakes are very effective in any terrain and weather, but they tend to be more expensive and more difficult to maintain than V-brakes.

Category of its own are hydraulic disc brakes, which are mounted mostly on mountain bikes. The force from the brake lever is not transmitted to the disc via steel wire as with mechanical disc brake, but by means of hydraulic fluid. Therefore hydraulic disc brake enables to stop the bicycle with the least energy spent. This technology is commonly used in cars and motorcycles.
Detail view of a mechanical disc brake and a part of a bicycle wheel.


When riding fast on a flat surface, the chain should be on the front large chainring and on the small chainring at the rear. When climbing uphill, the chain will be on the smallest chainring possible at the front and on the largest possible at the rear. More chainrings provide more options, but speed or effort while climbing is affected by the number of teeth on the cogwheel. Hybrid bikes and mountain bikes usually have 21, 24 and 27 gears, road bikes usually have 18, 20, 27 and 30 gears.
Detail view of bicycle chainrings with cogwheels.

City bike

Also known as urban bike and serves mainly as a convenient daily means of transport on city sidewalks and roads. Its popularity is growing rapidly with the development of cycling infrastructure in the cities. The range of designs is adapted to the expected functions and the individual models also differ in their equipment. While cheaper models are equipped with rear carrier and fenders, more expensive models have to make do with only the basic equipment, which, however, is compensated by ligher weight, better materials and parts. The city bike has a smaller number of gears and it is not meant for long bike trips or riding on rough terrain. However, it is an ideal companion for a regular commute to work, shopping or entertainment or for a short family trip on paved bike paths.
Basso city bike with turquoise frame, disc brakes and fenders.
The ideal companion for a commute to work and a daily transporting around the city. Usually, a higher comfort is countered by heavier weight.
  • + high comfort
  • + suitable for paved roads, paths
  • + practical
  • + rack for light baggage
  • - less versatile
  • - low top speed
  • - unsuitable for natural terrain
  • - heavy weight

Hybrid bike

Also known as trekking bike or trek bike. It is a hybrid between road and mountain bike. The hybrid bicycles is suitable not only for asphalt roads, but also for dry forest paths or paved gravel roads. It is an ideal match for every bike lover, but it can also be used as a means of transport for regular riding around the city. Its biggest advantage is versality. Like most city bikes, it is fully equipped with fenders, baggage racks, lights, reflectors or bell. Unlike a mountain bike, it has narrower tires with a semi-slick tread. The frame is similar, but it allows a slightly more comfortable sitting.
4Ever hybrid bike with dark aluminium frame, front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, standing on its own.
Hybrid bike is designed for moving around the city, but also for bike tours. It can easily handle light natural terrain, dry forest paths and paved gravel roads.
Thanks to the optimal ratio and range of gears, it requires less energy to climb uphill in rugged terrain and it also enables swift ride on flatland. Models with front suspension effectively damp various uneven terrain, bumps, potholes and sharp-edged curbs, so the ride feels much more comfortable.
  • + high comfort
  • + suitable for paved roads, paths
  • + suitable for light natural terrain
  • - highly versatile
  • - low top speed
  • - heavy weight

Gravel bike / Cyclocross bike

The Gravel bike is perfect for riding on dirt roads and unpaved gravel surfaces. Braking is provided by disc brakes and the frame is designed so the baggage racks and fenders can be attached to it.
Willier Jena gravel bike featuring dark carbon frame, hydraulic disc brake, sport bars with a racer riding on forest path.
The cyclocross bike or CX bike is based on the concept of a racing road bicycle, but the different frame geometry, wider fork and also wider tires with semi-slick tread allow it to ride light natural terrain beside paved roads. The shorter frame allows for a more comfortable sitting position. Disc brakes and dropped sports handlebars are typical for cyclocross bicycles. Although it will not overtake a road bike on the asphalt roads, it is still one of the fastest bikes you will find and it can easily handle even less maintained asphalt road, forest trails, mud or gravel. The cyclocross bike is a perfect choice for sports and racing, as well as for adventurous expeditions on trails and dirt roads that are off the beaten path. Unlike the gravel bicycle, the CX bike allows for a much faster ride.
  • + light weight
  • + high top speed
  • + suitable for paved roads, paths
  • - suitable for light natural terrain
  • - higher comfort
  • - highly versatile

Mountain bike

Thanks to its extremely sturdy construction, superior suspension and wide tires, this all-terrain machine can overcome any obstacle. The MTB is designed for fans of cross country riding on lighter natural terrain as well as for fans of gravity disciplines on rugged terrain with various rocks, sharp turns and steep drops. It does not belong only to the forest, despite the name. Mountain bike is a perfect match for rough rides, but it also feels good in the urban jungle and it dares to go over every curb easily. Robust tires offer firm grip on almost any terrain, but on a maintained straight road they cannot achieve high speed due to significant rolling resistance.
Fully suspended mountain bike Modraker F-Podium with dark carbon frame and hydraulic disc brake.
When choosing a right type, decide whether you prefer a model with only front suspension (hardtail) or a fully suspended model (FSX or Full suspension).

Hardtail mountain bikes

They offer universal usage in the natural terrain and for occasional ride on the road. Their maintenance is relatively simple, they are easy to maneuver and even climbing uphill does not hurt so much with a hardtail bike.

Full suspension mountain bicycles

Full suspension models are a league of its own. They differ from each other mainly how high the suspension is set, which depends on the difficulty of the terrain. Although they are heavier than hardtail models, this virtual con instantly becomes a great advantage on a steep downhill ride, and the higher weight will provide the rider with greater stability. However, you have to take into account that the rough rides in difficult terrain will take its toll in more frequent servicing of pins, shock absorbers and other stressed parts.
Full suspension mountain bike offers higher balance than a hardtail bike while riding a steep downhill.
For recreational and less demanding rides, a full suspesnion XC model with a lower suspension set at 100 mm - 140 mm will make do. The advantage is that these models often comes with an option to turn off or reduce the effectiveness of the suspension. A good bargain between normal and extremely demanding terrain could be a model of All-Mountain or Trail types. Acceptable weight allows not only riding in rough terrain, but also in standard conditions. If you want to test your skills in much more difficult terrain, focus on the more extreme models of Enduro type with a suspension stroke 160 mm. They have typical tires with a more rugged tread and can handle a larger stress. However, the center of gravity of the seat is shifted above the rear wheel which means that you will sweat more when climbing up a steep hill.
  • + comfortable suspension
  • + suitable for rough terrain
  • + heavy weight
  • - low top speed

Single speed bike / Fixie bike

Their beauty is in their simplicity. They offer only one speed, so if you find shifting between gears unnecessary, you are at the right place. The advantage of such a practical bicycle suitable for daily commuting around the city is a very reasonable price and easy maintenance. However, when climbing uphill, you must really step on the pedals.

Single speed is a simple bicycle with a freewheel mechanism without gears. It is popular among bike couriers.
Cinelli red, sport and aerodynamic single speed with just one gear, sport seat and dropped sport bars.
Fixie is a bicycle with a fixed gear, but without freewheel mechanism. Even if you stop pedaling, the chainring will continue to spin out of inertia. In the past, they were used mainly for track cycling, today they are becoming a popular alternative to city bikes.
  • + easy control
  • + low price
  • + comfort
  • + suitable for paved roads, paths
  • - lower top speed
  • - unsuitable for uphill climb
  • - unsuitable for natural terrain

Folding bike

An excellent means of transport for everyday commuting within the city. Once folded, the folding bikes turn into a compact luggage, which can be easily transported in the trunk of a car, in a bus, train or public transport. The ideal companion for a combined commute from a suburban location or countryside to work or school in the city. The individual models differ from each other in weight, durability, but also in how fast and easy they can be assembled and how compact their dimensions are when folded.
Tern Verge P10 dark folding city bicycle, unfolded.
  • + low weight
  • + compact size
  • + suitable for paved roads, paths
  • - low top speed
  • - unsuitable for uphill climb
  • - unsuitable for natural terrain

Touring bike

These touring bikes excel in amazing versatility of use. They are designed to carry more baggage. In the past, the frames of touring bicycles used to be made of solid, heavy steel, however, modern technologies and methods of processing of the materials also moved this category into the technological paradise. Today, frames are made of durable and much lighter materials, such as aluminum, titanium or carbon. The touring bike will best show off its strengths on a several-day cycling tour. You will quickly get used to its stability and performance. Fenders and baggage racks guarantee high riding comfort.
Touring bike featuring green frame, sport bars, fenders and baggage racks placed on both front and back wheel.
The touring bike has a stable construction and allows comfortable transport of baggage during a several-day cycling tour.
  • + higher comfort
  • + highly versatile
  • + endurable

Electric bike

Trend of growing popularity of e-bikes shows where cycling is likely to progress in the near future. The target group of fans of electric bikes is already quite wide and is constantly growing. Thanks to the electric bicycle, you can travel longer distances in less time and will help you with performance even in situations where your own strength will no longer be enough. On a bike trip, you will no longer have the annoying feeling that you are falling behind the group that needs to wait for you, but this time you will finally enjoy the ride. The vast majority of people who opt for an ebike also have a traditional bicycle at home, and they change their bikes according to the situation.
Ebikes clock the speed around 25 kmh and a driver's license is not required for riding. If you have already looked for a specific type, focus mainly on engine power and range. The maximum power of the motor is limited to 250 W and the weight of the electric bicycle should not exceed 40 kgs. The design solution of individual models is different. You will find classic bicycle constructions supplemented with an electric set, but also with bicycles with a special frame adapted to hold an electric motor. It is not possible to turn an ordinary bicycle into an electric bicycle, as attaching the electric motor to the frame could damage it.
The standard solution for affordable models is the engine integrated in the rear hub. The control unit coordinates all parts of the propulsion and the control panel is located on the handlebars.
An important part of the propulsion is the battery. Today, e-bikes are mostly equipped with following types of batteries:
NiMH (Nickel metal hydride) battery Li-Ion (Lithium-ion) battery Li-Pol (Lithium polymer) battery LiFePO4 (Lithium iron phosphate) battery
+ life span of 500 charg cycles + life span of up to 1 000 charg cycles + perfect performance/price ratio + affordable price
+ can be refurbished + higher capacity - requires custom charger + great thermal stability
+ light weight - life span drops with fast charging
- it wears out quickly due to high temperature

Frame size according to the leg length

Frame size (cm) Frame size (inches) Frame size (cm) Frame size (inches)
72 40 15,7 42 16,5
75 42 16,5 44 17,3
79 44 17,3 46 18,1
82 46 18,1 48 18,9
87 48 18,9 50 19,7
89 50 19,7 52 20,5
92 52 20,5 54 21,3
96 54 21,3 56 22

Electric mountain bike

At first glance, it is clear that you will use this machine in the rough forrest terrain or on a steep downhill. You will fully enjoy wide tires with a rugged tread and soft suspension when riding aggressively. The engine only engages while pedaling and the power intensity can be adjusted. The resulting power and effort invested in pedaling are therefore closely related and thanks to the support of the electric engine, you will have more time for the downhill itself. Riding an e-bike does not have such a stressful effect on the joints and helps to make better use of the upper body.
Modraker Chaser mountain e-bike with dark aluminium frame, Bosch engine and Powertube battery.
The e-MTB promises more fun and time for a real adventure in overcoming challenging obstacles in the terrain. Even the steepest hill can be easily climbed at a speed of about 24 kmh.

Electric gravel bike / Electric road bike

This bike might fool you. On the outside, it looks like a hybrid between a road bike and a cross bike. It has a typical high seating, slick tires, sports handlebars and a sporty frame geometry. At first glance, few people notice that this is a full-fledged electric bike. The engine and battery are discreetly hidden in the frame. The popularity of the new category of bicycle, additionally enriched with all the advantages of engine propulsion, has skyrocketed. It is highly regarded for its versatility.
Willie Cento gravel ebike with grey ultra light carbon frame, sport bars and hydraulic disc brake.
It is a fast bike suitable not only for asphalt roads, but also for various forest or dirt trails, unpaved gravel roads or hilly terrain. Simply, the ideal companion for bike trips. Braking is taken care of exclusively by disc brakes and, unlike road bikes, gravel bikes promise more comfort also thanks to wider tires and specially modified frame geometry.

Electric city bike / Trek eBike

Leisure cycling or regular commuting to work or points of interest within the city will suddenly take on a whole new dimension. With an eBike you will discover places and spots that always seemed inaccessible due to lack of time or too great distance. High-quality lighting is a matter of course, so you will not be surprised by the approaching evening while wandering around the countryside or the city, and you will always return home safely and comfortably.
Electra Townie Path Go electric city bike with aluminium brown frame, hydraulic disc brakes, baggage racks above back wheel and front light.
The entire construction of the bike is adapted to achieve the maximum possible comfort, whether it is the geometry of the frame, saddle, fenders, baggage racks or the use of disc brakes. City bikes can appeal also with their casual elegance and decent vintage elements.