How to

choose a bike

Bike riding is a great way to enjoy time with your family while getting some exercise, and it's also an environmentally friendly way to get around. Canadian Tire is Canada's top bicycle retailer. We've got a variety of brands and models to suit every rider. We'll help you find one that's right for you.

How to

choose a bike

Bike riding is a great way to enjoy time with your family while getting some exercise, and it's also an environmentally friendly way to get around. Canadian Tire is Canada's top bicycle retailer. We've got a variety of brands and models to suit every rider. We'll help you find one that's right for you.

Use

Where and how often are you going to be biking?

Before you start looking at all the bike options that are available, you should consider how frequently you plan on using your bike and where you will be riding most often. Those factors will help you narrow down the best options for you.

Your options

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are ideal for trail and off-road enthusiasts. These bikes feature knobby tires to grip the trail surface and a front suspension fork to absorb vibrations.

See Mountain Bikes

BMX Bikes

BMX bikes are for skatepark-style riding enthusiasts of all ages. These are single-speed bikes with lightweight frames that are smaller than other bikes, and are ideal for riding on dirt or smooth surfaces. 

See BMX Bikes

Full Suspension Bikes

Full-suspension bikes are designed for off-road enthusiasts and aggressive rides. These bikes feature front and rear suspension for maximum vibration absorption and better control on the trail. The ideal terrain for these bikes are off-road trails. 

See Full-Suspension Bikes

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bikes are great for commuting and active lifestyles. They combine a comfortable, upright seating position with narrow, large circumference wheels. This provides maximum riding efficiency with low rolling resistance, ideal for roads and paved paths. 

See Hybrid Bikes

Urban Bikes

Urban bikes are a cross between a BMX bike and a mountain bike, with a beefed-up hardtail frame and street tires. They're great for the smooth surfaces in a skatepark or the dirt paths out on trails. 

See Urban Bikes

Road Bikes

Road bikes features skinny tires, wide-range gearing, and a lightweight frame. They're great for road racing and fitness enthusiasts, perfect for riding on paved surfaces. 

See Road Bikes

Comfort Bikes

Comfort bikes are ergonomically designed with a very upright riding position, wide tires and a larger saddle. These bikes are ideal for casual recreational riders who travel on roads and paved paths. 

See Comfort Bikes

A few guidelines to find the right size frame for your ride

Adult Bike Sizing

Our adult bikes are designed for ages 14 and up. Measure your height and inseam (distance from the ground to the top of your inner leg) and match the measurements to the corresponding bike frame size in the recommendation chart below. This size chart does not apply to BMX bikes, because of the style of riding.

Leg Inseam Height Frame Size
26" - 30" (68cm - 76cm) 5'1" - 5'3" (154cm - 160cm) 14" - 15" (35cm - 38cm)
30" - 33" (76cm - 84cm) 5'3" - 5'8" (160cm - 172cm)
16" - 17" (40cm - 43cm)
33" - 35" (84cm - 90cm) 5'8" - 6' (172cm - 182cm)
18" - 20" (35cm - 38cm)
35" - 36" (90cm - 92cm) 6' - 6'3" (182cm - 190cm)
20"+ (50cm +)

Youth and Children Bike Sizing

Here is a chart to help you find the right bike for your child based on their age, height, and inseam measurement (distance from the ground to the top of the inner leg).

Approximate Age Height Leg Inseam Bike Size
2-4 Years 33" - 39" (85cm - 100cm) Less than 17" (43cm) 12" (30cm)
4-6 Years 37" - 43" (95cm - 110cm) 16" to 20" (40cm - 50cm) 14" (35cm)
5-9 Years 43" - 47" (110cm - 120cm) 18" to 22" (45cm - 55cm) 16" (40cm)
6-9 Years 47" - 53" (120cm - 135cm) 20" to 24" (50cm - 60cm) 18" (45cm)
7-10 Years 53" - 55" (135cm - 140cm) 22" to 26" (55cm - 66cm) 20" (50cm)

Brakes

Linear-Pull Brakes

Linear-pull or V-brakes have pads that get pulled towards the rim by a cable, which is activated when the rider squeezes a lever on the handlebars. They are currently the most widely used style of brake. 

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes consist of a metal disc attached to the wheel hub that rotates with the wheel. Disc brakes offer good performance in all conditions, including water, mud and snow. They are found on high-performance mountain bikes and are engaged through a hydraulic system activated when the rider squeezes a lever on the handlebars.  

Coaster Brakes

Coaster brakes are found on children's bikes and most single speed bikes. They are built into the rear hub and are engaged by pedaling backwards. 

Accessories

Helmets

Helmets are your best defense against a head injury. Wear a helmet each time you ride and be sure to check it thoroughly for cracks or damage if you do have a fall. They're required by law throughout many regions in Canada.

See Helmets

Lights & Reflectors

The more visible you are to those around you, the safer you'll be on your ride. In many parts of Canada, reflective devices or lights are required equipment. 

See Lights & Reflectors

Bells and Horns

Make yourself heard by those around you to help avoid accidents. In many parts of Canada, a sounding device is mandatory.

See Bells and Horns

Locks

Be sure to lock your bike every time you leave it unattended. It's your best defense against bicycle theft. Locks are easy to use and carry on your bike. 

See Locks

Convenience & Comfort

Adding a kickstand on your bike provides convenience, while adjusting the saddle to your ideal position makes your ride more comfortable.

Pump & Repair Kits

Always good to have a pump and repair kit on hand in case of a flat tire.
See Pump & Repair Kits

Bike Carrier

Adding a bike carrier to your vehicle will allow you to transport your bike anywhere.
See Bike Carriers

Lingo

Derailleur

This is a mechanism found on bikes with more than one speed, which moves the chain from one sprocket to another to change gears. Many bikes sold at Canadian Tire have derailleurs from Shimano, a leading manufacturer of bicycle parts. 

Frame

The frame is the skeleton of the bike. Frames sold at Canadian Tire are constructed of either aluminum or high-tensile steel.

Bicycle Speeds

Bikes range from single-speed to 24-speed. The more speeds the bike has, the wider your riding options over different terrains. By shifting the gears, you can change the distance covered with each pedal. If you're travelling up a hill, shifting down to a lower gear or speed can help make it easier. 

Handlebars

Drop- or racing-style handlebars are designed to put the rider in a low, aerodynamic riding position to minimize drag on the bike. Upright handlebars are designed to put the rider in an efficient riding position for a more comfortable ride. 

Saddle

Saddle construction can make or break a comfortable ride. Look for gel cushioning for comfort and saddles designed to minimize pressure in the seat area. 

Shifters

These are the levers that allow the rider to shift gears. They are often found mounted on the handlebars. 

Suspension

Suspension systems are designed to make riding over rough terrain more comfortable, allowing the wheels to respond to small bumps by moving up and down. Front or dual-suspension can be found on mountain bikes and hybrids. 

Use

Your options

A few guidelines to find the right size frame for your ride

Brakes

Accessories

Lingo