Choosing the right bike isn't as simple as buying the one that looks best or the one that has the lowest price tag; the first thing to consider is the type of terrain you plan to ride on. You can't ride just any bike on different kinds of terrain. To help you in deciding what bike to buy, I will cover the different terrains you will come across and the type of bike that best suits each.
Road bikes, as you probably guessed, are specifically designed for roads. A road bike is your best bet if you want to reach your destination quickly without worrying about getting stuck in traffic. The only thing to consider here is whether you need a road bike that provides high speed or added comfort. If you want something with greater comfort, then you can also go for a hybrid bike. These bikes are not as fast as most road bikes because they are heavier, but they can glide over potholes with ease.
Footpaths are usually flat, so they aren't really a problem for many bikers. However, they can get quite dirty as there is a lot of debris on them, but a road bike can handle these problems with relative ease. Aside from road bikes, hybrid bikes and even cyclocross bikes can also handle such issues in footpaths. These bikes offer the advantage of being sturdier, which means you wouldn't feel the bumps as you ride along the paths. Their tires are also equipped with better gripping capabilities.
There are different kinds of walking trails, from relatively flat and hard tracks to bumpy and muddy trails. The issue with these trails is that they can be unpredictable. It's recommended to use a bike with tires that have cleats. In most cases, a mountain bike is your best option when it comes to these trails. Huge obstacles can also be found on such surfaces, which require a bike with tires that are bigger than normal. Mountain bikes have tires that are slightly bigger than the average bike, making them an excellent choice when riding on walking trails.
A relatively new kind of trail created by private landowners and government institutions are trail centres. A hybrid bike usually gets the job done when riding on simpler trail centres, but a mountain bike is required for the more challenging ones. Trail centres can present a lot of difficulties including massive drops and huge jumps. Aside from these obstacles, you need to ride your bike at a high speed for an extended period of time. This makes mountain bikes the best choice for this type of terrain.
There's a difference between mountain tracks and downhill trails. In most cases, bikes are not used for mountain trikes because the terrain can be unpredictable. But if you're an advanced cyclist, you should have no problem riding on such terrains. You just have to make sure that your mountain bike is of extremely good quality. A mountain bike is also the best choice for downhill trails.