For anyone who just wants ‘a bike’, a non-specialised, all-purpose hybrid is a good choice. This new offering from Islabikes is a true jack-of-all-trades option. It’s like a Beinn kids’ bike writ large. Scaling up for adults means 700C wheels, called 29 not for marketing reasons but because the bike can be ordered with 29x2in mountain bike tyres. If you’ll mostly stay on tarmac, you can specify touring tyres. If you’re not sure, the default, lightly-treaded 38mm Kwik Trax tyres will do fine.
At any given price, a 26-inch wheel hardtail should have a better specification than a full suspension bike or a hardtail 29er. When that price is ‘under £1,000’, where one poor component choice can tip the balance on a bike’s performance, there’s a strong case for choosing an uncompromised, 26er hardtail – like this Boardman HT Pro.
Style means how a cycle is optimised to make it most suitable for a certain type of cycling, from a bike designed to carry loads to downhill mountain bikes for thrills and spills. Use CTC's handy guide to work out which style is best for you.