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10 Celebrity Rider Food Requests Slideshow

10 Celebrity Rider Food Requests Slideshow


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Wikimedia Commons/Chad J. McNeeley

If we didn’t know any better, we’d assume Jordin Sparks was pregnant. (She’s not to our knowledge. That’s how rumors get started.) But among a number of healthy snacking options on her backstage rider — like Clif bars, baby carrots and instant oatmeal — is a lone jar of kosher dill pickle spears, not accompanying sandwich makings of any sort. Hey, everyone has their vices.

Jordin Sparks

Wikimedia Commons/Chad J. Hey, everyone has their vices.

Lady Gaga

A woman who wears slabs of meat as a costume to red carpet events may seem high-maintenance, but surprisingly Lady Gaga’s rider requests have gotten more low-key the more time she’s spent on the road. During her The Fame Monster tour two years ago, Gaga’s requests included a full bevy of soft drinks from Dr Pepper and Ginger Ale, to Orange Crush. But today, the artist only gets by with four Coke Zeros — and a kettle of organic ginger and lemongrass tea to soothe her singing voice.

Senator John Kerry

Wikimedia Commons/United States Congress

Musicians aren’t the only ones with demands. Even politicians, like former presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, have them. But while Kerry’s rider outlines specific dishes like “Szechwan string beans” as must-haves, perhaps more interesting is what he omits. “NEVER order: Tomato based products OR sandwiches,” Kerry’s rider explicitly said, which is made all the more humorous by the fact that his wife became wealthy from the $550 million she took away from her first marriage to the heir to the Heinz fortune.

Steve Martin

Banjo-plucking funny guy Steve Martin sticks to healthy options. His rider outlines a buffet, which includes a platter of cold cuts; six-packs of canned beverages (“for Steve to compare his abs to”); twelve coconuts, hollowed and split in two (“for the musicians’ bras”); one whole roasted chicken (“for Steve to use as a dancing puppet”); one packet of Lipitor; and a tray of iceberg salad (Steve notes: “iceberg must come from Scandinavia, Canadian, or Russian Arctic. Artists do not like the taste of Antarctic icebergs”). While some think Steve’s rider was leaked to poke fun at other artists’ absurd requests, we take amusement in his caveats.

Jack Black

What do the guys behind Tenacious D snack on while on the road? Well, it all depends on the day of the week. If it’s a Saturday, they'll probably be dining on “Thai, stirfry [sic] or Indian dishes.” Tuesday means seafood or steak. On Sunday, the suggested menu is “blackened fish, or chicken dishes.” (The daily menus are accompanied by a full feast of other foods the guys require, like assorted chocolates, protein bars, and large loaves of “good quality hi-fiber wheat and white breads.”) Who took the seemingly laid-back Jack Black and Kyle Gass for such sticklers to routine?

Justin Bieber

He’s barely out of grade school, so it should come as no surprise that teenybopper Justin Bieber likes gummy candy when he’s touring. If in the United States, it’s Swedish Fish for the 16-year-old crooner; while in Canada, he asks for Big Foot.

Eminem

While Eminem may do his best to play the role of “bad boy,” his rider suggests he really might just be a kid at heart. The rapper’s long list of requests includes peanut butter and strawberry jelly, as well as Lunchables (“three turkeys and three ham with cheese”). And like Jordin Sparks, he also requests pickles.

Taylor Swift

Sugar-sweet starlet Taylor Swift’s rider is bound to induce diabetes. While a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a pint of Chocolate Brownie Frozen Yogurt were regularly demanded on her 2008 tour, Swift also had a “by 11:00 AM” addendum, which included a grande iced caramel latte with two Sweet’N Lows, a grande iced Americano with two Sweet’N Lows and soy milk, and a slice of pumpkin loaf. With as many miles as she logs on tour, Swift may single-handedly be keeping Starbucks in business. She also keeps a hearty supply of chocolate milk and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese on hand.

Britney Spears

A current rider for Britney Spears may be unavailable, but we’ll go on the record and say the pop star’s eating habits during her early touring years were downright toxic. With a buffet of Cap’n Crunch, Fruit Loops, and Pop Tarts from which to choose, we’d like to know: Just how did she manage to keep a six-pack? (And we’re not talking about beer here.)

Mariah Carey

Wikimedia Commons/Sgt. Michael Connors

A lot has changed since Mariah Carey’s five-octave-range heyday — and it’s not just her singing style (or the fact that she’s married the same man twice). Rather, the musical diva who once demanded Cristal in her dressing room before every show has downgraded — to a $200 bottle of Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon (and three bottles of any old chardonnay).


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


The Best Bikes for Women, According to Biking Experts

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re thinking of buying a bike to get around and stay active during lockdown, while still social distancing, you’re not alone—especially in a city. Considering the risks of public transit in the age of COVID-19, the best bikes can be a very helpful and affordable alternative. It’s not a surprise then that people around the world from the U.S. to Australia have been flocking to bike shops in search of new ways to get outside, get around, and exercise.

According to REI master technician Steve Walde, the first question to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a bike is how you plan to use your new set of wheels: You’re going to want different qualities in a bike depending on what activities you need it for—do you want something to ride around town, charge down mountain trails, or ride 100 miles on the weekends—and where you’re going to be biking. If you live in an area with steep hills or wet weather, you may want to consider disc brakes, which provide a more consistent, powerful stop even in wet, muddy conditions, or more gears, which alters the pedaling difficulty for hills. If you’re doing mostly flat rides on dry roads, you may be fine with rim brakes (which act on the rim of the wheel) and a single gear.

Sue Prant, executive director of the Boulder bike organization Community Cycles, adds that you want to be realistic with your plans here and start simple. Don’t buy a hyper-specialized bike based on huge aspirational goals. If you get to the point where your bike is holding you back, then start thinking about getting that upgrade.

In general, there are three main categories of bikes: road, mountain, and hybrid. Walde says that a road bike is typically “designed for efficiency on pavement,” so you’re looking at a lighter bike with drop handlebars for an aerodynamic position and narrow tires to move quickly on the road. Mountain bikes have fatter tires, a more upright riding position, and some suspension to make riding on rough terrain more comfortable. Hybrids are a bit complicated, but they’re usually a more versatile bike that melds characteristics of different types of bikes (like touring bikes and mountain bikes) to suit a range of conditions and terrains. If you aren’t entirely sure what type of riding you want to do yet, a hybrid might be a good place to start.

As far as price goes, expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a decent starter road or hybrid bike, though if you want to get more technical with it, that price can easily exceed $1,000. Buying used is always an option, and can help you avoid any supply-chain backup that stores might be experiencing right now, though that can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for.

Simple cruiser bikes can be had for under $200 at a mass retailer like Target or Walmart, but normally your best bet would be going directly to a bike shop. There, Prant says, you can test ride some bikes and familiarize yourself with the feel of a couple different brands. Though you’ll likely end up spending an extra $100 to $200, you’ll also have a go-to place to pick up parts and request repairs.

At the moment, visiting lots of shops may not be feasible, so even doing some basic research on different types of frames and finding the right size can help steer you in the right direction to make sure you get a bike you’re comfortable with. Big retailers like REI will ship bikes directly to your home, though some assembly is usually required.

“Above everything else is the bike fit,” says Prant, especially since these bikes are an investment, and you want to feel good riding them for long periods of time. Thankfully, she notes that even if a bike isn’t the exact perfect fit, there are simple tweaks you can make to adjust the size if it’s a little off, such as adjusting the height and angle of the saddle or handlebars. “With a bike, centimeters or millimeters can make a huge difference in your comfort level.”

If you’re looking for advice on where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to several different bike experts and avid cyclists on their recommendations across different categories, and for various budgets, all vetted by long-time cyclists. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 complications, many bike supply chains are struggling to keep up with demand, so ship times and availability might vary. Due to overwhelming demand, some options recommended by experts were sold out, so we made suggestions here and there for similar bikes based on the experts' guidelines for how to shop for these (though we haven't had a chance to personally vet them).

And knowing that right now many bike shops may not be open for testing out bikes beforehand, we’ve also included details on returns for the bikes below in case you buy something that’s not quite the right fit (and may need more than just a simple tweak).

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.