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Three Bikes That Can Join You On The Next Road Trip

Bringing two wheels on vacation gives you way more options for adventure.

The humble bicycle isn't often seen as must-have road trip gear, but even if you're staying firmly in the suburbs and highways, a bike is still a handy tool to bring with you, letting you make sightseeing trips without burning gas and getting you time in the sun with some exercise. Here's what you need to pick the right road trip companion.

A commuter bike was designed and built for almost any occasion. | Amazon

Get a bike built for all conditions. Bike styles are a bit squishier than the product copy will make you believe, but as a general rule, bikes built for pavement and flat surfaces, like commuter bikes or park bikes, will have narrower wheels, slicker tires, and lighter frames, while bikes designed for tougher conditions will have wider wheels, knobby tires, and heavier frames. Especially if you'll be road tripping, a commuter bike or mountain bike will be your best bet.

Heading to a national park or somewhere off the beaten path? A mountain bike will handle most bumps. | Amazon

Make sure your bike fits, before you buy. Remember, bikes are at their best when you can get a full extension of your leg, which isn't necessarily possible or comfortable depending on the bike. While you have some leeway with extending seat posts and handlebars, look for a bike that's designed to fit, so that you can pedal comfortably. Manufacturers will have sizing charts on their website.

If you only have trunk space, a folding bike works wonders. | Amazon

If you've got a lot to haul, consider a folding bike. Most types of bikes are available in a folding version and can generally take the same beating as a bike that can't fold. They're also easier to take onto public transit systems and can more easily be loaded into trunks and strapped to roof racks. That said, look for the biggest wheels you can find, 26-inch ideally; smaller wheels mean a rougher ride.