Whether you’re new to bike riding or just getting back into it, shopping for a new bike can be intimidating. It’s essential to know what type of bike you need for the type of riding you’ll be doing. For more details on shopping specifically for mountain bikes, read How to Choose a Mountain Bike. However, if your main destination is Riverbend Park in Jupiter, Florida, you’re in the right place! We’ll discuss the best bikes for riding at Riverbend Park.
Riverbend Park features a historical landmark, Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park, which is one of the most significant multi-level historic sites in Palm Beach County. Gateway to the Loxahatchee River, prehistoric and historic habitation has occurred along the Loxahatchee dating as far back as the Archaic Period over 5,000 years ago. Today, visitors can enjoy wildlife viewings and miles of multi-use trails for walking, hiking, running, cycling, and equestrians.
You’ll see a wide array of bikes at Riverbend Park, or any park for that matter. We’re not saying there is a right and wrong type of bike for riding at Riverbend Park. We’re simply providing guidance on what bikes are the most fun, efficient, and safe for riding the terrain and the conditions. We break it down based on the features and styles of different types of bikes.
Recreational Mountain Bikes
For beginner mountain bikers, recreational mountain bikes are budget-friendly, beginner-friendly and are perfect for riding bikes at Riverbend Park. Riverbend Park is a great destination for recreational riding. You can cruise around in the park on miles of flat, wide, dirt, and gravel multi-use trails.
If you enjoy the outdoors, want a great workout, and are itching go further than your feet alone can carry you on multi-surface trails, then a recreational mountain bike may be right for you.
Best Recreational Mountain Bikes for Riverbend Park
Pros: Wider, knobbier tires than hybrid bikes. Lighter and more efficient than cruiser bikes. Offers riders the ability to try out singletrack mountain biking.
Cons: Due to budget-friendly components and build, these bikes won’t hold up to punishment on rugged mountain biking trails. If you’re looking to ride over serious obstacles, down hill, or go over jumps, consider a higher end bike.
Hybrid bicycles offer versatility and comfort for riding on multiple types of surfaces. They can be ridden casually around the neighborhood or on bike paths, and on unpaved trails. Hybrid bikes have handlebars designed provide a comfortable upright riding position and are typically outfitted with a large padded seat.
Dual Sport bikes are a type of hybrid bike that may offer front suspension and knobbier tires to make light off-road adventures even more comfortable.
Both of these types of hybrid bikes are appropriate and enjoyable for riding flat trails at Riverbend Park, so long as their tires are wide enough to handle the off-road surfaces.
Best Hybrid Bikes for Riverbend Park
Pros: Hybrid bikes can be ridden efficiently on paved surfaces as well as unpaved. They’re designed with your comfort in mind and are perfect for leisurely rides through Riverbend Park.
Cons: Hybrid bikes are versatile, but cannot be ridden on singletrack mountain bike trails. Consider a mountain bike if your goal is to ride singletrack and trail features. Hybrid bikes are great for casual and leisurely riders, but can be slow and heavy for riders who want to go further and faster. Consider a gravel bike for Riverbend Park if your fitness goal is endurance and speed.
Cross Country Mountain Bikes
Thanks to the beginner and budget friendly options available, cross country bikes are one of the most popular bikes out on the trails these days. Cross country bikes feature shorter travel with 120mm or less suspension in the fork.
These types of bikes are designed to be quick, efficient, and all-out fun on flowy trails. Because the trails at Riverbend Park are flat, wide, with some turns, quick and agile cross country bikes are super fun to ride here. Plus, the trail has no obstacles to tackle, making for an easy pedal through the woods.
If you want to ride fast, rack up some miles, and challenge your buddies to a race, consider a cross country bike for Riverbend Park.
Best Cross Country Mountain Bikes for Riverbend Park
Pros: Fast, lightweight, nimble, fun. Riding cross country mountain bikes at Riverbend Park is great for training. With plusher, higher quality front suspension, cross country bikes are more comfortable and efficient than hybrids or recreational mountain bikes so you can go faster for longer.
Cons: Requires more skill and precision getting through technical sections. Hardtails can be uncomfortable when riding over obstacles.
Gravel bikes are similar to comfortable, endurance road bikes but feature wider, knobby tires, a lower bottom bracket and wider wheelbase for more stability on bumpy surfaces. Growing in popularity, gravel bikes are a fun way to explore more miles off the beaten path. Road cyclists love them because they can take their workouts away from the chaos of the road through more peaceful and natural territory. Mountain bikers love them because the thinner tires take them further and more efficiently while endurance training.
Riverbend Park offers riders miles of flat, wide trails perfect for cruising on a gravel bike. However, you should always be aware of your surroundings and plan your ride for a time when there are fewer visitors. Because Riverbend Park has multi-use trails, you will be sharing the trails with bird-watchers, hikers, runners, slower cyclists, equestrians, families with children at play, and wildlife.
The canal leading from Riverbend Park south to the Grassy Waters Preserve is much less frequented by pedestrians and is an excellent trail to hammer your gravel bike at higher speeds.
Best Gravel Bikes for Riverbend Park
Pros: Quick, nimble, sleek, fun. Get tons of miles and smiles on these bikes on and off the pavement riding at Riverbend Park and beyond.
Cons: While gravel bikes are versatile, they’re not a one bike for all applications. They’re not as comfortable for leisurely rides and are definitely not suitable for singletrack mountain biking. Consider your other options if your goal is upright, comfort riding or mountain biking.
The type of bike you choose to ride at Riverbend Park depends on the style of riding you prefer. If your goal is to get to finish a lap faster than your buddies, go with a gravel or cross country bike and build up your endurance. However, if you enjoy life in the slower lane, choose a more leisurely and recreational bike like a hybrid.
Whichever you choose, have fun and be safe out there riding bikes at Riverbend Park!