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World-wide, the vehicle most commonly used for transportation is a utility bicycle. They tend to have a more relaxed geometry, with priority given to the rider's comfort. Most come with components that make commuting by bicycle more practical, see accessories below.
The two most popular types of bicycle in North America, where cycling for recreation is more common, are mountain bikes and road bicycles. The latter tend to have a more aggressive geometry which requires the rider to bend forward more. To reduce cost and weight, those types are usually sold without the components that make utility bicycles more practical.
The price of a new bicycle can range from US$50 (on sale) to more than US$23,000 ), depending primarily on the quality, type and weight (the most exotic road bicycles can weigh as little as 3.55 kg (7.8 lb) ). Being measured for a bike and taking it for a test ride are both recommended before making a purchase.
The drivetrain components of the bike should also be considered. A middle grade dérailleur is most likely sufficient for a beginner, although many utility bikes come equipped with hub gears. If the rider plans a significant amount of hill climbing, a triple-crank (three chainrings) front gear system may be preferred. Otherwise, the relatively lighter and less expensive double-crank (two chainrings) system may be a better selection. Many road bikes include clipless pedals to which special shoes attach via a cleat mechanism, permitting the rider to pull on the pedals as well as pushing them.
A variety of accessories may be purchased for the bicycle and the cyclist. These include locks, mudguards (UK)/fenders (US), luggage racks and pannier bags, water bottles and bottle cages. For basic maintenance and repairs, cyclists can choose to carry a pump, a spare inner tube, a CO2 cartridge, a puncture repair kit and tyre levers. Cycling can be more efficient and comfortable with special shoes, gloves, and shorts or pantleg clips. Riding in wet weather can be more tolerable with waterproof clothes, such as cape, jacket, trousers and overshoes. Items legally required in some jurisdictions, or voluntarily adopted for safety reasons, include bicycle helmets, generator or battery operated lighting, and audible signaling devices such as a bell or horn. Extras include studded tires and a bicycle computer.