If you're bike shopping for the first time in years, you'll be pleased to see there are more options than ever before.

Traditional road bikes remain the best choice if you'll be riding fast for long distances on paved roads. Mountain bikes are best if you're going to ride on rugged, hilly surfaces. But if you're looking for a bike to enjoy more casual excursions on smooth paths, you may want to consider a comfort bike or a hybrid bike.

Compared with road bikes, comfort bikes typically feature wider, more cushioned seats; more shock absorption; wider tires; and upright handlebars. Hybrid bikes have many of the same comfort features, but usually have slightly narrower tires and more speeds to allow for faster riding.