What kind of bike should you ride in Vietnam?

When it comes to cycling, we all have our preferences. Some are ready to give up some speed to get comfort, others are looking to go off road most of the time and many tourists plan to tour several days or weeks around the country. Here we try to explain the pros and cons of each option.

G15_GM034701_GUNMountain bikes

They are certainly the most popular choice and it’s understandable. Roads in Vietnam are often busy and many riders are happy to go off road and just cycle in small paths around rice fields. Roads in Vietnam are generally decently maintained but it’s not unusual to cycle through areas where they are being repaired or upgraded and in this case a mountain bike will give you a lot of confidence. Not as fast as others on the road, but safe, comfortable and difficult to break. You can adapt flat tires if you will often go on the road.

Cyclo-Cross bikes

Author: William Law
Author: William Law

Surprisingly, it is not a very popular choice, but it is one of the best options when cycling in Vietnam. This kind of bike is performant on road and not scared to go off-road. If you will mostly ride on the roads with occasional incursions on paths and plan to do cycle touring sometimes, this is a great option. You have to be aware that the riding position is not as comfortable as other kind of bikes, as you will have to bend forward. In most case you won’t mind once you get used to it.

DSC_0267bTouring bikes

They have a relaxed frame geometry, they are sturdy, and they have strong and thin wheels to ride safe and comfortably for a long time. Although you won’t go as fast as you would with other bikes, you will feel you are pedaling while you seat on your couch. If you plan to do a lot of touring or you travel to Vietnam just for that, it is highly recommended. You might get a flat tire when the road becomes rougher, but the effortless feeling you get will be worth it. Not for riders who worry too much about their speed.

Road bikes

For some riders, this is the only option wherever they are, and Vietnam shouldn’t be an exception. They are light, smooth and will make you fly. If you are living in Vietnam and you are sure you will only go on road or if you are into the triathlon fever this can be your best choice. It is usual to see groups of Vietnamese riders with this kind of bike early in the morning, and they must know better.

Author: Miro Chien
Author: Miro Chien


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