12 Different Types of Bikes Explained

Bicycles are divided up into many different categories, usually based on the styles and features included in design. For a quick rundown of the different types of bikes, here’s a look into what makes one bicycle design different from the next.

Here are the twelve different types of bikes explained:

1. City bikes

A city bike is a bicycle a user will use for general transportation. These types of bikes have a straightforward design. However, they may come with various features such as lights, rear racks, bags, locks, and fenders. If you’re looking for a bike to get you to the grocery store, to run errands, and/or to get to and from work, these bikes are great for navigating the city.

2. Road bikes

A road bike is identified by skinny tires, down-turned handlebars, and are identifiable for their speed and efficiency. The large, thin tires give it more glide on the road and the handlebars usually provide more places to grip from.

If you want to get aggressive, you can. If you want something a little more casual, a road bike can do that too. For anyone riding on pavement, especially across longer rides, these types of bikes might be your best bet.

3. Tandem bike

A tandem bike is a bicycle built for two. They exist in different styles and designs, optimized for multiple riders. For couples looking to ride together on the same bicycle, this is where it’s at.

4. Cyclocross bike

A cyclocross is an uncommon bicycle type chosen for cyclocross events. Versatile with drop handlebars, wider tires, and designed to avoid obstacles placed on a dirt trail, a cyclocross bicycle is a rare bicycle type that you won’t see very much of.

5. Adult trike

An adult trike is a three-wheeled bike designed for a seated adult. Although many configurations exist, the seated design is most common and usually provided to passionate cyclists who struggle with balancing and/or who simply enjoy this type of bicycle.

6. Hybrid/comfort bike

Comfort bikes combine together all of the comfortable features you’ll expect on a general consumer bicycle however has a distinguishable wheel size which makes it hybrid. Hybrids have larger wheel sizes, are slightly thinner than the average comfort bike, and are loaded with comfortable features which makes it an easy choice for most bicycle shoppers.

7. Mountain bike

Mountain bikes are known for wide tires allowing them to be ridden in loose dirt and over obstacles. You’ll usually find mountain bikes with flat handlebars, a more rugged frame than other bicycles, and suspension to help a cyclist make their way through rockier mountain trails. A mountain bike is very diverse and is ridable in almost any environment. The primary difference however among mountain bikes is in price. Lower-end, more affordable mountain bikes generally aren’t made for the more aggressive mountain biking you may want to get from them.

8. Triathlon bike

A triathlon bike is built specifically for – you guessed it! – triathlon or time trial events. In essence, they’re specialized road bikes. The handlebars are forward facing, aero bars are incorporated into the design allowing the rider to ride in an aerodynamic position up forward, and the geometric shape of everything is put together in a way to make riding in a extended sporting events that much easier.

9. BMX bike

A BMX bike is a single-speed bike based around someone seeking to use it to race around a dirt track akin to a motor sport. BMX, otherwise known as ‘Bicycle Motor Cross’, says everything in the name about its design. They generally are very robust, durable, and are the recommended choice for anyone looking to do tricks or jumps. A regular road bike is not going to get it done.

10. Folding bike

A folding bike is used by many travelers and people who may not have ideal storage options for their vehicle. A folding bike can be taken wherever you need to go and fits excellently on a subway, in the trunk of a car, on a boat, or wherever. Even take it on a plane – something you can’t do with a fully assembled full-sized bicycle.

11. Track bike

A track bike, sometimes referred to as ‘fixed gear’, is a single gear bicycle which is incapable of coasting. Track brakes, in general, don’t have traditional brakes either. They’re incredibly challenging to ride and an athlete must use their leg strength to stop the cranks from turning. These bicycles are oftentimes used by athletes in training because they force them to keep their legs going in a circle at all times. They’re very inexpensive, which is also a reason why they’re chose for consumers in cities prone to bad weather.

12. Beach cruiser

A beach cruiser is a bicycle design made for short distances on flat terrain. Cruisers are immediately identifiable with their high handlebars and usually have fenders as well as chain guards. Some people may see these as old-fashioned or impractical. These criticisms are somewhat accurate, at least to a percentage of the population. Beach cruisers are typically single-speed or only have a few speeds to ride.

Ronald Ryan

I'm a self-proclaimed science geek and all-around nerd. Useless fun trivia seems to be my forte. If you ever need to hear a good dad joke, I'm your guy!

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