Are you a bike enthusiast who likes to know all there is about bikes? Or are you a bike rookie who’s just started showing interest in cycling and now wants a bike of your own? Either way, this guide will help you be more informed about different types of bicycles. There are different kinds of bikes, and we’ve decided to show you 15 of them.
How to Choose a Bike?
Choosing a bike that suits your needs can be a tricky task. There are many types of riding and so many types of bikes to choose from that sometimes can be confusing. By default, any type of bike can get you from point A to point B but they don’t all get you there the same way or speed.
Some bikes are built for racing and off-road riding, others are designed for smooth, reliable, and consistent long-distance riding. Ultimately, choosing a bike largely depends on understanding your needs and goals and the type of riding you will do.
We’ll give you a rundown of biking types and bikes that are exclusively built for specific purposes and/or different terrains. Although the types of bikes are abounding, the good news is that many types of bikes mean that there is one exactly designed to satisfy your needs.
Check them out below.
1. Tandem Bike
We all know how fun it is to ride a bike. Now imagine doubling that fun. Tandem bikes are designed to be ridden by two people, and every part of them comes in two:
- Two sets of handlebars
- Two sets of crank
- Two seats
- Two sets of pedals
- Two sets of brakes
It’ll take some time for you and your significant other to synchronize while riding it, but that shouldn’t take too much time because they’re your soulmate (we hope).
2. Recumbent Bike
Recumbent bikes (as the name tells) are types of bicycles that you can ride in a laid-back position. We can find them in three models:
- Long-wheelbase models (LWB), which locate the pedals in the middle of the front and rear wheels
- Short-wheelbase models (SWB), which have the pedals before the front wheel
- Compact long-wheelbase models (CLWB), have the pedals close to or above the front wheel.
Most models have an aerodynamic advantage since the rider’s body position (legs-forward) grants a smaller frontal profile.
You may ask yourself why it looks like that and not like the other bikes, but don’t judge it. This type of bike is designed for ergonomic purposes since the rider’s weight is evenly distributed over a large area (back and buttocks) in contrast to upright bicycles where the body weight is distributed in a small portion (sitting bones, feet, and hands).
3. BMX Bike
If you want to use your bike as a leisure activity or to commute, then probably a BMX (Bicycle Motocross) bike is not the right one. This type is mainly used for racing and riding in the dirt. Its frames are made of various types of steel (primarily aluminum or carbon), making it more durable in extreme conditions.
You can find BMX bikes in various models:
- Dirt: their tires have thicker tread to better grip on loose surfaces.
- Flatland: they have a different geometry since flat riding requires balance in numerous parts of the bike.
- Park (also known as vert) is built in a lighter weight since park riding doesn’t happen on rough terrains.
- Race: they have a more prominent front sprocket to create a high gear ratio which helps the rider pedal at high speeds.
- Street: they are heavier and stronger because of the extra strain encounters with hard and flat surfaces of street riding.
4. Track Bike
True to its name, this type of bike is designed to be used on tracks during sports activities. While there are similarities between road bikes and track bikes, the latter have shorter reach and shorter top tubes, which help increase handling at speed. One uncommon thing about track bikes is that they have no brakes.
If you’re thinking of riding a track bike to work, well, you technically can, but we don’t suggest you do that.
On second thought, maybe it’s not a bad idea to do it to see your coworkers’ reactions. However, be careful with the speed because remember: it has no brakes!
5. Road Bikes
For the everyday user, road bikes are probably the most common type of bike. They are used on paved roads, in contrast to racing tracks or bumpy terrains. In general, they are lightweight and have few to no hi-tech features.
However, even though they sound simple, there is a variety of road bikes. We can find them as race bikes (the rider is in a lower position for aerodynamic position) and endurance bikes (the rider is in an upright position to ensure stability and comfort).
6. Mountain Bike
Mountain bikes are the most popular type of bike ride in the US, covering 25% of overall usage. By just looking at them, you can see that they are built differently from other types of bikes. They have larger tires, heavier wheels, and more powerful brakes, which help better traction.
This type of bike is specifically designed for riding on mountain trails, forests, fire roads, and other rough terrains. That is no issue, though, due to its heavy-duty construction.
7. Electric Bike
Electric bikes (also known as e-bikes) are a type of bike with an integrated electric motor in them. They use rechargeable batteries and usually travel up to 20 mph (some high-powered types can travel up to 28 mph).
Regarding their types, e-bikes are classed as e-bikes with pedal assist (you regulate the motor via pedaling) and e-bikes with power-on-demand (you control the motor through a throttle, similar to motorcycles).
8. Cyclocross Bike
Cyclocross bikes (also known as CX or CXB) are designed for the primary purpose of a cyclocross race. They are very similar to racing bicycles used in road racing, but they differ in geometry. Cyclocross bikes have wider clearances due to their larger tires and the mud they collect.
Regarding their weight, they are some of the lightest bikes out there; that’s because cyclocross racers have to carry their bike several times throughout the race.
9. Hybrid Bike
Do you know road bikes and mountain bikes? What if you could get the best of both worlds? Hybrid bikes are a fusion of road bikes and mountain bikes, providing the advantages of both of these types. They have large seats and upright handlebars, which give you a comfortable position while riding. Obviously, you can ride them on roads and mountains.
Hybrid bikes also have lighter weight and thinner wheels, which help for greater riding speed. Another advantage of hybrid bikes is that they usually have places to put your belongings, which is excellent for longer rides.
10. Cruiser Bike
For all of you who have numerous potholes in your neighborhood and/or your route to work: this is a bicycle for you! Cruiser bikes have tough tires and are designed to endure a few bumps here and there.
Cruiser bicycles are popular because they’re stable and easy to ride; however, they have heavy tires, making the bike go slow. They’re comfortable, easy on the body, and durable; but, if you’re late to work, don’t take this bike since you’re expected to ride them at low speeds.
11. Folding Bike
Yup, you can fold them. Can bikes be any cooler? For all of you who keep telling yourself that you can’t have a bike because they take up too much space—we’ve got you covered. You can fold these bicycles into compact forms and have it easy to ship them. However, every great feature comes with a price. Due to their compactness, folding bikes usually tend to cost more than non-folding models.
Besides being very practical, folding bikes can also be pretty fast, as their smaller wheels can reach faster speeds quicker than other bikes.
12. Touring Bike
Even though it has a tour in its name, a touring bike is not used in the Tour de France. Sorry if that disappoints you. But, you can still tour with them. If you want to travel long distances with your bike, this is the right type. They’re a little tougher than road bikes, have a more relaxed riding position, and carry a decent amount of luggage.
In order for you to pack everything you want in your bike, these types of bikes usually have a long wheelbase, flexible frame materials, heavy wheels, and numerous mounting points.
13. Fitness Bike
For every introvert out there who wants to ride a bike but doesn’t want to go outside, here’s a fun fact: you can ride a bike and stay at home! Isn’t that the dream?
Fitness bikes are designed to remain stationary and are a great way to burn calories and body fat. They can be used for exercise, increased fitness, weight loss, or by cyclists to train for their events. However, simply riding a bike isn’t enough to be fit. For that, you’ll need a planned approach and a healthy diet.
14. Adult Tricycle
If two wheels aren’t enough for you, here’s a bike with three wheels. It may not look the most stylish or the most durable, but it beats all the other types of bicycles in one thing: balance. The extra wheel adds an uncanny level of balance, even when the bike is stopped. Also, they are very comfortable since the seats distribute the rider’s weight equally.
15. City Bike
City bikes (also known as commuter bikes) are not a specific type of bike category. They are so-called because they are mainly used for small rides in the city; however, that is the case for other types of bikes as well. This type of bike usually has an internally-geared rear rub so that it’s easier to be cleaned and maintained. On some city bikes, you might also notice a built-in light for more safety when riding in the dark.
If you like cycling but find yourself without a bike to ride on, you might get lucky. In some cities, if you don’t possess a bike, you can rent one for the day.
To sum up, there are numerous types of bikes and endless possibilities for you to choose from. We know you’re probably not someone who’ll have 15 types of bikes at once; however, we hope that this article will help you choose some of the bike styles that suit you and your needs.