Choosing the best type of bike to suit you can be a challenging task because but there are a confusingly huge and growing number of different types of bike to choose from. Your choice of bike will depend on your preferences, why are you riding, where you are going, how long will you be riding and terrain you want to ride. It is important to think of those factors before choosing a bike. To help you make a decision, here is a list of the different types of bike and the things you need to know about them.
Road bicycles are designed to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. These bikes rule the road due to their extreme efficiency and speed. They have lightweight frames and skinny tires designed to help the rider achieve maximum speed for minimum effort. They also have dropped handlebars that allow the rider to get into an efficient and aerodynamic riding position and gearing. Road bikes are usually lighter than other types of bicycles and are not capable of carrying heavy loads. There are a few subcategories of road bikes like sportive bikes, aero bikes, Commuter bikes, touring bikes, track bikes, and cyclocross bikes.
Mountain Bicycles are designed for riding rocky rough off-road and steep trails. These bikes have flat handlebars and rugged frames and components. Mountain bikes are among the most known types of bike. They usually have 26″ or 29″ wide knobby tires which allow them to be ridden in loose dirt and over obstacles. This type of bike often has a suspension to help any cyclist navigate rocky mountain trails. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hardtails. There are also mountain bikes with both front and rear suspension which are called full-suspension bikes. On the other hand, mountain bikes with no suspension are called rigid. Mountain bikes also have powerful brakes that use motorcycle-style discs for better control over rough ground. The gearing of mountain bikes is designed to get you up and down steep terrain, with a wide range to take on the varying gradients.
Hybrids have features taken from road bikes and from mountain bikes. These bikes take the comfortable riding position of a mountain bike and pair it with a lighter frame and fast rolling wheels more like those of a road bike. Hybrids are more comfortable, better able to handle potholes and capable of tackling easier off-road tracks and trails. The tires are usually a medium-width with a semi-smooth tread, to provide a fairly smooth ride on pavement, but enough grip and cushion on unpaved trails. Hybrid bikes often use more powerful disc brakes that give a more consistent performance in wet weather. They are almost always made of aluminum for its combination of strength and low weight. Most hybrid bikes have a front suspension to smooth out small bumps, but some are fully rigid.
Triathlon/Time Trial Bike
Triathlon or time trial bikes are built specifically for triathlon or time trial events. They are road bikes with a special design that maximizes their aerodynamic properties. These type of bike have forward bull-horn shaped handlebars and aero bars that allow the rider to crouch forward while riding, to minimize the wind resistance against the body. The shifters on these bikes are located at the end of the aero bars.
BMX stands for Bicycle Motor Cross. The term BMX is used to describe any single-speed bike with a 20″ wheel. BMX Bikes are popular with kids because of their small size, but they are used by adults and kids alike for various styles of trick and stunt riding. These bikes are often very robust and durable and would be the best selection for anyone intending to do jumps or tricks. These single-speed bikes are raced around a short dirt track similar to the motorsport.
An addition to the list of the different types of bike is the folding bike. Folding bikes are ideal for those who need to travel with their bike because they fit easily in the trunk of a car, or on a boat. They are also perfect for those who live in small apartments and don’t have a lot of storage space. Folding bikes are also used by those who like to bike to work. Most folding bikes have smaller wheels, which makes the bike a little less efficient and trickier to handle than a standard bike.
A tandem bike is obviously a bicycle built for two. They come in many styles and are the great leveler of the cycling world. Tandems do not require any special skill to ride and can be great fun. Two riders of different abilities can enjoy a ride at the same pace when riding a tandem.