A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of Bikes

The mountain bike is a popular, versatile bike that can be ridden off-road and on road. Check it out, along with these other types of bikes:

Road Bikes / Cycles

These are the types of bicycles you will see being used in popular road races. If you want to get serious about cycling, this is probably the bike for you. Their streamlined and lightweight design make them more aerodynamic than other classes of bicycles. Handlebars swing downwards, so that the rider can assume a crouched aerodynamic position when riding. The main limitation on road bikes is that they are not too well suited to off-road terrain, due to their thin tyres and lightweight frame.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are a great all round versatile bicycle. Their frames are normally much thicker and sturdier than those of road bikes. As the name suggests, they are well suited to “mountain” type off-road trails, with multiple gears helping the rider negotiate varying gradients. Tyres are also quite thick with gripping tread. A rider assumes a more upright position when riding, compared to a road bike, with flat handlebars and suspension (on better bikes) also assisting with changes in terrain. While mountain bikes aren’t as sleek as road bikes, they are still a decent ride on road as well.

BMXs

Many kids would have grown up idolising professional BMX riders with their daredevil tricks and fearless movement racing around challenging dirt tracks. These are the BMX’s two main uses. With a smaller, strong frame, BMXs have no gears, with pure peddling power strength required to move the bike along. Short for Bicycle Motocross, these bikes were purpose designed for bumpy, dirt track racing. The sport’s popularity is evidenced by its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Some BMX riders seek to perfect difficult stunts and tricks, more akin to performance than actual bike riding. Some freestyle BMX stunts can be seen in events featured in extreme sports competitions.

Foldable Bikes

From the sporting to the practical, foldable bikes are a convenient option, allowing the rider to fold up their bike into a compact size. Some may be able to packed away into a bike bag. Folding into a smaller size allows these bikes to be carried on public transport, and then unpacked for the next (riding) leg of the journey! Being foldable also makes these bikes easier to store, whether at home, office or on buses or planes. The more complex designs and parts of these bikes means they are usually a pricier option.

Motorised and Electric Bicycles

These bicycles provide assistance to the bike rider. Electric bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in China, where there are estimated to be around 120 million. Electric bikes are powered by an electric motor, which itself, is powered by a rechargeable battery. Different variations can either provide power on demand by handlebar initialisation (when natural cycling gets too tough!), or automatic, with electric assistance being given as a sensor on the bike judges the rider’s cycling speed. Motorised bicycles use an internal combustion engine for power.

Riding BMX bikes can be great fun in off-road settings.