Types of Bicycles to Ride

Types of Bicycles

When you are looking for a new bicycle, deciding on the right one can be tricky.  Who knew there were so many different choices?  As a kid, you usually chose between the shiny pink one with streamers or the classic blue bike with racing stripes.  In the beginning, both usually had training wheels and an adult attached to keep you from falling.  For today’s discerning cyclist, there are several types of bicycles to choose from to suit your needs.

A bike is much more than two wheels, a seat, and handlebars.  Different bicycles are built to handle the different terrain and riding styles.  Before you purchase a new bike, be sure to find one you are comfortable handling. All of the Different Types of Bicycles—Explained

Mountain Bikes

This type of bike is used by rugged riders to jump rocks and small boulders and navigate through wooded areas.  Mountain biking is not for the faint of heart and can be dangerous if you are on the wrong bicycle.  A mountain bike has wider wheels than a standard bike, with deeper tread to prevent slipping on different terrains.  Mountain bikes can be used on everything from grass, to loose gravel, to wet pavement.

Another notable difference of mountain bikes is their straight, not curved, handlebars.  The straight handlebars allow for better control on the strange terrain.

Road Bikes

Do you ever see spandex-clad riders balancing their bike’s skinny wheels on the white-lined pavement’s edge?  These type of riders are using road bikes.  Road bikes are the competitive rider’s choice for speed and maneuverability.  As these bikes are built with aerodynamics in mind, the wheels are thinner and smoother than those of the mountain bike.

At first glance, it probably looks like there is no seat on a Road Bike.  Since road bikes are commonly used in sporting events, the seats are narrow to prevent the rider from slipping.  The road bike’s frame is often a lightweight aluminum, titanium, or another alloy, used for its speed advantages.

Hybrid Bikes

For those just starting out, not seeking the thrill of mountain biking or the inclination of riding competitively, a hybrid may be the perfect bike.   A cross between a road bike and a mountain bike, the hybrid is the best of both worlds.  The wheels are a perfect medium between the two bikes, allowing for durability and weight support.  The handlebars of hybrid bikes are usually straight, in order to put less pressure on the rider’s back.  This design allows a level of comfort for new riders wishing to stick with cycling.

Cruising Bikes

Looking for an easy going bike?  Look no further.  Cruising bikes are usually found on the beach and in tropical locations, as rental bikes.  They are a great way to spend times outdoors exploring, at a relaxing pace.  Great for older riders, these bikes are built for comfort.  The wide seats make long rides more enjoyable, while the heavy frame keeps it more securely grounded.  However, because of the build of this bike, it is not easily maneuverable in tight places.  Hop on cruising bike to take a leisurely, enjoyable ride at your own pace.  You’ll be glad you did!

Touring bikes

Tour bikes are great if you are planning a long ride. Touring bikes have developed to make it easy to get away from the 9-5 on your bike. Packing your possessions into panniers and pedaling away is a great old cycling tradition.

The obvious defining features of a touring bike are pannier racks to carry your luggage, or at the very least a rear rack, and mudguards to keep you dry if it rains. Accommodating those, and fatter types (at least 32mm wide) to help carry the weight, means the frame will be longer and gapper.

What is the best choice?

Before you head to the bike shop, take a minute to determine what bike is right for you.  No matter the bike you choose, remember to be safe, wear a helmet, and have fun!

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