Bicycles are as individual as the people who ride them. Unlike people, however, our two-wheeled friends can be split based on their purpose and build.
So, which type of bike is right for you? To help you figure that out, we’ve listed the main types of bikes you’ll find in a shop.
This is the trickster of bikes. Short and stocky, BMXs can take pretty much anything you can dish out in an urban setting. However, since these bikes have no gears or brakes and is tall enough to only fit a seven-year old comfortably, it takes a dedicated person to ride a BMX around town.
The road bike is what you’ll see pictured in the dictionary under “bicycle.” Their signatures are thin tires, light and rigid frames, and two cogs in the front of the drive train. Combined, these parts help make road bicycles go faster on flat terrain. However, these bikes can be hellish to take up really steep hills since you don’t have a lot of gear choices.
Tough as the terrain they can traverse, mountain bikes are the adventurers of the bike world. Their tires are thick and have heavy tread, and their frames are often thicker and heavier. Some bikes also have spring / pneumatic shocks in their forks and near the seat. Another characteristic is the three cogs in the front half of the drive train, which gives riders lower gears to make hill climbing easier. However, these bikes don’t go as fast on flat surfaces as road cycles.
As the name suggests, hybrids are a combination of road and mountain bikes. There are countless ways to combine the two, but the most common usually involves the following: the three cogs of a mountain bike; the lighter, more rigid frame of a road bike; and tires that are a size right in the middle of the two. Hybrids are great all-purpose bicycles as they have the hill-climbing capacity of mountain bikes and speed closer to that of the road bicycle.
These bikes, which have frames similar to road bikes, have one major characteristic: only one gear. In other words, you can’t control how easy or hard pedalling is while you ride—you’re stuck with what you have. It’s a fun experience, but your legs better be up for the challenge of hills!