Types of Bicycles

Bicycles are one of the greenest ways to commute and a fun way to burn some calories. In fact, in some cities it may be the fastest way to commute during peak traffic hours. Of course, the recreational value of bikes never goes down. Isn’t it why we got our first tricycle?

So, if you are a kid looking for your first bike or a grown-up man trying to rekindle your childhood fun life, or maybe someone looking for daily commute or adventure trips, we have you covered.

In this article, we will introduce you to the major categories of bikes out there. Once you are equipped with this information, you will be in a better position to purchase the appropriate bike that satisfies your needs. Read on!

Table of Contents
  • Road Bikes
  • Mountain Bikes (MTB)
  • Hybrid Bikes

The two major categories of bikes are:

  • Road bikes
  • Mountain bikes

Road Bikes

Road bikes are the most common types of bikes purchased by people. They are like sports bikes, which are meant to go fast on paved roads. These bikes can easily achieve speeds of 25-40 km/hour, and even more. You can say these are the Ferrari and Porsche of bike world.


So, you will find the following features in these bikes:

  • They are light weight – most of them are made of Carbon Fiber or Aluminium (Carbon Fiber is more durable and hence a bit more expensive). Their weight lies in the range of 7 to 9 kgs.
  • They are Aerodynamic. Even the biker sits on these bikes in a lean-forward posture which reduces the air drag.
  • Their handle is often curled. This forces the biker to keep an aggressive posture, i.e. he bends forward by 30 to 45 degrees.
  • Their tyres are thin – it’s meant to make these bikes faster.
  • There’s no suspension in these bicycles – that’s because these bikes are meant for smooth roads, and not for rough mountainous terrains. Suspensions tend to reduce the speed of bikes.

You may ride them for long distances. They are super comfortable.


These bikes are not beginner bikes. It would be a good idea to get your hands dirty on some normal bikes and get some cycling practice, before you get on a road bike. Afterall, you do not learn to drive on a Ferrari!

Mountain Bikes (MTB)

As the name suggests, these are meant for off-road riding, i.e. on unpaved roads, woods, trails, mud, etc. You may say that these are the Hummer and Jeep of bike world.


So, you will find the following features in these bikes:

  • Unlike Road bikes that are lean and mean, Mountain bikes are a bit bulky and sturdy. Most of them are made of Aluminium. But a few may have a carbon fiber frame. They weigh anywhere between 10 to 13 kgs.
  • You will find big, thick, rugged tyres on them.
  • You will also find many extra features on them, such as suspensions. Full suspension MTBs not only have suspensions at the front, but at the rear too. Though some MTBs only have suspension on the front – such bikes are called Hard Tail MTBs.
  • You will also find disc breaks, protective gear, etc. in MTBs.
  • Their handle is often straight. This forces the biker to keep a more upright posture, i.e. he bends forward by 45 to 60 degrees.

Though these bikes are not meant for speed, but still, you can drive them at 10-15 km/hr, and even upto 20 km/hr on straight, smooth roads. So, even beginners can buy these bikes if they intend to do some off-road riding too.

Now, there are many more categories of bikes that have the features of the above two types of bikes in varied proportions. These are called Hybrid bikes.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid Bikes are a cross of Road bikes and Mountain bikes. Let’s see some of the major types of Hybrid bikes.

Fitness Hybrid

This bike is more similar to Road bike and looks that way too. It’s pretty versatile – can be used for daily commute or for exercising purposes.

It’s meant for people who are not very serious or regular with biking but do like to exercise on it once in a while. These bikes are pretty comfortable for 10-25 miles.

Sport Hybrid

Sport Hybrid or Dual Sport bikes look more like mountain bikes – slightly thicker tyres than road bikes but not as thick as those on a mountain bike; have disc breaks, etc.

They can be ridden on pavement/roads and even on some light trails. Though these are not meant for serious off-road biking.

Comfort Hybrid

This bike neither looks like a road bike, nor a mountain bike. It has big saddle, high handlebars, etc. You will sit in a very upright riding position on these bikes, due to handlebars being placed higher than the saddle. Overall, you can safely say that they’re designed for riding comfort.

These bikes often have a step-through frame. So, these are ideal for ladies – they can easily get on and off.

Winding Up

The bikes mentioned above are very broad categories of bikes. There are numerous sub-categories too, such as Single-Speed, Fixed, Recumbents, Cyclocross, BMX, Cruisers, Gravel, Touring, etc. But it’s not possible to cover all these categories in one article.

We hope now you have a broad idea of the kind of bikes out there and which one you should choose. Once you do so, you may dive into more details and explore the subcategories and brands within that category.

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