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June 23, 2016 3 min read

There are so many types of bicycles available in the market, so which one is suitable for you? We have below a quick summary of types of bicycles and their characteristics. Hope they are useful in helping you decide which one to buy!

Road Bikes are meant to be ridden as fast as possible for road surface on flat terrain as well as on hill climbing. They have very thin tires and "drop" handlebars. They are usually lightest and stiffest among all types of bicycles materials so that each and every pedal stoke is transferred efficiently into bringing the bike to optimum speed. Consequently they are not as comfortable due to riding posture as well as the transfer of road vibration back to the rider due to the stiffness of the frame.

Road Bikes

Aero bikes are very similar to road bikes except that they have aerodynamic frame design and a handle bar designed for the rider to lean on, all in the aim of reducing drag. They need not necessarily be the lightest of all bikes as they are typically not used for climbing but for reduction of air resistance to reach optimum speed.

Time-trial Bikes

Mountain bikes are optimized for riding rough off-road trails although they can be ridden on smooth road surface as well. They have flat handlebars and need to include low gear ratios (e.g. compact crank and larger cassettes) to pedal up steep trails.

Typical mountain bikes have some form of suspension. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hard-tails. Mountain bikes with both front and rear suspension are referred to as full-suspension. Down-hill bikes are full-suspension bikes with more travel at the rear suspension, slacker rider posture and a stronger re-enforcement throughout the bike to withstand high stress.

Mountain bikes typically come with fat and knobby tires to increase traction with the ground.

Mountain Bikes

Commuter/Hybrid bikes were originally conceived to provide the advantages of both road bikes and mountain bikes. Their large, padded seats and upright handlebars provide a comfortable riding position, and are best for casual riding around the neighborhood or bike paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town.

They can be ridden on paved roads, but are not as lightweight or efficient as road bikes. They are ideal for paved or unpaved bike trails, but are not appropriate for rough off-road mountain bike 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 may or may not have front suspension to smooth out small bumps on the road.

Hybrid Bikes

Cruiser bikes are designed for casual riding, and have a very comfortable, upright riding position, and a large, comfortable seat. Cruisers usually have wide "balloon" tires, and handlebars that are even more upright, and in some cases, swept back compared to hybrid bikes.

Most cruiser bikes are single-speed or 3-speed and utilizes internal gear hubs for simplicity of maintenance. They are best used for short-distance commuting and errands, as long as your route is fairly flat. Cruiser bikes for ladies usually have a low step-through frame design to accommodate those who prefer to wear long dresses.

Such bikes are also referred to as Vintage bikes and Dutch bikes.

Cruiser Bikes

Folding Bikes are ideal for those who need to travel with their bike, want a bike to keep on their boat or plane, or who live in small apartments and don't have a lot of storage space. They're also good for commuters who need to take their bike on a bus or train for part of their commute, or who don't have a safe place to park their bike at work.

Most folding bikes have smaller wheels, which makes the bike a little less efficient and trickier to handle than a standard bike, but most folding bike fans feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Folding Bikes

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