Bicycle Types

Bicycle Types

Intoduction

There are many types and variants of cycles available on the market these days. You only have to visit your local cycle shop and look whats available. You can have mtbs, racers, tandems, tourers, bmx etc., all available in chidren and adult sizes the list goes on. All the variants come to fit all budgets but it is true to say you get what you pay for, and prices can range from under a hundred pounds up to thousands.

However one of the secrets of enjoying your cycling is having the correct type of cycle for the purpose for which you want to use it for. Do some research before you buy, go out and look and ask questions. Above all don’t be afraid to ask questions as most people enjoy giving their opinion. Then when you are out cycling you will be happy hopefully knowing that you chose the right bike for you…

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes come in all shapes and sizes with a primary aim of being able to cycle off-road. The type of terrain can vary from soft off road such as tow paths and dedicated cyclepaths to severe terrain and specific downhill courses/racing etc. They can of course be used on the road/tarmac, but in this case one of their main drawbacks is the weight of the mountain bike as they incur additional weight with their stronger frames and suspension units.

Road Bikes

Road bikes as their name implies are designed specifically for use on tarmac roads. Although there are variations on the theme for specific uses. Racing Bikes are designed as light weight/streamline machines to assist the rider to achieve speed, but not necessarily in comfort as they usually have very thin/small tyres with very little give and the geometry of the frame designed for speed with comfort being secondary. Most racing bikes tend to be designed for such events as hill climbs, sprints and short to medium distance racing. There are however, some racers which have been designed for long distance racing and these bikes usually have a frame geometry aimed at giving a slightly softer more comfortable ride for the cyclist. On racing bikes it is unusual to have the capacity to add such extras as mudguards ,bags or racks due to the specific streamlined design of the frame.

Touring Bikes are a variant of a road bike which are designed specifically with the long range cyclist in mind, being built/designed with the comfort of the cyclist at the forefront and usually have such kit as mudguards and racks and panniers for practicality.

Hybrid

Hybrid bikes seem to have developed significantly over the past few years and tend to be a cross design between a road and moutain bike. You may choose a hybrid with or without suspension, or a design which leans more towards the design of a road bike. Normally they use straight handlebars and have the abilty to use much bigger tyres for comfort. You can add whatever extras you wish to this design of cycle. They tend to be aimed at people who wish to use their cycle for commuting or leisure purpose as they can be used on roads/tarmac and on soft off road conditions.
Triathlon

These bikes are designed for the specific purpose in triathlon events. They are based very much around a lightweight racing bike and can have such extras as front bar extensions and a third ring on the ‘front set’ of the gearing system.

Dirt/Street Jumper and BMX

As the name implies this design of bike is deigned for purpose of performing a range of stunts and dirt racing. The frame tends to be of a small design with strength and agility in mind. Gears etc tend not to be of paramount importance on this design of bike.

Single Speed

This catagory of bike is made up of two main types of bike the first is of a freewheel type of design where the bikes gearing system constists of just one rear cog with no other gearing system, enabling the the rider pedal or free wheel as they desire. Mainly used for trainig purposes or sometime flat leisure rides. The second is of a design where the rear cog is a single speed fixed wheel type. Whereby when the rider stops pedalling this tends to be used as a braking action for the bike. This can be an extremely hard type of cycling to get used to. Mainly used for track racing or the purpose of the keeping fit.

Cyclocross/Tricross

The Cyclocross bike is for use as a racer on cross country event and designed to be able to cycle on a variety of terrains such as tarmac, grass and light off road, and is usually built of similar looking design to a racing bike with being built strong but as light as possible as competitors usually have to dismount and carry their bike during these events at some point. The Tricross bike tends to be built around the road racing bike design but has slightly larger profile tyres for comfort and a third ring on the ‘front set’.

Tandem

This famous design can be used for cycling by two people at the same time on the same cycle. Can be used for serious touring or fun/leisure cycling. Has usual type of design as a touring bike with comfort at the forefront of the design.

Folding Bikes

As the name implies a bike which is designed to be folded up when not in use for convienience. Usually have a contruction designed for use with small wheels and ‘sturmy archer’ type of gearing. Good for fun/leisure and comuting type of cycle. Can be stowed in a boot of a meduim sized car or caravan etc. for use when on holiday.

Power Assisted

Power assisted cycles are usually of a more sturdy frame type of construction to help support the weight of an electric motor fixed to the bike. The idea is that when the rider feels the need for some extra help (on a hill etc.) they can turn the electric motor on and stop pedalling. Requires charging from a mains supply and the range of the motor is dependant on the make of cycle.

Unicycles

What’s this doing her you may ask?… Well this site is about all aspects of cycling and the fact is the unicycle has been around for hundreds of years. I like most people have never had the opportunity to ride a unicycle but they look like fun… They are apparently quite difficult to master and as we are all aware are widely used in the entertainment business… as well as for fun!

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