The bicycle has been around since the 1800s and today number over 1 billion worldwide. Bicycles provide a popular form of recreation, and are the primary means of transportation in many areas. Bicycles take on many types, from children’s toys to adult fitness; the bicycle even has military and police applications, courier services, and appears in competitive sporting events.

The bicycle can be broken down into four distinct types, and any number of specialty applications, which we’ll visit later. The four main types of bicycles are road, mountain, cruiser, and bmx. Each bicycle type mentioned has distinct characteristics that make each type distinguishable from the other types. A road bike will function much differently than a bmx bike, and a mountain bike looks entirely different from a cruiser bicycle.

Road Bicycle The road or street bicycle is the standard bike that can be used for cycling around town or going on a long bicycle tour. They are usually utilitarian in style. A road bicycle may have one fixed gear but more often have multiple gears to make cycling easier on the cyclist.

Touring and courier bicycles are examples of road bikes that have been outfitted with extra luggage space. Most ten-speed bicycles you find in shops would fall into the road bicycle type.

Mountain Bike Mountain bikes are supped-up road bicycles that almost always have multiple-speed gears to make ascending a steep mountain easier. Mountain bicycles may have 21 speeds or more and can have complicated chain derailment systems to make switching gears a breeze. Another feature of mountain bicycles that you don’t find on the other types are the front and rear forks of the frame have often been outfitted with shock absorbers and the seat may be spring loaded as well. These are necessary features of the mountain bicycle to make the ride smoother and more enjoyable for the cyclist on this type of bicycle.

Another type of bicycle is the cruiser. Often referred to as the beach cruiser or sand cruiser, this type of bicycle features a more upright posture for the cyclist, balloon tires, single-gear drive trains, and often plush seats and curved handlebars. These combine to make the cruiser bicycle a fun enjoyable ride. You can use this bicycle to go sight seeing or enjoy a lazy afternoon cruising around the beach.

BMX Bike A BMX bicycle is the bicycle type most often used in stunt riding, which includes half pipes, ramps, and street competitions. They are usually much smaller in frame, have a single gear, and sturdy construction to take the abuse given this BMX type of bicycle. BMX stands for bicycle motocross.

Another type of bicycle is the exercise bike. These are seen in home gyms and expansive work out centers alike. They are usually stationary bicycles that work in much the same way as other bicycle types, only the rider isn’t going anywhere. Exercise bicycles can provide lots of enjoyment and a great workout.