Further exploring the four main types of bicycles, one can classify bicycles in any number of ways. For every use people can think of for a bicycle, a specialty bike is invented. We’ll look briefly at some popular ones here.
Folding bicycles are relatively new on the specialty bike scene. They allow the city dweller to have a full-sized bicycle that actually folds smaller for storage in a loft apartment or fitting easily inside a cab or metro train.
Low Rider bicycles and chopper bikes are also relatively new specialty bikes. They are a result of the motorcycle culture of the same name. People take BMX style bicycles and “chop” them by adding longer front forks or shortening the rear fork to create a look similar to choppers and low rider motorcycles. Many other custom modifications are available when designing these specialty bikes from ordinary bicycles.
Similar in appearance to low rider bicycles is the next specialty bike, a recumbent bicycle. These have seen a huge following of late, as bicycle enthusiasts have flocked to this most unusual looking bike. Instead of the rider sitting high above the tires with the pedals and crank shaft between the tires, the rider on the recumbent bike is sitting between the tires, with the pedals out in front of the front tire. This gives the recumbent bike rider a lounging posture that many specialty bike enthusiasts find relaxing.
Tandem bicycles can refer to any of the specialty bikes that seat more than one person. But when you hear tandem bicycle, the first thing that comes to many peoples mind is a two-seater frame where each bike rider is powering their own set of bicycle pedals. This is a great specialty bike for couples who want to enjoy bike riding together.
Specialty bikes that do not sit on two wheels are called unicycles, tricycles, and quadcycles which have one-, three-, and four- wheels respectively.
Hybrid bicycles are specialty bikes that receive their drive power both from the petals and an alternate source, be it a battery or gas powered motor or even solar panels. These specialty bikes allow the rider to go greater distances with minimal effort.
Racing bicycles are in a class all their own. The race is on to design the most efficient specialty bike in this class. The use of paper thin tires, light weight frames, and high gear aspect ratios help competitive racers have a distinct edge when racing these specialty bikes.
Touring bicycles then would be the opposite. These specialty bikes are designed to go long distances and carry luggage loads. Bicycle touring has become a popular past time, as we’ll explore later, and there are many specialty bikes to cater to this new found way of touring a new destination.