Types of Bikes: The Ultimate Guide

There are so many types of bikes available nowadays, that it can be hard to know which bike to choose. Don’t worry, this guide will set you on the right path to finding your perfect travelling companion.

This ultimate guide covers the most common types of bikes and their variations, all-in-all we researched 65+ bikes in creating this article. To make it easier to find the bike you have in mind, we suggest using the Table of Contents. 

Types of bikes

Table Contents

Types of bikes - how to choose

Choosing a bicycle is like picking a partner for your adventures. Whether you’ll be cruising, commuting or conquering trails, there are types of bikes for every style and purpose. In fact, it’s estimated that there are around 1 billion bikes in the world today!

This guide will introduce you to the world of bikes and help you figure out what to think about before you choose your travelling companion.

Things to consider

Before you dive into the world of bikes, here are a few things to consider: 

  • Why do you want a bike? Fitness, calories burned biking, fun, commuting, racing or a bit of everything?
  • Where will you be riding the most? City streets, trails, or a mix?
  • What is your budget like? Make sure you balance your bike dreams with your wallet’s reality. Don’t forget to budget for the best bike helmets with lights to keep you safe. 
  • What is the right fit? It’s important to get the bike size right, so check the bike’s specs before you purchase.

 Use our guide below to help you narrow down the types of bikes, the features and which type will be most suited to meet your needs. 

To help you narrow down the right bike, make sure you know what you'll be using the bike for, where you'll be riding and what your budget is like.

Road bikes

Generally, a road bike is a lightweight and versatile bicycle that’s designed for efficient riding on paved roads.

General features of a road bike

HandlebarsDrop handlebars for multiple hand positions and aerodynamics
Frame materialLightweight materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel
Wheels and tiresThin, high-pressure tires on lightweight rims for speed
Gears and brakesMultiple gears for varied terrain, caliper or disc brakes
SuspensionMinimal to no suspension for efficient road riding
Saddle & seatpostNarrow saddle, adjustable seatpost for comfort and efficiency
ExtrasLimited accessories due to focus on lightweight and speed

Road bikes: best for vs not suited for

Here’s a brief summary of what activity a road bike is most suited for and what it’s not suited for.

Best For

Not Suited For

Long-distance road cycling

Off-road trails and rugged terrain

Fitness riding and group road cycling

Heavy cargo hauling

Commuting on paved roads

Extreme downhill or technical biking

Speed and efficient road riding

High-impact jumps and stunts

Types of road bikes

There are countless road bikes out there, here are a few of the main types of bikes suitable for road riding.

Racing bikes

Racing road bike

Racing road bikes are designed for maximum speed and agility. They have an aerodynamic frame, lightweight components, and high-pressure tires.

A racing road bike is ideal if you are planning to race competitively and will need swift acceleration and efficient power transfer. 

Touring bikes

Touring road bike

Touring road bikes are built for long-distance journeys. They prioritize comfort and stability.

They have sturdy frames, ample storage options, and relaxed geometry. They’re ideal for carrying gear and exploring extended routes.

Cyclocross bikes

Cyclocross Bike

Cyclocross bikes are a blend blend road and off-road capabilities. They have wider tire clearance, durable construction, and higher bottom brackets.

They are designed to tackle diverse terrains including mud, grass, and gravel. This makes them suitable for cyclocross races and adventurous rides.

Gravel bikes

Gravel Bike

Gravel bikes combine features from both road and mountain bikes and are engineered to conquer rough and unpaved surfaces.

They have wider tires for improved traction, endurance-focused geometry, and often include mounts for accessories. This makes them perfect for gravel grinding and exploring mixed terrains.

Time trial bikes

Time trial bikes are optimized for solo races against the clock. These bikes flaunt streamlined shapes, deep aerodynamic wheels, and aggressive riding positions.

Time trial bikes are tailored for slicing through wind resistance to achieve maximum speed during time trial events.

Triathlon (Tri) bikes

Triathlon bike

Tailored for triathlons, these bikes prioritize aerodynamics and adaptability. They are equipped with aerobars, special geometry, and integrated storage.

Tri bikes enhance aerodynamic efficiency while accommodating the transitions from swimming to cycling to running.

If you're planning to ride mostly on paved roads and you're looking for speed and efficiency, then a road bike is a good option.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes are rugged, off-road bicycles designed with durable components and wide, knobby tires. They’re utilized for traversing varied terrains such as trails, forests, and rocky paths. Mountain bikes provide enthusiasts with an exhilarating outdoor experience that blends fitness and adventure.

Mountain Bikes

General features of a mountain bike

HandlebarsWide and often flat or riser-style handlebars for better control and maneuverability on rough terrain.
Frame materialCommonly made of aluminum, steel, carbon fiber, or a combination, balancing strength and weight.
Wheels and tiresEquipped with wide, knobby tires on sturdy rims for traction and stability across various surfaces.
Gears and brakesMultiple gear options for tackling steep inclines and fast descents, along with hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes for reliable stopping power.
SuspensionFront suspension (hardtail) or both front and rear suspension (full suspension) systems to absorb shocks and enhance comfort on uneven trails.
Saddle and seatpostPadded saddle and adjustable seatpost for comfort during long rides and the ability to adapt to different riding conditions.
ExtrasSome models may feature accessories like water bottle holders, racks, fenders, and even electronic components for advanced performance tracking.

Mountain bikes: best for vs not suited for

Best forNot Suited for
Off-road trails and rough terrainSmooth roads and paved surfaces
Trail riding, mountain explorationHigh-speed road cycling
Climbing steep inclinesRacing on well-maintained tracks
Descending rugged pathsExtreme urban commuting
Variable and unpredictable terrainsPrecision track cycling

Types of mountain bikes

There are several types of bikes that are mountain bikes. Here are the main ones. 

Cross country (xc) mountain bike

Ideal for endurance-focused riders, cross country bikes are designed for speed and efficiency over varied terrain.

They have lightweight frames, efficient pedaling systems, and moderate suspension to tackle climbs and descents while maintaining agility.

Trail mountain bike

A versatile choice, trail bikes offer a balance between uphill efficiency and downhill capability.

With moderate suspension travel, they are ideal for technical trails and provide confidence and control through a mix of climbs and descents.

Enduro mountain bike

Enduro Bike

Perfect for aggressive trail riders and racing, enduro bikes feature longer suspension travel for to tackle challenging descents while still being efficient on climbs.

Their robust frames and advanced suspension systems maintain stability and control on rugged terrains.

Downhill mountain bike

Downhill bike

Downhill bikes are engineered for gravity-fueled descents. They boast maximum suspension travel, heavy-duty components, and sturdy frames. They excel in extreme terrains and bike parks, prioritizing control and stability at high speeds.

Freeride mountain bike


Freeride bikes are designed for versatility, allowing riders to tackle a variety of obstacles such as drops, jumps, and technical features.

They are a combination of elements from downhill and dirt jump bikes, and offer durability and maneuverability for creative riding styles.

All-mountain mountain bike

All mountain bike

All-mountain bikes are between trail and enduro bikes. They excel on a wide range of terrains and typically feature slightly more suspension travel than trail bikes.

All-mountain bikes often incorporate adjustable components to adapt to different riding conditions.

Dirt jump bike

Dirt Jump Bike

If you love aerial tricks and jumps, then a dirt jump bike might be the one for you. These mountain bikes are compact, sturdy, and agile. They have minimal suspension and strong frames which makes them perfect for pump tracks, dirt jumps, and skatepark riding.

Slope style bike

Slopestyle bikes blend characteristics of dirt jump and downhill bikes and are tailored for the high-flying world of slopestyle and freestyle competitions. They prioritize agility, maneuverability, and durability for performing tricks on jump lines and obstacles.

Mountain bikes are sturdy, rugged and built to withstand the tough terrains of mountain biking. If you're planning to do some form of road riding, then the cross country bike is a versatile choice.

Hybrid bikes

A hybrid bike blends features of both road bikes and mountain bikes. They have a comfortable upright riding position, wider tires, and a mix of gears. Hybrid bikes are ideal for commuting, leisure rides, and light off-road adventures. They offer a balanced combination of speed, comfort, and versatility.

Types of bikes Hybrid bike

General features of a hybrid bike




Upright and flat or slightly curved for a comfortable riding posture.

Frame Material

Often aluminum for a balance of strength and weight. Some models might use steel or carbon.

Wheels and Tires

700c wheels with wider, semi-smooth tires for stability on various terrains.

Gears and Brakes

Multiple gears for versatile riding, and reliable brakes (disc or rim) for controlled stopping.


Front fork suspension might be present to absorb bumps on rough paths.

Saddle & Seatpost

Comfort-oriented saddle and adjustable seatpost for a relaxed ride.


Accessories like fenders, racks, and lights for practicality and visibility.

Hybrid bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best forNot Suited for
Commuting, leisure rides, and fitness cycling.Intense off-road mountain biking.
Riding on paved roads, gravel paths, and light trails.High-speed racing on smooth roads.

Types of hybrid bikes

Hybrid bikes come in all shapes and colors. Here are a few of the most popular types of bikes in the hybrid category.

Commuter bike

Commuter hybrid

Tailored for daily urban commuting, the commuter hybrid bike features a comfortable riding position, racks for carrying essentials, and fenders to shield from road grime.

They’re equipped with reliable gears and sturdy frames, which make them ideal for navigating city streets and bike paths efficiently.

Touring hybrid bike

Touring hybrid bike

Touring hybrid bikes are designed for longer journeys. They boast robust frames, versatile gearing, and ample attachment points for panniers and racks.

With a focus on comfort and stability, they’re ideal for extended rides on roads, gravel, and light trails. This makes them an excellent choice for bike touring adventures.

Cross hybrid bikes (crossover)

Cross hybrid bikes (crossovers) bridge the gap between road and off-road cycling. They combine features like wider tires and a more upright riding position with a lightweight frame. This makes them suitable for both paved roads and moderate off-road trails. Cross hybrid bikes are versatile options for riders who want a bit of everything in their cycling experience.

Hybrid bikes are a mix between road bikes and mountain bikes. They are ideal if you want to have a bit of everything.

Cruiser bikes

As the name suggests, a cruiser bike is a classic, comfortable bicycle designed for leisurely rides and casual urban cycling. Its relaxed seating position, wide handlebars, and wider tires offer a smooth and easygoing riding experience. This makes them ideal for relaxed strolls through neighborhoods, beachside promenades, and scenic city explorations.

Types of bike cruiser bike

General features of a cruiser bike

HandlebarsWide, swept-back handlebars provide an upright and comfortable riding position.
Frame materialOften made of steel for durability and a classic look.
Wheels and tiresWide tires with a smooth tread for stability and cushioned rides on various terrain.
Gears and brakesUsually single-speed or few gears for simplicity; coaster brakes or hand brakes.
SuspensionMinimal to no suspension, focusing on a smoother, laid-back riding experience.
Saddle and seatpostWide, cushioned saddle for comfort; adjustable seatpost for personalized fit.
ExtrasFenders, chain guards, baskets, and racks are common accessories for utility.

Cruiser bikes: best for vs not suited for

Best forNot Suited for
Leisurely rides in neighborhoodsHigh-speed cycling or competitive racing
Casual exploration of scenic areasOff-road trails or rugged terrain
Beachside promenades and boardwalksLong-distance commuting
Relaxed urban commutingSteep inclines or mountainous terrain
Comfortable, laid-back riding experienceTechnical maneuvers or aggressive biking
Short to moderate distancesIntense fitness or training

Types of cruiser bikes

With a huge variety and color-range, cruiser bikes are a popular option. Here are some of the most common types. 

Beach cruiser bikes

Beach cruiser

Specifically designed for riding on the beach, these bikes feature wide tires for sand and pavement, as well as a relaxed frame geometry. They are perfect for coastal promenades, and capture the essence of relaxed coastal living.

Chopper cruiser bikes

Chopper cruiser

Inspired by motorcycle choppers, these cruiser bikes flaunt elongated frames, extended front forks, and unique designs. Their bold appearance makes them stand out, but they might sacrifice some practicality for style.

Lowrider cruiser bikes

Lowrider cruiser

Popular in bike culture, lowrider cruiser bikes emphasize style and individuality.

They embody a distinct urban aesthetic, and boast custom details, low-slung frames, and often have elaborate decorations. 

Retro cruiser bikes

Retro cruiser bikes

Retro cruiser bikes blend classic design elements with modern functionality to evoke the spirit of bygone eras. 

Retro bikes offer a nostalgic ride while incorporating contemporary features for comfort and convenience.

Stretch cruiser bikes

Stretch cruiser

Stretch cruiser bikes have extended frames and prioritize a unique appearance and comfortable cruising. Their stretched-out design creates a relaxed riding posture which makes them ideal for short distances. They’re also eye-catching! 

A cruiser bike is ideal for laid-back riding and sight seeing. If you're not planning on using your bike for fitness or racing, a cruiser bike might be a good option for you.

BMX bikes

BMX bikes are compact and agile bicycles designed for various tricks, stunts, and off-road riding. They are characterized by sturdy frames, small wheels, and single-speed drivetrain. They are used by riders of all ages for freestyle riding in skateparks, street performances, and off-road trails, and showcase a blend of creativity and athleticism.

General features of a BMX

HandlebarsWide, low-rise handlebars for better control during tricks and maneuvers.
Frame materialUsually made from durable steel, aluminum, or chromoly for strength and flexibility.
Wheels and tiresSmall 20-inch wheels with wide, knobby tires for stability and traction on various surfaces.
Gears and brakesSingle-speed drivetrain for simplicity and ease of maintenance. Often equipped with a rear brake only.
SuspensionTypically, BMX bikes lack suspension to maintain a direct connection between rider and terrain.
Saddle and seatpostPadded saddle for comfort during landings and jumps, adjustable seatpost for rider preference.
ExtrasMay feature pegs on the wheel axles for performing grinds and tricks on rails and ledges.

BMX bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best ForNot Suited For
Freestyle tricks and stuntsLong-distance commuting
Skateparks and dirt tracksHigh-speed road cycling
Urban street ridingOff-road mountain trails
Maneuvering tight spacesRacing on long stretches

Types of BMX bikes

BMX – Bicycle Motocross – has been around since 1970 and is an iconic brand. Generally BMX bikes are small, strong, lightweight and can be easily maneuvered. Here are some of the more popular types of BMX. 

Race Bikes

BMX Race Bike

Optimized for speed and agility on dirt tracks, race BMX bikes have lightweight frames, larger wheels, and efficient drivetrains.

This makes them ideal for sprinting and maneuvering around jumps and berms.

Dirt jump bikes

Built to catch air on dirt jumps and trails, dirt jump BMX bikes have sport robust frames, strong components, and responsive geometry. This provides stability and control when launching off jumps and landing.

Flatland bikes

Flatland BMX

Designed for intricate ground-based tricks and balance maneuvers, flatland BMX bikes have a unique geometry for stability and precise control. They have shorter wheelbases and often pegs for foot support during tricks.

Cruiser bikes

Cruiser BMX

The big brother of standard BMX bikes, the cruiser BMX bikes feature 24 to 26-inch wheels. This makes them suitable for both casual riding and racing, offering a combination of speed and agility similar to race bikes while accommodating older riders or those seeking a more relaxed ride.

Freestyle bikes

Freestyle BMX

Engineered for tricks and stunts, freestyle BMX bikes are sturdy with strong frames. They often feature rotor systems for handlebar spins, and are equipped with durable components to withstand the impacts of street, park, and ramp riding.

BMX bikes are the go-to if you're looking for a sturdy, robust companion for racing, insane jumps and tricks.

Electric bikes

An electric bike – also known as an e-bike – is an electrically powered bicycle that’s equipped with an integrated electric motor and rechargeable battery.

It offers riders the convenience of pedal-assisted or fully electric modes. This enhances their cycling experience by providing assistance while pedaling. Electric bikes are used for urban commuting and recreational cycling. They combine the benefits of traditional biking with electric propulsion for easier rides over various terrains.

General features of an electric bike

HandlebarsVarious styles including flat, riser, or drop bars for different riding positions and comfort levels.
Frame materialCommonly aluminum or steel, occasionally carbon fiber, balancing durability and weight.
Wheels and tiresTypically 26″, 27.5″, or 29″ wheels with varying tire widths for different terrains and riding styles.
Gears and brakesMultiple gears for different speeds and inclines; disc brakes (mechanical or hydraulic) for reliable stopping power.
SuspensionFront suspension fork and/or rear suspension to absorb shocks and enhance comfort on rough terrain.
Saddle and seatpostComfortable saddle with adjustable seatpost height for ergonomic riding posture.
ExtrasLED lights, fenders, racks, and smartphone mounts for added convenience and utility.

How do electric bikes (e-bikes) work?

Electric bikes are equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider’s pedaling. They use rechargeable batteries to power the motor, which can be controlled using a handlebar-mounted display.

E-bikes offer various levels of assistance, which allows riders to travel longer distances, tackle hills more easily, and arrive at their destination with less effort. They’re becoming popular for commuting and recreational riding.

Electric bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best forNot Suited for
Urban commutingExtreme off-road trails
Leisurely ridesHigh-speed racing
Short to medium distancesHeavy cargo transport
Hilly terrainsLong-distance touring
Eco-friendly transportationTechnical mountain biking

Types of electric bikes

There’s an electric version of just about every bike type. Here are the more common ones. 

Electric mountain bike

Electric Mountain Bike

Tailored for off-road adventures, mountain e-bikes have robust frames, powerful motors, and specialized components to tackle challenging trails and steep inclines. This enhances the thrill of mountain biking and helps you conquer challenging trails more easily.

Electric city bike

Electric City Bike

Ideal for city cycling, this electric assisted bike is small and compact. It’s ideal if you are limited for space. Equipped with a carrier rack and light, it’s perfect for the daily commute over shorter distances. 

Electric cargo bike

Built to transport heavy loads, cargo e-bikes come with extended frames or specialized cargo areas. This makes them a preferred choice for running errands or replacing short car trips with eco-friendly alternatives.

Electric bikes are a great option if you want to ride further or save some energy. There are several types of e-bikes, so make sure you choose one that's suitable for your needs.

Cargo bikes

Cargo bikes are a versatile and compact form of transportation designed to carry various loads. They have sturdy frames and ample storage space. This makes them ideal for transporting groceries, packages, and even children. It promotes eco-friendly urban mobility and reduces reliance on traditional vehicles.

Cargo bike

General features of cargo bikes

HandlebarsWide and upright handlebars for better control
Frame materialRobust steel or aluminum frame for durability
Wheels and tiresLarger, sturdy wheels with puncture-resistant tires
Gears and brakesUsually equipped with multiple gears and reliable brakes
SuspensionFront suspension forks for a smoother ride
Saddle and seatpostComfortable saddle with adjustable seatpost
ExtrasIntegrated cargo racks, baskets, or compartments

Cargo bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best forNot Suited for
Carrying groceries and packagesHigh-speed, long-distance travel
Eco-friendly urban transportationExtremely rugged off-road terrain
Short to moderate commuting distancesHauling very heavy industrial loads
Family outings with childrenHigh-performance racing scenarios
Promoting sustainable mobilitySwift travel on highways

Types of cargo bikes

Cargo bikes are extremely versatile and there’s a cargo option in just about most types of bikes. Here are the most popular versions of the cargo bike. 

Frontloading cargo bike

Frontloading cargo bike

Frontloading cargo bikes have a cargo area located at the front. This provides excellent visibility and maneuverability. It’s ideal for urban deliveries and transporting goods.

They allow easy access to the load, which makes them a favorite among couriers and urban dwellers looking for efficient and convenient transportation.

Rear loading cargo bike

Rear loading cargo bikes have a spacious cargo area at the back. This ensures a balanced distribution of weight.

Great for larger loads and grocery runs, these bikes maintain stability while accommodating various cargo types. They’re particularly well-suited for families and businesses that need a versatile transportation solution.

Trike cargo bike

Trike cargo bikes

As the name suggests, trike cargo bikes have a three-wheel design. They offer enhanced stability and ample cargo space.

Trike cargo bikes are perfect for businesses requiring a portable storefront, mobile vending, or heavy-duty transport. They are ideal in scenarios where balance and cargo volume are essential.

Longtail cargo bike

Long tail cargo bike

Longtail cargo bikes extend the rear end of the bike which creates an extended cargo platform. These bikes are a balance between compactness and cargo capacity. This makes them a versatile option for family outings, commuting, and light commercial use.

A cargo bike is useful if you will be using your bike to transport cargo, kids or gear. There are many types available, so we suggest taking your time to find the right one for you.

Gravel bikes

A gravel bike is a versatile and rugged bicycle designed for diverse terrains. It’s a blend of elements of road and mountain bikes. It features wider tires, sturdy frames, and comfortable geometry. This makes it ideal for adventurous riders seeking to explore a mixture of paved roads, gravel paths, and light trails with speed and stability.

General features of a gravel bike

HandlebarsDrop bars or flared drop bars for multiple hand positions
Frame MaterialLightweight yet durable materials like aluminum or carbon
Wheels and TiresWider tires (typically 35-45mm) with versatile tread
Gears and BrakesWide range of gears for various terrains, disc brakes
SuspensionOften rigid or minimal front suspension
Saddle & SeatpostComfort-oriented saddle, shock-absorbing seatpost
ExtrasMounting points for racks, fenders, and extra gear

Gravel bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best ForNot Suited For
Mixed terrain ridesTechnical mountain biking
Long-distance explorationHigh-speed road racing
Commuting on diverse roadsAggressive downhill trails
Bikepacking adventuresBMX or trick riding
Casual group ridesExtreme snow or sand conditions

Types of gravel bikes

A gravel bike’s design and features makes it extremely versatile. Here are the most popular types of gravel bikes. 

Expedition gravel bike

Expedition Gravel Bike

Expedition gravel bikes are designed for extended journeys. They are equipped with robust frames, ample gear mounts, and comfortable geometry. This makes them ideal companions for long-distance bikepacking and exploratory adventures.

Race gravel bikes

Race Gravel Bike

Race gravel bikes prioritize speed with lightweight frames, aerodynamic features, and agile handling. They are optimized for competitive gravel racing where rapid acceleration and efficient power transfer are essential.

All-road gravel bikes

All Road Gravel Bike

All-road gravel bikes strike a balance between versatility and performance. They blend features from both race and expedition models, which makes them well-suited for a wide range of terrain, from smooth roads to rugged trails.

A gravel bike is a versatile option that's ideal for various terrains. It's ideal for longer bike trips and bikepacking adventures.

Fat bikes

A general fat bike is a type of bicycle characterized by its oversized “fat”, wide tires that are typically 3.8 inches or wider.

Fat bikes are designed for diverse terrains like snow, sand, and rough trails. It provides exceptional traction and stability, which makes it suitable for off-road adventures and exploration in challenging environments.

Its unique design enables riders to conquer various surfaces that conventional bikes might struggle with.

Fat bikes

General features of a fat bike

HandlebarsWide and flat handlebars for better control and stability, allowing various hand positions for comfort.
Frame materialOften made from aluminum or steel, providing durability and strength to handle rugged off-road conditions.
Wheels and tiresWide tires (3.8 inches or more) with low pressure for improved traction on soft surfaces like snow and sand.
Gears and brakesUsually equipped with a wide range of gears for tackling different terrains; hydraulic disc brakes for reliable stopping power.
SuspensionFat bikes may have front suspension (hardtail) or full suspension options to absorb shocks on rough trails.
Saddle and seatpostDesigned for comfort during long rides, offering support and adjustable height for optimal riding posture.
ExtrasSome fat bikes come with provisions for racks, fenders, and water bottle mounts, enhancing versatility.

Fat bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best ForNot Suited For
Riding on Snow and SandHigh-Speed Road Cycling
Exploring Rough and Challenging TrailsSmooth, Paved Roads

Types of fat bikes

Fat bikes are specifically designed for challenging environments. Here are few of the more common types of fat bikes.

Hardtail fat bike

Hardtail Fat Bike

Hardtail fat bikes feature front suspension forks to absorb bumps. This makes them ideal for tackling rugged trails and uneven terrains while maintaining an efficient pedaling platform.

They’re well-suited for riders who prioritize off-road exploration and adventure.

Full-suspension fat bike

Full Suspension Fat Bike

Full-suspension fat bikes offer both front and rear suspension, this enhances comfort and control on extremely rough trails.

With improved shock absorption, they’re excellent for aggressive riding styles, downhill descents, and conquering technical terrain while maintaining traction.

E-fat bike

Electric Fat Bike

E-fat bikes combine the features of fat bikes with electric assistance. They feature a motor that aids pedaling.

These fat bikes are great for extending range and conquering challenging terrain with less effort. This makes them appealing to riders who want to explore off-road trails without being limited by physical fitness.

Tundra fat bike

Tundra Fat Bike

Tundra fat bikes are designed for extreme cold weather conditions. They often feature additional insulation and specialized components to withstand frigid temperatures.

These bikes are perfect for adventurers who want to explore snowy landscapes and icy trails in polar regions or winter climates.

Fat bikes have "fat" tires and are designed to tackle the most challenging of conditions.

Tandem bikes

A tandem bike is a specially designed bicycle built for two riders to pedal in tandem.

It’s usually used for recreational cycling and offers a unique shared experience, allowing riders to work together to propel the bike forward while enjoying each other’s company.

Tandem bikes are favored for leisurely rides, team-building activities, and fostering communication between riders.

Tandem bikes

General features of a tandem bike

HandlebarsOften equipped with drop or flat handlebars for comfort and control. Some models have adjustable handlebar positions.
Frame materialCommonly constructed from steel, aluminum, or titanium, providing durability and stability for two riders.
Wheels and tiresLarger wheels and robust tires for better stability and load-bearing capacity. Tire width varies based on intended terrain.
Gears and brakesTandem bikes may have a variety of gear setups, including derailleurs or internal hubs, for versatile riding. Dual sets of brakes ensure effective stopping power.
SuspensionSome tandems offer front or rear suspension to absorb road vibrations and enhance comfort, especially on rough surfaces.
Saddle and seatpostAdjustable saddles and seatposts accommodate riders of different heights and preferences. Padded saddles for longer rides.
ExtrasTandems may include accessories like racks, fenders, bottle holders, and pannier mounts for added convenience on longer journeys.

Tandem bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best forNot Suited for
Recreational rides with a partnerTechnical or off-road trails
Enhancing communication between ridersFast and competitive racing
Team-building activities and bondingSolo, high-intensity training
Couples or friends looking for shared experienceCompact storage and easy transport
Leisurely rides with varying fitness levelsQuick maneuvering through congested urban areas

Types of tandem bikes

Tandem bikes have several variations. Here are the most common ones.

Mountain tandems

Mountain Tandem

Mountain tandems are designed for off-road adventures. They featuring robust frames, wide tires, and durable components.

They allow two riders to conquer challenging trails together. This enhances teamwork and communication while enjoying the thrill of mountain biking.

Recumbent tandems

Recumbent Tandem

Recumbent tandems provide a comfortable and laid-back riding position. They have reclined seats for reduced strain on the back and neck.

They are ideal for long-distance rides. These tandems offer improved aerodynamics and a unique riding experience, well-suited for leisurely touring.

Tricycle tandems

Trike Tandem

Tricycle tandems, also known as “triplets,” cater to riders who want additional stability and cargo capacity.

With three wheels, they offer a secure platform for riders with varying skill levels and can carry extra gear or passengers. This makes them suitable for leisurely rides or utility cycling.

Tandem bikes are designed for two cyclists who have to work together to pedal the bike.

Recumbent bikes

While most people are more familiar with a recumbent stationary bike, a recumbent bicycle is a specialized type of recumbent bike designed for outdoor use on roads and paved surfaces.

It has a reclined seat and pedals positioned in front of the rider. This offers a comfortable and aerodynamic riding experience. Road recumbent bikes are used for leisure cycling, long-distance touring, and fitness. They provide an alternative and enjoyable way to explore the outdoors while maintaining a relaxed riding posture.

Recumbent bike

General features of a recumbent bike

HandlebarsUnder-seat or above-seat handlebars for comfortable grip
Frame MaterialLightweight materials like aluminum or carbon fiber
Wheels and TiresLarger rear wheel and smaller front wheel for stability
Gears and BrakesMultiple gears for varied terrains, often with disc brakes
SuspensionSome models may have rear suspension for added comfort
Saddle and SeatpostReclined seat and adjustable seatpost for ergonomic support
ExtrasAccessories like pannier racks, fenders, and lighting

Recumbent bikes: best for vs not suitable for


Best for

Not Suited for

Long-distance touring and leisure cycling

Technical off-road trails

Riders seeking a comfortable and ergonomic riding position

High-speed racing or competitive peloton riding

Ideal for extended rides

Quick and frequent changes of direction

Types of recumbent bikes

Although recumbent bikes are not that common, here are a few of the more common types.

Long wheelbase recumbents

Long Wheelbase Recumbent

Long wheelbase recumbent bikes are known for their stability and comfortable riding posture. This makes them ideal for long-distance touring and leisurely rides.

Their extended frame provides a smooth, relaxed experience that’s ideal for riders who prioritize comfort and efficient pedaling over high-speed performance.

Short wheelbase recumbents

Short wheelbase recumbent

Short wheelbase recumbent bikes have a more compact design to enhance maneuverability and responsiveness.

While still suitable for touring, they are favored by riders who appreciate a balance between comfort and agility. They are often used for commuting or moderate-paced rides.

Trike recumbents

Trike recumbent bike

Trike recumbents provide exceptional stability with three wheels. They are popular among riders seeking enhanced balance and control. Trikes are well-suited for individuals who may have difficulty balancing on traditional bicycles. They’re also suitable for leisurely rides and commuting on paved roads.


Handcycles are designed for individuals with limited or no use of their lower body. These recumbent bikes are powered using the rider’s arms, which makes them ideal for upper body workouts and outdoor activities.

Handcycles are used by adaptive athletes, people with disabilities, and those who prefer a different form of cardiovascular exercise.

Recumbent bikes are specially designed recumbent bicycles for outdoor use.

Touring bikes

A touring bike is designed especially for long-distance travel and exploration. It features sturdy construction, comfortable riding posture, and ample storage options to for extended journeys.

Touring bikes are used by cyclists to embark on cross-country adventures, carrying gear and supplies while prioritizing comfort and stability over speed.

Touring bike

General features of a touring bike

HandlebarsDrop bars or butterfly bars for multiple hand positions, promoting comfort during long rides.
Frame MaterialDurable steel or aluminum construction, providing stability and ability to carry heavy loads.
Wheels and Tires700c wheels with wide, puncture-resistant tires for smooth rolling and stability on various terrain.
Gears and BrakesWide range of gears for tackling diverse landscapes, and reliable disc brakes for consistent stopping power.
SuspensionFront fork with shock absorption capabilities to dampen road vibrations and impacts.
Saddle and SeatpostComfortable, ergonomic saddle and adjustable seatpost for extended hours of riding.
ExtrasIntegrated pannier racks, fender mounts, and multiple bottle cage holders for gear and supplies.

Touring bikes: best for vs not suitable for

Best ForNot Suited For
Long-distance travel and explorationHigh-speed racing or competitive cycling
Carrying heavy loads and gearTechnical mountain biking
Comfortable, endurance-focused ridesAggressive, short-distance sprints
Multi-terrain adventuresTrick riding or stunts

Types of touring bikes

There’s a touring bike for almost every situation. Here are a few of the more popular ones.

Long-distance touring bikes

Long Distance Touring Bike

Designed for extended journeys, these bikes prioritize comfort and durability. They feature relaxed geometry, sturdy frames, and multiple mounting points for gear.

They excel at carrying heavy loads over long distances.

Light touring bikes

Ideal for riders seeking a balance between speed and touring capabilities, these light touring bikes offer a lighter frame and components. This makes them suitable for medium-distance travel with moderate gear.

Trekking bikes

Trekking bike

Versatile and well-suited for various terrains, trekking bikes feature strong frames, wide tires, and often come equipped with racks and fenders.

They cater to both commuting and long-distance touring needs.

Long-tail cargo bikes

Longtail cargo touring bike

Designed for those who want to combine touring with the ability to carry significant loads, these longtail cargo bikes feature extended rear sections for attaching panniers, making them suitable for longer trips and errands.

Touring bikes are specifically designed for long distance travelling. They prioritize comfort over speed and are robust to endure vast distances.

Folding bikes

As an honorable mention, we have one more type of bike: the foldable bike.

Foldable bikes

Foldable bike

Foldable bikes are compact and versatile bicycles designed with collapsible frames. This allows them to be easily folded and stored in small spaces.

It serves as a convenient urban commuting and recreational solution, and enables riders to combine cycling with public transport or store it effortlessly when not in use.

There are several foldable bikes which are suitable for small spaces or a quick run around in the city.


A road bike is designed for riding on paved surfaces, while a mountain bike is designed for riding off-road. Road bikes have drop handlebars, while mountain bikes have flat handlebars. Road bikes also have thin, lightweight tires, while mountain bikes have wider, knobby tires. 

If you are commuting short distances, a hybrid bike or a cruiser bike may be a good option. If you are commuting longer distances, a road bike or an electric bike may be a better choice.

A hybrid bike is a good option for beginners. They are comfortable and versatile, and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as commuting, fitness riding, and light trail riding.

A hybrid bike is a combination of a road and mountain bike. It’s suitable for cyclists who want a versatile option for both paved roads and light off-road paths. 

Cruiser bikes are known for their comfortable, laid-back riding position. They have wide handlebars, and often feature a retro design. City bikes, also known as commuter bikes, are designed for urban environments and may have more gears, a lighter frame, and additional features like fenders, lights, and racks for practical commuting purposes.

Overall Summary

  • There are several types of bikes – choose the one that will best meet your needs and requirements.
  • If you’re looking for a bike that will work on and off-road, then a hybrid bike might be a good option.
  • Cruiser bikes are comfortable options for leisurely rides and site seeing.
  • Electric bikes are a great option if you want to conserve energy or travel further.