A Guide to the Different Types of Bicycles

Bicycles are divided into a seemingly endless number of categories and sub-categories. And if you’re new to cycling, it may get a little confusing at first. Especially if you’re looking for a bicycle to get you started with your new hobby or sport.

Whatever activities you tend to do with your bikes, there’s something for you. Either you want a bike mostly for commuting or for conquering dirt tracks well, you may read more to know specific types of bicycles suitable for your needs.

Furthermore, to help you, here are the main types of bikes that people tend to speak about. The following list will make you understand all the various styles and features.


  1. Road bikes

As the name suggests, road bikes are designed for the road – to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. They have skinny, smooth tires and “drop” handlebars, and are known for their extreme efficiency and speed. The larger thin tires help it glide along the road with little effort, while the multi-position handlebar offers grip variations from upright to more aggressive.

basics of road bike

Get a road bike if you want fast, efficient cycling on tarmac roads for commuting, competing, or for fun. Don’t get one if you’re going to take your bicycle off the road. Skinny tires mean you won’t be able to use a road bike on anything other than tarmac. Icy roads can also be a problem for road bikes.

How much do they usually cost? Bike roads start at $800 for quality road bikes with aluminum frames, 18-speed drivetrains, and conventional rim brakes.


  1. Mountain bikes

These durable, rugged bikes are made for riding narrow dirt trails. They have wide, flat handlebars for control; two-inch or wider tires with knobby tread for traction; and wide-range drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes for handling steep climbs and descents. Also, they often have suspension to help any cyclist navigate rocky mountain trails.

mountain bike buying guide

This bike is perfect for you if you want to go mountain biking or mainly off-road. And if you just want to go fast on tarmac roads, cycle long distances, or mostly knock about town, then don’t get this bike.

For a basic hardtail for light trail use can be as low as $400, while the top trail and enduro-style models cost $10,000, with carbon fiber frames and wheelsets and sophisticated suspensions.


  1. Hybrid bikes

Commonly known as commuter bikes, these are a mixture of road bikes and mountain bikes. They give you a versatility to do a bit of everything. For its characteristics, they have flat handlebars instead of drop handlebars. Some models have front suspension to cushion bumps in the road or on the track. They’re designed with versatility and comfort in mind, so they have the comfortable geometry of mountain bikes but with slicker, narrower tires.


This is best suitable for you if your primary use for the bike will be commuting and/or knocking about town, as well as occasionally going off-road or mountain biking. But if you want to ride as fast as possible on roads, or tear down mountain bike trails as dexterously as possible, then this isn’t for you.

The price range for this type of bike only starts at $300 to $3000 depending on the use and gears. There is a wide variation for this – for beginners, commuting, training, women, and electric.




The type of bike and cost of how much you’re going to spend on it should depend on how frequently you plan to use it, and also to the features you need. Although, if you’re still feeling unsure about what to buy, consider trying out a friend or family member’s bike and make sure you get to see what type suits your needs. Whatever it is that you’re going to choose, carefully consider how you plan to use your bike before settling on a type.