Owing to advances in technology and growing customer preferences, manufacturers are making bicycles with every kind of cyclist in mind, and this has made bicycles more functional, reliable, and even more fun to ride.

According to reports, the variety of bicycles has expanded over the years from a few basic styles (e.g. road, mountain, city) to include all manner of niches and categories within categories, as manufacturers are now diversifying their offerings to cater to the varying needs of people.

While there is only a handful of main bike types out there, have it in mind each of them comes with its own unique set of features. Therefore, when selecting the perfect bicycle for yourself, it is very crucial that you first understand the different types of bicycles available and the features they carry.

Different Types of Bicycles and Their Prices, Features, Uses

Note that to make better decisions; you need to know the different types of bicycles that are available today, each with unique styles, features, and forms. Nonetheless, here is a detailed list of the types of bicycles you can get for yourself.

  1. Road Bike

These are one of the oldest types of bicycles, and while they have been upgraded over the years, they still maintain a good part of the same design. They are easily noted by their thin tires and drop handlebars that allow the rider to get in a more aerodynamic position suitable for high-speed racing.

  • Lightweight frame
  • 700c wheels
  • 23 – 30mm tires
  • Drop bar handlebar, with 2 in 1 shifter & brake levers
  • 2-3 front chain rings
  • 6-8 speed cassette for a wide variety of gears
Road Bike Price: $800 – $15,000

Uses: From racing to group rides to solo spins, this bike can handle a vast range of recreational rides.

  1. Mountain Bike

This is, without doubt, the most popular form of cycling these days that has grown in popularity over the past decade. Today, you can get a vast range of mountain biking styles, each requiring a unique bike design with specific features.

  • Suspension
  • 5″ or 29″ wheels
  • Knobby tires
  • 1x / 2x front chain ring
Mountain Bike Price: $500 – $10,000

Uses: Depending on the style, a mountain bike can be used for everything from unpaved roads to steep, goat-path single track.

  1. Hybrid Bikes

These types of bicycles were built to provide the benefits of both road bikes and mountain bikes. Note that their large, padded seats and upright handlebars provide a comfortable riding position, and are suitable for casual riding around the neighborhood or bike paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town.

  • 650b (27.5″) or 700c wheels
  • 650b x 1.9″ – 2.1″ tires
  • Flat bar-type handlebar
  • With ergonomic grips
  • Rigid fork, or a short travel suspension
  • Suspension range 60-80mm
  • Lightweight frame
Hybrid Bike Prices: $520 – $849

Uses: Suitable for general-purpose riding over various types of terrain

  1. Cyclocross Bikes

These are special types of road bicycles built to be raced on a mixed surface course (combination of pavement, unpaved trails, gravel, and grass). Note that they come with a drop handlebar like regular road bikes, but the tires are a little wider for more off-road traction, and they have a different style of brake that helps to prevent mud buildup in the frame.

  • 700c wheels
  • Road-bike geometry
  • Performance-based
  • Expensive
  • Lightweight
Cyclocross Bike Prices: $1,340 – $2,500

Uses: Cyclocross bikes are designed to be raced on cyclocross courses, such as mud, sand, rocks, and even snow

  1. Touring Bikes

These bicycles are designed to be used on pavement but are more durable for use on self-supported long-distance riding. Note that they come with all the necessary mounting bolts for cargo racks and fenders, and while they still have a drop handlebar, they tend to have a more relaxed frame design so that the rider is more upright, for more comfort when riding long distances for multiple days at a time.

  • 26″ / 27.5″ (650b) / 700c wheels
  • 2-3x front chain ring
  • For a wide variety of gears
  • Drop-bar handlebar
  • Rack & fender eyelets all around the frame & fork
Touring Bike Prices: $1,000 to $10,000

Uses: Designed for multi-day rides where you’re carrying everything you need with you.

  1. Gravel Bikes

These are some of the newest categories of bicycles. They are most often referred to as all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or adventure road bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of a road bike.

  • 650b wheels (27.5″)
  • 700c x 34mm – 45mm
  • Represented by MTB-specific brands
  • Road geometry, MTB components
Gravel Bike Prices: $1,000 to $10,000

Uses: Any kind of riding you want to do except road races.

  1. Triathlon Bicycles

These are road bikes with a special design that maximizes their aerodynamic properties. Their handlebars are also designed with a special aerodynamic design that ensures that you can crouch forward while riding, to minimize the wind resistance against your body.

  • Frame geometry and special handlebars
  • Aerodynamic frame and component design for reducing drag.
  • Wing-style airfoil-shaped frames and wheels
  • Disc brakes
  • 25mm or less
Triathlon Bikes Prices: $2,000 – $10,000

Uses: Designed for distances

  1. Fitness Bicycles

These bikes offer the efficiency of regular road bikes by having quite skinny tires. However, note that the tires aren’t as thin as road bike tires are, but they are not as wide as mountain bike tires either. But similar to road bikes, fitness bikes come with a super-light frame that provides a considerable amount of stiffness and strength.

  • 650b (27.5″) or 700c wheels
  • 650b x 1.9″ – 2.1″ tires
  • Flat bar-type handlebar
  • With ergonomic grips
  • Rigid fork, or a short travel suspension
  • Suspension range 60-80mm
  • Lightweight frame
Fitness Bikes Prices: $200 – $2,000

Uses: Fitness bikes are made for working out

  1. Electric Bicycles

These bicycles tend to include an electric motor that you can charge by plugging into a regular outlet. When you peddle, the electric motor provides an assist to ensure that you go faster and hills are made easier.

  • Class 1: pedal-assist to 20 mph
  • Class 2: pedal-assist or throttle-driven to 20 mph
  • Class 3: pedal-assist to 28 mph
  • Class 4: faster than 28mph and has a motor power greater than 750W

Prices: $1,000 – $10,000

Uses: Motorized cycling

  1. City Bikes

The name “city bike” doesn’t necessarily refer to a specific category of bikes; it’s more or less a general descriptive term. They can also be referred to as “commuter” or “urban” bikes. They are essentially any bike made with utility, rather than recreation, in mind. They come in various, purpose-built styles.

  • Affordable
  • Basic build
  • Simple brakes and gearing
  • 26″ wheels
  • Integrated fenders, mounts for racks & baskets
City Bike Prices: $400 – $6,000

Uses: Commuting and errands

  1. Fat Bicycles

These are a type of mountain bike with very fat tires. These bicycles are known to go where mountain bikes and most other bike types can’t or have trouble riding.

  • 26 wheels
  • 8″ – 5″ wide tires
  • Rigid fork
  • Alloy, steel, or carbon
  • MTB geometry frame
Fat Bike Prices: $500 – $7,000

Uses: Fat bikes are ideal for getting out on days you might not otherwise, especially in winter. They’re ideal for hard-packed snow, as well as sand and loose soils.

  1. Tandem Bicycles

These bicycles simply put are “bicycles built for two.” They tend to come in all styles, from cruiser tandems and hybrid tandems for the bike path or boardwalk, off-road mountain bike tandems, and high-performance road racing tandems.

  • 2-person bike
  • 24″ – 26″ wheels
  • Increased weight capacity
  • Synchronized or independent pedaling
Tandem Bike Prices: $500 – $6,000

Uses: Suited for riding with children, and riders with certain disabilities, like impaired vision.

  1. BMX

BMX stands for Bicycle Motor Cross, especially since this type of bicycle is a single-speed bike that is raced around short dirt tracks, quite similar to motorsport. The acronym is most often used to describe any bike with a single-speed and a 20-inch wheel.

  • 20″ wheels
  • Reinforced frame & hubs
  • Availability to add pegs or grinding & tricks
BMX Bike Prices: $300 – $1,500

Uses: Jumping and racing

  1. Kids Bicycle

These bicycles have come a long way from the old days of basic single speeds with training wheels to becoming a bicycle that is suitable for kids of all ages and skill levels. Note that the most basic of kids’ bikes is the Balance Bike, a simple two-wheeled bike with no pedals, gears, or brakes.

  • No pedals
  • No gears
  • No brakes

Prices: $100 – $2,000

Uses: Ideal for beginners in the 2-3 year age group that still need to learn how to balance.

  1. Adult Tricycles

These bicycles are suitable for older folks who intend to get around under their own power, or those with balance issues or other special needs. They are also popular in environmentally-conscious industrial/warehouse applications.

  • Conventional bicycle front end paired to two, side-by-side wheels in the back
  • Gearing ranges from single to multi-speed derailleur and/or internal hub
  • Brakes can be either conventional cable-activated rim or hydraulic disc systems.
  • Increased payload capacity
  • Extended length for racks
  • 20″ – 26″ wheels
Adult Tricycle Prices: $300 – $4,000

Uses: Suitable for a wide range of uses, such as for errands and commuting or hauling cargo in both personal and work settings. Can be recreational machines that help riders stay fit and active or enjoy rides with friends and family on the road, bike path, or trail.

  1. Recumbent Bicycles

These bicycles are known to have a long, low design and a full-size seat with a backrest. They are available in two-wheel and three-wheel designs and a good number of recumbent riders feel that they are the most comfortable option available for bicycling. They are typically heavier than upright bikes, and they tend to be inefficient and slow climbers even for very fit riders.

  • Larger seat with a backrest
  • The pedals are in front of the seat instead of below the seat
  • Additional comfort and better back support
Recumbent Bike Prices: $1,500 – $4000

Uses: Mostly recreational road riding

  1. Folding Bicycles

Folding Bicycles are ideal for individuals who intend to travel on their bike, want a bike to keep on their boat or plane, or who live in small apartments and don’t have a lot of storage space. They’re also suitable for commuters who need to take their bike on a bus or train for part of their commute, or who don’t have a safe place to park their bike at work.

  • Fold-up frame geometry
  • Frame, handlebar, and the pedals
  • 14″ / 16″ / 20″ wheels

Prices: $220 – $650

Uses: Increase its portability

  1. Cruiser Bicycles

Similar to hybrid bikes, cruiser bikes are suitable for casual or recreational riding. These bikes come with a comfortable seat and have you riding in a comfortable upright position. They tend to have wide “balloon” tires, and handlebars that are even more upright, and in some cases, swept-back compared to hybrid bikes.

  • 26″ wheels
  • With balloon tires
  • Single-speed
  • With coaster brake
  • Mustache-type handlebar
  • Double-spring saddle
Cruiser Bike Prices: $200 – $1,500

Uses: Used primarily on paved roads, low speeds/distances, and are included in the non-racing/non-touring class and heavyweight or middleweight styles of the road bicycle type.

Truth be told, cycling remains one of the best and most preferred pastimes for people who are looking to reduce the risk of strokes and heart diseases. The cycling market is filled with bikes of all shapes, sizes, colors, frame designs, handling capabilities, sensitivities, and styles. However, when choosing a good bicycle, note that the best bikes are super expensive.