Guide to Types of Bike

Corresponding to our main cycle classifications in CYCLORAMA, welcome to our introductory guides to the various types of cycle available.

Electric Bikes

Electric Bikes

The general public can see the potential benefits of electric bikes even if many 'proper' cyclists look away. Electric bike sales in Europe have sky-rocketed in recent years and the trend shows no signs of abating. The technology has finally caught up with the promise: electric bikes are here to stay.

 
Tandems.

Tandems.

The arguments for two-people-two-wheels have hardly changed since the invention of the tandem over 180 years ago. Behold a machine weighing less than two bikes but with almost the same rolling resistance and wind resistance as a solo.

 
Fun Bikes

Fun Bikes

Every field of endevour has its eccentrics. Is it the mechanical simplicity of the humble bicycle and the ease with which it can be butchered which has resulting in cycling being blessed with more than its fair share of mad inventors? Whatever the reason, there is no shortage of wackyness in the cycling world. From micro-bikes to tall-bikes with a detour around the sofa-cycle.....

 
Mobility

Mobility

Cycling offers mobility, fitness and fun, no matter what your disability or special need. Mick Allan examines the options

 

Tricycles

Add an extra wheel, and the potential of pedal-power is drastically transformed. Trikes are very little understood these days, and their image varies enormously from country to country. They are due for a big revival.

 

BMX

BMX, Bicycle Moto Cross, is widely perceived as the 'new kid' in the world of cycling but the truth is that it's nearly 40 years old and an Olympic sport. It's definitely here to stay. By MICK ALLAN.

 

Street Bikes

Street bikes, City bikes, Town bikes - whatever you like to call them - are purpose built for urban tarmac. Any old road racer or mountain bike bike may be ridden to work, to school or the local shops but a Street Bike will have some identifiable features: Mudguards, luggage racks, lights. Perhaps a wicker basket. The emphasis is on comfort and everyday reliability, useful rather than flashy.

 

Recumbents and Velomobiles

Banned by the Union Cycliste International in the thirties because their performance advantage was considered unsporting, recumbents or Human Powered Vehicles remained no more than an evolutionary footnote in cycling history until a few innovative souls began racing them again in the 1970s. Riders of modern HPVs can achieve speeds in excess of 85mph in competition but regular cyclists can benefit from some of their features such as improved comfort, more efficient aerodynamics and better weather protection.

 

Off-Road Bikes

When we think of riding a bike in the dirt we automatically think of mountain bikes. The global spread of mountain bikes certainly made cycling more popular than ever but we think it's important not to overlook the ‘other’ dirt bikes; cyclocross, BMX, cycle speedway, trials bikes and their derivatives.

 

Road Bikes

Time Trial and Triathlon Bikes, Road racers, Touring bikes, Audax and Randonneur. If it's built for the open road you'll find it here.

 

Portables

True multi-modal travel is now commonplace. Car, bus, train, bike, walk are all compatible with the advent of lightweight fast-folding lightweight folding bicycles. They used to be so few and far between that owners would wave to one another in passing but within just a few years folders have moved beyond niche, through trendy and into general utility.

 

Cargo and Work Cycles

Pedal-power has massive potential for carrying loads. You can carry more on a bike than you ever imagined possible, and manufacturers are continuously developing an astonishing range of carrying solutions. Letters, groceries, computer equipment, sacks of cement, small trees, half a ton of iron, canoes, ladders, canoes, you name it, a cyclist somewhere will have shifted it. Here are a few of the best ways to carry loads big and small.

 
Family and Children's Cycles

Family and Children's Cycles

Take the whole family with you when you cycle. The range of good quality bikes and equipment expands every year and there has never been more awareness of the need to establish good healthy habits at an early age. But whatever your motivation, saving money or saving the planet, your kids will have a blast. What better reason to get them on a bike?