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Bicycles can be categorized by function, number of riders, gearing, sport, means of propulsion, position of the rider or as here the frame type: This is a type intended for use by women, with a lowered top tube due to consideration for skirts.

This list gives an overview of different types of bicycles, categorized by function (racing, recreation, etc.); number of riders (one, two, or more); by construction or frame type (upright, folding, etc.); by gearing (single speed, derailleur gears, etc.); by sport (mountain biking, BMX, triathlon, etc.); by means of propulsion (human-powered, motor-assisted, etc.); and by rider position (upright, recumbent, etc.) The list also includes miscellaneous types such as pedicabs, rickshaws, and clown bikes. The categories are not mutually exclusive; as such, a bike type may appear in more than one category.

By function

A modern touring bicycle, with accessories and baggage
An aluminum BXR bike made by Caloi and built using Shimano Acera and 27 Speed and a wheelset with 36 spoke count.
Bicycles parked outside an academic building at Stanford University
Firefighter bicycle

The main categories of bicycles concerning their intended use are:

Typical 1930s Butcher's Bike
An aluminum racing bicycle made by Raleigh and built using Shimano components. It uses a semi-aerodynamic wheelset with low spoke count.

By sport

Flatland rider on a BMX bike

By frame design

Strida folding frame bicycle in yellow

By material

By rider position

ElliptiGO users stand up on a seatless treadle bicycle

By number of riders

Two people riding a Sociable

In most of these types the riders ride one behind the other (referred to as tandem seating). Exceptions are "The Companion", or "Sociable," a side-by-side two-person bike (that converted to a single-rider) built by the Punnett Cycle Mfg. Co. in Rochester, N.Y. in the 1890s. On the Conference Bike, riders sit in a circle facing each other. On the Busycle, the captain faces forwards, one row of stokers faces left, and one row faces right.[14]

By number of wheels

While not strictly bicycles, these devices share many features such as drivetrains and other components with bicycles.

By type of steering

By means of propulsion

A treadle bicycle from 1925

By gearing

Main article: Bicycle drivetrain systems

Shimano XT rear derailleur on a mountain bike

The majority of bicycles transmit power from the crankset to the drive wheel with a bicycle chain

By style

Some bicycles are defined by their appearance.

The 2005 Giant Innova is an example of a hybrid bicycle. It has 27 speeds and disc brakes for wet-weather riding.

See also


  1. ^ "Gravel bike vs cyclocross bike: spot the difference". BikeRadar. 16 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-04-17.
  2. ^ Urban Jeff. "Cyclocross Bikes for Commuting". Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  3. ^ "What Are the Different Types of Bicycles?". Bike LVR. 2021-08-23. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  4. ^ Dan Empfield (June 20, 2002). "What science says of seat angles". Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-30. greater contribution of the hamstrings and gluteus muscles
  5. ^ Jamie Rigg (June 3, 2014). "Forget training wheels: This bike balances itself".
  6. ^ Dan Empfield (June 20, 2002). "What science says of seat angles". Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-30. greater contribution of the hamstrings and gluteus muscles
  7. ^ Sheldon Brown. "Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Glossary Tp–Tz: Trials". Retrieved 2017-05-21. Trials are sometimes done on more-or-less standard mountain bikes, but more often with purpose-built trials bikes.
  8. ^ "What Are the Health Benefits of Routinely Riding a Stationary Bike?". 26 May 2013. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  9. ^ Sarnataro, Barbara Russi. "Fitness Basics: The Exercise Bike Is Back". WebMD. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  10. ^ Francis, Alex. “What is a Spin Bike: Key Points.” The Sports Techs, 11 Feb. 2021,
  11. ^ Fogoros, Richard N.; MD. "Riding Your Way to Aerobic Fitness With Recumbent Bikes". Verywell Fit. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Busycle ::: Gallery".
  15. ^ "Community Bike Cart Design: Eccentric wheel". Retrieved 2007-01-16.
  16. ^ "Random bike #5—Reverse steering bike". WeiWong. Archived from the original on 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-03-09.