Types of bike: Everything you need to know and how to pick the right bike for you

Three types of bike cut and pasted together to create a frankenbike
(Image credit: Courtesy)

One hundred years ago, there was one basic bicycle type: frame, two wheels, narrow tyres, rim brakes, saddle, and handlebars. Nowadays, there are disc brakes, flat bars, knobby tyres, folding frames, and even suspension forks on bicycles. It seems that every year some new piece of technology – or even a whole new kind of bike – hits the market.

In this article, we’ll cover the gamut of bicycles, from the best road bikes and mountain bikes, to the more fringe styles of BMX bikes and the best folding bikes, not to mention the best hybrid bikes and electric bikes for commuting. At the end of this article, we’ll help you determine which kind of bike is best for you.

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Zach is a freelance writer, the head of ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level rider in road, track, and e-racing. He writes about everything cycling-related, from buyer's guides to product reviews and feature articles to power analyses. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Marian University-Indianapolis, Zach discovered a passion for writing that soon turned into a full-fledged career. In between articles, Zach spends his time working with endurance athletes of all abilities and ages at ZNehr Coaching. After entering the sport at age 17, Zach went on to have a wonderful road racing career that included winning the 2017 Collegiate National Time Trial Championships and a 9th place finish at the 2019 US Pro National Time Trial Championships. Nowadays, Zach spends most of his ride time indoors with NeXT eSport.