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Fixed Gear / Single Speed / Fixie Bicycles

These are bicycles without freewheel mechanism, with only one gear. Fixies are designed to be ridden on a velodrome, which is a banked oval track specifically for bicycle racing. A true fixie has no freewheel, therefore the cyclist has to pedal while moving. That requires a good degree of control while using it.

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Fixies are lightning-fast in the hands of an accomplished rider. One gear means less maintenance, higher durability and less to go wrong. However, it is also worth noting that riding in one gear puts considerably more stress on the few drivetrain components that are present, not to mention the rider’s knees. They’re possibly the best bicycles for commuting.

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Fixed-gear bicycles have gained popularity with urban biking enthusiasts for their lightweight, low maintenance, and simple riding style.

PROS
  • Light, simple, quick
  • One of the best for urban commuting
  • Minimal maintenance
CONS
  • Rider requires skills
  • More stress on rider compared to driving a geared bicycle

Folding Bicycles

They are ideal for those who need to travel with their bicycle, want a bicycle to keep on their boat or plane, or who live in small apartments and don’t have a lot of storage space. Best suited to short rides, folding bicycles are phenomenally popular among big-city commuters. The most compact ones will fit under your desk and they can be carried onto a train or bus even in rush hour.

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Most folding bicycles have smaller wheels, which makes the bicycle a little less efficient and trickier to handle than a standard bicycle, but most folding bicycle fans feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

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Folding bicycles are getting more & more diverse in look & application all the time. There are many different designs and mechanisms that allow bicycles to fold, some of them incredibly practical, quick and easy.

PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient to store and carry
CONS
  • Slower than a big-wheeled bicycle

BMX (Bicycle Motocross)

BMX Stands for “Bicycle Motocross“, are popular with kids as well youngs because of their small size. They are used by adults and kids alike for various trick and stunt riding. BMX is a fun urban trickable bicycle that is strong, simple & versatile. BMX is a fast-paced, racing bicycles flying around a finely sculpted track with jumps at breakneck speed.

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These are built around a small frame & wheels. The foot pegs allow the rider to take up many riding & trick positions. The front brakes are designed in such way that it allows the handlebars to spin during tricks and wheelies.

 

These single-gear bicycles feature cable-operated caliper brakes on the front and rear. While they are great for street riding, dirt racing, and jumping ramps, the low seat position is generally uncomfortable for commuting long distance

Tandem Bicycles

Tandem Bicycles are designed to carry two (sometimes more than 2) riders and usually for long distance cycle touring. These Bicycles offer a fun way for families and couples to get around, especially when one rider is weaker than the other. The front rider controls the steering, braking, and shifting. The back rider mainly has access to pedals and in some models may have limited access to brakes. The pedals on a tandem are connected so that they revolve around the hub in unison.tandem-min

Tandems come in four subcategories: mountain, road, hybrid, and recumbent. These Bicycles features the same characteristics as their namesake, but they’re built for two riders. Brakes are heavy duty to provide adequate stopping power when going downhill. Front forks & the rear frame are fitted with rack mounts to facilitate luggage carrying duties. Bicycles are often custom made or offered in a choice of front end & back end sizes to facilitate all rider heights.

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PROS
  • Great for leisurely or competitive rides
  • Good option for riding together
CONS
  • requires coordination between riders

Hybrid / City Bicycles

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These recreational bicycles emphasize comfort and ease of handling. A very hazy term that covers an enormous variety of different styles of bicycle. Hybrid bicycles were originally conceived to provide the advantages of both road bicycles and mountain bicycles. Anything that falls between a road bicycle and a mountain bicycle is lumped into this diverse category.

If you want to go quickly on good roads but you prefer a more upright position or don’t get on with drop handlebars, this is the way to go. They are best for casual riding around the neighborhood or bicycle paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town. They are ideal for paved or unpaved bicycle trails, but are not as lightweight or efficient as road bicycles. They are not appropriate for rough off-road mountain bicycle trails. The thing that unites hybrid bicycles seems to be riser handlebars. These provide a very upright riding position that feels familiar and comfortable to both experienced cyclists and complete newbies.

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They are flat-bar bicycles. Options are available with different frame materials, wheel and tire sizes, some with suspension and some without. Frames follow more of a mountain bicycle geometry with sloping top tubes, so are strong enough to absorb bumps & the occasional pothole. The tires are usually a medium-width with a semi-smooth tread, to provide a fairly smooth ride on pavement, but enough grip and cushion on unpaved trails. Most hybrid bicycles have a front suspension to smooth out small bumps, but some are fully rigid. They have road bicycle-style caliper brakes and mountain bicycle-style disc brakes. The bicycle may have racks and guards.  

The only major downside with a flat-bar bicycle is that you’re not as aerodynamic as you are on a racing bicycle and therefore not quite as quick. Hybrids are also extremely versatile and are a true jack of all trades, but a master of none. Hybrids also have narrower tires than mountain bicycles, allowing them to travel faster on paved roads. However, they are generally not as fast as road bicycles, and they lack the gear range of most mountain bicycles. The perfect solution for commuting to work & general riding about town on a diverse range of possible riding surfaces.

Pros

  • Good for riding on multiple surfaces.
  • Fairly quick, versatile, upright
  • hybrids offer a nice blend of comfort and durability.
  • A little less expensive than a road bicycle.

Cons

  • Mountain bicycles are a better choice for trails and road bicycles for road riding.
  • Can be almost as fragile as race bicycles

Mountain Bicycles

While they don’t go as fast as road bicycles on the road, Built with strong components that can absorb rough riding, mountain bicycles are designed for off-road use. They typically feature lower gears, giving you the ability to climb steep terrain. The straight, wide handlebars give you better steering control and keep your fingers on the brake levers, so you are always at the ready no matter what surprise is around the corner. They also include better braking systems, lower step-over clearance frames, and wider tires than most road bicycles. Some higher priced models also feature lightweight frames. Overall, they are amazingly durable riding in off-road terrain.

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Although they’re designed to handle off-road riding, mountain bicycles can also be a good option for commuting through urban areas. For riding on the road, the solution is to fit slick tires. Steer clear of full-suspension if your ambitions don’t involve proper off-road riding, otherwise, you’ll be paying for technology you never use. Invest in a good lock too. Best for off-road cycling and mountain biking, of course.

Mountain bicycles come in following varieties:

Hardtail Bicycles

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feature a front suspension fork and a rigid back with no rear suspension shocks. This type of mountain bicycle is much less expensive and lighter in weight than a typical full-suspension mountain bicycle. A hardtail is a more versatile choice if you plan to use it for both paved and unpaved surfaces.

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A hardtail is less able to safely handle more technical singletrack trails, provides less overall shock absorption and, in some situations, delivers less rear wheel traction.

Full-Suspension Bicycles  / Softtail / Duallies

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feature both front- and rear-suspension shocks, making them ideal for backcountry adventures and traversing more technical trails.

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These bicycles are heavier and more expensive than their hardtail counterparts, but the added suspension and sturdier frame can handle more aggressive riding and make riding easier on your spine and sit-bones.

Downhill Bicycles

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For adventures riders or sportspersons who propel themselves off a steep hill or mountain, this is the ride.

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Suspension travel (> 5-inches or 13cms) is greater than a normal full suspension bicycle & designed to soak up big bumps at great speed. Frames are also beefed up & hence, downhill bicycles are too heavy for general trail riding & cross country. Brakes are very effective with multi-pot calipers & large discs are standard.

Rigid Bicycles

Mountain bicycles with no suspension are called rigid.

Pros

  • Extremely durable.
  • Even street riders can enjoy the durability when faced with potholes, curbs, and buckled pavement.
  • Great brakes
  • upright position
  • versatile

Cons

  • Wide tires make mountain bicycles less than ideal for traveling far on flat surfaces.
  • They’re also heavier than other bicycles due to their sturdy frames.

Seat Posts

The seatpost is a simple tube that connects the saddle to the bicycle. Your seatpost can seem like a not so important part of your bicycle but it can have an important role to play in how comfortable your bicycle is to ride, and can also be a potential area for a weight-saving upgrade. A good seatpost will reduce vibration and absorb any shock or impact experienced while cycling. Seatposts are made from a metal, as this part needs to be strong and able to support the weight of the cyclist.

Things to consider while buying

There are a few things to bear in mind when choosing a new seat post. They all do the same job and look pretty much the same but take a closer look and you’ll see a lot of subtle differences. We usually take very little notice of seatposts but they can have a surprising effect on the comfort of the ride.

 

  • Material: Most of seat posts are made up of Alloy or carbon. Carbon fibre is generally regarded as being more comfortable due to its vibration-absorbing characteristics. Carbon seatposts are lightest, but they are costliest too. Many, trail and gravity MTB riders still favour premium alloy posts for strength and confidence. If ride quality is more important for you then saddle, and tyres have a far more direct influence on ride quality, you should primarily focus your efforts there. But if you are trying to build a super-light bicycle then there is no other choice than carbon for seatpost material.
  • Diameter: The most important dimension to consider is diameter. It must correspond to the internal diameter of your seat tube in order to have a snug fit. The majority of modern seat posts are 27.2mm (standard), 30.9mm / 31.6mm (oversized) wide. Older frames may have slightly thinner diameters (eg. 26.8mm) but these are becoming rarer. The diameter size for high-performance bicycle seatposts is larger because they are made of thinner-walled tubing. An oversize post is regarded as adding stiffness and strength for optimum power transfer as well as resistance to bending/failure. High-quality bicycles generally use seat posts with a 27.2 mm diameter. This is the most common size seat post in the industry, but is accepted as being more comfortable over rough surfaces.
  • Length: Length is another thing to think about, especially if you like to ride a smaller frame size. Make sure you have the correct length of seatpost for your needs. While a longer post is generally regarded as offering more comfort, the amount of post ‘sticking out’ of the frame will largely be dependent on your frame size/geometry and your own leg length etc. Seatposts are available in several lengths from 280mm to 400mm so measure the amount of post you have showing plus the minimum amount of insertion that needs to be in the seat tube before purchase. If in doubt, measure your old post. Basically, the line is there to make sure that the amount of post inside the frame can handle any load placed upon it during riding. If not, there’s a chance you could damage the post or even snap it in extreme circumstances.
  • Layback: Layback is the distance between the centre of the post and the middle of the saddle rail cradle. This can have quite an effect on reach and comfort. A post with a lot of layback will result in the saddle being further from the bars, putting you in a more stretched out position. If you feel the saddle is too far back or for efficient pedalling or for time trialling, an inline post with no layback is a better option.
  • Saddle attachment / Clamp type: The cradle or clamp at the top of the seat post which holds the saddle rails can tilt forward and back to allow you to fine tune the saddle position. The saddle clamp will be held in place with one or two bolts. Twin bolt systems are more common as they are more secure and spread the load better. The clamp bolts can be loosened to allow you move the saddle to your preferred position.
  • Colour: Colour for many riders is a crucial aspect while selecting a seatpost. You can chose a seatpost colour that matches your bars and stem ie. black and black, white and white.

Final words of wisdom

  • Leisure riders just need to make sure they’re buying a seat post with the correct diameter and in the correct length. If you’re in doubt, remove your existing seat post and have a look towards the end of the post and chances are it will have the diameter and length stamped on it.
  • Regular riders are well served with either a lightweight aluminium seat post or a carbon seat post. Stick with a reputable brand and a clamp head design that isn’t too wacky and you’ll be fine.
  • Racers should look for the lightest and stiffest carbon seat post that they can afford. So long as your reach doesn’t get compromised it may be worth trying an inline post too for increased pedalling power – especially on seated climbs.

 

There are a number of ‘non-standard’ specialized seatpost designs available in market. Some of the most important ones are aero posts and dropper posts.

Aero posts: These seatposts are specially made for road and TT racing. While most posts are circular in cross-section, many manufacturers are now making aero posts for road and TT racing, with an elliptical ‘blade’ cross-section which offers improved aerodynamic performance by offering less frontal area to the wind.

Dropper posts: These seatposts are specially made for trail and gravity MTB riding. In recent years, dropper seatposts have become a must-have item for mountain riders. A dropper seatpost will allow you to quickly and easily lower your saddle for improved control when you hit technical terrain, by means of a saddle or bar-mounted switch.

Touring / Audax

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Are another special type of road bicycle. An excellent multifunctional choice that will work for commuting and leisure riding. Designed for comfortable long-distance travel & load carrying. Touring bicycles are stronger and have fatter tires than pure road bicycles. They come with bosses on the frame & forks for fitting panniers & luggage racks. Because of their durability and ability to carry heavy loads, they are good commuter bicycles. These are great for weekends away or longer trips if you are adventures.

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The riding position is more upright than a racing bicycle so better prevention against back fatigue. Due to less bum-up riding position the vision is better. They do, however, tend to retain drop-handlebars so that the rider can still get down low to tackle a stiff headwind. Brakes need to be strong to provide stopping power for a heavy object (rider + luggage + bicycle) traveling at speed downhill. Saddles are built for comfort rather than speed & weight saving. They have a lower gear range compared to regular road bicycles, to allow for carrying heavy loads up steep hills.

The category covers a range of bicycles including ‘fast road’ or audax bicycles – essentially road bicycles with room for fatter tires and mudguards – and cycle-cross bicycles, which usually have mudguard eyes unless they’re high-end models.

Durable and easily accessible components are chosen for touring bicycles, as the rider never knows where exactly they’ll be when their chain breaks or they need a new inner tube.

PROS
  • Tough, lots of load-carrying capacity, still fairly quick.
  • Low gearing, smooth tires, and stable handling make long road rides comfortable.
  • Designed to accommodate touring bags for multi-day rides.
CONS
  • Not quite race-bicycle quick.
  • Less agile handling than road racing bicycles.

Triathlon / Time Trial (TT) Bicycles

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Triathlon/Time Trial Bicycles are road bicycles with a special design that maximizes their aerodynamic properties. The ultimate speed machines built for short & usually flat time trial & triathlon races where every second count.

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Their bicycles are designed as weapons against the wind. Equipped with aero handlebars that allow a very low streamlined riding position, to minimize the wind resistance against your body. Also fitted with aero seatposts & wheels to keep drag down. Usually built from composite materials for lightness and stiffness.

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Because aerodynamic efficiency is paramount, the frame of a TT bicycle contorts the rider into a position that results in the smallest possible frontal area. This is done with unusual geometry that starts with a very steep seat angle to bring the rider forward from where they would usually sit on a road racing bicycle.

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Because of this forward position, “aerobars” are employed for the rider to rest their forearms on, as opposed to normal drop handlebars that are held in the hand. These bicycles are more difficult to maneuver for general cycling, they don’t have drop handlebars, they can be uncomfortable for long rides and their braking is not as convenient.

PROS

  • Fast and aerodynamic

CONS

  • More difficult for general cycling
  • Not suitable for long distance rides

Adult Tricycle

Most people associate tricycles with young kids or children, but bicycle manufacturers produce tricycles for adults too? These vehicles are commonly known as adult three-wheel bicycles.

Cycling is one of a popular outdoor exercise of all time, but not everyone knows how to ride a bicycle. There are also people who cope with disabilities or lack of stamina to sit upright on the two-wheel machine for a long period of time. Due to these reasons, grown-up tricycles are one great alternative as a mode of transport for a recreational and competitive purpose. They are also popular in environmentally-conscious industrial/warehouse applications.

There are two major types of Adult tricycle:

Delta

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A delta adult tricycle has 2 wheels in the rear, which is what we normally see on streets. delta tricycles are more for pleasure riding.

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Tadpole

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Tadpole adult tricycle has 2 wheels on the front. Tadpole tricycles mostly use for long-distance riding.

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There are also electric or motorized tricycles which probably give you a very minimal workout, but great convenience in operating. With the wide variety of adult tricycles, prices are ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars, depends on brand and quality.