When it comes to choosing a bike, working out which type you need can be a real challenge. It seems like almost every year bike manufacturers are coming out with new and exciting types of bikes, but this only makes the choice harder. As a keen cyclist who recently went through the process of buying my new bike, I thought I’d try and make things a bit simpler for you. So, what are the different types of bikes and which one is right for you?
The main two categories of bikes are road bikes and mountain bikes, with almost all other bikes falling into the spectrum between these two types. When choosing which type of bike to get, you should first decide if the bike’s main role is for fun or for commuting, as this has the largest impact on your decision.
So, we’ve established that different bike types are good for different jobs and that the main two types of bikes are road and mountain bikes, but, how do you know which one is right for you? I take a look into this, as well as taking a detailed look at each type of bike in the rest of my article.
What are the different types of bikes?
Bikes have come a long way from simply being 2 wheels and a frame. There are now many different types of bikes, each with their own design and component choices to enable them to work better in different situations. Try taking a look at the flowchart above to help you decide which bike type might work best for you.
When thinking about which type of bike is right for you, it is best to first of all think of the 2 main types of bikes, road bikes and mountain bikes. These two bike types sit at either end of the cycling spectrum and so working out what features of each you will need will help you to work out which one will work best for your needs.
What is a road bike?
Road bikes are designed to be fast
Road bikes are the classic bike you see people cycling on if they are wearing Lycra or riding in the Tour de France. They are designed to be fast, lightweight, and aerodynamic. They prioritise speed over durability and comfort. Because of this, they have a very low-to-ground design, and the frame design forces you to sit in a hunched-up position to reduce your wind drag.
Road bikes work best on the road
As the name suggests, these bikes are designed to be used on the road and will struggle with any off-road terrain. In fact, gravel paths or cobblestone roads may even give you a challenge on this type of bike. This is partly because they are made with weaker materials (such as carbon fibre), as well as being designed to prioritise speed over strength.
Road bikes have drop handlebars
Road bikes come with drop handlebars (meaning the main area of the handlebar that you hold is below the handlebar itself). These can be hard to get used to at first, but in the long run will help your aerodynamics, as well as give you multiple different options of where to place your hands during long rides.
Road bikes are expensive
Because these bikes focus on speed and are used by biking enthusiasts, they tend to be more expensive than many other types of bikes, with some costing as much as £10,000 (although you can still get a decent one for around £1000).
Road bikes have thin tires
Road bikes come with thinner tires (normally less than 30mm), this is again to prioritise speed, but can make them less stable in poor conditions such as wet or icy paths. It is also one of the reasons why they suffer so badly when attempting off-road cycling and means that you will be feeling more vibrations caused by small bumps in the road.
Road bikes have lightweight wheels
As with the frame of a road bike, the wheels on these types of bikes are very lightweight, but as a result, they are more fragile. In order to increase aerodynamics and cut down on extra material, they come with fewer spokes which can make damaging your wheel more likely than on other types of bikes (for example hitting a pothole or curb badly can irreparably damage your wheel). Almost all road bikes come with 700cc wheels (a specific size of wheel).
Road bikes are harder for new cyclists
Because of the drop handlebars and thin tires, newer riders can find road bikes harder to cycle on than other types of bikes, especially if they have learnt to ride on a mountain or hybrid bike. Road bikes can feel more unstable, and certain skills such as changing gear or signalling take some getting used to with drop handlebars.
Road bikes are made from lightweight materials
Due to their prioritisation of speed, road bikes are normally made from the lightest materials, specifically carbon fibre or aluminium, with carbon fibre being used in the top-end road bikes. This not only helps to reduce the weight of the bike, but these materials are also very efficient at transferring energy from your pedal into the wheels.
Road bikes have a high gear ratio
As with all other components of a road bike, the gears are designed to help you go faster. Road bikes come with a high gear ratio, meaning they have gears that prioritise speed over how easy it is to pedal. This helps you to pedal when you are already cycling at high speeds. They also tend to have lots of gears to help you pick the right gear for the speed you want. Road bikes tend to come with integrated gears (meaning they are built-in into the brake levers).
Road bikes have clip-in pedals
People with road bikes often use pedals that you clip your shoes into as you cycle, helping you to increase your speed by pedalling the bike with both the up and down motion of your pedal. These require specific cycling shoes to work and also require a bit of practice to get used to clipping into and out of. Just to be extra confusing, the name of these types of pedals is actually “clipless pedals”
What is a mountain bike?
Mountain bikes are designed to be stable
Mountain bikes are used for mountain biking (as you might have guessed), and because of this, they need to be able to survive the rougher terrain of single-track and downhill trails. Their frame is designed to prioritise stability and durability over speed (although this doesn’t mean they’ll be slow when going downhill).
Mountain bikes are comfortable
Mountain bikes are one of the only types of bikes that come with suspension, which can help to make very bumpy routes much more comfortable on your bum and arms. This, along with their stability makes them particularly good at taking on sharp corners at speed.
On top of this, mountain bikes come with flat handlebars, which help you to sit in a more comfortable position that has more balance, as opposed to the position a road bike forces you into.
There are 2 types of mountain bike
When talking about mountain bikes, most people talk will use terms such as “hardtail mountain bike” or “full-suspension mountain bike”. These are the 2 most common types of mountain bikes available, and which one you choose will make a big difference in how they perform.
In general, hardtail mountain bikes (which only come with suspension on the front wheel), are better for more casual riders, as they are able to manage to ride on the road better than their full-suspension counterparts. As well as this, they also tend to cost less and so often the best entry-level mountain bikes are hardtail mountain bikes. However, if you want the best downhill racing bike for rough terrain and mountain biking, you will want one with full suspension on both wheels.
|Hardtail Mountain Bike||Full-suspension Mountain Bike|
|Suspension only on the front wheel||Suspension on both wheels|
|More versatile||The best on the roughest terrain|
|Less maintenance||More maintenance|
Mountain bikes have wide tires
On the opposite end of the spectrum to road bikes, mountain bikes have the thickest tires, with some being as wide as 5″ (over 4 times wider than most road bike tires). Not only this, but the tires used on mountain bikes also have a lot more grip than road bike tires, with a lot of extra and deeper tread, giving you more stability on the trail.
Mountain bikes work best off-road
As you can guess from the name, mountain bikes work best when they are off-road. Their stability, durability and comfort on bumpy sections help them excel at this. On the other hand, due to their wide tires, heavy frames and suspension, mountain bikes perform very poorly on the road. They will be much slower and require a lot more energy on your part to pedal.
Mountain bikes have strong brakes
Mountain bikes almost always come with disk brakes (rather than the rim brakes used on many cheaper bikes). This is because when mountain biking, you really want your brakes to work quickly and efficiently. Disk brakes are able to stop very quickly, but also work well in wet or muddy conditions. On top of this, the disk brake will adjust how much you are braking based on how hard you squeeze the brakes (something rim brakes do not do).
Mountain bikes have low gear ratios
In order to help you tackle hard ascents on your heavy bike, mountain bikes tend to come with low gear ratios. This means that the gears they come with aren’t as fast but are much easier to pedal. On the other hand, this does limit how fast you will be able to go on a mountain bike (unless you are going downhill). Due to the flat handlebars on a mountain bike, they often come with trigger or twist grip gears.
What is a cyclocross bike?
Cyclocross bikes are designed for cyclocross racing
Cyclocross bikes are designed for riding cyclocross. Cyclocross is traditionally a sport done by road cyclists during winter (when they aren’t able to as easily do their regular road cycling due to poor weather conditions). It consists of multiple laps of a short course with very varied terrain (a mix of pavement, woods, grass and other obstacles you have to carry your bike over).
Cyclocross bikes are very similar to road bikes
Because cyclocross racing was normally done by road cyclists, cyclocross bikes tend to be very similar to road bikes but with a few adjustments made to make them more suitable for the mixtures of terrain and obstacles you might encounter in a race.
As is the case with road bikes, cyclocross bikes tend to have very narrow wheels, as well as being very lightweight. This is especially useful for the areas of a cycle where you have to carry your bike over an obstacle such as a fence or sandpit. As well as this, cyclocross bikes keep the drop handlebar design of a road bike and are made with similar lightweight materials (such as aluminium or carbon fibre), again to prioritise speed.
Cyclocross bikes have a higher clearance
There are however a few areas where road bikes and cyclocross bikes differ. The first is that cyclocross bikes tend to have a slightly higher clearance than road bikes. This allows the cyclocross bike to perform better in rough terrain and helps to limit any rocks or tree stumps from hitting the bottom of your bike as you cycle.
Cyclocross bikes keep their “clipless” pedals
As opposed to almost all other types of off-road bikes, cyclocross bikes are one of the few that keep their clipless pedals. This is likely because road cyclists are so used to clipping into and unclipping from their road bike pedals that they do not run as much risk of hurting an ankle or falling off the bike while still clipped in.
Cyclocross bikes are losing popularity
While cyclocross bikes tended to be very popular 10 or 20 years ago, in recent years they have fallen out of favour. This is predominately because of the rise in popularity of the gravel bike (the next bike on our list).
What is a gravel bike?
Gravel bikes are designed to be versatile
Gravel bikes at first glance appear a lot like road bikes, however, when you look more closely you’ll see they share quite a few features with mountain bikes. Gravel bikes are a fairly new design of bike, rising in popularity over the last decade. Because of features they take from both mountain and road bikes, gravel bikes are known as the “jack of all trades” when it comes to cycling, working as well on the road as they do off-road.
This versatility not only makes them a great option for those that like road cycling and mountain biking, but it also makes them much better at commuting or city cycling than either a mountain bike or road bike would be. Being much faster than a mountain bike for a commute, but also surviving the rougher roads and potholes that you might find in an urban area.
Because of this versatility, gravel bikes tend to fall onto a spectrum between road bikes and mountain bikes. Some models and manufacturers make bikes much more akin to road bikes, with others effectivity making slightly more aerodynamic mountain bikes.
Gravel bikes have some road bike features
Gravel bikes tend to steal some of the features of a road bike, including drop handlebars and a more aerodynamic frame design. This allows them to keep up with the majority of road bikes when cycling on the road, by limiting wind drag and allowing you to go at much faster speeds than a mountain bike would in these situations.
On top of this, gravel bikes tend to have slightly thinner wheels (although not as thin as road bikes), again limiting your drag and helping you to keep pace on flat surfaces such as tarmac or gravel paths. As well as this, gravel bikes also skip out on the suspension of a mountain bike, helping to reduce the weight and improve their ability to cycle on the road.
Gravel bikes have some mountain bike features
So, if gravel bikes have thin tires, drop handlebars and an aerodynamic seating position, what is the difference between a gravel bike and a road bike?
First of all, while gravel bikes have all these features, they have all been compromised slightly. . For example, while they have thinner tires than a mountain bike, they often have thicker tires than a road bike. As well as this, they also take some of the more upright geometry of a mountain bike and combine it with the road bike design to make more of a compromise.
However, they also take some elements directly from mountain bikes, for example, they often come with lower gear sets (like a mountain bike would), to help you tackle tough ascents or climbs. They also have a very wide tire clearance, meaning that the bike can fit very wide fat tires like a mountain bike if that is what you want.
Gravel bikes come in multiple frame materials
While most road bikes are made from carbon fibre or aluminium, and most mountain bikes are made from aluminium too, gravel bikes seem to be made from any bike materials (such as carbon fibre, aluminium, steel or even titanium).
This is again due to the versatility of gravel bikes, and the material your gravel bike will be made from will often depend on where exactly on the mountain bike/road bike spectrum your exact model falls.
What is a hybrid (commuter) bike?
Hybrid bikes are made for cycling around town
Hybrid bikes (also called commuter bikes) are designed with the sole purpose of getting you from A to B. Because of this, they get rid of many of the features of both mountain and road bikes, in favour of comfort, ease of use and minimal maintenance.
Surprisingly, hybrid bikes are actually the most popular type of bike overall, ticking all the boxes of the “average” cyclist. Hybrid bikes are used most often by commuters or in countries like the Netherlands, where bikes are one of the most common forms of transport.
Hybrid bikes have a more comfortable seating position
Hybrid bikes have a much more comfortable seating position than most other bikes, with the frame shape allowing you to sit upright as you cycle. This is for multiple reasons, first of all, hybrid bikes are designed to be cycled to work or around town, often speed is not your main goal here, but you do want to arrive in a comfortable and not too sweaty state.
As well as this, having a more upright position is very helpful when cycling on the road with other traffic. This allows you to see other hazards and motor vehicles more easily, but also helps them to see you, limiting your risk of being involved in an accident.
Hybrid bikes have flat handlebars
Linked to the comfortable seating position is the handlebar design of hybrid bikes. Commuters/Hybrid bikes come with flat handlebars that again help you to sit in a more upright position, this also puts less strain on your writs and so limits the risk of injuries you might receive to them while cycling for long periods of time or over potholes.
Hybrid bikes are good for commuting
On top of making your ride more comfortable, the upright seating position and flat handlebar design of a hybrid bike mean that they can easily attach a front basket to help carry items such as shopping. As well as this, they often come with pannier racks on the back, allowing you to easily carry a work bag or change of clothes for when you arrive at the office. These attachment points can also be used for mudguards to protect your work clothes if you wear these while you cycle.
Some of the hybrid bikes specially designed for commuting even come with in-built lights that connect to your front wheel and use the power of your wheels to charge and power the lights, meaning you’ll never have to remember to charge them again.
Hybrid bikes require minimal maintenance
Manufacturers of hybrid bikes know that the majority of hybrid bikes are going to be used for commuting around town. Because of this, they are designed to require minimal maintenance to keep them running. This is helped by the fact that they often are made from cheap but robust components, skipping out on some of the more expensive options such as disk brakes or suspension.
This same durability is prioritised in the tires of hybrid bikes, with their width falling in between that of a mountain bike and a road bike, and often being tough enough to resist punctures from glass or debris you might find on the road.
Hybrid bikes are cheap
In order to make hybrid bikes more accessible for the average commuter, they are quite cheap to purchase in comparison to other types of bikes. Manufacturers accomplish this by removing some of the more expensive bike components, and on top of this, they are almost always made from aluminium to help reduce weight and cost.
Hybrid bikes make a good option for new cyclists
Because of their comfortable riding position, minimal maintenance and low cost, hybrid bikes make a great option for newer cyclists. If I wasn’t planning to do any cycling in my free time, and I wasn’t the most confident of cyclists, then a hybrid bike would be one of my go-to options.
What is a touring bike?
Touring bikes are designed for long-distance biking
Touring bikes are designed for bike touring or adventuring. Consider a touring bike to be like a mountain bike but without any suspension, only a little more comfortable to ride and a little better at managing tarmac surfaces. The name of the game with touring bikes is comfort and ease of use, speed doesn’t really matter.
Touring bikes are comfortable
Due to how long people sit on their touring bikes (sometimes for year-long trips cycling hours a day), the seating position and frame design of touring bikes prioritise the most comfortable ride they can. They sit in a very upright position (similar to a hybrid bike) but also sit you lower down to the ground so that you have a lower centre of gravity (helping with stability). On top of this, they also have flat handlebars that can be easier on your wrists.
Touring bikes can carry a lot of gear
As you’ll have to carry everything you need for a long trip on the bike, touring bikes often come with multiple attachment points for bags, accessories, fork cages, extra water bottles and pannier racks. This makes them the best option if you need to travel with a lot of gear.
Touring bikes are durable
Given riders use these bikes for transcontinental trips, touring bikes must be durable, after all, you don’t want the bike to give up on you mid-way through the desert. Because of this, touring bikes are often made from steel, or in more luxury models, titanium.
Touring bikes made from steel have the added benefit of being fixable “on the road”, with even smaller rural villages being able to weld a steel bike frame back together if it comes to it. For the same reason, touring bikes often use simple components that could be replaced in any country and come with durable bike tires that are puncture-resistant.
Touring bikes are stable
Given the amount of gear you are likely to be carrying on a touring bike, they must be stable. They have a very low profile, lowering your centre of gravity and improving your ability to carry gear. As well as this they also have a very wide wheelbase which helps. To help you carry this gear over hills and hard terrain, touring bikes also come with very low gear ratios (similar to that of a mountain bike).
What is a folding bike?
Folding bikes are made for commuting
Folding bikes are the main competitor of hybrid bikes for commuting. As you might expect, their main selling points there ability to fold up, making them a great option if you have to do part of a commute on a train or in a car before your cycle. In fact, some train companies will only allow folding bikes at peak times, meaning that if you need to cycle and access a train for your commute, this may be the only option.
This also means you can take your bike into the office with you and store it under a desk, removing the risk of leaving it locked up outside and being stolen. The most popular brand of a folding bike is a Brompton, so much so that some people refer to folding bikes as Bromptons.
Folding bikes are bad for hobby cycling
What folding bikes gain in their ability to be folded up, they lose in many of the other functions of a bike. For example, folding bikes are not the most comfortable to ride due to their unusual frame shapes and sizes. On top of this, they can be slow due to poor aerodynamics, high weight and poor pedalling efficiency with their smaller cranks.
Folding bikes are bad at hills and long distances
If you are thinking about using a folding bike for your commute, it is worth checking how long your commute is and how many hills there are. Due to their small wheel size (20 inches), folding bikes struggle with longer journeys, or on commutes where there are steep hills (the smaller wheels make the hill climb harder, especially if you are commuting with a bag).
This is also made worse by the fact that these bikes are not made from lightweight materials such as carbon fibre, and the majority of folding bikes are made from aluminium or steel, making steep climbs tougher.
Folding bikes work with no outside space
Another great advantage of folding bikes is that you do not need your own outside space to store your bike. With larger, regular-sized bikes, you need to allocate a large area of your house, flat or garden for bike storage, however with a smaller bike such as a Brompton, it will store away under a work desk or in a small cupboard.
What is an electric bike?
All types of bikes can be electric
Electric bikes (also called e-bikes) are a subcategory of bikes. This means that all of the different bikes we saw above, can either come in an electric or non-electric form. The most common types of bikes that are used in an electric form are mountain and hybrid electric bikes.
Electric bikes have a built-in motor
In electric bikes, there is a motor that kicks in (normally when you start to pedal). This motor makes it easier to cycle, helping to power the bike against a headwind or uphill. Most electric bikes will add in a certain percentage of extra power based on how hard you are pedalling, for example taking your pedalling power and increasing it by 300%. These motors charge through your usual wall outlet just as your would a phone or a laptop.
Not all electric bikes need to be pedalled though, in a minority of electric bikes, you can actually control the power of the motor by using a throttle. To clarify, these bikes are not the same as electric motorbikes. Their range, power and speed are limited compared to a motorbike, they are street legal without a licence and most won’t work unless the pedals are moving.
Electric bikes are heavy
As electric bikes have to carry multiple other components such as a motor and battery, they weigh much more than a non-electric bike alternative. In fact, the battery alone can weigh as much as 9kg (20 pounds). Because of this, if you ever forget to charge the battery of the bike or it dies halfway through a cycle, it can then be much harder to cycle the bike like a normal bike.
This extra weight also means that any commute that requires you to lift a bike (for example if you live in a basement flat), will be more difficult than with a regular bike.
Electric bikes are great for commuting
Because an electric bike will help you to arrive more quickly and with less effort, they make a great option for commuting, specifically helping you to get to work in a much less sweaty way. I no longer need to take a change of clothes with me if I’m commuting on my electric bike.
Electric bikes are also well suited to commuting as the motor is really effective when riding through through any stop/start traffic that might see on your commute.
Electric bikes are great for mountain biking
Apart from commuting, electric bikes really are at their best when mountain biking. Many mountain bikers go out riding for the adrenaline-filled downhill racing that you can get on mountain bike single track, and often see the climb to the top of the route as a necessary evil.
Electric bikes completely solve this problem, speeding up your ascent and saving your energy for the more intense downhill sections later in the trail.
Electric bikes are great for injuries
The other area where I feel electric bikes work best is when it is used for riders suffering from an underlying medical condition, returning from an injury or cycling with much faster riders. In these situations, the electric bike can take on some of the extra strain or effort from your recovering body, and help you improve your strength to the point when you might plan to start using a regular bike again.
It is important to check with your doctor before you start cycling, especially if you have an underlying health condition or injury that may require specialist advice.
What is a fixed gear or single-speed bike?
Single-speed bikes only have one gear
Single-speed bikes (also sometimes called fixed gear bikes or fixies) only have one gear. This means that as you cycle, you can’t adjust how hard or easy it is to turn the pedals to adjust for hills or tough sections of the road. But why would anyone want this?
Single-speed bikes are super simple to use and maintain. Not having any gears to look after means that the bikes themselves require far less maintenance, cost less and are also much lighter than other bikes. These bikes have seen a recent resurgence and are seen as being more “hipster”.
As another positive, after spending any time riding around town on my single-speed bike, I always notice my legs getting more of a workout than on my other types of bikes. This can be especially useful if you are trying to build muscle in your legs.
Single-speed bikes make good town bikes
Because single-speed bikes are lightweight, cheap and easy to use, they make a great option for a bike to cycle around town. I often use my single-speed bike as a cheap and easy town run-around. It’s less likely to be stolen than my more expensive gravel bike and is lightweight enough that I can haul it into a bar or pub without having to think twice.
Single-speed bikes are comfortable
Single-speed bikes tend to be quite simple in the design of the frame, with an upright seating position and one that does not focus on aerodynamics at all, as well as this, single-speed bikes tend to have flat handlebars. These together make single-speed bikes a good option for a simple cycle when you aren’t concerned about how fast you’re going.
On the other hand, the lack of gears can make single-speed bikes harder on your joints (for example your knees or ankles), as more strain goes through your legs when you can’t adjust the bike’s gear for hills.
Fixed gear and single-speed bikes are not the same
People often use the term fixed gear bike and single speed bike interchangeably, however, they are not quite the same thing. Both single-speed and fixed-gear bikes both only have one gear, what differs between the two is the fact that a fixed-gear bike does not have a freehub. This means that the wheel and the pedals of a fixed-gear bike are linked, and the wheels will only be able to move when the pedals are moving.
For example, if you are cycling down a hill, on a normal or single-speed bike, once you picked up speed you’ll be able to stop pedalling and have your feet sit still while the bike rolls down the hill. However, on a fixed-gear bike, this is impossible, as the movement of the wheels will be linked to the pedals and so they’ll have to keep them moving the whole time the bike is.
|Fixed Gear Bike||Single Speed Bike|
|Wheels and pedals linked – Unable to freewheel||Wheels and pedals unlinked – Able to freewheel|
Some fixed-gear bikes even go as far as removing the brake lever on the handlebars and require you to pedal backwards in order to brake or slow down.
BMX bikes are a type of single-speed bike
BMX bike stands for bicycle motor cross bike. These bikes are a type of single-speed bike that is typically used for tricks or on dirt tracks. They have a very small frame and wheel size top to help with jumps but are also made from robust materials to handle any scratches or failed tricks.
As with all types of single-speed bikes, they tend to require minimal maintenance.
Track bikes are a type of single-speed bike
Track bikes are the professional cyclist version of a single-speed bike. These are the bikes you see being used in a velodrome during Olympic cycling events. In contrast to other types of single-speed bikes, these do not prioritise comfort at all, they come with drop handlebars and a very tight aerodynamic seating position.
Considering track bikes ride at around 70mph, it’ll also come as a surprise that these bikes also come with no brakes. This is actually for the safety of the riders, ensuring that a single cyclist does not brake at the wrong time and cause a crash during a race. It also helps to cut down on their weight.
Because track bikes lack a lot of the components run on road-racing bikes, these track bikes tend to be cheaper than other types of racing bikes, however, due to the lack of brakes they can only be used in a velodrome.
While prepping for a race, riders are actually able to use different gears (for example to warm up), however, they have to manually change between the different chainrings they have installed on the bike (literally taking the bike apart and putting a new gear on).
What is a recumbent bike?
A recumbent bike has a reclined seat
A recumbent bike is a bike that has a laid-back sitting position (similar to a lying down position) as opposed to the traditional cycling position. Because of this new position, recumbent bikes come in two forms, being powered by either your feet or in some cases, your hands (this is the case for accessible bikes used for people with disabilities).
But why would anyone want this position? First of all, it has the general benefit of allowing you to use the backrest to apply more force through the pedals. As well as this, the laid-back position can be much more comfortable for some riders, especially those with an injury or who are getting older.
Recumbent bikes come in many styles
Due to the flexibility of the seating position on a recumbent bike, they also have the option to come with 2,3 or 4-wheels. This adjustment allows the riders to increase their weight in favour of extra stability. Obviously, any extra weight will make certain parts of your cycle harder.
Recumbent bikes are bad at hills
Hills are much harder on recumbent bikes as you are unable to stand up and “get out of the pedals” like you would on a normal style of bike. Also, recumbent bikes can be very heavy, again making hills more challenging.
Recumbent bikes can be more dangerous
Many cyclists do not like recumbent bikes over fears about how safe they are when being used on the road. This is due to the lower seating position of recumbent bikes, which can cause you to be missed by cars or other motor traffic. Because of this many recumbent bike users attach visual objects such as flags to their bikes.
As you can see, there are so many different types of bikes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. And because of this, bike riders who enjoy multiple different types of cycling, often end up owning more than one type of bike.