When you first get into biking, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with just how many different types of bicycles exist. From an outside perspective, you may wonder how much bicycles can vary. You may wonder how different can a bicycle be from two wheels, a handlebar, and some pedals.

In fact, there are several types of bicycles. Some of these different bicycles are better for certain terrain, skill levels, types of tricks, and biking activities. When you examine these bicycles, they tend to vary greatly. Each of these types may have different handlebars and even thickness and size of wheels. Their seats even differ.

There are two very common types of bicycles including road Bikes and mountain Bikes. Learn more about all the types of road bikes and mountain bikes and how they’re most effectively used below:

Road Bikes

Road bikes are one of the ultimate touring bikes when you have a lot of ground to cover. These beautiful bikes are usually meant for biking across smooth blacktop and pavement at high speeds, hence the name. Many people even choose to race road bikes due to their supreme speed capabilities.

You can usually identify a road bike by its “drop” handlebars and skinny wheels. Like most bicycles, you bend forward. Road bikes often have those drop handlebars to relieve the pressure on your hands from being bent so far forward. The skinny wheels help them maintain their aerodynamic, lightweight frame.

Cyclocross Bikes

Because the wheels of road bikes are so thin, they’re not meant for unpaved roads. Cyclocross bikes are a sub-type of road bikes that solve this issue. These bikes have the standard road bike handlebars but wide wheels to provide traction on unpaved roads.

Touring Bikes

Another type of road bike is a touring bike. Most road bikes are built for speed, not carrying capacity. The touring bike maintains the shape of a road bike but has extra support to make carrying bags easier.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are known for their ability to traverse various terrains with ease. These bikes can go for longer distances more comfortably than a standard road bike but are often much heavier. They have low gears to make climbing hills easy.

Unlike road bikes, mountain bikes have long, flat handlebars. They’re also often equipped with suspension and/or shock absorbers for sustaining jumps and tricks. Mountain bikes are durable and able to withstand difficult terrain and conditions. There area few main types of mountain bikes, including:


Rigid mountain bikes have no suspension. Many beginners like them for easier trails.


Hardtail mountain bikes are one of the most common types of mountain bikes available. These have a rigid frame and front-end suspension. Since they lack suspension on the tail-end of the bike, they’re called a “hardtail.”

Full Suspension

Full suspension mountain bikes have suspension on both the back and front ends of the bike. In addition, there are many types of full-suspension mountain bikes, including:

  • Downhill or Park Mountain Bikes: These have large tires and are great for downhill trips, but not so much for uphill adventures.
  • All Mountain/Enduro Mountain Bikes: These bikes are often utilized in moto-cross mountain biking competitions.
  • Trail Mountain Bikes: Trail bikes are lightweight, comfortable mountain bikes for trails.
  • Cross-Country Bikes: Cross-Country bikes are lightweight and easily shift between gears, making them perfect for long distances over varied terrain.
  • Fat Bikes: Fat bikes are exactly how they sound. They have large tires that glide through thick snow and sandy terrain.

Rent A Bike in Maui

Planning a trip to Maui? We’re here to help you explore! Maui Sunriders has a brand new fleet of rental bikes on Maui! Whether you’re looking to bike Maui’s trails, cruise around town, explore our New North Shore bike path, or coast down on the classic Haleakala downhill, we have a bike for you! Our rental bike fleet includes full-suspension 6″ travel & hardtail Scott Mountain Bikes, Scott carbon & aluminum Road Bikes, 9-speed Scott Urban Cruiser E-Bike, 3-speed Electra Beach Townies, single-speed Electra Beach Cruisers. Visit our bike shop, conveniently located in Downtown Paia. We also offer bike delivery!