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Three-wheeled bicycles, more commonly referred to as trikes, come in a range of designs. Some resemble traditional two-wheeled bikes with frame modifications to accommodate a wider axle and additional rear wheel. Others are recumbents, supporting the rider in a chair-type seat, with a frame that is low to the ground. Three-wheeled bikes are known for their stability and ease of riding.
A fatbike is a bicycle with over-sized tires, typically 3.7" or larger and rims wider than 44mm, that are designed for riding on soft unstable terrain such as snow and sand. These bikes are built around frames with large forks and stays to accommodate the wide rims required to fit these tires. Fatbikes were invented for winter trail riding and racing in
sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously, for touring the deserts of New Mexico. Their utility has expanded to include all forms of cycling; they thrive in snow, sand, desert, bogs and mud as well as riding what is considered normal mountain biking.
Though originally denoting a bicycle intended for BMX Racing, the term "BMX bike" is now used to encompass race bikes, as well as those
used for the dirt, vert, park, street, flatland and BMX freestyle disciplines
of BMX. BMX frames are made of various types of steel, and (largely in the racing category) aluminum. Cheaper, low end bikes are usually made of steel. High range bikes are mostly chromolyor high tensile steel, although the latter is noticeably heavier with respect to strength. High-performance BMX bikes use lightweight 4130 chromoly, or generation 3 chromoly.
A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB or ATB, for all-terrain bicycle) is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. Mountain bikes are typically ridden on mountain trails, fire roads, logging roads, and other unpaved environments. These types of terrain commonly include rocks, washouts, ruts, loose sand, loose gravel, roots, and steep grades (both inclines and declines). Mountain bikes are built to handle this terrain and the obstacles that are found in it like logs, vertical drop offs, and smaller boulders. Mountain bike construction differs from a typical bicycle in many ways. The most noticeable differences are the inclusion of suspension on the frame and fork, larger knobby tires, more durable heavy duty wheels, more powerful brakes, and lower gear ratios needed for steep grades with poor traction.
A cruiser bicycle, known as a beach cruiser, is a bicycle which combines
balloon tires, an upright seating posture, a single-speed drivetrain, and straightforward steel construction with expressive styling. Cruisers are popular amongst casual bicyclists and vacationers because they are very stable and easy to ride, but their heavy weight and balloon tires tend to make them rather slow. They are associated with the larger category of hybrid bicycles. The bikes, noted for their durability and heavy weight, were the
most popular bicycle in the United States from the early 1930s through the 1950s, and have enjoyed renewed popularity since the late 1990s
A fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, commonly known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism. The freewheel was developed early in the history of bicycle design but the fixed-gear bicycle remained the standard track racing design. More recently the "fixie" has become a popular alternative among mainly urban cyclists, offering the advantages of simplicity compared with the standard multi-geared bicycle. Most bicycles incorporate a freewheel to allow the pedals to remain stationary while the bicycle is in motion, so that the rider can coast, i.e., ride without pedalling using forward momentum. A fixed-gear drivetrain has the drive sprocket (or cog) threaded or bolted directly to the hub of the back wheel, so that the rider cannot stop pedalling. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction. This allows a cyclist to apply a braking force with the legs and bodyweight, by resisting the rotation of the cranks. It also makes it possible to ride backwards although learning to do so is much more difficult than riding forward. As a general rule, fixed-gear bicycles are single-speed. A derailleur cannot be fitted because the chain cannot have any slack, but hub gearing can, for example a Sturmey-Archer fixed-gear 3-speed hub, in which case is a fixed-gear multi-speed arrangement. Most fixed-gear bicycles only have a front brake, and some have no brakes at all.
The term road bicycle is used to describe bicycles built for traveling at speed on paved roads. Some sources use the term to mean racing bicycle. Other sources specifically exclude racing bicycles from the definition, using the term to mean a bicycle of a similar style but built more for endurance and less the fast bursts of speed desired in a racing bicycle; as such, they usually have more gear combinations and fewer hi-tech racing features. Certain of these bicycles have been referred to as 'sportive' bicycles to distinguish them from racing bicycles.