Can You Identify These Different Types of Bicycles?


Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

A staple of personal transport for so many years, the bicycle has undergone some radical transformation over the years. 

Now scholars still fight as to when the bicycle was officially invented, but what we do know is that in the early 1800s steerable personal people carriers were certainly appearing. 

In fact, in 1817 the marvelously named Baron Karl von Drais of Sauerbrun devised a machine with a steerable front wheel. To comfort his rear, he added a padded seat and he even added a padded section upon which he could lean to easily propel the bicycle forward with his legs. 

Now his machine was not a bicycle in the true sense of the word, as it didn't have pedals, but it certainly was a pusher. It was called a velocipede. 

The term bicycle was first used in 1868, this after pedals were added to the front of the velocipede. And bicycle design effectively snowballed from there. In fact, we have so many different bicycle types today that we made a quiz about it. 

Do you think you will be able to identify them all? Some are certainly easy, while others will test your brain!

Let's see how you go...

Good luck!



Name this bicycle used off-road, please.

Essential an off-road bike, a mountain bike can tackle rough terrain with ease. There are many variants of this bike type.


As seen in the Tour de France, can you name this type of bicycle?

A classic, the road bike puts the rider in a more aerodynamic position than a mountain bike. Road bikes, although very specialized ones, are used in races like the Tour de France.


If you didn't have one of these as a kid in the 1980s, you were missing out!

Used for both BMX racing as well as for free styling (with loads of tricks), BMXs are instantly recognizable. These are motocross bikes.


The bicycle in this image is a _______?

Used to ride on ice, an ice cycle is an adapted bicycle of any kind. Usually, the front wheel is replaced by a ski, while the back wheel has a specialized tire for gripping the ice.


Doesn't need the road, does this bicycle. What is it?

A rail bike rides on rails, unsurprisingly. It was often used as a means of transport by rail crews in early railway history.


Certainly something different when it comes to cycling! Can you name this bicycle?

The perfect commuter bike, especially if you use public transport but then have to cycle further, a folding bike simply folds up making it easier to carry when not in use.


It looks like it is for kids, but it's not. What bike is this?

This is an adult bike with very small wheels, usually 20 inches or less.


This is an easy one. Surely you know what bicycle this is?

An exercise bike has no wheels and is usually found in homes or at a gym. Its sole purpose is to give someone a cardiovascular workout, similar to what you would get from real cycling, but without having to hit the road.


With this bicycle, the rider is in a very different position to normal. Do you know what bike it is?

With a prone bike, the rider is not seated but rides the bike in a prone position. This helps reduce aerodynamic drag.


The ____________ bike provides a much more comfortable riding position.

With a bicycle design where the rider does not sit in a traditional, riders of recumbents are usually in a supine position. A rider's weight is supported in more areas and the back receives support from a backrest. Essentially, this is cycling in comfort.


From the annals of history, what bicycle is this?

Instantly recognizable thanks to its oversized front wheel, Penny Farthings were all the rage in the late 1800s. We still can’t work out how you got on them…


Another bicycle from history, can you name this model?

An alternative to the Penny Farthing in the late 1800's, the safety bicycle is the forerunner of the modern bicycle. Much easier to mount!


Something not often seen, this bicycle is certainly different. Any idea as to what its called?

Yes, there is a sport called artistic cycling, and it needs a special bicycle. Think of gymnastics or ice skating, but on two wheels!


Can you name this bicycle that is almost like a mountain bike, but for more specific cycling activities?

A category of mountain bike, endurance bicycles have tough frames and are noted for a suspension travel of around 4 to 7 inches.


Name the bicycle in this image, please.

A category of mountain bike, freeride bicycles have extremely tough frames and are noted for suspension travel of more than 6 inches. It's all downhill from here!


A modern machine that provides a little help, what bicycle is shown in this image?

An electric bike makes use of an electric motor to propel the bike when the cyclist is not pedaling. Makes life easier.


Do you know what type of bike this is, that's built for speed?

The first track bicycles produced, path racers were used in the early history of track cycling.


Can you name this bike that disabled people can ride?

Through the use of a gyroscope, this type of bike helps the rider stay balanced. It is extremely stable and perfect for the disabled.


The bicycle in this picture is a _________?

This is a mountain bike, but for kids, thus smaller. Perfect for young daredevils.


Which bicycle can be seen in this image?

Designed for long cycling journeys, touring bikes are immediately noted for their storage compartments.


Can you identify this bike, used for a specific form of racing?

These randonneur bikes are used in long cycling races, over 200 km. These races are similar to Audax races, but with some rule changes.


This bike had a very specific function. Can you name it?

In the early 1900s these bikes were used to get firefighters to the scene of a fire quickly. They were often used in small towns, where a firefighting vehicle might not be readily available.


These bikes have oversized tires. Do you know their name?

A style of mountain bike, the fatbike is noted for its large tires. These tires provide extra traction in slippery situations.


Any idea as to what this bike is?

A hybrid bicycle, the comfort bike looks similar to a mountain bike. It offers a comfortable upright riding position, hence the name.


The bike in the picture is popular in a certain European city. So you know the name of it?

A form of city bike, the Dutch bike is often seen in Amsterdam, where tourists use them to see the city at their own pace. They have a very specific look.


The bicycle in this picture is a _________.

You have seen them on TV… downhill cyclists are certainly brave. This crazy sport needs a specialized mountain bike with a strong frame and plenty of suspension travel, especially when the bike gets some air.


A __________ bike comes with many additional accessories.

The trekking bike is a hybrid bike with accessories such as panniers, mud guards and lights in some cases. Trekking bikes are the perfect tourer bike.


Can you name the bicycle that appears in this image?

A form of road bike, the flat bar does not have the traditional steering handle but something similar to what you would see on a mountain bike


This is a very traditional looking bicycle, but can you name the model type?

The roadster is a traditional bicycle with a form that has changed little over the years. These are seen throughout the world.


Essential an early delivery bike, do you know what this is called?

A true classic, a porteur bicycle is simply one that has a metal frame attached to the front forks where baskets or goods can be carried. These were once seen all over Europe and the United States, until delivery vans took over.


Used in conjunction with a run and a swim, what bicycle type is this?

The triathlon bike is different from other bikes in a subtle way. The seating position on a triathlon bike is more vertical to allow the rider to power a down stroke with help from their hamstrings and gluteus muscles, not only their calf muscles.


Name this bicycle, if you can!

Used in the sport of Cyclo-Cross, these bicycles are lightweight, as they need to be carried at times. Bikes also need to be robust, because they are ridden on various terrains.


Any clue as to the type of bike shown here?

This type of bicycle has a small motor which turns the front wheel. Early motorized bikes were the forerunners of motorbikes, although they are again popular.


A bike with a very specific task is shown in this image. Do you know what it is?

This type of bike is used for track racing. It has a single gear and no brakes! Eeeek!


Built for speed, not maneuverability, what is this?

Often seen in races such as the Tour de France, a time trial bike has various aerodynamic additions to ensure that a rider can push as hard and travel as fast as possible. The rider also sits in a more aerodynamic position but this does make the bicycle less maneuverable.


What is shown in this image?

Essentially a Boda-Boda is a bicycle taxi found throughout Africa. Taxi!


There's certainly a different look for this bike type. Do you know what it is?

A longtail bicycle has a longer rear frame. This is often used to attach containers of some kind, so the bike is able to carry goods.


Name this bike, used for leisurely rides?

Seen throughout Europe, city bikes are traditional looking bicycles designed for slow rides through a city. Often used for sightseeing. Seems romantic.


Name this bike which is used in specific long-distance races.

These are used in long cycling races, over 200 km which are often called Audax races. In Latin, "audax" means bold or daring.


This one is similar to another bike type but with additions - can you name it?

While most touring bikes take the form similar to a road bike, the touring BMX looks more like a traditional BMX. It has baggage space, of course.


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