Even if a two-wheeled friend entered your life a long time ago, you may want to rethink the way you’ve become accustomed to the bicycle and its maintenance. Here’s the thing: bicycle manufacturers have worked constantly to improve the entire bicycle design, using new materials and the latest technology to make different parts and assemblies.
The new generation of bicycles has undergone significant changes from the two-wheeled machines of earlier years. No one is surprised these days by an on-board computer, shock absorbers, hydraulic brakes, composite frames and wheels. Complex manufacturing processes are used in the production of these components and assemblies, and as a result, new knowledge and fresh insights into the modern bicycle are required.
1. Cross Country or Mountain Bike (mountain bike, MTB)
These bikes have a very strong and usually quite light frame, with special geometry. They often have sag-free bottom brakes, so the bottom bracket is not below the line that connects the wheel axles. Accordingly, it follows that mountain bikes have increased ground clearance. For the same purpose, they use a reduced diameter of both drive and idler sprockets. This prevents the sprockets and connecting rods from hitting any obstacles when traveling over rough terrain. In addition, using reinforced rims, sometimes two-and even three-wall, made of light alloys, often pinned, as well as powerful tires (usually have a wheel diameter of 26 inches). Usually, the bicycle has front and rear derailleurs and the handlebars are located on the handlebars. Bikes in this category have 18 to 27 gears. They are designed for particularly hard riding conditions: rocks, mountains, mud, sand, snow. And such a wide range of gears is intended to select the right one depending on the riding conditions, and smooth transition between ratios.
Another distinctive feature of mountain bikes is their braking system. It is a cantilever braking system, unlike the claw braking system used on road and road bikes. The difference is that the brake-lever arms are welded to the frame and fork. The brake levers and brake pads are mounted directly on them. Such “outward-facing” layout gives ample mud clearance that allows the wheel to turn freely in heavily soiled conditions in the frame and fork. But on the other hand, the stroke of the pads is not perpendicular to the rim, and this leads to destructive misalignment as the pads wear out. In order to correct the situation, the more expensive models use mechanisms which provide parallel pressing of the pads. Shimano, for example, makes parallelogram levers, but Avid uses an arch for the same purpose, the pivot in which – in the middle. Such system looks like a booster, but of course it is not. Nowadays, hydraulically actuated brakes are becoming more and more common, providing smooth, easily metered, and powerful braking at the same time. For the same purpose, and to reduce brake wear and relieve dependence on dirt, disc brakes began to be used. For example, in the line of models from Shimano, they are already used on the four top models of the group of eight, although the conventional cantilever brakes are retained.
There is a special design of front and rear derailleurs with quite powerful return springs. What’s more, sprockets, both driven and driven, are designed with different tooth shapes and have different special ledges for chain transitions. And improved chains make it possible to shift reliably in very dirty conditions and very high loads both up and down. The reduced diameter of the drive sprockets and small idler sprockets contribute to a slightly wider range of gears.
Mountain bikes come without shock absorbers in the suspension, come with front shock absorbers, and with two shock absorbers. There are also bikes equipped with “semi-rigid” rear suspension.
The simplest mountain bike has no shock absorbers at all (Rigid). It often has a chrome-moly frame (possibly with batting). Less often – aluminum, or hi-ten steel in the cheaper models. This subspecies bikes are usually equipped with either entry-level or mid-level equipment. They are quite usable for riding on the highway and on unpaved roads that are not heavily broken down. But lately this kind of envelopes meet less and less often. On mountain bikes, it is becoming the norm to have at least some shock absorbers in the front fork.
Hardtail — a subset of mountain bikes that have front shock absorbers and a classic frame. The frame on these bikes is usually high-alloy steel, with batting. But mostly in aluminum alloys. This level of bicycle may be fitted with equipment of varying quality within a very wide range. Often bikes from unknown Chinese manufacturers are equipped with entry-level equipment. But the top models of big-name companies – professional.
Softtail — a subspecies of mountain bikes, equipped with a front shock absorber, but having a special frame in which the upper fork feathers have special geometry, which provides some softness of the rear wheel suspension. In some cases, short stroke dampers are installed instead of these feathers. These bikes have frames made in whole or in part from highly flexible materials.
Two-suspension bike (Full-suspension) — representative of mountain bikes, which have a special frame design that is connected to the shock absorber suspension of both front and rear wheels. For a multi-day hike like this «the beast» it is of little use because of impossibility to install a normal luggage rack on it. In addition, such a design leads to a fairly high weight. Although sometimes you can find such products, the prices of which are lower than those of non-suspended machines, they usually have the same content.
This type is a closed (men’s) or open (women’s) frame, with wheels 26 to 28 inches in diameter, fixed mud guards, a solid rack, and a chain that is usually covered by a special cover. This bicycle has a nearly vertical riding position.
Bergamont Alu Monolite N-7 2010
It is not designed for long hikes or off-roading at all. Previously, these bikes usually had one gear. But lately, there are a lot of models that have shifting mechanisms, with hub gears, planetary gears or normal gears. Hubs come in 3x-4x-7-speed versions, like the Shimano Nexus, for example (three-speed is almost unheard of anymore). Although Sachs tried to do a 12-speed (Elan), they gave that up afterwards. The hub gears may be combined with brakes, which means the pedals can be braked by pedaling backwards. The gears are changed internally by a set of gears and you can change gears standing still. The main disadvantage of this design is the bike’s heavy weight, and in the case of 3 and 4-speed hubs, also the large pitch between gears, which can be up to 35%. Although the use of multitransmission greatly expands the use of this type of bicycle.
3. All Terrain Bike (ATB)
These are essentially inexpensive mountain bikes that have 24-inch or 26-inch wheels. They typically have 15 to 21 gears.
For domestic cyclists, this is a relatively new type of. It includes bicycles with 28-inch wheels, with a solid frame that has geometry and layout similar to a mountain bike, but is lighter and has a higher fit. Main components and assemblies — The gear shifters and brake system are also taken from MTBs, although some of the equipment may still be specialized. A recent trend is to fit a short-reach suspension fork with travel, usually around 40mm, on such bikes.
Sometimes there are also models with shock-absorbing rear wheel suspension, the whole series of Scott Tacoma, for example. These bikes are often equipped with a rack, mudguards, handlebar “horns” and other accessories. Frames are very often in such bikes are made of alloy chromium-molybdenum steel or aluminum alloys. This type of bike is very well suited for long distance travel, good frame and fairly reliable equipment allows you to easily navigate on different roads up to bad dirt roads at a decent speed. Touring bikes typically have 18 to 27 gears. This is something like our bicycles “Sputnik” and “Tourist”, but on the performance characteristics, such as durability and running characteristics, of course, much better. Curiously, the mass of the advantages of domestic stores are not very willing to sell bikes of this type, which is apparently due to the higher price compared to the MTB at the same level of bodywork, and most importantly, with a stubborn unwillingness to expand its range.
5. Touring bicycle
This type of bike is a step towards the road bike. It is, however, quite rare and often not singled out as a separate group. These bikes have 27 or 28-inch wheels and look very similar to road bikes, with a handlebar that looks like a ram’s horn. Unlike road bikes, however, they tend to have a longer frame and firmer wheels. The frame is generally longer, so it has better control and a smoother ride. And the main difference — is a wide range of gears, which came from the mountain bike. Mentioned recently bicycles “Tourist”, “Sputnik” could also be called as touring.
6. Road bikes (road bikes)
They have wheels, as a rule, 27 inches in diameter (except for special bikes). Compared with bicycles of the Soviet period some nodes and units have undergone changes: braking system, gear shifting system, appeared clincher wheels. These wheels use the narrowest tubes and tires of traditional construction, sparing the cyclist the well-known torment of replacing single tubes and resulting in rarer punctures. The advantage of a road bike is fully shown on the highway, where you can go much faster and farther.
Comanche Tomahawk FS DISC
So on smooth asphalt you can keep the speed higher by 7-10 km/h than on a road bike or mountain bike. On coarse pavement, however, the advantage will be significantly less. These bikes usually boast a number of speeds from 12 to 27 (usually put two stars at the front, although three is also not uncommon). Titanium, steel, aluminum alloys and composites are commonly used to produce frames. However, for multi-day backpacking trips, these bikes have very limited applicability. Set the trunk (except maybe a lightweight) on a bicycle like this is not recommended. And even more so when you ride outside the asphalt.
All of the above bikes are utilitarian, i.e.е. You can ride them on public roads, including unpaved ones, for quite decent distances. You could say they’re good for touring bikes. However, there are also other types of bicycles that are more specific.
7. Trekking bike
This is a special subspecies of racing bicycles designed exclusively for track racing. For maximum weight savings, these bikes are not equipped with a gearshift or brakes. The wheel in them is rigidly connected by a chain to pedals and consequently there is no free move at all. Wheels are usually 27-inch, although it’s not uncommon for the front and rear wheels to have different diameters. handlebar, of course, — “ram horns.”.
8. Freeride, Downhill bikes
Both are technically mountain bikes. But if on Freeride you can normally ride on public roads (it’s a little bit reinforced two-saddle, in fact), the two-paddle bike for downhill — A heavy monster that rides on flat terrain — incredible work.
9. Folding and children’s bikes
About this type we can say only that this is usually a very simple bike, as can be seen even from the name. Folding bikes sometimes even come with a multi-speed, although this doesn’t make them any better rider.
10. Bicycles for freestyle and trial (BMX)
BMX – a small bike mounted on 20-inch wheels. However, the small wheels – is not the only difference between it and other bicycles. So, for example, thanks to a special system GYRO, the handlebars of these bikes can freely rotate around their axis in such a way that the brake cables do not get tangled. Another distinctive feature is the presence of special brakes and metal tubes (pegs), which are screwed on both sides to the axles of the wheels. These tubes are a support for the legs, which is necessary for performing tricks.
GT Performer (2009) Matte Brown
Tricks – that’s what BMXs are all about. They are specially designed for jumps and high-speed runs on specialized areas with slides and jumps. Due to the small size and design features of the BMX rider can jump high above the ground and perform a variety of tricks.
Type 7 Bicycles—10 are completely unsuitable for tourism in any of its manifestations. True, folding bicycles, especially multi-speed bicycles, can be considered somewhat of an exception. Relatively small trips-walking can be done on them as well.