The 10-speed bike. Just the name conjurers up images of double chain rings and 5-cog freewheels with friction shifters attached to a down tube or a bar stem. Although those components have faded from memory and fallen from popularity in favor of indexed shifting, triple chain rings and 9-to-11 speed cassettes, the term 10-speed has endeared itself to legions of cyclists and come to represent a category of bicycle that is as strong as ever. Its distinguishing characteristic is the derailleur with multiple gears, which differentiates it from hub-gear models or single speeds. All use hand brakes and employ the typical diamond frame.
The Road Bike
Road bikes are designed, as the name implies, for use on hard surfaces, such as roads and paved paths. The road bike features a more relaxed geometry, with a longer wheelbase and a slightly more "springy" frame for added control on rougher surfaces and comfort over longer distances. the tires are generally narrow and high pressure and the gear set is somewhat broad for handling a range of terrain. Aerodynamic features are often included since the road bike is meant to be ridden at high speed. The frame material is usually steel, but many use aluminum, carbon or titanium. Lightness is a high priority.
The Touring Bike
Touring bikes are built to carry a load. They have built-in bosses and eyelets for the attachment of panniers and racks to carry gear and fenders that ward off splash. Designed mostly for street riding, they are often used as very effective commuting bikes. Their longer wheelbases and very wide gear ranges give them great versatility. The tires are usually a bit wider than road bikes to handle increased weight. The frames are generally steel, but aluminum is also used frequently. Titanium and carbon frames are less common because a high degree of stiffness and light weight are not the highest priorities.
The Racing Bike
Racing bikes are built for speed at the expense of comfort, load carrying and high stability. Lightweight aerodynamic frames, and forks of carbon fiber with steep angles and a very short wheelbase make reaching and attaining high speeds much easier. The gear ratios are generally tight and the tires are very narrow, with lightweight aerodynamic rims. They are not the most comfortable bikes for general riding.
Article Written By Garrison Pence
Garrison Pence has been a midwest-based (ghost)writer for three decades, taught university-level literature, and has written articles and white papers in trade publications of the Material Handling Institute, Engineering Today, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Science, and Semiconductor. Pence holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature.