A bicycle, also known as a bicycle or bike, is a pedal-driven or self-propelled, two-wheeled, motorized, single-wheel track vehicle, with two pedals attached to a rigid frame, one on each side of the seat. A bicycle rider is often described as a racer, or cyclist. Many countries across the world recognize bicycles as a popular mode of transport and some even have a national bicycle race. Bicyclists are considered to be the most environmentally friendly and sustainable form of transportation in comparison to automobiles and SUVs. The lack of fuel consumption is also seen as an advantage for many bicycle riders.
A bicycle has two pedals attached on each side of the seat with the bicycle wheels touching the ground. The bicycle wheels are typically fixed to the frame on all four wheels while the handlebars are mounted on the top forks of the bicycle. On some bicycles a front brake is added to provide a smoother braking experience.
In the United States, there are two types of bicycles: a touring bicycle and a utility bicycle. Touring bicycles are used for commuting between destinations by road. A utility bicycle is used for light exercise and commuting and is typically smaller in size and equipped with more powerful and lighter aluminum wheels.
One of the first bicycles to be developed for both utility and Touring purposes was the velocipede, which was invented by the French bicycle maker, Louis de Balzac. Velocipedes feature a single-gear system that allows for very smooth pedaling. This was later followed by the development of the two-wheeled bicycle by the English bicycle maker, John Pilsworth. In the late nineteenth century, the English bicycle maker, Richard Taylor, made major advances in the design of the bicycle by creating what is known today as the touring bicycle. Touring bicycles of the late nineteenth century had almost the same design features of the velocipede.
When it comes to the style of the bicycle today, there are two major types: the urban bicycle and the country bicycle. The former features a narrow seat and handlebars and a bicycle with larger and more aerodynamic tires for maximum speed. The country bicycle, on the other hand, features a bicycle with wider tires for a comfortable ride. Both styles of bicycle use bicycle wheels that are mounted on a narrow and deep rims. The rims are typically made from steel.
The typical size of bicycle wheels today is 14 inches, but there are several sizes available, depending on the rim and tire diameter. Bicycle wheels are typically classified as smooth, hard, or spoke. A spoke rim has tubular spokes, while the hard rims have tubular spokes that are made out of iron or aluminum.