What Is a Bicycle?


The bicycle is a human-powered, two-wheeled vehicle used for transportation and recreation. It is widely regarded as the most efficient, convenient, and environmentally friendly means of transport in the world. Cycling is also a popular sport and recreational activity, with events such as the Tour de France and the Olympics attracting large crowds. People who sustain traumatic injuries from bicycle collisions or falls may require treatment by specialists in emergency medicine, neurology, orthopedic surgery, oral surgery, or physical therapy.

A bicycle’s primary function is to allow a rider to transport himself or herself and goods. It is the most popular means of transport in the world, with global sales outnumbering those of automobiles three to one. Most bicycles are made of steel or aluminum alloy, although carbon fiber frames are increasingly common for high-performance models.

People often use a bicycle to get to work or school, run errands and to exercise. Bicycle commuting is especially popular in cities and other areas with traffic congestion or limited public transportation. People who ride bikes as a means of recreation can choose from road, mountain, cruiser, and tandem bicycles, each with different features.

There are several benefits to cycling, including weight loss and improved cardiovascular health. Regular cyclists can burn hundreds of calories per hour, depending on their fitness level and speed. In addition, biking strengthens the legs and buttocks and improves balance. It also tones the arms, back, and core muscles, and it helps build endurance.

Some health professionals recommend cycling as an alternative to driving an automobile, which can be costly and damaging to the environment. However, cycling requires special gear and safety equipment, such as helmets and lights. People who are new to cycling should gradually increase their distances and speeds.

In order to maximize the calorie-burning potential of a bicycle ride, it is important to pedal at a comfortable pace for your body. Pedaling at too low an intensity won’t give you the desired workout, while pedaling too fast can lead to leg and foot fatigue.

It’s important to be familiar with the mechanics of a bike before purchasing one, or taking it for a test ride. An experienced, knowledgeable salesperson can help you decide which type of bicycle is best for your needs. They can also recommend a quality product at a reasonable price. Bicycles are available in a wide range of prices, from entry-level aluminum alloy models to expensive carbon-fiber racers. Some bikes are available in hand-cranked versions and recumbent designs, which can be helpful for people with nerve, skeletal, or mobility issues that prevent them from riding an upright bicycle. These models typically have a conventional bicycle front end paired with two side-by-side wheels in the rear (sometimes called tadpoles) and can have conventional or electric motor-assist drivetrains and rim or disc brakes.