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Background and Identification ¶ 

The ancestor of the modern bicycle was called the "Dandy Horse" when it was first introduced to the world in 1817. In the past 200 years, bicycles have developed from wooden-framed push carts to mechanically-driven, carbon fiber machines.

Modern bikes come in many different shapes and sizes and each type has a unique use. There are leisure bikes, sport bikes, commuter bikes, tandem bikes, bikes with three wheels (trikes), recumbent bikes, and many other combinations of chains, wheels, gears, brakes, and pedals.

Identifying the type of bicycle you have can be a difficult task. If it has two wheels, an upright seat, a pair of handlebars and pedals, it is probably either a mountain bike, a road bike, a sport bike, or a special combination of the three. Mountain bikes generally have larger, heavier frames with wide, knobby tires. Road bikes have smooth skinny tires and very light and stiff frames. Unfortunately, there is not concrete way to classify a bicycle as one type or another, since much of the use of a bicycle comes from the components that make it up. The main parts of a bicycle are:

  • Frame
  • Forks
  • Handlebars
  • Seat
  • Front and Rear Wheels
  • Pedals
  • Brakes
  • Gears
  • Suspension

Each of these components are different depending on whether or not the bike is designed to stay on the road, ride up and down mountains, or move a person from one place to another as easily as possible.

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