A bicycle is a two-wheeled, steerable vehicle that is propelled by its rider. A bicycle's rear wheel is mounted on a rugged, lightweight frame, and its front wheel is mounted in a movable fork. A bicycle rider sits on a saddle seat, steers with handlebars that are attached to the movable front fork, and propels the bicycle forward using two foot pedals. The pedals are attached to cranks that rotate a chainwheel; an endless chain transmits power to a chain sprocket on the rear wheel.
Bicycle riders range from beginners to avid riders, from recreational riders to pros. Novice cyclists should start with the Bicycle Shop website, which describes each type of bicycle, highlighting its features and use, and lists major bicycle manufacturers. Most bicycle riders opt for either a road bike, mountain bike, BMX bike, or touring bicycle. Some riders prefer recumbent bikes for their wind efficiency and comfortable riding positions.
After learning about bicycle types, website visitors can move on to the Bicycle Shops website, where they can find local shops that can fit a bicycle and provide repairs. Many of these bicycle shops can also help cyclists find cycling events and bicycle tours. It is especially important for avid riders and professional cyclists to work with a local bicycle shop. A local shop can provide and install bicycle parts that optimize a rider's cycling efficiency for local terrain conditions or competitive events. For example, wider gear ratio ranges are required for hilly terrain, whereas lighter frames, wheelsets, and other components can make the difference between winning or losing competitive bicycle races.
Cyclists also need access to bicycle accessories such as helmets and other cycling apparel. Serious cyclists may need items such as hydration kits, bicycle tools, and even cycling computers. Bicycle riders who need to transport or store their bicycles should visit the Bicycle Racks website, where they can find information about racks for storing and transporting their bicycle, as well as racks, panniers, and baskets for carrying items on their bicycles.
Bicycle touring requires careful preparation and planning so the cyclists will have all the racks and equipment they need for their travels. In some cases, the bicycle tourist may just need to rent a bicycle for touring a vacation island.
Alphabetized lists of, and links to, bicycle and bicycle parts and supplies manufacturers and wholesalers throughout the USA are available on these manufacturer directories. A directory of bicycle rental services in the USA, organized by State, is available as well.
Several types of bicycles and cycling activities are illustrated on this cycling video portfolio page.