The most popular type of bicycles in the world are road bikes, who are intended to be used on flat (almost always paved) roads by everyone who is in need of a simple way to travel on distances of all kinds. Created to be intuitive and easy to control, road bikes are the reason why the bicycles became so popular from the moment they first appeared on the market in the 2nd half of the 19th century Europe. Over the years they became highly versatile, with several sub-types of bicycle that offered different set of accessories and frame designs.
Today when you are purchasing or renting road bicycle, you can immediately spot difference between them and mountain bikes, which are another popular segment of “all terrain” bicycles that can be seen all around the world. Road bikes are created without the focus on agility, strengthened components and ability to go on all types of terrains. They are often heavier than mountain bikes, have usually just one gear (although simple rear-wheel shifter to up to 9 speed is not uncommon), no active suspension, brakes are simple but reliable, handlebar can be made in several configurations, seat is often more comfortable, frames are made with or without top tube, accessories often include pre-made spots for carrying cargo (baskets, luggage carrier, rarely even small saddlebag), and most easily to notice, their tires are narrower and smoother than all tire types that are used by mountain bikes. Road bicycles also have high air pressure (over 100 psi) which in addition to the smooth tire surface is helping drivers to better conserve their momentum and reduce rolling resistance.
Modern road bicycles are today separated into one of the 6 main categories: