From its invention in Paris in the 1860s, the bicycle has developed from a plaything for rich dandies to a major mode of transport for billions of people, the basis of a sport, and a great tool for just having fun while you keep fit.
The various styles of bikes we cover on road.cc are mostly intended to be ridden on Tarmac and other smooth surfaces, though there are exceptions — cyclocross and gravel bikes — that exist because riders want to get away from the traffic.
Considering a purchase? Budget at least £200, plus a bit more for essentials like a lock and lights.
Road.cc articles on bikes
Beginner's guide: how to choose and buy your next bike
Why your next bike should be a road race bike
Why your next bike should be a fixie
Why your next bike should be a hybrid
Why your next bike should be a touring bike