Why are there so many different types of bicycles?

I realize that this is a bit rhetorical, but I'm asking it anyway so you answer the question for yourself .

Now you may have thought; Because there are so many different types of people... or maybe because people have different abilities, personalities, needs, desires, objectives and preferences. The bicycle has been around for over a hundred years, you would expect it to; evolve, change and diversify, etc... to meet the specific needs of those who will ride them.

Wikipedia lists over 100 different types of bicycles. Really, I counted them 🙂 The page titled List of bicycle types has links to many including all of what we would consider common bicycles; Road, Mountain, Hybrid, BMX and Tandem. And many uncommon; the Sideways bike,  Hydrocycle, Footbike (think Fred Flintstone), the Tredle Bicycle and my favorite; the Clown Bike.

There are bikes designed for different sports; Road Racing, Downhill, MTB, Track and BMX. Bikes that are powered by your arms, core (rowing), legs pushing, legs pulling, just coasting and of course legs peddling in a circle.

Some bikes are ridden sitting up, leaning forward, some sitting or laying down. Bikes designed for one person, ridden by two (in any conceivable arrangement), three or more.

Specialty bikes for traveling through a large warehouse, a night on the town, a cruise on the beach or a 1,000 mile tour.

There's a bicycle for darn near every different ability, personality, need, desire, objective and preference.

But what if there was only one type of bicycle, that could be ridden only one way?

What would it look like?

Who would decide?

Would you buy or ride one - if it didn't match your ability, personality, need, desire, objective or preference?

Or would you just decide to walk?


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