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The Most Common Types of Bicycles in Kenya

There are different types of bicycles in Kenya that you can find in bicycle shops. In fact, there are very many types of bikes that you can group them by different classifications. In this article, we are going to see the different types of bicycles by their function.

By functional classification, we mean the purpose for which the bike is intended for.

Cycling is popular in Kenya, whether for sport, leisure, workout, commute, labour and business. Therefore, it is important we address the types of bicycles in Kenya that you can find in bicycle shops.

Also, don’t forget to check out this article on the best bicycle shops in Nairobi. You can find the bikes listed below in these shops including some of the best bicycles in Kenya.

Common Types of Bicycles in Kenya

The intention of this list is to present the bikes you can buy and use for sport, leisure, commute, and workout. The list includes 3 common types of bicycles in Kenya that you are likely to find in any bicycle shops. Hence, it is not exhaustive or detailed.

This list is meant mostly for beginner cyclists, especially those who want to buy a bike or upgrade. This is a list of some of the best bicycles in Kenya based on popularity.

Mountain Bikes

image of a mountain bike
A mountain bike

Mountain bikes (or mountain bicycles) are bicycles whose design is for off-road cycling. Their major characteristic is the large and knobby tires, flat handlebars and (usually come with) a front or full suspension fork(s).

The design of a mountain bike helps with enhancing the durability and performance of a rider on rough terrain. They also have lower gear ratios for easier climbing of steep climbs and most come with three chainrings at the front (though most newer brands are switching to double and single chainrings).

The bigger tires of the mountain bike compared to a road bike helps with navigating rough terrains, unpaved roads and also through portholes. Mountain bikes are among the best bicycles in Kenya and mostly used alongside the popular black mambas.

If you visit any of the bicycle shops in Kenya, you will find out that, in most cases, mountain bikes are cheaper than road bikes. This is because, generally in cycling, the lighter the bike, the more expensive it is. Lighter parts and components take much time and more resources to make, hence the price.

Most people own mountain bikes and consider them the best types of bicycles in Kenya because they are not aware or have not tried other types of bicycles.

Road Bikes

image of a road bike
A road bike

Road bikes, or road bicycles, are bikes made specifically for speed or competitive cycling (e.g. racing). They work best on paved roads such as tarmac. Thus, a road bike gets its name from the terrain the rider should use it, the tarmac!

The basic characteristic of road bikes is the drop handlebars (though some may have flat handlebars) and slick tires. They also often have two chainrings in the front (unlike mountain bikes which have three, though some road bikes also have three.).

Since they are built for speed, road bikes do not have a suspension fork. The fork helps to insulate the rider from the roughness of the terrain. Thus, they are not meant for offroad cycling.

Hybrid Bikes

image of a hybrid bike
A hybrid bike (photo by

As the name implies, a hybrid bicycle is a hybrid of both a mountain bike and a road bike. It combines the best of both bicycles, for example, the speed of a road bike and the stability (and comfort) of a mountain bike.

Hybrid bikes adopt the upright riding posture and flat handlebars of a mountain bike and the lightweight thinner tires of a road bike, allowing for greater speed on road. The bikes are general-purpose bikes that are useful for light offroad riding and also road riding.

Hybrid bikes are slower than road bikes but faster than mountain bikes. You will also often find that hybrid bikes have thicker tires than road bikes, but thinner than mountain bikes since they are a blend of the two types of bicycles.

Hybrids tend to be the best types of bicycles in Kenya for general commuting by bicycle, although you can use any other type of bicycles as you wish.

Gĩthĩnji is the founder of He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@GithinjiKE

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