What do you mean there are different types of bikes?
To the untrained eye all bikes probably look the same, two wheels, handlebars, seat and frame. The reality is that there are different bikes to do different things. I’m gonna break it down into the most basic catagories. That way you can figure out which one is best for you.
This is by far the easiest, cheapest and simplest bike you can ride. If its been a decade or more since you ridden a bike then a cruiser is a fantastic way to get back on two wheels. Usually there is only one front gear and few back gears, sometimes they come as fixie where there is no gears. The saddle is normally wide and cushy to make the ride more relaxed. This is the bike you see everyone renting at the beach. Think of it as a stroll around the block but on a bike. Its not designed to take you on long trips, more like 5 miles or less. When I started riding bikes I got a cruiser to get started. It works great if you want to ride around your neighborhood or on a paved greenway. They are also the cheapest like I mentioned earlier. You can usually get one for about $100-$500 depending on quality of parts.
If you want to get off the road on some dirt then a mountain bike is for you. There are many sub categories to mountain including enduro, downhill, hard tail, full suspension and fat tire. They are all basically the same with a few tweaks. You will still be sitting more upright but not as much as a crusier. Plus once you really start to shred it you actually move all around the bike depending on if you are going up or down the mountain. You should notice that the tires are knobby to grip around rocks and roots. I have a hard tail mountain bike that is prefect for a beginner like me. If I want I can put some smoother tires and it works well on a greenway too. A basic hardtail will start about $800 and go up from there especially once you start looking at full suspension and can easily go up to $2-3k.
Just like in mountain there are many sub categories like triathlon, cyclocross, time trial and so on but overall you will notice a few things about road bikes. To begin with the tires are much skinnier, the handel bars are usually level or lower then the saddle. This makes you lean more into the bike. If endurance is what you are looking for then a road bike will do great. Often times people in this discipline will ride for 20,50 or even 100 miles in one trip. I’m not a personal fan of road bikes but I’m also not one for endurance. Road bikes can get expensive quickly, usually a decent intro level will be $1200-$1500 and can easily go over $5k.
This bike is obviously named for what it does. Your gonna find this bike in urban areas. Its a nice cross between crusier and road. The geometry is more relaxed then road but not as chill as a crusier. The tires are going to skinnier then mountain but not to the extreme like a road. Typically there are places to hold cargo either on the handel bars or behind the seat. These bikes can range in price from $650 to $1500.
All of the bikes mentioned above now come in e-bike versions. For those who don’t know that basically means there is a rechargeable battery built into the frame that can help with peddling. Let me explain that this assists you, not replace you. No pedal, No go. These can be used for a number of different people. Maybe you are fit but want something that can get you around town without being too sweaty. For me I like e-bikes because it helps me keep up with other people. For example I typically ride a bike on the road at about 9 miles per hour, using the same amount of effort on a e-bike I can go about 15 miles per hour. With the technology in e-bikes still new and the fact that they aren’t mainstream yet means they are still pricey. Expect to pay about $2-3k for an e-bike no matter if it is commuter, road or mountain.
Honestly there are so many other kinds of bikes out there. There are really cool cargo bikes that can carry your groceries or your kids or both. There are touring bikes that are made to go from road to gravel to dirt all while carrying everything you own with you. Tandem bikes are fun to share a ride with someone else. What kind of bikes do you ride? Or want to ride?
Encourage. Enjoy. Explore.