I wanted to examine the different bicyclist types. As a non-bicyclist or even as a bicyclist, but one that is more for commuting or simple rides or even just street races, you might be asking what are with these three types of bicyclists. What is the difference?

As someone who qualifies themselves as a long distance cyclist, I am here to define the three and give examples. These are all via my own opinion and observations and might not be the actual dictionary definition or another person’s definition.

For this article, I am also not talking or including cyclists who are followed in a car with their gear. I am only thinking of cyclists who carry their own gear or, otherwise known as, self-supported.

Long Distance Cyclists

The first of the different bicyclist types are long distance cyclists. This term is kind of the term that encompasses the other ones. But what makes it different to me is that it really does mean long distance. This is what I have done. I went across the United States, about 4,000 miles over 89 days straight. I went from the top of Alaska to Washington state border, about 2,000 miles over 2 months straight.

Long distance cyclists cover huge amounts of miles or kilometers. The duration of the trip can be debated because some people cycle more each day than others. The point is covering the distance consistency and straight on.

Long distance cyclists tend to not have all the fancy gear. They look normal off the bike besides some tan lines.


The next term in the different bicyclist types are bikepackers. Bikepackers are cyclists who do longer trips, but not quite as long as long distance cyclists. They are more focused on time period rather than distance.

For example, they only have a week to travel or they are looking for a weekend fun activity.

They basically still carry the same amount of items as long distance cyclists because you basically a week trip is the same things you need for 3 months.

Bikepackers tend to have more fancy equipment such as bike jerseys and clip-on shoes. Clip-on shoes do help with your cycling, but you shouldn’t walk in these shoes because it will ruin the clips. Long distance cyclists tend to not wear clips so they can walk freely whenever they stop and not worry about their clips. Also, clip-on riders always have to bring an extra pair of shoes for those moments of walking, which means they carry more things.

Bike Tourers as one of the Bicyclist Types

Bike tourers are, in my opinion, the casual cyclists. They might go for a day around the national park or around a lake. Maybe they tour around some wineries on a bike. They might have some bags to carry some food and maybe a jacket, but they won’t be holding as much stuff as the other cyclists mentioned in this article.

I would also call those who bike out, camp, and then bike back bike tourers since it is just one night away from their own beds.

This can also cover people who bicycle and only stay in hotels, no camping, so they don’t have to carry camping gear or food gear. They aren’t supported with a car or anything, but they don’t want to “rough it” as the other cyclists, which is fine, but this is why I include them in this category.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments! Are you interested in being one of these categories? Are you already in one of these categories?