This paper provides a detailed description of complex bainitic microstructures obtained during the recent development of low carbon linepipe steels with strengths in the range of X100 to X120. New experimental techniques based on a high resolution FEG-SEM and EBSD have been used to characterise and quantify the mixture of ultrafine bainitic ferrite and nanosize second phases in these steels. It was found that the occurrence of incomplete transformation generates new, previously unexplored bainitic microstructures with a wealth of microstructural features that is beyond classification based on conventional concepts. Clear differences in distributions of boundary misorientations and effective grain size were noted between upper, lower and granular bainites. Based on these results a new classification scheme and definition of bainite is proposed.