Hoy has a double reason to celebrate as his mother Carol, who is a retired nurse, is appointed MBE for her work on sleep-related illnesses.
"To become a knight from riding your bike, it's mad," said the 32-year-old Hoy.
"It feels a bit strange to be honest. I still can't quite believe it.
"It's incredible and I'm absolutely delighted. To be given a knighthood is an enormous honour - it means so much to me and also to my family."
Sailor Ainslie is honoured after winning his third straight sailing gold in Beijing to add to a silver from Atlanta in 1996, while track cyclist Wiggins is similarly recognised after claiming two gold medals in Beijing to take his Olympic medal tally to six.
"I'm extremely honoured with a CBE," Ainslie told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"When you are racing at the Olympics, you're racing for Queen and country."
He added: "Receiving the CBE is a different feeling to winning medals. This is great for people in the background. It's fantastic for my family."
Disabled swimmer David Roberts and rider Lee Pearson also become CBEs.
Roberts won four golds in Beijing to equal Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson's record of 11 Paralympic titles, while Pearson won three equestrian Paralympic golds.
Adlington, 19, who finished third in the vote at Sports Personality of the Year, was honoured for becoming the first British woman to win an Olympic gold in the pool since Anita Lonsbrough in 1960.
"I'm absolutely delighted to receive the OBE - it is fantastic to be recognised in the New Year Honours," she said.
"There are so many amazing names on the list, it's something I'll treasure for the rest of my life."
Sailors Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Iain Percy also become OBEs for winning their second Olympic gold medals in Beijing, as does rower Steve Williams, who added another coxless four gold to the one he won in Athens.
Disabled swimmer Eleanor Simmonds is appointed MBE after becoming Britain's youngest ever individual Paralympic gold medallist in Beijing, aged 13. She is also the youngest person to receive the honour.
"The last three months have been a whirlwind and I feel as though I am living in a fairytale," she said.
MBE a real honour for Simmonds
Gold medal-winning cyclists Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff, Paul Manning, Nicole Cooke, Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero also become MBEs, taking the list of Beijing Olympic cyclists to be honoured to 10.
"Everybody in our team dedicate their lives to the pursuit of a dream - to win a gold medal," said Brailsford.
"When they do get recognised in this way it is breathtaking and a fantastic honour."
Olympic champion rowers Zac Purchase, Mark Hunter, Andy Triggs-Hodge, Tom James, and Peter Reed all become MBEs alongside gold medal-winning canoeist Tim Brabants.
Beijing sailing champions Paul Goodison, Andrew Simpson and Pippa Wilson, who won her first gold alongside Ayton and Webb, are also appointed MBEs.
Christine Ohuruogu, the 400m champion who was the only British athlete to win a track and field gold in Beijing, is similarly appointed MBE, as is gold medal-winning boxer James DeGale.
"It's very strange - it was a bolt out of the blue," Ohuruogu told BBC Radio 5 Live.
Brabants thrilled with 'special honour'
"To have your name read out a lot along with the names of inspirational people is great. It'll take time to sink in."
GB sailing team manager Stephen Park becomes an OBE and boxing coach Terry Edwards becomes an MBE.
Hamilton's MBE rounds off an astonishing year after he won won the Formula One championship in 2008 and was Sports Personality of the Year runner-up.
The 23-year-old McLaren driver received a personally written note of congratulations from the Queen.
"It is a massive honour and incredible privilege," said Hamilton.
"It is the most amazing culmination to what has been quite a year for me."
Chris Hoy, cyclist, for services to sport.
John Madejski, for charitable services.
COMMANDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE - CBE
Ben Ainslie, sailor, for services to sport.
David Brailsford, performance director, British Cycling, for services to sport.
Lee Pearson, for services to equestrianism and disabled sport.
David Roberts, swimmer, services to disabled sport.
David Tanner, performance director, GB Rowing Team, for services to sport.
Bradley Wiggins, cyclist, for services to sport
OFFICERS OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE - OBE
Rebecca Adlington, swimmer, for services to sport.
Sarah Ayton, sailor, for services to sport.
Cheryl Danson, chair England Netball, for services to sport.
Ellen Hunter, cycling pilot guide, for services to disabled sport.
Rhydian James Morgan-Jones, for services to the horseracing industry.
Darren Kenny, cyclist, for services to disabled sport.
Sascha Kindred, swimmer, for services to disabled sport.
Philip Lane, chief executive Paralympics GB, for services to sport.
Brian McCargo, for services to sport and to the Special Olympics in Northern Ireland.
Aileen McGlynn, cyclist, for services to disabled sport.
Stephen Park, manager, British Olympic Sailing Team, for services to sport.
Iain Percy, sailor, for services to sport.
Timothy Reddish, national performance director for disability swimming, for services to sport.
Sarah Storey, cyclist, for services to disabled sport.
Peter Warburton, director of sport, University of Durham, for services to higher education and sport.
Sarah Webb, sailor, for services to sport.
Stephen Williams, rower, for services to sport.
MEMBERS OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE - MBE
Harold Alderman, boxing historian, for services to sporting heritage.
Robert Bloomfield, for voluntary service to rugby union in Northern Ireland.
Tim Brabants, canoeist, for services to sport.
Mark Bristow, cyclist, for services to disabled sport.
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