What is the best bike for commuting to work?
Maybe you saw that coming! But honestly, if it has two wheels, you are already 80 percent of the way there! Whether you’re buying a new bicycle, dusting off that bike that’s been sitting in your garage for years, or using whatever you could get your hands on in the midst of the COVID-19 bike shortage, you too, can start riding your bike to work by answering three simple questions.
Question 1. What are the main details of my commute?
Ask yourself questions like: How far will I be riding? 2 miles? 8 miles? What’s the terrain on my route? Flat road? Packed with potholes? Hills on hills on hills?
It’s easy to get bogged down in the many details and specifics of different bikes – diamond frame or step through? Carbon frame vs aluminum vs alloy? Fat tires vs thin tires? The list is endless – but you can’t pick the right commuter bike if you don’t know the specifics of your commute.
However, if you’re unsure about how to find specific details regarding your bike commute, read this post that gives you all the advice you need for planning it!
Question 2. How should my commuting needs guide my bike buying or bike modification process?
For those buying a new or used bike; having your commute in mind beforehand puts you ahead of the game and may save you bike alterations (and money!) down the line. Check out this fantastic post from Bicycle Radar on different types of bikes and their pros and cons for different commutes.
For those of you who already have a bike; there are many easy and affordable tweaks that can turn any bike into a commuting powerhouse. Check out 5 Essential Bike Accessories for Commuting for all the information you need on tailoring your current wheels!
Question 3. Am I comfortable??
This is the most important question of all. Can your hands easily reach the brakes and gears? Are your feet bumping against the chain wheel? Is the bike seat too high? Before going on your first ride to work, you should ride your bike around for 15 minutes or more to get a true feel for it. If you feel any discomfort, stop and take note of the issues you’re feeling. Trust me, you will not want to commit to a bike commute if you are not comfortable!
Check out my post How to Make Your Bike Comfortable that discusses factors that affect bike comfort and ways to improve them.
That’s all there is to it! Easy right?! ! Now, the remaining 20 percent requires some work on your part to ensure that you set yourself up for commuting success – but don’t worry, that’s where I come in!
Read the other posts in the Bike to Work Beginner’s Guide for all the information you need to safely and effortlessly bike to work in style!