“This is a contributed article written by Two Wheel Gear rider Jane Knight.”
How to Pick the Perfect Commuter Bike
Choosing to bike to work could be one of the best decisions you make. Not only will you reduce your impact on the environment, you’ll find yourself feeling fitter and more energized in the morning. The mixture of exercise-related endorphins and beating the rush hour traffic will leave you in a good mood as you start the work day. You won’t be alone either; cycling to work has increased 60% in the last 10 years. So how do you choose the perfect commuter bike?
What is the Terrain?
Choosing the perfect bicycle is a personalized process, with no one bike being perfect for everybody. The first thing you should consider is the terrain. If you live in a city, you’ll likely want a sleek road bike, which can travel quickly on smooth surfaces.
However, if your commute is particularly pothole-y, a mountain bike might actually be faster and more comfortable. If you are lucky enough to have an off road route to work, then a road bike will make the commute tough.
If you live in a hilly city (like San Francisco), then you are going to need some gears! If you have to climb up some elevated roads, you’ll need a bike with at least 7 gears to start. Commuter bikes (or hybrid bikes) with 21 gears are common. Although you may not use them all, its certainly handy when your legs get tired. If its relatively flat, 3 gears should do the trick.
So consider terrain you’ll be riding on before purchasing a new commuter bike.
What is your Preferred Riding Position?
This is an important, though often overlooked, part of the bike selection process. Sitting down for too long is a health hazard. If you are commuting to the office, then it is even more important you consider your riding position. Road bikes are light and fast, but are usually uncomfortable.
You may therefore consider a touring bike, which are built for long distance and therefore take comfort into account. This way, you can be sure to avoid potential aches. No one wants to start the work day in pain.
How much do you need to Carry?
Travelling to work usually means carrying a lot of stuff. Does your bike have any storage? You will likely want a pannier (Two Wheel Gear make great ones), but not all bikes can handle one. Once again, touring bikes or hybrid bikes are your best bet for attaching storage, while a standard road bike may not cope with a bike rack needed for panniers.
You may be happy to carry your work items in a backpack, but many professional workers prefer a stylish briefcase (In February, Two Wheel Gear will be launching the professional’s Pannier Briefcase on Kickstarter!
(Join the Insider Mailing List to get all the special details and offers when the Kickstarter launches!)
When it comes to choosing the perfect commuter bike, everyone’s needs are different. The above factors should be your top three when deciding which bike to purchase. Consider terrain, comfort and storage in order to find the perfect bicycle for you.
If you need more advice on the best bike/gear setup to start commuting and join the Two Wheel Gear rider’s club, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help guide you through a great setup!