With the current extortionate fuel and transport prices, investing in a bike to reduce your commuting costs could make a huge difference to your bank balance. In addition, travelling on two wheels makes it easier to enjoy your environment, take in your surroundings, improve your exercise regime, and save money (we’d say that’s a win-win!)
Since you’ve found this blog, you’re likely unsure where to start looking, or what sort of bike to be looking for. But thankfully, you’ve come to the right place.
From road bikes, to hybrids, to ones which are electrically assisted, we’ll help you understand what features make for a good commuter bike. We’ll also pepper in some of our suggestions of popular bikes to get you started.
What makes a good commuter bike?
When looking for the perfect commuter bike, there are a few key features that make them stand out from other bikes.
An upright posture is a great choice for commuting. You’ll be more aware of your surroundings when cycling, especially when riding in very busy urban areas whilst also putting less strain on the wrists, arms, and shoulders.
For optimal stopping power, disc brakes are certainly the way to go.
Disc brakes are a type of braking system that utilize callipers to squeeze brake pads against the surface of a rotor, which is connected to the wheel. This pressure causes friction, which results in slowing or stopping of the bike.
For better peace of mind when commuting in traffic, especially in wet / icy conditions, they’re sure to come in handy.
Can it be compacted?
Even if a bike is lightweight, sometimes it can’t help getting in the way (particularly if you need to take a bus or train someplace else with it).
This is where having the option to compact your bike down is very useful. In addition to public transport, your bike could easily be placed under your desk whilst working, making it a very versatile method of transport for any commuter.
Now that we’ve defined the most attractive traits, let’s see how some of these bikes match up with what commuters want.
Best types of bikes for commuting
There are plenty of options when it comes to bikes for commuting. Take a look at some of the models we recommend – from bikes designed to be used on the road, to ones that are practical on all terrains.
Best road bikes for commuting
A road bike is certainly a good choice for those who are keen racers, and can also be a good option for commuting.
Getting into the office on a road bike will likely be fine, but you may want to make a few adjustments for optimal travelling.
It might be best to swap out standard tyres for ones with a firmer grip in wet and wintry conditions. This will also reduce the likelihood of punctures, as they’re more rugged in comparison.
Be wary that a road bike might not endure as much wear and tear compared to other bike options, but with proper care and maintenance, they are sure to last.
Best hybrid bikes for commuting
You can’t go wrong with a hybrid, as they’re built to be an all-rounder bike without the hassle of being high-maintenance.
Hybrid bikes are also available in E-bike form and opting for the electric variant is often a no-brainer for many commuters. After a long day of work, it makes a huge difference in reducing the strain on your legs whilst also saving you money on your journey home.
Best folding bikes for commuting
As we mentioned earlier, the compatibility element of a folding bike is often sought after by commuters.
They’ve also become increasingly popular with cyclists and recreational riders. They offer a convenient way to move around tight city streets, are lightweight, and are easy to transport which makes them perfect for busy city dwellers.
Our range of electric folding bikes can put some extra oomph into your commute, with all the benefits of a non-assisted bike. Take a look at some of our top picks below, or click here to see our electric folding bike range.
Are Mountain bikes good for commuting?
Unless you’re working in the woods, or maybe on a building site where the roads aren’t quite as flat as in a town or city, it might be better to consider another kind of bike.
Mountain bike tyres are better suited to off-roading, and the tyre knobbles will make it harder to journey on flat roads. As well as this, you also won’t really need the suspension mountain bikes come equipped with (since you won’t likely be doing huge jumps on the high street). Ultimately, you’d be spending more on features that would likely make your journey to work less efficient.
Whilst we’d probably recommend another type of bike, like a hybrid, mountain bikes are a quality off-road option. Below are just a few of our favourites, just in case you’re dead set on a brand-new men’s or womens’ mountain bikes!
For the best possible commuter experience, there are always improvements you can make to your bike for better safety and comfort.
Particularly when it’s a wet and miserable day, you’ll benefit hugely from some mudguards.
They do a great job of catching any potential spray which might dirty up your smart work wear, meaning you can think more about what’s in front of you on the road.
When the nights begin to draw in, it’s essential that you have the appropriate lighting. It is a legal requirement in the UK to have both front and rear lighting when riding at night, so make sure you adhere to these regulations.
If the weight of your backpack / bag is too much or gets in the way, it can be dangerous to cycle along as it could throw off your balance.
To prevent a nasty accident, it might be worth installing a pannier rack so that you can better disperse the additional weight for your work gear. They’re certainly a good accessory to have, and there are many bags available which clip on securely, suiting your style and needs.
Additional clothing is a really great way of ensuring you’ll be seen on the road and also keep yourself warm and dry.
We mentioned in our How to Safely Cycle in the Winter blog that it is very important to be seen when it’s dark, for both your safety and the visibility of drivers so a hi-vis vest, jacket, or even armbands are sure to help.
After reading our guide on the best bikes for commuters, we hope that you now have the knowledge to get the right bike for commuting to and from work.
If you like what you’ve seen in our blog and would like to test out a bike in person, then feel free to visit us in any of our across the midlands and south of England. Our happy colleagues are always willing to help you find the right bike for your commuting needs.